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 can also be chronic in nature 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 management struggles can affect your self-esteem and your health. There are many potential reasons for unexplained weight fluctuations. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for help. Severe, unexpected weight loss or gain may point to a more complex underlying condition requiring attention from a licensed medical professional. Studies suggest that overweight or obese patients have been linked to multiple 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, or other issues. Your ability to focus, think productively, and manage your emotional state can affect multiple aspects of your life. Your work performance and relationships are meaningful to 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 conditions 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. Losing sleep 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, not only 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 additional symptoms related to autoimmune disease.
It’s possible that you aren’t following the best diet or exercise routine for your circumstances. If your metabolism is slowing with age, your current diet and exercise program may not take that into account. Sustained stress can also impact your weight in an unhealthy way.
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 complicate weight management. 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, medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disorders, or develop after experiencing a difficult event, such as death of a loved one or divorce.
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), and medications., Chronic disorders such as heart failure, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism can interfere with healthy sleep. Hormonal changes can also change and disrupt sleep patterns. Sleep problems seem to increase with age, and can simply be a natural result of aging.
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. Skin, nail, and hair issues can also be related to genetics, aging, medications, fungi, or a number of illnesses such as liver or lung disease and diabetes using products that expose your body to harsh chemicals 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 culprits of metal toxicity are mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Other substances are only toxic when they reach excess tissue levels, including trace minerals your body requires 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 thenutrients you consume 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, infections, parasites, pancreatic disease, lactose intolerance, celiac disease (gluten intolerance), a lack of necessary enzymes, prolonged use of antibiotics, or any damage to the intestine.
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 the 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 chronic diseases may impact immunity more permanently.
Some of these health conditions are easily identified by their symptoms, while others require more work to find the underlying cause. Identifying conditions such as metal toxicity or nutritional deficiencies can be challenging. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms related to a chronic condition, your prescriber can discuss your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam with appropriate tests. It may take a series of tests to identify or explain some of these chronic conditions, but dedicating the time to work with a health care professional and establish an accurate diagnosis gives you the best chance of finding effective options
There are compounded medications designed to help with each of these conditions.
TreatmentsThere are compounded medications designed to help with each of these conditions.
- Low dose naltrexone —May boost your natural endorphins to trigger positive feelings; reduce insulin resistance; may increase growth hormone; modulate appetite; reduce inflammation; improve sleep; 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.
- Low dose naltrexone —May relieve inflammation and boost your natural endorphins. Endorphins help regulate the immune system.
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 with 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.
If you are new to compounding, you may also find our page on How to Write a Compounding Prescription helpful.
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