Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Session Title: 3S041 ACR/ARHP: Patient Perspectives Poster Session
Session Type: Patient Perspectives Poster Session
Session Time: 12:00PM-2:00PM
Like most people who live with a chronic illness and/or autoimmune disease, my story started long before I realized. Symptoms came and went throughout my life without any answers. I headed to nursing school during college and things really went south after I was hit by a truck as a pedestrian, run over while I was crossing a street. I believe if I could survive that, there isn’t much else life can throw at me that could get me down!
At the age of 23, I was diagnosed with Lupus after I suffered a small stroke and had a variety of classic symptoms come out at once. When you are in your twenties, receiving a diagnosis of a disease that has no cure and can be life-threatening is frightening and leaves you with a sense of uncertainty. I had never met anyone else with Lupus and most people were unfamiliar with it.
Over the years, the disease has taught me so much about how strong I truly am. It has also shaped my character and personality. Today I am even more motivated to accomplish my dreams because I know how quickly life can be taken away. I am dedicated, even more, compassionate towards others, and have a deeper focus on the important things in life.
Through dietary changes and exercise and complementary therapies, I have been able to decrease certain lupus symptoms, increase energy, and improve my overall quality of life. Working with an allergist and nutritionist helped me determine what I was allergic to, and also how to add anti-inflammatory foods into my diet. Eating cleaner, preparing my own meals, and juicing increase my energy and even improved some of my vitamin and mineral levels in my bloodwork over the past few years. Adding restorative yoga when I am feeling well has helped me with anxiety and the overall stress of living with a chronic illness. It has also made my body feel stronger and in more control. Last, adding functional medicine supplements and working with a functional medicine doctor as part of my healthcare team, I have been able to increase energy and decrease some inflammation thanks to different herbal compounds and supplements.
Above and beyond my regular treatments for lupus, I am also the founder and editor in chief of “LupusChick”, an online nonprofit that has been a tremendous source of hope and support for me and those in our community. Being surrounded by and having contact with a half a million people per month who are living with lupus and other chronic illnesses, who “get it”, help me get through the difficult moments, flare-ups, and daily struggles that my medical team sometimes doesn’t personally understand.
Quality of Life:
All of this in combination with my regular medication, rest, and a positive attitude has made quite a difference in my life.
*AstraZeneca has provided sponsorship to cover the cost of the submission of this poster to the ACR, as well as travel and subsistence for the presenting author. AstraZeneca has had no involvement or input into the content or development of the poster, with the exception of support for layout and design.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Zeppieri-Caruana M. Improved Quality of Life and Decreased Symptoms of Lupus with Diet, Exercise, and Functional Medicine [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018; 70 (suppl 9). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/improved-quality-of-life-and-decreased-symptoms-of-lupus-with-diet-exercise-and-functional-medicine/. Accessed February 3, 2023.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/improved-quality-of-life-and-decreased-symptoms-of-lupus-with-diet-exercise-and-functional-medicine/