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How Free Information Helped Me Fix My Health

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How Free Information Helped Me Fix My Health

In 2014, I started looking for alternative ways to address my autoimmune issues. Up until then, I had only seen traditional doctors who kept repeating to me that the ONLY way to fix all that was to take immunosuppressant drugs, and who guaranteed to me that food and lifestyle had NOTHING to do with autoimmune disease.

Luckily, I didn’t stop searching for answers and I spent the last six years learning about functional medicine and the importance of addressing the root cause of disease. I read a plethora of research, consulted with many experts specialized on holistic medicine, and I eventually settled with a functional medicine doctor who happens to also teach “Preventative Medicine” at a university and from whom I learned a ton.

It was a long journey, but today I don’t take any drugs and I feel better than ever (read my story at the end of this page). And it makes me laugh when I think about the to pompous autoimmune “experts” I used to see who are still convinced to this day that microbiome imbalances, gut dysfunctions, food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies⁠, unmanaged stress, exposure to toxins⁠ and heavy metals⁠, and so on are all FAKE NEWS.

Autoimmune health

I went back to one of the traditional doctors I used to see a couple years ago because I wanted to share my results with him. I thought he would be happy to learn that there are alternative ways to manage these issues and hoped he could use them to help others. He’s the head physician of his department and since he’s also a university professor, he’s very involved with the training of our future medical community.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go as I expected. He told me that the fact I was doing better had ZERO implications with all the factors I addressed with my functional medicine doctor. He said to me that my health improvements were absolutely random, that autoimmunity has nothing to do with gut health, and – quote – that I should “just go eat a panini with cheese”.

I did think his reaction was incredibly close minded, but I was fine with that. People are free to believe what they want and discredit something they don’t consider to be true. But I am grateful I was able to freely access all that information online, and that even if someone believed it to be “FAKE” it was not CENSORED. I am grateful that I was able to do my own research and explore various options without being accused of having a “CONSPIRATORY” attitude just because I didn’t trust the answer the ‘experts’ were giving me.

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While back then the critics would stamp my attitude as ‘foolish’ or ‘unworkable’. Today, having this approach grants you a much worse label: “conspiracy theorist”.

As soon as you try to search for alternative explanations or entertain an hypothesis that deviates from the standard narrative, you are immediately marked with a big, scarlet C, and identified with a tag designed to make you feel judged and ashamed.

These days it’s really hard to know what’s true, but I know one thing to be truer than ever: we all have the inviolable right to ask questions, express doubts, and look for other points of view.

Autoimmune health 1

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How I fixed my autoimmune issues

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ambra
Ambra Torelli
Born and raised in Italy, Ambra visited over 20 countries and now she divides her time in between Italy and the US, where her husband is from and where she moved in 2011 work as university professor of Italian Literature. She writes about food, travel and things that inspire her! more about ambra

9 Comments

  • Avatar
    Denise O. May 28, 2020 11:47 am

    The other day I saw an article about Italy and I immediately wondered about you. I’m so happy to know you are alive and doing so well! The RA doctor I’ve been seeing for 20+ years is also rather the skeptic about the many successes of folks like you. I sooooo wanted to show him that the alternatives available really work. Unfortunately for me, after 5+ years of AIP, Paleo, many other protocols, etc., I have not responded great to anything I’ve tried, don’t feel lots better and can’t get off my medications. But – that will not stop me from pursuing more information as it becomes available. And I will continue to eat as clean as possible. Your site cheers me up! Thanks so much!

    • ambra
      ambra June 6, 2020 6:30 am

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience Denise. I am so sorry you haven’t found a solution that works well for you… My best advice would be fo find a functional medicine doctor that you trust and that can examine the complexity of your situation and find the hidden causes of your problems so you can have a more targeted approach. I am happy to hear you didn’t lose faith and that you aren’t giving up. I am sure you’ll find a way that will help you better manage your issues.
      Ambra

  • Avatar
    Joyce May 28, 2020 7:17 pm

    Was looking forward to your next post. I am glad you are well and that Italy is recovering and working toward “normalcy”. I too, have had much success with FMD for autoimmunity and will never go back to my old ways. I can only hope for a more mainstream acceptance.

    • ambra
      ambra May 29, 2020 3:04 am

      Absolutely Joyce, I hope so too. Thanks so much for the lovely feedback! I hope you are well too and I send you a big hug!

  • Avatar
    Sylph June 5, 2020 1:35 pm

    You have always been an inspiration to me, Ambra. Your cookbooks, articles, insights, sharings, photos, and enthusiasm for life have been precious to me on my own healing path. For your old doctor, remember that some seeds stay in the ground many years before the conditions are right to germinate. You sowed some potent seeds when you visited him. Nature will take care of the rest! Love to you, my friend.

    • ambra
      ambra June 6, 2020 6:32 am

      Dear Sylph, thanks so much for the lovely message! Your support through the years has been outstanding and motivated me so much! Thank you. And you are right, if more people started talking to their doctors about this… at some point they would need to start looking into it, and I hope they will!
      Ambra

  • Avatar
    Fabi June 6, 2020 1:53 am

    Hi Ambra!
    Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Five years ago I had a bad bacterial infection, doctors gave me antibiotics for 8 consecutive months. I was a wreck! My trainer suggested an alkaline diet and within a month I started feeling better.
    Unfortunately all those antibiotics changed my system and my life has completely changed since then. I used to live abroad, travel regularly, I had a demanding corporate job and a very active life overall … I am mainly at home now suffering with fatigue, random infections and digestive issues.
    I have seen so many doctors and none have understood what is no longer working in my system. Like in your case, when I would mention the alkaline diet was a game changer to break away from antibiotics, those pompous Italian specialists would silence me immediately.
    I am thinking to see a functional doctor.
    Any recommendation would be very much appreciated.
    You certainly give me hope!
    Thanks again!
    Fabi

    • ambra
      ambra June 6, 2020 6:39 am

      Fabi, thanks so much for your feedback. I feel your frustration and I am happy to share what I did.
      I looked for a doctor on the official database of the Institute for Functional Medicine: Here’s the link to find a practitioner in your area.
      https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/
      Not everyone who’s on there is amazing… you will have to select them based on your area and needs and talk to them on the phone, just to see what vibe you get. That’s what I did, I selected a couple doctors that I felt were a good match and gave them a try. I am not gonna lie, before finding the doctor I am currently with, I encountered a couple of quacks and wasted some time and money… but I guess that’s just part of the process 😉
      I hope this helped and I wish you best of luck on your healing journey!
      Ambra

      • Avatar
        Fabi June 9, 2020 9:13 am

        Thank you Ambra!
        Best wishes to you too!
        Fabi

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