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Chronic Illness

Chronic Illness Treatment Specialist in Charleston, SC

Chronic illnesses encompass a broad range of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, autoimmune disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome/lyme disease/autimmune hepatitis/multiple sclerosis, chronic kidney disease, hyper/hypothyroidism, and certain mental health conditions. Visit The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine (COEM) in Charleston to get specialized and comprehensive care. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 7510 North Forest Drive North Charleston, SC 29420. Patients routinely fly in to be evaluated by COEM, as we serve patients internationally. Find out if you have been exposed, extensive lab testing is available.

Chronic Illness Treatment Specialist Near Me in Charleston, SC
Chronic Illness Treatment Specialist Near Me in Charleston, SC

Table of Contents:

What is a chronic illness?
What are the most common chronic diseases?
What are some effects of a chronic illness?
When should I seek help to cope with my chronic illness?

What is a chronic illness?

A chronic illness refers to a long-term medical condition that lasts for an extended period, often three months or more. Unlike acute illnesses, which have a sudden onset and resolve within a relatively short time, chronic illnesses persist for a while or even a lifetime. Chronic conditions require ongoing management and medical care to control symptoms, slow disease progression, and maintain well-being.
Chronic illnesses vary widely in their nature and impact. They encompass a broad range of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and certain mental health conditions. Prevalent characteristics of chronic illnesses include persistent symptoms, fluctuations in symptom severity, and the need for continuous medical attention, including regular check-ups and management of medications or treatments.
Living with a chronic illness can have a huge impact on a person’s daily life, emotional well-being, and overall functioning. Effective management involves a multidisciplinary approach that includes medical therapies, medications, nutritional supplementation, IV therapy, diet and nutrition, lifestyle modifications, emotional support, and self-care strategies. The goal of treatment is to enhance your quality of life, minimize symptoms, and promote optimal functioning despite the presence of chronic illness.

What are the most common chronic diseases?

The most prevalent chronic diseases include:
Cardiovascular diseases – These include conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Diabetes – Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels due to impaired insulin production.
Respiratory diseases – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and other lung conditions can cause persistent breathing difficulties.
Arthritis – Inflammatory conditions that affect the joints, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, lead to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
Cancer – Cancer involves abnormal cell growth and can spread to other parts of the body if not effectively managed.

What are some effects of a chronic illness?

Living with a chronic illness can have a significant impact on various aspects of daily life. While the specific impact will vary depending on the exact condition and individual circumstances, some of the most common effects experienced by individuals with chronic illnesses include:
Physical limitations – Chronic illnesses often cause pain, fatigue, weakness, and reduced mobility, making it challenging to perform daily activities and engage in physical exercise.
Emotional and psychological impact – Dealing with a chronic illness can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and frustration. Patients report experiencing a loss of independence, changes in self-image, and uncertainty about the future.
Social isolation – Chronic illnesses often limit social interactions due to physical limitations, scheduling constraints, or fear of judgment or misunderstanding.
Financial burden – The costs associated with medical treatments, medications, and ongoing healthcare can place a financial strain on patients and their families.
Impact on relationships – Chronic illnesses can strain relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners, as they require understanding, support, and adjustments to accommodate the needs of the patient.
Reduced quality of life – Chronic diseases impact overall wellness, leading to a diminished sense of enjoyment, restricted opportunities, and a disrupted sense of normalcy.
It’s advised for patients with chronic illnesses to seek support from healthcare professionals, family, and support networks to manage the physical, emotional, and practical challenges associated with their condition.

When should I seek help to cope with my chronic illness?

Coping with a chronic illness is challenging, so seeking support is an essential step in managing your wellness. Some signs that indicate you will benefit from seeking assistance include:
Difficulty managing symptoms – If your symptoms are becoming increasingly difficult to manage or interfere with your daily life, it’s time to seek help. Our team can provide guidance and various treatment options to alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Emotional distress – When you’re experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness related to your chronic illness, it’s essential to seek support.
Difficulty adapting to lifestyle changes – If you’re struggling to adjust to the necessary lifestyle changes brought about by your chronic illness, such as dietary restrictions, medication management, or physical limitations, you should seek guidance from a healthcare professional, as they can provide valuable insights and strategies.
Feeling overwhelmed or isolated – It’s common to feel overwhelmed by the demands of managing your chronic illness. A healthcare professional can recommend local support groups to help you find understanding, share experiences, and develop a support network.
With the expertise of our doctors, you can trust that you’re in capable hands. Schedule a visit with us for prompt, effective, and holistic care. We serve patients from Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, North Charleston SC, Ladson SC, Hanahan SC, James Island SC, John’s Island SC, Daniel Island SC, all of South Carolina, Nationally, and Internationally. Patients routinely fly into Charleston to be evaluated by COEM and to enjoy this beautiful city which is a Condé Nast and Travel and Leisure Top Domestic and International Tourist Destination.