Chronic diseases are long-term health conditions that affect about 6 in 10 Americans. Chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, are the leading cause of disability and death in the US and a leading driver of healthcare costs.
Chronic disease management is a vital aspect of primary care. Primary care empowers patients with chronic conditions to manage their chronic health conditions and overall well-being actively. It also focuses on preventing complications and improving the quality of life of people with chronic diseases.
Here are some components of chronic disease management that empower patients for better health.
This is a process of checking the condition of a patient with chronic diseases regularly to ensure that their disease is under control. This may involve checking their blood sugar level, blood pressure, and other lab values and monitoring patients for any symptoms, such as pain or shortness of breath.
Some people with chronic health conditions require frequent monitoring, while others do not. For example, patients with high blood sugar levels or pressure require continuous monitoring, while patients with well-controlled high cholesterol and osteoarthritis do not require regular monitoring.
Regular monitoring helps patients stay motivated and make healthy lifestyle changes to keep their health numbers under control.
Patient Education and Awareness
Primary care also focuses on providing patients with all the necessary information about their chronic condition, its causes, symptoms, treatment options, and potential complications if the disease is left unmanaged.
Primary care providers also provide patients with the skills and sources they need to self-manage their health.
Goal setting involves defining specific objectives the patient aims to achieve within a certain time frame. Primary care providers also help their patients with chronic diseases set realistic and achievable goals for managing their condition.
These goals may be related to their blood sugar control, blood pressure regulation, weight management, weight loss, or any other aspect of their chronic health conditions that require attention.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic health diseases are often caused by unhealthy and risky behaviors, such as smoking, poor diet quality, physical inactivity, and tobacco and alcohol use.
Therefore, as a part of a chronic disease management plan, primary care providers encourage their patients to make positive changes in the various aspects of their daily habits, behaviors, and choices to manage their chronic health condition and promote better health and well-being.
Some beneficial lifestyle modifications that can help individuals manage their chronic health conditions are as follows:
- Eating a balanced and nutritious diet
- Engaging in regular exercise or physical activity
- Practicing stress reduction techniques
- Getting quality sleep
- Abstaining from alcohol and smoking
Primary Care at Starling Diagnostics in the Bronx, NY
At Starling Diagnostics, we offer a comprehensive array of primary healthcare services, including chronic disease management. Our board-certified and compassionate doctors also offer:
- Treatment of acute injuries and illnesses
- Screening and diagnostic tests
- Vaccination and immunization
- Annual physical exams
To learn more about our primary care services or to arrange a one-on-one consultation with one of our providers, contact our staff today at (718) 319-1610 or use our convenient, secure online appointment request form.