Aging and Managing Chronic Illnesses

Aging and managing chronic illnesses

In the US, more than 6 out of 10 adults suffer from chronic illnesses that pose both an economic and a health burden to individuals, their families, and healthcare systems alike. They can cause physical and psychological distress, restrict activity levels and diminish quality of life significantly.

Living with chronic disease can be challenging, but there are steps people can take to make daily life easier and better manage symptoms. They may need to make changes to their diet, exercise routine or sleeping patterns – or seek professional assistance for these healthy lifestyle modifications – from physicians. Physicians can provide valuable assistance when making these lifestyle modifications – and support patients as they reach their goals.

An individual with high blood pressure could benefit from eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats while remaining within their recommended calorie intake. Physicians can help their patients understand how one condition might exacerbate another as well as how certain behaviors like smoking or living in an area with airborne irritants might aggravate symptoms associated with disease.

People living with multiple chronic conditions may require the concurrent use of multiple prescription medications – this is called polypharmacy). It’s crucial that those taking multiple prescriptions at once communicate regularly with both their physician and pharmacist regarding any side effects that they experience from taking multiple medicines at the same time, their interactions, how often to take each dose and potential adverse reactions that could arise as part of treatment plans. Doing this will maximize efficacy while decreasing unwanted interactions or adverse reactions from taking multiple drugs at the same time.