How can I manage my health when I have many chronic conditions?

Diet plays a role not only in managing chronic conditions and illness, but also preventing them, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For example, a well-balanced diet can help keep the immune system strong, and that is an important safeguard against disease and illness.

Living with a chronic condition, like diabetes or high blood pressure, can be life-changing, and there are often factors associated that are out of people's control. The good news is that people can prevent and control many disease risk factors with lifestyle changes—including eating a healthier diet.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

Healthy eating and exercise are very important when it comes to managing the impact of conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Note that healthy eating is not the same as dieting—you want to make healthy choices around food, not follow fad diets. Patient education is also an important aspect when dealing with prevention and management of chronic disease. Patients need to be given the knowledge and resources to understand why things like proper diet and exercise matter.

You asked the right person! The best way to manage your health when you have chronic conditions is to have a good family physician. Your doctor will have guidelines to follow to best manage your chronic health conditions. Your family physician is trained to coordinate the care that may span multiple specialties. That does not mean than you might not need a specialist, but your family doctor can coordinate that care for you as well.

Follow the guidelines recommended by your primary healthcare provider. Having several chronic conditions may mean having several specialists to oversee your care. This can become confusing when it comes to safely managing medications and day to day cares. Have a trusted support person (friend or family member) assist you as needed to organize medications and care regimens. Make sure contact information for your providers is organized, written down and kept in an area that it is easily accessible when needed. Have your support person accompany you to appointments to assist in clarifying issues that may arise; occasionally your support person is able to help you remember areas of concern to mention to your provider during your visit.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.