Now, more that ever, it is important that you do not ignore chronic or acute conditions.
During this time, whilst it is important to stay home as much as possible and social distance from others, it is also important to protect your health by visiting your doctor for routine check-ups and health screenings. If you have a chronic condition, regular check-ins with your doctor can help keep your condition in check.
Whilst some may find it unnerving to be around others at this time, undiagnosed and untreated chronic conditions can make you vulnerable to COVID-19 and put you at increased risk for severe illness if you get the virus. Doctors are finding that many of the sickest coronavirus patients have undiagnosed chronic medical conditions.
The following are some conditions that can’t be ignored:
- Diabetes. Diabetes can affect almost every part of your body. When left untreated, it can potentially lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney or nerve damage. It is important to work with your doctor to control your blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Routine check-ups with your doctor can also help you assess your risk for diabetes and take steps to reduce it.
- Hypertension and heart disease. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known as the “silent killer.” Left undetected or uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to heart attack, stroke, vision loss and kidney disease. Regular check-ups with your doctor and lifestyle changes can help reduce blood pressure. Screenings, like heart scans, can be lifesaving by detecting early calcium build-up in the arteries, the most common cause of heart disease.
- Respiratory conditions and lung disease. If left untreated, respiratory disorders like asthma, COPD and other lung diseases, can worsen dramatically and increase the risk of complications like pneumonia and respiratory failure. Uncontrolled asthma can also lead to an increased risk of permanent lung scarring. Be proactive by working with your doctor to manage these conditions.
- Obesity. Obesity can damage your body and cause health complications such as metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disorders and even cancer. Your doctor can work with you to offer treatments for obesity, such as lifestyle changes, medications and/or weight loss surgery.
- Crohn’s disease / gastrointestinal issues. Early diagnosis and treatment of this inflammatory bowel disease is essential. Letting Crohn’s disease go untreated allows the condition to progress and can lead to severe symptoms and complications (sometimes irreversible), hospitalisations, malnutrition and decreased quality of life.
- Cancer. This is one disease that cannot be ignored. For many types of cancer, delays in treatment usually leads to worse outcomes for patients. Also, routine exams, labs and screenings, like mammograms, pap smears and colonoscopies, can help detect cancer early, before symptoms are present, and before the disease has a chance to spread.
- Depression/anxiety. Now more than ever, people are struggling with depression and anxiety. Untreated, these conditions can have serious consequences, including addiction, self-harming and unfortunately even suicide. Depression and anxiety can also increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Treatment helps lower these risks.
If you are hesitant about seeing a doctor face-to-face, be rest assured that all of our doctors are in PPE and as a clinic we have taken extra measures to make sure everyone is safe!