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.