Shared peer advice from polio survivors about what works for them.

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Diabetes and Post-Polio Syndrome: Conditions Which Are Chronic but Manageable

Brian Tiburzi

Jann Hartman, Baltimore, Maryland  I was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome in 1989, and I assumed that my extreme exhaustion was due to overusing my muscles. It should have dawned on me that it isn’t wise to dismiss all symptoms as due to having post-polio syndrome. Last spring, during a routine visit to my physician, a simple blood test revealed an …

What about Flaxseed?

Brian Tiburzi

Jann Hartman, Baltimore, Maryland Fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon contain two omega-3 fatty acids – eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA and DHA). A third kind, alpha-linolenic acid, is less potent. It comes from soybeans, canola, walnut and flaxseed, and oils made from those beans, nuts and seeds. Flaxseed oil and flaxseeds (which need …

The Glycemic Index: Good Carbs, Bad Carbs

Brian Tiburzi

Jann Hartman, Baltimore, Maryland One of the most frequent dietary suggestions I have received is to eat “low glycemic foods.” The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical ranking of foods showing how quickly they are broken down into sugars after a meal as compared to a standard (usually glucose). While the index can be a useful tool (similar to calorie …

Why the weight? Losing a few pounds is possible … right now. Why wait?

Brian Tiburzi

Sunny Roller, Ann Arbor, Michigan Even if one uses a wheelchair full time and has a metabolism that is a bit slower due to aging, losing weight is possible. I had almost given up, but then 14 months ago, my doctor fiercely demanded that I lose 10 pounds. If I did not, she threatened to infuse me with some creepy …

What to Eat: Revisiting the Basics

Brian Tiburzi

Ann Crocker, West Gardiner, Maine What to eat? Nearly every day we may hear or read about the benefits or risks of certain foods or specific elements in foods. Sometimes, we may be tempted to try some hard-to-believe, miraculous food or food product, which later may turn out to be of little value. With so many daunting warnings about what …

Nutrition and Post-Polio

Brian Tiburzi

Lauro S. Halstead, MD This is the story of my personal journey to learn more about nutrition. The path I followed and what I discovered along the way are specific to my body, my nutritional needs and my disability. Some of the principles I learned may apply to others, but the particulars relate only to me. I would no more …


Brian Tiburzi

Body weight should be kept within the normal range (18.5-24.9) of a body mass index (BMI) for a person’s gender, age, and body frame. Additional weight from excess fat can exacerbate new muscle weakness. Being overweight,* defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9, can aggravate almost all mobility problems. Obesity, defined as a BMI of >30, may seriously interfere …

Maintaining Health and Wellness

Brian Tiburzi

Good health is being the best that one can be – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and socially. Polio survivors do not need to constantly struggle from one health crisis to the next. While some health problems require professional assistance, your loved one can manage others. In addition to seeing appropriate health professionals to alleviate and manage the late effects of …

Nutritional Route to Weight Loss

Brian Tiburzi

From the series, Polio Survivors Ask, by Nancy Baldwin Carter, B.A, M.Ed.Psych, from Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association. Q: I need to lose weight. My longtime post-polio weakness limits my choices of exercise. How can I enjoy going the nutritional route? A: Want some adventure in your nutritional life? …