looking-after-mental-health-in-style

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I have had regular checkups for a year since my wedding. It was not because we needed a doctor’s help to get pregnant, no – my husband and I wanted to wait for two more years before having a baby. I got appointments with various doctors because I was dealing with multiple conditions almost every month.

The first time it happened, my vision was blurry for a few days. As far as I knew, it was 20/20; that’s why I did not wear prescription glasses. The ophthalmologist reiterated the same reading, so she told me to get anti-radiation glasses to protect my eyes while I was working. It did not eliminate the blurriness until I got a few days off work and rested for a while.

A month later, I went to a urologist’s clinic because my bladder did not feel like it was ever empty. The doctor ruled out a urinary tract infection, so he wanted to do more tests on me. While waiting, I was ordered to drink more water.

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After that, I dealt with muscle spasms and poor coordination. Things got to the point where I almost fell down the stairs a few times, so my husband took me to a specialist. I agreed, thinking that I would get muscle relaxants or – if I was lucky – a full-body massage prescription. That’s initially what the doctor wanted to do until I slipped up and mentioned my trips to other specialists in the last few months.

“Just to be sure,” the doctor said, “You should do an MRI scan and have your blood tested. I will call you when I have the results to interpret.”

However, when the test results came out, I was across the country, so the doctor told me that he could wait until I returned to discuss it. But I was stubborn – I wanted to know what’s up with my body immediately – so I insisted on hearing about it over the phone.

looking-after-mental-health-in-style

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Learning About Multiple Sclerosis

Ever since the doctor said that I had multiple sclerosis, I could not will myself to cry or blame the gods. No, thanks – I was never that dramatic. Although the diagnosis shocked me, it made me feel relief because it was not cancer or worse. At the same time, I could not wait for two more days to learn more about my case straight from the doctor, so I went online right after our call.

The first thing I learned was that multiple sclerosis was an autoimmune disorder. The immune system, which we all depend on to keep us safe from foreign substances inside the body, turned against me – that’s what I understood. Why and how it happened, even the experts could still not figure it out. 

For multiple sclerosis patients like me, whenever the immune system would act up, it would attack my nervous system, especially the nerves that send signals to various body parts. Though these were comparable to the copper wires inside the electrical cables, the immune system could not always pass through the myelin to enveloped the axons. Still, such covering could get hurt and endure scarring, to the extent that the axons would be exposed and could not send electrical signals throughout the body.

looking-after-mental-health-in-style

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Looking After My Mental Health

I looked deep down myself and asked, “Am I still okay?” Fortunately, I was. 

I must admit that I felt a little scared after finding out that I was forever stuck with multiple sclerosis. While it did not require me to do chemotherapy or radiation therapy and lose my hair in the process, the disease would always shadow me from that moment. If I could not be careful, my immune system could attack my nerves all the time.

But I chose to focus on that “if” part to ease my anxiety as I looked for potential trigger factors of my disease. If I stay indoors often and not get enough vitamin D, the myelin around my axons may sustain more scarring. If I continue being around my husband when he smokes, my immunity can retaliate. If I remain under the sun for too long or catch a virus, both can increase my temperature and push my immune system to act up.

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So, I thought, “Hmm, I need to do the opposite of all that.” I informed my husband about my autoimmune disease, and he vowed to stop smoking at that instant. Although he was not a chain smoker by a long shot, he would not light up another cigarette again – a true testament of love. 

Then, we started going on light jogs and hikes before the sun rose. We would remain outdoors until around 8 A.M. and go to work until 4 P.M. In the evenings, we would take immunity-strengthening vitamins so that neither of us would catch the flu. My husband also surprised me when I came home to brand-new air conditioners in the living room and master’s bedroom. This way, I had low chances of feeling too hot anytime.

Final Thoughts

My autoimmune disease still catches me off-guard sometimes, but I already know what signs to watch out for. The doctor also recommended MS therapy for me, which stabilized my mental health further as I knew that my chances of being disabled were low.

 

 

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When someone in the family is found to have multiple sclerosis, all the family members are affected in their different ways. Overcoming the challenges as a family does help in tackling and managing the disease. And because multiple sclerosis often affects women more than men, it’s usually the mom that’s diagnosed. As we well know, mom is the woman of the house and the favorite person that everyone runs to. Mom cooks the meals, does the laundry, and keeps everything in the house running. So when she becomes ill with multiple sclerosis, the whole household routine might probably be dislocated and disorganized. Needless to say, it doesn’t matter whether it’s mom, dad, or whoever in the family is diagnosed with the disease. The truth is that when MS is present in one or more family members, it is perplexing for everybody in the family.

Just like multiple sclerosis, how the family deals with it will be distinct from every other family. This autoimmune disorder is very unpredictable, to add to the fact that all families are more or less different from each other. Someone diagnosed with multiple sclerosis may present with fewer disabilities and don’t need much assistance. For another family, on the other hand, their loved one with MS may be extremely affected by her disease and needs moderate to complete assistance and protection in living her life and performing daily activities.

Helping A Family Member

Two of the most crucial things that families can do to support an MS family member are, knowing more about the disease as much as you can and communicating openly with them. Families who are efficiently dealing with MS are those who are capable of talking freely about it and can resolve problems and concerns as a family. If you can’t comfortably talk about it, it’s going to be difficult to deal with whatever circumstance that may come up. It’ll even be more difficult to get into a new routine than what you were used to before your loved one was diagnosed. Discussing what you can about the diseases allows you and the whole family to manage the condition and create an efficient treatment plan.

 

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Talking To The Kids About MS

Discussing multiple sclerosis is vital, even though they’re young. If the symptoms of MS are not visible, you may be hesitant to talk to your kids because you think you don’t have to let them panic about something that they can’t see. However, kids of all ages nowadays are typically perceptive to changes in their siblings’ or parents’ behaviors. They’ll somehow notice when something isn’t right, even if dad or mom doesn’t look like they have an illness. If you don’t try talking to them, your children might worry that you have a problem that’s so dreadful to the point that you can’t discuss it with them.

When you decide to explain it to your children, use simple terminology that is age-appropriate and one that they can comprehend. Just lay down the basics so they won’t be anxious or afraid of what you’re not telling them. Hearing it from their parents themselves assures them that their loved one with MS is the same person – mom or dad – despite their illness.

Keeping It Together As A Family

When someone in the family is found to have multiple sclerosis, it can be overpowering, and the whole family may require the help and guidance in dealing with the medical aspects of MS as well as the mental and emotional aspects. Mental health professionals can aid families in finding strategies that would work for all the members of the family.

So how can all family members survive and thrive when one of them has multiple sclerosis? Here are some of the ways.

Make a plan. The randomness and instability of multiple sclerosis can make things all the more difficult to deal with family life. Nevertheless, the family can still enjoy and make wonderful memories together, and one of the best things that can help is by preparing a plan. For instance, if you are planning to eat out for dinner, be sure that you give a few minutes of extra time to travel to the movie theater. You can check ahead online or perhaps check out the place for accessibility.

 

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Confront your problems head-on. The struggles of life with MS are most likely to persist, so it may help to find time for all family members to converse and solve the problems and circumstances that might arise.

Find support networks. Support groups are healthy channels for help, guidance, and inspiration. It’s an outlet that your loved one with MS can vent out his frustrations, which are not uncommon when a family member has been diagnosed with the condition. By connecting with families that are in similar situations, you can listen to others’ dilemmas and learn from them. You can also help and inspire others by sharing your story.

 

The body’s immune system works a lot in safeguarding you against illness, infection, and different types of diseases. It functions with the vast network of tissues, cells, and organs that coordinates the body’s defense system against any internal health threats individuals may experience. Without the immune system’s function, there is a possibility of getting exposed to billions of toxins, bacteria, and viruses. And when there is a weaker immunity, something as minor as a seasonal cold can turn into a fatal and chronic disease.

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Into The Blood Stream

For people with scoliosis, who happens to struggle to keep their immunity during this pandemic, understand that they need to keep their blood cells healthy. That is because it contains the required defensive white cells called leukocytes. These cells come from the bone marrow and migrate into the bloodstream to clear body wastes and toxins. As these leukocytes move around the body, they form a security defense that screens the organs and blood tissues for harmful signs. But leukocytes do not function alone. It flows into a system where it relies on cues called antigens, where pathogens and other foreign substances get detected as invading chemicals. As soon the leukocytes cells detect the harmful substances in the body, it alarms it in just a few minutes. From there, the protective immune defense will start to function.

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While there is an assurance of immune system buildup, it is essential to understand that threats that affect the body vary. Some diseases can quickly go away, while some may stay longer than expected. Thus, it is normal for the immune response to become equally adaptable, depending on the situation, types of diseases, and the body’s overall health. So with regard to one of the Coronavirus symptoms, which is fever, the body’s immune system responds because it knows there is something wrong inside it. When the body gets warmer, it slows down the spread of bacteria and viruses. However, relying on the body’s immune system alone is not going to defeat the newly-formed Coronavirus. That explains why proper health medication and hospital functions become a requirement.

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Struggle Of The Already Struggling

For people with a healthy immune system, they have a significant chance of fighting the virus. Their bodies can find ways to regenerate damaged cells that can slowly eradicate the damaged ones. But for those individuals who experience certain types of medical conditions, such as scoliosis, the healing process tends to be slower than expected. That is why, instead of getting better over time, most of them end up clinically miserable. In unfortunate circumstances, the growth of unhealthy cells cost their lives.

Until now, scientists and experts do not have clear information about the limits and capabilities of the Coronavirus. People know that it gets transmitted through droplets, and once it enters the body, it begins to show physical symptoms. However, after a couple of research, experts understand the value of the infection getting into an asymptomatic stance. In this, people with the virus won’t have signs or symptoms that will determine if they are positive with the virus or not. Thus, it makes it impossible to quickly identify someone who might be a carrier of the disease.

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Final thought

The target of the virus is the body’s immune system. Therefore, it is essential that individuals should take better care of it. Honestly, there is no right and wrong method to do that. As long as individuals, especially those struggling with a current medical condition, understand the need for a healthier immune system, they can have a chance against the virus.

Seeing the athleticism at the 2019 Athletics Event is motivational for those who need to do daily exercise. Exercise is proven to have long term benefits for those who are suffering from autoimmune disease. It helps manage the flare-ups and symptoms of the disease. Below are some helpful tips to get you going.

1. Start Slow

If you are only beginning after a while, start with easy exercises. Later, after you have adjusted, you can move on to a more challenging routine. Do not forget to warm-up before starting. Go slow and work around your pace. Allow yourself to adjust, which might take some time. Don’t be hard on yourself if there are days when you might miss a workout session because of flares.

2. Choose Low Impact Workout

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You can begin walking and jogging, for starters. These exercises are kind to your knees, joints, and back. This kind of activity gives you the option to either run on a treadmill or outside of your house. If you feel like it, you can run in your neighborhood or the park near you.

You can also try doing yoga. Not only that it involves the physical body, but also it helps in calming the mind. Pilates, spinning, and swimming are good options as well if you have the equipment. Try different low impact exercises and see which works best for you.

3. Take Rest Regularly

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If there are days when you feel like taking a break from working out, then do so. Listen to what your body says. Sleep deprivation can be unsafe for the immune system, so never miss an opportunity to get 8 hours of sleep.

4. Eat Well

Since you are moving more, you will need more energy sources so your body can sustain you. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, and high-quality protein. Avoid inflammatory foods such as sugar, dairy, soy, legumes, and corn. Consuming healthy meals for the immune system helps eliminate unpleasant symptoms. It will help you perform better with your workout. Eventually, you’ll feel better and empowered.

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The idea of having to exercise daily might feel overwhelming at first. But once you start and get the hang of it, it will easily be a habit that you will enjoy. Remember, you can begin slow and easy.

Autoimmune disease is a state where the immune system attacks your own body. It is a life long struggle for the individual who has it. It periodically gets worse, especially when situations get unpleasant. It affects certain parts of the body, such as joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, lungs, heart, and brain. Its symptoms vary though it always includes rash, joint pain, fatigue, and fever. Unfortunately, there is no cure for an autoimmune disorder. However, specific treatments, medication, as well as lifestyle changes, aid the condition.

Source: state.gov

How COVID-19 Affects People With Autoimmune Disease?

In the latest information of COVID-19, the reports show that majority of the virus’s target is the elderly due to their weaker immune system. That is why most people assume that if a person is young, healthy, and active, there is no chance of him getting an infection. As long as he practices social distancing too, that person is also safe from contracting the virus. But contrary to that, people with autoimmune diseases are at higher risk of Coronavirus infection regardless of their age and physical health. That is because these individuals already have a weak immune system.

People with an autoimmune disorder are already struggling. There are things that they can no longer do due to a malfunctioning health condition they have. So imagine the life of these individuals living with all the anxiety and fear caused by the pandemic. These people battle up with their bodies every day. What more now that there is another addition to the already torturing physical, emotional, and mental condition they have? The situation is terrifying.

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The Mental Struggle Caused By The Pandemic

Yes, some people with an autoimmune disorder can be overreacting. That is because they got this filed up mixed emotions. These individuals already feel scared for their health because they know any time; certain things can trigger their symptoms. And now that there is a pandemic, all they care about is staying healthy. That is another pressure they need to handle because it requires more than just eating healthy foods and sleeping well.

Anger can also take a toll on this situation. People who have autoimmune diseases already think that this pandemic is unfair for them. The trauma that this situation is causing is disturbing enough for those who only want to live a better life. So what more if the pressure doubled up? Most of these people with autoimmune disease are feeling discouraged. Some of them feel unstable and often look for something or someone to blame. Not because they are naturally angry, but because they are far more scared of what could happen to them.

Individuals with the disease are also prone to depression because some of them are not able to process the adjustment instantly. Their minds are battling between their desires to live a normal life and staying healthy. And since there is no certainty as to where the pandemic would end, these people’s hopes and dreams shatter. And sometimes, even if they happen to be filled with positive energy, the isolation alters their way of thinking, leaving them confused, sad, and lonely.

 

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Takeaway

No, individuals with an autoimmune condition are not asking for special attention. Other people should be mindful and considerate to understand that awareness of the situation is far more critical. The judgments are already mentally and emotionally draining, so it would be better not to add damage to these people’s situations. It is not the time for selfishness and inconsiderate manners. We are all affected by the virus. We have to recognize that the situation is more excruciating for these people who have a higher risk of getting infected.

The 2017 Athletes Conference awarded student-athletes who were outstanding in their academic performance in more than two terms. While it is essential to be exemplary in both curricular and extracurricular activities, it is vital to be wary of one’s health as well because there is a misconception that ALL athletes are healthy. Studies show that some are battling autoimmune diseases, even if these are a hindrance to their sports career. As a remedy, most athletes address this problem by following a strict diet and sticking with it. Read further to know the best autoimmune diets for athletes.

Take In Enough Fiber And Probiotic

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Most parts included in the immune system can be found in the gut. Therefore, the presence of good bacteria in the intestinal area is essential. To be able to house a consistent growth of healthy bacteria in this area, athletes should include in their diet those foods that are rich in probiotics and fiber. They should undergo a plant-based diet, and primarily focus on the intake of fermented vegetables. Strict observance of food plans is crucial in ensuring that there is enough energy source from healthy food options.

Follow The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Diet
This diet stemmed from the famous Paleo Diet, which was inspired by the kinds of food which our Paleolithic ancestors ate. The Autoimmune Protocol Diet focuses on an elimination-type of strategy where it aims to avoid food that might contribute to inflammation. Several examples of this include industrial seed oil, refined sugars, nuts, eggs, gum, emulsifiers, alternative sweeteners, food thickeners, legumes, dairy, grains, and processed food.

Go For Turmeric

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The turmeric approach focuses on regulating inflammatory substances in the different areas of the body. This approach is through the help of curcumin, a powerful and effective compound found from this bright orange spice. It has been proven to alleviate inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis.

Load Up On Omega-3s
Most anti-inflammatory diets have high levels of fat dedicated to nourishing the cells. One example of this is Omega-3. You can find this component in several foods such as walnuts, for your snacks, and fatty fish (salmon), if you are a vegetarian.

Being an athlete is not a guarantee of being healthy. Likewise, not all athletes are healthy. For athletes with autoimmune diseases, it is best to observe strict diet compliance.

It’s hard to be in a relationship where you are trying to be there for someone but seems like they don’t actually need your presence. It’s like they tell you to go away when all they wanted was for you to stay and always be there. It may sound complicated, but for most people with Graves’ disease, their relationship can be put at risk if they don’t start acting on it. 

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I am married to my wife for almost 20 years now, and our relationship is something that I always take into consideration. Every decision I make, I make sure that it doesn’t affect the way my wife and I would handle our marital lives. However, these past few weeks, I noticed something different about her and it somehow scared me. 

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My wife has been diagnosed with lupus and is now struggling with her health condition. It’s difficult to understand her situation, and I honestly don’t see anything different from her overall health, as she seems perfectly okay. She looked fine, but she was currently struggling. However, I realized that there’s something more about the disease that I should know to be able to help my wife get over the symptoms that drastically made her weak and dysfunctional. 

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