Manage Your Long Term Condition

The following link will give you an introduction as to how to manage your long term condition.

Long Term Condition Care Plan


Asthma

Asthma is a common condition that causes coughing, wheezing breathlessness and  tightness of the chest .  Patients who, with the support of their medical team, become actively engaged in managing their own condition can greatly improve their symptoms and quality of life.  Lack of attention however can lead to asthma causing permanent damage to the airways.

Treatment for Asthma

Treatment to will be dependant on your current symptoms and will form part of a written management plan individual to you.

• Reliever inhalers – contain bronchodilator drugs

You can take a reliever inhaler as required to ease symptoms when you are breathless, wheezy or tight-chested.  The drug in a reliever inhaler relaxes the muscle in the airways.  This opens the airways wider, and symptoms usually quickly ease.  These drugs are called bronchodilators as they dilate (widen) the bronchi (airways). 

If you only have symptoms every now and then, the occasional use of a reliever inhaler may be all that you need.

If you need a reliever three times a week or more to ease symptoms, a preventer inhaler is usually advised.

• Preventer inhalers – usually contain a steroid drug

These are taken every day to prevent symptoms from developing.  The type of drug commonly used in preventer inhalers is a steroid. Steroids work by reducing the inflammation in the airways. When the inflammation has gone, the airways are much less likely to become narrow and cause symptoms such as wheezing.

Steroid inhalers are usually taken twice per day. If you have an exacerbation (flare-up) of your asthma symptoms, you may be advised to take the preventer inhaler more often.

It takes 7-14 days for the steroid in a preventer inhaler to build up its effect. This means it will not give any immediate relief of symptoms (like a reliever does).  After a week or so of treatment with a preventer, the symptoms have often gone, or are much reduced.  It can, however, take up to six weeks for maximum benefit.

If your asthma symptoms are well controlled with a regular preventer you may then not need to use a reliever inhaler very often, if at all.

• Long-acting bronchodilator inhalers

The drugs in these inhalers work in a similar way to relievers, but work for up to 12 hours after taking each dose.
A long-acting bronchodilator may be advised in addition to a steroid inhaler if symptoms are not fully controlled by the steroid inhaler alone.

Living with Asthma

Medicines are only part of your treatment for asthma.  You will also need to deal with the things that make it worse.  Keep a diary to record anything that triggers your asthma – this can help you to discover a pattern. Using a peak flow meter to monitor your lung function can also help.

Useful Links

Asthma UK

This website has been revamped to meet the needs of the thousands of people with asthma who visit the site each day, either to find important information about asthma and how to control it.

Asthma Health Information

An excellent resource with useful video, audio, images and references relating to asthma.

NHS Choices – Asthma
Further information about symptoms, treatment, causes and prevention of asthma.


Cancer

About 325,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in in the UK in 2010 and one in three people will be affected by cancer at some stage in their life.  The good news is that you are twice as likely to survive cancer as you were 40 years ago.

Many people believe that getting cancer is purely down to genes, fate or bad luck, but through scientific research, we know that our risk actually depends on a combination of our genes, our environment and aspects of our lives, many of which we can control.

Experts estimate that more than four in 10 cancer cases could be prevented by lifestyle changes, such as:

• not smoking

• keeping a healthy body weight

• cutting back on alcohol

• eating a healthy, balanced diet

• keeping active

• avoiding certain infections (like HPV)

• staying safe in the sun

• occupation (see chemicals in the workplace)

Some people are more at risk of cancer as a result of chemicals or practices used in their occupation. Improved safety in the workplace means fewer people will be at risk now than in the past.

Macmillan Cancer Support – The cancer line and how it can help

There are more videos available about Macmillan and the support they offer on the Macmillan Video Site

There is further information and educational videos on the Cancer Research UK Video Site

Useful Links

Cancer – Healthtalkonline
Healthtalkonline, an award-winning charity website, lets you share in other people’s experiences of health and illness. An excellent resource compiled after interviewing a wide range of people suffering from heart disease.

Cancer Overview
An excellent resource with useful video, audio, images and references relating to differing forms of cancer, the causes and treatments.

Cancerhelp
Free information service provided by Cancer Research UK about cancer and cancer care for people with cancer and their families.  Information is formatted in such a way that makes understanding the website an easy process

Macmillan Cancer Support
Europe’s leading cancer information charity, with over 4,500 pages of up-to-date cancer information, practical advice and support for cancer patients, their families and carers.

NHS Choices
Further information about symptoms, treatment, causes and prevention of Cancer.

My Cancer Treatment

A directory of services across England.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease defined by persistently poor airflow as a result of breakdown of lung tissue (known as emphysema) and dysfunction of the small airways.  It typically worsens over time.  Symptoms include: shortness of breath, cough, and sputum production.

COPD is most commonly caused by tobacco smoke, with a number of other factors playing a less common role.  This triggers an inflammation in the lung.  COPD is often defined based on low airflow on lung function tests.  In contrast to asthma, this limitation is rarely reversible and usually gets worse over time.

Management involves quitting smoking, vaccinations, rehabilitation, and often inhaled bronchodilators.  Some people may benefit from long-term oxygen therapy or lung transplantation.


Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a preventable disease that was responsible for the deaths of 88,000 people in the UK in 2008. 

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is when your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood) become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls.  This condition is called atherosclerosis and the fatty material is called atheroma.

In time, your arteries may become so narrow that they cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to your heart.  The pain and discomfort you may feel as a result is called angina.

• If a piece of atheroma breaks off it may cause a blood clot (blockage) to form.

• If it blocks your coronary artery and cuts off the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle, your heart may become permanently damaged. This is known as a heart attack.

What increases my risk of CHD?

A risk factor is something that that increases your likelihood of getting a disease.  There are several risk factors for CHD.  The main ones are:

Smoking

High blood pressure

High blood cholesterol

Diabetes 

Being physically inactive

Being overweight or obese

Family history of heart disease

Ethnic background

• Sex – men are more likely to develop CHD at an earlier age than women.

• Age – the older you are, the more likely you are to develop CHD. 

There are videos available on all aspects of BHF and heart disease on the BHF video site.

You can also download and listen to podcasts free from the BHF.  There is a full list on the BHF podcast page.

“The British Heart Foundation is Britain’s leading charity fighting heart and circulatory disease – the UK’s biggest killer. The BHF funds research, education and life-saving equipment and helps heart patients return to a full and active way of life. The charity relies on donations to continue its vital work.”

Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

The BHS recommends that only properly validated BP monitors be used both in the clinic and at home.  All the monitors listed on their website have been clinically validated.  This means that all the machines, regardless of their cost, give reliable readings when used correctly.  Please note that added cost does not equate to added accuracy.

View validated BP monitors

Anticoagulation Clinic

The clinic can be contacted by email for non urgent queries Pho-tr.warfarinclinic@nhs.net.  A warfarin nurse will answer your email.  Alternatively the clinic can be contacted on 02392 286752.

Useful Links

CHD – Healthtalkonline
Healthtalkonline, an award-winning charity website, lets you share in other people’s experiences of health and illness.  An excellent resource compiled after interviewing a wide range of people suffering from heart disease.

CHD
An excellent resource with useful video, audio, images and references relating to CHD.

NHS Choices
Further information about symptoms, treatment, causes and prevention of CHD.

British Heart Foundation
Our vision is of a world in which people do not die prematurely of heart disease.  We will achieve this through our pioneering research, our vital prevention activity and by ensuring quality care and support for people living with heart disease.


Dementia

Dementia Advice Service appointments are available with Julie Osborne, Dementia Advisor, on the second Monday of the month between 12pm and 3pm at the Grange Surgery.  They can also be arranged at other times at a mutually convenient location. 

The service provides a consistent point of contact and suppport from when you or your relative is first concerned about dementia, through diagnosis, and through your journey with dementia.  The Dementia Advisor can listen and answer your questions, help you identify what information you need and help you to access other services.

Julie Osborne can be contacted on her mobile 07889 605 216 or email  julie.osborne@alzheimers.org.uk.  You can also contact the Alzheimers Society main office in Hampshire on 02392 892034.

Useful Links

Alzheimer’s Society

Living well with dementia


Diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

The two main types of diabetes are:

type 1 diabetes

type 2 diabetes

The difference between the two types of diabetes is explained below.

In the UK, diabetes affects approximately 2.9 million people.  There are also thought to be around 850,000 people with undiagnosed diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes

The main symptoms of diabetes are:

• feeling very thirsty

• urinating frequently, particularly at night

• feeling very tired

• weight loss and loss of muscle bulk

Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly, over weeks or even days.

Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because early symptoms tend to be general.

What causes diabetes?

The amount of sugar in the blood is usually controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach).

When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it is broken down to produce energy.

However, if you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy.  This is because there is either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced does not work properly.

Type 1 diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin.  As no insulin is produced, your glucose levels increase, which can seriously damage the body’s organs.

Type 1 diabetes is often known as insulin-dependent diabetes.  It is also sometimes known as juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes because it usually develops before the age of 40, often during teenage years.

Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes.  About 10% of all people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you will need  insulin injections for the rest of your life.  You will also need to pay special attention to certain aspects of your lifestyle and health to ensure your blood glucose levels stay balanced – for example, by eating a healthy diet and carrying out regular blood tests.

Read more about type 1 diabetes and living with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin.  This is known as insulin resistance.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes.  In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may be able to control your symptoms simply by eating a healthy diet and monitoring your blood glucose level.  However, as type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, you may eventually need medication, usually in the form of tablets.

Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity.  Obesity-related diabetes is sometimes referred to as maturity-onset diabetes because it is more common in older people.

Read more about type 2 diabetes, and use the BMI healthy weight calculator to check you are a healthy weight

There is further information and education on the Diabetes UK Video Site

Useful Links

Diabetes – Healthtalkonline
Healthtalkonline, an award-winning charity website, lets you share in other people’s experiences of health and illness.  An excellent resource compiled after interviewing a wide range of people suffering from heart disease.

Type 1 Diabetes
An excellent resource with useful information and references relating to Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes
A useful resource regarding Type 2 Diabetes.

Diabetes UK
Largest charity in the UK devoted to the care and treatment of people with diabetes in order to improve the quality of life for people with the condition.

NHS Choices
Further information about symptoms, treatment, causes and prevention of Diabetes.


Learning Disability

Useful Links

Autism Hampshire
Across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth there are an estimated 11, 000 adults and 7,000 children with autism.  This website provides a one-stop-shop of information for people with autism, their families and professionals.


Living with Pain

The NHS website contains lots of useful information, tips and advice on living with chronic pain.

Help from your GP and use of NHS services dedicated to pain management can help make sufferers more independent, reduce the severity of pain and assist in day to day with coping with what can be a debilitating condition.

Useful Links

Back pain

British Pain Society: pain clinics

British Pain Society: pain management programmes

Complex regional pain syndrome

Neuralgia


Mental Health

Although mental health problems are very common, affecting around one in four people in Britain, stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health problems are still very common and there are a lot of myths about what different diagnoses mean.

There is also a lot of controversy about the way mental health problems are diagnosed, what causes them, and which treatments are most effective.

However, despite these challenges, it is possible to recover from a mental health problem and live a productive and fulfilling life.  It is important to remember that having a mental health problem is not a sign of weakness.

The Alzheimer’s Society is the leading care and research charity for people with dementia and their carers.

They provide further information and education, support for carers, and quality day and home care on the Alzheimer’s Society Video Site.

Mental Health Wellbeing Podcasts

You can subscribe to wellbeing podcasts on the Mental Health Foundation website.

The website of the Mental Health Foundation outlines the charity’s work in research, policy, service development and service user involvement.  The site offers information and publications to download on research, good practice in services and on mental health problems and key issues.

Useful Links

Mental Health – Healthtalkonline
Healthtalkonline, an award-winning charity website, lets you share in other people’s experiences of health and illness. An excellent resource compiled after interviewing a wide range of people suffering from heart disease.

iTalk

italk provides access to psychological therapies for people in Basingstoke, Bordon, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, New Forest, Petersfield, Test Valley and Winchester.

Alzheimer’s Disease
An information sheet helping to understand more about Alzheimer’s disease.

Depression
An information sheet helping to understand more about the causes, treatment and understanding of depression.

Alzheimer’s Society
Comprehensive information for people with all forms of dementia.  Alzheimer’s Society is a membership organisation, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Alzheimer Scotland
Alzheimer Scotland provides a wide range of specialist services for people with dementia and their carers.  We offer personalised support services, community activities, information and advice, at every stage of the dementia journey.

Mental Health Foundation
Founded in 1949, the Mental Health Foundation is a leading UK charity that provides information, carries out research, campaigns and works to improve services for anyone affected by mental health problems, whatever their age and wherever they live. 

Moodzone

Whatever you need to know about boosting your mood, coping with stress, anxiety or depression or simply improving your overall emotional wellbeing, the NHS Choices Moodzone can help.  It offers practical, useful information, interactive tools and videos to support you on your way to feeling better.


Multiple Sclerosis

Useful Links

MS Society

Staying Smart
Cognitive difficulties

MS Decisions
Disease modifying drugs advice website.

MS Tissue Bank
CNS tissue for research.

MS Shift
Social network for MS patients.

MS Solent Therapy Centre

MS Trust Free Phone Information Service: 0800 0323839

Local Information

Alton & Petersfield MS Society Branch: 07583282570

Fareham & Gosport MS Society Branch: 02392 581406

Portsmouth & District MS Society Branch: 02392 696559


Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 8.5 million people in the UK.  It develops gradually over time, causing joints to become stiff and painful.  It can affect any joint but commonly affects the hands, knees, hips, feet and spine.

Who develops osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis usually develops in people who are over 50 years of age, and it is more common in women than in men.  It is commonly thought that osteoarthritis is an inevitable part of getting older, but this is not true.  Younger people can also be affected by osteoarthritis: often as a result of an injury or another joint condition.

Useful Links

Arthritis Research UK
Arthritis Research UK is the charity leading the fight against arthritis.  Everything we do is underpinned by research.

NHS Choices
Guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and risks of Ostearthritis from the NHS.

Osteoarthritis Factsheet
This factsheet is for people who have osteoarthritis or who would like information about it.

Arthritis Care
Arthritis Care exists to support people with arthritis.  They are the UK’s largest organisation working with and for all people who have arthritis.



Stroke

 A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly.  If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die.  This can lead to brain damage and possibly death.

Strokes are a medical emergency and prompt treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.

      ACT FAST FACE       

The NHS Stroke Act F.A.S.T pages on the NHS Choices website offer a great deal of information about stroke, including how to recognise the signs, some real stories of stroke sufferers and advice on how to live your life after a stroke.              

   

Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)

A transient ischaemic attack (TIA), or ‘mini-stroke’, is caused by a temporary fall in the blood supply to part of the brain, leading to a lack of oxygen to the brain. This can cause symptoms that are similar to a stroke, although they don’t last as long.  A TIA lasts only a few minutes and is usually resolved within 24 hours

As TIAs are serious, it is important that they are always investigated so that appropriate treatment can be given quickly.  With treatment, the risk of a further TIA or a full stroke can be greatly reduced.


The links in this section all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or have any other medical questions then please contact your GP or speak to a pharmacist for advice.