Do you ever feel a bit powerless when thinking about our disease? As if there's very little that can be done to change the progression of Sjogren's Syndrome?
I do. Especially since it appears that there are so many unknowns about the causes and treatment for autoimmune diseases.
I find this infographic tweeted by rheumatologist Dr. Paul Sufka somewhat reassuring. Empowering. Why? Because the biggest risks contributing to mortality according to the NHS are things over which I definitely have some control:
- Smoking? Never started, so that's an easy one.
- High blood pressure and...
- ....High cholesterol can be controlled especially if the next risk -- obesity -- is also addressed.
- Ah. Obesity. That's an issue for me.
- Fruits and veggies? Consumed in abundance. Check.
- I find physical inactivity also to be problematic. Granted, Sjogren's and it's fatigue contributes a great deal towards inactivity but for me, there's definitely room for improvement here.
- I just don't tolerate alcohol any more; so my consumption is zip. Nada.
It's important for me to see information like this. It makes me realize that while there's no doubt that my autoimmune diseases have had an enormous impact on my life, there's other extremely important factors that contribute to my health over which I DO have some control.
Hm. (Diet) food for thought.