What are Chronic Conditions?
Have you read these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)?
As of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—had one or more chronic health conditions. One of four adults had two or more chronic health conditions.
Seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2010 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases—heart disease and cancer—together accounted for nearly 48% of all deaths.
Pretty scary, right!? Chronic conditions include diseases that persist over three months, the baddies include heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and osteoporosis, just to name a few. Many are extremely debilitating, even causing death. So what do you need to know about some of these disease? There are steps you can take today to avoid them.
Decreasing Your Risk
There are steps you can take TODAY to decrease your risk for chronic conditions. Apart from the “eat right,” “exercise right” advice we’ve all heard before, what else can you do?
Get “tested” - Putting off that annual physical exam? Think again. Routine exams and standard blood tests help catch warning signs early, before they become full-fledged problems. Have that fasting glucose test, take a bone density analysis, get that mammogram and colonoscopy. Probably not the most fun way to spend an afternoon, but your body will thank you.
Tame the stress - Life is stressful. Family, kids, work, schedules. There’s barely time for a time-out. But take it! Center. Re-group. Stress releases certain chemicals in the body to help cope. But if the body is subject to these for long periods of time, they start to have a negative effect, changing the way the brain and body function. Memory loss, heart disease, emotional and psychological problems, and digestive problems can all occur when stress gets too high.
Pick up a hobby - Memory loss. Probably the scariest two words when it comes to aging. No one wants to lose their memory. Studies show that keeping the mind active, picking up a new hobby, learning a skill, pushing the brain to do more things, helps prevent memory loss and could help ward off chronic conditions like dementia.