Dealing with a chronic illness is not as simple as taking a few antibiotics instead of admiring your “Get Well Soon” cards. Most patients with chronic diseases unfortunately do not go very fast. Instead, they learn to live with a long-standing illness and, hopefully, manage their symptoms effectively.
For people newly diagnosed with chronic illness or those who want to understand the lives of those who matter to you, living with a chronic illness, check out some of the helpful information below.
We will review some common examples of chronic diseases with which our family physicians in St. George, Utah work with the Callahan Clinic. We will not be keeping all types of chronic diseases on our list this time. However, if you suffer from these or other chronic diseases, do not hesitate to contact the doctors at our Family Health Centers for personalized and compassionate chronic care.
Living with hypertension Hypertension is sometimes called high blood pressure or BPH. It is a condition characterized by the fact that a patient’s blood is exerting excessive pressure or force on his or her arteries. This can cause the heart to work harder to deliver blood to the whole body.
High blood pressure can be caused by the existence of another chronic disease such as diabetes or chronic kidney disease. However, obesity, lack of physical activity, diet too high in sodium or increased stress may be other causes. Unlike other chronic diseases, hypertensive patients sometimes have no symptoms. Regularly checking with your family doctor for preventive wellness exams can help diagnose this condition earlier.
Since hypertension does not often have symptoms, living with this chronic disease does not seem to have to radically change a patient’s life. However, without good management, hypertension can lead to more serious health risks, such as a stroke or heart disease.
It is recommended that people with high blood pressure adopt lifestyle changes that will help lower their blood pressure. They will have to exercise more frequently and avoid foods high in sodium. It will also help you avoid situations that cause a lot of anxiety or stress and understand what can trigger these emotions.
Living with asthma Asthma is a chronic condition that is often diagnosed in a child patient, although many adults are also diagnosed later. It is a condition in which the individual’s airways become inflamed, making them more susceptible to external triggers that may constrict or close the airways.
Certains cas d’asthme sont plus extrêmes que d’autres. Tandis qu’une personne que vous connaissez ne présente qu’une respiration sifflante légère ou une respiration sifflante, une autre personne peut être victime de crises d’asthme fréquentes et graves. Les symptômes peuvent aussi changer avec le temps.
Some asthma cases are more extreme
than others. While someone you know has only light wheezing or wheezing, another
person may have frequent and severe asthma attacks. The symptoms may also
change over time.
Asthma medications and
an inhaler are often prescribed to help reduce the impact of symptoms. An
inhaler, in particular, is good to have in case a sudden asthma attack
obstructs the airways.
Some asthmatic patients
live with the fear of not being able to breathe. If you notice a loved one with
asthma who has an acute asthma attack, take him to the hospital if he still has
difficulty breathing with his inhaler. It’s not something you can take away
from them, but you can do your best to stay calm and help them get the care
Living with high cholesterol
High cholesterol affects
nearly one-third of all US adults. However, even some children can inherit this
chronic disease or live in a way that promotes their development. It is caused
by an increase in low density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol.
Unlike the “good” cholesterol that is absorbed into your body, LDL
stays in your arteries, eventually blocking blood flow.
Like high blood
pressure, people with high cholesterol levels do not always have symptoms. It
is essential to meet your family doctor, especially if you have a family
history of high cholesterol.
Once the cholesterol
level is high, people will have to adjust their lifestyle to filter their LDL
consumption and replace it with a good cholesterol. Foods containing saturated
and trans fatty acids should be avoided and replaced with low-fat foods such as
whole grains, fruits and vegetables. We also recommend that patients start
exercising a little daily to avoid the dangerous complications that can result
from clogged arteries and high cholesterol levels.
If your loved one with this chronic disease is struggling to make such changes, encourage them by introducing the same habits into your life. It is always helpful to have a friend or loved one who supports a patient in every way possible.
Living with diabetes
On the other hand, type 1 or type 2
diabetes can have symptoms in a patient. These symptoms include, but are not