Suffering from symptoms of a chronic condition like obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or fibrosis can often feel lonely. For people who have these long-term conditions, one way to search for treatment options is a simple conversation with a trusted healthcare provider. The great news is that there even more ways you can educate yourself about your disease as well. From online search engine research to support groups, finding out about treatment options for yourself has never been easier. To learn where to start in advocating for treatments for your specific health condition, read on.
Doing Your Own Research Online
When it comes to learning about a chronic illness, the internet can be your friend. Especially with Covid-19 and in-person doctor visits being limited, it’s a great place to turn if you’re wondering about treatment options.
One of the first places to start is with an online MediFind condition search. MediFind’s platform offers patients with chronic illnesses the ability to stay on top of the latest and greatest treatments and diagnostic tests (like liver biopsies) that are offered. You’ll never miss another clinical trial again, because MediFind has all of that information right at your fingertips. Maybe you have hepatocellular carcinoma and are looking for clinical trials in America, or need to learn more about insulin sensitivity. MediFind would be a fantastic place to start that search.
Symptom checkers and general medical websites can point you in the right direction, too. Whether you’re interested in information on lifestyle changes or clinical trials in the United States, spending some serious time learning as much as possible about your condition will help.
An honest conversation with your doctor is never a bad idea when trying to figure out treatment options. Maybe you have alcoholic hepatitis or just want to know more about fatty liver disease treatment and diagnostic procedures. Do you need an ultrasound? A liver biopsy? A blood test? The place to start is by asking your doctor directly about new treatments and the beneficial effects and risk factors that go along with them. In your situation, your doctor is likely to know about effective treatments that can result in better blood tests, more energy for physical activity, and higher liver function.
When having conversations with your doctor about new treatments, be sure to be specific. Ask about how treatments will work specifically for you and your body weight or level of physical activity. Question whether or not a treatment choice might work with your lifestyle or if you would need a lifestyle change. Be clear about side effects you want to avoid, like depression, hormone disruptions, or liver inflammation. Ask if you have a rare disease, or if your situation means higher risk. Learn to advocate for yourself when it comes to new treatments. If you learn about a treatment you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to bring it up and if your doctor isn’t sure, ask those follow-up questions. It’s your health condition and you need to have all the information.
Sometimes, it takes a team to help with a serious health condition. What you can’t find online or still have questions on might be great things to talk to a support group about. You can find support groups either online or in person, which is great in this Covid-19 age. There are groups for everything from obesity to liver disease and other chronic conditions. The best part is that topics will range from lifestyle modifications to vitamins and harmful substances. These would be great places to brainstorm treatment options on kidney diseases and more. Ask your local hospital social worker, a clinic nurse or your doctor for more information. While you’re there, consider asking for a referral to a mental health support group as well.
Consider using social media to your advantage. Search for support groups on Facebook. Get involved in forums on other platforms, too. Don’t forget to check into support groups for your family and friends. For as horrible as your chronic condition is for you, it impacts them as well. Ask them to be on the lookout for you. If they hear about a special study at the Mayo Clinic, for example, explain to your family members and support group peers and friends that you want to know.
At the end of the day, your health problems are yours alone. While doctors, support group peers, hospital advocates and staff and even Dr. Google will do what they can to help you out, the best way to find out about treatment options that might work for you is to try every avenue. Maybe you go to dialysis every week for kidney disease. Reach out to other patients and ask them about their treatment plans and routines. You might be surprised to learn about a latest clinical trial you qualify for or an approach you hadn’t considered that could really help.