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managing health - in a nutshell

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

For your optimal functional health - manage your health labs, check ups with a practitioner.

Health prevention and disease management applies to all of us at some point in our lives. Staying on track with lab testing, check ups and proper nutritional habits is part of the process of achieving functional health
Managing health starts with lab testing to evaluate any imbalances or health issues before they become problematic

Every person faces some challenges regarding their health every now and then. Even the healthiest of us can get sick but what matters is how we manage it. It is important to manage illnesses as they occur to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Ignoring and not taking care of our health issues earlier can lead to further damage. That is why it is important to know what is normal and what isn’t normal about our body functions to keep track of your health.

Initiating changes toward total wellness can change any life, but there will be challenges along the way.

In life, we all face minor ailments at some point. It could be anything, from minor aches to cramps. These minor ailments are often overlooked due to our ongoing commitments. At times we are caught up in work or a personal affair and ignore a building-up ailment. We fail to realize this can turn fatal in the long run if we keep ignoring it. We know our bodies better than anybody else. But assuming that maintaining a balanced diet and an active lifestyle can prevent all the ailments is not entirely true. Despite having a healthy lifestyle, we can experience any form of illness.

In order to avoid any illness or injury from prolonging or turning fatal, it is important to recognize what your body is telling you. Pain and disease are the symptoms that your body is not doing well. A crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy life is to manage issues as they occur and do so effectively. But how can you manage it?

Managing Pain

Pain is a very common condition experienced by people. There are several causes of pain. The common causes are underlying medical conditions, injury, and even surgery. The intensity and occurrence of pain increase as people get older. Before we talk about managing pain, we need to understand that not all pains are the same. Certain types of pain can be short-term, while others can be long-term.

Acute Pain

It is a normal body response to any injury. It is usually short-lived.

Chronic Pain

This lasts beyond the expected healing time. It lasts for longer than three months and is often an indicator of an underlying illness that needs immediate medical attention.

Having understood where the two types of pain come from, we need to know that the nature of pain can be different. It can be in a particular part of your body or widespread. It can be a dull ache in your body or a sharp stab, ranging from mild intensity to extreme.

Understanding the cause and the effect of pain on your body can help you cope and manage your pain.

Pain management includes:

· Pain killers/pain-relieving medicines

· Psychological therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, meditation, and relaxation techniques

· Physical therapies such as exercises, hot or cold packs, and massage

· Body and mind techniques such as acupuncture

Out of these, medication is not advised for a prolonged period of time. Medication to relieve pain can have several side effects on the body, which is why it is important to avoid additive prescription of medicines unless it is necessary. It is ensured by a doctor to be safe for you. The reason behind this is what most of us already know, but let’s have a look at some of them.

Negative Effects of Pain-Relieving Medicines

Side effects of pain-relieving medicines can be minor or serious, all depending on the type of medicine, dosage, and how long it is consumed.

· Liver damage and skin rash if taken in a large dose for a long time

· Nausea and vomiting

· Stomach ulcer

· Constipation

· Asthma attack

· Tinnitus (ringing in ears)

· Kidney damage/failure and bleeding

· Headache

· Upset stomach

· Heartburn

· Tiredness

· Confusion

· Dizziness

· High blood pressure

· Increased risk of heart attack

· Angina pain

· Stroke

· Reduced physical coordination and balance

· Slowed down breathing

· Accidental fatal overdose

Managing Pain without Medicine

Several non-medicinal treatments can help you manage pain. A combination of these therapies and treatments brings effective results rather than just one. A healthcare professional can guide you to choose what can work best for you, though I have listed some generic techniques for you to adapt when necessary.

· If you have an injury, you can reduce pain and swelling by using heat or cold. Heat packs are more effective for chronic muscle or joint injury pain relief.

· Exercising helps with pain relief, but you should take it slow and avoid overdoing it. It includes walking, aerobic exercises, strengthening or stretching to keep you mobile.

· For soft tissue injuries, massage is effective. It should be avoided if the pain is in your joints. Massage helps manage the pain but is not recommended as a long-term therapy.

· Relaxation and stress management techniques can help relieve pain.

· Cognitive behavior therapy is effective for the management of chronic pain. It helps you learn to change the way you think, feel, and behave about your pain.

· Acupuncture is another non-medicinal treatment for pain relief and is a component of traditional Chinese medicines. It helps with the release of natural pain-relieving compound in the body called endorphins and encourages healing. This practice is known among people to reduce the severity of pain and enables better body functioning.

· Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy involves a minute electric current being passed through the body. It is done through electrodes and promotes pain-relieving responses from your body. People with chronic pain can benefit from this treatment.

Managing Persisting Pain

Sometimes, people experience pain that is not easily relieved. It continues to persist, and you may feel worried, fearful, and even sad when you do not get rid of it. The following are the suggestions that can help you manage persistent pain.

· Find out about your pain and condition that you are experiencing so that you do not fret unnecessarily.

· Constant pain can lead to depression. Try to prevent it and find any means that can work for you to ease your depression, for depression can lead to further health problems. Talk to your friends and doctors.

· Do not try to get rid of the pain by increasing the dose of pain medicine on your own. Talk to the doctor first. Consuming a high dosage of pain medication can lead to further harm.

· Get all the rest you need. Improve your physical health by eating and resting well.

· Seek help from healthcare professionals and find out about new pain-coping therapies that you have not tried but can work for you.

Managing Disease

Even the healthiest among us can suffer from a disease from time to time. Managing the effects and overcoming challenges is a crucial aspect of the total wellness mindset. While doctors play an important role in your care when you are diagnosed with a disease, it is important to acknowledge the way you manage your disease. With the widespread diseases and occurrences of patients being diagnosed with multiple conditions, self-management of diseases is important whether the type of disease is chronic or acute.

If you are diagnosed with a disease, you cannot rely on doctors solely to help you. Your involvement is important, too, and you need to grasp your role in disease management. It may seem like common sense, but many patients give up on their disease and feel like they can do nothing about it. Your involvement plays a vital role in managing your disease. If you are to give up, you will not be able to adjust to the alterations in life that come with a disease. You will need to accept, acknowledge, and adapt to your life as per the disease.

You need a regular checkup by a doctor, but the routine management of the disease will have to be done by you. This involves but is not limited to:

· Keep your dietary limitation in mind.

· Do not overdo yourself while exercising, but keep in mind your physical limitations.

· Medication can have side effects. Learn how you can lessen the effects.

· Find out how certain medications interact with other medications.

· Know how to access a network of professionals and from whom further information can be sought. This way, you can prevent further complications.

· Aim for a healthy weight. An unhealthy weight leads to further health issues.

· Do not ignore everyday symptoms such as indigestion, dizziness, lethargy, or chronic cough. These symptoms are often indicators of an underlying medical condition.

· Know your numbers. The numbers here refer to your blood pressure level, blood glucose level, and cholesterol level. Keep track of the intake of each category and get your vitals checked regularly.

· Regular tests such as blood pressure and blood sugar screening give important information about your health.

Pain and disease can interfere with a person’s daily activity level. To avoid any disruption and enjoy life with quality, it is important to sustain a healthy behavior and management of our body. If you are experiencing pain or living with a disease, collaborate with your doctor to know how you can manage your condition effectively and efficiently. It supports you in building the confidence and skills you need to lead a healthy life and achieve total wellness.

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