"What it's like to be the husband of an autoimmune warrior and why Ludy should be your future AIP coach?"
My husband offered me this testimonial, to share his feelings as an autoimmune warrior's husband and also his confidence I am a great AIP coach! Thank you my Love! I'm so touched I have tears coming up each time I'm reading it...
“Before I go into the details of this testimonial, I should probably get a couple of disclaimers out of the way.
1. I am the coach’s husband. Yes, Ludy has been my partner for the past 21 years (and counting).
2. I am fortunate enough not to suffer from an Autoimmune disease myself (at least not that I am aware of).
So, with this clarified, you may ask yourself why bother reading a testimonial that will obviously be biased and possibly even irrelevant to the subject at hand? Well, I thought I could share a little of our story and help potential future clients of hers discover a bit who she is, her story, what this program represents on a daily basis and how it impacted those around her.
Like most people, Ludy was not born with these autoimmune conditions, there was a “before’ and an “after”.
The impact of the disease was very progressive in her case. Ludy was diagnosed in her teens with Vitiligo, this being a skin condition there were obvious signs so it was not much of a surprise. Since it was a mild condition and she has a pale complexion, it was something that did not affect her all that much and overall she did not pay too much attention to it. It also means that apart from a general cautious attitude toward sun exposure she did not change anything to her lifestyle. This may seem like an insignificant detail – but it is of paramount importance, I will get back to this point later.
Things took a different turn in 2002 (10 years later) when she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. For anyone who may not know what that is, it is an Autoimmune disease that causes the body to create antibodies against your own thyroid. Your body basically fights its own camp. Today, there is a ton of literature around that subject to educate the public and the medical profession on thyroid disorders but not so much back then and very often the recommended treatment was surgery in the worst cases (removal of the gland) or hormone supplements. One of the consequences of the thyroid being eaten alive is that it can no longer provide the hormones the body needs – hence the hormones supplements. In the case of Ludy, the option put forward was the supplements. “Take your meds and be on your merry way, we’ll check back with you on a yearly basis, thank you”. Not a peep about the causes of the issue or how to stop this process – just meds to control the symptoms. Am I the only one to think something is not right in this picture? Well, in our case, we did not think to challenge this, at least not right away… the top-rated endocrinologist said it, so it had to be true!
But as the years went by, Ludy was getting more and more impacted by the disease, one thing led to another and the symptoms started piling up. Migraines, brain fog, digestive issues, sleep disorder, anxiety, irritability… plenty of things that you could be tempted to dismiss on the account of a busy and stressful lifestyle. Suck it up and move on! Until… one day you realize you cannot go on anymore and you must do something to get your life back.
I would love to tell you that this happened overnight, she found the right person who told her all about the mysteries of her condition and the 10 things she should do to fix them (for some reason, everything seems to come in lists these days). But alas no. The road was a lot more arduous.
About 5 years ago, she started looking for someone who could help her and who would have a different answer to her issue than the traditional medicated approach. She saw about 6 or 7 different specialists, each new person she saw needed complicated and very expensive blood tests to be conducted. The rates were very high, the results were non-existent. She was not only struggling with the symptoms but also had to deal with the incomprehension and lack of interest from the medical establishment. It was a roller coaster, each time she would find someone she needed to put her faith in, a faith that eroded over time… to the point where she no longer thought anyone could help her.
When you get to that point in your journey, things get rough from a psychological stand point. You start to wonder if there is a way out. But then, she found out about the Autoimmune Protocol program.
Now, I know I sound like I want to sell you a vacuum cleaner that does everything better than the competition… but bear with me for a minute.
This program is not based on an expensive treatment, it is not an invasive surgery, it does not require to consult with high profile specialists. If I had to summarize it in as few words as I could I would say: “common sense, with added science”!
The basis of the concept is that we don’t even begin to realize everything we put our bodies through each day. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the chemicals we bathe ourselves in… it is nuts. Most people breeze through this without blinking, but the problem is for the weakest among us, all that crap keeps piling up until the breaking point and one day it becomes too much.
To get back to the autoimmune diseases, one of the key concept is that your immune system is screwed and it entered overdrive mode. It fights everything, the bad and the good. The idea is therefore to get this response back under control – reduce the inflammation, eliminate the triggers that cause your system to flare up. The answer is disarmingly simple, reduce the exposure to the triggers. Triggers that are hidden in the food you eat and everything that surrounds you. Achieving that goal is not quite so easy as it means you must rethink how you live your life.
At first you will think that you can no longer eat anything, and that you must live in a bubble. Well, the good news is that it is not that bad… and you don’t have to do it in one go – nor alone, hire a coach! (wink, wink!)
Start by eating food you know the ingredients of, drink more water (filtered), respect your sleep time, go slow. Progressively focus your diet on food that will soothe your system – get it back under control. Once you get to that point, you can re-introduce some of the stuff you cut out – but the crazy thing is, you may not even want to at that point because your taste will have evolved! Food is important, but it is not all – far from it. Consider the harmful chemicals you use to wash yourself, brush your teeth, shave, the makeup you put on… AIP is a holistic approach.
I am going to try to loop this back into the partner perspective that I wanted to share.
Being diagnosed with a disease is of course a very personal challenge, it is your body, your health and no one else. But if you are fortunate enough to be part of a family, this will also impact your loved ones. I may not suffer from an Autoimmune disease myself, but I happen to live with someone who does. We have been through these trials together and even though I did not suffer from the symptoms, I was in pain to witness the distress of my wife and feeling helpless all the while. The autoimmune protocol gave us a healthier lifestyle on many levels but best part is that also helped us regain the confidence we had lost during these years of wandering while searching for an answer. The realization that WE could take back control of our lives. Not an overpaid specialist nor a miracle drug, just us.
Another benefit of the AIP is that this is not something that is limited to the people who are sick, anyone can follow this. It is not only good for everyone, it also helped rebuild the family structure that we slowly lost over the years. When one member of a family is constantly eating differently than anyone else it is alienating, no matter how strong the bonds are.
My wife is 100% compliant with the protocol, but my son and I are not... and it is perfectly fine! We have our little extra sides… We reduced but did not give up sugar, dairy.. we cut down a lot of gluten but not completely. Despite these differences we all eat from the same base diet now and it is not just my wife’s condition that has improved – we all feel better.
I used to suffer from heart burn, for years I thought the only solution was to take anti-acid medications. Since we switched to AIP I never had the problem again. My digestive system is like clockwork, I sleep better and feel rested when waking. I honestly can only think of advantages to this program. Of course, it does not hurt that she is a great cook – but when you boil it down, this diet is nothing spectacular, once you have the basics down you can really do simple and tasty meals.
If you got to this place and are reading this, chances are that you or a loved one too is struggling in a situation similar to the one we were in only a year ago. I guess the key message I wanted to convey here is that you too can do something to take back the control of your health. I mentioned earlier the fact that when she was first diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (Vitiligo), she did not change much to her lifestyle. That was over 25 years ago… I can’t help but wonder how her life could have been different if someone had told us back then what we know today. She may still have been diagnosed with Hashimoto, but I am convinced that the journey would not have been that rough…. So don’t wait!
If you are ready to take that chance, I know that Ludy can help you on your path to regaining control of your health, it is a path she knows well for she took the very same herself.