My guest today is Meghan O’Rourke, the author of the beautiful new book, The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness. Megan is a poet and longtime journalist whose writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker (where she formerly was an editor), The New York Times, and many more. She’s the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards and currently serves as the editor of The Yale Review. This episode is really about highlighting the often hidden parts of chronic illness while offering both pragmatic tips for anyone suffering from chronic illness to feel better but also anyone who wants to understand what causes chronic illness or how to help people in their lives that are currently dealing with chronic illness. We talk about:
- how her chronic illness began and how she finally got diagnosed after years of going to doctors
- what causes autoimmune diseases and why people often get multiple autoimmune diseases at the same time
- what causes chronic Lyme and other lingering chronic disease from acute infections
- the complicated role stress plays in chronic disease
- her best tip for figuring out if your symptoms are because of chronic disease
- how having a child impacted her chronic illness
- the practices she found that helped her healing the most (and the things she tried that didn’t help at all)
- her best advice for vetting which alternative health practices are worth trying
- the importance of the microbiome in treating autoimmune disease
- the deep loneliness of chronic illness, and what helped the most in dealing with it
- the state of her health right now
- the daily practices that keep her feeling her best
- her best advice for treating a chronic illness without letting it take over your life
- the best way to shore up their body to help prevent acquiring a chronic illness
- how to best help people in your life who are suffering from chronic illness
- the future of chronic disease treatment
This episode is sponsored by Dame. Head over to dameproducts.com and use code HEALTHIERTOGETHER at checkout for 20% off your purchase through January 31, and 15% off from then on.
This episode is sponsored by Wild Blueberries. To find wild blueberries in your local grocer, just look for the packaging in the freezer section that says “wild” on it. If you want recipe inspo or more info, go to wildblueberries.com.
This episode is sponsored by AG1 by Athletic Greens. Visit athleticgreens.com/healthiertogether and get your FREE year supply of Vitamin D and 5 free travel packs today.
Healthier Together cover art by Zack. Healthier Together music by Alex Ruimy.