Your January Detox

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There is something uplifting about the month of January.  For me, it’s full of new diaries, crisp calendars, goals, resolutions, new starts and second chances.  On Instagram, I read a great quote that said 2015 WAS JUST THE WARM UP.  Such a great attitude I think.

Now is the time to set the standard for a brand new year.  If you missed the 1st of January deadline, who cares?  Start today, or start tomorrow.  The important thing is that you start to make a few changes.

Detox from Alcohol.

It creeps in, even when you don’t mean to.  Firstly, and before you do anything else, do not beat yourself up about it.  Remember the pleasure before you beat yourself up about it.  Think about all the delicious treats you enjoyed over the holidays, savour it all and now move on.

I’m not drinking at the moment, for obvious reasons, but I definitely do love drinking a little too much (Whoops).  Lots of people in Australia like to schedule their Alcohol Detox for later in the year, during the middle of Winter when there is not much happening.  Dry July is a great way to spend a month without alcohol.  It can be really easy because lots of people are doing it with you.

If you don’t want to spend your fun Summer Holidays without an ice cold Apple Cider, then think about booking in Dry July now.  If you make the commitment now, it will be harder to back out later.

Detox from Social Media.

Friends on Pinterest with new boyfriends suddenly making Pinterest boards devoted to how much they love fresh cut flowers in vases in the middle of tables, trying to pretend they are not secretly planning their weddings, instead of just making the boards private.

And seeing quotes about how blessed and grateful all your friends are because it is a new year.  Forget about it all.  There are no pictures of them actually doing Yoga on a stand-up paddle board, it is the same image you have seen a thousand times before of one woman, doing it once.

What you might learn if you DO A SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX 

 

Detox from Complaining

What consumes your mind, will fill your life.  These are wise words to live by.  Complaining is not about being in a bad mood, it’s about focusing on the problem without bothering to think of a solution.  Complaining is when you dwell on problems without moving forward or bitching about things that cannot be changed.

If the holidays put you in a bit of a stress, or you simply don’t realise how much you complain, then what about a little detox from complaining (or being negative and whiny)

The 40 DAY COMPLAINING FAST

Detox from Buying Things

I spent way too much money over Christmas.  I don’t feel bad about it, I wanted to.  I love buying presents and giving them to people, it’s all part of the holiday fun for me.  But I make sure to balance my spending.  In January, I like to spend as little as possible to make up for my pre-Christmas splurge.  January is about exercising, eating healthy, catching up with friends and going slow over the summer holidays.

I normally buy a new pair of swimmers and a big bottle of sunscreen and that’s it for the month.

Take the SHOPPING DETOX for one month here.

 

 

Women Who Have Cured Their Autoimmune Disorders

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Feature image from KIRSTEN RICKERT

Here are three books by women who have healed their autoimmune disease.  This article is not intentionally about women only, I just couldn’t find any books written by men.  If you know any please add them to the comments below.

You can heal your lifeYou Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, Hay House Publishing

Louise Hay is credited as a founder member of the self-help movement.  Louise was able to put her philosophies into practice when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Hay considered the alternatives to surgery and drugs, and instead developed an intensive program of affirmations, visualization, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy. Within six months, she was completely healed of cancer.

This book is hard to handle if you’re not ready to hear that you might be responsible for your own disease.  It’s an interesting read based on anecdotes and word of mouth, but there is also a truth that is hard to argue with.  That if your immune system can kill your platelets then your immune system is capable of stopping killing your platelets. Continue reading

How to Heal A Bruise, An ITP Book

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For Patients and Parents living with ITP,

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There is so much information available about the medical problems of immune thrombocytopenia.  Written by doctors and professionals, it’s difficult to read and even harder to decipher. Medical journals and scientific papers never address the questions you actually want answers to – What is it like to live with ITP?  How can I still live my life?  What will it feel like now that I have ITP?

HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE was inspired by Meghan Brewster’s most popular ITP articles.

 HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE includes stories from Meghan’s ITP Journey, some of the latest ITP research and advice for living a life with ITP.  This book is comprehensive yet easy read; from a person who actually has ITP.

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About the Author, Meghan Brewster

meghan brewster, author, how to heal a bruise, itp blood disorderMeg was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia when she was 22 years old.  She struggled to read dense medical journals and scholarly articles to learn more about her ITP.  What was missing from the ITP conversation was information from other patients, about what immune thrombocytopenia was really like.  

In 2012, Meg set up ITPANDME.  Three years later, it’s one of the largest ITP blogs in the world.  Meg has been writing about ITP for more than 6 years, has heard hundreds of patient stories and answered many questions about ITP life from patients and parents.

HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE is an honest account of her journey with ITP, as well as practical advice for living with ITP and information from some of her most popular articles.

This book takes you through the stages of ITP from coming to terms with your diagnosis to finally accepting and thriving with ITP, what to expect while living with ITP and how to make sure it doesn’t take over your life.  An honest and informative account of living with an autoimmune disease.

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Praise for How to Heal a Bruise

The book includes lots of ITP information such as, the science, history, tips and guides, alongside strong emotional support. It is now my own ITP Bible! I could not recommend it more highly! FULL REVIEW HERE from Katie Meloy

Beyond being a book documenting scientific and medical information, is the personal experience of Megan Brewster after seven years of living with this blood disorder and is enriched in fourteen chapters…I didn’t know what to expect on How To Heal A Bruise, then simply I couldn’t stop reading.  FULL REVIEW HERE from Laura

‘My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what we are looking for.’ Andy USA

‘Thank you for your thoughts…they’ve helped me with finding perspective in our reality.’ Jenny Australia

‘Love the way you write.  Meg, you made me chuckle.’ Bron Australia

‘Thank you for writing this, it will surely help the newbies.’ Padma, India

Features

  • The History of Immune Thrombocytopenia.
  • Practical Diet and Lifestyle advice.
  • Pregnancy and Babies with ITP
  • Advice on Natural Therapies and alternative medicine.
  • Possible Isolation and Depression from an ITP diagnosis.
  • Covering up Bruises, tips for healing and hiding bruises.
  • First aid tips and tricks for around the home.
  • ITP fears and how to overcome them.
  • A Huge list of References – Meg’s favourite blogs, books and ITP Resources.

Brushing Your Teeth with ITP

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Feature Image from DORISFERRES

A little while ago I posted a comment about how much I disliked brushing my teeth when my platelets were low.  A few people replied that they also had problems with brushing their teeth and bleeding gums.  The problem with this is that you might actually get Gum Disease as a consequence Below is a more detailed post regarding what low-platelet-oral-hygiene options there are.

Did you know that dentists are often the ones to diagnose ITP in their patients?  Dentists are known to recommend their patients to seek a consultation with their GP if they notice any abnormal bleeding without the presence of gum disease.  In this way, as many people can ignore bleeding gums, they might be the first ones to notice anything abnormal.

There are a number of reasons why your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth.  You might have ITP or you may have the beginnings of gum disease.  Your gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush your teeth.  For someone with a bleeding disorder, often the first place to bleed is the mouth and gums.  I know that the first place I notice a really low count is in the bathroom sink at about 10.30 pm.

The problem with this scenario is that I can’t always assume that my gums are bleeding because I have ITP – I might very well have gum disease as well.  This is were the confusion comes in.  People with ITP can still get gum disease and it is important to not just assume that a bit of blood in your spit as you brush your teeth is from a low platelet count.  Am I making any sense?

When I have a low platelet count, I notice my gums bleed more.  I dislike the taste of blood.  I think it tastes like metal or electricity in my mouth.  For me it is one of the worst sensations.  Therefore, I will usually avoid brushing my teeth so I don’t have to taste it.  This is a problem because I am now more likely to get another gum related, gross hygiene issue in my mouth. …and the bleeding goes on.

So what can you do to make sure your gums are always healthy and treated properly? Continue reading

Why getting sick might be good for you?

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Feature image from SRTRENDS

This is a controversial topic among ITP sufferers but one that must be mentioned.

I have read a lot of forum talk from both sides of the argument.  Each side of the debate seems back up by their own lived experience of getting sick while having ITP.  Some people find getting a virus, cold or illness will reek havoc on their ITP.  Others are completely the opposite. When they fall ill, they feel amazing!  Their platelets rise and their bodies enjoy the process.

All I can go by is my own experience.  I have found that when I have a VIRUS OR COLD (which is rare in itself) my blood count tends to look pretty good.

I have spoken to my haematologist about this and, though there are no definitive answers as to why, the general understanding is this – When my body is illness free, my immune system starts to attack my blood.  However, when there is actually a virus or bacteria to attack and kill, my immune system’s ATTENTION IS DIVERTED to actual duties.

There are patients with ITP who state that the medications and supplements they take to treat the cold or flu that effects their blood count.  They believe it is not a case of the immune systems attention being diverted, but more to do with taking better care of yourself when you are sick.

I tend to not take anything when I am feeling a little sick.  The best medicine is a few days off work, bed rest, (Netflix) plenty of water and to wait it out.  However crappy.

I know that this is not the case with everyone but it works for me.  If you know for sure that cold and flus are bad for you, stay in with this months’ book club recommendation for winter.  But perhaps, if you are one of the lucky ones, like me – head out and kiss all the snotty nosed, sick children you can find and give you platelets and bone marrow for that matter a break this winter.

Your Hair Has Changed, Brush of Comb?

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Feature image from ITPANDME

The immune suppressants, corticosteriods and chemical therapy used to treat ITP is doing damage to your body, that is the point.  It is meant to effect your body.

Your hair will most likely become fragile, break easily, dry out faster, hang limply and look pretty crappy.  This is a fact.  This is because taking corticosteroids including prednisone puts you body in a heightened state of stress which draws energy away from non essential body functions, such as hair growth.  Your skin and nails will also suffer because of this medication.

Below are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that you hair is in the best condition, as you undergo treatment for your Autoimmune Disorder.  Taking steroids seriously damages and depletes the quality, strength and length of you hair.

Combing Vs Brushing

When should you Brush?  When should you Comb?  Should you be BRUSHING OR COMBING your hair?  Do you know the difference between brushing and combing your hair?

A comb performs three functions for your hair.  Combing your hair is for detangling, styling and separating pieces of hair.  Use a comb when you need to detangle, style and part your hair.

Brushing your hair is a means of cleaning it, and keeping it healthy.  Brushing your hair removes dust and fibres as well as stimulating your scalp.  Brushing your hair using a boar hair brush keeps your hair healthy, shiny, and clean.  Brushing your hair moves and massages the naturally accuring oil Sebum.

Another way to remember the difference between brushing and combing your hair is to think about the time of the day.  Pick up your comb in the morning to comb  and style, and detangle your hair and grab your brush at night time, for some pre-sleeping hair care cleaning brushing styles.

How to Brush your Hair

The best way ever to brush your hair is to use a BOAR HAIR bristle brush.   The boar hair bristles are packed so tightly together that the hair is actually smoothed and cleaned as you brush it.  The tight bristles remove dust, lint, dried skin and other foreign items from you hair.

When your hair is cleaner, it actually looks better, because it is all shiny and smooth.  The boar hairs are smooth at the end, and while your brushing the hairs massage you scalp and stimulates the oil production in your skin.  Slowly brushing over and over will and evenly distribute the natural oil from your stimulated scalp down the hair shaft, moisturising the whole strand.

With this in mind, be very mindful of how you brush.

  • Make sure your hair is dry and detangled before you start.
  • Divide the hair into small sections on your scalp and work with just a small amount of hair at a time.
  • Start at the end of the hair, brushing the tips lightly, moving slowly up the hair strand towards your scalp.
  • Go slowly, and carefully.  Work your way around your head until it is all nice and clean.  Once you get to the scalp, make sure you make plenty of contact with your scalp, massaging all over.

For a deeper, natural moisturising treatment, continue to brush your hair until it becomes noticeably oily.  Braid your hair and leave the oil in overnight.  Wash it out in the morning before you leave the house.

A Boar Hair Brush

You need to get one of these.  And you need to pay money for a good one and make sure it is 100% boar hair.  I use a DeVille BOAR BRISTLE brush by Spornette and it is the best brush I have owned.  It has been with me for a year now and still looks fantastic.  PURCHASE a boar hair brush.

Boar hair bristle brushes are made from all natural ingredients.  This means that your need to take special care of your brush.  Read here to find out how to take care of your Boar Hair Brush.

For the best way to WASH your hair read more here.