How to Exercise with An Autoimmune Condition

Young woman with backpack standing on the shore near his bike and smiling.Autoimmune diseases really throw the body for a loop. You’re attacking your own tissues. Your inflammation is sky high. What’s usually good for you—like boosting the immune system—can make it worse. You’ll often restrict eating certain foods that, on paper, appear healthy and nutrient-dense. You take nothing for granted, measure and consider everything before eating or doing it. Sometimes it feels like almost everything has the potential to be a trigger.

Is it true for exercise, too? Must people with autoimmune diseases also change how they train?

First things first, exercise can help. You just have to do it right, or risk incurring the negative effects.

Don’t overtrain. Most autoimmune diseases are characterized by chronic inflammation. Anything that increases that inflammatory load, like too much exercise, will contribute. Overtraining—stressful exercise that you fail to recover from before exercising again—will increase your stress load and increase autoimmune symptoms.

Avoid exercise-induced leaky gut. Intense, protracted exercise—think 30-minute high-intensity metabolic workouts, long runs at race pace, 400 meter high intensity intervals—increases intestinal permeability. Elevated intestinal permeability has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, and researchers think it may play a causative role in other autoimmune diseases too.

Yet not exercising might be even worse because exercise increases endorphins. Most think of endorphins purely as “feel-good” chemicals. They’re what the body pumps out to deal with pain, as a response to exercise, and it’s through the endorphin receptor system that exogenous opiates work. Endorphins also play an important role in immune function. Rather than “boost” or “diminish” it, endorphins regulate immunity. They keep it running smoothly. Without endorphins, the immune system begins misbehaving. Sound familiar?

Low-dose naltrexone is a promising therapy for multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. It works by increasing endorphin secretion, which in turn helps regulate the immune system’s misbehavior. I won’t posit that exercise is just as effective as LDN, but it’s certainly a piece of the puzzle.

This is the same relationship everyone has with exercise. Too much is bad, too little is bad, recovery is required, and intensity must be balanced with volume. The margin of error is just smaller when you have an autoimmune disease.

How should you exercise, then?

It depends on what type of autoimmune condition you have. Let’s explore some of the more common ones.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis hurts. It makes exercise a daunting prospect, which is why so many people with RA choose to stay inactive. Yet exercise consistently helps.

Exercise may improve sleep, reduce depression, and improve functionality in RA patients. Animal models of RA suggest that acute exercise inhibits the destruction of and even thickens cartilage.

What works:

Yoga works. A survey of RA patients found that many benefit from regular yoga practice. Another study found that it reduced pain, improved function, and increased general well-being in RA patients.

Light and very light intensity works. One study found that around 5 hours of “light and very light” intensity activity each day were often more effective at improving cardiovascular health in RA patients than 35 minutes of moderate intensity training each day. This isn’t necessarily unique to RA, as I think everyone’s better off walking and moving for 5 hours versus jogging for 30.

Working the afflicted joints works. For RA patients with hand and finger joint pain, a high-intensity exercise program centered on the hands improved functionality more than a low-intensity one.

High intensity works. 4 4-minute-long high intensity intervals on the bike at 85-95% of max HR increased muscle mass and cardio fitness while beginning to reduce inflammatory markers in women with RA. Notably, neither pain nor disease severity increased. In another study, RA patients were able to perform high-intensity resistance and aerobic training without issue.

Multiple Sclerosis

As with RA, people with multiple sclerosis really seem to benefit from exercise. They sleep better. If you start early, it may reduce the risk of developing MS. Exercise even drives brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is reduced in MS.

What works:

Tai chi works. Though the sample size was small, tai chi improved functional outcomes in patients with MS.

Both strength and endurance training work better than either alone. A 24-week lifting and endurance program has been used to increase BDNF in MS patients. A 12-week lifting and high-intensity interval program improved glucose tolerance in MS patients.

Lifting in the morning works. A recent study found that MS patients had more muscle fatigue and less muscle strength in the afternoon compared to the morning. Muscle oxidative capacity—the ability to burn fat during low level activity—did not differ between times.

Intense exercise works: The greater the intensity, the more BDNF you produce. That’s a general rule for everyone, and it’s no different for MS.

Crohn’s Disease

In Crohn’s, the body attacks the GI tract. It’s a bad one. Because Crohn’s can involve crippling GI pain, impaired digestion, fatigue, joint pain, and emergency diarrhea, patients often avoid exercise. They shouldn’t. If you can get past the mental roadblocks Crohn’s erects, exercise can really help.

What works:

Sprints and medium intensity both work, but sprints are less inflammatory. Both all-out cycling sprints (6 bouts of 4×15 second cycle sprints at 100% peak power output) and moderate cycling (30 minutes at 50% peak power) were well-tolerated by children with Crohn’s, but certain inflammatory markers were higher in the moderate group. Another inflammatory marker also stayed elevated for longer in the moderate group.

Resistance training and aerobic activity both work. Either alone or both in concert improve Crohn’s symptoms by modulating immune function.

Walking works. A low intensity walking program (just 3 times a week) improved quality of life in Crohn’s patients.

Type 1 Diabetes

People often forget about type 1 diabetes, but it’s an established autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the pancreas and reduces or abolishes its ability to produce insulin. For type 1 diabetics who wish to reduce the amount of insulin they inject, exercise is essential.

It up-regulates insulin independent glucose uptake by the muscles. That removes the pancreas from the equation altogether, and it reduces the amount of exogenous insulin needed to process glucose.

It’s also safe, as long as you have your insulin therapy under control.

However, as high-intensity exercise tends to increase blood glucose and easy aerobic exercise decreases it in type 1 diabetics, you really need to have your ducks in a row. The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal recently published their consensus guidelines for safe exercise with type 1 diabetes, with the main takeaway being that diabetics should monitor their glucose levels before, during, and after training to ensure the numbers don’t get away from them. One study found that quickly giving a dose of insulin following high-intensity training counteracted the rise in blood glucose.

What works:

Combining resistance training with aerobic training works. The combination lowered insulin requirements and improved basically every marker of fitness, along with general well-being.

Resistance training works. In one study, resistance training seemed to lower blood glucose regardless of intensity. However, in one I mentioned above, subjects needed a dose of insulin following high-intensity resistance training to keep glucose under control. “Lift, but watch your glucose” appears to be the safe path forward.

Those are four of the most common and well-studied autoimmune diseases. Others may not have the same rich body of literature, but exercise probably helps there, too.

In Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients with normal thyroid hormone levels, for example, 6 months of aerobic training improved endothelial function.

Be careful with Graves disease, though.

Graves is an autoimmune hyperthyroid condition. Instead of underactive thyroids, Graves patients have overactive thyroids. There aren’t many trials on exercise in Graves patients, but there are some case studies that suggest some dangers.

In 2012, a Graves patient ended up with rhabdomyolysis (a terrible condition where you break down and pee out muscle tissue) after a non-strenuous exercise session.

Again in 2012, another patient with Graves got rhabdomyolysis after a session.

Euthyroid Graves patients—people with normal thyroid levels—can exercise safely, however. It improves functional capacity and delays relapse.

Again, be careful with Graves.

Because they’re so trepidatious about it and inactivity numbers are higher than the general population, most autoimmune disease patients would be better served with more exercise, not less. Autoimmune disease patients who loyally read MDA and other ancestral health blogs, however, might be the type to engage in CrossFit WODs and train really hard and rather excessively. If so, you might need less exercise, not more.

As I read the literature, autoimmune disease patients should be exercising in accordance with Primal Blueprint Fitness, albeit even more strictly:

Lift heavy and go intense, but keep it really brief. Low-volume, high-intensity. Short sprints, 3-5 rep sets, that sorta thing. Intensity is relative, so don’t think you have to squat your own bodyweight right away.

Spend most of your training currency on long, slow movements. Hikes, walks, gardening, gentle movement routines are your best friends. Basically anyone with an autoimmune disease can do these activities, and they always help.

Mobility training is required, especially in autoimmune diseases that affect the joints and connective tissues. If your joints are compromised, your other tissues have to be that much more limber, loose, and mobile. Try for something like VitaMoves or MobilityWOD.

Having an autoimmune disease doesn’t make you fragile. You can still train, and evidence shows that you can probably go harder than you think—provided you allow for ample recovery and keep a lid on how much training volume you accumulate.

Anyway, that’s my take on all this. I don’t have an autoimmune disease, though, so I’m only going on what the literature says. I’d love to hear from people who deal with autoimmune disease on a personal level. How do you exercise? What works? What doesn’t? What have you learned along the way?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!


About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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44 thoughts on “How to Exercise with An Autoimmune Condition”

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  1. I have psoriasis and Hashimoto’s, and now I understand why I felt drained and miserable when I tried a local kettlebell studio (a less intense version of cross-fit). I always dreaded going but kept at it for a year because I thought I “should” be enjoying it the way everyone else was.

    Now I’m just walking and swimming and feel much better. Yoga is next on the list.

    1. Since I have Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism I can relate. Swimming and walking is great, but it does very little to bone density. Cross fit is indeed intense but body weight resistance training would do you good. There are some good 7 minute apps that do just that and as you advance, you can progress to the advance level or do 2X7. For starters, try the NY Times 7 minute workout that can be save to the smart phone desktop.

      1. This is perfect advise
        I have hypothyroidism (partial removal of thyroid eons ago), but I don’t have symptoms (still, I take levothiroxine daily just for discipline)
        There are gazillion methods of exercise out there, and many of them will work for sure for a given person (you are an experiment of one)
        Swimming is overrated in my opinion: leave the swimming for when you are 95 years old. Yoga has so many variants that you can find one that works for sure. And with body weight exercises the sky is the limit.
        Margaret: no need to dread exercise: there are many out there you will enjoy 🙂
        Just find them 🙂

  2. I have a disease called CAH – it’s among the rare autoimmune diseases. To add to it, the type I have, is salt wasting. Any exercise I do, has to be low impact, low sweat, low intensity…..I’m on medications that control the sodium levels and potassium levels in my body, and for the first time in many years, my sodium levels are normal (instead of dangerously low), but that comes at a higher dose of medication, and still with risk of them falling too low again. So, for someone who’s also been told to be active and lose some more weight – super frustrating. Staying sedentary is easier honestly, but not the “right” thing. I’m married to someone who does cross fit and runs several miles per week, but for me – neither of those are activities I can do. I stick to mainly walking, working in the yard/garden, and occasionally playing with my daughter on the playground.

    1. I have Addison’s disease which is a similar adrenal disease – salt wasting included. I also have Hashimoto’s.

      Exercising when it is hot out does not go well for me – I dehydrate very easily. Fortunately I live in a climate with very distinct seasons and we only have very hot weather for a couple of months/year (and not every day at that). Winter activities (skiing, skating) don’t give me issues, but if the temperature is above 70F and sunny then even an easy walk will have me feeling very weak and dizzy.

      I try and do a 20-30 minute routine every day including jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, and sit-ups. Weather dependant I try and walk at least a few days/week. I started this up as I take an aerial silks class and I find the regular exercise at home helps build strength for my class. I know my limits though and there are days when I skip all exercise and spend the day on the couch resting.

      Both the exercise and a primal diet have benefited me greatly with my health issues. For the most part I am able to lead a very busy and active life (and keep my weight under control) – I don’t always feel well, but I am far from bed bound like many with Adrenal issues seem to be.

    2. You might want to consider Pilates – either mat or machines. I don’t have any such autoimmune issues, but try to do it (and/or yoga) once or twice a week to balance out my work-outs. It’s definitely low sweat and low impact, or can be tweaked to be such. One place I go to is that way, but my main studio’s owner likes to keep things moving so I do sweat and leave knowing that I worked out.

      It’s great for the larger muscles (since mat is body weight, machines use springs for resistance), minor muscles, and balance.

  3. I have psoriatic arthritis. It may or may not have autoimmune elements, but many of the same things that Mark mentioned worked for rheumatoid arthritis also work for psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is basically psoriasis of the tendons and is often characterized by pain in the finger and foot joints. And you usually have psoriasis. Mine flares at times my allergies are bad (cedar and oak season here in central Texas). As such, my exercise routine consists of about 15 minutes of heavy lifting per week and as much walking as I can manage. It keeps me in shape. I have been through two 10 day backpacking trips with the Boy Scouts at the Philmont Scout Ranch (mountains of New Mexico) with only this to prepare. I had no problems.

    I would recommend “Body by Science” to anyone who is looking for a minimal exercise routine to keep you fit.

  4. I have osteoarthritis in the knees and hips plus some sort of chronic fatigue. If I don’t use my elbow crutches I stagger around like a drunk. Last summer I decided to try walking again after doing other types of exercise (PBS exercise shows). It has taken me almost 6 months to reduce the time it takes me to walk (w/crutches) around the block (0.6 miles) from 30 minutes to 24 minutes. My goal is to be able to walk 4 miles in an hour.

  5. I have crohn’s and I always feel better if I walk after eating, but now I know why when I worked out hard consistently in the past it had the repercussions it did (pain, total exhaustion, and bloating). Keeping up on calisthenics and the occasional sprinting recently (post primal health challenge) has been very helpful and I feel great.

  6. Exercise is a real struggle for me. I am 43 and I have several medical issues mainly lupus, RA and Ulcerative Colitis. After having my colon removed in 2007 I am now in a perpetually dehydrated state on top of all of this. I am definitely feeling much better when exercising. After many years of trying things (swimming – chlorine is an issue, yoga (love yoga!) – I can’t put much pressure on my wrists. The wrist issue also greatly limit my ability to lift weights or hold onto handle bars like cycling. I work from home and I have a very energetic dog, so my exercise routine is now trying to get my 10,000 steps a day. I had to figure out how to get around an insufficient vein in my left calf after a major DVT, but a compression sleeve does the trick. Seems to work good, but I easily get very sore and fatigued if I overdo it. Living in Florida heat can be a problem as well. Autoimmune disease is a challenge for sure, I have dealt with it since I was 11, but I seem to always love life anyway, and that is what’s most important for me. 🙂

  7. Graves, Hashimoto’s (pick a side on my thyroid) and dyshidrotic eczema which they argue over whether or not that’s autoimmune. At any rate, for me low intensity things work well. If I overdo it takes several days to recover. I found Pilates a couple years ago and it’s been the perfect thing for me. Mat work, reformer, other apparatus all have been great for me.

  8. Whatever the limitation, some people adopting this way of life may not have exercised in DECADES and words like “high intensity”, “lifting”, “resistance training”, and “sprints” are terrifying turn offs.

    What I would like to see is an exercise plan for THOSE people. I was once one of “those people” and I had to start with such little baby steps that most of the people here cannot imagine. Just standing up and walking across a room was very difficult for me.

    I started doing the simplest, easiest, lightest of Leslie Sansone’s walking videos and I could only do 5 minutes of the 30 minute DVD at first. Gradually I worked up to 6, minutes, then 10, then 20, etc, then something slightly more intense for longer periods, then added very light resistance bands and so on. Always baby steps, pulling back a little if necessary (but NEVER giving up!).

    NOW I can walk miles, do a little bit of kettlebell training, and I have a daily yoga practice. But it took a few YEARS to get to that point.

    My advice if you haven’t exercised in a long time, have a lot of limitations, don’t feel excited about exercising,etc, find SOMETHING–ANYTHING that you can do in little baby steps and keep in mind that you don’t have to do the whole thing all at once. Work up to it, just don’t give up. And don’t think it’s wimpy or too little effort–ANY effort is better than none. Pay attention to your body and adapt. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good, don’t let enthusiasm lead you to overdo to the point you can’t do anything at all.

    1. You are so right Jan! I did the same thing, I started out slow, and built up to what I can do now. It took me a while to find what works for me and what doesn’t, but I always knew at the core of me that sitting around doing nothing wasn’t going to help!

      Find what works, and go with it! And it all starts with just one foot in front of the other.

  9. I have ankylosing spondylitis. A ketogenic diet has helped a lot, but if I start doing too much exercise volume, I get major flare-ups. Mark, would my condition benefit from the same exercise protocol you outlined for rheumatoid arthritis?

    1. Josh, I’m in the middle of confirming if I have ankylosing spondylitis, and it seems likely. I had an aortic dissection 18 months ago, which got us on a hunt for a cause. I’m an athlete and relatively young, and I’ve eaten Paleo for a long time. I’m curious to hear more about your experience with a ketogenic diet. I’ve done it before and felt great. I’m on a moderate level of carbs now.

    2. I’d also be interested to hear more about people’s experience with effective lifestyle modifications for ankylosing spondylitis. (Diet, exercise, supplements, etc.) My wife has AS and Hashimoto’s and together it’s a big struggle for her to feel good.

      1. I have AS (diagnosed 3 yrs ago) and am currently being tested for Hashimoto’s as well due to some irregularities with my thyroid funciton. I actually follow something similar to what Mark suggests of 3days a week of barbell work / strength training and 1-2 days a week of a crossfit metcon. I spend a lot of time on mobility for about 10-15 min before and after working out and recently started using ROMWOD at home a few days a week. The combo has done wonders for me and my AS. It concerned me at first but funny enough the days I lift heavy I feel the best. I have been home sick with a cold for a week and some aches and pains that I have not had for some time have started to show up and my guess is from not being active. Hope this helps!

  10. I have MS for over two decades. Found MDA about three years ago. Cleaned up diet, went Paleo, low carb, zero carb, am currently keto. Added calisthenics two years ago. Started with the basics: squats, push-ups, pull-ups, planks. Fell over backwards onto my butt doing squats, couldn’t do any pull-ups, could do about ten push-ups. Started doing bike sprints. I’ve slowly made progress, regained strength, and most importantly, confidence. I keep the exercises short but intense. I don’t do all of this everyday. It depends how I feel – rest is important. The only thing I do everyday at a minimum are push-ups and squats. Even if I don’t feel well, I can bang those out in three or four minutes and feel like I did “something.”
    My current routine:
    Bike sprints – I spend ten minutes total time on the bike and do three sprints of twenty or twenty five seconds each.
    Pull-ups – I’m doing a Pavel pull-up program ( with added ankle weights to try and break through a plateau. Current PR is 11.
    Push-ups – I do minimum 55 everyday. Every two or three days I wear a weight vest. About every three weeks or so when it “feels right”, I attempt a new PR. Current PR is 80.
    Squats – I do minimum 55 everyday. Every two or three days I wear a weight vest and hold a kettlebell for goblet squats.
    Other accessory rehab/prehab work includes weighted dislocates, reverse flys, ab wheel role out, standup shoulder presses, rows, dips, sit-ups, stretching, toe touching, and balance practice.
    Balance practice is key for me. It has also evolved into a sort of meditation practice too.
    I didn’t know anything about most of these exercises prior to this. I read about them, watched Youtubes and carefully experimented.
    I’m in much better shape now with more improvements to come.
    Hope for the future is what keeps me going. I still have a dream of being cured and ascending the top of Mt Everest.

    1. Dave, thank you for sharing your routine. I was diagnosed with ms 5 yrs ago (in my 50’s) and have been struggling to find the right everything but mostly exercise routines. I will start yours tomorrow!

      Keep your dream alive!

  11. I have Crohn’s disease. I found this article very fascinating. I naturally gravitate toward what was suggested for my autoimmune condition. And this also helps me to understand better why I have such a bad day after a day of extra physical output.

  12. I am hypothyroid (not diagnosed with Hashimotos but according to statistics 9 out of 10 hypothyroid women have hashis so it’s fairly likely). I also have adrenal “fatigue”. I come from a fitness background and when I’m having a good few months I tolerate crossfit style workouts very well, however as soon as I add in heavy strength training – 3-5 rep range – I crash horribly and end up not being able to do any exercise at all beisdes walking for around a year. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but I’m not going to test the theory again 🙂

  13. I have quite a collection of autoimmune diseases, and have found that doing mostly body weight exercise, strength and conditioning, with some light weights has helped me. I do a program at home called Turbulence Training, and I love it! It has helped me immensely! I also walk at least 20 minutes, twice a day with my dog, and take the stairs at home and at work most of the time (the dog is getting old and lazy though and insists on the elevator more lately!)

    Finding the right exercise for my body and for all of my diseases (which include Grave’s disease, now in remission) was very tricky. Getting all of them under control with diet alone, rather than with medication (other than Grave’s, but have not taken anti-thyroid since remission dx) and strengthening my body after muscle wasting from Grave’s, and malnutrition from celiac, was difficult. But I did it, and continue to do it. Some new symptoms, which may be the onset of a *new* AI have slowed me down a little bit, but I’ll figure that one out too.

    Exercising with Grave’s disease was nearly impossible until I got treatment. I went 10 years or more before being diagnosed, and the sweating, rapid resting heart rate, muscle wasting, and insomnia caused by the disease made even basic movement really exhausting! Grave’s disease can cause thyroid storm and heart failure, so yes, exercise needs to be done with caution, until the disease is under control.

    MDA, and The Paleo Mom websites have both been so much help to me in taking my life back from autoimmune disease, and now I’m a health coach helping others with AI figure out what works for them too 🙂

    1. I have SLE and when I stick to this workout, I reap all kinds of benefits:

      Moderate cardio (I like the elliptical machine) 3 times per week for 30 min, or so. PEMS 3 times per week (start with 1 set and modify everything, then increase sets/degree of difficulty as you can) Yoga once per week. Bike for fun 1-2 times per week. Day hikes occasionally.

  14. In regards to ankylosing spondylitis, I struggle with your advice to avoid exercise-induced leaky gut. The scientific research, as you indicated, has only identified this link at disease onset but not in ongoing disease progression or treatment. If there is some new evidence I’ve overlooked, could you please share the source?

  15. Thanks for calling out Type 1 Diabetes specifically. Type 2 gets so much more attention (I understand there are so many more T2 than T1) that most people don’t know about or understand T1 and it’s complexity. Often T1’s (and their parents) feel really frustrated by this. So, thanks so much!

    Erik – T1D for 31 Years

  16. I have been very active all my life and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about a year ago following years of testing and doctors visits knowing something wasn’t right. I went gluten free 7 months ago and began following strict AIP Paleo 3 months ago because I wasn’t okay with the watch an wait approach to my health deteriorating to a point that medical intervention would be necessary. I do high intensity exercise ~6 days a week. I have modified heavy lifting (3 days) to lighter weight with 15 reps, and I cycle 50 miles 2x a week and I play hockey weekly. I have really struggled to get my eating right to fuel my workouts. Recently I feel as bad as I did before gluten free – having a hard time getting up in the morning, my joints feel terrible, I am exhausted but feel wired at night and worst I am bonking/crashing during my workouts. My training partner thinks I am making excuses. I could use some help or direction specific to Hashimoto’s. Thanks for this post, Mark.

    1. Hashlete, have you considered that 6 days of high-intensity may have led to your bummer of a crash? You may want to consider this paragraph from the article above: Don’t overtrain. Most autoimmune diseases are characterized by chronic inflammation. Anything that increases that inflammatory load, like too much exercise, will contribute. Overtraining—stressful exercise that you fail to recover from before exercising again—will increase your stress load and increase autoimmune symptoms.

      1. Thanks for your reply, Amy. I was thinking this was the case, but hoping that my body being accustomed to this load for a number of years that I wasn’t crashing.

  17. With RA n lupus i must say this article is very encouraging. I have recently gone bck to aqua after a huge lupus flare. Used to go 2-3 times a week. Managing once a week atm. But seems right for me atm.

  18. What a great article on how to exercise with an autoimmune condition. Unlimited resource for getting the fit and healthy life. Looking forward to get more article from you.


  19. I was 36 years old and my 2nd child was one year old when I noticed one of my fingers was inflamed, swollen. The swelling wouldn’t subside. Tests showed RA (Rheumatoid arthritis). Then progressively other joints started to get affected and I had much pain, dressing myself was very painful. I would ring my mother in tears not knowing what was happening to my body. I tried numerous medicines nothing worked. Finally, the rheumatologist suggested i try natural medicines and suggested NewLife Clinic, i immediately ordered their Rheumatoid Arthritis Herbal formula and start on the 3 months treatment plan, the treatment is totally incredible, i had a total decline of symptoms with this treatment, the pains, stiffness, swelling, body weakness and skin redness has subsided. Visit NewLife Clinic website www. newlifeherbalclinic. com or email [email protected] newlifeherbalclinic. com. Incredible!

  20. Since you don’t have an autoimmuine disease and you’ve reviewed “some” literature, my opinion is that you not try to summarize a complex field of study into one blog article.

    As my MS advisory nurse told me, when you have met one person with MS, you have met ONE person with MS. Every case is different, with different symptomology, mindset, approach, etc.

    The BEST PERSON to advise a specific person with a specific autoimmune disease about appropriate exercise is a Physical Therapist who knows their disease. I went from barely walking a year ago, to four montgs later running a half marathon in 4 hrs 25 minutes. Four months later, I ran a half in 3 hrs flat. Now, I am training for Boston Qualifying as a parathlete. All under the supervision of my doctor and my PT and a GOOD massage therapist, as well as a psychologist to help with the mental part of coping with a life altering disease (I used to run a half marathon in 2:15 to 2:20 pre-MS diagnosis).

    One size fits each disease is erroneous advice. Each person experiences autoimmune disorders differently and the newest hypotheses in medicine don’t even postulate the body is attacking itself but rather that an underlying virus living in the organ/system being attacked is the culprit. Eradicating the virus, then, is of paramount importance and immune suppressing drugs only give a foothold to these viruses that are lurking, lookingnfor any systemic weakness they can use to grow.

    So, I don’t think a short article advising someone with MS or RA or Chron’s or Hashimotos or Celiac disease or, or, or…is particularly helpful. Better to advise a person newly diagnosed to seek out a Physical Therapist to work with their specific needs…then just stop there.

    Mobility back, climbed halfway up Pike’s Peak two weeks ago, scaled a 500 foot cliff last week. Listening to my medical team and my body every step of the way. Wearing cooling gear (the most important thing, aside from proper hydration). Titally changed my nutrition to non-inflammatory foods. Use a boat load of supplements and anti-inflammatory essential oils and teas and spices.

    There is no generic approach that fits everyone. People’s fitness level varied before disease onset, their interests varied, their desire to be their own advocate or just follow what their doctor says differs. All of.that will result in differing outcomes.

  21. I have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. I get SEVERE leg pain if I do not exercise. It keeps me up at night. I hate taking medicine so obviously exercise is my go-to. Usually I don’t necessarily LIKE exercise, but now that I’ve realized I’m in pain even from a few days without it, I can’t wait to go. I stick to about 30-40 minutes of elliptical type training, focusing mostly on a steady heart rate and on fat burning settings. I love it and it really helps my joints and helps me get a good nights sleep. ?

  22. I have the autoimmune condition Hidradenitis Suppurativa. It causes inflammation of the sweat glands. What would be recommended for an autoimmune condition such as this?

  23. I was training for the Chicago Marathon (as a Type 1 Diabetic) when I just knew something else had to be wrong (I only made it to mile 12 during the marathon). A year later I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease and suffered a Thyroid Storm and almost died. I have since had my thyroid ablated with radioactive iodine therapy, had orbital decompression surgery on my eye and was diagnosed with Addison’s disease, so I have turned to alternative forms of exercise. It can be done! I am actually slowly easing back in to running, because despite all of that, there is still nothing quite like a runner’s high! I now enjoy reformer pilates, hot yoga and light running. I think the important thing with autoimmune diseases is finding balance and treating your body right with diet to treat inflammation, especially!

  24. Great article Mark. One of the things I’ve struggled with since dealing with a severe Hashimoto’s/adrenal dysfunction physical meltdown almost 2 years ago is how to keep moving despite severe fatigue (when symptoms were worst), joint pain, body aches and digestive issues. I was a devoted CrossFitter (which partially caused this mess) and had to completely change my training. With the help of my coach I have shifted to a 3 times per week weightlifting regimen with 1 barbell movement and the rest being body weight or dumbbell/kettle bell exercises. I started with very low weight at the onset of my worst symptoms. As I recovered and started feeling better I have slowly started increasing weight. I also go on 30-45 minute walks as much as possible when weather and time allow.

  25. I have Hashimotos and I do yoga, Pilates, row, and spin, in an infrared sauna

  26. I have MS and Hashimoto’s. I have been exercising pretty intensely (lifting and cardio) for several years before being diagnosed with MS.
    For the most part I continue to train as I always have, but there are days that I don’t have the energy, and on those days I back off and listen to my body. I think that is the most important thing I have leaned – rest when I need it and don’t push through when I feel fatigued. If i do that, I can usually take a day or two of lower intensity and then feel better but if I over do it, it takes me a lot longer to recover.

  27. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis ONE month after I turned FIFTY. My grandma is NINETY-SIX and had it since she was in her 20s. I have been on WORLDHERBSCLINIC MS HERBAL FORMULA, the first TWO MONTHS was daily and now I am on THREE times a week. It has made a tremendous difference for me. The fatigue never gets to me again. When I do too much, I don’t feel weak anymore..