HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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lists and establish a daily routine. Find out about resources in the community that may be beneficial to both the patient and the caregiver. Many communities have classes specifically focusing on different aspects of diabetes care and treatment for both patients and caregivers. Support groups for both can also provide validation and encouragement as well as problem-solving strategies for difficult situations. People in support groups tend to understand what others are experiencing, so this can be a good place to create meaningful friendships.


Make an effort to stay well-connected with family members and friends who can offer nonjudgmental emotional support. Establish a good sleep routine. Find time to be physically active most days of the week. Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Stay in contact with your diabetic educator, specialist and primary care physician and seek mental health care as needed. Understanding and addressing the psychological factors facing people with diabetes and their caregivers can contribute to the adherence and compliance so necessary to live a healthy life despite diabetes.


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PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS FACING PEOPLE WITH DIABETES AND THIER CAREGIVERS

treat their medical condition.


Caregivers are instrumental in providing assistance to a spouse, partner or family member with diabetes. Caregiving can have many rewards. For most caregivers, being there when a loved one needs them is a core value the caregiver wishes to provide.


With some people who have diabetes, a shift in roles from partner or friend to caregiver has some tradeoffs. With chronic illness, it is natural for caregivers to feel frustrated at times or exhausted, angry, alone or unappreciated. The emotional and physical stress of caregiving is common. People who experience caregiver stress can be vulnerable to changes in their own health. And with diabetes, both the patient and their caregiver(s) may experience increased stress, anxiety and depression over time because of this chronic condition.


The emotional and psychological demands involved in managing one’s diabetes can be eased by setting realistic goals for that management. Break large tasks into smaller steps that can be done one at a time. Prioritize specific tasks, make

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP



Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

It is important to develop an awareness of psychological factors inherent in treating individuals with diabetes and their caregivers. These factors are recognized for their relationship to the incidence and progression of type 2 diabetes as a chronic condition.


There are a number of psychological and emotional challenges individuals with diabetes may face. These concerns may include periods of anxiety and depression; a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness; anger directed inwardly and/ or toward their caregiver’s efforts to help them; a reduced tolerance for necessary medical procedures; and periodic refusal to cooperate with testing procedures and treatment compliance. Emotional shifts can occur as well that can effect one’s memory, self-efficacy and how one manages the stress and tension that often comes with diabetes management.


Memory as a risk factor for nonadherence may involve someone unintentionally forgetting to comply with taking medication and other treatment procedures. Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in their own capacity to effectively manage their medical condition. Some people with diabetes who have an increased level of self-efficacy often have high levels of motivation to manage their diabetes with good compliance for their condition. A person’s level of self-efficacy is critical in successfully managing their diabetes because it increases the assurance the patient accepts the responsibility to perform needed actions to successfully