Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Having to deal again with an illness you thought was in the past can be discouraging, even overwhelming at times. Recovering from the initial illness required drive and determination on your part, but now the late effects of polio require you to rest and conserve your energy. Moving from one frame of mind to another can be difficult. Here are some suggestions that may help:
- Limit activities that cause pain or fatigue. Moderation is key. Overdoing it on a good day can lead to several subsequent bad days.
- Be smart. Conserving your energy through lifestyle modifications and assistive devices doesn't mean you're giving in to the illness. It just means you've found a smarter way to deal with it.
- Stay warm. Cold increases muscle fatigue. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature and dress in layers, especially when you go out.
- Avoid falls. Get rid of throw rugs and loose clutter on the floor, wear good shoes, and avoid slippery or icy surfaces.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, stop smoking, and decrease caffeine intake to keep fit, breathe easier and sleep better.
- Protect your lungs. If your breathing is impaired, watch for signs of a developing respiratory infection, which can make breathing problems worse, and have it treated promptly. Also, avoid smoking and stay current with your flu and pneumonia vaccines.
- Boyer FC, et al. Post-polio syndrome: Pathophysiological hypotheses, diagnosis criteria, medication therapeutics. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2010;53:34.
- Simionescu L, et al. Post-polio syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 16, 2010.
- Post-polio syndrome — polio's legacy. Clinical Medicine. 2010;10:213.
- Post-polio syndrome fact sheet, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/post_polio/detail_post_polio.htm. Accessed Jan. 15, 2011.
- Tiffreau V, et al. Post-polio syndrome and rehabilitation. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2010;53:42.