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Do you practice good self care with mesothelioma?

If you're living with a diagnosis of mesothelioma, your physician can help you manage your symptoms even though there is no cure at present. But there is much that you can do as self-care tips that can help you live more comfortably.

Eat plenty of veggies and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet to maintain your muscle mass and help your body function properly. Don't cook with or season your food with a lot of salt. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Sleep is restorative and can help you fight off opportunistic infections that fatigue can let flourish. Take catnaps during the day to conserve energy. As long as it is okay with your oncologist, moderate exercise as tolerated can enhance heart and lung health.

Cleanliness is very important to those living with mesothelioma. Remember to wash your hands frequently, and always before handling medicine and respiratory equipment.

To reduce your chances of catching the flu or colds, stay away from large crowds and those who are sick. Get an annual pneumonia and flu shot, and make sure family members and caregivers do as well.

Keep a log of the times that you struggle most with breathing. Note any triggers that can be avoided. If the air pollution index is poor, don't venture outside on those days. Don't smoke or hang out in smoke-filled rooms or cars. Reduce your exposure to aerosol sprays and cleaning agents whenever possible.

There are breathing techniques you can learn to do on your own to increase your oxygen intake. A few sessions with a respiratory therapist may be helpful.

Filing a civil lawsuit against those responsible for your exposure can result in a financial settlement that can make your life easier.

Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, "Living with Asbestos: Introduction," accessed Jan. 22, 2016

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