Autoimmune Stories

While the most recent statistics tell us that autoimmune disease affects at least 23.5 million Americans, research indicates that the numbers have been growing steadily for years. The unifying link between these 80-100 diseases is the immune system’s inability to differentiate between self and non-self, resulting in systemic or organ-specific attack. 

No one case of autoimmunity is alike, as symptoms vary widely even within a particular disease, such as celiac, lupus, or ulcerative colitis. On top of this, there are many individuals with autoimmune-like symptoms who are unable to secure a diagnosis. 

Each one of these stories serves as a window into the complexities of living with chronic illness. Coping is a daily challenge, and it is common for people to feel unseen and unheard both in their social lives and in the medical world.

It is our hope for these stories to cushion the loneliness often felt by autoimmune patients, and to give others valuable insight into what their friends or family members may be going through. 

Woman grocery shopping for healthy foods illustration

Autoimmune Stories:

When Food Sensitivities Catch You Off Guard

Margaux Thieme-Burdette January 26, 2020

Step into Margaux’s life as she deals with an unexpected reaction, and shares tools that keep her moving forward.

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Mother with her baby

Autoimmune Stories:

Chronic Illness, Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Healing

Beth Chen May 1, 2019

After developing an illness on a cruise, Beth Chen’s health was never the same…

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Share Your Autoimmune Story

Sharing your story is a way to tap into the community and inspire others, while also serving as a way to reflect on your own experiences. We invite you to share your unique journey with autoimmune disease or chronic illness and what you’ve discovered along the way.

WRITING PROMPTS:

• What does a “typical” day look like for you in managing your illness?

• Describe your first symptoms, including how you felt, where you were, how you reacted, etc.

• How has your perspective changed since you fell ill or were diagnosed? Do you see the world differently in some way?

• Living with chronic illness, it can often feel you have no control. What are some examples of things you’ve discovered are within your control?

• Describe a few challenges you’ve overcome.

• What advice would you give to someone who has recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease?

• What does the word “support” mean to you? In what way have you been supported by others?

• Have your relationships with friends and family changed? How so?

Please note: to send in a story you must be 18 years of age and you must read and agree to the terms and conditions, including User Submission Release Agreement, which are found in the Privacy Policy. Submitting your story grants the Global Autoimmune Institute, its affiliates, and licensees permission to publish your story. Your personal information will not be shared or sold to third parties.

Submit your story via the Contact Us form!