Your healthcare provider diagnosed your medical condition as a “chronic disease,” and you will need regular monitoring and treatment. Now what?
Family Medicine Doctor
First, know that you’re already doing what is best for your overall health—you have a regular family medicine physician. Your doctor is your best advocate to help you manage your medical condition. A family medicine doctor specializes in comprehensive (overall) healthcare for people of all ages. They also work with other medical specialists to coordinate and help manage conditions that need additional medical support and treatment.
Your doctor’s knowledge about your medical history and personal life will benefit you as you establish your care plan together. Having a doctor you know and trust provides peace of mind.
What is Chronic Disease?
Next, understand what a chronic disease means and learn as much as you can about your particular condition. A chronic disease is persistent and lasts longer than a year. People living with chronic conditions need ongoing medical attention to control the symptoms and lessen their effects.
The most common chronic diseases are heart disease, cancer, lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, kidney disease, and asthma. Whatever your diagnosis, effective disease management means keeping your regularly scheduled appointments and following the treatment plan agreed upon with your family medicine physician or specialists.
Finally, know that you’re not alone. Many others are living with, and managing chronic diseases. Ask your doctor if there is a way to connect with others who have the same condition so you can support each other—whether one-on-one or in a group setting. Set up an action plan with goals that you can achieve when your health allows, such as pursuing a favorite hobby, spending time with family or friends, reading, or taking a walk. Remember to be your own advocate, take your medications on time, and make it to all of your doctor appointments.
Living with a chronic condition can be managed well with the help and support of your doctor and healthcare team, and your own support system. If you need a family medicine doctor and don’t have one, make an appointment at Glacial Ridge.