Reducing the risk of developing common chronic diseases
Chronic diseases are usually defined as health conditions that last one or more years and require continuous medical attention. The Centers for Disease Control lists heart disease, cancer and diabetes as the three most common conditions. These three are also the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Although there are no easy fixes for chronic disease, there are ways to control them and to possibly avoid developing them.
Here are descriptions of these top three chronic diseases along with six suggestions for possibly preventing them from being part of your health history.
The CDC reports that more than 859,000 Americans die of heart disease, stroke or other cardiovascular disease each year. This figure represents one-third of all deaths in the United States. Treating these diseases costs an estimated $213.8 billion a year and cause another $137.4 billion in lost productivity from premature death.
Cancer takes the lives of nearly 600,000 Americans each year making it the second leading cause of death according to the CDC. Each year, 1.6 million people receive a cancer diagnosis and the treatment cost is projected to reach nearly $174 billion in 2020.
More than 30 million Americans are struggling with diabetes. Another 84 million have high blood sugar levels that can possibly lead to diabetes if not controlled. People with diabetes are at increased risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other serious medical conditions. In 2017, the direct medical cost of treated diabetes was $237 billion, according to the CDC.
Taking steps to avoid chronic disease
Interestingly, ways to reduce your chances of developing these top three chronic disease are very similar. None of these six suggestions are costly or difficult. They are simple yet crucial lifestyle choices that can help determine your quality of life in the years to come.
- Tobacco use and second-hand smoke are big contributors to the risk of chronic disease. If you smoke, take steps to stop. If you don’t smoke, avoid situations where you are subjected to second-hand smoke.
- Think about what you eat. No matter how old you are, a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy can help prevent, delay and manage heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Watch your weight also. If the pounds have been adding up, take steps to lose weight. Losing as little as 5% of your body weight can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
- Get moving and keep moving. Make a goal of doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise like brisk walking each week. Find activities you enjoy like gardening, dancing or biking to make it easier to be active.
- Control your alcohol intake. Excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease and stroke. The United States Dietary Guidelines suggest limiting alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks for men.
- See your doctor for regular checkups and preventative services. If you have a family history of chronic diseases, let your doctor know so he can be proactive in helping you avoid developing the disease. Catching chronic disease early is an important way to reduce the severity of the condition.
- Getting a good night’s sleep can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. The suggested amount of sleep is seven hours a night. If you are having trouble sleeping, see your doctor for helpful suggestions.
Managing during recovery
Taking steps to control a chronic disease is important, especially during times of recovery due to illness, surgery or other medical events. The added stress of new medical concerns can make it harder to manage your chronic disease. This is why many people with chronic disease choose to recover in a short-term care facility after a hospital stay. With targeted round-the-clock care from experienced professionals, all health concerns can be addressed as they arise.
Glenview Terrace is a well-respected short-term rehabilitation center that is an ideal choice for patients with a chronic disease who are in the process of recovering after a stay in the hospital. In fact, Glenview Terrace specializes in individualized cardiac, stroke, pulmonary and colorectal care. This includes one-on-one physical, occupational and speech therapies up to seven days a week, with the goal of returning the patient home as quickly as possible. The expert nursing team and support staff are ready with round-the-clock care for every need that arises from wound care to pain management.
Glenview Terrace’s specialized care is offered in an elegant environment. The well-appointed rooms and suites are filled with custom-designed furnishings and include a deluxe bathroom with a private shower. Guests are pampered with a variety of amenities including attentive concierge service, morning coffee and newspaper delivered daily to the room, diverse menu selections and much more. The attractive grounds and tranquil fountain are just some of the extras that go into creating an inviting environment for recovery.
When looking for a recovery experience that addresses all your medical needs, consider Glenview Terrace where the goal is to quickly and safely get you back to your independent lifestyle. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit glenviewterrace.com or call 847-729-9090.Back