To a lot of folks, this time in November means a holiday feast with all the trimmings – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pies and other rich foods. But for people living with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it might mean something different.
Today marks the beginning of the 17th Annual GERD Awareness Week (November 23-29). GERD is a common disease spotlighted each year during the week of Thanksgiving. The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) first designated GERD Awareness Week in 1999 to raise awareness for increased research and understanding of the condition. Chronic heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, but there are several less common symptoms associated with GERD that might arise during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Digestive Health Alliance (DHA) has outlined several ways you can get involved and spread awareness during GERD Awareness Week, and the DHA – as well as IFFGD – have several available resources if you’re looking for more information about the condition.
During GERD Awareness Week and all year long, you can connect with more than 4,000 others in the PatientsLikeMe GERD community. Read others’ personal stories about GERD in the Digestive and Intestinal forum and connect with others by sharing your own story.
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It may seem counterintuitive, but according to some of our members, there are actually some good things that can come out of being diagnosed with a serious illness. In the spirit of Thanksgiving – a time when many people are reminded of all the things they have to be grateful for – we thought we would share some of our members’ uplifting sentiments.
From our Fibromyalgia Community, some of the unexpected benefits include:
- Getting to spend more time with children or grandchildren
- Taking advantage of “good days” with a little extra gusto
- Appreciating what you have…and knowing it could be worse
- Refocusing on new hobbies like gardening and meditation
From our Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Community, some of the unexpected benefits include:
- Letting go of the pressurized feeling that you have to do it all
- A deeper understanding of how many people face major challenges
- Discovering new artistic talents, such as painting or needle work
- Slowing down the pace of life and prioritizing sleep – without guilt
From our Epilepsy Community, some of the unexpected benefits include:
- Learning to never judge a person by only what you see
- Becoming more patient and not taking anything for granted
- Filtering out fair-weather friends and uncaring partners
- Having extra motivation to live the healthiest lifestyle possible
What about you? Have you noticed some positive takeaways from your illness? Share them in our comments section in honor of Thanksgiving. And, from everyone at PatientsLikeMe, we wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday!
- Filed Under: ALS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Conditions, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, Multiple Sclerosis, Organ Transplants, Parkinson's Disease, Patient Experiences, Rare Diseases
- Tags: being thankful, benefits of disease, gratitude, inspirational, patient sentiments, thanksgiving, unexpected benefits of illness, uplifting thoughts, upside of illness