It is important to consult your GP before you make any significant dietary or exercise changes in your life.
What are your options for better nutrition?
Supplements can be your best friend and there are countless options out there to help you fill in gaps in your diet. Four of the most important things to get into your diet are Vitamin D, Omega 3s, Calcium and Iron. If you're struggling to squeeze these into your diet, why not try some supplements to give you an additional boost?
Instead of relying on the usual routine of three meals a day, try eating smaller meals every three to four hours. This routine is better for your metabolism and you'll be able to avoid overeating, which causes strain on the gut.
If you struggle to cut up fruit and vegetables because of mobility issues, then pre-cut ingredients are your new best friends! All supermarkets sell them and most of them can be popped straight in the oven. Fruits and vegetables can also reduce inflammation, regulate blood pressure and they are a great source of fibre. The same can be said for most meat products, which can usually be found pre-prepared in the cold aisles of your local supermarket.
While you're stocking up, check out your local supermarket's ready meal selection. Although ready meals are not ideal for good nutrition, there are plenty of healthy options out there for you to use on days when cooking is just not an option.
Some people with chronic illness also find following a specific diet can be helpful. These include sugar free, dairy free and alkaline – which reduces the amount of acid in your diet and can improve gut health. There are countless options out there, so take the time to find one that feels right for you and your hungry belly.
Lastly, foods that are high in sugar and fats can have a negative impact on your health. Although we all love a sugary treat, there are many alternative options to explore. Try picking up a new healthy snack from your supermarket every week and you will find your new favourite treat before you know it.
How can exercise improve quality of life for patients living with scleroderma and Raynaud's phenomenon?
Trying to keep up with regular exercise while living with a chronic illness can feel impossible, but many studies have proven that regular exercise can improve the lives of chronically ill people.
The impact of regular hospital visits or admissions and treatments, can make exercise feel impossible, especially during a flare up. However, even during the worst flare-ups, there will be a window for some form of exercise, whether that's walking up and down the stairs, stretching or a brisk walk around the garden.
Even the smallest amount of exercise can improve your quality of life when living with scleroderma and Raynaud's phenomenon.