“From the bitterness of disease man learns the sweetness of health.”
– Catalan Proverb

We can't control everything going on with our bodies, but we need to learn to control that which is still within our control, so we can strive to change where we're at! The odds often seem heavily stacked against us, but that doesn’t leave us powerless in the fight. We can CHOOSE to do what is within our control to try and counter all that's happening to our bodies. The single most important item within our control is our attitude! We don’t have to ignore our reality or turn a blind eye to the negative aspects of our conditions to have a positive attitude. We can choose to frame things in a positive light. For example, if I am no longer able to walk as far as I could this time last year, I can look upon that situation with an air of defeat… or I can remind myself that I was also unable to walk that far three years ago, but with determination, with time I made progress! It may be unfair that I must start over again, but I am worth every ounce of effort that it takes to do so. I can acknowledge the unfairness, and then choose to focus on making progress towards my goal. A positive attitude is not going to will Chiari or EDS away, but it can improve our experience of living with these conditions.
When you’re not feeling good the last thing we usually want to do is spend time cooking, but what we eat can increase inflammation and inflammation increases pain and much more. Inflammation is the immune system’s response to anything that it perceives as an attack on the body. As Chiari & Comorbid patients, we tend to have elevated Sedimentation rate (ESR) and High sensitivity c-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels, both of which point to problems with inflammation. With so many things out of our control with our conditions, it’s important that we gain control of the things that we can, and what we choose to put in our mouths is something that we can control. And just like what we choose to eat can cause inflammation, the good news is that it can also decrease inflammation.
While exercise is difficult, for most of us it is not impossible – in fact, it is imperative that we try and increase our movement the best that we can! The complications and pain associated with failing to move are astounding. If you think it’s bad now, it most definitely can get much worse. Try finding a comfortable activity such as walking, tai chi or water aerobics – whatever you choose, make sure that it’s low-impact (meaning one foot always stays on the floor). Keep in mind where you want to be but realize that it’s going to take time to build your way from where you are. So, don’t let your starting point discourage you. Set physical goals for yourself. If you’re doing a little more than you did yesterday, last week, last year, you’re moving in the right direction and it will get easier if you keep moving in the right direction, so don’t let yourself quit! If you require a break, take a day off or shorten your goal for the day, then get back to moving. Your persistence will increase your endurance and overall health!
It’s easy to be stressed when you’re dealing with pain, but stress is terrible for our central nervous systems and can cause an increase in neurological pain/symptoms. Your brain, spine, and nerves hate stress. Its effects can reach nearly every system in your body from your Central Nervous System (CNS), Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS), Peripheral Nervous System (PNS), to your Enteric Nervous System (ENS). Even your Immune System sees its effects and concludes it as an invader that it must attack, lowering your immune response to other things that it might encounter.
Have you fought the fight and have a passion to help other EDS/Chiari/Comorbid improve their quality of life through diet, exercise, or stress management? If so, joining our Health & Fitness Team might be the perfect place to help make a difference!

We are looking to organize a team committed to helping patients learn natural means of reducing pain and improving symptoms.

For more information, see our listing!