Autoimmune Insights Survey Results Are In!


    Autoimmune conditions are on the rise, and more than 50 million Americans, nearly one in five people, are affected either with an official diagnosis or just mysterious symptoms. Good news: people are educating themselves and proactively digging into their root causes to halt the progression and reverse their conditions. Thanks to all 422 people who made the time to complete this autoimmune insights survey. Your feedback is meaningful for all and hugely helpful in guiding future content and discussion about roots and solutions.

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        Number of Completed Surveys

        Total: 422

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        Gender: 94% female

        It was not surprising to see that the vast majority of respondents were female. Autoimmune is a disorder that afflicts women 8 to 1 over men.

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        Autoimmune conditions tend to occur most frequently after big hormonal fluctuations (puberty, pregnancy, menopause), but I was surprised to see so many respondents clustered in the menopausal (average age 51) and post-menopausal range:

        Ages 51 – 7055%
        Ages 31 – 5042%
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        You Consider Yourself...

        While most people find themselves in the middle of the bell curve, I was surprised to see that so many people self-identify as “veterans on the healing path.” Good news, people are seeking solutions; but this may require even more experimentation and persistence. Keep on keeping on!

        An eager Intermediate45%
        A veteran (not age!) on the healing path27%
        A beginner17%
        I Beat Autoimmune!4%
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        Your Top Autoimmune Symptoms

        If you’re experiencing gut issues, brain fog, extreme fatigue, aches, pain, or poor sleep, you’re not alone. Symptoms messages from the body that things are out of balance; the longer we wait to address them the louder the messages become. To restore balance and heal we must work at the root cause level; think F.I.G.H.T.S.™ for food, infections, gut health, hormone balance, toxins and stress.

        Gut issues53%
        Brain fog45%
        Extreme fatigue40%
        Poor sleep37%
        Numbness & tingling36%
        Aches and pains all over35%
        Joint pain34%
        Memory issues33%
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        Why You Think You Got The Autoimmune Condition/Symptoms

        The good news is that most people have an idea or two — or more — about why they have autoimmune issues. This is a really good starting point to explore solutions. Interestingly, while gut issues top the list of perceived triggers, there are usually deeper root causes to explore that cause gut problems, like inflammatory foods, medications, infections and even stress, which can create a leaky gut! Remember, you can’t heal your gut or your autoimmune condition unless you remove the triggers that are causing the gut problems in the first place.

        Gut issues53%
        Chronic Stress42%
        Food sensitivities42%
        Hormonal Imbalance31%
        Unresolved emotional trauma26%
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        How You Take Care of Yourself

        Great news that most people are proactive about taking care of themselves! But, fewer than half make time for “me time,” which is pretty typical of the autoimmune profile: women who put other people first. It’s not surprising to see that supplements top the list since it’s human nature to want the quickest fix without doing the harder work. Remember: you can’t supplement your way out of a bad diet or buried emotional trauma!

        Take supplements80%
        Pray or practice gratitude/forgiveness64%
        Avoid trigger foods54%
        Prioritize sleep52%
        Connect with friends & family47%
        Eat a Paleo template diet46%
        Prioritize “me time”37%
        Go chemical-free with home and body-care products35%
        Work with a holistic (integrative, naturopath or Functional Medicine doctor)35%
        Do yoga, t’ai chi, qi gong25%
        Use energy medicine: BodyTalk, reiki, theta healing…20%
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        Which Areas Would Your Like More Help With

        Given why people believe they got the condition(s) it’s not too surprising that these are the top areas of desired focus. The one surprising thing to me is that while chronic stress is a top reason people believe they got their autoimmune condition, establishing a relaxation practice is pretty low on the list here:

        Gut healing54%
        Figuring out what to eat46%
        Clearing infections42%
        How to do healthy detox40%
        Creating healthy habits39%
        Finding hormonal harmony39%
        Which lab tests to order32%
        Dealing with mold/Lyme complexities29%
        Knowing which toxins to avoid28%
        Help getting into the right mindset28%
        Finding a holistic practitioner28%
        Establishing relaxation practice27%
        All of the above!21%
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        How I Have Helped

        This was an open ended question so answers were free-form. Responses were positive and enthusiastic, and top answers included:

        Most people feel more hopeful now
        People are grateful for the information, ranging from “helpful tidbits” to the “F.I.G.H.T.S. framework”
        People feel more empowered, motivated, and supported
        People feel validated and encouraged to keep going
        People said my story inspires them
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        How People Prefer to Learn

        I was surprised and happy to see that people still love books for learning. Whew, since I just published a book!

        Books and eBooks69%
        Online courses39%
        Facebook groups39%
        Membership sites22%
        Conferences or lectures20%
        Emails, summits, articles, etc.5%
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        Interest in Joining Beat Autoimmune Membership Community

        Most people are interested in joining or learning more about a membership community that would offer greater value than our existing Transcend Autoimmune group. A membership site would offer more organized information, greater participation and engagement, even more access to me, and interviews with holistic healers and autoimmune experts.

        Yes or maybe88%
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        Have Read Beat Autoimmune

        On a personal level, of course I’m pleased to see glowing reviews and good interest in reading my book. But at a much higher level this is about the ripple effect. People are deciding to take their health back and are then sharing the good news with their families, friends, and open minded doctors who are now empowering their patients… This is truly what Sandy Eff calls a Root Solution Revolution!

        Not yet40%
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        What People Think of the Book

        I’m humbled by the responses which were free-form:

        “Loved it!"
        “Filled with good information"
        “Excellent resource that I return to"
        “Inspiring and motivating!"
        “Wish I had this years ago!"
        “Well written"
        “My new health 'bible'"
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        How Can I Make a Greater Impact?

        OK, this one was super helpful for me and I’m humbled by the responses. One of my favorite ideas is to proactively generate ripples: “Consider the power of 10 people who have improved their health telling 10 people…” 

        “Keep doing what you’re doing!”
        “Keep raising awareness”
        “Do more videos — maybe short videos”
        “Do a 3-month course with weekly live Q&A videos”
        “Do more podcasts — and get on bigger names (I’m trying but Dave Asprey and Ben Greenfield are tough!)”
        “Connect with other health influencers to magnify message”
        “Widen your reach. (Come to UK, Canada, Arkansas, Trinidad & Tobago!…)”
        “Provide eating plans/menus/recipes”
        “Offer simple worksheets”
        “Do a bookclub based on Beat Autoimmune”
        “Provide small-group coaching”
        “Provide a group off of Facebook (many people not on Facebook)”
        “Try to keep things affordable”
        “Do a TED talk!”

      There is so much here that I am re-reading and still digesting. I’m so grateful to all who participated and all who may benefit from this information. Over time I hope to incorporate many of these ideas into more and better ways to serve this growing community.

      Thank you very much, and take good care!

      p.s. If you are proactively seeking to heal from any autoimmune condition and want community, support and valuable information please join our existing, free, private and thriving Facebook group: Transcend Autoimmune.