Tayla Holman

Navigating the Holidays with a Chronic Illness

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, and it can be hard to get into the spirit when you’re living with a chronic illness. While there are a lot of joyful parts about the holidays, there are also some stressful parts. That’s why it’s important to recognize what aspects of the holiday seasons trigger your symptoms and to have a plan in place to reduce them.  Do the holidays make chronic illness worse?  Navigating the holidays with a chronic illness can be difficult, especially when it comes to adhering to your diet, routine, and leaning on your support system.   With holiday events and get-togethers, there can be temptation to abandon the routines that help manage chronic illness symptoms. This can be anything from indulging in foods you wouldn’t normally eat to staying up past your usual bedtime.   The holidays can bring a lot of pressure, too. If you usually host family and friends, you want to do everything possible to make their experience memorable and enjoyable. If you’re used to doing these things yourself but have found your symptoms are worse this year, you might have trouble asking for help or saying no when you need to.  There is often stigma around chronic illness, especially “invisible” diseases like diabetes, depression, or fibromyalgia. You may not feel comfortable discussing your illness with family and friends, and so you keep your symptoms to yourself and isolate.  Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy the holidays despite having a chronic illness by prioritizing self-care and making time for the things that matter most to …

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Unexpected Warning Signs of MS

Multiple sclerosis can be one of the most difficult conditions to diagnose because of the variety of symptoms it causes and the ways they present. Most people with MS experience their first symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40. Sometimes, symptoms can come on suddenly and go away just as quickly. Other times, symptoms will start minimally and progressively get worse. Because MS effects everyone differently, the early warning signs for one person may not be the same as they are for someone else.  Many people with MS experience common symptoms like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, or changes in gait. Other common symptoms of MS include fatigue, bladder problems, and “MS hug.” Although there are other warning signs to look out for, it’s important to recognize that having one or all of them doesn’t mean you have MS. If your body attacks your nervous system just once, and the symptoms last for at least 24 hours, but other conditions have been ruled, your doctor will likely diagnose you with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). While CIS can develop into multiple sclerosis, that isn’t always the case.  Here are some early warning signs of multiple sclerosis to look out for.   Tremor   Tremor is commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease, but some people with multiple sclerosis may experience tremors too. Both diseases affect the central nervous system, but they have different causes. MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheath that forms around nerve fibers, while Parkinson’s is caused by nerve damage to nerve cells in …

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10 Early Warning Signs of CKD

How often do you think about your kidneys? Probably not very often. When your kidneys are functioning properly, it’s easy to forget what a key role they play in your health. But when your kidneys aren’t working as well as they should, your body will send you warning signals to let you know something is wrong. These warnings can be early indicators of chronic kidney disease.   What is chronic kidney disease?  Chronic kidney disease is the gradual loss of kidney function over time. The kidneys’ main job is to filter waste and extra water out of the blood to make urine. When the kidneys are functioning properly, they help maintain a balance of salt and minerals in the blood. They also release a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure.  More than 37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease. However, many people with CKD aren’t aware they have it. That’s because the symptoms can often be attributed to other conditions. Sometimes, people may not experience any symptoms at all until later stages. Because symptoms usually go undetected, chronic kidney disease is often known as a silent disease.  Since there is currently no cure for chronic kidney disease, it’s important to recognize and act upon any warning signs as soon as possible. Here are some early warning signs of chronic kidney disease to look out for.  Changes in urination Although urine …

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