Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Chronic Disease Overview

What is a chronic disease?
A chronic disease is one that can be controlled, but not cured. In most cases, a chronic disease will require a lifetime of regular treatment. Some chronic illnesses cause permanent disability. Chronic diseases are usually characterized by acute episodes of illness followed by periods of time where symptoms may be reduced or absent.

What are the symptoms of a chronic disease?
Symptoms of a chronic disease depend on the underlying condition and the organ systems that may be affected. Chronic lung disease may cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, and cough. Chronic kidney disease may cause weakness, fatigue, swelling, and decreased urine production.

How does the doctor treat a chronic disease?
Treatment for a chronic disease depends on the underlying cause. Many chronic diseases require ongoing or daily treatment to control the underlying effects of the disease.

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