Don’t Let Your Disease Define You!

By the time most of us reach our sixties, seventies and beyond we have faced health challenges. It may be back surgery, cancer, heart problems and other chronic debilitating illnesses. Face with these challenges we have two choices. We can give in to our disease and accept the inevitable. Or we can fight and refuse to let the disease define us.

I have a friend with Multiple Sclerosis who has the most amazing attitude toward life and his disease. He has made a life changing decision. He decided that he would not let Multiple Sclerosis define him. He didn’t want to be known in his words as “The guy with MS”.

That was fifteen years ago when my friend was sixty. He now is seventy-five and leads an active, engaged life with the zest and energy of a much younger man. How did he do it? Did he find a miraculous cure? No, he simply refused to let his disease define him and put barriers on how he wanted to live. Now he readily admits that he went through a period of feeling sorry for himself and angry and fearful at what the future might bring. But early on he shook himself loose from these thoughts and made a decision to fight MS. Here are some of the actions he took.

  1. Became an expert: He research and read everything on the disease.
  2. Took Action: Knowledge is power, but only when you apply your knowledge. So my friend with the help of sound medical advice took action.
  3. Joined a Support Group: He joined local and national support groups and became a local spoke person for persons with disabilities.
  4. Eats Right: He maintains a healthy diet eating only whole foods, lean protein and lots of veggies. He also takes supplements known to improve his condition.
  5. Exercise: He alternates between strengthening exercises and swimming. One day he is lifting weights and the next day swimming a half mile in the morning and again in the afternoon.

The results of all this positive action is that he constantly amazes his doctors. Now unfortunately Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, progressive disease without a cure. My friend now uses a cane for short walks and a scooter for longer treks. But what has not changed is his positive attitude. He does not talk about MS or dwell on the fact that he is handicapped. He would probably bristle at the fact that someone would use the term to define him.

The lesson here is simple, but profound. We all will or have faced challenges in our lives. Hopefully not as challenging as my friend’s. It is not the challenges whether it be a disease, physical impairment, mental or physical problem, but how we deal with these issues that truly makes a difference. Whenever I feel a little tired or just want to roll over and pull the covers over my head I think of what my friend goes through each and every day.

Everything You Need to Know About Disease Management

Disease management is a structure that is designed to improve a person’s health with coordinated interventions, measurements of health care, where self-care efforts can be implemented. Disease management empowers an individual, who is working with the health care provider to manage and prevent his/her disease.

It is designed to help an individual improve their health with any chronic condition and to reduce the costs associated with avoidable complications, like an emergency room visit and hospitalizations.

Disease management includes the following actions:

Identifying patients’ affected by the disease

Determining the most effective ways to treat the disease

It is more like population-based-care or continuous health care improvement. If properly designed, it works on prevention of complications as well as treatment of chronic conditions.

Conditions most commonly chosen for disease management are Asthma, cardiovascular diseases, Coronary artery disease, Congestive heart failure, Angina, Lipid irregularity, Depressive disorders, Diabetes and much more.

What are its benefits?

It improves your health and lets you enjoy a good life. It comes with reduced spending on healthcare costs.

It is created with the complete understanding of the natural course of a disease and the critical areas where more focus is required to reduce the chances of morbidity and mortality.

How can we design an effective disease management program?

DM is a process of reducing healthcare costs and/or DM is a process of reducing healthcare costs and/or improving the quality of life for individuals by preventing/minimizing the effects of a disease usually a chronic minimizing the effects of a disease, usually a chronic condition, through integrative care.

DM involves consists of two streams

• Managing clinical activities

• Interventions for financial outcomes

The Drivers of a Disease management program and their roles in that program:

Program administrators

They are the people who help in the running of a plan and provide useful information on goals, expectations, organizational structure, and incentive programs to the disease management program.

Physicians

The practicing physician’s clinical experience and continuing medical education play a big role, but the system develops every day with significant variation in treating each disease.

Medical specialists must collaborate in developing treatment guidelines, or recommendations from experts should be taken into consideration. Once guidelines are prepared, it can be spread through training programs.

Pharmacists

They participate in formulary decisions, drug treatment protocols, and critical pathway design. Most of these activities involve education and monitoring, for which pharmacists are particularly well trained.

Information managers

Information managers analyze data which helps in designing and operating disease management program. Analyzed data consist of baseline measures which are necessary for comparison later on whether health has been improved and costs are in control.

Information managers help the planning team decide on data formats and determine the importance of current information systems.

Finance managers

The disease management team’s finance experts analyze current costs of health care, and also the cost of the failing to achieve the goal.

Patients

Patient education and intervention of the disease is essential and so is his participation in the management plan. It is very important to measure the progress initially and at the end of the program. In this patient is also made aware of the all pros and cons of the disease so he is mentally prepared. Patient has a profound effect on their clinical outcome and should take their responsibility seriously.

Pharmaceutical companies

Pharmaceutical companies contribute in determining the total cost of an untreated illness and also the natural history of a disease and expenditure on treatment, providing their products on subsidized rate. It also studies other drug using patterns for education programs.

This write-up covers all the basic information about the program and would help you understand the working of it. It is a very effective way of treating diseases, avoiding all the emergency and keeping a person’s disease in control which eventually saves your pocket. However, there’s no claim made about the success of this program, neither about any failure. It is a relatively new program which needs much more recognition.

Multiple Sclerosis Disease – Why MS Patients Are Living Longer Than the Average Healthy Person

When we hear Multiple Sclerosis disease we often think long term and progressive disability. It can be a dooming and powerless feeling to think you have been cursed some how with a random disease and have no idea of the cause let along any idea of how to prevent or cure it.

Somewhere along the way people have become lazy, less of an advocate, and victims in their own health care. It’s understandable to feel despair on a subject matter like this. However, when you can understand and respect the biological system of the human body you better understand that your system has certain requirements for optimum function and performance.

In order to overcome MS, you will have to retake control of your health. There are people who were diagnosed with MS who are living healthier than the so-called average healthy person.

How is that possible?

They assessed their lifestyles, found out what wasn’t working and changed it. Many people who have overcome MS note that they changed their diets, tried different herbs, got more sun, kept active, eliminated heavy metals, balanced their body’s pH,, lowered stress levels, remained optimistic, and sought alternative practitioners who were knowledgeable on the subject.

Herbs

There may not be herbs specifically for MS but there are herbs for the damage MS causes. Herbs for the nerves and brain are ideal. Dherbs.com has a great selection of trustworthy herbal combinations. They even use vegetable capsules instead of gel capsules which are better absorbable for the body system. That way everything swallowed is used for the body’s benefit. They have herbs like lady’s slipper, yerba mate, valerian root, and gotu kola. Just look for their products called Brain Tuner, Mucus Buster, and Nerves Formula.

Diet

You have heard it a million times but there is no way around it. A good diet is your best defense against any illness. You wouldn’t expect hair grease and vinegar to make a car that requires gasoline to function properly. So why would your body be expected to function properly off of things it was not designed to operate off of. The body requires nutrition and tender loving care. When the body has been subjected to inadequate food for a long period of time a malfunction occurs such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and in the case of this article MS.

Sun Bath

That’s right. Getting adequate sunshine without sunscreen is important. Let me be clear….don’t go out and get sun burned. Just allow your body and even your eyes to bask in sunshine from time to time. It is the best source of vitamin D. We spend a lot of time indoors and when outdoors we are “protected” by sunscreen. The human body really misses its connection with nature’s light.

Stay Active

It is tempting to stop moving when issues such as muscle stiffening, fatigue, and staggering set in, but move anyway. Yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi are REALLY good. Qi Gong is the best in my opinion because it really helps the eyes, balance, and blood circulation.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metal problems are found more so in developed nations. Developed nations also have the highest MS cases in addition to other diseases. Stay away from them. They are found in your water, household products, hygiene products and food. Be more aware about what you are purchasing and consuming.

Balance pH

A normal body pH is about 7.3 and most adults are under that meaning they are more acidic than alkaline. In order to perform in optimum capacity you should be balanced. Acidity is caused through consumption of sodas, sugars, salt, starches, dairy and meat. Consuming alkaline water will raise it. Also, the obvious fruits and vegetables especially the green ones will also help balance it.

Better Oxygen

The brain requires adequate oxygen and most people are not receiving that. People usually are not getting enough oxygen because they are not breathing properly. In addition, they are not getting good air quality due to pollution and air poisons. Since MS is a neurological illness, anything that will aid the brain and nervous system is what you want. Practice deep breathing. Slow and deep breathing is good. Investing in an air purifier and household plants would be a good idea. House hold plants are natural air purifiers so coupled with an air purifier would be a wise choice.

Lower Stress

People have gotten themselves in a trap. They are always running, hustling and striving for power, money or status. It is a vicious cycle to be in because the body is not invincible. It was not designed to be under unreasonable stress. Many people get either anxious or angry on a daily basis. That has got to be eliminated if there is going to be any hope of recovery. Realize you can make a difference but you should pick your battles wisely. Find peace of mind.

Remain Optimistic

You have to believe that you can overcome it. The vast majority of society believes it is a doomed situation, so don’t expect much optimism there. This is one of those cases where you are going to have to really see the glass “half full”. Strap up those boots, stir up that will power and see yourself back in good health. Don’t expect it overnight. This is not a race for the swift. You have to have stamina.

Alternative Health Practitioner

A good alternative health practitioner is priceless. They are knowledgeable and caring. When you find one who has ancient and precious knowledge, you feel like you have stricken gold. They are somewhat rare depending on where you live. A few have websites but many are the one’s you hear about through word of mouth. Use one if you feel you can not do this on your own. They will provide assistance where needed.

My mother and aunt were diagnosed with MS. My aunt ended up in a wheel chair and has since died. My mother took a different route. She fights everyday for her right to good health. She stays active even when she had to drag her right leg along She changed her diet and does not let up or give in. She is serious about her quality of health and does what she has to do in order to have it.

I volunteered once to help a MS patient in a rehabilitation center. She was very young, still in her thirties but looked older. She had to have weights on her wrists to keep her from trembling so badly. She used a wheel chair but required most things to be done for her. She really touched my heart because she was once a model and had pictures of herself everywhere. She told me something that stands out in my head everyday. Whenever I begin to get worked up over something, or when I begin to eat something I know I shouldn’t and when I begin to pass up an opportunity to pamper myself and relax, I can hear her say “Be Kind to Yourself”. She had a shaky memory, as some severe case MS patients do, so when she said that, I held on to it.