Chronic Diseases Treatment
Chronic Diseases Treatment
Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs.
Many chronic diseases are caused by a short list of risk behaviors:
- Tobacco uses and exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Poor nutrition, including diets low in fruits and vegetables and high in sodium and saturated fats.
- Physical inactivity.
- Excessive alcohol use.
Although the burden associated with chronic illness is well documented, the burden associated with the treatment and management of chronic illness has not been well defined. Related terms such as disease burden and symptom burden have been well articulated, but the definition of treatment burden has remained elusive and confusing. Although treatment burden is often inseparable from disease burden, it is not based on the natural history of the disease, but on the need to treat the disease in order to change its course or ameliorate its effects. Treatment burden is, therefore, an important concept that is distinct from disease burden, symptom burden and other related terms.
Treatment of chronic illness comes in many forms including surgery, physical therapy, psychological therapy, and radiotherapy. However, one of the most common treatment forms is the use of medication. The prevention and treatment of chronic illness, especially when involving multiple medications, can become burdensome.
Characteristics of a chronic illness: –
Chronic illnesses are mostly characterised by:
- complex causes
- many risk factors
- long latency periods (time between onset of the illness and feeling its effects)
- a long illness
- functional impairment or disability.
Most chronic illnesses do not fix themselves and are generally not cured completely. Some can be immediately life-threatening, such as heart disease and stroke. Others linger over time and need intensive management, such as diabetes. Most chronic illnesses persist throughout a person’s life, but are not always the cause of death, such as arthritis.
Common chronic illnesses: –
While many illnesses can be considered chronic, there are 12 major chronic conditions that are a significant burden in terms of morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs in Australia, including:
- heart disease
- lung cancer
- colorectal cancer
- type 2 diabetes
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- chronic kidney disease
- oral disease.
Ways to cope with chronic illness: –
There is a range of ways to deal with the stress of chronic illness. These include:
- Finding information – this can help if you feel helpless or out of control.
- Emotional support from others – particularly family and friends, this can be a source of great help.
- Joining a well facilitated support group.
- Setting concrete, short-term goals – to restore certainty, power and control.
- Thinking about possible outcomes – discussing them with your doctor can help you to face them before they become a reality.
The overall aim of these strategies is to help put your illness into context and give some meaning to what is happening.
How is the Chronic Illness treatment done?
Treatment for the chronic illness depends on the underlying disorder. A doctor will diagnose the condition and will begin treatment accordingly. The course of treatment for chronic illnesses will differ from one to the other. For instance, the treatment for asthma will be different from the treatment for cardiovascular diseases.
For any heart related conditions, the doctors will likely prescribe medicine that facilitates the flow of blood from the heart to other parts of the body. Similarly, in case of asthma, doctors may only ask the patient to use an inhaler.
In case of diabetic patients, regular insulin shots are usually used. The insulin helps regulate the blood sugar levels in the blood. Colorectal and lung cancer on the other hand is treated with the help of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Depression is often caused as a side effect to the chronic illness. This must also be treated with proper medication and psychiatric counselling.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects of the treatment depend on the condition. For instance, heart medications can cause rash, diarrhoea, itching, headache, chest pain, gangrene, and dizziness. Cancer treatment methods such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy on the other hand can lead to loss of hair, loss of appetite, weight-loss, nausea, vomiting and more.
However, it is true that side effects of a medication for a particular chronic illness may not have as many side effects as the drug used to treat another such illness.
How long does it take to recover?
Treatment takes a lot of time. In most cases, people must continue with the treatment for the rest of their life. However, the symptoms of the diseases can be kept under control with medication. Patients will likely experience better health a few days after starting to consume the drugs.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
Results of the treatment are seldom permanent. In fact, most chronic illnesses are very difficult to cure. Medication is used to keep the conditions managed, rather than curing it completely. However, if the patient stops taking these drugs, their symptoms will likely recur.
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
The only alternatives to the treatment related to chronic illnesses include the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. This means that the patient would need to maintain a diet, the ideal weight, perform daily exercises and give up smoking and drinking completely. While taking these steps will not cure the disorder, it will certainly help in reducing the symptoms related to the chronic illness.
Contact- Gentle Primary Care near Sugarland which is located at 6909 Brisbane Court, Sugar Land Texas 77479.
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