E-consult

Primary care

ASTHMA :  * Adult  * 

Asthma

Asthma is a common condition that causes coughing, wheezing, tightness of the chest and breathlessness. Most people with asthma who take the appropriate treatment can live normal lives, but left untreated, asthma can cause permanent damage to the airways

Symptoms of asthma

The usual symptoms of asthma are

  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in the chest.

Not everyone will get all of these symptoms. Some people experience them from time to time; a few people may experience these symptoms all the time.

Treatment of asthma

There isn't a cure for asthma. However, treatments are available to help manage your symptoms. Your treatment plan will be individual to you, combining medicines and asthma management in a way that works best for you

Living with asthma

Medicines are only part of your treatment for asthma. You will also need to deal with the things that make it worse. Keep a diary to record anything that triggers your asthma - this can help you to discover a pattern. Using a peak flow meter to monitor your lung function can also help. If you have repeatedly low readings in a certain situation (for example, at the end of a working day, after exercise or after contact with an animal) this may indicate the trigger.

Useful Links

Asthma UKAsthma UK
This website has been revamped to meet the needs of the thousands of people with asthma who visit the site each day, either to find important information about asthma and how to control it

Asthma
An excellent resource with useful video, audio, images and references relating to asthma.

NHS - Asthma
Further information about symptoms, treatment, causes and prevention of Asthma.


These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

 

COPD : 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. The main symptom of COPD is an inability to breathe in and out properly. This is also referred to as airflow obstruction.

Useful Links

NHS
Guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and risks of COPD from the NHS

COPD Factsheet
This factsheet is for people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or who would like information about it.

British Lung Foundation
Information and guidance on living with COPD

HYPERTENSION

 

DIABETICS

Diabetes is a long-term (chronic) condition caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is also known as diabetes mellitus. There are two types of diabetes - type 1 and type 2.

According to the charity Diabetes UK, more than two million people in the UK have the condition and up to 750,000 more are believed to have it without realising they do.

More than three-quarters of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes mellitus. This used to be known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or maturity-onset diabetes mellitus. The number of people with type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing as it commoner in the overweight and obese, which is itself a growing problem.

The remainder have type 1 diabetes mellitus, which used to be known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

What's the treatment for diabetes?

It's recognised that the sooner the blood sugar levels are brought under control, the better the long term prospects of preventing damage. Lifestyle advice about diet, weight management and regular activity is the first step.

Type 1 diabetes will require immediate insulin therapy, Type 2 diabetes will first be managed with a drug called Metformin, if lifestyle changes alone aren't effective. There are now several other drugs used in type 2 diabetes, although eventually some type 2 diabetics will need insulin therapy as it's a progressive disease

Useful Links

Diabetes - Healthtalkonline
HealthtalkonlineHealthtalkonline, an award-winning charity website, lets you share in other people's experiences of health and illness. An excellent resource compiled after interviewing a wide range of people suffering from heart disease.

Type 1 Diabetes
An excellent resource with useful information and references relating to Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes
A useful resource regarding Type 2 Diabetes.Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK
Largest charity in the UK devoted to the care and treatment of people with diabetes in order to improve the quality of life for people with the condition

NHS
Further information about symptoms, treatment, causes and prevention of Diabetes