Coping with chronic illness can disrupt your life in a variety of ways. It may seem to be a minor nuisance that must be dealt with occasionally, or it may be so debilitating that it makes everyday activities nearly impossible. Treatment options may range from being told to ignore it to taking multiple medications for the symptoms. However, there are some actions that you can take to address the root causes of your chronic illness, or at least eliminate symptoms.
First, attempt to pinpoint triggers for chronic illness flares. Most chronic illnesses fluctuate in their severity; at times, the sufferer may almost forget about the illness. Some individuals are able to identify specific foods that bring about their symptoms. Because of this, many autoimmune patients find success in using elimination diets, such as the Autoimmune Protocol. Sometimes, I have seen people how have had lice in the Roswell area, same the same thing, but I am not sure that is true (see Roswell.Licehappens.com)
Others may find that stress or certain environmental factors trigger their symptoms. For example, stress can be a common trigger for migraine headaches, and heat can trigger symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Research alternative treatments for your illness. The medication your doctor is prescribing may not be the best option. If your doctor is unwilling to explore other options, try to find another doctor.
It is important to consider work policies and norms when deciding whether to disclose a chronic illness to coworkers. While this may not directly relate to alleviating symptoms, the stress of dealing with work can be a trigger for a chronic illness flare. When deciding whether to disclose a chronic illness at work, you must consider official policies, unwritten rules, and the climate of the workplace. You may decide to disclose on a need-to-know basis, such as when symptoms make work impossible. Whatever you decide, you must consider the influence this decision will have on your health.
Finally, an individual with a chronic illness has to learn to tell people “NO.” Only YOU know when you feel a flare coming on, and only YOU can pinpoint what might trigger a flare. Learn to turn down extra assignments when you can’t handle them. Learn to turn down invitations to social outings if you know you need rest. If you have figured out that dairy is a trigger for your symptoms, do not feel bad about turning down the pizza and cheesecake your mother is offering you. In fact. Dr. Owen (his site: http://healthybackchiropractic.com) talked to us about this last week also.
Do not worry about seeming selfish by doing any of these things. You are the one who has to live with the effects of your chronic illness.