complaining about having to hobble around on crutches after a
small mishap with my horse last week. "Sure is
uncomfortable to get around," I said to a patient at the
Community Hospital of the Monterey (Calif.) Peninsula, where I
work as a registered dietitian..
is," she said, pointing to her very pregnant tummy.
laughed and took comfort in the fact that at least our
"conditions" are temporary. Not all health issues
resolve in few weeks or months, however. Problems such as
chronic pain, arthritis, diabetes or breathing problems can
last a lifetime.
news: Ongoing health issues respond favorably to healthful
lifestyle choices, say experts. Extra protein, calcium and
vitamin C, for example, mend broken bones and build strong
babies. These nutrients also provide strength and
reinforcement to bodies living with chronic conditions. Here
are some other ways to improve life when living with a chronic
inflammation: Pain and swelling are normal when my body goes
to work to heal my injured foot. When this inflammatory
response does not turn off, however, the bodyís immune
system turns against itself and is harmful. In fact, many
diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease are now
linked to this process of chronic inflammation.
colored fruits and vegetables, including berries and leafy
greens, are brimming with substances that turn off
inflammation. Likewise, certain types of fats ó such as
omega-3 fats found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and
sardines ó can suppress inflammation, say researchers. On
the other hand, saturated fats found in high fat meats and
cream sauces can turn on the inflammatory response.
weight: Dealing with a chronic health condition is no time to
beat yourself up with unreasonable expectations of how much
you should weigh. It is the time, however, to carefully
evaluate every bite of food and ask yourself, "Is this
nourishing my health or making my condition worse?"
physical activity: Frustration, pain and fatigue often
accompany chronic health conditions. Sometimes these symptoms
are relieved with reasonable activity, say experts. And
besides building strength and endurance, exercise also turns
on "I feel better" hormones in our brains.
adequate sleep. Inflammatory hormones are turned off during
deep sleep. And itís during sleep that the body restores and
some help with managing an ongoing health condition? Many
facilities around the country now offer Living Well workshops
based on a successful program developed at Stanford
make sure you have really good doctors to help you manage your