'Tis the Season to Stick to Your Meds
Adherence strategies for the holidays
With the holiday season under way, sweet and saddening memories of friends, families, gift giving, gift getting, cranberry sauce, matzo balls, and holiday stress may come to mind.
This is the time to reminisce about the year gone by, look forward to all the indulgence of the holiday season, and make resolutions for the new year. Since your daily routine of eating and medication taking is likely to be disturbed by all the holiday festivities, this is also a particularly important time to write down your own regular meal and medication schedule. This is really the time to stick with it more arduously than ever.
If you cannot keep to your routine because of the holidays, talk to a health care professional or a friend about where it gets difficult. Make taking meds and eating your priority.
Plan for days when you will be out of the house. Plan ahead if you will be at a friend's place for holiday dinner. It may be a good idea to do the following:
If you experience any problems eating, smaller, more frequent meals may work better for you than three large ones. Eating smaller frequent meals will help the following problems: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite/getting full fast, fatigue, swallowing difficulty, and bloating and gas. It may also be a good idea to drink liquids 30 minutes before or after solid foods to avoid filling up on water right before eating. Avoid foods that may cause bloating and gas, such as gas-producing foods (cabbage, brussels sprouts, green pepper, cucumber, onions, beer, dried beans or peas), carbonated beverages, fatty, fried, and greasy foods.
Keep in mind the following food restrictions for protease inhibitors:
Here are some tips you may also want to follow to reduce your risk of food poisoning so that you can still have an enjoyable holiday:
Alcohol can react with many medications. Alcohol may also impair judgment, causing sleepiness after drinking and interfering with medication taking. To avoid returning home sleepy and forgetting to take your meds, it is wise to take your meds before going out with friends.
Alcohol can also cause nutrient deficiencies by either decreasing absorption or decreasing food intake. The nutrients most commonly affected are vitamins A, D, E, B complex, glucose, certain amino acids, folate, zinc, magnesium and calcium.
Consult your physician or pharmacist for advice.
This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.