Close to one-third of American Adults have multiple chronic conditions. Diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and arthritis can have debilitating symptoms. The United Physician Group provides chronic disease management to help patients live more fulfilling lives. Here are tips for managing symptoms of your chronic condition and preventing complications.
Physical activity and adequate sleep
Increasing physical activity has physiological and mental benefits for patients with chronic conditions. Exercise helps improve the quality and amount of time spent sleeping.
There is also an interrelationship between sleep and exercise. The more sleep you get, the more active you become, and vice versa.
Physical activity can reduce fat and manage symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea can harden arteries and impact blood sugar control in patients with diabetes. Therefore, exercise prevents complications by reducing disruptions resulting from conditions like sleep apnea.
Exercise and sleep are also essential for managing psychological distress. Physical activity alleviates anxiety, mood disorders, and stress. It can also boost your self-esteem, memory, and cognitive function. Depression can worsen symptoms of chronic conditions like heart disease and arthritis.
Your doctor can review your health and recommend an exercise program suitable for your needs. Research shows 150 minutes per week is sufficient to manage symptoms of cardiovascular diseases. A customized plan that targets specific areas of the body is sometimes necessary for the best outcomes.
A balanced diet incorporating micronutrients can prevent or reduce symptoms of chronic diseases. Scientific studies indicate healthy nutrition is crucial for preventing cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
You should include vegetables, fruits, and calcium-rich foods in your diet. Anti-inflammatory agents fatty fish and garlic contain inflammation, reducing swelling and pain for arthritis patients. A diet adjustment can regulate blood sugar and prevent the progression of diabetes.
Your doctor can discuss nutritional deficiencies and dietary adjustments that match your health needs. For example, for high blood pressure patients, a diet low in sodium can keep the blood pressure stable.
Make positive lifestyle adjustments
Smoking and heavy drinking can worsen symptoms and often trigger complications. Cigarette smoke encourages the accumulation of plaque in blood vessels. Smoking is responsible for one in three deaths from cardiovascular diseases.
Alcohol affects your blood pressure and increases the risk of a stroke. It weakens heart muscles and may cause heart failure. It also raises fat levels in the blood, which is a factor for cardiovascular diseases.
It is advisable to quit smoking and drinking, especially if you have a chronic disease. Your doctor may suggest evidence-based cessation programs to help you kick the habit.
Attend your scheduled screenings
Monitoring your symptoms is a crucial aspect of chronic disease management. Your family history can help determine risk factors your doctor will focus on during the process.
A physical exam and blood test can confirm your diagnosis of diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. A timely screening allows you to take steps to prevent the complications common with chronic conditions. Your provider may schedule follow-up visits to evaluate your response to lifestyle changes and medical interventions.
To learn about chronic disease management, call United Physician Group or schedule an online consultation.