Living with HIV is not the same as it was 20 or 30 years ago. It was practically viewed as a death sentence, but thankfully with the world of modern medicine, we can look to living to a ripe old age as long as we are careful with certain lifestyle aspects. We need to look after our mind as much as we need to look after our body, and it is all about keeping focused as well as keeping healthy. Here are some key things if you or a loved one with HIV will need to focus on.
Look After Your Mental Health
Stress is a killer whichever way you look at it, and living with a disease like HIV can make you delve into some dark places. Depression, guilt and anxiety are rife, but they can also wreak havoc on your immune system! We don’t tend to think of our brains and bodies being synonymous with each other, and that they are two different things. But you need to understand the effect that stress can have on your whole life. Practice mindfulness, go and meditate, do yoga, anything that helps to alleviate those feelings of stress. The stress a partner or loved one goes through can be a big impact on your own wellbeing. So talk to them, see how they are. Financial implications of living with a life-threatening disease can take a major toll, take out a life insurance policy if it helps with peace of mind. If your partner needs to take time out to help you, they may be put out of pocket. In case the unforeseeable should arise, it makes sense to take one out. The link www.insurancehero.org.uk/types/hiv-life-insurance.html shows the details with regards to taking out a life insurance policy when you are HIV positive.
Look After Your Gut
HIV affects T cells, which are in the lymphoid tissues in your stomach. As a result, you may have a lot of gastrointestinal problems. Having a healthy gastrointestinal tract is essential to helping antiretroviral medication absorb properly. So if you go for a high fibre diet, rich in nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes, this will help to maintain a healthy gut. Probiotic supplements are also a very good way to look after your gut bacteria.
Look After Your Body
Exercise is not only good for controlling your weight and fight cardiovascular disease, but it can also help to boost your T cells. Not only that, but the endorphins we produce when we exercise is an automatic mood booster, helping your immune system, and it will help you to sleep better. Aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day will help you to feel the benefits, and it doesn’t need to be boring gym stuff either! Do what you enjoy, run, dance, walk, as long as it gets the heart pumping! And as an added bonus, exercising to music can help to fight off the signs of mental deterioration, which is a side effect with HIV and ageing, so get your tunes out!