4 Lifestyle Tips for Cushing’s Syndrome
As part of your overall Cushing's syndrome treatment plan, there are some lifestyle tips you can incorporate to help you live well with Cushing's syndrome.
Below are 4 lifestyle tips you can integrate into your recovery plan from Cushing's syndrome. Have a conversation with your doctor before making any major changes, such as starting to exercise regularly.
- Eat smart. Make sure you're eating nutritious foods. Of course, you should focus on eating fruits and vegetables, which are high in anti-oxidants, but also eat whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. These foods fuel your body by giving you healthy doses of energy.
Also, be sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. These nutrients help strengthen bones (important because bone loss is common with people who have Cushing's syndrome). If you don't get enough of these in your diet, talk to your doctor about taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.
A registered dietitian (RD) can help you create a balanced meal plan—the key word here is "balanced." Yes, you can still eat the foods you love (in moderation), but it's important to eat foods that boost your health. An RD can also help you lose extra weight you gained from Cushing's syndrome.
- Exercise gently. Exercise plays a significant role in any healthy lifestyle, but it's important for you not to rush into it. Even if you think you're feeling better, your body still needs time to heal.
Start off slowly-you may want to try low—impact exercise, such as water aerobics, tai chi, or yoga. These exercises gently re-build your muscles and joints. From there, you can work up to a more moderate-paced exercise routine. You can also work with a personal trainer who can customize a workout plan for you.
Exercising should be comfortable. If you experience pain or any new symptoms when exercising, talk to your doctor right away.
- Keep tabs on your mental health. Your mental health can take a toll when you have Cushing's syndrome—depression is common. If you feel blue or you don't feel like doing the things you used to and you're not sure why, don't ignore it. Talk to your doctor—he or she can recommend a psychologist who can help you cope with your feelings throughout your recovery.
You may also want to keep a journal to record how you feel on a day-to-day basis.
- Give yourself a break. Don't be hard on yourself as your body recovers from Cushing's syndrome. It's important to get plenty of rest, relaxation, and sleep. Treat yourself to a gentle massage, warm bubble bath, or listen to soothing music. Now's not the time to push yourself—respect your body and its limits.
Incorporating these lifestyle tips into your routine can not only help you live well, but they can help you thrive with Cushing's syndrome.
- Cushing's syndrome: Lifestyle and home remedies. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cushings-syndrome/DS00470/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies. Published September 11, 2010. Accessed August 5, 2011.