If you have more than one chronic condition, you might struggle with regular tasks and keeping on top of your schedule. What’s more, getting the care you need can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a reliable doctor who will help you manage your situation. At Your Family Medical in Bedford, TX, we offer chronic care management, a program designed specifically for people who are dealing with multiple illnesses.
This system provides you with ongoing care, which can support your lifestyle, help you cope, and facilitate communication with the various medical experts you work with. A wide variety of conditions qualify for this type of assistance, so if you have two or more chronic conditions, it’s likely that you’ll qualify. The best way to find out more is to reach out to us.
What Conditions Qualify for Chronic Care Management?
Unlike temporary medical issues, which can usually be resolved within a few weeks or months, a chronic illness lasts for over a year and impacts the way you function. Your illness and the treatment you have to undergo might cause you pain, stop you from moving around a lot, change your hormonal balance, or change your cognition and your mood.
Care management can be an important service for people with multiple chronic conditions because it allows them to receive the help they need at all times. A wide variety of patients qualify for this program, including those who suffer from multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, lupus, heart disease, and sleep apnea.
Multiple sclerosis is a serious long-term disease that affects a person’s spinal cord and brain. Some of the key symptoms include problems with balance and sensation, issues with vision, and problems moving the arms and the legs. Sometimes, these symptoms stay mild for a long time, but in other patients, they become worse and cause disability.
The life expectancy of people with multiple sclerosis is slightly reduced, but with the right lifestyle adjustments, many sufferers can remain healthy for years or even decades. Some of the treatments include taking steroid medications during relapses, specific treatments for individual symptoms, and disease-modifying therapies that are designed to reduce the number of relapses. People with MS generally have to be monitored throughout their life.
Patients with osteoporosis have very brittle bones, and they are more likely to break a bone than healthy people. This condition usually develops over several years, and it is very common in women who have gone through the menopause. At first, bones might break when the person falls or hits something, but when osteoporosis becomes worse, a simple sneeze or cough can be enough to cause a fracture.
The painful symptoms of this disease don’t usually start until a bone is broken or a vertebra collapses. However, many elderly patients get screened and treated before this happens. If you’ve been diagnosed with brittle bones or you’re at risk, you might have to take a daily vitamin D supplement, change your diet, carefully increase your exercise levels, and give up harmful substances like nicotine or alcohol.
Arthritis is very common, and around 58 million people are affected by it around the country. Those in their 60s and beyond are most at risk, but the condition can start at an earlier age. It causes the degeneration of your joints, so you might suffer from inflammation, pain, redness, swelling, and restricted movement. Many people can live well with arthritis, but when it becomes worse, the pain can significantly impact a patient’s ability to function.
Once arthritis has been diagnosed, it’s likely that you’ll have to take some medication and attend regular appointments at the clinic, so we can monitor your condition. Some lifestyle changes might also be necessary. If the condition progresses and you experience significant pain every day, you might need to undergo surgery.
Around one in thirteen Americans suffers from asthma. This medical issue is often diagnosed in childhood, but it can also develop in adults. If you’re asthmatic, you might wheeze when you breathe, cough more frequently, and have trouble breathing under certain circumstances, for example when you exercise. You might also feel a tightness in your chest.
Asthma can usually be managed with the help of an inhaler, which relieves the symptoms and allows the patient to breathe more easily. There are also preventer inhalers, which aim to prevent the symptoms from starting in the first place. If your asthma is severe, chronic care management could be beneficial, since you might have to take oral medication regularly.
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 usually starts in childhood, while Type 2 can occur when the patient gets older, often after the age of 50. People who have diabetes can’t adequately regulate their insulin levels. Some of the symptoms include feeling very thirsty, needing to use the restroom more often, tiredness, a loss of muscle mass, and slow wound healing.
Diabetes has to be managed carefully because it can be life-threatening. Patients often need to make lifestyle changes, for example exercising more regularly and avoiding certain foods and substances. They also need to monitor their blood glucose levels and have regular insulin injections or tablets, usually for the rest of their life.
Lupus can be hard to diagnose because it is similar to many other conditions. The primary symptoms are extreme tiredness, rashes, and joint and muscle pain, but patients can also suffer from headaches, hair loss, sensitivity to light, and mouth sores. Because lupus is better managed when it is diagnosed and treated early, it’s crucial to see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
Most people who have lupus are treated with a range of medications. They might get simple painkillers, hydroxychloroquine to address the tiredness, and creams, injections, or steroid tablets to prevent rashes and kidney problems. Because severe lupus can be life-threatening, patients need to be monitored by an experienced doctor.
There are various types of heart disease, and they are caused by a lack of exercise, a bad diet, excess weight, and genetic factors. It is estimated that almost 50% of Americans have some form of heart disease, so this is exceedingly common. Over time, a weak or malfunctioning circulatory system can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and even premature death.
Doctors usually advise patients to improve their lifestyle, lose weight, and make sure they aren’t stressed. However, medications might be necessary, and some people even need surgery to address heart-related conditions.
People who have sleep apnea stop breathing in the middle of the night. They might not necessarily wake up when this happens, but it disrupts the body’s functions in multiple ways. For example, it can cause high blood pressure, mood changes, heart disease, and diabetes. If you wake up a lot at night, you feel tired for no reason, or you find it hard to concentrate, sleep apnea could be the reason why.
To address this condition, many people get a CPAP machine, which pumps air into a mask that they wear during the night. This stops the airways from narrowing and improves the quality of the patient’s sleep. Other treatments might include a shield-like device that keeps the airways open or surgery to remove large tonsils.
What Services Are Included in Care Management?
Someone enrolled in the care management program gets at least 20 minutes of time with their designated medical professional each month. That way, conditions, symptoms, and treatments can be discussed, and changes can be made when necessary. The program helps you to stay accountable, and it improves the care you receive because there won’t be any gaps, and you’re guaranteed a slot.
How Can I Access this Service?
The best way to find out more about the program is to reach out to us and ask for a consultation. We can review your past medical records to see whether you qualify. If you haven’t been diagnosed yet but you believe that you suffer from one of the above-named conditions, get medical help as soon as possible. At Your Family Medical, we offer general medical care, geriatric medicine, internal medicine, hormone therapy, and more.
Get Help with Your Chronic Conditions Now
Dealing with multiple chronic conditions can be extremely taxing and make your daily tasks a challenge. If you’d like to make sure you’re getting the best care and support possible, chronic care management could be right for you. Give us a call at Your Family Medical in Bedford, TX to find out more about this program and to see whether you qualify.