How to Manage Your Life When Dealing With a Chronic Severe Illness

sick man lying across his bed

Have you been diagnosed with one or more severe illnesses? Do you struggle with depression related to your condition?

You're not alone. Health experts estimate that about 33% of people living with a chronic illness experience severe depression.

If you've been diagnosed with a heart condition, diabetes, cancer, or another chronic illness, you may need to make some changes to your lifestyle.

Understand Your Illness

It's natural to feel overwhelmed when you first get diagnosed with a chronic sickness. You may be prescribed medication for your illness and be asked to lose weight, quit smoking, or start exercising.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about your medication. It's important to check online to make sure that your medication is appropriate: sometimes, doctors prescribe medications that shouldn't be taken together.

Landmark Health helps people understand and manage their severe illnesses. They have offices in 13 states and in India and can travel to patients' homes.

If you have a chronic condition or are helping a relative or friend with an illness, don't be afraid to reach out for support. Nobody should have to deal with an illness alone.

Manage Your Pain

If your chronic condition causes you physical pain, be prepared to describe it to a doctor. Your pain may come and go, so keep a journal documenting your pain levels every day.

Is your pain sharp? Does it spread? What time of day do you feel the most pain?

Exercise may help you alleviate chronic pain, and your doctor may prescribe physical therapy in addition to your medication.

It's vital that you take your medication every day, as prescribed. If you feel too groggy or depressed, talk to your doctor about other pain management options.

Remember, doctors and nurses are committed to helping you live a pain-free life. It may take several months to get your medications at the proper levels.

Make Life Changes

In addition to getting used to a new medication regimen, you may have to change the way you eat and exercise.

Patients with heart disease, for example, may have to eliminate fried foods from their diets. Diabetics must avoid processed sugar at all costs. If you're not ready to make these changes, you may find yourself back in the hospital.

Managing chronic illnesses means taking care to eat, rest, and exercise every day. You may not be able to walk a mile right away but try to go a little farther every day.

It's possible to lose 10 pounds in a few weeks if you eat right and walk or run. Keep trying until you reach your weight loss goals.

Find Relief from Severe Illnesses

Once you've been diagnosed with a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease, you need to work with your doctor to improve your long-term outlook.

It may be inconvenient to change your diet, exercise, and take medication but it's essential for your continued health.

Most importantly, nobody with severe illnesses should feel alone. Check out these health and fitness articles for more information about improving your overall well-being.

 

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