HealthTap doctors answer real questions about ongoing conditions

Reviewed by:
Angela DiLaura, NP
Clinical Informatics and Quality Manager
Last updated on October 11, 2022 UTC

Learn about diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and more from HealthTap medical experts

Millions of people use HealthTap’s Question and Answer Library to ask free, anonymous health questions. Here are some top questions and answers you may find helpful if you have questions about ongoing medical conditions.

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Seems like almost everyone in my family has diabetes. What should I do to avoid getting it too?

Dr. Donald Colantino answered
62 years experience in internal medicine

In addition to getting tested for prediabetes or actual diabetes with fasting or postprandial blood sugar level and a HgbA1c, train yourself to avoid concentrated sweets like candy, pastry, syrups, etc. and reduce intake of starches like bread, pasta, rice. This will get more mileage out of your pancreas and insulin secreting ability as time goes on. Maintain ideal weight and regular exercise.

Dr. Sewa Legha answered
51 years experience in medical oncology

Daily exercise and weight control are the most useful interventions to delay or prevent diabetes. Eat healthy using ample amounts of vegetables and fruits. Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks. Drink water instead.

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If I've been considered obese since the pandemic started, does that make my weight an ongoing condition or an ongoing disease?

Dr. Dora Chizea answered
49 years experience in anti-aging medicine

Seems the lockdown and limited activities of the pandemic plus possible “comfort eating” might have contributed to the obese condition. Best to increase activities and develop a programmed exercise routine while paying attention to one's total caloric intake. Obesity is reversible.

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What does acute on chronic mean? 

Dr. Jerome Zacks answered
52 years experience in cardiology

A chronic disease implies one which has persisted for 3 months or longer and may worsen over time. Acute-on-chronic implies a reversible worsening of the condition of a person with a chronic disease; the transient nature of the acute worsening may be due to spontaneous factors or it may be due to active treatment of the acute insult.

Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis answered
39 years experience in family medicine

"Acute" means occurring suddenly or quickly, like a heart attack, whereas "chronic" refers to diseases or conditions that develop gradually and persist for a long time, like atherosclerotic disease. Some conditions like diabetes are usually chronic, but may have acute episodes, such as diabetic coma when blood glucose levels quickly become extremely high.

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Having some high blood pressure lately. I'm a bit heavier than normal, maybe stress related? What kind of ongoing conditions should I watch out for?

Dr. Clarence Grim answered
58 years experience in endocrinology

For every 5 mm Hg you can lower systolic BP you lower your risk of future brain, heart and kidney attacks/failure by 10%. Best to move to DASH eating plan to see if that controls without meds (if your Dr. says OK). Here is a book I recommend: DASH Diet for Hypertension (ISBN 9780743410076). 

Dr. Susan Madonna answered
22 years experience in family medicine

Hypertension + overweight + stress is setting the stage for most of the most common chronic diseases including heart attack and stroke. If your blood glucose (sugar) level is trending upward too, then you also may be looking at diabetes in the future. Consider stress management such as meditation and a walking/exercise program, maybe schedule a visit with a dietitian.

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What is the difference between an ongoing condition and an ongoing disease?

Dr. Silviu Pasniciuc answered
28 years experience in internal medicine

“Condition” is more generic and may apply to symptoms as well, while “disease” refers to a known specific disease, for example pain or malnutrition would be rather conditions with known or unknown related diagnoses while diabetes of pneumonia would be diseases.

Dr. Robert Trager answered
55 year experience in dentistry

If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, lupus, HIV and many others, then you have had that condition for a long time. Your chronic disease, if not resolved in a reasonable time, now becomes a chronic condition.

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