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Chronic Diseases

Malibu Medical Group

Internal Medicine & Addiction Medicine located in Malibu, CA

Chronic diseases are common, affecting six in 10 adults in the US, and make up some of the leading causes of death. Fortunately, you can still live a long, fulfilling life with a chronic disease if you manage it properly. At Malibu Medical Group in Malibu, California, the experienced internal medicine team treats chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Call to make an appointment today, or use the online scheduler.

Chronic Diseases Q & A

What is a chronic disease?

A chronic disease is a long-lasting health condition that usually doesn’t go away over time or has no cure. However, treatments are available for chronic diseases, and when properly managed, you can still lead a long, high-quality life. Examples of chronic diseases include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Cancer
  • Chronic lung and kidney diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

Chronic diseases range from mild to severe, but catching and treating a disease early helps prevent serious complications.

What are the risk factors for chronic diseases?

You can’t always avoid getting a chronic disease, but certain factors increase your risk of developing one. Examples include:

  • Personal or family history of chronic diseases
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • Poor dietary habits
  • Engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors

The cause of a chronic disease isn’t always entirely clear. Many long-term diseases aren’t associated with symptoms, at least initially. That’s why scheduling routine wellness visits and screenings with your doctor is important.

How are chronic diseases diagnosed and treated?

To screen for, diagnose, and treat a chronic disease, your doctor goes over your medical history and reviews your symptoms. She completes a thorough physical examination and may order lab or imaging tests to make a final diagnosis. Your custom treatment plan might include:

Lifestyle changes

Sometimes making lifestyle changes helps manage a chronic disease without further treatment. Examples include getting plenty of sleep, reducing stress, losing weight, not smoking, getting regular exercise, eating the right foods, and taking dietary supplements.

Your doctor helps you plan healthy meals and counsels you about weight loss if you’re overweight or obese.

Natural remedies

Your doctor might recommend natural remedies to enhance disease management or reduce chronic pain associated with a disease. Examples include physical therapy, stretching exercises, wearing a brace, spinal manipulation, acupuncture, or massage.

Medications

Medications help ease the pain associated with chronic diseases or help you better manage a disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high blood sugar) to prevent complications. Your doctor lets you know which type of medication is right for you.

Surgery

Sometimes surgery is necessary to repair or replace damaged organs, joints, other body parts, or remove cancerous tumors that are life-threatening. Although surgery is often a last resort, it’s sometimes necessary to restore your quality of life or even save your life.

If you’re at risk of or already have a chronic disease and want to optimize your health and life expectancy, schedule a checkup with Malibu Medical Group today, or use the online scheduler.