Beginning in her teens, Divya experienced digestive issues, food sensitivities and inflammatory issues like carpal tunnel syndrome.
But it wasn’t until she was in her 30s that those health concerns progressed to life-altering illness. Every muscle and joint hurt. She had a dry mouth and her eyes felt like sandpaper. And psoriasis showed up on her legs.
“I needed the help of my family if I wanted to sit,” she recalls. “And if I wanted to get up, I needed their help because my muscles were just stiff. My joints wouldn’t move. I was completely debilitated at that point.”
Natural Sjogren’s Syndrome Treatment
Doctors eventually found the cause: Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune condition characterized mainly by dry eyes and mouth. Initially, doctors prescribed hydroxychloroquine for Divya’s Sjogren’s symptoms. She was told to take it twice a day indefinitely.
Yet, Divya didn’t want to be on medication for the rest of her life – and her intuition told her she should look for alternatives.
“There was a voice in my head. You can call it intuition, you can call it guidance, you can call it higher self,” she recalls. “I just couldn’t ignore it. It said that I need to work on my own healing and there is a way. This is not how I need to live.”
She began researching healing modalities for autoimmunity, from naturopathy to Chinese medicine to Ayurveda. Her findings led her to try a number of tactics:
Stress reduction – For one, she recognized that her Sjogren’s flare had come on after moving to a new city where her family knew no one – a particularly stressful time in her life.
She set out to actively manage her stress with activities such as daily yoga and meditation. “Meditation really helps when done on a consistent basis,” she says, adding that it can take a few weeks or a month for someone to get into the habit and see results.
An anti-inflammatory diet – She adjusted her diet to be mostly gluten-free and plant-based, reduced her sugar intake, and increased her fiber, fruits and vegetables.
Gut-healing – Divya worked on her microbiome with prebiotics and probiotics. “That really helps to calm down the inflammation because you’re restoring the gut flora,” she says.
Nutrient support – She added magnesium, a mineral that aids in nearly every bodily function.
Non-toxic living – She eliminated as many toxins from environment as possible, in food, cleaning products and personal care products.
Eliminating Sjogren’s Symptoms
Within three to four months, Divya felt better. And over time, these relatively simple steps eliminated Divya’s Sjogren’s symptoms. No more achy muscles or joints, and no more dry eyes or mouth.
When she has an occasional flare, she knows she needs to focus again on what works.
“I do get dry eyes and dry mouth sometimes, but the moment it starts, I know that it’s something I’m not doing right,” she says. “Sometimes it’s diet. Sometimes it’s stress levels that I’m not taking care of. Sometimes it can also be the kind of toxins that are around me. The moment I take care of it, of course, the symptoms go away.”
While Sjogren’s syndrome stills shows up on testing, Divya rarely feels the effects of it these days.
Given her experience, she went on to become a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She is driven by her strong desire and calling to help women who suffer with Sjogren’s syndrome get natural relief from their dry eyes, dry mouth and joint pain.
There’s a saying that, pain comes to you to awaken you,” she says. “If we take up that challenge, it becomes a change for the better.”
As a health coach, she inspires others to find it within themselves to heal.
“The first and foremost thing that I see is, most people who have Sjogren’s or any kind of autoimmunity, they don’t believe in themselves,” she says. “They believe that healing will come from outside. And this is a very important part to understand that healing does not come from outside, from any pill, from any doctor, from anyone, it actually comes from the inside. And when that belief is there, the healing happens. And I am a living example of that.”
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