More and more Americans find themselves suffering from multiple chronic conditions at the same time. When you suffer multiple conditions simultaneously, those conditions are considered to be comorbid. In other words, comorbidities are chronic conditions or diseases that exist at the same time as in a patient.
The term “comorbidity” can also be used to describe the coexistence of two or more conditions instead of the conditions themselves. For example, if a person has both high blood pressure and is obese, we would say there is a comorbidity between the two.
Comorbidities aren’t technically the same as complications, though the two ideas are somewhat related.
Comorbid Conditions – Cause and Treatment
In many cases, two conditions may feed into one another, or one condition may bring on multiple others on its own, and sometimes, you could have two comorbid conditions that have virtually nothing to do with each other.
When making a diagnosis and prescribing treatment, understanding the relationship between comorbid conditions is extremely important. If one disease is causing a number of other chronic issues, then treating the disease would help alleviate the related comorbidities. However, if there is no relationship between comorbid conditions, or if the relationship is only slight or tenuous, then each condition will need to be treated independently.
An Example of Comorbid Conditions: Obesity
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA
- Arthritis, particularly in weight-bearing joints like the hips or knees
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD
- Abdominal hernia
Obesity itself may be a result of another condition, even if it’s somewhat indirectly. Emotional disorders like depression or anxiety may lead to obesity, for example.
If your health is being negatively affected by morbid obesity, there is help available. Contact the office of Dr. Malladi’s Bariatrics and Advanced Surgery to learn if you are a candidate for Bariatric surgery.