If you’re struggling with chronic illness, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans have one or more chronic diseases. Keeping symptoms under control and preventing further health problems can be especially challenging, particularly for those juggling work, family and other responsibilities.
Remember: you are not your illness, and while the journey may be challenging, it is not insurmountable. These simple tips offer a path to feeling better and more empowered in your chronic disease management.
Knowledge is Power
The more you understand about your condition, the better equipped you’ll be to manage it. Ask questions from your medical team, and don’t shy away from seeking a second opinion. Understanding the nuances of your condition can help you feel more in control and make informed decisions about your health.
Find Healthy Changes That Work for You
We all know that a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep are great for our overall health. Talk to your doctor to build a nutrition and exercise plan that suits your needs and abilities. Do your best to cut out nicotine, inflammatory foods and alcohol.
We also know that lifestyle changes are difficult to implement, especially when you’re not feeling your best. Remember, it’s not all or nothing. Building healthier habits takes time.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Living with a chronic illness can take a toll on your mental health. It’s perfectly okay to seek help. Consider speaking to a mental health professional and exploring techniques such as mindfulness, meditation or yoga to help manage stress and promote mental wellness.
Reach out to friends, family, or support groups – people who can offer emotional backing or practical advice. Sharing experiences with others who are going through a similar situation can provide comfort, reduce feelings of isolation, and even offer new coping strategies.
Use Tools to Manage Medication
Taking your medication as prescribed is crucial in managing chronic diseases. Use pill organizers, apps or alarms to help you remember when to take your medication. Keep a journey to track any side effects you may experience, when you feel your best and when you’re feeling your worst.
Always discuss any side effects with your doctor – there may be alternatives or solutions to alleviate these issues.
Advocate for Yourself
Managing chronic disease is a lifelong journey. You have a right to be heard, understood and respected. If something doesn’t feel right, speak up. You are the best advocate for your health.
Find a Partner in Chronic Disease Management
Richfield Medical Group provides patient-centered care and dedicated chronic disease management to help you regain control of your health. We’re here to help; schedule an appointment today.