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At one point or another, you’ll probably need to go see a doctor for something. That visit could be for a sore throat, broken arm or for a kid with a high fever. No matter what you’re going to the doctor for, understanding common medical terms is important.
Ideally, you’ll only have to go to the doctor for preventive care - which is meant to keep you healthy and detect health issues. With the Affordable Care Act , most preventive services are provided at no out of pocket costs – like certain screenings to check for possible chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma.
Another reason you may go to the doctor is to manage a chronic disease.
What is a chronic disease? A chronic disease, also known as a chronic illness, is a long-lasting condition than can be controlled but not cured. You may know someone who has a chronic disease. Chronic diseases tend to become more common with age. Younger people may also be diagnosed with a chronic disease.
Examples of chronic disease are:
Call your doctor right away if you think you may have a chronic condition. It is very important that you share your health issues with your doctor.
Chronic diseases may be discovered with a series of diagnostic tests. A diagnostic test is any kind of medical test performed to help detect or diagnose a disease. Diagnostic tests can also be used to confirm that a person doesn’t have a disease.
Your doctor can help you determine next steps and if necessary, can provide you a referral for a diagnostic test or screening or to a specialist.
The Center for Managing Chronic Disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Originally published October 5, 2015; revised 2019
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