Chronic diseases are medical conditions that last for a long time; sometimes for a few years and sometimes over the course of one’s lifetime. Chronic diseases can range in severity, but their affect is never too far off, as they can limit you from doing the activities you love or ever feeling completely well. Some chronic diseases get worse over time, while others, with proper treatment and care, can be overcome. Examples of chronic diseases – those that persist over time – can include cancer, asthma, chronic back pain and stroke. Many of these medical conditions require specialty care, for example, an oncologist for cancer or a pulmonologist for asthma. But there is a unique and important role your primary care physician plays in the management of chronic disease, as it is your primary who is your first line of care in the daily management of your general health. Here is why you may not want to rely solely on a specialist, but ensure your primary care physician, to help with the management of your chronic disease.
The Role of Primary Health Care
Primary health providers are medical professionals whom you seek out first for major and minor non-life-threatening health concerns in your family. They are also the doctors with whom you develop the closest bond throughout your life. They know you and, if the doctor practices family medicine, your family well; they are thoroughly familiar with and are responsible for overseeing your preventive care, meaning that they work with you to keep you healthy so you can avoid or reduce your risk of developing illness, as well as manage the conditions you have. They do this by maintaining records and keeping track of your health trends, and referring you to specialists based on your symptoms and medical history. It is your primary health care physician who is your most trusted and knowledgeable advocate when it comes to ensuring your medical care fits your needs.
Understanding your Total Health
If you have – or at risk of developing – a chronic disease, it is your primary care physician who will help you manage the day to day events that can affect your health. For example, if you do have a chronic disease and become ill with the flu or another illness or condition, your primary care physician will determine which specialist or diagnostics to refer you to, if the condition so merits. By working closely with your specialists as a key stakeholder of your wellness team, your primary care physician will ensure any referral or recommendations will be best for you. Likewise, he will have the best understanding of the medications you are taking and treatments you are undergoing and will ensure there are no interactions or overlapping concerns. In short, it is your primary care physician who has a full understanding of your overall and total health, not just your chronic condition.
Overseeing a Healthy Lifestyle
In most cases of those with chronic medical conditions, it is the responsibility of the primary care doctor to ensure a patient pursues a healthy lifestyle. That’s why, at each visit, you will have your vitals taken and discuss any changes or developments in your overall and general health. These diagnostics, tests and queries go far beyond simply checking boxes; they help your primary care physician inform opinions or prognoses regarding potential threats or concerns that affect your overall health and well-being. Expect your primary care physician to make recommendations regarding your weight and exercise management, ask about your mental health, even whether you are getting enough rest or have noticed any other concerns worth discussing. After all, it is your primary care physician who is connecting the dots to ensure your health – and your chronic disease – are being managed properly.
Managing Chronic Disease in Fort Worth
If you are looking for a primary care for you or your family in the greater Fort Worth area, then look no further than Texas Medical Institute. At Texas Medical Institute, our team of expert providers specialize in family practice, emergency medicine and chiropractic care by providing cutting edge techniques and state-of-the-art services for our patients. If you have a chronic disease, suffering from chronic back pain, or are looking for first-rate primary care to work alongside your specialists, we are happy to oblige. For more information about our primary care and other specialties, contact Texas Medical Institute in Fort Worth today. You can reach us at (817) 615-8633 or book an appointment online.