From diabetes management to holidays to managing pain at work, we’ve covered a lot of pain news and lifestyle tips during the month of November on Nevada Pain.
Chronic pain–that is, pain that’s lasted three months or more–can affect all areas of life, including work. With revised amendments under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), those with chronic pain may now be able to pursue reasonable accommodations with their employer. As we suggested in the November post on this topic, reasonable accommodations may include office modifications, work accessories, or schedule modifications like working from home or working shortened shifts.
If your work is allowing for modifications at work, or you to bring in your own pain management equipment, we suggested a number of devices that could help. These included:
- Ergonomic desk
- Ergonomic chair
- Heating pad
- Telephone headset or headrest
- Electric teapot
In addition to these devices, we also discussed the importance of taking breaks to get up, stretch, and walk around for managing pain.
Technology is now a fantastic resource for those who want to learn more about their pain, including nerve pain. Videos especially are a great way to increase health literacy (how well a person can find and understand health information) because they are generally short and easy-to-understand. Our Nevada Pain video library, in particular, is a great way to learn more about pain conditions.
As we discussed:
“Exploring Nevada Pain’s videos is an excellent way to learn about nerve pain conditions and treatments. Our main video library is easily navigated by using the tabs across the top of the page, such as “Pain Condition Videos” and “Pain Treatment Videos.” Additionally, the information in each video is conveyed by one of Nevada Pain’s physicians. A link to each condition’s or treatment’s page is embedded in the description of every video, so if after watching a certain video, you want to learn more, it’s easy to do so.”
If videos can help us all understand more about certain conditions, in November we also touched on other virtual sources for information and support.
Teens are a vulnerable segment of the chronic pain population–the ongoing challenges of a health condition are hard to reconcile with the normal challenges of high school, friends, and puberty. Thankfully, one website named Growing Pains is working to help teens with pain. Through their social media site, teens can look to others for inspiration, find advice, share creative works, and meet new friends.
Since November is American Diabetes Month, we also wrote about a few subjects directly related to diabetes management. Since a poor diet and obesity are both risk factors for developing diabetes and increased symptoms, the American Diabetes Association is focusing on ways to cook to help stop diabetes.
As we discussed, you can help prevent diabetes or its symptoms by:
- Avoiding high-sugar foods
- Avoiding artificial sweeteners
- Including whole-grain foods in your diet
- Eating several small meals a day instead of three larger ones
- Practicing good meal planning, while also incorporating snacks
- Cutting the fat
- Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables
- Limiting alcohol
- Stopping smoking
- Taking your vitamins
- Drinking plenty of water
An overall fresh and healthy approach to diabetes management is a lifestyle change that can be done through consistency and practice. In the post, we also recommend some places to find recipe inspiration.
Another related issue for diabetes management is cold weather. Cold weather can cause stress in the body, which may make it more difficult to maintain regulated blood sugar levels. This is on top of the normal holiday temptations.
To help manage symptoms even during the colder months, you should:
- Find new ways to stay warm and toasty
- Exercise more frequently
- Eat warming, healthy foods
- Manage stress levels with exercise or holiday prep
- Drink plenty of water
- Keep your feet warm to prevent neuropathic pain
- Try to avoid getting sick
Taken together, these tips can mean the difference between a holiday season with diabetic flare-ups and pain or a managed, healthier one.
Finally, we went global with our look at diabetes for World Diabetes Day on November 14. Worldwide, diabetes has some grim statistics, including:
- China has the most diagnosed cases of diabetes, with 98.4 million cases in people between the ages of 20 and 79.
- Over 37% of the population of Tokelau has diabetes. That is nearly four out of every ten people.
- There were 382 million people living with diabetes in 2013. That number is projected to rise to 592 million people by the year 2035, an increase of 55%.
- North America will spend 263 billion annually on health costs related to diabetes. The proportion of deaths related to diabetes for people under 60 is 38%.
- European countries will spend 147 billion annually, and their proportion of diabetes-related deaths for people under 60 is 50%.
- The Middle East and North Africa have the highest percentage of the population living with diabetes at just under 12%.
Through advocacy, awareness, education, and research through the year, organizations like the American Diabetes Association and International Diabetes Foundation are hoping to change these statistics and the face of diabetes globally.
Speaking of changing the face of health, one organization does so for men’s health every November. As we discussed in our spotlight on Movember:
“Starting with just 30 original Mo Bros in 2003, Movember has grown to include 4,027,688 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas in 2013. This organization has rasied $559 million dollars since 2003 and funded 770 men’s health projects. In 2013, GQ magazine awarded the Movember Foundation the Social Force of the Year Award.”
By growing your own facial hair and making the pledge, you can help fund programs like men’s health education, prostate cancer research and awareness, and men’s grief counseling.
As the holidays get going, we also covered a topic that is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving: blood donations.
Over the holiday season, blood donations drop precariously. We noted:
“Typically blood donations fall off sharply during the period between Halloween and New Year’s Eve by sometimes as much as 50%. With Thanksgiving being the busiest travel day of the year, this drop in blood donations leaves many blood banks and hospitals in precariously short supply.”
Donation is easy and typically only takes an hour every six weeks. You can look up the nearest blood donation center or event to you and make an appointment to give today.
Finally, November isn’t complete without covering Thanksgiving and its annual practice of gratitude. We hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday yesterday and get to enjoy a relaxing holiday weekend now!
What was your favorite post during November on Nevada Pain?
Image by Andrew via Flickr