Pain, Periods & Peaks: Sophie McDonald On Living with Endometriosis

What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips.

Sophie McDonald on Living with Endometriosis | The Health Sessions

 

Sophie McDonald is a student mental health nurse from York who suffers from endometriosis. She is currently training to hike the Yorkshire Three Peak with her husband Tom, to fundraise for Endometriosis UK. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

 I’m Sophie, just a few weeks away from turning 30 and I’m a student mental health nurse. I’m from Yorkshire, where I live with my husband. I have endometriosis and recently started running the Endometriosis UK support group in York.

 

When did you first get sick?

For anyone who is unfamiliar with endometriosis, it is a condition affecting 1 in 10 women where cells similar to those lining the uterus grow outside of that area, often in other parts of the pelvis such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder and bowel. These cells react in a similar way to those lining the uterus, responding to hormonal changes in the body and bleeding when a women is on her period, causing chronic inflammation.

Endometriosis can cause chronic pain, heavy and prolonged periods, bladder and bowel problems, fatigue and infertility. There are treatments available to manage the symptoms, but there is no cure. It’s important to note that symptoms vary considerably and no two women will have the same experience or response to treatment.

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Rolling with the Punches: PJ from Pajama Daze on Living with Multiple Chronic Conditions

What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips.

Rolling with the Punches: PJ from PajamaDaze on Living with Multiple Chronic Conditions | The Health Sessions

PJ runs the motivational and inspirational website Pajama Daze for people with chronic illness, pain and fatigue. She’s currently writing her first book. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 61 years old, retired on disability. I earned a BS Ed and an MA in Communication, am a Certified (PA) Holistic Health Educator, and was a Fellow of the PA Rural Leadership Program. In my previous life I worked in radio and television in both advertising and documentary production. I’ve worked in a couple of independent films, as well having published various pieces of freelance writing and photography. I also worked in community health education for several years.

I am currently writing my first book based on my website Pajama Daze for people with chronic illness. I’m also doing what I can to save pollinators through local projects and my website Posies for Pollinators.

I’ve had asthma all my life, arthritis and minor subluxations at various sites for much of my life, uterine cancer in 2002, three mild heart attacks in 2005, and another in 2008, caused by vascular spasms. It was discovered in 2010 that I have an uncommon disease called Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD), which causes abnormal cell growth in my carotid, vertebral and renal arteries, as well as other problems with connective tissue. I suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 10 years after my heart attacks, but went into remission last summer, thankfully.

 

When did you first get sick?

I first became noticeably symptomatic with FMD in my mid-30’s, though it would be more than 20 years before I was diagnosed. I suffered from severe, debilitating migraines and dizzy spells which, thankfully, have become less prolonged and severe, but still crop up from time to time.

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Living with Lyme and POTS: Sophia Galpin on Limitations and Listening to Your Body

What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems?  In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips. 

Interview with Sophia Galpin: How to Cope with Chronic Lyme Disease and POTS | The Health Sessions

 

Sophia Galpin is a food, health and lifestyle blogger battling with chronic Lyme disease and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). On her blog Spoonie Sophia, she shares her thoughts on coping with chronic illness as well as her passion for creating delicious healthy recipes.

 

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I’m Sophia, I am 26 and suffer from chronic Lyme disease and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Despite my illness I am a keen baker and a health/food blogger. I live in beautiful Cornwall with my boyfriend and little dachshund pup, Copper. I enjoy nothing more than little trips to the beach; feeling the sea air on my face whilst sipping a hot chocolate!

 

When did you first get sick?

I have suffered from chronic neuropathic pain from the waist down since 2008 (when I was 18). I January 2013 I started getting new symptoms including migraines, muscle pain, weakness, crippling fatigue, joint pain, insomnia, heart problems (tachycardia), and became very sick.

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The Finest Healthy Eating Tips from Your Favourite Food Bloggers

The Finest Healthy Eating Tips from Your Favourite Food Bloggers | The Health Sessions

 

Have you been thinking about swapping your regular old cornflakes and milk for a smoothie bowl?

Healthy eating has been a hot topic for a while now. Thanks to the popularity of super foods and luscious pictures of plant-based power meals, health food has shrugged off its musty, granola-hippie image. A new breed of healthy food blogs inspires tons of people all over the world to tune up their eating habits and energize their body from the inside out.

But many of us don’t know where to start. Eating healthier can seem overwhelming, especially with all the conflicting information about nutrition around. Plus, we’re creatures of habit and changing our habits comes with challenges.

So how can we adopt a wholesome style of eating that will last?

Who better to ask than the health experts and recipe creators who showed us that good food is so much more than nibbling on lettuce sans dressing?

Here are the finest tips on how to start improving your diet from your favourite food bloggers!

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Getting Back on Track: 11 Expert Strategies for Rebuilding Healthy Habits

Getting Back on Track: 11 Expert Strategies on Rebuilding Healthy Habits | The Health Sessions

 

Summer is officially over and schools are back in session all over the world. It marks a new beginning, a fresh start to rebuild healthy habits after an indulgent summer break with one too many glasses of wine and lazy days in the sun.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with living life and treating yourself. As Hayley from Full of Life rightfully points out, what’s the point of working hard to feel as healthily as possible, if you aren’t doing anything aside from obsessing about your diet and workout plan?

But when it comes to ‘bad’ habits, there’s often a sliding scale. It starts innocently, with big BBQ’s and ice cream cones on the beach and staying up way too late and skipping yoga class, “because it’s summer, we’re on vacation, let’s live a little” (and you should!).

But then the holidays are over and all of a sudden you find yourself mindlessly eating a bowl of cookie dough ice-cream in front of the TV every night and it becomes harder and harder to break a habit you didn’t mean to have in the first place.

This time of year, with the changing of the seasons and faux back-to-school feel, is a fitting moment to re-examine your health habits, let go off what isn’t working and embrace new things.

So here are 11 expert strategies to get back on track with a healthy lifestyle.

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