Medication Decisions

Whether or not to take autoimmune medication can be a difficult and emotional decision, especially within alternative health communities. Here are personal experiences from people facing that same choice, including myself.

If You Still Need Medication, What’s the Point of Paleo?

When I first turned to the paleo autoimmune protocol, I wanted to avoid immunosuppressant medication. In fact, I don’t know if I would have embarked on such a challenging diet if I hadn’t held onto this hope. 4 years later, I realized that for me, diet and lifestyle changes weren’t enough on their own, so I made the difficult choice to go on medication. Now, I’m in remission through a combination of medication, diet and lifestyle, and I have no regrets. Some of you might wonder: What’s the point of paleo if you still need medication? I answered this question myself in my prior posts, but I thought it would be helpful to ask some of my friends and colleagues the same question. In this blog post, I share answers from people with a wide variety of autoimmune diagnoses, who combine medication with paleo to feel their best.

Episode 67: Building Effective Doctor-Patient Relationships with Dr. Cynthia Li

With autoimmune disease, the quality of our healthcare practitioners makes a huge difference in the course of our illness and our quality of life. In this podcast, we’ll be talking about what makes a good doctor, what makes a good patient, and how we can create the best relationships for our health. My guest is Dr. Cynthia Li, who has the unique ability to speak to us from the point of view of both doctor and patient. A conventionally trained MD, she became chronically ill with autoimmune disease that left her housebound for 2 years. Her personal journey back to health changed the way she practiced medicine.

Episode 48: Medication Decisions

The decision of whether or not to take autoimmune medication is rarely an easy one. Not only that, but our decision might change over the course of our illness. This podcast was inspired by my decision in 2016 to start medication after 4 years on the paleo autoimmune protocol. In this episode, I share the reasons behind my choice and also interview 5 other people about their medication choices. My guests have a wide range of diagnoses and experiences. Some have always taken medication, some have never taken medication, and some have gone on or off medication, based on changes in how they feel. The important thing to know is that there is no one right choice for everyone. My goal with this podcast episode isn’t to provide answers, but just to highlight the complexity of this decision, and let us all know that we’re not alone. To be clear – this show isn’t designed to be medical advice. Definitely work with your doctors when deciding what choice is best for you.

Eileen's hand with medication pills held in her palm

Starting Medication After 4 Years on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

This was one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written, because it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. In 2016, I went on immunosuppressant medication for the first time. In this post, I do my best to share where I started (for those of you who don’t know my whole story), and what changed that led me to this choice. All of us with autoimmune disease face medication decisions at different points in our lives. If you’re facing this choice now, I understand how you’re feeling. This post isn’t meant to be advice for anyone else. I’m just sharing my journey. At the bottom of the article, you’ll find an update with the results of my personal medication experiments.

Where Medication Fits on a Healing Diet

When we embark on a healing diet, the hope is that we can reverse our autoimmune disease, heal our bodies at a deep level, regain abilities, and reduce or eliminate our need for medication. But that’s not something that happens overnight. Today, I’m answering the most common questions people ask about medication and the paleo diet.

Episode 39: LDN with Dr. Thomas Cowan

Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is a nontraditional autoimmune medication that sometimes dramatically decreases symptoms at low cost and with minimal side effects. It has been mentioned in some of the healing stories shared on this podcast, so I promised to dedicate an entire episode to learning more. Our guest, Dr. Thomas Cowan, is a medical doctor in San Francisco who uses LDN as part of his autoimmune patient treatment plan. We learn what this drug is, how it works, how to find the right dose, and how to find a doctor who prescribes it.

Episode 33: Medical Marijuana and Autoimmune Disease

Medical Marijuana is now legal in 28 states in the US, and over a million people are using it to treat a wide variety of diagnoses, including autoimmune disease. Research shows it can help regulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, suppress muscle spasms, reduce anxiety, treat psoriasis, aid digestion, and much more. In this podcast, we delve into the science behind this controversial herb and talk with a number of people who are using it as part of their autoimmune disease treatment.

Do Paleo-Friendly Autoimmune Specialist MDs Exist?

Yes, but they are a rare breed! I searched long and hard, scouring websites and directories, polling my readers and fellow autoimmune bloggers, and created this list. While the vast majority of autoimmune specialist MDs believe diet makes no difference and we are fooling ourselves to think otherwise, I found over 40 doctors who are open to the paleo lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that they prescribe a paleo diet. It means they understand that diet can be powerful complementary medicine and respect those patients who take steps to maximize their autoimmune health. My hope is that they are the pioneers of a growing movement in medicine, where doctors will embrace the simple truth that what we eat, and how we live, affects how we feel.

The Difference Between Reversing Autoimmune Disease and a Cure

My 2 year healing diet anniversary brought with it feelings I didn’t expect. It got me thinking about the language of healing, and the difference between reversal and cure. What do these words mean? What’s really possible? In this post, I take an honest and thorough look at healing autoimmunity.

When Painkillers are GOOD for You

When Painkillers are GOOD for You

Did you think that NSAIDs weren’t allowed on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol? Here’s my opinion on this controversial issue. It’s time to bring some balance to the discussion of pain in the alternative and real food communities.

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