• Faye M

The Perfect Storm

I start this Blog article by updating you all on my current health situation.

I have now been in complete remission from AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis) for the past 5 months officially.

Future Blogs will be focused on sharing how I got here.

I Pre warn you that this journey was not easy, it was something I have been working on continuously over the past 6 years, all whist riding the unpredictable waves of an autoimmune disease. But I got here, now my attention goes to staying here and helping others do the same.

Now to begin with introducing my concept of 'a perfect storm'.

What do I mean by this?

Well, lets state the facts when it comes to AS.

- It is classed as an autoimmune disease.

- 50/50 men vs women affected. (previously thought of as a male disease for too long)!

- It starts usually around late 20's - 30's.

- It is said... 'there is no cure' (that is the first and last time you will read that from me as the words themselves are nothing but damaging).

- It affects the spine, ribcage and sacroilliac joints.

- It is said symptoms in the achilles heel, and anterior knee are also related to the disease, however we now know these are other sites of inflammatory change and not always related to the disease itself.

- Others areas that can be affected by having an inflammatory autoimmune disease are the eyes, skin an digestive system. ( I will go onto explain how these are actually separate issues to AS in the future).

- Hlab27 gene is found in some people with the disease.

- A combination of blood tests, imaging and symptom mapping lead to a diagnosis.

- It still takes 8.5 years to diagnosis in the UK.

- It is thought of as progressive, however as we learn more about the disease we are finding that IS NOT always the case.

- Finally it IS POSSIBLE to place the disease in a non active or remission state.

Now I have the little known 'facts' about AS out of the way, lets start by explaining a few things a little deeper.

Now this disease is classed as an autoimmune disease. Let me firstly say this....

'Our body does not decide one day to start attacking itself'.....

And if believe that, you may as well leave now!

Our bodies are incredible power houses that work endlessly, without question to maintain homeostasis. Our physiology does not just decide to turn its back on us.

What has to occur in cases like AS is

'the perfect storm'...

If we create just the right amount of physiological chaos in our bodies, throw in a genetic predisposition, add a little chronic emotional stress, a pinch of physical or emotional trauma, a sprinkle of chronic mood instability and......waaaaalllllllllllaaaa!!!

We have the 'perfect storm' for which AS can thrive.

Once created the perfect storm will attract chronic pain tendencies, depression, anxiety, emotional instability, emotional repression and the storm goes on.

So what I am saying is that there are many elements that need to come together just at the right time, build to a peak and then BAMB!! You find yourself riding that steamroller of chronic inflammatory pain.

It is crucial that before we go on to look at the elements individually in more detail, that you truly grasp the concept that...

' your body did not just decide to let you down'....

Over time, you unknowingly were just building this perfect storm.

' It is important to understand the environment in which you got sick, in order to get better'....

Next time I will go to discuss the required elements in a little more detail.

Stay hopeful!

Faye M xx


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