Chronic Disease

Kirk Family Practice

Family Medicine located in Smyrna, DE

If you suffer from a chronic condition that requires medical management, trust Deborah Kirk, MD, of Kirk Family Practice in Smyrna, Delaware. She helps monitor issues such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea. Proper management of these conditions can prevent them from escalating or causing disability. Call the office to stay on top of your chronic condition.

Chronic Disease Q & A

What is chronic disease?

A chronic disease is defined as a condition that lasts one year or longer and requires ongoing medical attention. Examples of chronic diseases include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • High cholesterol

Often, chronic diseases are a result of poor nutrition, tobacco use, a sedentary lifestyle, or excessive alcohol use, but not always.

How is chronic disease evaluated?

Dr. Kirk runs screening tests, such as blood pressure checks and testing for blood sugar and cholesterol levels, to evaluate your ongoing condition. These tests help her determine if treatments are working or need tweaking to keep you as healthy as possible.

Plus, Dr. Kirk can help you with any disability you experience as a result of a chronic condition. This might include daily pain from arthritis or sexual dysfunction due to sleep apnea.

Many chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, have no obvious symptoms. It’s important to stay on top of them to prevent their progression which can include serious complications.

How is diabetes managed?

Diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans. Whether you have the autoimmune condition of Type 1 diabetes or the common form of Type 2 diabetes, Dr. Kirk can help.

She regularly monitors your insulin levels, prescribes insulin or oral medications (depending on the type of diabetes you have), and examines you to check for complications. She also helps you develop good lifestyle habits to keep the disease from escalating. Gone untreated, diabetes can cause serious health issues, such as kidney failure, heart disease, and neurological symptoms.

What are the treatments for high blood pressure?

One in three adults in the United States suffers from high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension -- and many people don’t even know they have it. You experience high blood pressure when your blood pushes against your artery walls at an escalated level that eventually leads to serious health problems.

Hypertension develops over many years, and when uncontrolled, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Dr. Kirk helps with lifestyle changes, such as a heart-healthy diet and exercise suggestions. She can also give you tips on how to lose weight. If you’re overweight, losing weight can help reduce your blood pressure numbers.

In some cases, you may need medication to lower your blood pressure. Dr. Kirk evaluates your blood pressure levels and other underlying health conditions to determine what type of medication to prescribe.

To live a long, healthy life, you must manage chronic diseases. Dr. Kirk can help. Call the office to book an appointment.