Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More


Military and Veterans Discount


AARP’s Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes

Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. Ends 8/31/15. No purchase necessary. Enter for Official Rules.


AARP Games - Play Now!


Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.


Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.



Heart Disease


Most Popular


Finding Your Way

Have a Chronic Condition? Know All Your Treatment Options

There may be more than you think

Hearing that you have diabetes, high blood pressure or some other serious condition can be a life-changing moment. Finding the best treatment option to manage it takes a bit longer, but it can make a major difference in your health and well-being.

Sign up for AARP's Health Newsletter.

Patients often think only their doctors and nurses know what to do. And they do have skills and training to help you. But keep in mind that you're the one with the serious condition. It is important to understand your condition, know how medicines make you feel and describe what matters most to your quality of life.

To help patients better understand their treatment options, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed new tips, consumer guides and other resources. You can even read stories from patients who took time to learn about their treatment options, like Steve.

In 2005, the 33-year-old engineer weighed 300 pounds and was always tired. He thought his sleepiness was due to a thyroid problem, a condition shared by some family members.

Steve was shocked to learn he had type 2 diabetes. Caused by the body's inability to produce or use insulin, diabetes increases the risk for stroke, blindness, kidney damage and other serious problems. Steve's doctor prescribed metformin, a pill to help control blood sugar. He also told Steve to change his diet and go to a diabetes education group.

Steve started a diet with more meat and fewer carbohydrates, which helped him lose weight. But the diet also caused Steve's blood pressure and "bad" cholesterol levels to rise, so he needed more medicine. Meanwhile, Steve could not find a diabetes education group near his work.

Steve knew he needed more information. He began to learn about and compare his treatment options. He visited the American Diabetes Association website. He read how different diabetes medicines work. He found a different one that worked better.

Today, Steve's diabetes is well under control. He feels good and recently finished a 100-mile bike ride!

Annie Randolph, who got her high blood pressure under control after two hospital visits, also explored her treatment options.

Next: Talk with your doctor. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points