How to Take Control of Your Healing Journey
Get to know Dr. Donna Mazzola and how her own health journey changed her life!
Life with an autoimmune disease is just plain difficult. When you realize your health is jeopardized, you feel a sense of losing control. You feel this sort of vulnerability that wasn't there before. Most people don't understand, and have said "big deal, you can just take a pill for that".
Most people don't get the challenges with underlying inflammatory conditions on the body.
I have learned to make things in my life very routine, at least 80% of the time! I wake up 2 hours before I start my day, I drink a cup of coffee and relax on the couch in silence before anyone else in my house wakes up. I start every morning with exercise, even if it's just 30 minutes, but it just gives me the energy to keep going for the day. I eat a primarily anti-inflammatory diet throughout the week focusing on whole foods! With that also has to come a change of mindset and approach to life.
Our life is so fragile and our health is everything.So with that being said, I'm thankful for every day I'm alive.
No matter how hard it gets, I remind myself it could be worse. A sense of gratitude for what we have and our existence puts everything into perspective. While I may have a chronic illness, I'm alive, and I've taken control of it and I feel the best I ever have because of it!
Before my personal diagnosis, I was helping patients understand nutrition and the importance of healthy eating. I was focused on patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure. Fast forward to 2015 and my view of chronic illness completely changed. I was personally diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and could not understand why or how this happened to me. It became very clear to me that there was a gap in conventional medicine, and so much we were not trained on. This is when I took it upon myself to study human nutrition and functional medicine and try to find the balance between the two. Prior to my diagnosis, I didn't have to worry about a flare up, random fatigue, dietary allergens and intolerances, chronic congestion and sinusitis.
I realized through all of this without our health we are nothing, and therefore prioritized my health and focused on my nutrition to delay the progression of my disease.
Through my studies and health journey I started my blog DrAutoimmunegirl. Drautoimmunegirl is my persona, and created to help others who are going through a similar journey as me but may not have the ability to gain the information and knowledge they need to heal. She has been able to help so many, almost 40,000 chronic disease sufferers, just by sharing her knowledge!
On a personal note, the best investment I made is building out a gym for myself in my home. Through the years I've added to it and designed it in a way that it's become my sanctuary. It's a place for me to get away and let go and just release. With two small children at home, I realized it was hard to get away and get that alone time you need, so I created a space for me to do so. The latest addition I made was a sauna, that's really taking things to the next level for me from a healing standpoint. Sometimes you need to create your space, find your escape and use it to get through the hardships of life!
Realizing I can control inflammation in my body through food has been life changing!
Incorporating superfoods and healing foods into my lifestyle, has truly shown me that food really is medicine. I am now in control of my disease, rather than having my disease control me.
Quote that I live by: "True wealth lies within your health". When you realize how fragile life is, everything but your health seems so minuscule, and at that moment, money, more than anything is useless.
About Dr. Mazzola
Donna Mazzola is a Pharmacist specializing in functional medicine and human nutrition. Dr. Mazzola has worked in many different areas of Pharmacy and realized her true passion was in overall healthand wellness. This passion became an obsession as her learnings conflicted with her core beliefs. Conventional medicine did not have all the answers, and she recognized the importance of balance with nutrition and medicine through her own struggles with Hashimotos. She currently runs a blog “DrAutoimmunegirl” to share reputable scientific information related to autoimmune disorders. Dr. Mazzola’s mission is to help others identify the root cause of disease and create the balance between nutrition and medicine.
Dr. Mazzola received a Doctorate of Pharmacy from Ferris State University in 2006, and went on to complete a residency at the Detroit Medical Center. Additionally, in 2015 she graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration from Central Michigan University, and recently completed a Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from University of Western States.
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