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Before getting heavily into treatments with supplements, dietary change, detoxification/binders others, it is a good idea to tend to the basics. These include
A pain and flare managment plan
Pain and flares are part and parcel of EI. Unfortunately, this is also the case during the healing the process.*
There are many things you can do to manage and reduce pain and flares – see resources at https://www.painaustralia.org.au/getting-help/right-care/multidisciplinary-pain-management
However, you should develop this plan with the help of your physician, as while some strategies wok well for some, others do not. Your plan needs to catered to your individual circumstances.
*during the healing process, it is not unusual to experience symptom intensification, prior to resolution. Resolution can be fast for some, but for most it is a gradual process that happens over time.
Simplify Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and get Support as necessary
Support can come in many forms, e.g. friends, family, other – occupational therapist, psychologist, home care services (funded or private) with a good understanding of your health concerns. If you simplify your life e.g. live more minimally and do things differently (compartmentalise, pace, follows core structures and routine) reliance on care and help can be reduced providing more independence and improved self esteem.
- improving sleep with better sleep hygiene and environment modification (sensory friendly, allergen and environmentally friendly) will support immune, nervous system and gut health, and improve detoxification. The brain elimination toxins while you sleep. Certain light waves – exposure gained by being outside and looking towards the sunrise early morning and the sunset can help with sleep by increasing the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. If you live in a dark cloudy environment consider light therapy (light box).
Breathing and Thoughts
- Mindfulness, self hypnosis and breathing exercises and programs (like Amygdala Retraining/neural retraining) that can help disrupt unhelpful and anxious thoughts can help reduce pain, panic and anxiety.
Water is involved in many metabolic processes, and helps create a stable environment for our cells. Hydrated cells are better at acquiring nutritition and eliminating wastes. The water we consume must be very clean, and free from contaminants. Filtering drinking water, and also bathing and showering water is recommended. If despite drinking 2 litres of water a day you find you are still thirsty and also experiencing symptoms typically associated with dehydration, fatigue, dry skin, dry mouth, low motivation, dificulty thinking, you may need more minerals and electrolytes gained through food and supplements (recommended by your doctor).
Movement can help support detoxification, and health (physical, mental, emotional). Movement however can also amplify pain and fatigue in some people, ie, those of us with NID – EI (CFS). However this does not mean movement should be avoid, instead we need to pace our movement carefully and stand up and mobilise frequently. Moving onto a Graded Exercise Therapy program as soon as possible. Doctor and physical therapist designed prefferrably. Movement and exercise can help reduce pain (neuropathic other) and reverse health concerns linked to deconditioning, but it needs to be catered to your individual energy limits, mobility and fluidity. For some people (not for CFS) online programs (foundation training), yoga podcasts and fluid training (https://michelledrielsma.com) may be suitable.
A clean environment (work and home) can provide very significant symptom relief to anyone experiencing environmental illness – SBS, MCS, MCAS, CIRS and also people with allergies, asthma (and other lung disease), sinitus, Vasomotor Rhinitis. A clean environment can also protect you from building related illness and non specific symptoms linked to poor air quality- typically attributed to panic or stress!
A clean environment is low in pollutants – chemical gases (VOCS), and pathogens – fungi/mold and germs. A clean environment at home can be maintained by following healthy home tips from resources like: –
(a very good resource)
For people with CIRS – mold illness it is critical the home is very low in mold, this can be difficult to achieve without guidance from a CIRS / mold illness health practitioner and help from a building biologist.
Non Toxic Products
It is important to use non toxic – low irritant products, – fragrance free for MCS and Vasomotor rhinitis.
Some resources that can help you make safer product choices include
- EPAsaferchoice.com https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice
For people with very severe MCS, VMR – fragrance senstivity it is best to use as fewer a products as possible and rotate them frequently.