What Is Chronic Illness?

Chronic illness is not a name for any particular disease but rather a general term describing the length of duration of a disease’s symptoms. A chronic illness is basically any disease that has a long term effect on the body. The name Chronic comes from the Latin word ‘Chronos’ meaning time. Some chronic illnesses, or the tendency to contract them are hereditary, and some are environmental. People can be born with a chronic disease or fall ill later in life with a long term illness.

How Long Does A Chronic Illness Last?

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness does not necessarily mean you will be forever trapped with the disease. Some chronic illnesses can eventually be cured. In some cases the symptoms fade over time, in others they abruptly cease. There is no tried and true method of calculating if and when you will overcome a chronic illness. The best method of dealing with such a disease is to effectively alleviate the symptoms while attempting to avoid the situations that created the problem in the first place.

How Do You Catch A Chronic Illness?

It is important to note that most chronic diseases are not contagious. You cannot get them from person to person contact, breathing the same air, or drinking from the same glass. There are literally hundreds of chronic illnesses ranging from asthma to lung disease. The symptoms of any one of them can vary from mild to severe. Chronic illness can escalate over time or become less aggravating. Some chronic illness can lead to other ailments as well so it is vital to keep any long term disease in check to avoid more serious complications.

Some diseases that cause chronic illness require the use of medical aids or prescriptions in order to recover. Children born with deformities such as scoliosis may be required to wear special braces in order to straighten the spine and as they grow the condition lessens and even disappears. Allergies that can be very severe as a child are often simply outgrown. While medications and inhalers may be used to lessen the symptoms and make living easier they are not the cure – time is the cure for some of the diseases that are classified as a chronic illness.

How Will A Chronic Illness Affect Your Life?

In spite of the variety of chronic illnesses there is one thing they all have in common. They all generally have an effect on the quality of life of the patient. That too varies in degree. Some diseases may cause excessive fatigue making it hard to complete daily chores including work and school. In some cases it is even necessary to use aides such as a wheelchair, oxygen, or inhalers.

For patients who suffer from a chronic illness the main issue is coping with the symptoms. It is important to keep track of how the illness affects your daily life. Some patients find it helpful to keep a diary so that they can tell when certain activities cause more stress and difficulty dealing with their illness. It helps to keep track of the food eaten as well so that any triggers to an attack may be noted and avoided in the future.

How Do You Live with Chronic Illness?

It is very important for any person suffering from a chronic illness to take all of their medicines regularly. There are containers that will hold a supply of daily pills that can be set up ahead of time so that it is easy to keep track of when they are taken and to be sure doses are not missed.

Dealing with a chronic illness is a very emotional experience for both the patient and their families. It can be very helpful to seek counseling for help in dealing with the impact it will have on the lives of everyone involved. There are many support groups available to patients with long term diseases. Some are specifically set up for certain illness such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, and others are general groups that meet to discuss the impact of any chronic illness. Never be afraid or ashamed to seek the help of these groups. They can help greatly, not only by providing tips on how to get through the day with a chronic illness, but to help you realize you are not alone and many people deal with the same issues every day.

Many people suffering from a chronic illness are at a higher risk of depression. It is necessary to always be on the lookout for any time it appears that the patient is sinking into a seriously depressed state of mind and seek immediate attention. It is necessary to accept the fact that a chronic illness might not disappear and make plans to deal with it as if it were going to be a lifetime situation.

The Best Cure for Chronic Illness

While it is vital to keep up with doctor visits and medications the most important aspect of dealing with a chronic illness is hope. A positive attitude will keep you from sinking into depressions and allow you to better continue on with your life.

Families and loved ones helping someone suffering from a chronic illness can help by keeping a positive attitude and always being available to talk with the person dealing with the struggles of living with their disease. A cheerful supporter can often help a patient dealing with a long term disease live a much higher quality of life.

The Future of Chronic Illness

Medical science advances daily and many of the chronic illnesses of the past are no longer devastating or incurable. Work with your physician to develop better ways of living with your chronic illness and enjoy your life to the fullest extent possible.