Many people have more than one
long-term (chronic) health problem. You may be one of them. For example, you
high blood pressure and
diabetes, or you may have high blood pressure, diabetes, and
heart failure. When you have more than one problem,
doctors call the health problems
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 (atherosclerosis) and a
heart attack. And a heart attack can lead to heart
You also may have health problems that are not linked to
each other, such as
COPD 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.
You may need to see more than one doctor and may need more than one treatment and medicine.
This topic will explore what you can do
to help yourself when you have more than one health problem.