A chronic illness is typically defined as a health condition that is long-term in nature and can be treated but not cured. It is a startling fact that around six in ten Americans have a chronic illness of some form, and four in ten have more than one chronic condition. The nature and severity of chronic illnesses can vary considerably depending on the condition and how it is managed on a daily basis. Some chronic conditions will require ongoing medical treatment, while others may only require a series of lifestyle changes to control them effectively.
In this article, three types of chronic illness will be discussed in detail. Each of these can have serious health implications for the person with the condition. However, there is also a range of treatments for each condition that can be used to allow a person to continue to lead a full and active life.
Cancer occurs in the body when its cells start to grow out of control. When this occurs in the lungs, it is termed lung cancer. Early symptoms of the condition include coughing frequently for a period longer than two weeks, especially if there is blood in any fluid that is brought up when coughing. Other signs can include rapid weight loss in the person, persistent headaches, and chest pain. It is of paramount importance that if you have such signs of illness, you visit your doctor at the earliest possible opportunity. A doctor will be able to screen you for the disease and may refer you to cancer specialists if you are found to have lung cancer. At this point, you may be offered treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, depending on the nature of the cancer and its stage of progression.
Dementia is the term given for a range of around eighty forms of the condition, such as Lewy Body dementia. It is another progressive and chronic illness that can have serious health implications if not recognized early. There is a wide range of symptoms that can be caused by the onset of dementia. These can include (but are not limited to) feelings of disorientation, difficulties in communicating, forgetting common things such as the names of relatives, or forgetting to turn off the oven after cooking. In the advanced stages of dementia, a person may not be able to remain in their home as the illness poses a risk to their day-to-day safety and well-being. If you think you have signs of dementia, it can be useful to take a dementia quiz to see if you are at risk of having the chronic condition.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that impairs the body’s ability to use sugar as fuel and control the body’s blood sugar levels. Thankfully, it is one of the most easily controllable chronic conditions. Millions of people with type 2 diabetes find that they can manage the condition by making changes to their lifestyle. Adopting a healthy diet that is low in fats and sugars is vital, as is controlling your cholesterol levels. Many people with type 2 diabetes are instructed to take regular exercise routines that improve their general health and allow them to control their blood pressure more effectively.