Life not in Balance

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peacesoul
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Date Joined Jan 2007
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   Posted 7/3/2007 6:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Many years ago I saw an Oprah show about illness (this was in the early 90's). And I recall one woman who had lupus but was in remission for over 10 yrs. She felt her lupus was due to her life being out of balance.
When she divorced her husband, changed jobs and dealt with many issues she was denying, she got better.

Do you ever feel like maybe life for you is not balanced causing illness?
I'm a firm believer that stress causes most illness.
My life is currently out of balance and feel my health would improve if I made some MUCH needed change.
 
just a thought......
 
Jen

hippimom2
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   Posted 7/3/2007 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Jen, I guess in my opinion, I don't think that an unbalanced life would actually cause lupus - there are too many complicated factors with this illness to try to pin the cause on any certain thing. Also I'm sure that there are many people who have gotten lupus who had very balanced lives. I actually felt like I had a pretty balanced life when I got sick. I only worked part time at a job I liked and it allowed me some down time and quality time for my family. What happened to me is I ended up getting some kind of flu and never felt like I recovered and then the lupus symptoms set in.

However, I do think that having an unbalanced life can aggrevate your symptoms once you are sick. So maybe for this woman on Oprah when she got most of the stresses in her life under control, her disease was easier to control. We all know that stress can aggrevate symptoms for a lot of people. So I don't think an unbalanced life can cause lupus, but I do think it can cause stress which can sometimes make symptoms worse. I think it's very important for people with lupus to try to create a healthy balance in their lives and this is something I am struggling with now. I struggle mostly with the balance of resting versus activity.

My worry is that people who don't know much about lupus will here something like that on Oprah think that lupus is not a "real" illness and that it is simply caused by too much stress. It's already hard enough to try to explain how complex lupus is to healthy people. So many people misunderstand this disease.

I'll be interested to see what others have to say about this. This is a very comples disease and I'm sure there are lots of opinions out there about issues like this.

Jen, I'm hoping that you are able to get some better balance in your life.

Take care
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
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dbab
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   Posted 7/3/2007 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Jen,

I have to agree with Hippi. I don't think that one can get Lupus strictly because their life was out of balance. If that's the case, I think at least half the US population would have Lupus. I'm sure that everyone had thier life out of balance at one time or another. I think you need to be predisposed for a connective tissue disease genetically. This gives you a higher risk however not everyone who is genetically predisposed will get Lupus. I think its a combination of things. I, like Hippi, have never been the same since a two week "flu" that I got in 2003. I think that was my trigger.
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peacesoul
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   Posted 7/3/2007 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Hippi, I always enjoy your posts :-)

It is true that trying to explain to ppl what lupus is has become a frustrating experience. Most of my family and friends feel my lupus was brought on by stress. I'm not saying I believe that, but I do believe an unbalanced body/mind does and can create illness. Not saying this is the only cause, but I think one of the causes.
My friend who had leukemia was given 3 months to live. That was 10 yrs ago, and from this she went into cancer research and is 1 yr away from being a PHD. She sees cancer patients and talks to cancer dr's daily along with all her research and of course genetics and other physical aspects bring on disease, but most ppl at time of diagnosis, were in some form of unbalance.

In no way amd I am saying illness is all in the "head", but I'm starting to believe that unbalance can instill and assert ill effects. Many lupus sufferes also have depression and axiety, which also explains some.

My life has been unbalance for a while now. I'm a people pleaser, a perfectionist and a control freak. As long as I am this way, I will never be happy. I work at a job I hate (I never use the word hate), have lived in the same place for 14 yrs (when I wanted out 4 yrs ago) and am in a relationship with a great guy, but he has kids and I do not like kids. All of this is a bad recipe for disaster.

peacesoul
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2438
   Posted 7/3/2007 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
dbab said...
Jen,

I have to agree with Hippi. I don't think that one can get Lupus strictly because their life was out of balance. If that's the case, I think at least half the US population would have Lupus. I'm sure that everyone had thier life out of balance at one time or another. I think you need to be predisposed for a connective tissue disease genetically. This gives you a higher risk however not everyone who is genetically predisposed will get Lupus. I think its a combination of things. I, like Hippi, have never been the same since a two week "flu" that I got in 2003. I think that was my trigger.

Funny that you and Hippi both mentioned the flu. When I was first got sick 14 yrs ago, I thought I had the flu. I did not have a fever, just what felt like a flu. After 6 days of being in bed, I went to the ER and they could not find out what was wrong.
One yr later, and they told me I had CFS. Then months later, Lupus. I did not believe it and never went back to see the Dr that told me that (Until this April).
I guess this was my trigger.
 
When I used the term "out of balance". I'm not just referring to "unhappy marriage and job", I mean chemically, spritutally and physically also.
Having said that, I do think one can get any illness strickly from stress. I think stress is an illness. Our gentic makeup can be disturpted by many factors. Post tramatic stress disorder can and does bring on deadly cancers.
I also think enviromental contamination brings on illness.

PattyLatty
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2563
   Posted 7/3/2007 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Jen,

I agree with what hippi said and think that she said it eloquently. There are many different opinions as to the actual cause of autoimmune diseases and then there are other factors that contribute to an outbreak or flare of the disease.

I agree with you that environmental factors can have an effect on our health. It is generally agreed that exposure to ultraviolet light can bring on a flare of lupus. Infection can also trigger diseases like lupus, and there is strong evidence to suggest that most people with lupus have been exposed to the epstein barr virus. Some researchers believe that some alternative medicines like echinasea can trigger lupus flares, and I've read that some people don't get lupus until they take sulfa antibiotics. Smoking cigarettes can also exacerbate lupus symptoms. Stress lowers our ability to fight illness and I believe that excess stress can bring on flares. Surgery is stressful on the body so lupus patients have to take precautions when facing surgery.

What I don't know, and what researchers don't know is whether or not the depression suffered by many lupus patients is caused by the disease or whether the disease causes depression. There is also evidence that many of us are genetically predisposed to lupus.

Oprah talks a lot about having your life in balance and I don't think anyone can argue that a healthy diet, exercise, and a happy well-balance life contribute to our well-being.

My mother had lupus and doctors have suspected, and so have I, that I have had it for over twenty years. After having reviewed my medical records, my current rheumy thinks I've had it since I was a child. I have had a happy life free of unusual stress, have raised three successful and happy children, had a productive career, but didn't have my first major lupus flare until three years ago. I believe that stress has contiributed to my lupus during the past three years but I don't believe it was the original cause of it.

I think we all worry that the food we eat is not as healthy as it was several decades ago. Just yesterday I read an article that stated canned tuna might be bad for our health because it has been found to contain enough mercury to make it unsafe for regular consumption. I eat canned tuna sometimes three or four times a week, and now I'm going to rethink that. And I thought it was one of the best thinks I could eat.

While I don't believe that an unbalanced life causes disease I do think it can awaken an illness we already have. At any rate, Oprah's right about keeping our lives balanced. I've just started getting massages and meditating more to try to help with my stress. I think you're on the right track, but don't blame yourself or your lifestyle for your illness. But managing our lives better is something that we should all think about.

Pat
Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision.

cellcept 1,000mg, neurontin 1,200 mg, prednisone 5mg, plaquenil 400mg, synthroid .15mg, triamterene 37.5mg, tramadol prn, lunesta 6 mg, actonel, tri-est (compounded estrogen) 7.5 mg 2xmultivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin


okie
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 7/4/2007 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
The first time they mentioned lupus was when I thought I had come down with the worst flu I had ever had in my entire life! I felt I had in mowed down by a truck!
All though I can't say what causes disease but I do agree that my life was knocked way out of balance when my hubby died and my when to iraq. Everything about my healthy got worse. There are times now when things are going fairly well that I feel good and than when stress hits. Wham I'm down sick. I acually think I have secondary PTSD. yes thee is such a thing. The v.a. finally admited it. It comes from living for years with someone who suffered from chronic ptsd. (stress). So that is totally out of balance. So while I don't think I got lupus from it I do think not being a better mental state has not helped anything. I'm actually getting ready to do what's called a Daniel fast. It doesn't mean not eating just eating differntly and giving up things like caffeine and meat. and doing alot more prayer and meditation. (that's my way of become balanced) I'll let you know if I see any possitive results.
I hope you have success with your trials as well.
Let me know Jen
hugs
carol
God Bless
Carol
Lupus, possible Crest, COPD, Cervical Cancer survivor. Osteoporosis
Prednisone 5mg, Plaquanil 800mg,Evista60mg, Effexor 150mg, HCTZ25/Triamterene37.5mg,Xanax.5mg
 
When things are really dark look up. You can see the stars.
 
 
 


peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2438
   Posted 7/4/2007 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
PattyLatty said...
Jen,

I agree with what hippi said and think that she said it eloquently. There are many different opinions as to the actual cause of autoimmune diseases and then there are other factors that contribute to an outbreak or flare of the disease.

I agree with you that environmental factors can have an effect on our health. It is generally agreed that exposure to ultraviolet light can bring on a flare of lupus. Infection can also trigger diseases like lupus, and there is strong evidence to suggest that most people with lupus have been exposed to the epstein barr virus. Some researchers believe that some alternative medicines like echinasea can trigger lupus flares, and I've read that some people don't get lupus until they take sulfa antibiotics. Smoking cigarettes can also exacerbate lupus symptoms. Stress lowers our ability to fight illness and I believe that excess stress can bring on flares. Surgery is stressful on the body so lupus patients have to take precautions when facing surgery.

What I don't know, and what researchers don't know is whether or not the depression suffered by many lupus patients is caused by the disease or whether the disease causes depression. There is also evidence that many of us are genetically predisposed to lupus.

Oprah talks a lot about having your life in balance and I don't think anyone can argue that a healthy diet, exercise, and a happy well-balance life contribute to our well-being.

My mother had lupus and doctors have suspected, and so have I, that I have had it for over twenty years. After having reviewed my medical records, my current rheumy thinks I've had it since I was a child. I have had a happy life free of unusual stress, have raised three successful and happy children, had a productive career, but didn't have my first major lupus flare until three years ago. I believe that stress has contiributed to my lupus during the past three years but I don't believe it was the original cause of it.

I think we all worry that the food we eat is not as healthy as it was several decades ago. Just yesterday I read an article that stated canned tuna might be bad for our health because it has been found to contain enough mercury to make it unsafe for regular consumption. I eat canned tuna sometimes three or four times a week, and now I'm going to rethink that. And I thought it was one of the best thinks I could eat.

While I don't believe that an unbalanced life causes disease I do think it can awaken an illness we already have. At any rate, Oprah's right about keeping our lives balanced. I've just started getting massages and meditating more to try to help with my stress. I think you're on the right track, but don't blame yourself or your lifestyle for your illness. But managing our lives better is something that we should all think about.

Pat

Pat, this is a GREAT post! Very well said!
I'm not sure how long I had lupus, but over 12 yrs ago when I got that "weird" flu was the only time I recall feeling really bad.
Before I knew about Lupus, I used to take Echinasea and every time I did, I would feel worse. When I figured out this was boosting my immune system, I put two and two together.
The good old "chicken or the egg" theory huh! I'm not sure we'll ever figure out why illness is created.
I don't blame myself for my lifestyle or illness, but yes I am hard on myself to make it better and to find answers.
Thanks again for a great post :-)
 
Jen
 
p.s. canned tuna, though healthy for the protein is also toxic due to the mercury. The levels of some can tuna exceed the amount accepted. Many disease experts believe that mercury is a leading cause of sickness. Which is obvious I guess.
Google mercury related illness, you will be amazed. You're better of eating Tilapia. It's the only fish with no mercury.

Post Edited (peacesoul) : 7/4/2007 5:46:25 PM (GMT-6)


peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2438
   Posted 7/4/2007 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
okie said...
The first time they mentioned lupus was when I thought I had come down with the worst flu I had ever had in my entire life! I felt I had in mowed down by a truck!
All though I can't say what causes disease but I do agree that my life was knocked way out of balance when my hubby died and my when to iraq. Everything about my healthy got worse. There are times now when things are going fairly well that I feel good and than when stress hits. Wham I'm down sick. I acually think I have secondary PTSD. yes thee is such a thing. The v.a. finally admited it. It comes from living for years with someone who suffered from chronic ptsd. (stress). So that is totally out of balance. So while I don't think I got lupus from it I do think not being a better mental state has not helped anything. I'm actually getting ready to do what's called a Daniel fast. It doesn't mean not eating just eating differntly and giving up things like caffeine and meat. and doing alot more prayer and meditation. (that's my way of become balanced) I'll let you know if I see any possitive results.
I hope you have success with your trials as well.
Let me know Jen
hugs
carol

Hi Carol....I've never heard of a Daniel Fast, but any time you can change up your diet to create strength is a good thing. I used to be a strict vegan, then started to add some chicken and fish to my diet. My diet is very clean also.
Please let me know about your results.
Also google info on L Glutamine. I started taking this to help with the lupus effects.
 
I will keep you posted as well
 
Hug back
 
Jen

Bsime
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1222
   Posted 7/4/2007 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Jen,
 
I can't add much to what Hippiemom and Patty have already said.
 
AI diseases have an underlying cause of a genetic predisposition to them.  Studies have shown that AI diseases run in families although different members get different diseases. 
 
If you genetics predisposes you to a disruption of your immune system then something triggers it.  Viruses, trauma, stress, drugs, and other things have been associated as triggers but the whole matter is not well understood.  There is no question that leading a sensible, balanced, and healthy life will benefit anyone but it is debateable if it would prevent the onset of lupus or any other auto immune disease. 
 
I am a good example of one who has tried to live a life in balance and had taken care of myself.  Never sick for  62 years, fit, happy and very active.  Endured much stress for a period of years due to my career and taking care of ailing parents.  But there was no obvious trigger in my case. 
 
So what triggered my disease which is mctd?  Who knows?  Obviously, I got a less than perfect set of genes.
 
Some day soon researchers will understand the mechanisms that trigger lupus and be able to predict, cure, and even prevent it but for now.....it is only a dream. 
 
As for stress causing lupus. ....maybe.  Some bodies are strengthened by it, others are not.  Too much can break down any of us but is it really a trigger?  Probably in some cases.  Most people can deal with stress if their bodies were not susceptible to disruption.
 
Bill
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
 
Meds: prednisone (7mg & tapering), 100mg imuran, lisinopril 40mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, norvasc 5 mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
 
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
 
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller
 
 


cured4real?
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1942
   Posted 7/5/2007 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
When I got real sick with whatever all is wrong with me, I was going to grad school fulltime and teaching college 20 hours a week and working at a news station as a production intern from four in the morning till sometimes after 6pm nightly news started. But I was hyperthyroid then, so I didn't sleep much.

I think if we all look back, we can remember being sick as a child, I nearly died from pneumonia three times before I was one year old, was sick with throat infections for years, always had dry skin and skin problems and a hypothyroid appearance--though mild. I think there's a point in our lives where maybe we get tired, our bodies just get to a point where we can't shake things off anymore, like we did as a child. Looking back now, I see all the PMS and other stomach problems and everything makes sense.

What I wonder about is how much better life could have been if I'd gotten a diagnosis a little earlier. As for an unbalanced life, we live in an unbalanced world, and who's to say what's unbalanced. I followed my heart and I'm glad I did. My profs kept telling me to slow down, but I have great memories and learned so much. I think it was Gods way of letting me squeeze in a bunch of good stuff before some bad stuff hit.

The main thing is to live in the present, and I'm not so good at it, but I try. I just saw that movie, The Peaceful Warrior. It was good. Take care, and as the bhuddists told me--be here now.
Love, Marji
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments


Bsime
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1222
   Posted 7/5/2007 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Marji,

I wish I could say that I had been sick but that was not the case.  Had the normal childhood diseases of my generation (mumps, chicken pox, measles) but other than an occasional cold and even rarer virus...nothing.  I was 50 before anything really bad and it was bronchitis which I had several times.  As it turned out it was related to my seasonal allergies and as soon as I treated them properly I never had it again.

Have tried to find something that could have triggered mctd to no avail.  Endured lots of stress of various kinds over an extended period but that was long ago and too distant to be a trigger...at least that is what my doctors believe.

Some cases have a discernible trigger but I can't see mine.

You make a good point about leading a balanced life but I don't think what you describe would trigger your condition....maybe a flare.  I ran 2 businesses, traveled 100-200,000 miles a year to Asia, Europe, and Mexico, raised 4 kids, coached almost all their teams, pursued my own athletic interests, ran a ski school in my spare times for a few years, took college classes, ran a trade organization.....well you get the idea.  Felt fine all those years.  As I got older I rebalanced things as I realized that I was a non renewable resource.  Today, I get exhausted just thinking about how much I did for about 20 years.

Today, I much prefer to watch flowers grow and waves crash.

Bill


Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
 
Meds: prednisone (7mg & tapering), 100mg imuran, lisinopril 40mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, norvasc 5 mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
 
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
 
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller
 
 


cured4real?
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1942
   Posted 7/6/2007 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Bill--
Seems like you squeezed in some awful good stuff. I agree. I was with a twelver year old on the fourth and I got exhausted just watching her. I do appreciate that I have slowed down. I think perhaps I'm a better person for it.

I'm sorry you got sick. Sounds like it came right out of the blue.
Love, Marji
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments


Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1222
   Posted 7/6/2007 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Marji,
 
My illness did come out of the blue but it probably had been lurking for at least 15 years.  The telltale signs of mild anemia and low platelets were never explained and I never had any other symptoms or problems until 2 years ago.
 
I really don't ask why me and focus on today and tomorrow.  Best to not ask a question you will never get an answer and focus on what you can control which in reality is very little.
 
Life has been difficult and might be again in the future but it is good now and I try to enjoy every day.  Maybe I live in an illusion but Mark Twain said, "Don't part with your illusions, when they have gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live."
 
Bill
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
 
Meds: prednisone (7mg & tapering), 100mg imuran, lisinopril 40mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, norvasc 5 mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
 
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
 
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller
 
 


Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 5758
   Posted 7/6/2007 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Reminds me of a saying "Don't ask why, ask H.O.W" where H.O.W. stands for honest, open, and willing.

I also learned many years ago that asking WHY was a sure path to insanity and suicide for me, so have banned that question from my life!

Cheers to all,

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Cellcept, Prednisone, Xanax, Trazodone, Fosamax, Wellbrutrin SR, Valtrex
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