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If you have a chronic illness, chances are your body will show a few early signs of the disease, weeks or even months before the first attack. Chronic illness is defined as any disease or disorder that lasts for more than 12 months.
Such conditions often disrupt your day-to-day activities and are dependent on your lifestyle. To reduce chronic illness symptoms, you’ll need to modify certain habits such as sleep, diet, and water intake.
Chronic diseases are lifelong and don’t just disappear within a few months. There’s no proper cure for them, but medications and therapies can manage the pain. More importantly, it’s crucial to be aware of the symptoms of chronic conditions and know what you can do to minimize the risk. Let’s go through a few signs you need to watch out for:
1. Shortness of breath
Some diseases like lung cancer, asthma, pneumothorax, COPD, arrhythmia, heart attack, and anemia lead to shortness of breath. All these are chronic illnesses that, if ignored, can become fatal. If you recognize the signs, you can minimize the worst conditions and start proper treatment at the right time.
For example, many people exposed to asbestos at the workplace are prone to mesothelioma – a type of pleural cancer. By hiring a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer, you can not only get financial compensation for its treatment but also get justice from those who endanger your life.
People often get headaches because of stress or tiredness. However, sometimes persistent pain in the head could indicate a chronic condition that needs instant attention. Usually, consistent long-term headaches signify blood vessels or circulation problems in the brain, such as stroke.
Heart attacks might trigger stabbing headaches and jaw pain a few days before. Migraine and epilepsy are also chronic illnesses that lead to severe headaches. If your headache lasts more than ten days, a month, or even more than three months, it’s time to visit a doctor and check it.
Dizziness is another critical sign of chronic conditions that cannot be ignored. It is accompanied by fatigue, weakness, wooziness, and in severe cases, might cause you to faint. Nutritional deficiencies or lack of proper diet usually cause iron deficiency anemia. This chronic illness affects numerous children and women around the world.
Such patients experience dizziness after even small routine tasks. People with chronically low blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, low blood sugar, and even vertigo are prone to frequent bouts of dizziness.
If you experience prolonged dizziness for 10+ days or weeks, you should get it checked by a doctor. Also, drink lots of fluids and stay hydrated to counter the effects of vertigo.
Fatigue is when you feel super tired and weak despite getting a good night’s sleep. Adults often experience fatigue after long hours or some laborious chores. While insomnia could be one reason, fatigue is sometimes also brought upon by a lack of physical activity or underlying nutritional deficiency, like low iron or blood sugar.
Some chronic conditions that cause fatigue include anxiety, depression, breast cancer, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Suppose you’ve been restless for about two weeks consistently, even after a healthy diet and hydration. In that case, it’s time to go for a body check-up to determine the real reason behind fatigue.
5. Digestive distress
Constipation and diarrhea are also common signs of chronic conditions that need immediate treatment. Many severe disorders can lead to irritable bowel or difficulty keeping things smooth down there.
You might not even feel hungry because of constant bowel issues. Lactose intolerance, stress, depression, anxiety, acidity, cancer, iron deficiency, hormonal imbalance, and IBD are some reasons you might have digestive distress.
Constipation should be taken seriously if you’re experiencing it for more than a week. Diarrhea can also result in low blood sugar, leaving you drained of energy. You could try some home herbal remedies to stop or pass stool.
Experts also recommend lots of fluids in case of diarrhea. For constipation relief, you might want to add more fiber to your diet and ensure you drink plenty of water every day.
Pain is also a significant symptom of chronic conditions, and sadly, it’s often ignored. Many people don’t take pain seriously, even though it could signal a dangerous disease inside. Chest pain is related to cancerous tumors. Abdominal pain indicates some gut health problems.
Chronic back pain is an alarming issue caused by poor sleep position, improper posture alignment while sitting, or the use of a bad-quality mattress.
Many people at risk of heart attack feel a sharp pain in the arms, wrists, neck, jaw, collarbone, and chest. If you experience long-term pain for several days and weeks, you must get it checked by a health professional.
All the symptoms mentioned above of chronic conditions are alarming indicators of problems in your body and should never be taken lightly. Most importantly, their duration should be noted to determine when to visit the doctor.
Making healthy lifestyle changes is also imperative to ensure the treatments work. To prevent the worst symptoms, you might need to pay attention to your diet, fitness, hydration, and relaxation.