Jennifer Ganey, CHHC, Contributor Thyroid Nation

The Autoimmune Roller Coaster

Life with autoimmune disease can often feel like a roller coaster. Some days are great and other days you are like a keyboard with a few important letters missing. Here is a recent example in my life. Last week I took a long walk that included some jogging. For the first time in many months I was able to work up a sweat without feeling like I had the flu for the next four hours. Celebration! This morning I was so weak and dizzy that I fell in my kitchen and had to go back to bed a soon as the kids were on the school bus. Frustrating!!!

What Is A Girl To Do?

In my coaching practice, I talk about the importance of work-life balance. The same applies to life with autoimmune disease. The only difference is what we are trying to balance. With autoimmune issues, we need to balance balance self-care and our commitments. There are times that our health must take absolute priority over everything else. Often this mean letting go of the non-essentials and asking for help. On the best of days life balance is fluid, on the worst days the scale will need to greatly favor taking care of yourself so that later you can return to the rest of your life. And we need to forgive ourselves for this! How often do we think we need to be in total control and to be able to take care of everyone and everything else? I sometimes look at these roller coaster moments as God’s reminder that I need to slow down. Despite my usual thinking, it is perfectly alright to be human. We are meant to live in a community, sharing the burden. In fact, allowing others to help us is offering them a gift. A parenting expert once told me that these moments I considered a weakness was teaching my children compassion. Perhaps they will go into the world a better people, because perfection was modeled or expected in our home. It is something to consider. Today this looks like asking my kids to help out a little more around the house and asking my husband to pick-up something for dinner. Take-out gluten-free pizza might not have been my plan for the day, but I needed to rest and heal. Just knowing that I did not have to do it all alone was a great relief, and no doubt contributed to energy I did have. We have all read the articles about what vitamins to take, what exercises to try, and what we should eat/drink. All of that knowledge is powerful. But what we sometimes forget is to seek “Vitamin Love” and the “Exercise Seeking Help”.


We Are Not Alone 

None of us are alone on this ride through life. Whether it be asking your family for help with the laundry, tea with a friend, or being part of an online support community, we all have those waiting with open arms for us. Let us raise each other up. We will all be stronger for it.

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About the Author

Jennifer-GaneyJennifer Ganey, CHHC  Found positive signs with her chronic illness when she first saw an integrative medicine doctor. These first positive signs of healing fueled both her hopes and her curiosity. “Why had I never learned that what I ate and how I dealt with stress might have an impact on my health? Would these same changes help others?” All of the questions eventually led her to the Institute of Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a passion to help other women to lead healthy lives for themselves and their families. Not only does she now have the vitality to be the kind of mother she wants to be, she has also found her life’s purpose. Find her at

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Questions or anything to add about balance with an autoimmune disease? We want your thoughts, please. You might just help someone else in need.