Ep17: Learning from My Autoimmune Disease

autoimmune diseaseEpisode Description:

The one where we shed light on the dark stories of Autoimmune Disease, and why successful women business owners, especially, need to pay attention.
To view the show notes, ask a question, or leave a comment, visit www.AmyLatta.com/BWLW17

Episode Show Notes:

1 in 12 American has some form of autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease essentially means that our immune system attacks a part of our own body.
Autoimmune covers a vast body of diseases and illnesses, and each one has its own symptoms, and each one can mask other diseases.
And women are much more susceptible, and it affects so many women and women business owners.
My autoimmune story started with a doctor wagging her finger in my face and telling prescriptions were the only thing that could help me.
I simply didn’t believe her.
That began a completely new journey in my life, where I decided to take control of my autoimmune disease by believing that my body and I were in this together.
Because the world is not always on our side.
Doctors won’t agree, because science doesn’t agree, and friends and family may think we are crazy – either because they don’t understand because they don’t have autoimmune disease or because they do and they are okay with just taking medicine.
So what are we going to do about that!
  1. Get medical attention and start asking questions.
  2. Be willing to change your diet.
  3. Be wiling to manage your mind – you are going to need to be your own best advocate and use these Business Women Losing Weight coaching tools to handle the emotions of going through your autoimmune disease.
Books Referenced
“The Whole 30” – https://whole30.com/
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**I am giving away a 60 minute planning session, and will be pulling names from those who leave me a review!
Leave me a review, give me a star rating, and then send your name and review title to amy@amylatta.com
I will announce the winner on my Facebook Live on Friday, October 20.

Action Item:

If you don’t have autoimmune disease, show compassion for those that do.
“I don’t understand, but how can I help.”
If you suspect or you know you have autoimmune disease..
Know that you are not alone.
Create a plan where you choose at one thing this week you can do to start feeling better.
Sign up for the What to Eat This Week meal plan:

Building Community:

Bring your question to me! Facebook Live every Friday at 8am central, for discussion and Q&A!
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Episode Transcription:

You are listening to Business Women Losing Weight with Amy Latta, episode number 17!
(Music) Welcome to Business Women Losing Weight, a community for fabulous women small business owners so laser focused on building their businesses….they have been sacrificing their health! Together we’re going to get back your time, get back your energy, and teach you to live naturally thin.
I’m your host, Amy Latta, and I’m all in! Are you comin’ with me? Let’s take care of you so you can take care of business!

Happy happy day, my friends! It’s a happy day because I’m headed to DALLAS this weekend – actually by the time you listen to this I will have just gotten back from Dallas! Space time continuum stuff going on, I am sure! If I have not mentioned it before, I was trained by Master Coach Brooke Castillo through her Life Coach School. It’s actually called The Life Coach School! And it’s incredibly intense and elite and really only for the best of the best. The Yale of  coaching schools, if you will!
Anyway, Brooke and her husband Chris, who own and run the school together, recently moved the family and the business from Sacramento to Dallas, Texas, and I’m headed to my first training in their new hometown this weekend!
But Dallas is super important to me already. My very best friend in the entire world lives just 15 minutes from the new Life Coach School. And I have three clients who live there as well. So not only am I investing in more training, but get to stay with my bestie and take my clients out to lunch!
Don’t you just love it when that happens!
So I’m in a super good mood, my friends. And I have some really good stuff for you today! I am getting a little personal with you all. And I’m just going to dive right in.
Recently, an incredibly good friend of mine was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. For those of you that don’t know, it’s a form of thyroid disease. But not just any kind of out-of-whack thyroid problem. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease.
So. Who here has heard of Autoimmune Disease? It’s like that pretty much everyone has heard of it, because it is the Disease Du Jour, my friends. These days, seems like everyone has it, or at least their best friend or their mom or their sister.
What the heck is autoimmune disease? What does that mean? Why is it so prevalent? And most importantly, what does this mean for us, laser focused women business owners killing’ it out there in our dream.
Because ladies…it’s hitting us. Big time.
First of all, know that as of today, 2017, it is estimated that 1 in 12 Americans has some form of autoimmune disease. This is increasingly common. For comparison purposes, this is almost double the number of people who have cancer. Estimates say about 23 million Americans are living with some form of Autoimmune Disease, and estimates say about 14 million Americans are living with some form of cancer.
Autoimmune Disease also appears to affect more women than men. I don’ have figures, but all the scientific articles  keep saying things like “far more women than men.”
What the heck is autoimmune disease? It’s a blanket term for any condition you may have where your immune system attacks some part of your own body. Our immune systems are supposed to only attack foreign invaders, like bacteria or viruses. But our immune systems are going wonky and they are attacking our own bodies. And the scientific community is aware that there is an increasing prevalence of this happening. And they don’t necessarily know why.
Some examples may include Hashimoto’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, Celiac, Psoriasis, Grave’s Disease, Addison’s Disease, Type 1 Diabetes. These are just the most well known, there are so many more. Shoot, basic allergies is technically autoimmune – so see that increase in severe food allergies!
So. Autoimmune disease is our body attacking itself. And it’s becoming more common in more people. And it affects women far more often then men.
And for us women business owners, those of us struggling to take care of ourselves because we are so laser focused on our businesses, well, we are at a double disadvantage. Because fatigue is one of the most common symptom of autoimmune disease, and holy mama! Remember that not enough energy thing I’m always mentioning!
Okay. So what the heck can we do about it.
First off, don’t panic and for the love of all things holy, don’t run to Doctor Google. You will diagnose yourself with a brain tumor in about 2.2 seconds!
Before we go any further, take a breather! Autoimmune disease – or disorders, however you want to describe them – is on the rise and us women are most affected, but we can do something about it.
YES! We can. We are not helpless. Remember, my Grown Ass Women?
It’s funny, because I didn’t realize that I had autoimmune disease, I just knew I felt like shit. I was 37 years old. I have bursitis in my left hip. Arthritis in my right pointer finger. I had had lifetime seasonal allergies, and an increase in bad reactions from a variety of foods. I had had years of “minor feminine itching” that was anything but minor when your Hoo Haw itches all the damn time. Oh, and psoriasis for as long as I could. remember. Yeah. Gross crusty stuff on my scalp.
I was a hot mess. Not to mention, tired and kinda cranky, and very…foggy. You know what I mean? Like, the lights are on but nobody’s home? I just couldn’t think straight. I assumed it was because I was a 30 something mom of two little kids, but there were days when I thought….good gravy, what is happening to me! I’m too freakin’ young to feel this…old? I mean, is this what old feels like? I thought old was slowing down, but this was like…swimming in mud. With some aches and pains, yes, but this was different, and not necessarily what my elderly grandmother described as getting old.
I saw doctors all the time. I have a medicine cabinet filled with prescriptions.
But one day in October of 2011, I stood in my dermatologists office.
And I dared to question her.
She was handing me three new prescriptions as a way to get my psoriasis under control.
And I asked…”Ok, thanks, but I have to ask. Is there anything else I might be able to do here? You know, to prevent it from happening in the first place?”
“No. This is how we treat what you have.”
“Oh, I totally get that. But why is it happening, I guess is my question. Is there anything I can change, maybe my shampoo or what I’m eating?”
“No, this is how we treat this.” (She was slightly annoyed at this point.)
Me, not slightly annoyed back: I understand that these prescriptions will treat my symptoms! I’m asking about preventing them, like diet changes, maybe it’s something I’m eating or putting on my body.
And in that moment, the doctor…Shook her finger in my face. As if I were a child.
And she said, “This is how we treat this. There’s nothing else that we do, this is what you need to do to get better.”
I was dumbfounded first of all. No, I have never gone back.
And at first – because this is pre-coaching Amy, this was still “worry all the time what people think” Amy.
And I felt kinda dumb.
But mostly I was just pissed.
Really pissed.
How dare SHE!
Wave her finger in my face.
Like I’m a kid that needs reprimanded for misbehaving in class?
Um. No, lady.
And, guys…one of the best things that ever happened to me. Being chastised by a cocky, arrogant doctor.
Because I was so pissed, I dove into my disease. Or at least I dove into my symptoms.
I didn’t believe her. There’s no way that we could just treat the symptoms. That is all I had ever done, was treat the symptoms. They weren’t getting better.
I was seeing multiple doctors, none of whom were talking to each other.
I explained to my dermatologist about the other symptoms. This wasn’t just psoriasis, but the itching and the aching and food reactions.
And she basically said to do what I was already doing – going to my individual doctors and getting their individual  treatment plans.
NOEN of which were addressing the cause of any of it.
Guys, I’m getting pissed just talking about this again!
So I dove in.
I research the heck out of what was going on with me. That is all I did in November of 2011. I learned about all candida, and yeast, and how food affects us. And how many of the prescriptions that we are given to treat the symptoms actually exasperate the cause of the symptoms.
Isn’t that a kicker!
And in December of 2011, I started prepping. Mentally and in the kitchen. Because I realized that I had to change my diet.
Now at least a year or two before, my chiropractor had suggested an anti-inflammatory diet to me. Because of the arthritis and the bursitis. And I read through the pamphlet he gave me and I thought he was a crazy person.
Cut out gluten? Cut out dairy? What the hell kind of masochist is this guy?
My entire diet consists of gluten. And dairy!
Crazy person!
But I am telling you. That finger waving did something to me. My life changed in that moment. Not the only time my life has changed dramatically, this one is significant.
Because on January 1, 2012, I started a very strict, three month diet where I cut out all dairy, all gluten, all sugar, and all alcohol. I essentially followed a candida diet protocol. I knew my body was sick and I didn’t know why and I was tired of my doctors just handing me prescriptions.
Now, in my research, I had read people saying that it could be years of eating this way. And I just ignored them. I was committing to three months. And not one day longer. And I’d just see how it went.
Guys. I had no idea.
First of all, I had none of my life coaching tools available to me. Emotionally, this was pretty awful. I told you guys last week about my husband sitting down on the couch with a bowl of ice cream and me ripping his head off? Yeah. That like day three or four of this new diet.
So brutal!
I had no tools to handle all the emotions that were coming up.
And everyone in my life thought I was crazy!
That’s the thing about autoimmune. It’s really hard to put into words what is wrong with you. It’s really hard to have others understand that you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and it’s not just “I need more sleep.”
And honestly, as I went through my journey, I realized that a lot of people in my life have autoimmune disease and they are perfectly – or just don’t know or just don’t want to deal – with anything other than taking the prescriptions that are handed to them.
Severe migraines? I have a friend that insists that there’s nothing she can do but take the high-powered prescription her doctor gave her. The one that, long term, has the potential to really damage kidneys and the liver.
All those steroids I was on? Killing my gut! And the more damaged my gut became, the worse my symptoms got.
No one has a real answer to autoimmune disease. Doctors – and most of your friends and family – are going to say “there’s a pill for that.” Or there’s a cream for that.
I know. Because I had them all!
And because pharmaceuticals and our food may be a big part of the problem, guys, there’s a lot of money wrapped up in those two industries.
And there’s a lot of money in us taking lots of medicine and never really getting better, just managing our symptoms.
I’m not going to go all conspiracy theory on you, but understand that big money makers have vested interest in us never really getting better.
Just like the food industry has a vested interest in creating foods that are highly addictive. Right?
So what happened to me?
Well, after three months, I lost that 30 pounds that I had been gaining and losing multiple times since college.
And I felt better. Better than I have ever felt Ever. All my symptoms, except for the mildest psoriasis, were gone.
And, in the fairness of full disclosure, to this day, my scalp psoriasis is still a struggle. I am not completely healed.
And, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you want to think about it – and remember, we always have an option in how we choose to think – I realized that there are foods I can literally never eat again.
The first one I realized was Dairy. That first meal out of the gate, post three months, was a birthday celebration. My husband and I both have birthdays the first week of April. And that first week of April was my first week off my super restricted diet.
To be clear – in those three months – I did not have ONE BITE of gluten or dairy or sugar or alcohol. Yes. That really happened!
Guys, that sheer willpower. That sheer pissed-off-ness of that finger waving!
But I didn’t think I was going to eat that way forever.
I was only half right.
I didn’t have straight up milk, but I had some cheese and some chocolate and boy…did I feel awful.
Like…out of body experience awful. If you have never had a reaction to food, it can be very hard to understand what feeling awful to food you are allergic to feels like.
My arms didn’t feel like they were part of my body. My head…ached, but not just a regular headache. Like woozy, almost drunk. But not really drunk. Foggy, heavy.
My stomach didn’t feel good, but not like, “Oh, you had bad fish” not feel good.
I had some dairy in some of my meals a few more times, and each time, that same reaction.
So I decided to get to the bottom of it. And ladies, do NOT try this at home.
I poured myself a glass of milk,
Took one regular drink.
And went into anaphylaxis.
Tight throat. Heavy, wheezy breathing.
Probably should have called the ambulance.
Instead, I took a huge dose of Benedryl and am honestly lucky to be alive today!
And then I realized that sugar made me just feel weird and funny.
And Gluten brought on a level of bloating I hadn’t seen in three months.
Did I mention that at the end of those three months? I was glowing? Felt great?
So here’s what I know now….
Autoimmune disease does not come suddenly, it comes on over time.
It may be caused by the environment, our diet, our medicines, the products we put on our skin, our genes, as in hereditary causes.
Most likely a combination of all of that.
It manifests itself in a variety of ways.
And if you truly want to get better, you will likely need to change what you put on and in your body.
And there’s no easy way to start, and there will be a lot of mental work to do.
I was devastated when I realized I could never eat dairy again. I mourned. I grieved.
And I had to explain to others in my life, which made it even worse.
I was told that my change in diet created the food allergy.
That it was unhealthy to go off all that food.
Actually had someone tell me – but we need sugar! WE have to have it!
I continue to be told how awful it must be to not get to eat dairy.
By the way, if you can eat foods that other people can’t, that does not help them to say that “you would just die!” If you had to eat like that person!
Not helpful at all!
So I could easily talk for hours on this subject. But we don’t have time for that.
What can we actually do?
First of all. Lest I steer your wrong…let me proclaim loudly for all to hear – I am not a doctor. Nor am I a nurse. I am not a medical practitioner, nor do I claim to be. I am merely someone who has autoimmune disease, a variety at that, and am sharing with you, my fellow women business owners, my advice if I were asked.
Kapeesh? No hate mail saying, “You’re not a doctor.” Cause I know that!
So if you suspect you have autoimmune disease, or can’t make sense of some symptoms you got going on, go see your doctor. See what they say. Have tests run. You can accept their medicine to get symptoms under control.
You can also get more than one opinion. You have the right to ask questions. This is your BODY. This is your vessel with which you have to go run your business. It may, in fact, be your business’s greatest asset.
Don’t shrug it off!
And next…you can then start to look at your diet. There is no one across-the-board protocol. But there are plenty of autoimmune disease protocols, also known as AIP. That just means a way of eating in order to treat your autoimmune disease from the source, rather than just treat your symptoms.
You won’t truly start feeling better until you remove everything that bothers you from your diet, but I am okay with easing in if that is what you need to do. Because that is what I did in December of 2011. I took an entire month – November – to research, and then another month – December – to prepare. To start removing those foods. To find new recipes, to figure out how I was going to eat. To take our favorite meals and figure out how I could still eat them with a few modifications.
Yes, ideally you jump right in, but I also understand the nature of your life.
I will plug two books – I love Practical Paleo by Dianne Sanfilippo – not sure if I am saying her name right – and she actually has an autoimmune protocol in her book. Great recipes.
The whole 30 diet is a great autoimmune protocol.
And actually, GAPS is probably the best, but it is the most limited and the most strict.
But the most important aspect of dealing with autoimmune disease…is your mind. Did you know that was coming?
Because your mind will fight you. And your mind will find supporters in other people who don’t understand.
You will have to be your own best advocate and that will not always be easy.
Your brain will tell you this is too hard.
Your brain will tell you, you don’t have the time.
Your brain will tell you, you don’t have the energy for all of this.
Which is ironic – because if you suffer from autoimmune disease, you will actually have the energy you so desperately seek when you start taking care of it.
Again. So much more we could talk about.
But there’s a part of my story. Why I started on this part of my journey six years ago.
What led me to want to learn more.
And why I think this is something we cannot ignore – because it is affecting us the most.
What actions can you take this week?
Well, if you don’t have an autoimmune disease and don’t suspect that you do…just remember compassion for others in your life. Choose to be a friend or loved one’s supporter. That is what I desired the most when I was going through it. Anyone willing to say, “I don’t understand, but how can I help.”
If you do suspect or you know, you have an autoimmune disease – first of all, know, you are not alone. AT all!
Create a plan. You deserve to feel better, and you have more power than you think.
Choose one thing this week you can do to start feeling better. What is one thing you know you shouldn’t eat, one thing you know exasperates your symptoms – and here’s the thing – we almost always know at least something! – and decide now you will cut that out. And see how you feel.
If you are feeling particularly motivated – cut out dairy, sugar, and flour. You absolutely CAN do it. Make a plan to do it.
Again, that What to Eat This week meal plan I put together will fit the bill for you!
Have you signed for it yet?
Add that to part of your research!
Or just get some new great recipes and a plan for what to eat for one week!
We got this, ladies! I am sure this will not be the last conversation?
This is certainly something that I am very well versed in and do spend time with clients talking about. I have been there myself, and can help you process the emotions of going through this.
And, my friends, I am have been creating more good stuff for you! But you absolutely MUST be a subscriber to the podcast, if you aren’t already – because I have bonus episodes coming for you!
Search for Business Women Losing Weight on your podcast app – Podcasts on iPhone, On Android, either Google Play or Stitcher apps.
On any of those apps, go to the Search and type in Business Women Losing Weight.
From there, hit the Subscribe button.
And then the favor I ask of you is that if you have gotten anything good out of this show, please leave me a review!
It’s right there by the Subscribe button!
Write a Review!
Reviews are important so that other Grown Ass Women business owners can find the show!
And I did a contest last week, and really botched the execution, my friends! LOL!
So I did not give you nearly enough time write a review and get your name in the drawing.
What drawing?
I am giving one lucky reviewer 60 minutes of my time to come up with a plan just for you. This is completely different than the free mini-sessions I offer each week, though we can certainly talk about a specific problem you’d like coaching on. But let’s set you up with a plan!
Ladies, this is worth $250!
All you have to do is leave a review for the podcast, then email your name and the title of your review to amy@amylatta.com so I can verify your entry.
It takes time for reviewing to show up – so I could only verify ONE entry this past week!
So today is Tuesday, October 10, and I will announce the winner on my weekly Facebook Live on Friday, October 20. (If you are listening after that, I still love you!)
And guys, join me EVERY Friday morning at 8am central on my Amy Latta Facebook page for a chance to chat live with me!
OK, so get your reviews in and I can’t wait to set one of you lucky ladies up with plan!
Alright, my Grown Ass Women! I believe in you. Who do you know that needs to hear this episode? I am serious. Don’t keep this awesomeness to yourself. Share this podcast with other women who need to hear it.
Let them know that there is help, there’s another way, and we are a growing tribe of Grown Ass Women who have their back.
Alright, you have been listening to Business Women Losing Weight with life and weight coach Amy Latta. And until Next Week…let’s go do Epic Stuff.

About Amy Latta

Amy Latta is a life coach helping female entrepreneurs lose weight. Some entrepreneurs struggle with not enough time and not enough energy, and are so laser focused on growing their businesses, they sacrifice their health – not realizing their personal health is imperative to the health of their business. Women hire Amy to help them get an extra hour or two back in their day while figureing out why they don’t do what they say they’re going to do.
The result being more time, more energy, and weight loss.
When she’s not building her own business, you can usually find Amy on her yoga mat or experimenting in the kitchen. When in doubt, bring her guacamole.

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