It’s on the Internet, so it must be true… And other bad advice
I spend a lot of time reading autoimmune research and books. Much of that is on the Internet. There’s also a lot of bloggers, medical professionals, and researchers who post information. I see some great information, and I see a lot of garbage. What frustrates me the most is that a lot of the garbage comes packaged in lovely, official looking packages. It looks an awful lot like sound, valid advice.
The question then becomes, ‘how is the average person supposed to tell good advice from bad?’
I often joke with my kids that if something is on the Internet, it must be true (using my best sarcastic mom voice). I’m usually referring to some crazy video of people doing something silly on YouTube or a blog post that says you can build your own crossbow out of popsicle sticks. My point is to try and encourage them to think critically and not accept everything they see online as the truth.
That same logic applies to health concerns, and the emphasis is much greater here. There’s no shortage of bloggers who claim to have healed themselves of their autoimmune disease by using the paleo diet, the AIP diet, or the FODMAPS diet. Maybe they healed themselves by standing on their head for two hours a day. I’m not judging any of these approaches or the people who healed their issues by following these protocols. I am grateful and excited for their success! For some people, these approaches are exactly what they needed to get their body back in balance.
For my clients, though, there’s more complications. A simple diet change isn’t enough, or adding a supplement doesn’t cut it.
If you're one of those people who are still struggling to get your autoimmune disease under control, then my best advice to you is to stop trying the suggestions you find online. Just because it's out there and it worked for some people, doesn’t mean it's the best choice for you, or that it's the best choice for you at this time.
I want to believe that these bloggers and healers really do want you to get better. I’m certain they are confident in their own approach and products (if they sell them). I am also confident that they saw great results from their efforts. I am excited for them!
My message here is to remind you that not everything on the Internet is true, and not everything that works for one person will work for all. Our bodies are complex chemical, emotional, and spiritual reactions that yearn for balance.
Don't beat yourself up if an approach you tried doesn’t work, or if you have a tough time sticking to a difficult strategy. Find a trusted partner who has the knowledge and experience to handle the tough situations, and one who has a lot of different tools in her bag. Interview them and get a good feel for their approach and personality.
But most importantly, run whatever health advice you get through your gut filter and see if it sounds reasonable to you. Understand the risks and benefits, and make an informed choice. Ask someone else to give you their opinion, too. Your health is your responsibility – don’t outsource it to someone on the Internet.
Feel like you need some more guidance? Connect with me and we’ll talk about your specific situation.