Chronic disease is highly prevalent in the U.S. and requires ongoing medical oversight and clinical management. A chronic disease is any condition or illness that persists long-term but for which there is no medical cure. Examples of chronic diseases include diabetes, heart disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Chronic disease management consists of obtaining a definitive diagnosis and creating a treatment plan that will slow progression of the disease and help make symptoms more manageable.
Did you know…
at nearly half of all American adults suffer from at least one chronic disease or illness? Many of those chronic diseases are manageable and even reversible with certain lifestyle changes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reports that the modification of certain risk-associated behaviors – such as eating, drinking, exercise, and tobacco use – can help manage, prevent or reverse many chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, lung cancer and liver disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a doctor to manage my chronic disease?
Yes. Some diseases, such as diabetes, require daily monitoring and health management. However, even if you have a chronic disease for which you haven’t experienced symptoms in many months or years, you still need a practitioner who is aware of your health history and the diseases you suffer with.
What should I expect if I am diagnosed with a chronic disease?
If you are diagnosed with a chronic disease, you can expect to build a very close relationship with your doctor, who will be your advocate and greatest partner on your health journey. You may be frequently screened or tested to determine the extent of your disease, and you may be prescribed medications to help suppress symptoms and disease progression on an ongoing basis. You can also expect to check in with your doctor regularly to ensure that the disease is being adequately managed.
Will I need to follow any special instructions between office visits?
Probably. Your doctor may recommend that you not only take your medications as prescribed but also modify certain lifestyle habits to lower your risk of complications stemming from chronic disease.