When chronic disease or illness begins to force you to make changes in your life, it can feel like everything is working against you. Will you be able to continue doing the things you love? What happens as your disease progresses? The answers to these questions lie in chronic disease management.
At Indus Healthcare in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Amit Reenu Paliwal and his team work with you to achieve effective chronic care management that meets four key objectives to improve your life.
Chronic disease overview
A chronic disease is a condition or illness that causes effects lasting longer than 12 months. This can have a major impact on your overall sense of well-being, risks of developing additional conditions, and your overall quality of life.
The CDC has a short list of seven conditions they consider to be chronic. Their list is fairly generalized, and each category can include multiple individual conditions. At the top of their list is any form of cancer, followed by any form of diabetes. Next comes Alzheimer’s disease, followed by all forms of heart, kidney, and lung disease. Finally, after-effects of stroke are also considered to fall under the chronic disease umbrella.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services adds to the list by including mental health conditions, autoimmune diseases, and any other type of ongoing illness that causes symptoms that are harmful to your health and may require medication, disease management, and restrictions to your daily activities.
Effective chronic disease management
Chronic disease management has several objectives designed to help you live your best life, as unburdened as possible by complications from your disease. The four key objectives of this type of care include:
1. Constant reevaluation
Monitoring the progress of your disease and staying vigilant for any signs of additional chronic conditions is the first objective. Three out of five adults in the United States have at minimum one chronic disease, and two out of five US adults suffer from multiple chronic conditions.
The likelihood that you’ll eventually end up with two or more chronic diseases means new symptoms should be discussed as soon as possible with your doctor due to increased risk (for example, having diabetes significantly increases your risk for both stroke and heart disease).
2. Medication management
One of the most important objectives when it comes to chronic disease care is medication management. The goal is for the benefits of every medication you take to outweigh any potential side effects.
If you have more than one chronic disease, this becomes even more important, as your medications need to be carefully balanced and monitored to ensure there’s no cross-interaction that could be harmful to your health.
Long-term medication use may require regular testing of your liver and kidneys to ensure they are managing the job of filtering out waste from each medication. Medication management can also include working out a plan to ensure you don’t forget to take your meds.
3. Lifestyle changes
If your chronic disease affects your mobility, flexibility, balance, or ability to process sugar, you may need to make lifestyle changes. These can include changes to your diet, adaptation to your exercise routine, or even revising your household layout and adding aids to help you navigate.
Dr. Paliwal helps you figure out if you need to make lifestyle changes to improve your health and manage your chronic condition easier. He may also have recommendations for further disease prevention, such as stopping smoking or losing a little bit of weight.
4. Quality of life
The final objective of chronic disease management is to maintain and improve your quality of life. Living with chronic disease can also mean living with chronic pain, and mental health issues can result from discovering you can no longer do everything you used to be capable of.
By focusing on the things you can do, mitigating pain symptoms, and improving mobility, we make it possible for you to enjoy improved quality of life even with chronic illness. We also help prepare you for any expected progression of your disease(s), planning ahead so you remain in control.
If you’d like to talk to Dr. Paliwal about chronic disease management, call the location closest to you, or schedule an appointment online today.