How to Manage Chronic Illness

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Understand chronic illness.,
Consult with a doctor After identifying your main symptoms that are unusual or causing you concern, consult your doctor.,
Manage your team of service providers.,
Walk, if possible.,
Employ every discipline, considering alternative treatments

Consider a massage: Massage can help relax the body and make one feel much better.,
Create an oasis in your home: Make sure these areas in your home are made safe

floors
walls
windows
furniture
closets
the bed
bed linens
pillows
laundry methods
personal habits
filtration system
ventilation system
general maintenance

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Understand that treatment of chronic illness requires the involvement of society as a whole-chronic disease is more than a health problem—it’s an epidemic.

Many individuals are ill with symptoms and do not know what is wrong with them. Many go without treatment for years. A critical public health problem and of growing concern worldwide is illness associated with the environment. Some people who experience intense, ongoing or cumulative, low level exposure to one or more chemicals or irritants become sensitive to them. People with environmental illness(es) often become ill and develop a range of disorders marked by debilitating symptoms affecting multiple organ systems. Frequency or severity of these symptoms are made worse by subsequent exposures, even at very low doses to a wider range of chemicals and irritants. It is a very serious condition.;
, Be aware that the following symptoms may also be caused by many different illnesses, therefore, a correct diagnosis is extremely important. Don’t procrastinate seeing a doctor because you want to avoid dealing with it. It is always best to catch any illness or condition as far in advance as possible.

Central nervous system – fatigue, tension, headaches, confusion, memory loss, depression, hyperactivity, sleep disturbances, dizziness
Gastrointestinal – bloating, nausea, constipation, cramps, diarrhea
Genitourinary – frequency, incontinence
Skin – eczema, flushing, rashes, hives
Musculoskeletal – muscles spasms, joint pain, backaches, swollen limbs
Respiratory – frequent colds, bronchitis, asthma, shortness of breath
Cardiovascular – rapid heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, hypertension, migraines
Ear, eye, nose, throat – nasal stuffiness, earaches, watery eyes, sinus infection, congestion

, Multidisciplinary intervention is communication and collaboration among doctors, nurses, caregivers, counselors, and other professionals. This is to improve satisfaction among participants and improve patients’ satisfaction with quality of care.The patient as well as their medical team need to learn how to manage the particular illness as many illnesses are very complex. The more the individual learns about their illness the better chance they will have to improve their health and keep their independence. A good self-management program for chronic illness is to put in place a team conference proposed plan of management

Individualized Care Plan
Follow up with physician discussion of further therapy
Regular review of care plan in team meeting
Linking with care providers in the community for collaborative management
Re-evaluation using objective tests to determine progress in patient’s health and care plan
Self management and community linkage
Coaching, building capacity and offering guidance in self management strategies
Assisting in developing community linkage. Work with every available resource to treat both the patient and the illness. There is a great need for community-based programs. These programs can cut financial cost, be more easily accessible, help the individual to manage their illness, and improve their overall health.

, Walking benefits the patient’s lungs, heart, and mind. One should walk or exercise at least three times a week and go at one’s own pace. The individual may have to start off very slowly and build up endurance, but in the end it is one of the best exercises that can be done and most people can do that. Some may have to use canes or rollators to do this, but that is okay. They may also use an electric scooter to be able to go greater distances, especially in the summer time, when on vacation. This enables the individual to keep their independence.

, For some people with chronic illness, however, a massage can create more pain for a few days. Be aware of what works for you and those with your illness. It will vary.

Consider pool therapy: This is very beneficial if one is able to join a program that caters to those that have chronic illness. Some even have heated pools and classes just for the chronically ill, done under the direction of trained personnel. Exercises can be done in a heated pool and at the level that is best suited for the client. Some pools have jets in them and this can be beneficial for one’s circulation.

Pharmaceutical prescription: Sometimes medications are needed to treat those who are very ill and it is important that they are followed up by their family physician. Do you research and consider the side effects, as well as the risk you take if your condition is left untreated. Know that just because you start a medication does not mean you will have to take it forever. Consider it part of your overall plan to be able to keep living, rather than in a constant battle of fighting to enjoy life.

Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy involves treatment at a clinic or at home. The therapist uses such treatment methods as a tens unit, ultrasound, moist heat, exercises, riding a stationary bicycle, and other treatment methods. The purpose is to relieve pain, improve mobility, motivate the individual to make life style changes, and to build up endurance. Some of their methods may then be continued at home with good follow up

Intravenous therapy: Intravenous nutrient therapy or IV is considered for patients based upon reported symptoms of fatigue and muscle pain. The patient is given a test at first to see if their body is low in magnesium. If it is, then they are tested with a small trial dose of magnesium combined with Magnesium, Sodium Bicarbonate, Vitamin C, and Beminal with C Fortis. This is a very safe method of treatment and done with nurses in attendance. Many patients get great relief after this type of treatment

Counseling: Programs for rehabilitation are community based models that offers assistance in the following: Employment assessment, re-entry into the work force with follow up, help to produce a pleasing resume, job search and interview skills etc. Other programs are more spiritually oriented and recognize that individuals have spiritual as well as emotional and physical needs

Follow good nutrition habits: Good nutrition means better health. One way to do this is to eat organically. Getting better requires clean air, clean food, clean water

Consider your spiritual path: Studies have shown that faith in God, a prayer life, and being involved in a congregation can lessen stress as well as physical symptoms. Friendships that are developed as well as feeling that there is a purpose in the pain or one’s experience can help one feel better and sometimes even help them heal. Research has shown that those who pray sometimes heal faster than those who do not. Don’t ignore your spiritual self in this journey of coping with a chronic illness.

,, As more of the population ages it is becoming a major problem. Every community needs to make sure that every thing possible is done to help our seniors and disabled to remain in their own homes as long as possible.

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