When doctors encounter a chronic disease, that’s where they tend to put their focus, such as trying to help an organ work more effectively or to reduce the severity of symptoms. For someone with arthritis, for instance, the focus may be on reducing pain and joint damage. For someone with heart disease, the main goal may be to ensure the heart receives steady blood flow and improves the person’s ability to walk around.
What often doesn’t get talked about is how to cope with the stress of living with a chronic disease. The discomfort and challenges of a chronic disease can be quite stressful, and this stress, in turn, can affect the severity of the disease. A study in the journal Frontline Gastroenterology, conducted by Swiss researchers, put a spotlight on this topic.