About the Author


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My name is CL Graves. Welcome to my first blog.

I began the autoimmunepatient blog in 2014, when I was a doctoral student conducting research towards my PhD in Immunology.

Over the past ten years, the internet has been invaluable to patients of all diseases – providing us with a forum to share information, discuss our symptoms, medication management, and lifestyle changes that helped ease our discomfort, pain, and sleepiness while enabling us to re-engage in our active lives. My purpose for autoimmunepatient.com was to share all the information I could – my stories, symptoms, biohacking results, tools I used in my daily life, links to others like us – any information that might benefit the autoimmune (and more specifically, narcolepsy) community. I approached this with a “hacker mentality,” meaning I never made any money off of any of my websites (either through pay-for-service or ads). The comments I have received on this blog have been payment enough.

In recent years, I have been focusing on becoming a “real” scientist – an independent investigator, so that I could fulfill my dream of conducting research in the brain-gut connection and nervous system-immune system connection.

My PhD research focused on the interaction between gut homeostasis, intestinal inflammation, and the development of systemic autoimmune disease. I am currently a PostDoc at UNC-CH, studying neuroimmune mechanisms in the zebrafish gut. You can learn more about my professional career at www.clgraves.com.

I was diagnosed with narcolepsy in 2008, while a sophomore in college at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  I attempted symptom management according to conventional treatments with little success.  Out of a fundamental desperation and desire to stay awake, I immersed myself in scientific literature and connected with other people with narcolepsy (PWN) online. Over the course of a year, I became determined that underlying intestinal inflammation and specific food intolerances could contribute to narcolepsy symptoms and poorer patient outcomes. Over time, I have developed a plan of living and made a nearly complete recovery from narcolepsy symptoms using combination of exercise, gluten free low-carb diet, supplements and medication as needed. I also routinely self-experiment with other nutritional and environmental modifications in my quest to attain optimal wakefulness and health. In addition to narcolepsy, I have also been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and lichen planus.

In addition to research and writing, I enjoy making art, cooking, playing guitar, and running.

6 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Pingback: WEGO Health Acitivist Writer’s Month Challenge – Day 2: Introductions | Autoimmune Patient

  2. Christina, I take my hat off to you. I found your web site today through Facebook Narcolepsy forum. Fantastic everything that you are doing.

    I was once on gluten free but my GP said I didn’t need to be. How wrong was he.

    I know it will be hard, but I’m going to get back on the gluten free / sugar free diet.

    I’ve only read your most recent blogs and look forward to reading more.
    Again, great work. Thank you.

    P.s age 32. Diagnosed at age 11.

    • I was wondering if you do any research regarding Crohn’s Disease and post prandial narcolepsy if there is such a thing. I cannot eat because I literally collapse or cannot continue on with my day and have to go to sleep. I have been having symptoms for about 4 years now and it is starting to interfere with my life. I am also a bit confused since I literally cannot consume anywhere near 2000 cal/day but I am the heaviest I have ever been. I umderstand the link between starvation and weight, but this is a bit ridiculous. How come anorexics lose weight, but someone like me who wants to eat but can’t, GAINS weight?

  3. hi Christina, thanks for what you have posted, it looks really good. When I saw your diagnosis of lichen planus I wondered if it was related to the genital pain that is commonly associated with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome. Commonly, but unknown to most clinicians.

    I found your site while researching for my second webinar on the topic of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue hosted on http://www.dietitianCentral.com. You may like to take a look 🙂 .

    Warm regards,

  4. Absolutely fascinating site Christina! I found it quite by accident today while trying to figure out why on earth I only ever seem to feel awake when I don’t eat! I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2009 and am currently suspected of having autoimmune problems of some sort too. But what troubles me far more than my joint pains and probable Sjogrens is that I seem to spend most of my life now struggling to stay awake or feeling like I’m in some sort of drunken stupor! Narcolepsy had been mentioned and I’ve been prescribed dexamfetamines although they dont seem to help half as much as I’d like. However I noticed a while ago that my brain seems to wake up much more easily if I don’t eat much – and I realised only a few days ago that if I avoid bread I feel better still (and so does my ‘IBS’!) – and so I have just started myself on a gluten-free diet. So – stumbling upon your website is hugely encouraging as it’s really made me think that I may actually be on the right track now! Thank you 🙂

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