Living With More Than One Health Problem
Many people have more than one long-term (chronic) health problem. You may be one of them. For example, you may have Reference high blood pressure Opens New Window and Reference diabetes Opens New Window, or you may have high blood pressure, diabetes, and Reference heart failure Opens New Window. When you have more than one problem, doctors call the health problems Reference comorbidities Opens New Window.
One health problem may lead to another, causing the comorbidity. For example, diabetes can damage the lining of your blood vessels. This can lead to hardening of the arteries (Reference atherosclerosis Opens New Window) and a Reference heart attack Opens New Window. And a heart attack can lead to heart failure.
You also may have health problems that are not linked to each other, such as Reference COPD Opens New Window and diabetes.
When you have more than one health problem, you have different health care needs. One disease can make another disease worse, and the total effect of all the diseases may be more than each on its own.
You also may have more symptoms and may need more treatment and medicines. You most likely will have to do more to take care of your health.
This topic will explore what you can do to help yourself when you have more than one health problem.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 3, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine