More than 133 million people in America have a chronic disease, which is defined as an incurable, ongoing disease that affects their health and quality of life. That’s over 40% of the population.
However, proper management of a chronic disease can help ensure better quality of life, reduce the symptoms and risks associated with the condition, and more. In this guide to managing chronic diseases, Bayless Healthcare will discuss a few of the steps you can take to ensure you get the care you need if you’re affected by a chronic disease.
What Are Some Examples Of Chronic Diseases?
There are many conditions that qualify as chronic diseases, but the most common are:
- Heart disease – Heart disease is a general term used to refer to multiple heart conditions, like coronary artery disease (CAD), atherosclerosis, and heart arrhythmia. 30.3 million adults have been diagnosed with heart disease, and it’s the leading cause of death in the US.
- Diabetes – About 34.2 million US adults have diabetes, and of those, 7.3 million are undiagnosed. Diabetes is a condition that interferes with the proper metabolism of sugar. The most common types of diabetes are Type 1, which develops in youth, and Type 2, which typically develops as an adult.
- Cancer – Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of unhealthy cells that eventually spread throughout the entire body. It includes more than 100 individual diseases. Breast, lung and bronchus, prostate, and colorectal cancers are the most common, making up about half of all cases diagnosed yearly.
- Stroke – Stroke can occur when the blood supply to the brain is reduced or interrupted, killing brain cells. Most of these are caused by blockages in the arteries leading to the brain. 795,000 people have strokes every year in the US.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – COPD is primarily caused by exposure to tobacco smoke or the use of tobacco. It’s a chronic health issue that causes difficulty breathing, and can lead to a serious cough and high mucous production. About 6% of adults aged 40 have been diagnosed with COPD.
Ways To Manage Your Chronic Disease
While every chronic disease is different, there are some basic steps you can take to manage it and live a better life. Here are some tips from Bayless Healthcare.
- Make your doctor a partner in care – Always work closely with your doctor and ensure you make regular visits, follow up on all appointments, and get the treatment you need from your medical team.
- Manage your medications properly – This includes filling and taking all prescriptions properly, noting their effects, following schedules provided by your doctor, avoiding medications or substances (like alcohol) that can interfere with your medication, and other such steps.
- Coordinate your care – Make sure you and your healthcare providers work closely to coordinate your care, and that each office and specialist shares information to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
- Make healthy lifestyle changes – For example, you should quit smoking if you have COPD, or begin exercising and changing your diet if you have heart disease.
- Connect to people going through a similar situation – Talking to people who have the same chronic disease as you can help you get the support you need as you coordinate your medical care and learn more about how to improve your overall health.
Work With An Experienced Healthcare Provider For Better Whole-Body Care
We hope this guide to managing chronic diseases has been helpful. At Bayless Healthcare, our team is led by board-certified physicians, providers, specialists, and therapists who are passionate about helping you take control of your health.
If you have a chronic disease, help is just an appointment away. We’re dedicated to excellent patient care in the Phoenix area and will ensure you get the help you need for a healthier lifestyle, to control your disease and its symptoms, and to enjoy better quality-of-life. Schedule an appointment today to get started.