One key to avoiding holiday stress is knowing that it’s okay just to say, “No, I’m not participating.”Read More
Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, and Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon” Even for the healthy, the holidays can be incredibly stressful. Some surveys have even found that people are more stressed by the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas than by asking the boss for a raise! But when you have: Diabetes Diabetic neuropathy…Read More
Here is a proven fact. All of healthcare in fact you could argue most of life our “decisions” are made pitting risks versus benefits. As adults we ask ourselves and teach our children, do our actions today set us up for a healthier and better future or not?
What if we take no action at all? Is that better than doing something?
All of these are decisions that you need to make along with your healthcare providers on a regular basis. You see everything we do is risks versus benefits. This is so important to understand. Make no mistake about modern science and medicine have developed amazing treatments.This also includes what we do here. We are continually working on treatments to help neuropathy and chronic pain patients.
Do YOU Always ASK your clinicians Is the cure is worse than the problem?
So, what if instead, we as both doctors and patients took a very strong look at the underlying causes of so much of illness and treated those first?
You know, all those things just get us into trouble. Poor dietary habits especially over the long haul, inactivity, cigarette smoking, not paying attention to stress and emotional health. I’m sure you get the picture.
What if we did all of those things before we prescribed for patients neuropathy and chronic pain treatment drugs, or surgical procedures that could cause significant harm.
For example, if doctors and patients paid more careful attention and worked together just like we do in NeuropathyDR Treatment Centers on weight loss and lifestyle, far less patients would be placed on statin medication.
Statin medications as you probably know are one major cause of neuropathy..
What if instead of injecting patients, and suggesting invasive procedures early on what if we both make sure as doctors and patients that all conservative treatment options were exhausted first?
You already know the answer…
You understand, as your NeuropathyDR clinician does, that’s all good neuropathy and chronic pain treatment is risks vs benefits!
So why not learn more today? Why not take actions that will help you live much more fully, without devastating side effects.
Make all your decisions about your neuropathy and chronic pain treatment very carefully!
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Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, especially if you have neuropathy or chronic pain!
Even for the healthy, the holidays can be incredibly stressful.
Some surveys have even found that people are more stressed by the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas than by asking the boss for a raise!
But when you have:
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Post-Chemotherapy neuropathy
Since you now have the stress of the holidays to deal with too, your health could take a serious beating—that will take you months to recover from.
Here are some steps you can take to make the holidays (and the months following them) a little easier to deal with:
1. Understand How Stress Affects Your Body
Stress (both mental and physical) causes the body to release hormones that prompt the liver to secrete glucose. That can wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels if you suffer from diabetes. In Type 2 diabetics, stress can also block the release of insulin from the pancreas and leave that extra insulin floating around in the bloodstream. In Type 1 diabetes, the effects are a little different. Some Type 1 diabetics say that stress drives their glucose up, while others maintain that stress drives their glucose down. Either way, your energy levels are wrecked. On a good day, that can be difficult to deal with. At the holidays, it can be pure misery.
If you are feeling stressed and your energy is especially low, you are less likely to pay attention to your glucose levels, or eat as you know you should. Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, and Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon”
2. Do What You Can To Reduce Mental Stress
Many of the things that stress us at the holidays are easy to manage or control. Make your life as easy as possible during this trying time.
If traffic really works your nerves, leave home a little earlier or try getting to work by a different route and avoid the areas that are particularly congested.
If your boss is a nightmare, plan to take vacation around the holidays if at all possible, and give yourself a mental break.
Volunteer to help with the holiday activities of a local charity. Doing something good for someone else is a wonderful way to make someone else’s life better and make you feel good at the same time.
Resolve to start a new exercise program, learn a new skill, or start a hobby as soon as the holidays are over. Enlist a friend to do it with you so you can encourage each other. Giving yourself a goal and something to look forward to after the grind of the holidays is over will do wonders for your state of mind.
3. How Do You Cope?
Everyone has a coping style. Some people are the take-charge type and take steps immediately to solve their problems. Other people just accept the problem, recognize that they can’t fix it, acknowledge that it’s probably not as bad as it could be, and go their merry way. Still, others are hand wringers and feel perpetually out of control.
The take-chargers and accepters have less problems with stress, both at the holidays and on a daily basis—as a result, their blood glucose levels don’t become elevated.
One of the most useful things you will ever learn (diabetic or not) is to relax. For many, the ability to relax is not natural, but it can be learned. Some ways to help you relax are:
Sit down or lie down without your arms or legs crossed. Inhale deeply. Push as much air as possible out of your lungs. Repeat the process but , this time, relax your muscles while you exhale. Start with this exercise for 5 minutes at a time and increase your time until you’re practicing breathing at least 20 minutes at a time, once a day.
Progressive Relaxation Therapy
Tense your muscles then relax them. Lie still and repeat the process for 5 minutes at a time, at least once a day.
We can’t say enough about the benefits of exercise. As we’ve said before, you don’t have to run a marathon to get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. You can walk or stretch, too.
Watch Your Mindset
When it comes to reducing stress, a lot can be said for the power of positive thinking. It’s really easy to let your mind overwhelm you this time of year…
“I’ll never get it all done…”
“What if they don’t like what I give them?”
“Oh man, I have to spend time with my brother again this year…”
Just watch your mindset and you can eliminate much of the stress of the holiday season. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Say a prayer or recite a poem or a quote that makes you feel good. Think of something that makes you happy. It may sound trite, but go to your happy place.
Choose one or more of these methods to relax and do it daily. Relaxing doesn’t come naturally to us, but we can definitely learn to do it with practice, and the health benefits are beyond measure.
Face the fact that many holiday stressors are not going away. The relative you don’t get along with, the traffic, the never-ending list of things to do will always be there.
But you can learn to manage the holiday stress. And if you can learn to manage holiday stress, just think of what you can do the rest of the year.
Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ doctor or physical therapist to explore ways to handle the holiday stress and make it a healthier and more enjoyable experience this—and every—year, even with neuropathy or chronic pain!
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