Chronic Condition Management: 7 Common Misconceptions You Should Know

Chronic conditions are difficult to manage, especially when you’re not sure you’re doing it right. This blog will expose 7 misconceptions that make managing chronic conditions difficult.

Doctor checking the blood pressure of a patient
Doctor checking the blood pressure of a patient

Imagine this scenario: you’re travelling in your car at full speed with your best friend. Then suddenly you hit a bump that caused you to stop speeding.

You kept going slowly for a few more miles before you noticed a warning sign on your dashboard. But your best friend told you it was nothing to worry about because they’ve had similar experience and the sign will soon go off.

So you kept going till the car stopped in the middle of nowhere.

Now you’re stranded because you didn’t heed the warning when it came.

Think of your body as that car, chronic conditions as that bump you hit, and of course, your friend misleading you with bad information.

Unfortunately, if you had paid attention to the warning signs, you could have remedied the situation before the damage got worse. That’s exactly what misconceptions do to you when managing a chronic condition.

It can make you focus on treatments that are ineffective or even listen to bad advice that's risky to your health.

This is why we’ll be discussing 7 common misconceptions about managing chronic condition, so that you can navigate this challenging journey with confidence.

So if you're dealing with a chronic condition or if your loved one is, these facts will help you take control of your health before it's too late.

Elderly Man in Pink Button Up Shirt Looking Sad
Elderly man looking sad

1. Chronic conditions only affect old people

Chronic conditions don't discriminate based on age. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 60–they affect everyone equally.

Though, it's true that chronic conditions are more common in older adults–with about 80% of adults aged 65+ managing one condition and 68% of that managing more than one.

This doesn't mean you have nothing to worry about.

In fact, some chronic conditions like type 1 diabetes, are typically diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. So, you need to get rid of the mindset that only older adults should care about chronic conditions.

2. You'll always know someone is ill by their appearance

Looks can be deceiving. That sounds cliche, but it’s true.

The fact that you're looking hale and hearty doesn’t mean you're not suffering a chronic condition. You might just be perfect at wearing a cool face to mask the pain they’re feeling inside.

Think of a car with a faulty engine.

Looking at it from outside, the car may look perfectly fine and functional. But the engine trouble is hidden under its bonnet. Similarly, a person with a chronic illness may appear perfectly healthy on the outside, but suffer from hidden symptoms.

So you should never judge someone's health based on their appearance.

An elderly man using medications
An elderly man using medications

3. You only need medication to manage chronic conditions

That’s not true.

Managing a chronic condition is like building a house. You’ll need a firm foundation, walls, and roof to enjoy your house. And before you can achieve these, you need different tools and materials.

This is similar to managing your chronic condition, you may need a combination of methods to achieve your health goals.

Medication might be just one tool in your toolbox, but it's not the only one you need. Some activities like therapy or lifestyle changes (e.g., diet and exercise) can come in handy in managing certain conditions.

For instance, if you’re managing type 2 diabetes, changing your diet or doing a few physical activities daily can help you manage your condition.

However, it's important you work with your care specialist to determine the best approach for your specific condition.

An elderly man crying
An elderly man crying

4. All chronic conditions cause consistent pain

Just like the faulty car mentioned earlier, managing a chronic condition can be likened to driving a car with a not-so-good engine.

There are times when your car’s engine runs smoothly, and you can enjoy a peaceful drive. On some days, your engine will act up, forcing you to halt your movement.

And then, there are other times your engine might be working fine, but you’re worried it could break down at any moment.

So, it’s not every time you’ll experience pain. You’ll enjoy some good days that allow you do your daily activities without difficulty. Or some bad days when you’re in pain and can’t do a thing, or afraid you can experience pain anytime.

Since you can’t predict when you’ll experience pain, it's important to work with your care specialist to understand your specific symptoms, so they can help you manage them effectively.

Useful Read: 4 tips for getting the best care from your care specialist

Pain Management Plan

Contains painkillers designed to give your body the ease it deserves. 

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5. You can prevent all chronic conditions

While some chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, can be prevented through lifestyle changes, it might be impossible to prevent others, for instance asthma.

So, thinking it’s possible to prevent all chronic conditions is like trying to prevent rain from falling–which is simply out of your control.

However, what you can do is to prepare for a rainy day by bringing an umbrella. Which means you need to focus on managing your health, rather than trying to prevent an illness that may not be preventable.

Useful Read: 5 simple tips for managing your chronic condition
Healthcare provider holding an injection
Healthcare provider holding an injection

6. Only your healthcare provider can help you manage your condition

Truly, your care providers are important for managing your chronic condition, but they’re only one piece of the puzzle. Chronic condition often requires a team effort to be effectively managed.

You, your family, friends, and other people in your support system all have a role to play. They can offer emotional support, help you adhere to your treatment plan, and encourage healthy behaviours like exercising and eating healthy

So if you still believe that only healthcare providers can help you manage your chronic condition. You need to have a rethink.

7. Everyone can manage chronic conditions the same way

That’s not true.

Managing chronic conditions varies from one person to another. The way you'll treat your condition might be different from how someone else suffering from the same or different chronic condition will treat theirs.

For instance, the kind of treatment you’ll get if you’re managing diabetes will differ from what an asthma or arthritis patient will get.

This is because your health needs are different and factors like age, gender, lifestyle, and how you’re feeling influences your treatment plan.

This is why working with your healthcare provider to come up with a personalised care plan is important for your condition.

What else can you do?

These common misconceptions often look convincing most times and you’d swallow them hook, line, and sinker without hesitating. Mostly because that's the information available to you at the time.

Managing a chronic condition is already tough on its own. Now imagine having to worry about misleading information that puts your health at risk.

This doesn’t have to be your situation.

Because with our team of care specialists, you’ll get firsthand information that won’t harm your health and a personalised care plan that puts you in control of your health. Sign up today to manage your chronic condition in the best possible way.