According to the Center of Disease Control, chronic diseases cause 7 out of 10 deaths each year and are responsible for 86 percent of America’s healthcare costs. Some of the most common chronic diseases include:
- Heart disease
Other types of chronic conditions include:
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Eating disorders
- Gum disease
As of 2012, about half of all American adults had at least one chronic health problem. About one in four adults had two or more chronic diseases.
Unfortunately, these conditions can also cause other long-term complications, including kidney failure, disability and limb amputation. Your internist, however, can often help prevent these diseases altogether or find the best ways to treat your condition and manage your symptoms. Through routine medical visits, we can pinpoint issues while they are manageable - sometimes even when still reversible.
Causes of Chronic Disease
So, what causes chronic diseases in the first place? While there are many factors, one of the main issues is unhealthy behaviors such as:
- Poor nutrition
- Heavy alcohol use
- Using tobacco
By changing these habits, you can greatly decrease your chances of developing some of these chronic illnesses.
It can be a challenge to know exactly what constitutes a healthy diet or what exercise plan is right for you. Your doctor can discuss foods you should eat, as well as foods you should avoid. Plus, we can recommend exercise regimes that are right for your needs and abilities. This will help you maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of chronic diseases. We can even help you find programs that will aid you in quitting bad habits, like smoking and heavy drinking.
Turn to your internist to have your chronic disease diagnosed and treated, and you can see your quality of life drastically improve. Don’t hesitate - if you think you may be suffering the symptoms of a chronic disease, schedule an appointment with Highlands Medical Associates.