The symptoms of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) — ranging from fatigue, nausea and vomiting to impaired kidney function and low platelet counts — can cause considerable stress in patients, especially if not attended to diligently.
aHUS is a rare disease in which blood clots form in the small blood vessels of the kidneys, leading to the destruction of red blood cells — called hemolytic anemia — impaired kidney function, and low platelet counts, or thrombocytopenia.
Here are a few tips to manage stress and remain calm if you have been diagnosed with aHUS.
Understand the symptoms
It is important, in order to reduce stress, to know the nature of the symptoms you are experiencing, their severity, and how to address them appropriately. Discuss with your doctor the potential implications of having these symptoms and their likely impact on your daily activities. Most aHUS symptoms can be managed well if diagnosed early.
Cultivate a healthy lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to being able to cope with stress. This includes regular exercise, proper diet, and maintaining good interactions with peers and family. Try to be as productive as possible throughout the day and spend time on hobbies and things you enjoy doing. These activities can stimulate the brain and prevent stress. However, be sure not to overdo any activity that could put you at risk of injury or worsen your symptoms.
Eat and drink well
A proper diet and adequate hydration are essential to meet nutrition goals and provide adequate energy to carry out daily activities. Consult your doctor or dietitian, who will be able to give you a personalized dietary recommendation. aHUS is often triggered by allergic reactions, so if you know that you are allergic to certain foods, be sure to mention this while charting a diet plan.
Try to stay optimistic
Avoid negative thoughts as much as possible. Positive thinking can create a sense of optimism that motivates you to combat the disease better. Try to engage your mind in activities that interest you the most so as to veer it away from negative thoughts.
If you find stress is taking a toll on your mind, practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and music and art therapy. These can help you to calm down and feel less stressed.
Network with other patients and caregivers
Although aHUS is a rare disease, you are not alone. Several organizations such as the aHUS Alliance, the American Kidney Fund, the aHUS Foundation, and aHUS Canada offer networking opportunities with support groups that can provide lots of tips and information to cope with stress.
Last updated: Oct. 18, 2019
AHUS News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.