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Tell Us What You Wish People Knew About Your Autoimmune Disease

Because "staying positive!" is not always a thing.

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If you have an autoimmune disease, you already know that dealing with it everyday can be exhausting and complicated.

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A quick note: An autoimmune disease is one characterized by the body's immune system attacking its own healthy cells. There are over 100 of them, including type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

One of the most challenging parts of living with one (or more) of these diseases is the general lack of awareness of where they come from and how they're managed.

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Collectively speaking, autoimmune diseases are a pretty common thing. But individually, each disease is relatively rare and it's difficult to get good statistics on them.

So, tell us: What do you wish people knew about what life with an autoimmune disease is actually like?

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On average, it takes about four years and countless trips to the doctor to receive the right diagnosis, because autoimmune diseases initially show up with vague symptoms.

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Or that what works for managing it one day, does not, in fact, always work the next.

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Maybe you wish more people understood that sometimes the goal of managing a disease isn't to feel super healthy or even good — it's to be able to function at a base level.

Or maybe there are some unexpected positives to having an autoimmune disease that you want people to know about.

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Maybe it's given you a new perspective on certain relationships or introduced you to people and communities you might otherwise not have come into contact with.

Tell us what you want people to know about living with an autoimmune disease.

Whether you want people to understand more about your condition itself or its treatment and management, what questions people should really never ask, how to support you, or the things you wish people would say to you, we want to hear about it.

Share in the comments section or submit your thoughts with a photo in the Dropbox below.

If you’re having trouble uploading your response, you can email it to caira.conner@buzzfeed.com with the subject line “Autoimmune disease post submission.”

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