Wellness Wednesday: Smart Nutrition for Those Living with Disease

myplate_blueLiving with a health disorder or disease, like diabetes or high blood pressure, can be life changing and there are often factors associated that are out of one’s control. The good news is that you can prevent and control many disease risk factors with lifestyle changes – including eating a healthier diet.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics what we eat plays a role not only in managing illness, but also preventing it. For example, a well-balanced diet can help keep our immune systems strong and that is an important safeguard against disease and illness.

If you have a chronic condition, a carefully planned menu can make a difference. For instance, incorporating heart-healthy foods into your eating plan can help prevent and lower high blood pressure and this reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

If you would like to know what a healthier diet would look like for you, the first place to turn is to your Primary Care Physican (PCP).

Having a PCP who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

When you’re being treated for a disease or condition, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care.

For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation (like chest pain or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency room. For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your PCP, going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money.

Even if you require emergency or urgent care for your health situation, it’s always best to have a relationship with a PCP who knows your history and understands what is happening with your health over time.

You can find a Mercy physician by visiting www.mercyhealth.org/find-a-doctor.

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