Take Control of Your Health

Being able to use natural and alternative therapies to help alleviate symptoms is a very important tool for those who are interested in the self management of their illness.

Combining a doctor prescribed treatment with a responsible diet, lifestyle change, and alternative therapies can make a substantial difference to the symptoms and course of the illness. It gave me increased energy, decreased pain, and the ability to have a greater control over my illness. For me the difference in my quality of life was unmistakable.

There were nights in the past when the pain of my illness was so severe that despite the painkillers that I ingested I was still awake more than I slept. The hurt continuously jolted me awake throughout the night and there was just no reprieve from the constant and unrelenting pain that can be associated with chronic inflammation.

Thankfully that was yesterday and today I live a much different lifestyle. I have combined numerous alternative therapies along with my physician prescribed program and it works to give me a quality of life that I had previously thought was forever lost.

For anyone who suffers from an inflammatory illness it can often be the chronic pain and fatigue which can be the most disabling aspects of this disorder. There are over one hundred different forms of Arthritis and each is a unique and individual to that individual thus requiring its own specific treatment program.

Inflammatory disorders generally go through a constant series of high and low flare periods which makes it important to constantly adapt lifestyle to match these changing circumstances. The treatments that work for one person may not be appropriate for another. Your therapy program should be based on your unique needs. It should also be adaptable. In a severe flare you will likely be required to participate in less physical activity and to increase periods of rest and vice versa when you are feeling better. 

There are many activities that can be adapted to help keep you moving during these periods. Walking, swimming, yoga, dance, and range of motion exercises are some activities generally safe for most people with arthritic disease. You are not the same person that you were before you became ill so do not expect your body to be able to accomplish all the tasks that it was able to when you were healthy. Adjust your lifestyle to accommodate your new pattern of living. When your flare up subsides then an increase in exercise will help to improve muscle tone and cardiovascular health. Muscle strength is very important to joint health.

There are many natural therapies that we have at our disposal and we should take advantage of them. When combined with a physician prescribed program they can make life so very much more livable.Learn as much as you are able to on your disorder as this will give you the power to aide in your treatment options. Ask questions. Your medical team is there to help you. Empower yourself with as much knowledge on your illness as you are able to acquire. It is important to have accurate information if you are going to fight this silent enemy on its unique terms.

Accommodate time for regular periods of exercise or range of motion therapy. Use rest as a form of therapy and use it accordingly. People who suffer from inflammation may be more prone to symptoms of fatigue than healthier individuals so set aside regular rest breaks throughout the day to alleviate this. 
Periods of exercise alternating with periods of rest throughout the day can greatly help to reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Learn to live life in bits and pieces or a little of this and a little of that. Never doing too much or too little of any one activity for a lengthy time period may help to alleviate some symptoms. It is simply a matter of balance. When you suffer from inflammation there is a fine line between exercise and abuse.

Allow yourself a twenty minute period of total rest during the day. You don’t have to sleep during this time allotment, you just have to lie down, and do absolutely nothing for 20 minutes. This short rest period is amazing for the amount of energy that it will give you and will often allow you enough energy to make it through the remainder of your day.

Budget your energy out throughout the day. Your illness may be busy using up large amounts of your energy reserves so fatigue can indeed be a very genuine symptom of arthritis. Conserve your energy for those things that are most important to your quality of life. First budget for those things that you absolutely must do that day, secondly budget out energy for the things that you want to do. This makes perfect sense because quality of life is so very important to our mental attitude. If you have left over energy after those two allotments then budget for all those other items that you should get done but that can be shuffled over till the next day if they don’t.

Let your dishes dry themselves and instead of making your bed each morning simply close the bedroom door instead. There are many ways to reduce your energy expenditures and thereby increase your quality of life. As in any budget if you save in one area then you will have this saving to spend in another area. Use your energy savings to improve your quality of life. An exercise program and time for play are two very important aspects of a healthy life. Remember that every little thing you do to improve your quality of life adds up.

mpower yourself. Consume the foods that will help to power your body. Learn which foods or activities irritate your illness and avoid them. Discover which foods and therapies improve your symptoms and incorporate them into your lifestyle. Discover how to fight your illness on its distinct terms to help reduce the stress it applies to your body. 

Lifestyle change is perhaps the easiest natural therapy for people with arthritis to incorporate into their daily living plan. By making small additions or deletions to your current lifestyle you can greatly improve your physical and emotional health.

Use aides such as splints, compression wear, braces or a cane to prevent or reduce further damage to your inflamed tissue. Participate in a therapy program which is specific to your form of arthritis. Because inflammation can be annoyed by rigorous techniques try to participate in lighter or gentler forms exercise or massage. Listen to your body as it will tell you when something is working and when something isn’t. Flare periods will fluctuate in high and low periods so lifestyle and therapy programs will have to alter and adapt to the changing aspects of your health.

You are the one who generally knows what point your illness is at and to what degree of therapy you are able to participate in but don't allow fatigue or depression hold you back. Continuously adapt your exercise and therapy programs to your current health. Push yourself to do the most that you are able to but also do not over extend yourself. You are not the same person that you were in the past and it is important to discover your new capabilities and limitations. Try to include an alternative diet therapy program that is specific to your type of illness. Some inflammatory disorders have shown to improve dramatically when the persons diet is changed.

Talk to your physician about including a Vitamin therapy program into your diet. You may be lacking in key nutrients and these can make a substantial difference in your health and symptoms. Studies are showing that increased vitamin C can be very helpful for those who suffer from inflammatory illness. Those individuals who are not as active as they were in the past may require additional vitamin D.

Always research your illness to see if these natural therapies are appropriate for your illness, each form of Arthritis is unique and therefore requires its own individual therapy program. Remember to check with your doctor before beginning alternative treatments. Combine alternative therapies with your current physician prescribed program but do not stop taking your current drug therapy. They have been proven to be the best known treatments for your illness or they would no longer be prescribed for it.

There are many foods which have the ability to increase or to decrease inflammation. There is also the possibility that an allergic reaction to a specific food may have caused a severe immune system response resulting in an autoimmune illness. Removing the offending foods from the diet can dramatically reduce this inflammatory response just as introducing specific foods into the diet plan can have the amazing effect of reducing inflammation. An immune response based illness is very individual to each person who suffers from it. Through individualized lifestyle and diet changes a person can effectively reduce the painful symptoms that unfortunately comes along with so many forms of chronic illness.

Some forms of autoimmune illness can be triggered or irritated by external factors. This makes it a prime example of an illness which may benefit from natural therapies in combination with a physician prescribed program. Inflammation makes its appearance for a multitude of reasons so it is logical that there must also be a number of different methods to treat it. This means that it may take a little experimenting to see which alternative therapies will most help to decrease the symptoms of each individual.

Diet, exercise, and other lifestyle therapy programs will help to give most individuals a greater control over their illness. Generally it is a combination of prescribed medication and natural therapy which is the most effective method of treating chronic illness but always consult with your doctor before beginning a new health regimen or changing your old one.

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