Chronic Health

A chronic disease is a condition that generally lasts for a long time. According to statistics by the Centers for Disease Control, chronic disease tops as the leading cause of disability and death in the United States. In fact, two common chronic conditions, back pain and depression, are often major causes of decreased productivity and increasing health care costs.

Essentially, you live with a chronic condition every day of your life. But although there is no cure in sight, its symptoms can be controlled, and patients who have it still usually experience a good quality of life with the right treatment and proper management.

Yes—it is possible to enjoy life even with a chronic condition. Here are five helpful tips to help you do so.

  1. Consult with your doctor.

Before anything else, it is important to learn as much as you can about your condition, and what better way to do it than to talk with a medical professional? Find a general practitioner whom you trust. He or she will help you understand better your condition and how you can live your life with it. Your GP may also connect with other health care providers, such as specialists, physiotherapists, and counselors, who can give you the best treatment possible.

  1. Learn to self-monitor your condition.

Your doctor could not assist you 24-7, so take responsibility for your care by learning how to monitor your health and track its changes. For people with hypertension, it is important to learn how to check your blood pressure levels through a BP monitor.

For individuals with heart-rhythm problems, do check your pulse regularly; any abnormality may require you to undergo a 12-lead EKG in a medical facility. When you know how to track your own health, it will be much easier for you to detect any harmful changes and treat them promptly.

  1. Manage your medications.

When you have a chronic condition, you probably are no stranger to taking several medications in one sitting. Remembering to take a single pill each day is difficult enough—how much more when you have to take five of them?

If you find it difficult to take your meds timely and safely, know how to effectively organize them. Using a pill organizer and creating a dosing schedule chart are some efficient ways to manage medication. For the tech savvy, you can also download a medication app through your smartphone or tablet. And don’t forget to check prescription labels from time to time to properly dispose of expired medication.

  1. Make healthy lifestyle choices.

Your health should be your most prized investment. Almost every chronic condition requires a commitment on your part—and that is to make smarter and healthier lifestyle choices. This includes eating a well-balanced diet, exercising more often, quitting smoking and drinking alcohol, and so much more. Individuals who actively create such changes in their lifestyle are more likely to be successful in managing their chronic conditions than people who don’t.

  1. Reach out.

Aside from being proactive in your physical health, don’t forget to take care of your mental health as well. Medical professionals are not always the people you need when it comes to talking about what it’s like to live with diabetes or a heart disease.

Sometimes, it’s reassuring to find company in support groups and to talk to real people who have been through what you are facing right now. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Having someone to talk to can always be uplifting when the days get dark and dreary.

A chronic condition may live with you forever, but don’t let it hinder you from living a life you deserve. With the right mind-set and commitment to stay on top of your health, living with a chronic illness should seem like a walk in the park.

Author's Bio: 

Kathy Mitchell is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of beauty, nutrition and general wellness. She likes to go out with her friends, travel, swim and practice yoga.