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Living Well with Chronic Illness

Looking after your ongoing physical health and mental wellness is an important part of living well in spite of a chronic illness.

If you are living with a chronic health condition, there are many things you can do to promote your physical and mental well-being.

However, the healthy living advice that's good for most people may not be right for you. For example: 

  • Canada's Food Guide is not the best advice for people with conditions such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease or heart failure. These conditions usually call for special diet and/or fluid restrictions;
  • If you have a health problem that affects your movement or your energy levels, the standard recommendations for physical activity may be difficult to achieve; 
  • You may need extra support to help you cope with the physical, practical, emotional and psychological aspects of your illness.

Make sure you're doing everything you can to live well by talking to your doctor or specialist.

A number of PHSA programs provide healthy living advice tailored to the specific needs of their patients.

BC Cancer offers a range of information and resources to individuals with a cancer diagnosis and their families. This includes information for helping people cope with physical symptoms related to their cancer treatment, resources for supporting their mental wellness and a section specifically for teens with cancer.


If you have completed cancer treatment, BC Cancer provides information about living well after cancer. This includes resources for adjusting to the "new normal" of your life, plus steps to reduce your risk of second cancers.



For cancer patients:

For cancer survivors:

Young children with chronic health conditions rely on the adults around them to help them reach their best potential for physical and mental wellness. 

As they grow up, children and teens may be able to take more responsibility for their own health and wellness. This may require more effort and special support.


BC Children's Hospital provides health promotion resources for children and teens with diabetes:


The BC Renal website provides information about how to eat healthy when you have chronic kidney disease. This includes eating regularly, limiting salt and avoiding foods with added phosphorus (found in many processed meats and drinks).



The BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre website provides healthy living information for women and girls, including resources for living with a number of chronic conditions.



If you have heart failure, the Cardiac Services BC website offers useful advice and links to information about staying healthy. This information ranges from how to conserve your energy and manage stress, to advice on recommended vaccinations.



SOURCE: Living Well with Chronic Illness ( )
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