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Hi All,


I thought it may be helpful to share some of the healthy lifestyle things that help me cope better with illness. As many of you know, I am 53 years old male with Scleroderma, diabetes, Reynaud, Depression, and sleep disorder. Here are some of the approaches I take:

1) Healthy diet:

a) Most of my meals consist of beans, vegetables, nuts, milk, and whole grains. I am vegetarian (dairy ok). I try to take food which I can swallow easily like soups.

B) I do avoid dry and spice foods. Also, I avoid alcohol. I have very sensitive nervous system and it does not tolerate alcohol. Once in a while it may be OK.

2) Physical activities:

a) I walk about 5000 steps 5 days a week

B) I do breathing exercise for 20 minutes every day

c) I do yoga 4-5 times a week for about 20 minutes

3) I use prescription medications such as Pramosone cream 2.5%, Fluocinonid solution 0.05%, and lotion

4) Sources of mental strengths:

a) My extended family

B) This support group

c) Faith

d) Religion

e) Writing notes to myself

f) Taking long walks

g) Talking to my kids

5) I find some happiness from:

a) Browsing scleroderma network. I log on almost everyday


c) At one time alcohol used to give me pleasure, but I replaced alcohol with diet soda

6) I feel lucky to have impacts of scleroderma moderating, diabetes under control, having full time job which provides decent insurance coverage, and having two great kids (one starting medical school and one in Senior in high school this year)

7) Coping with depression is always been a challenge for me. Also managing 15 medications and their side effects have been difficult.

Kind regards,





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Hi Kamlesh,


We just realized that this thread had been accidentally closed (rather than opened) so nobody could reply to it <sigh>.


This is a great topic. Having the focus on healthy ways to cope with scleroderma is wonderful. You set an excellent example of good self-care, with a thoughtful and well-designed program that addresses every aspect of wellness. Each aspect you mentioned is extremely important for helping cope with the illness, helping to ameliorate its impact.


Some people who are ill figure, "I'm already sick, what's the use?" The use is so that we can feel the best we can, under the circumstances, and enjoy life the most we can, in spite of it all. Keep up the great work!

Warm Hugs,


Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099


The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

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What I do to take care of myself:


1. Vegan diet - fresh organic veggies & fruit, seeds, nuts, legumes, etc. Good for the animals & the earth too.


2. T'ai Chi - just a bit whenever the moment feels right.


3. Stretches - keep limber, heal the wounds & stiffness.


4. This forum - couldn't imagine life without you.


5. Share with significant others on levels they are comfortable.


6. Try to accept family non-support.


7. Make plan B, plan C, etc.


8. Continue search for doctors who 'get it'.


9. Stay connected with nature.


10. Continue creating ways toward peace.



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Try to maintain a healthy diet. I've eliminated heavy grains and dairy, acidic foods and stuff that cause heartburn. However, I allow myself to cheat once in a while and eat some chips and salsa!


Walk regularly with a friend and her lovely dogs.


Spend quality time with my husband.


Spend quality time with myself.


Work part-time as a writer to keep my brain going and to maintain outside of the house contacts - both professional and social.


Lunch with friends.


Spend time with my animals (cats and turtles) sipping tea and doing absolutely nothing but breathing in good air and watching the birds


Do some easy muscle sustaining exercises with rubber bands and do yoga. I also do the breathing exercise and it's helped with my SOB and lung problems.


Big Hugs,

Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Looking back, I have had my symptoms for longer than I have been living my currently healthy lifestyle. I mean, the time I decided to start improving my diet and amount of exercise I do was after the onset of the first symptoms of scleroderma, even though I wasn't aware of it at the time. I used to weigh a lot more, and hardly did any exercise.


Then I decided to turn my life around (when I was about 22) and since then, I eat very healthily, with no specific restraints, and exercise nearly every day. I run, swim and cycle regularly. (I used to play softball, which is a pretty rare sport here in the UK, and I loved it, but I have relinquished that hobby to protect my hands!).


Anyway, back to the point; I feel a thousand times better than before I turned over this new leaf, and am convinced that I would worry a lot more about the illness, have even colder hands, and generally feel a lot more tired and poorly if I hadn't improved my lifestyle like this.


Also, in keep me sane and stop me worrying too much, I try and make sure I always have something to look forward to. I know we can't go on holiday all the time, or buy treats every week, so I make it things like planning to meet a friend I haven't seen in ages.




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