Autoimmune disease doesn’t happen in a bubble. It impacts our relationships with friends, spouses, partners, family, and community. Yet social connection is also an important factor in health. How do we maintain bonds under the strain of chronic illness?

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Episode 197: Parenting with Chronic Illness

Autoimmune disease brings a lot of changes to our lives, and as we all know, it doesn’t just impact us alone. It also impacts those we love – friends, family, and children. Today, I’ve invited three parents with autoimmune disease onto the podcast to talk about their experiences. What has been the most challenging part? How have they adapted as parents? How do they talk to their children about their health? And how have their children grown in response? This is a deeply personal conversation, and I’m so grateful to the guests for sharing. I hope it resonates with every parent listening, and helps you know you’re not alone.

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Can Pets Support Autoimmune Health?

I asked this question of my fellow autoimmune warriors, and their answer was a resounding yes! In this post, I share beautiful photos of people with their pets, alongside their testimonials. I also dive into the research and share what science says about the potential health benefits. In balance, I also honor that there are times when pets aren’t the right choice and I share those circumstances, too.

10 Answers to the Question: Why Do You Eat That Way?

The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) has the potential to make a big difference in your health, which is why so many people with autoimmune disease try this healing diet. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, and one of the challenges is how other people respond. Friends, family, coworkers, even strangers are likely to notice you’re suddenly eating differently than everyone around you. You turn down the birthday cake at the office or family birthday party. You show up with your own food to a holiday dinner. You ask the waiter extra questions when eating in a restaurant. You serve food in your own home that’s delicious but doesn’t come from a box. Healthy eating stands out, because we live in a world where unhealthy eating is the norm. It’s natural for people to have questions, and it’s helpful to have some quick answers ready. Here are ten answers for a wide variety of situations.

Loneliness with Dr. Ellen Vora

Episode 136: Loneliness with Dr. Ellen Vora

When we feel lonely or isolated, it can seem like we’re the only person experiencing it, yet loneliness has become an epidemic affecting millions. Living with chronic illness can be an especially isolating experience, and it all becomes more poignant around the holidays. In addition to being emotionally painful, loneliness also carries health risks. It’s been compared to smoking 15 cigarettes a day for its negative impact on health and longevity. But loneliness isn’t a life sentence. In this podcast episode, we share practical tips for overcoming feelings of loneliness and expanding our social connections again. My guest is Dr. Ellen Vora. She is a psychiatrist who takes a functional medicine approach to mental health.

Episode 132: Sex and Autoimmune Disease with Kate Wolovsky

Sexual intimacy can be challenging even in healthy couples. It’s an area that many of us aren’t comfortable talking about, but when you add chronic illness, the obstacles increase exponentially. Depending on your condition, you might be experiencing extreme fatigue, chronic pain, limited range of motion, muscle spasms, disability, bowel issues, skin conditions, and more. It’s natural for this to have an impact on libido, body image, and relationships. My guest, Kate Wolovsky, is a mental health counselor who specializes in the intersection of disability and sexuality. She also has multiple sclerosis herself, and her husband is disabled as well. In this podcast, she helps us break through taboos to talk about sexuality openly, sharing both her personal experience and professional advice. 

Episode 127: Best Of – Social Lives on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

This is one of the most popular podcasts – for good reason! In cultures around the world, we gather together over food: we have dinner dates, drinks with friends, favorite festivals, and big family meals at our grandparents’ house. What happens when we can’t eat that food any more? Some people make the mistake of giving up their social life altogether because they simply don’t know how to manage it. In this podcast, 3 experienced AIP-ers share their experience and advice for having a full and fun social life while still staying true to your healing diet. It can be done!

The Best & Worst Things People Say | Phoenix Helix

Episode 124: The Best & Worst Things People Say When You Have Autoimmune Disease

Everything happens for a reason. What did you do to cause this? At least it’s not cancer. Oh, I heard about this cure online… Is this sounding familiar? An interesting part of the human experience is that when faced with someone’s pain, people are often at a loss about what to say and end up saying some really unhelpful and hurtful things. But occasionally, people say exactly the right thing. In this episode, we vent about some of the most outrageous things we’ve been told about our autoimmune diagnosis, and celebrate some of the most helpful.

Episode 95: Religious Traditions and the AIP

Many traditions – both sacred and secular – center around food. In addition, religions sometimes have specific rules concerning diet. When you’re diagnosed with autoimmune disease and change your diet to support your health, how do you maintain your connection to your religion, your culture, and your community? In this podcast, I interview 3 guests from 3 different faiths about how they mindfully balance their traditions with their diet and health needs

Episode 51: Marriage and Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune disease doesn’t exist in a bubble. Its onset changes our own lives dramatically, but it also impacts our relationships. In this episode, I interview three spouses of people with autoimmune disease, including my own husband Tom, Terry Wahls’ wife Jackie, and Matthew Sinclair’s wife Petra. We talk about what it’s like to be married to someone with chronic illness, how they try to support the person they love, and how they also make sure they don’t get lost in the equation.

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How Do I Get the Support of Family and Friends?

Harnessing diet and lifestyle to improve autoimmune health is something no one can do for us. Yet, we don’t walk this world alone. We’re surrounded by friends, family and co-workers who are powerful influences on our lives. It’s a lot easier to stay on the healing path if we’re supported by those people, rather than thwarted by them. So, how do we get that support? In this blog post, I share my 10 best tips.

Episode 16: Young, Single and AIP

This episode of the Phoenix Helix podcast is about living the autoimmune paleo life when you’re young and single. It’s never easy to have autoimmune disease, but when you’re trying to date, deal with roommates, handle flares on your own, and find a way to focus on healing while all your friends are drinking, it can be even harder. My three guests were all diagnosed with their autoimmune disease at a young age, and they chose the impressive path of healing through diet and lifestyle. Today, we’ll be talking about the blessings and challenges of that choice.

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