You are diagnosed; now, what?
Once diagnosed, this may strong affect your self image and feelings of grief or even loss may set in. It is important to participate in your care plan, take notes, write down questions for your doctors before you visits, and stand up for yourself if you feel blown off. A wise friend once told me that you either “Use it or you lose it!” This was from a spirited 90 year old with crippling arthritis. She repeatedly told us she walked every single day because she knew the moment she stopped her health would further deteriorate and she would not be her anymore. She passed on a few years ago, but I take her words and her energy with me everywhere. If she can do it at the age then I can surely keep moving forward at mine.
If you are living with an autoimmune disease, there are things you can do each day to lesson your symptoms and help yourself feel a little better,
-Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Make sure to include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products, and lean sources of protein.
-Get regular physical activity. Movement is medicine. Remember, physical activity doesn’t need to be strenuous or time-consuming. So, make movement a regular part of your daily routine and reap the benefits of lubricating your joints & strengthening those muscles around them to protect your muscles.
-Get enough rest. Getting enough rest is important for overall health and well being. This can help improve mood, increase productivity, boost the immune system, and reduce the risks of further concerns.
-Reduce stress. Practice deep breathing or meditation. Prioritize and organize tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Spend time doing activities you enjoy that help you relax.
Your autoimmune disease symptoms may change with time. They may go into remission, where you have minimal or no symptoms, or they could flare up, making the disease worse. Although they can’t be cured, some of the symptoms can be treated. Many people with autoimmune diseases can live a normal life.