When we catch a common cold, we usually recover within a week with treatment and rest. However, there are other certain diseases that you may have to live with when you catch them. These are called chronic diseases, or long-lasting illnesses. Such conditions can be common and need to be managed so they don’t turn out deadly. There are several common chronic diseases and you should go for regular screenings to keep them under control. So, let’s see what those diseases are.
Diabetes is a condition that disrupts how your body uses and processes sugar. People with diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or their cells don’t respond to it, which can cause sugar to build up in the blood. Over the years, this can lead to serious health problems, including kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, pain or loss of feeling in the hands and feet, and other health issues. Most people with diabetes don’t even show any symptoms, and that is why screening for diabetes is a must.
You can do a fasting blood test in order to measure the amount of sugar in your blood. If the test shows higher levels of sugar, you may be in pre-diabetes. To control this and reduce the risk of diabetes is to lose weight, control your diet and start exercising.
The appendix is a small sausage-shaped pouch connected to the button of the large intestine. Appendicitis occurs when this organ is inflamed or infected. Abdominal pain is the first tell-tale sign you have appendicitis. When this condition becomes chronic, people have this inflammation and pain that lasts longer – even longer than a week. Even though chronic appendicitis is relatively rare, it still occurs and it is vital to go for regular screenings.
Chronic appendicitis can occur for many reasons. It can be caused by the accumulation of fecal matter, calcified fecal deposits, trauma to the abdomen, tumors, worms, or other factors. Based on the cause of chronic appendicitis, your doctor may recommend the removal of the appendix or antibiotics if the cause and symptoms are not severe. Nevertheless, you should still go for blood and urine checks ultrasound exam, or even MRI, especially if you know you are prone to having this illness.
Hypertension – High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood against the walls of blood vessels. Normal blood pressure is around 120/80, and anything higher than that can be diagnosed as high blood pressure. Usually, if your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90, you will be diagnosed with hypertension. This chronic condition is associated with higher risks of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. It is known as the ‘silent killer’ if left untreated or controlled.
Regularly measuring your blood pressure and visiting your doctor for treatment is of the utmost importance. You can additionally make a few lifestyle changes to help control this issue. Start moving more, including salt restriction, lower alcohol consumption, and minimizing the intake of saturated fat.
Fatty liver is a condition when a build-up of fat is found in your liver. It usually occurs in people who are overweight or have diabetes or hyperlipidemia. It can also be a genetic disease, but it can be treated and regulated. If you leave it untreated, you can risk scaring your liver, i.e. cirrhosis. This can lead to liver failure and ultimately death. That is why it’s essential to check the state of your liver through blood tests regularly.
As there are rarely symptoms of fatty liver, you should undergo blood tests to detect it. Your liver enzymes could be higher than normal and an ultrasound can help determine how healthy your liver is. However, there is no medical treatment for a fatty liver. Instead, you will have to limit alcohol consumption, manage your cholesterol, reduce your consumption of sugar, and increase physical activity.
These four chronic diseases are the most common ones. There are other diseases that shouldn’t be left unchecked, including breast and cervical cancer, hyperlipidemia, and many more. Regular visits to your doctor and checking your family’s medical history are great start to keeping your body and chronic diseases in check. Additionally, healthy lifestyle changes can help keep these in control, too. So, eat healthy foods, limit sugar, alcohol, and cigarettes, and start exercising regularly. These healthy habits can help you reduce a lot of health risks and even help with chronic diseases and their consequences.