Diagnosing a Chronic Disease

If you live in Houston, TX, and need chronic disease management, Lawndale Medical Clinic is available for comprehensive diagnosis and care. Once you know that you suffer from a chronic disease, we can help you manage the condition with routine checkups, screenings, education, and a personalized treatment plan. Keep reading to learn more about the diagnosis process.

What Qualifies as a Chronic Disease?

In general, a disease is considered chronic if it’s ongoing for a long period of time. The CDC identifies the following criteria as a broad guideline for identifying diseases as chronic: 

  • Lasts for more than 1 year 
  • Requires ongoing medical intervention 
  • Limits daily life activity 

You don’t need all three of these qualifications to have a chronic disease. The first one plus one of the remaining guidelines is generally adequate. Your doctor will have other qualifiers to consider as well, depending on the symptoms and diagnosis. 

The only way to know for sure that your disease is chronic is to schedule an appointment for diagnosis. Once you know what you’re battling, you can work with your doctor for effective chronic disease management in Houston, TX. 

The Diagnosis Process

Every chronic disease has its own diagnosis process because signs and symptoms vary. The starting point is often a complete evaluation of your medical history and extensive blood work. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor will determine the most appropriate blood tests to order. 

You can also expect to provide detailed information about your symptoms, including the following details: 

  • Severity 
  • Frequency 
  • Date first noticed

Make sure to include all symptoms. Even if the discomfort is mild or they come and go, they may provide valuable information to your doctor. The symptoms are often the roadmap that determines what tests are ordered and what markers your doctor looks for when analyzing test results. 

How Long Does Diagnosis Take?

Some diseases are harder to diagnose than others. For instance, you may know rather quickly if you have diabetes while waiting much longer for other conditions. 

Reduce the Risk of Developing Chronic Disease

Many chronic diseases are at least partially caused by poor lifestyle choices. Some things you can do to reduce your risk include: 

  • Consume a nutrient-rich diet 
  • Develop an active lifestyle with daily exercise
  • Minimize alcohol, tobacco, and drug use 

Instead of focusing on extreme dieting or exercise routines, focus on increasing your daily activity level. You can make gradual changes to your diet as well, replacing fried foods with fresh foods that are brightly colored. 

To discuss other ways to prevent disease or learn more about chronic disease management in Houston, TX, call (713) 924-4907 for an appointment at the Lawndale Medical Clinic.