How to Deal with the Treatment of Chronic Diseases

Cutting, poking and drugging: those are the three things modern medicine does to you. It may sound awful, but these are actually the reason why we have become better at saving people from many fatal things like heart attacks and accidents. But for chronic illnesses, these three things may not represent the best approach.

If you are worried about your health, it can be a better approach to go to a doctor to find out ‘what you don’t have’. By contrast, if you ask only for ‘what you do have’, it can be difficult to answer for the doctor, who may then hastily prescribe something to get you on your way. It is typically easier for doctors to rule out what you don’t have, than it is for them to identify the cause of common symptoms. For instance, they can determine through testing whether or not you have cancer or an infection or a major disease.

In the absence of those conditions, it will become clearer what you need to do for yourself. Think about how much exercise you’re getting, what kind of diet you’re on and how you’re managing stress. Dealing with these things will help you alleviate any symptom brought on by a chronic condition resulting from your behavior and lifestyle.

The same philosophy can be applied for physical injuries. Let’s say you fell and hurt your arm. You go to a doctor and get it x-rayed to know if it is broken. If it is, you will need a cast. But if it’s not broken, all you need to do is take it easy for a while, protect the arm, support it and let the natural healing process take its course. Also, you must avoid the situation that led you to fall. If there’s something that can be done to prevent future reoccurrence, then act accordingly.

Sometimes, going in for a medical consultation can exacerbate the symptom you originally consulted for. This is true in many cases of back pain. When patients come in for back pain, they need to be told if it is serious or not. In either case, it can be severe enough to prevent them from moving or acting normally. Once a serious condition has been ruled out, then you can start working on the problem the right way with your doctor or therapist. However, if something serious is found, like a bulging disk or degenerative disk, then there are potential risks that most people are not aware of. MRIs are regularly done to diagnose back issues and to determine whether you need surgery. But patients who undergo early MRI scanning usually have higher rates of surgery and worse outcomes. In fact, most available data does not support this practice. Furthermore, once you are told that you have a serious problem with your back, you tend to be overly conscious of it and it increases your perception of the pain.

In general, when dealing with chronic illness, always look at what you can do for yourself. Look at what you can and cannot control. Keep these points in mind; when you rely too much on medication, it encourages you to be passive and not take control of certain things that can be controlled. It is far too common to give your power over to other people regarding what to do about your own health. (You certainly won’t be any healthier or happier with this approach.) When you do consult a doctor, rule out the serious, life-threatening diseases and then ask what treatment is necessary, as well as how long treatment will take. You will have a better outcome if you address the lifestyle issues. Remember the four fundamentals of good health: exercise, a proper diet, avoiding toxic environments and people, and managing stress. – Do these four things and you will be healthier; up to 80% of all your symptoms will go away. Also, you’ll be happier because you’re promoting your own good health and actively taking responsibility for it.

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