AIP Stories of Recovery: Siri’s Recovery from Rheumatoid Arthritis

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AIP Stories of Recovery is a success story series about regular people from the Autoimmune Protocol community who are changing their lives using the protocol. Each month a new person is featured and readers have the opportunity to discover all the different health challenges that are being overcome by folks just like themselves on the same path. At Autoimmune Paleo we hope you’ll be inspired by, empathize with, and learn from these stories. If you are interested in sharing your story, please let us know by filling out our interest form.

Beginning in high school, Siri dealt with joint pain, swelling and digestive issues on a regular basis. It wasn’t until she began pursuing a biochemistry degree (and supplemented it with lots of nutritional research) that she saw the parallels between what she was learning and her own experience of illness. She now dedicates her career to helping others find health.

What health issues are you dealing with, when did they begin, and how long did it take to get a diagnosis?

Rheumatoid arthritis elevated blood marker RF, so not full blown arthritis yet, but headed that way. I’ve had joint stiffness, swelling, and mild pain from early high school through college and beyond. I’ve also had severe headaches and digestive issues during that time. It wasn’t until I decided to pursue a biochemistry degree in college and really dial in my nutrition that I found any relief. I then sought out a functional practitioner to get my blood work done. In addition to my own research, she helped me really understand how to address my health concerns effectively and financially.

Describe what the lowest point on your health journey was like.

The lowest point was definitely being seen as a wack from close friends and family, as I was trying to figure what foods were triggering my issues. And doctors telling me not to pay attention to what I was eating because they were worried about it becoming obsessive. Haha! Of course I’m going to be obsessive about it when I feel like crap all the time.

What challenges influenced you to look for a solution? Basically, what was the tipping point?

It got to a point where the digestive discomfort and brain fog was so bad, things were not optimal. I was just “getting by” when I could be doing things so efficiently and effectively — it seemed silly to just settle for “just getting by.”

When you found a protocol to help you heal, what was it and what was your first indication that it was working?

All of a sudden it didn’t feel like I had a stomach. Meaning it wasn’t loud or cramping or bloating. It felt like it should — easy and not painful.

What resources have you used on your healing journey so far and how did you find them?

Functional nutrition has been the biggest help by far. My biochemistry background definitely helped me understand the integral pathways and just how intertwined everything really is. Understanding this helped me understand how food was affecting me and allowed me to experiment easily. The nutrition research I did all on my own, as it was not part of my undergrad. This research was a lot of thorough readings of the latest research, old research that never made it’s way into the light, interviews of functional and integrative practitioners, etc.

Did your doctors suggest any treatments that you rejected and if so, why did you choose to try other methods?

My conventional doctors didn’t suggest anything remotely helpful, instead I felt shame for feeling a certain way. My functional doctor was LOADS of help in suggesting different supplements and food that I was not getting enough of.

It can seem like our lives are consumed by a chronic illness, but there is so much beyond those struggles. What brings you true joy right now?

Helping others get their lives back! Anything from chronic illness to mild concerns to just wanting to feel less groggy, anxious, etc. It’s the best feeling in the world when someone understands how to help themselves and that it doesn’t have to be a huge financial or stressful undertaking. I just help people get there.

If you want to learn more about Siri’s heath journey, you can read more on her blog, Habitually Holistic

Would you like to share your Story of Recovery? Let us know by filling out our interest form.

About Grace Heerman

Grace Heerman is a writer and website designer based in New York City. Through her business Said with Grace, she helps coaches clarify their message and create authentic websites that actually bring in business. Here at Autoimmune Wellness, Grace writes book reviews, manages blog content, and organizes Facebook publishing. She is an avid traveler and loves spending winters in Asia. You can connect with Grace and learn more about her writing and design work on her website, Said with Grace.

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