Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease was like getting a new car…
I was so excited to be diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis! It gave me a new sense of freedom, and came with a fresh new scent and pine tree air freshener!???
Kidding! But happy Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month!
Honestly though, you know how when you get a new Jeep, all of a sudden you notice how many other people drive Jeeps? It seems like you see them everywhere you go. THAT is how I really felt when I found out I had an autoimmune disease. I never really knew what an autoimmune even meant, and all of a sudden I realized I already knew a lot of people who had these diseases.
Did you know that 50 million Americans have at least one of over 100 different autoimmune diseases? That is enough to formally call autoimmune a major U.S. health crisis. Unfortunately, the push for research and education for medical professionals into autoimmune conditions is lacking.
On average it takes 2-3 years to be correctly diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and the U.S. has fallen behind other countries in research into immune system self recognition (the physical processes involved in autoimmune conditions). Bringing awareness to autoimmune conditions and how many people they so severely impact is the most promising way to start changing that reality.
So what can we do to help raise awareness?
Tell a friend. Share a post on your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Make a donation. Participate in a walk, run, or other fundraiser.
Check out AARDA on social media, or follow #ADAM to get updates on other ways to raise awareness this month.
Recognizing autoimmune diseases shouldn’t be like recognizing other Jeeps; you shouldn’t need to get one for yourself before realizing how common they are. The only way to change that, and to make autoimmune a more commonly known condition, is to raise awareness and share your story. So take a few minutes and spread the word. We are 50 million strong, and we can make a difference – Happy ADAM!
Information and statistics from: www.aarda.org