My Hidradenitis Suppurativa Is Finally In Remission
This statement is made with severe caution knowing the unpredictable nature of Hidradenitis Suppurativa, but I believe I am now heading towards remission. Unfortunately, there is no cure for HS, and before moving forward let's break down the difference between a cure and remission. A cure is the eradication of disease meaning it's no longer present within the body. Remission is by definition a reduction or disappearance of the signs and symptoms of a disease. This is the stage I am in and getting here has been no easy feat.
Taking small steps to heal myself
At the beginning of the pandemic, life was different for all of us. Some of us began working from home while others put their health on the line to service the needs of our communities. I was one of the fortunate ones who was able to work from home. As the pandemic progressed, I noticed my health began declining slowly but surely. My body was literally breaking down in front of me. Some days I would wake up unable to walk due to sciatica, plantar fasciitis, HS flares, or myalgia. Three-fourths of the way into the pandemic, and my skin was literally hanging from my body and my colon was chronically constipated all while being a vegan.
I was constantly moody, tired, and in pain. The days that seemed good were temporary or short. By this time I had had enough and decided to take small steps to heal myself. One of the first things I did was drop out of an HS clinical trial that I felt was hurting more than helping. The next step was adopting the AIP or autoimmune protocol diet. The AIP diet is meant to heal the body so we can reintroduce some of the "trigger" foods back into the diet. The third step was figuring out how to heal my gut and unclog my colon.
There is power in never giving up
While this article won't go into extreme detail about the process and experience of each step, it serves to celebrate this tremendous feat. There is power in never giving up, following your intuition, doing your own research, and applying what you can. As the Founder and CEO of My Gold Lining, Inc., an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to and advocating for the HS community, our motto is "Giving up is never an option". My father uttered these words to me as a source of encouragement during one of the worst flares of my life. It stuck with me ever since.
Researching is probably one of the most important steps on the path to remission. There are a lot of home remedies out there that work for some, but absolutely don't work for others. This is because HS presents differently for every patient. Some patients develop HS due to stress, but for others, it might be food, genetics, environment, a lack of nutrients, etc. Some of us might run into roadblocks where it seems like nothing is working. No matter how difficult it gets, please try, try, try again.
Yes, it is an emotional rollercoaster ride but it's worth the journey when we discover a system that works for our body composition. I encourage patients to work with as many physicians as possible. Converse with patients about their experiences and start experimenting safely under a doctor's supervision. In the meantime, let's celebrate one more patient on the road to remission and the fact that if I can exist in this space, so can you.
Remission is possible.
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