Having a chronic or ongoing health conditions can be distressing, especially if you are dealing with several health conditions at the same time. JSA Medical Group offers special programs to assist you in managing your conditions over the long-term to keep you as healthy as you can be.
What Is a Chronic Condition?
Some examples of chronic conditions are heart failure or congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease or kidney failure (CKD), diabetes, asthma, cancer or arthritis.
We Work with You One-on-One
Your JSA Medical Group team of doctors, nurses, care managers, and staff work with you one-on-one. We develop a personalized disease management plan to help you better manage your chronic health conditions. Think of it as an extra layer of support, encouragement and information above and beyond the care you receive from your doctor.
Our team will teach you to watch for symptoms, and give you strategies for dealing with your health challenges. We emphasize instruction and education—our goal is to connect with you and build a long-term relationship based on communication, so when your symptoms appear, you can quickly contact us for treatment and support. And no matter where you need care—at home, in the hospital, at a skilled nursing facility — we make sure you get the right care in the right place.
We Empower You to Keep Yourself Healthier
We will also help you to be very proactive to prevent your condition from getting worse or from having to go to the hospital when it’s not necessary. When you have the right tools, the right healthcare team, the right equipment, and the right motivation, your quality of life can be greatly improved despite having one or more chronic health conditions.
We empower you to learn as much as possible about your health condition. Below are a series of short video clips to get you started.
Diabetes (Type 2)
What You Need to Know About Type 2 Diabetes
If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes, you may have a lot of questions about your condition. One thing to know is there are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. The more common is type 2 diabetes. Here are answers to questions you may have about this condition.
Q: What is diabetes?
A: Diabetes causes sugar to build up in the blood. When you eat, your body has a harder time changing the food into the energy you need. Diabetes is a life-long disease, but you can control it and live a better life with diabetes.
Q: What are the risk factors for developing diabetes?
A: Risk factors include:
- Age (being over the age of 45)
- A family history of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels
- Diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
- Certain ethnic backgrounds
Illness, infection, surgery, and stress can also increase your blood sugar level. Sometimes diabetes develops, even if you are at a healthy weight and no one else in your family has it.
Q: What are the symptoms of diabetes and how do I know if I have it?
A: Symptoms include feeling very thirsty, urinating often, feeling tired all the time, blurred vision, having skin wounds or infections that will not heal, and losing weight. Some people with diabetes do not have any symptoms but have just as serious a condition as those who do. There is no such thing as a mild case of diabetes.
To find out if you have diabetes, a blood sugar (glucose) test is done. If you are fasting for eight hours, a result of 126 mg/dL or higher means you have diabetes. If you are not fasting, a result of 200 mg/dL or higher can indicate that you have diabetes. Your doctor may also order a Hemoglobin A1C blood test. A result of 6.5 percent or higher means you have diabetes.
Q: Why is diabetes a serious condition?
A: Some people become very ill with diabetes. They may have problems such as dehydration or infection. If diabetes is untreated for many months or years, the blood vessels and nerves in your body can also become damaged. This can lead to problems such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage, eye damage, and problems with circulation and feeling in the feet. It is important to keep blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol levels as close to normal as possible to help prevent complications. Also, regular checkups with your doctor are essential.
Q: What do I have to do to take care of my diabetes?
A: Focus on five key areas:
Get more help managing your type 2 diabetes
- Get educated
- JSA Medical Group offers diabetes classes. These classes will teach you how to manage your diabetes by making healthy changes over time. This will make a big difference in how you feel.
- Eat right
- Eat three balanced meals daily, 4-5 hours apart.
- Follow the healthy plate method for your meals: 1/2 plate vegetables, 1/4 plate lean protein and 1/4 plate carbohydrates.
- Increase your fiber intake. Fiber helps to control blood sugars. Foods such as whole grains, beans, lentils, and vegetables are a great source of fiber.
- Drink water, unsweetened coffee, or tea. Do not drink sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and juice.
- For more information on healthy eating, ask your doctor or registered dietitian about a food plan.
- Be active
- Physical activity, such as walking, helps to lower your blood sugar.
- Check your blood sugar.
- Take your diabetes medications as prescribed by your doctor.
We offer special programs to help patients manage chronic conditions. Your JSA Medical Group team of doctors, nurses, care managers and educators will work with you to develop a personalized disease management plan. Our team will teach you to watch for symptoms, and give you strategies for dealing with your health challenges. We emphasize instruction and education. That way, when your symptoms appear, you can quickly contact us for treatment and support. And no matter where you need care—at home, in the hospital, at a skilled nursing facility—we make sure you get the right care in the right place at the right time.
Speak with a JSA Medical Group doctor today.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary (lung) disease, or COPD, is a condition where your airways are damaged, leading to shortness of breath and increased coughing. Two lung diseases, emphysema and chronic bronchitis are collectively known as COPD. When COPD develops, air gets trapped in the lungs and cannot easily escape. This leads to chest tightness, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
COPD is progressive and irreversible. It affects millions of people.
COPD not only damages the lungs. It can put a strain on your heart, possibly leading to heart failure. COPD also increases blood pressure in your lungs. It can additionally cause malnourishment because you become too short of breath to properly eat.
With the help of your JSA Medical Group doctor, you can manage your COPD. Your treatment plan will help you improve your quality of life and slow the progression of the disease.
What are the causes of COPD?
What are the symptoms of COPD?
- Cigarette smoking (accounts for 80 to 90 percent of all cases)
- Second-hand smoke
- Childhood respiratory infections
- Work-related or environmental dust, coal dust, and chemical exposure
- Indoor pollution from cooking fumes and poor ventilation
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (a rare, inherited disorder)
- Shortness of breath during routine tasks
- Increase in cough or phlegm
- Fatigue/tiring easily
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Swollen ankles
- Inability to concentrate (low oxygen levels)
- Recurrent lung infections
How is COPD treated?
If you are diagnosed with COPD, your doctor may recommend changes you can make to live a healthier lifestyle. These changes will also make your daily activities easier and help slow the progression of your condition.
Here are some ways to treat COPD:
- Take prescribed medications as directed.
- Maintain an active lifestyle as approved by your doctor. Aerobic exercise can help to increase your stamina, and strengthening your upper body can improve your ability to breathe.
- Quit smoking. Ask your doctor about ways to help you quit.
- Avoid irritants, such as fumes, dust, and strong odors that may trigger a “flare up.” Also decrease exercise when air pollution is high.
- Get vaccinated for the flu and pneumonia.
- Reduce your stress.
- Learn and practice breathing exercises such as “pursed lip breathing” and “abdominal breathing” to get more oxygen into your lungs and move the “bad air” out.
Eating right can also help you manage your COPD. Use these tips to get the most out of your meals:
1. Eat small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.
2. Avoid gas-producing foods, including apples, broccoli, cabbage, and carbonated beverages.
3. Try to stay at a healthy weight, as recommended by your doctor.
4. Cut food into small pieces, eat slowly, and avoid or minimize talking during meals.
5. If you are short of breath when you eat, slow down.
6. Drink plenty of fluids to keep mucus thin and easier to cough up. Ask your doctor about how much fluid you should consume.
7. Eat and drink dairy products, especially if you are taking Prednisone (steroids).
8. Use quick and easy food recipes to save your energy.
9. Conserve energy by cooking extra food to store so that a future meal only needs to be heated.
10. Eat nutritious, well-balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables to help your body fight infections, prevent illnesses, give you more energy, and help you grow stronger.
Plan your future with COPD
Know that your condition may worsen over time. Discuss with your doctor and loved ones how your treatment plan may change.
Need more help with COPD? We offer special programs to help patients manage chronic conditions. Your JSA Medical Group team of doctors, nurses, care managers and educators will work with you to develop a personalized plan for managing your COPD. We’ll work with you on strategies to improve your breathing and techniques for when you are short of breath. We also emphasize self-management. That way, when you start to have symptoms you’ll know what you can do can quickly to manage them. And no matter where you need care—at home, in the hospital, at a skilled nursing facility—we make sure you get the right care in the right place at the right time.
Choose a JSA Medical Group doctor to talk more about COPD.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Living with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Congestive heart failure, or CHF, means your heart muscle does not pump blood as well as it should. This makes it weaker than normal. Typically, CHF occurs as a result of a heart attack (and the damage to the heart). It can also happen because of ongoing high blood pressure.
There are many symptoms of CHF, including:
- Shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing with or without activity
- Problems with breathing when lying down
- Weakness or fatigue
- Swelling of the abdomen, feet, and ankles
- Weight gain
- Irregular or rapid pulse
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of appetite or indigestion
- Decreased concentration or alertness
- Decreased urine production or need to urinate at night
- Nausea and/or vomiting
How is CHF treated?
Your doctor will determine your medical treatment after diagnosing heart failure. Your treatment may include reducing risks that affect your heart (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other conditions). It may also include taking medicines to lighten the workload of your heart, eliminate extra fluid in your body, and treat your particular type of heart disease.
There are three common prescription medications that are important to help manage symptoms.
1. Furosemide, water pill, or other diuretic – Removes extra fluid from the body.
2. ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor or, for some patients, an ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker) – Relieves symptoms and may improve the health of your heart.
3. Beta blocker – Lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, and reduces the stress on your heart.
Your doctor may also have you on a low dose of Aspirin daily (81 mg per day). Many patients additionally take a statin medication for their cholesterol management.
6 important tips for your CHF management
CHF is considered “chronic” (ongoing or constant). You may always have CHF. But you can manage it so that you can still enjoy many, if not all, of your usual activities. Here are six easy CHF management tips:
1. Take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor and report any side effects.
2. Weigh yourself daily to watch your fluid retention—a sign that your heart is not working as well as it should.
3. Cut back on salt. Salt makes your body retain fluids and causes your heart to work harder.
4. Stay active to help strengthen your heart muscle.
5. Ask your doctor about getting the flu and pneumonia vaccines. Contracting these illnesses can worsen CHF.
6. Always contact your doctor when you have any questions about symptoms.
We offer special programs to help patients manage chronic conditions such as CHF. Your JSA Medical Group team of doctors, nurses, care managers and educators will work with you to develop a personalized disease management plan. Our team will teach you to watch for symptoms, and give you strategies for dealing with your health challenges. We emphasize instruction and education. That way, when your symptoms appear, you can quickly contact us for treatment and support. And no matter where you need care—at home, in the hospital, at a skilled nursing facility—we make sure you get the right care in the right place at the right time.
To learn more about how we can help you manage CHF, find a JSA Medical Group doctor today.