Friday, September 20, 2013

Why is Chronic Disease Prevention Important?

What is Chronic Disease? 

Chronic Disease is a condition that is long lasting and cannot be cured. It affects millions of people all over the world. The Center for Disease Control reports that chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Chronic diseases are costly health problems but very often they can be prevented and in many cases controlled. The best way to control chronic disease is to put the patient and the family as the focal point of the situation and help them control it. When the patient and family are working in tandem with hospitals and doctors and taking charge of their illness, the effective management of the disease becomes easier and healthcare costs go down, making it an affordable situation for everyone involved.

Different kinds of chronic diseases 

The definition of a chronic disease is a disease that is almost permanent with no effective cure. The patient will have to live with the disease all their lives. Some well known chronic diseases are
  • Allergy
  • Alzheimer's Disease Caregivers
  • Asthma
  • Breast Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart Disease
  • Obesity and Overweight
  • The Food and Fitness Environment

How to prevent Chronic Diseases 

Chronic diseases are on the rise today due to many causes. Pollution, bad nutrition, substance abuse, stress factors are just some of the contributors to diseases. The good news is that people are living longer these days but the bad news is that they are not living it healthily. We are a nation filled with people who have healthcare problems and we are unable to cope with it. The effects of the lifestyles of the previous generations are manifesting now. There is nothing much that we can do about existing problems, but we can learn from it, and ensure that we, nor our future generations end up in the same state. It is an unfortunate fact that most of these diseases could have been prevented if people had taken care of themselves.

Let us take a look at some preventable chronic diseases:

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis etc could be hereditary, in which case it is plain bad luck for you. But here are a few things you can do, to ensure that you are not at a high risk for some of these chronic illnesses.
  • Stop any kind of substance abuse. If you are unable to do it on your own, join a support group.
  •  Have well balanced meals and eat at the right time. It is advisable to see a dietician and get a proper meal plan.
  •   Do some form of exercise. Try to exercise in the open air at least a few times a week. A slow jog or swimming are great outdoor exercises.
  •  Have routine checkups. Don’t keep putting this off. If there is something amiss, the earlier it is detected, the faster action can be taken.
  •  Keep your stress levels down. Doing yoga and meditation will help.
  •  If you are a woman and over 40, have regular checkups with your gynecologist
  •  See a specialist if you feel unwell for a long period of time. A general practitioner is okay for a cold or fever, but if you find no relief, it is best to go to a specialist.
  • Make sure that you have a health insurance plan. You never know when you may fall sick, so make sure that your premiums are up to date and you and your family are covered at all times.

These are just small things that you can do to make your life healthier!

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