It’s believed that up to 14% of the world’s population has been infected with Lyme disease. For some, the condition clears up after a course of antibiotics, but for others, the illness becomes a long-term or even chronic situation.
Some of the symptoms and knock-on effects of the condition can impact your quality of life, but there are several ways they can be mitigated. If you or someone close to you is dealing with Lyme disease, here are some steps to make life better and reduce the stress that comes from the diagnosis.
Dealing With the Emotional Side of Illness
When someone gets diagnosed with an illness, there’s the physical ailment aspect that has to be dealt with, but the emotional effects can’t be ignored either. Like dealing with any chronic condition, a lot comes with finding out that you have Lyme disease, including questions about the implications it will have on your life, how to go about getting treatment and getting back to your normal routine.
Some people who suffer from chronic Lyme disease start experiencing long periods of anxiety and even depression from having to live with this condition. All these emotions need to be dealt with as a part of the healing process – whether it’s getting counseling to come to terms with the diagnosis or addressing any residual trauma from the whole ordeal.
Whether you currently suffer from Lyme disease or have had it before, one of the most important things you can do is implement pillars of a healthier lifestyle. Being healthy improves your quality of life, and also aids your body in the healing process.
Some of the measures you can put in place include:
Movement isn’t just great for your physical body, it also provides a great emotional boost. Since Lyme disease can affect your joints, the best form of exercise is low-impact resistance training that doesn’t exert too much strain on the body. It will help with things like stiffness and aches.
Dialed-in diet and nutrition
What you eat has a huge bearing on the severity of your symptoms. An anti-inflammatory diet will help reduce the pain and discomfort of the disease, which provides your body with much-needed nutrients and support. Lyme disease is typically addressed with a rather aggressive course of antibiotics, and this can wreak havoc on your gut health, so make sure you’re eating correctly to mitigate this. It’s also very helpful to explore lyme disease supplements that give the body additional support to recover.
Sleep and stress
Our health isn’t just affected by what we eat and how much we exercise. Sleep and stress management are key pillars we need to be paying close attention to. The less sleep you get, the more bogged down your body is by stress hormones, and the more it has to contend with, which makes healing harder. If you have stress in your life, make a concerted effort to reduce it as much as possible. Stress has been found to directly impact your physical health, and its tentacles reach into everything, including our metabolism, gut health, and recovery.
Having an illness like Lyme disease can be a very isolating and lonely experience, but it’s more important than ever to plug into a community. It might be hard to feel like a person without the disease could relate, so why not lean into online communities specifically targeted at people with Lyme disease? These communities are available all over the internet, and joining one can help you feel less lonely and can even provide you with management tips from people who are living with the condition. Having a place to make your voice heard and to share everything you’re going through will help you cope emotionally. Don’t knock the support of people in your family and friend circle who don’t have the illness; they can still offer a shoulder to cry on and support to help you get through the hard days.
A Lyme disease diagnosis can come with many challenges – from physical ailments to emotional isolation. The good news is, there are ways to mitigate them and still live a fulfilling and happy life. While there will be parts of the experience that aren’t so great, there are things we can place into our lives to cope better and promote the healing process.