digital health, lifestyle, patient stories

Tinkering, Tracking, & Tweaking

Following Lilly’s Journey in discovering her autoimmune disease and struggling through diagnosis, she lends us her voice in experimental lifestyle modification and what could most help herself and the autoimmune community.


–Have you seen both traditional medicine practitioners and/or integrative alternative medicine practitioners?–

I have been to both traditional medicine practitioners as well as integrative/alternative medicine practitioners. I FIRMLY believe that a healthy combination of western medicine and alternative medicine treatments are the answer to achieving remission. Currently, I follow an anti-inflammatory diet, take several supplements (probiotics, fish oil, vitamin D, and magnesium) and am taking Stelara. It is through a combination of these treatments that I have been in remission for a little over a year.

–Have you experimented with diet? How has your diet helped you?–

I follow an anti-inflammatory diet that cuts out gluten, lactose, and refined sugars. I also ensure that I incorporate known anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, cinnamon, greens, and berries into my daily routine. This diet has helped me immensely. I believe that it has helped cut inflammation in my body and ultimately allows my Stelara to function to its highest capabilities. My diet has contributed to an overall healthier lifestyle and simply makes me feel good. For the two years I have been following it, I have more energy, eat less processed foods, have less joint pain, and am overall happier!

–How would the use of health & wellness type apps help you in your everyday life?–

I am glued to my phone 24/7. Having a health and wellness app that allows me to track my diet, sleep, and exercise in correlation with my symptoms would be useful. When I am able to visualize how I am taking care of myself, it heightens my awareness and motivates me to stay healthy. Another piece of my lifestyle that can be particularly difficult is my diet. Having an app that can instantly tell me places near by that have options for where I can grab something to eat or suggested grocery lists would be a huge timesaver and help save me a lot of frustration!

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-Lilly


So what’s working? A combination of lifestyle modifications in forms of sleep, food, and exercise, could help.

What can we do to make this easier? We can work together to create an app that would ease the process of coping with and avoiding flares, as well as maximize better days. One noteworthy example is the work of Larry Smarr, whose longitudinal data was able to predict the onset of his Crohn’s disease before his doctors.

What kind of app would be helpful for you?

Edited By: Tiffany Simms

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