I never thought I’d find myself here, seeing doctor’s and specialists, naturopaths and myotherapists, diabetes educators, CBD practitioners, scans and steroid injections into spine and shoulders. It’s infinite, but the budget is finite.
So how did I get here? I’m in my 50s, diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes and Thyroid Disease, two metabolic disorders. These two conditions are, in my humble unqualified though thoroughly researched view, the manifestation of decades of sustained stress and resultant lifestyle and yes, diabetes does have a genetic pre-disposition.
Some of you will be going through this with me, some of you will be saying, ‘I’ll be right’.
But if for nothing else and you’re motivated by money, then let this be a lesson for you 😊
Despite having the highest health insurance cover, at the princely sum of $5K per year, I am now burdened with obscene additional ‘gap’ charges. So much so, I just turned down a procedure on my neck to the tune of a $2500 gap. This radio frequency procedure was to supposedly help with the disc degeneration but, IF it worked, I would likely only get about 3-6 months relief anyway.
Then, as a former GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder) sufferer, likely due to sustained stress and a firm relationship with wine, I am acutely aware of how dangerous a stomach ulcer is if left untreated. It can cause all sorts of long-term health trauma all the way to cancer. So, I surrender to the advice for a colonoscopy and gastroscopy and the inevitable expenses it will bring. Another $1500 out of pocket including the pathology costs.
It’s been 3 years since diagnosis of the T2 and thyroid conditions, and the financial cost has hit hard at over $15K. This includes the natural therapies and treatments as I take a ‘functional’ approach, this is in addition to the $5K per year in health insurance after ditching the ‘extras’ cover. For most of us, unsustainable right?
Apart from alcohol formerly being a lead character in my life over the years and cigarettes playing a supporting role, my diet of stress and anxiety has always been partnered with pretty good nutrition. I’ve always taken a holistic view of my health, avoided pharmaceuticals including antibiotics whenever I could and dealt with things as naturally as possible.
But for me, the one constant in my life, stress and anxiety, was not only genetic but was a fixture for me from birth, living in survival mode, in an abusive and neglectful environment, but from 3 years of age when I start to recall the serious incidences that continued until leaving home at 15. The evidence now points directly to high levels of sustained stress – a major factor in unhealthy physical manifestations. Metabolic disorders, digestive issues, fibromyalgia, then there are the mental health disorders.
Do yourself a favour, and stop and take a good look at how you are treating yourself, psychologically as well as physically. Maybe it’s time to consider some additions into, or subtractions from, your routine.
I have since discovered some mental health practices designed specifically for women over 50 that can help alleviate symptoms associated with chronic stress and aging-related illnesses such as mine. Here are a few things that every woman should start incorporating into her lifestyle as early as possible – As well as teach your children:
Meditation & Mindfulness – It is still hard for me to commit to this daily, but I figure doing it a few times a week will inevitably get me to a daily practice.
Taking time out each day to focus on your breathing and clear your mind is essential if you want to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression while also strengthening your immune system against disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Studies show that regular mindfulness practice can lower blood pressure, improve sleep quality, enhance cognitive function all while calming your nervous system from becoming overwhelmed by stressful situations we may encounter throughout each day.
Exercise – Yep, this old chestnut. Regular exercise is a not negotiable when it comes to returning to or maintaining a healthy mind and body as we age. Vital for improving cardiovascular health (which helps protect against stroke), increased muscle strength (aiding balance and preventing falls), enhanced brain function (helping you stay sharp well into your golden years).
Additionally, physical activity releases endorphins which act as natural painkillers so if you’re walking 30 minutes a day or joining aqua aerobics or a Pilates class twice a week, find an activity you enjoy doing, so it becomes a habit rather than another chore added onto already busy lifestyles!
Healthy Eating Habits – There is so much toxic food available today!! It’s literally making us and our kids sick! Food is Medicine.
Nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining good health and preventing chronic illness, which can result in significant medical expenses. Therefore, taking a positive position on how nutrition can help reduce medical expenses is essential.
Making sure we consume enough fruits and vegetables daily is key when aiming for optimal health especially since they contain antioxidants needed to combat free radicals found within our bodies, causing cell damage leading to degenerative diseases over time; plus, they add fibre, helping digestion while making us feel fuller for longer between meals.
Consuming lean proteins such as fish/chicken instead red meats will provide Omega fatty acids, important not only for heart health but also maintaining flexible joints flexible.
Get Enough Sleep Each Night – We all know how important restorative sleep is – yet so many of us fail to get adequate amounts of sleep over periods of years, leaving us tired, grumpy and completely out of whack. Not to mention a little cray, cray.
Incorporate mindful relaxation techniques before bedtime such as reading book or listening to soothing music or a soothing, guided meditation goes long way to making it easier to drift off into dreamland without too much effort.
Have Fun & Enjoy Life – Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean sacrificing fun; quite the contrary, because having a blast and a positive outlook go hand in hand with healthy habits ensuring longevity and many more happy years. So, plan girls’ trip, lunch, the beach, a concert, whatever, just lock in some laughter and lifetime memories. ♥️
Just get started, diarise a little 10-minute meditation today. I’ve just learned of a new meditation app, Insight Timer, the most popular one in the world with over 25 million members. But there are many, so do a little research, download your preference and take a little time out each morning and evening or in the car waiting for the kids. Any time during the day when you feel you need it.
By applying these simple yet highly effective principles into our daily routine, consistently, not only will we feel less stressed out but also more energised during the day allowing us to live healthier lifestyles free from chronic illnesses like diabetes or thyroid disease!
Do yourself a favour, get started today. Lx