ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Coping with Autoimmune diseases

Updated on March 16, 2010

My personal autoimmune diseases run in my family while some have not be diagnosed, My twin sister and I both have two different autoimmune diseases that attack the same gland. The diseases are both autoimmune because the same mutation causes the cells to attack themselves in different ways within the same gland. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland causing it to under-produce except during a thyroiditis flare up. These flare ups are few and far between but can reek havoc within a body and cause self esteem issues with those particularly uncomfortable with weight gain. Under-active thyroid can cause weight gain as well as hair loss and skin changes. I also have Grave's Disease which causes the thyroid gland to over react and the biggest symptom I noticed was extreme weight loss, vomiting, and tremors. I started off with just having Hashimoto's which caused me to gain over 70lbs when it was untreated. I had horrible self esteem because I was in the military at the time and I tried every diet that the nutritionist threw at me and the most I'd loose was 2lbs even when following the strictest diet. I slowly learned that it doesn't matter how much I weigh as long as I was trying to be the healthiest I could be even without proper treatment. I have joint problems too so what I started to do was walk 1 mile a day and slowly increased it to 1.5 miles and just that little bit made me feel like I was trying to improve my own condition instead of blaming whatever was convenient. I didn't know what my diseases were so I set out to learn everything I could on them so that I could assist with my medical care and feel like I was intelligently aiding my health instead of causing the problem. What I was able to do after researching was to suggest ways to help me instead of stand there and ask the doctor to do everything. This action made me feel more in control. I started keeping track of all my blood work to monitor when I felt ok and when the symptoms started coming back so my health care team would know when to adjust the medication. Now I wear my weight like a flag showing that despite my weight issues and medical problems that I have an ability to monitor if not naturally adjust my condition to my feelings instead of moping about the what might have happened had I not been diagnosed.

My father and his father both were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in their 50s. My dad just turned 63 and he said his biggest coping mechanism with combating the disease is dieting with support. When we eat with him, everyone makes sure that the meal is a balanced nutrition and not overly sugar loaded. I suggested this to my step mother when he was diagnosed that if he couldn't have it in excess then let's not have it in the house in the extreme. I watched my grandfather growing up binge on cookies without ever checking his blood sugar levels. I know now from reviewing his actions later in life that he wasn't educated on how to control the disease and not let it take him over. He eventually died of a diabetes related heart problem that went undiagnosed because he didn't want to "control" a disease he felt he didn't have. I am proud of my father that he is not living in denial about how serious this condition is and that he is making life style changes that will improve his overall health and make him happy. My father told me once that just the support of his family has made the difference that my grandfather didn't have. I feel the biggest thing that will make or break the coping is having the support even through the hardest times from family and friends. If you do not have the support of those closest to you then their perceived attitudes can in turn make you feel like you are less of an individual due to a disease instead of unique.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)