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In 2017, I realized I have a chronic illness because I was diagnosed with ongoing environmental allergies since about 2010. Speaking of chronic illness, I’ve also been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. 
As an allergy sufferer, at one time I took 5 drugs daily plus 2 weekly allergy shots. My allergist tells me I’m allergic to at least 7 different living things, including dog, cat, cockroach, dust mite, careless weed, and 2 types of juniper — one of which is the notorious Texas cedar.
At times, my symptoms have been horrible: runny nose, sinus infections, tired and fatigued, unable to breathe, unable to sleep, itchy, burning, watery eyes.
Just before my allergy diagnosis, I battled days at a time where I was unable to get out of bed, even to go to work, and I literally just slept.
At First, I Wondered, “Why Me”?
I didn’t want to become my grandparents, who were popping a handful of meds at every meal by the time they were in their 60s.
To the contrary, I’ve learned I’m more hip and modern. I’d beaten my grandparents handily, already feasting on drugs and supplements by the fistful, twice daily by my mid-40s.
This is not consistent with my values. 
I’ve been around and around about whether I’m somehow defective. I was a double-recessive blue-eyed, tow-headed, light-skinned little boy.
Am I the product of too much in-breeding? I finally concluded, “No”. We’re all perfect just the way we are.
To the contrary, our environment is not always consistent with our best quality of life.
I’ve learned I’m not alone: allergies, autoimmune disorders, and chronic illness are epidemic: 
- Central Texas, where I live and was first diagnosed with allergies, is a historically recognized allergy capital. 
- We live in the era of autoimmune disorder and perennial medical sector growth:
- 1 in 4 kids is on one or more prescription drugs for a chronic condition by his or her teens. 
- Half of us in the US will use a prescription drug in any given month. 
However, we’re sentient: we get to choose.
While Outliers makes it clear that time, place, and family are decisive, it also makes clear that personal effort is critical too. 
The day this article was originally written (April 17, 2017), a medical professional told me she’s amazed at the number of people who spontaneously say healthier eating and more exercise have improved or eliminated their symptoms.
I’ve met many people who’ve said the same thing.
I’ve become committed to eliminating my allergies and drug dependency.
Here are 13 things we can do to eliminate allergies (and other chronic illness) for good.
13 Things I’m Doing To Manage Chronic Illness
- Own your health and wellness. No one can do it for you.
- Get enough sleep.
- Surround and inspire yourself with stories of others who once suffered and now are drug and symptom-free. 
- Take yourself to places and communities that support your overall success and well-being. 
- Remove yourself from places and triggers that cause undesirable symptoms and experiences. 
- Stop eating foods that leave you with undesirable symptoms.
- Eliminate pesticides and toxins from your food supply and environment.
- Eat more fresh foods. Choose organic everywhere possible.
- Cook your own meals with whole foods.  Channel Michael Pollan and use only ingredients that were in your grandmother’s kitchen or pantry.  Ditch the manufactured food or highly processed ingredients.
- Get the proper level of regular exercise. 
- Supplement, when necessary. 
- Reduce, and eliminate, your stressors, if possible. 
- Be inspiring: share your success story in the comments below.
After working at these, I eventually found several foods that affect my allergy symptoms. By limiting these in my diet, I’ve eliminated 3 prescription drugs, and we’ll be trialing removing allergy injections in a couple months.
When my symptoms are aggravated, I can trace it back to specific foods, or to foods I ate that must have been contaminated with those foods.
Even if I can’t fully eliminate the drugs or symptoms, I have great control over them.
I now have power and ownership where it was formerly just frustrating, and I felt so powerless.
The Bigger Picture
Over the last several years, I have transformed my diet and my lifestyle 3 times, and I’ll continue pursuing health and fewer stressors as long as I’m able.
Join me in bucking the trend of chronic illness!
Eliminate allergies for good, get off the drugs, cut medical expenses, and change your life!
- Inspire readers to take steps to have a better life, free of chronic ailments.
- Anyone on a prescription or OTC drug for a chronic ailment.
- Medical consumers who wants to spend less money and get better results in their interactions with the medical sector.
- Anyone who thinks more is possible.
- My autoimmune disorder: a dark comedy, Part 1.
- What Dylan Cornelius Values.
- CONNECTING THE DOTS BETWEEN ALLERGIES AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, Benaroya Research Institute.
- Allergy Capitals USA.
- So Young and So Many Pills: More than 25% of Kids and Teens in the U.S. Take Prescriptions on a Regular Basis.
- Therapeutic Drug Use.
- Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell.
- Food Powers with Brad Marcus.
- Places: Context is decisive. Have confidence everywhere.
- Easy, Homemade Meals With Healthy, Organic Ingredients Every Week.
- Six Rules For Eating Wisely, by Michael Pollan.
- Run for your life! At a comfortable pace, and not too far: James O’Keefe at TEDxUMKC.
- You Can Find Purpose and Get Great Results Through Continuous Improvement.
- Creating your “Stress List” for better quality of life.
Also published on Medium.