Even though coming to know that you have HIV may be an emotionally shocking event for you in the initial stages, with time, you will realize that you need not have to stop living a fully satisfying and healthy life. Advancements in diagnosis and treatment of HIV have ensured that it is possible for you to live just as long as another person. You can do a lot many things for taking care of yourself so that you are fitter, healthier and most importantly, happier. While you must discuss your requirement for appropriate nutrition, physical fitness, and mental health with your healthcare professional, here are some tips that can help:
Undergoing HIV Treatment
Despite rapid advancements in medical science, no cure for AIDS or HIV has yet been found though there are quite a few developments in this field that can change things in the years to come. Even though the current treatment protocols do not deliver a cure, following it in a disciplined way can keep the HIV infection under control and your immunity system robust. The earlier drugs prescribed for HIV had a number of serious side-effects; however, the performance of the new-generation drugs is far better on this count.
With many variants available, if you notice that a particular drug does not suit you, you can discuss it with the healthcare professional attending to you and invariably the medication can be replaced with something else that is as effective but without the side-effect. Since it is vital that you take good care of your health, do not hesitate to consult your doctor in case of any specific symptoms that are bothering you.
After you have been diagnosed with HIV, you need to pay extra care to your diet and ensure that it is balanced without having an excess of sugar, salt or fat. Often this can mean a radical departure from your earlier diet. Instead of resisting the change, you should welcome this opportunity of planning your meals in a healthy way so that your entire family also benefits from the new regimen. If you are either over or underweight, then you should consult your healthcare professional specifically on the steps that you need to take to resolve your weight issues.
Ensure that your daily diet has plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fibers, so include a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits. Have the desired quantity of starchy carbohydrates in the form of rice, bread, and potatoes. Consume lean meat, poultry, eggs, and beans to cater to your protein requirements as well as dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt. Sugars and fats should not be omitted entirely but kept to a minimum.
Many people feel weak and lose muscle strength due to HIV and tend not to exercise to avoid losing further energy. However, keeping fit by exercising is essential for building your muscles, strengthening your bones, burning fat, and keeping the heart healthy. Even if you are not inclined to sports and visiting the gym, you can achieve your fitness objectives by walking, jogging or cycling, playing with children in the park or even enjoying dancing or gardening.
Take care to see that the activities include cardio exercises, resistance, and flexibility training.Cardio exercises help to increase the heart rate, improve blood circulation, keep lungs and heart healthy, and muscles better oxygenated. Resistance training increases muscle strength – a good way is lifting weights under supervision, while flexibility training that is essentially stretching exercises like yoga keeps the muscles strong and the joints mobile. Exercising to keep fit also pays rich dividends in the form of keeping diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, and heart problems at bay. It is also very good in reducing depression and stress.
Apart from the physical aspects of maintaining your health, you need to take good care of your emotional and mental health too. Getting to know of your condition can mean a lot of emotional upheaval for you and is best dealt by seeking support not only from family and friends but also from support groups and help lines that can help you to stay on track with the lessons that they have learned of dealing with HIV. This is also a good time to refocus on your aspirations and life goals – raise a family, change career, travel, or study further. It is important to recognize that you can get on with life very well even if you have HIV.
Isabella Rossellinee is a professional caregiver who has dealt with a number of patients suffering from HIV. She makes it a point to constantly reassure her patients that while no cure for AIDS currently exists, the day is not too far off when an effective treatment is found that will cure it with minimum side effects. Till then, she recommends that patients should take care of their physical and mental health and lead a life that is as healthy and fulfilling as possible.