Chronic diseases are conditions that last for a year or more and require ongoing medical care. These conditions often limit your activities or interfere with your daily living. Chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are common and the leading cause of death in the United States. While chronic diseases are common, you can prevent many of these conditions with healthy lifestyle choices. For example, engaging in regular exercise, eating healthy foods, and avoiding tobacco can keep you from developing many of these diseases. But if you are living with a chronic illness, fret not; your Prime Healthcare of Cypress provider can help you manage the conditions and improve your quality of life.
Read on to learn more about the most common chronic diseases in the United States.
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is a general term that describes various problems that affect the heart and blood vessels. It is the leading cause of death in the United States, but many forms of cardiovascular disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices or adjustments. There are different types of heart disease; some you may be born with, and others can develop during your lifetime. Coronary artery disease is the most common heart problem that affects major blood vessels (arteries). It develops gradually when a sticky substance called plaque builds up in the arteries, reducing or blocking the blood supply to the heart muscle. This can lead to other heart problems such as heart attack, heart failure, angina, and arrhythmia.
Cancer is one of the many diseases that occur when abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and spread to surrounding tissues. These abnormal cells can spread throughout the body, but with early screening, cancer can be treated to prevent disease progression. The signs and symptoms of cancer vary depending on the affected body part. But generally, one may experience fatigue, unintended weight changes, changes in bowel or bladder habits, and skin changes. It is best to see your doctor if you have any persistent symptoms that concern you or are worried about your cancer risk.
Diabetes is a long-lasting health problem that occurs when the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin or the body does not use the insulin it produces. As such, glucose in the blood accumulates, causing symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, increased hunger, blurry vision, and dry skin. There are different types of diabetes, each with varying causes. For example, type 1 diabetes results from an autoimmune reaction; the immune system mistakenly attacks the islets cells, reducing or stopping insulin production.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body cells are unresponsive to insulin action, causing the accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream. Unlike type 1 diabetes which occurs suddenly, type 2 diabetes develops slowly over the years and may not cause obvious symptoms. The last one is gestational diabetes which develops for the first time in pregnant women. It increases your child’s risk for health problems; your child can be obese or develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
If you need help managing a chronic condition, visit your doctor at Prime Healthcare of Cypress.