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When Diet & Lifestyle Changes Are Not Enough

Posted Nov 09 2011 6:30pm
Photo Credit: Stargardener on flickr.com

Life's journey. We hope that it will be long, filled with beauty and a variety of uninterrupted pleasures - clear skies, traveling from mountain top to mountain top, never touching the ground. Yet, reality creeps in and rains on our proverbial parade.

Those of us living with chronic pain and/or illness follow winding roads and endure some pretty alarming storms. We may do everything in our power to "get better," see improvement and then suddenly hit a road block. Frustration ensues. This is particularly true when well-meaning "others" toss less than helpful advice in our path - more debris for us to clean up before we can get moving again.

(You know those people. You've more than likely been one of those people at one time or another. I know I have. The desire to fix problems for those we love compels us to say something, anything. Right?)

Worse yet, there are Gurus out there shouting from the rooftops that if we only do {fill in the blank} we will be completely healed. Free from illness and pain. To them I say -  Thank you. For I know you mean well. But, your perception is inaccurate. No matter what we do, some of us will still need medical help. While food is our medicine, we are sometimes forced to acknowledge the need for additional measures.

I am in that place. Despite maintaining an almost pristine diet for the past 3+ years, getting lots of rest and even (in spite of myself) gentle exercise, I find that my health is spiraling downhill. I've tried slamming on the brakes. Someone must have cut the brake line! ;-) At any rate, a myriad of symptoms have reared their ugly heads. No diet, exercise program, herb, or natural remedy has been able to banish them. Thus...I've called on the help of specialists and begun a series of doctor visits at the Mayo Clinic in order to ascertain the cause of said symptoms. Mind you, I hadn't been under a doctor's care other than for quickie emergency visits in the previous10 years. I'm not good at asking for help and I'm not a fan of the medical profession as a whole when it comes to the way Rheumatoid Arthritis & female symptoms are dealt with - though I do love, respect and appreciate all of our precious relatives and friends in said field. Thus far, the medical professionals with which I'm interacting have been supportive, friendly, and even appreciative of my rather tenacious determination to take full responsibility for personal health and wellness.

At the same time, my youngest kiddos (who DO see doctors regularly - I am not even remotely shy when it comes to asking for help for my children) are in need of some medical intervention from the pros as well. They too are being seen by specialists at Mayo - though for much different reasons - all related to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome . (I must mention here that I am incredibly grateful for the hub's job and good medical coverage.) We're spending more than our share of time in physician's offices these days.

I'm not sharing this with you as a complaint. It is just part of our journey with genetic and autoimmune disorders. My hope is that knowing what we're going through will encourage you to get extra help when you need it or to reach out to others. Plus, I just needed to say out loud (or at least in writing) that not all ailments can be cured with diet and lifestyle changes.

That said - go to your kitchen and make yourself something healthy to eat. Just because food can't cure all ills, doesn't mean it isn't the best thing you can do to support your health. I'm off to drink a green smoothie. Peace and health to you, my friends. :-)
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