I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) at age 35, and I quickly found that all the drugs they used to treat it made me sicker. I had two choices: give up and die or find another treatment method. With two children to raise, giving up wasn’t an option. I started researching alternatives and saved my own life.
Becoming My Own Pharmacist
I already knew quite a bit about herbal medicine, but I realized that if I wanted to live a long life, I had to know much more. This was in 1988, so there was no internet to turn to. I checked out library books on alternative and herbal medicine, and bought those I could use long-term. I found a local organic food store that sold bulk herbs and started using them on a daily basis.
Changing My Diet Increased My Longevity
I will admit that changing my diet did not happen until a few years after my diagnosis. I already ate an abundance of fruits and veggies, but they were usually battered and fried, cooked in loads of salt, sugar and fat, smothered in butter or all three. I ate way too much of all the wrong kinds of meat and fried most of it. I had a lot of changes to make, so I got information from the Lupus Foundation on healthy eating.
I have always loved women’s magazines like Woman’s Day and Family Circle, and hardly ever missed an issue. I noticed that more of their articles were dealing with healthy eating, and that it was the exact opposite of how I was eating. I paid attention, and started eating less fat, salt and sugar. I started gardening organically, eating less meat and eating more raw foods.
Cutting Out The Chemicals
It took me a long time to start learning about how all the toxic chemicals I had been using and eating on and in my food were affecting my health. I slowly started cutting out processed food and found that made a huge difference in how I felt. Before I started eating better, I was addicted to caffeine to keep me going, drinking about 12 cups of coffee a day. Cutting out processed foods gave me much more natural energy.
Lupus is an incurable progressive autoimmune disease, so my healthier lifestyle will not make me normal again. It has already prolonged my life from the 15 years they promised me without their drugs to 25 years, and I’m not anywhere near giving up on 25 more. I take a handful of vitamins and supplements daily, eat healthy and still have flares. My next step is to start getting more exercise. Every day is another chance to get healthier.