Episode 61: Healing Stories 4

Episode 61 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 4Real-Life Stories of Reclaiming Autoimmune Health

If you’re a regular listener of my podcast, you know that I always start my shows with personal stories, where my guests share their health journeys from rock bottom to reclaiming a vital life. But at a least once a year, I dedicate an episode to back-to-back healing stories, and I make an effort to speak to people with different autoimmune diagnoses each time. Today, I have 4 guests who are sharing their experience of reclaiming a vital life with autoimmune disease. Let’s inspire each other!

And If you’d like to hear the prior Healing Stories podcasts, check out: Episode 1, Episode 14 and Episode 30.

Episode 61 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 4 Continue reading

Episode 30: Healing Stories 3

Episode 30 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 3
Real-Life Stories of Reversing Autoimmune Disease

In every podcast episode, I ask my guests to share their personal healing story before we dive into the podcast topic, but there’s something especially inspiring about the episodes that are dedicated 100% to healing stories. This is the third such episode, and they remain some of the most popular podcasts to date.

In the introduction to every podcast, I say this: “While there is no cure for autoimmune disease, the choices we make every day can have a powerful impact on how we feel.” That’s what reversing autoimmune disease is all about: taking our health into our own hands, reducing our symptoms and reclaiming abilities we thought we had lost forever.

Today, I interview five people, each with a different autoimmune disease than those shared in the other Healing Stories podcasts:  Episode 1 and Episode 14. When it comes to reversing autoimmune disease, there is no one definition of success. Some people have achieved a medication-free remission. Others have reduced their medication substantially. Most importantly, everyone has reduced their symptoms and reclaimed vitality and joy in living. We celebrate every healing journey.

Episode 30 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 3
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Sophie’s Story

Sophie's Hashimoto's Success Story | Phoenix Helix“Recovery begins from the darkest moment.” ~ John Major

Reversing Hashimoto’s

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that affects over 10 million people in the US alone. Damaging the thyroid gland, it creates symptoms so wide-ranging and confusing that it can be hard to diagnose. Sophie’s first symptoms were unexplained panic attacks. Neither she nor her doctor knew the thyroid was the cause. By the time she was diagnosed, she was also experiencing body-wide pain, exhaustion, depression, insomnia, brain fog, and myriad digestive issues. She discovered the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP) in 2012, and her symptoms immediately began to improve. She went from being unable to work or care for her children, to feeling 95% better. She shares her story with us today. Continue reading

Episode 14: Healing Stories 2

Episode 14 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 2
Real-Life Stories of Reversing Autoimmune Disease

The very first episode of this podcast was called Healing Stories. I shared my own journey, and interviewed four other people who had reversed their autoimmune disease through the paleo diet and lifestyle. What does that mean exactly? It means taking our health into our own hands and reclaiming abilities we thought we had lost forever.

In the introduction to every podcast, I say this, “While there is no cure for autoimmune disease, the choices we make every day can have a powerful impact on how we feel.” There’s nothing more inspiring than real-life examples, and Episode 1 remains the most popular episode. Today, I’m doing a sequel. I’ve interviewed five more people, each with a different autoimmune disease than was shared in Episode 1. Some have achieved a medication-free remission. Others have gone from near-death to a beautiful life through a combination of medication and the paleo lifestyle. There is no one definite of success. We celebrate every healing journey.

Episode 14 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 2
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Angela’s Story

Angela's Story: Reversing Sjogren's Syndrome | Phoenix Helix

“It may take a little time to get where you want to be, but if you pause and think for a moment, you will notice that you are no longer where you were. Do not stop—keep going.”
~ Rodolfo Costa.

Reversing Sjogren’s Syndrome

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition that affects the body’s moisture-producing glands. The most common symptoms are dry eyes and mouth, which may not sound like a big deal if you haven’t experienced them. The dryness is extreme, and it can also affect moisture throughout the body: the skin, joints, organs, blood vessels, and nervous system. Because the symptoms are so varied, it takes an average of 5 years to get an accurate diagnosis. By the time Angela Gross was diagnosed, she was so disabled, she could no longer care for her children. Now, after 3 years on a ketogenic paleo diet, her symptoms are 85% gone, and she’s been able to reclaim her life. Continue reading

My New Podcast Dedicated to Autoimmune Healing

My New Podcast Dedicated to Autoimmune Healing | Phoenix Helix

“Education is the movement from darkness to light.” ~ Allan Bloom

A New Adventure

I’ve been a podcast listener for years, long before I found paleo. I live in the mountains where radio reception is poor, so when I discovered I can listen to all my favorite programs (and more), without static, at my convenience, I was thrilled! My commute to work filled with favorite shows like On Being, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, the Diane Rehm Show and more. Then I found paleo, and I added shows like Revolution Health Radio, Robb Wolf and The Paleo View. I’ve learned so much from those shows, and I still enjoy listening to them. But I noticed something – autoimmune healing comes up only occasionally, because none of those shows are 100% dedicated to this topic. So, I decided to start my own. It’s called Phoenix Helix: Dedicated to reversing autoimmune disease through the paleo diet and lifestyle. My goal is to expand on what I share here. I hope you’ll tune in and spread the word. Podcast lovers unite! Continue reading

Laura’s Story

Laura's Story - Reversing Ulcerative Colitis | Phoenix Helix

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
~ Nelson Mandela

Reversing Ulcerative Colitis

Autoimmune disease often strikes people at a very young age and changes their life forever. Laura Scaviola was only 25 years old when she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC). Amazingly, her doctor recommended the paleo diet. How cool is that? She’s been paleo ever since. Over the past year she’s been able to reduce her autoimmune medication, go off steroids, and has learned first-hand the impact stress and poor diet can have on her illness. By the way, do you believe in synchronicity? I contacted Laura for this interview, without realizing that today (May 19th) is World IBD Day. What better day to hear her success story? Continue reading

Christie’s Story

Christie's Story - Reversing Psoriasis | Phoenix Helix

“Take pride in how far you’ve come.
Have faith in how far you can go.” ~ Michael Josephson

Reversing Psoriasis: A Complex Journey

Recently Kimberly, a reader on my Facebook page said this:

“I think the frustrating part for me is hearing the stories of what people say helped them heal, without hearing the whole story behind how many things they tried that didn’t work, and how many trial and errors it took. At first I really believed it was a difficult but straightforward process, but it’s actually almost always a journey with dead ends, wasted money, tears, and frustration. I think it’s important that more people know they are not failing when they fail the first or even the 10th time.”

I agree with Kimberly, which is why I ask so many questions in the success story interviews I share on this blog. It’s also why I interview people who have reached remission, but also those who haven’t. There are lots of points to celebrate along the path to healing. Perfection isn’t the only definition of success.

Today I’d like to introduce you to a strong, persistent, wise and beautiful woman, Christie Stallings. She has psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that causes skin cells to grow too quickly. New cells form in days rather than weeks, but the body doesn’t shed them at the same pace, so they pile up in red, scaly patches. In a society so focused on appearance, these symptoms can evoke feelings of shame, vulnerability and a frustrating lack of control. Christie speaks with honesty about how incredibly grateful she is for the many ways her health has improved through the paleo diet and lifestyle, but also the grief she feels when a setback occurs. She hasn’t achieved remission, but she also hasn’t given up hope. Continue reading

Angie’s Story

Angie's Story - Reversing Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome | Phoenix Helix

“As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.” ~ Denis Waitley

Reversing Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome

When you have one autoimmune disease, it’s not uncommon to develop another, and if you develop a third, you get a special label: Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome. Add to that the health devastation of waiting almost 15 years for a full diagnosis, and I think you’ve also earned the title, Autoimmune Warrior. Angie has celiac disease, endometriosis and an autoimmune skin condition. In the years leading up to her diagnosis, she endured numerous hospital visits, extreme pain, and psychiatric symptoms that made her consider checking herself into a mental hospital. The gut-brain connection is real. There’s often a misconception that celiac is simply a digestive problem that can be resolved by eliminating gluten. Angie experienced all the ways celiac disease can impact the body globally, and for her, going gluten-free actually made her problems worse.  It wasn’t until she discovered the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) in 2012, that she began to reclaim her health. It’s been a journey. Some symptoms disappeared within 72 hours, but others are still present 19 months later. However, she doesn’t give up, and neither should you. Continue reading

Charles’ Story

Charles' Story - Reversing Ankylosing Spondylitis | Phoenix Helix

“One new perception,
One fresh thought,
One act of surrender,
One change of heart,
One leap of faith,
Can change your life forever.”
~Robert Holden

Reversing Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an autoimmune condition that attacks the spine. Charles Comey had symptoms for six years before getting diagnosed. He thought his increasing pain and disability were simply old injuries refusing to heal. When his AS peaked, he was living a life of constant pain and had also developed a dangerous heart condition (cardiomyopathy). Charles was offered immunosuppressant drugs, but he decided to try a healing diet first.  After two weeks on a no-starch version of the paleo diet, his pain reduced to a 0-1. Over time, his heart condition healed completely. Now, two years later, he continues to maintain his health through diet and stress management. Continue reading