Chronic Medical Conditions
Identifying Chronic Conditions
A chronic condition is a long-term health condition or illness, unlike a cold or flu, which is an acute condition.
Some diseases, like autoimmune diseases, are chronic. The symptoms are treatable, but the disease can last a lifetime.
Health conditions other than diseases can also be chronic and can interfere with living the lifestyle you want.
- Weight loss problems
- Mood and concentration issues
- Sleep problems
- Skin, nail, and hair problems
- Metal and mineral toxicity
- Nutrition and immune system issues
Each of these conditions has symptoms that can affect your daily life.
Weight loss problems
Weight problems can affect your self-esteem and your health. You may not like the way you look, and you may be hard on yourself for not being able to lose excess weight. However, there are many potential reasons for unexplained weight gain or weight loss problems. If you can’t seem to shed extra pounds, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your doctor for help, because being overweight has been linked to serious medical conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, and more.
Mood and concentration issues
These can include mood swings, depression, anxiety, outbursts of anger, brain fog, difficulty focusing, and other issues. Your ability to focus and think productively and your emotional state affect work performance, relationships, and your overall satisfaction and enjoyment of life.
Metal and mineral toxicity
Signs and symptoms of metal and mineral toxicity vary, depending on what toxins your tissues have absorbed and how much. Symptoms generally come on slowly. If you have any of the following symptoms, toxicity could be affecting your health:
- Weakness and tiredness
- Achy joints and muscles
- Mental “fogginess”
- Poor kidney function
- Digestive problems
Long-term metal toxicity can contribute to the development of heart and artery diseases, developmental abnormalities, nerve and neurobehavioral disorders, diabetes, hearing loss, blood and immune disorders, and various types of cancer.
Skin, nail, and hair problems
Conditions like dry skin, nail infections, and hair loss can be related to underlying diseases or they can be stand-alone issues that keep you from looking and feeling your best.
Poor sleep is a serious problem. It can lead to emotional changes, anxiety, depression, trouble concentrating and learning, weight gain, short-term memory issues, low sex drive, and weakened immunity. It can even put you at risk for diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Sleep problems can include trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, poor quality of sleep, and sleep apnea (a sleep disorder in which you stop breathing for moments throughout the night).
Nutrition and immune system issues
Even if you’re trying to eat right and take care of yourself, you may need some nutrition or immune system support regularly or when symptoms occur. Because nutrition affects every single cell and function of your body, there are many potential signs of a need for nutritional support, including:
- Energy slumps and tiredness
- Poor sleep
- Digestive trouble
- Migraines or headaches
- Mouth ulcers
- Cracks in the corners of the mouth
- Bleeding gums
- Aches and pains
- Poor night vision
- Brittle hair and nails
- Hair loss
- Leg and feet cramps
- Restless leg syndrome
- Skin complaints, such as eczema
Your immune system may need support if you feel tired all the time or if you have frequent infections, stomach problems, slow healing wounds, cold hands, or symptoms of any autoimmune disease.
It’s possible that you aren’t following the best diet or exercise routine for your circumstances. Your portion sizes may be a little too large, or you may not be getting as much exercise as you need. If your metabolism is slowing with age, your diet and exercise program may not take that into account. Sustained stress can also cause you to put weight on quickly and make it very difficult to get off.
In addition, several medical conditions can contribute to weight gain or hinder weight loss, including Cushing’s syndrome (overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal glands), hypothyroidism (underproduction of thyroid hormones) ), insulin resistance, depression, and hormonal changes or imbalances in women (due to pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome, or menopause). Medicines can also create or add to weight problems. For example, many steroids such as prednisone, and birth control pills can cause weight gain. So can some medicines that treat depression and schizophrenia, epilepsy, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Physical or psychological problems can cause concentration difficulties. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, emotional trauma, and stress can interfere with concentration. So can sleep problems, certain medications, alcohol, or drugs. Mood problems can be caused by hormone imbalances, physical diseases such as diabetes or thyroid disorders, or after experiencing a difficult event, such as a divorce or death of a loved one.
There are many possible causes of sleep problems, including stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep habits, alcohol, circadian rhythm disorders (such as jet lag and shift work sleep disorder), some medications, and chronic disorders such as heart failure, kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. Hormonal changes can also change and disrupt sleep patterns. Sleep problems seem to increase with age, although no one knows for sure if they are a natural result of aging or due to an increase in other factors like medication or disease.
As with many of these chronic health conditions, skin, nail and hair problems can have many causes, both physical and psychological. Stress, hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies and allergies are major sources of problems like these. They can also be related to genetics, aging, medications, fungus, and a number of illnesses such as liver or lung disease and diabetes. Some of the harsh chemicals that your skin, hair and nails are exposed to can cause problems, too.
Toxicity occurs when you have more than a safe level of certain chemicals in your body. Some metals, like lead, are toxic in any measurable amount. The most common metals that you can absorb in toxic amounts are mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Other substances are only toxic when they reach certain levels in your tissues, including many trace minerals your body actually needs in small amounts such as zinc, copper, chromium, iron, and manganese.
Metal toxicity can be brought on by many things, including:
- Industrial exposure
- Air or water pollution
- Cigarette smoke
- Contaminated foods and water
- Overuse of mineral supplements
- Improperly coated food containers, plates, and cookware
- Deteriorating lead-based paint
There are two main reasons for nutritional deficiencies. Either your diet is lacking some essential nutrients or you aren’t absorbing your nutrients effectively. Normally, you absorb most of your nutrients into your bloodstream through the walls of your small intestine. Poor absorption (malabsorption) can be caused by a lack of necessary enzymes, infections, parasites, pancreatic disease, lactose intolerance, celiac disease (gluten intolerance), prolonged use of antibiotics, or any damage to the intestine from radiation, inflammation, trauma, or surgery.
No one really knows all the reasons why the immune system sometimes goes haywire. The stress hormone cortisol is one suspect. Your body produces more cortisol, for example, when you don’t sleep well or you’re stressed out. Over time, high cortisol levels can cause serious damage to many of your systems, including your immune system. Your immune system also can be weakened by certain medicines, smoking, alcohol, and poor nutrition. Infections such as the flu virus, mononucleosis, and measles can weaken the immune system for a short time, while diseases such as AIDS can inflict permanent damage.
Some of these health conditions are easily identified by their symptoms — weight loss, sleep problems, and skin, nail and hair problems. However, it takes more work to find the underlying causes of these conditions, as well as to identify conditions such as metal toxicity or nutritional deficiencies. If you think you may have any of these conditions, your doctor will discuss your symptoms and medical history with you, do a physical exam, and run appropriate tests. Sometimes it takes a series of tests to identify or explain some of these chronic conditions, but taking the time to pin down an accurate diagnosis gives you and your doctor the best chance of finding effective treatment.
TreatmentsThere are compounded medications designed to help with each of these conditions.
- Low dose naltrexone — May boost your natural endorphins to trigger positive feelings; reduces insulin resistance; may increase growth hormone; modulates appetite; reduces inflammation; may improve sleep; helps normalize thyroid function.
- Naltrexone/Oxytocin/Methylcobalamin — Oxytocin reduces cravings, makes you feel full faster, and encourages the body to use fat as fuel. Methylcobalamin or B12 helps your body convert fats and protein into energy.
- Peptides — Stimulate the pituitary gland to produce more natural growth hormone and may help suppress appetite. Growth hormone helps keep your metabolism turning over at a good rate, promotes fat loss — especially around the middle — and increases muscle mass.
- Low dose naltrexone — Shown to boost your natural endorphins to trigger positive feelings and reduce stressful thoughts and feelings.
- Oxytocin — Counters the effects of the stress hormone cortisol for a calming effect; also improves social skills and promotes bonding to help improve relationships; can help with sleep.
- Modafinil — Promotes wakefulness; can aid in concentration.
- Melatonin — May help with insomnia, jet lag, shift work sleep disorder, and establishing a consistent sleep-wake cycle.
- Modafinil — Promotes wakefulness; used to treat sleepiness caused by narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, or obstructive sleep apnea; can aid in concentration.
- Facial gels and creams — Designed to improve moisture, elasticity and firmness; even out skin tone; help fade age spots, freckles and darkened areas. Formulations are also available to treat acne, eczema, dermatitis, urticaria, psoriasis, and allergic reactions such as those to poison oak, poison ivy, and sumac.
- Antifungal formulations — Treat fungal nail infections.
- Hair loss — Minoxidil combinations and estrogen formulation treat hair loss in both men and women.
- Acetyl-Glutathione — Stimulates detoxification by transforming metals and other toxins into forms that are easily expelled by your cells and body; prevents toxins from crossing barriers into the brain and other vital organs.
- DMSA and Ca Disodium EDTA— Bind strongly to heavy metals and excess minerals so these toxins can be swept out of the body along with the medications.
- Amino acids — The building blocks of proteins with many functions in the body.
- N-Acetyl L-Carnitine
- Alpha-Ketoglutaric acid
- L-Aspartic acid
- L-Glutamic acid
- Minerals — Essential nutrients that help your body perform necessary functions.
- Beta carotene
- Boron aspartate
- Boron glycinate
- Boron citrate
- Calcium ethanolamine phosphate
- Chromium dinicotinate glycinate
- Chromium polynicotinate
- Copper histidinate
- Copper sebacate
- D3, Cholecalciferol
- Dicalcium malate
- Iodine kelp
- Iodine potassium iodide
- Iron glycinate
- Lithium orotate
- Magnesium fumarate
- Magnesium glycinate
- Manganese glycinate
- Manganese citrate
- Methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM)
- Molybdenum citrate
- Molybdenum aspartate
- Potassium citrate
- Potassium malate
- Potassium aspartate
- Rubidium chloride
- Selenium yeast
- Vanadium sulfate
- Zinc arginate
- Zinc citrate
- Zinc monomethionate
- Low dose naltrexone — May relieve inflammation and boosts your natural endorphins. Endorphins help regulate the immune system, calming it down in autoimmune disorders, and revving it up when needed.
How Belmar Can Help
Belmar compounds medications in a variety of dosage forms and strengths to help treat all of these conditions. We’re focused on ensuring that your doctor has the best options available to treat you.
If you have already been diagnosed with one of these conditions, or you are concerned about any of the symptoms on this page, contact us for more information and start a conversation with your doctor. Together, you can decide if a compounded prescription might be part of the right treatment plan for you.
Contact Belmar Pharma Solutions
If you’re a patient, we’re here to help you fill prescriptions or provide you the information you need to work with your doctor to help decide if a compounded prescription might be a good treatment for you.
Prescribers, for a complete formulary or access to our clinical resources fill out the form below and one of our Solutions Engineers will be in touch shortly. If you are new to compounding, you may also find our page on How to Write a Compounding Prescription helpful.
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