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Showing posts from January, 2015

"You Matter" and the Art of Compassion

I had an experience this morning in a yoga class at my gym that was so significant, I would even venture to say it was spiritual in nature. One of those experiences when you know something special has happened and you cannot wait to share the beauty of your experience in the hopes that maybe it will help someone else, or make some type of difference in this world.

To back up a little bit, I recently commented on my personal Facebook page about a bunch of Bibles that I found in our home and kind of made a joke about how between my husband and I, we had a lot of Bibles; ironic considering the fact I felt like I had been having a spiritual crisis of sorts. However I have come to discover recently that my struggles have been the combination of an interpersonal crisis mixed with a religious one, rather than a spiritual one.

I have felt it necessary to try and work through some of the issues causing this upheaval in my life, both to improve the overall emotional quality of my life and of c…

Nutrition and Sjögren's

I posted on the Facebook page for this blog recently about a visit I made to a nutritionist. I had won, at an auction for the SSF (or rather, my husband won for me), a one hour consult with Tara Mardigan, MS, MPH, RD. She is a nutritionist in Boston, MA and also serves on the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation's Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. Some of my readers asked if I would post the information about that visit and this is what today's entry is all about.


Anybody who follows my blog know that I feel very strongly that diet and nutrition play a huge part in dealing with autoimmune illnesses and is a very underutilized treatment option for all patients. I was running into a few issues with my nutrition lately, mostly because I was freaking out over what I was "supposed" to do. Since my diagnosis, I have been vegetarian, gluten and dairy-free, Paleo, and on the Autoimmune Protocol. I have had significant relief at times with the gluten and dairy-free, as wel…

Low Dose Naltrexone Update

I happened to notice that my posts on low dose naltrexone (LDN) get a ton of traffic, maybe even the most traffic out of any other topic. I am relatively certain that the reason for this is because more and more patients and medical providers are learning about all the potential benefits of this under recognized medication.


I have written about LDN a few times in the past and lately, I have also been getting some e-mails asking where I am at with it. So I figured an update, even a brief one, was in order.


I am currently taking 2 mg of LDN every morning. If you have followed by other LDN posts, you will know that this is my third and final attempt at making LDN work for me. I have definitely had benefits from it in the past, but the insomnia issue negated any positive effects I was getting from it in terms of fatigue and pain.


I got up to 2 mg over the past several months and I think that is a critical reason why I am doing so well with it this time around. I am taking it in the morni…

10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse

After careful consideration and a lot of research, I made a decision after the holidays to embark on a cleanse/detox. I will start by saying that I have never done anything like this before, mostly because I don't believe in fad diets, or any diet for that matter, and also because I'm not sure, with all my health issues, how good it would be for my body.


However, I had been having some new digestive issues and some of my other autoimmune symptoms were acting up sporadically here and there. I also really overdid it and made some consistently bad food choices over the holidays and I was trying to get my food cravings under control. The digestive issues were not anything severe that impaired my daily living, but I am slightly paranoid about my family history of ovarian cancer and I am at the age my mom was when she was diagnosed. The most overlooked and under recognized symptoms of ovarian cancer are the digestive issues I was having such as bloating, gas, and constipation. Sinc…

Book Review: As My Body Attacks Itself

In December , I was approached via e-mail  by a woman, Kelly Morgan Dempewolf, PhD, with Sjögren's syndrome, who asked if she could send me a free copy of her book (that is my disclaimer by the way) As My Body Attacks Itself, in order for me to do a book review on this blog.

This self-published work, which is 192 pages, is a memoir describing her experience with Sjögren's syndrome. As a patient who published her own book on the illness, of course I was instantly intrigued as to what she had to say in this book. Here is the  book description taken from the back cover of the paperback:

"50 million Americans suffer with an autoimmune disease and countless more deal with chronic pain, fatigue, and illness. These diseases are often invisible, yet they touch every part of a person's life and of the lives of the people they love.

This book is an honest, raw look at the thoughts, concerns, fears, and struggles as Kelly deals with Sjögren's syndrome (the second most commo…