It is frightening for someone to diagnose with a disease which is chronic, progressive and autoimmune means the immune system of the body starts killing its own healthy cells. Various strategies are available to the patient to cope with mixed connective tissue disease.
How To Cope With Mixed Connective Tissue Disease?
Various strategies for coping with the symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease includes gathering information, healthy diet, exercise, stress management, sound sleep, and emotional counseling.
Collect Information About The Disease. The patient should make himself well-informed regarding mixed connective tissue disease. This information can be collected by asking questions to the healthcare professionals, by reading books related to the disease and through the internet. This will help the patient in analyzing the condition, effectively coping with the symptoms and live a quality life.
Search Communities. The patient should search for a chronic illness support group and should become a part of any such group. This will help in evaluating the situation in a better way because the group comprises patients with all stages of the disease i.e. mild, moderate and severity. Further, the people will discuss their symptoms with each other, and all the group members suggest the tips to manage symptoms. This leads to sharing and caring.
Manage Stress. Maintaining a positive attitude is essential to cope with the symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease. Stress relieving activities such as yoga and medications should be incorporated into the daily routine and the patient should involve himself in his favorite activities.
Take Sound Sleep. Sound and uninterrupted sleep help in providing the required energy to fight the symptoms of the disease. Further, it will help the body to manage pain.
Healthy Diet. Healthy diet immensely helps in managing the symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease. It also helps in healing the damages done by the disease. The patient can cope with this condition by incorporating some foods in his diet. Diet of the patient should contain omega-3 fatty acids to manage the neurological symptoms. Iron-rich foods are incorporated to cope with iron deficiency anemia. The digestive system can be kept healthy by taking fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
Exercises. Exercise is a good option for patients in coping with the symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease. Exercise should be done strictly according to the advice of the physiotherapist other it may do more harm than good. Mild weight lifting exercises and aerobics can be done by the patients. Aqua rehab is currently popular among the patients and these rehabs also include swimming in their program.
Emotional Counseling. Patient should be provided with emotional counseling. As the patients are under severe stress due to a chronic, progressive autoimmune disease, they should be able to manage the possibility of social isolation. This can be done when the emotions of the patients are taken care of.
Complications Of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
If the symptoms of the mixed connective tissue disease are not properly managed, it may lead to serious complications. Following are the complications that may be caused by mixed connective tissue disease.
Cardiovascular Complications. The disease may progress into various cardiological complications. This includes increased blood pressure, pericarditis, arrhythmia, and altered lipid profile. The other complications include hypercholesterolemia, endothelial dysfunction, and increased oxidative stress.
Neurological Complications. Connective tissue may also progress to cause neurological complications. The complications include a severe headache, reduced cognitive dysfunction, and seizures.
GIT Complications. GIT complications such as reduced esophageal mobility and severe heartburn are caused due to mixed connective tissue disease. The patient may also experience difficulty swallowing and abdominal pain.
Kidney Complications. Nephropathy is one of the common complications of mixed connective tissue disease and if not managed in an early stage, may lead to chronic kidney disease. Another serious complication is scleroderma renal crisis.
Pulmonary Complications. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is the complication with the highest mortality rate in patients with mixed connective tissue disease. Other complications are interstitial lung disease, fibrosis, and pleural effusion.
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