Helpful Tips If You’ve Recently Been Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness
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Many people live with chronic conditions, especially as they get older. Ailments like diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis become more prevalent as we age. If you’re 30-plus and have been diagnosed with a chronic illness, you may be worried about how your day-to-day habits will be impacted. Read on to discover how you can take control of your illness to keep living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Learn all you can about your diagnosis
Educating yourself is the first critical step after a chronic illness diagnosis. Talk to your doctor and get as much information as you can about the ailment, its causes, symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options. Ask useful queries, like what lifestyle or dietary changes can help your condition, whether you should get further tests, and what prescription medications you may need. Also, ask whether you should see any type of specialist medical professional
Establish a detailed care plan with your doctor’s help
Your doctor can also help you create a care plan to manage your condition. McMaster University explains that personalized care planning allows you to make an action plan, encouraging you to proactively take steps to keep your ailment from worsening. It could include points like diet, exercise, and doctor’s appointments. Writing out your care plan will make it easier to remember and can help hold you accountable, ensuring you stick to it.
Make general healthy living habits a top priority
Research has shown that a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of getting a chronic disease. If you’ve already been diagnosed with an illness, a healthy lifestyle is just as important to helping you stay well. This includes eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding bad habits like smoking cigarettes or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Altogether, these measures can reduce the risk of chronic illness by as much as 80%.
Address the mental side of a chronic condition diagnosis
It’s common for people to experience mental health problems after a chronic condition diagnosis. Anxiety and depression are two prevalent issues worth keeping an eye out for. If you notice you’re struggling emotionally, seek assistance from a mental health professional. Humansense offers online therapy and coaching that you can access wherever you are in the world. They offer a free initial consultation to assess your needs and get you started.
Find ways to manage everyday stress
A chronic condition diagnosis can be stressful. In an unfortunate twist, stress can also worsen many chronic conditions, such as hypertension. It’s thus important to get a handle on the stress in your day-to-day life. Practices like meditation or listening to soothing music can be helpful. Enhance these experiences by investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones to drown out the noise. Verizon has options at a range of price points.
Connect with others who have the same condition
One factor that can contribute to mental health problems following a chronic condition diagnosis is isolation. You may feel alone with your diagnosis and like none of your friends or family know what you’re going through. To avoid such feelings of loneliness, the Mayo Clinic recommends joining a support group. You’ll get valuable encouragement from other people who have your condition and can also receive practical advice on how to best manage it.
Whatever your age, getting diagnosed with a chronic condition can be a disconcerting experience. It’s important to realize that you aren’t alone—and that you still have control over your health. The tips above can help you enhance your physical and mental wellbeing.
For more content on living a happy and healthy life, physically and mentally, check out the Humansense blog.
Guest written article by Diane Harrison from healthpsa.info
Diane decided to create Health PSA after seeing how many people came into the library seeking more info on health and specific medical conditions. She thought it would be great to create a resource for people where they can find easy-to-understand info rather than medical jargon.