Autoimmune Disease Support Group

Our  Mascots are Marlie and Wilson!  

April 5th and 19th, 2014


April 19th, 2014

Attendance: 4

TOPIC:  Just Open Forum this holiday weekend meeting

Members shared their upcoming holiday plans

    One member shared that they have issues taking generic medications due to some side effects, possibly due to fillers or dyes that are not present in the brand name versions

    One member shares difficulty of doing physical therapy

As the April 5th meeting concentrated on Fatigue (see below) I wanted to share the contents of a Dr. Oz episode I saw recently which included a segment on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Dr. Tieraona Low Dog was a guest. She was an Herbalist for 30 years before obtaining her medical license and is now a renowned “Complimentary” medicine doctor.

Here are some significant points in summary. For further info, go to the Dr. Oz website and search for Dr. Low Dog

    Dr. Low Dog states that using a Complimentary approach is vital in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    She states CFS is a “silent and growing epidemic among women”

    She is the author of “Healthy at Home”

    She discussed that to diagnose CFS you must rule out thyroid, anemia, Lupus (or other autoimmune disease) Celiac disease, B12 deficiency.

    She discussed that the difference between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and normal fatigue is that “it doesn’t get better with a night of sleep or a weekend off”.

    It is not a “symptom”. The condition itself is Chronic Fatigue.

    They gave a 5 question quiz to determine if you could have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Answer Yes or No to the following questions.



  1.  Have you felt very tired for a minimum of 4 weeks?   
  2.  Do you have a hard time focusing?
  3. Are you forgetful?
  4. Do you feel tired even after sleeping well?
  5. Do you have muscle pain or aches?

If you answered YES to 3 or more of the above, you might have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Please take the above quiz to your next doctor visit.

    There are 3 recommendations by Dr. Oz and Dr. Low Dog to treat fatigue:

  1. Revitalize with Rhodiola Rosea (3% Rosavin and 1% Salidroside) Start with 150mg per day for the first week and then increase each week to approx. 300 - 400mg daily. This works by increasing dopamine, increasing serotonin, and increasing endorphins.
  2. Asian Ginseng Tea This is more stimulating than the Rhodiola so limit to 3-4x per week. This can get you “over a hurdle” or a “slump”
  3. The 3 minute cure *KEY PART of beating fatigue. From a SITTING position, inhale reaching up to the sky for a count of FOUR, hold for a count of FOUR and then exhale as you come back to resting position for count of FOUR. (repeat 3x) and then do the “Cat” stretch: Arch your back and head up for a count of FOUR and then exhale through your mouth stretching arms forward bending at waist for a count of FOUR. (repeat 3x)
  4. The breathing exercises described above are designed to increase oxygenation to the brain.

Hope you find this helpful!

Next Upcoming Meeting: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014


Meeting Minutes ?

April 5th, 2014

Attendance: 8

New Member: Welcome Connie!

Ice Breaker: Name your top 3 movies of all time

We had such an array of great picks ranging from “Bus Stop” to “A Christmas Story” to “Frozen” our members who prefer TV shows over movies chimed in with “Property Brothers” among others! It was fun to see what answers we had in common!

TOPIC: How Do You Deal With Fatigue?

First, we discussed how getting the best night of sleep possible is the cornerstone of fighting fatigue. With a chronic illness, sleep can “make or break” your day in terms of pain, “brain-fog” and poor concentration. It can determine whether or not you can participate in your life! In order to get the best night of sleep possible:

Establish a bedtime routine (similar to a child) hot bath, light reading, keep room on the cool side

Disconnect from technical devices (computer, tv, cell phone) for 30 min. - an hour prior to going to sleep. The light emitted from these gadgets tricks the mind into thinking it’s still daytime. They also keep the mind engaged and the goal is to unwind!

Exercise if you are able to. 30 minutes of daily exercise have been found to produce deeper sleep. Some of us are unable to physically handle a traditional exercise program. Check with your doctor to see if you are healthy enough to attempt to start exercising, and even then, begin with walking at only two minutes at a time. Advance by two minutes each week. It seems painfully slow to do it this way, but risking a relapse would be horrible. Slow and steady!

Keep any exercise routine at least 3 - 4 hours from bedtime. Exercise elevates your heart rate and metabolism which is counterproductive to sleeping.

Second, everyone joined in to create a list of “Fatigue Fighter’s”. Try something from this list the next time fatigue strikes and see what works for you!

Take a short nap (20-30min.) This amount of time has been shown to improve severe fatigue without disturbing your night of sleep. The “cat nap” rests both the body and mind without allowing you to slide into deeper stages of sleep which can cause that drowsy feeling upon waking.

10 minutes of light exercise: walking, a few jumping jacks, (if you are in a chair you can modify the jumping jack to hands/arms only)

Light snack / drink (avoiding caffeine as this will disturb your night of sleep)

If your fatigue strikes shortly after your lunch:

Examine what you ate for lunch, was it high in carbohydrates? Was it too high in fat content?

Try splitting your lunch into smaller meals, space them out so that you are eating 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 full meals. Be careful not to add calories to your diet to avoid gaining weight. Try to include lean, low-fat protein at each of these meals.

Chose your snacks using the low glycemic index chart to maintain your blood glucose levels. Fatigue can hit after a spike of blood glucose following a high carbohydrate snack or meal followed by a sharp drop in blood glucose levels.

Turn on some upbeat music! Dance around for even just one song and see if you don’t feel energized!

Reach out to a friend and ask them to make you laugh or even to just share how things are going for them. You may not have the energy to carry the conversation, but perhaps your friend would welcome the chance to do so! Interacting with a friend can sometimes re-energize you.

Relocate yourself! Go outdoors if possible, even if only to sit in the sun. Or change rooms if the weather is not cooperating. Ask a loved one to take you on an errand with them. Even if you just stay in the car, getting out of the house can instantly change your energy level.

Open Forum: The second half of the meeting was used to chat

One member shared a book of daily meditations, “Opening Doors Within” by Eileen Caddy

One member shares they attend a MITR support group

One member shares looking into a single persons/divorced/widowed support group that meets at the IHOP in North Plainfield

One member shares their father has prostate cancer

One member is looking for a therapist but having difficulty. It was suggested she look on the website for her insurance company so that she can be sure she chooses a therapist who accepts her insurance.

Next Upcoming Meeting: Saturday, April 19th, 2014