Why You Need To Take Control Of Your Health

Why You Need To Take Control Of Your Health

Chronic and Complex Disease Prevention

While sitting at the airport, I observed a person with a clear plastic purse consisting of about ten prescribed medication bottles.

She looked exhausted, unhealthy, and defeated.

I don’t know her story, but I wondered what led her to this state?

Did her health decline start with a small warning sign, or was it an illness that developed into further complications?  

It’s hard to discuss chronic and complex diseases without adding information about prevention.

I often see these types of questions:

– What is this rash on my body?

– Why do I have this disease?

– Will I improve?

– Why am I not improving despite taking medications and supplements?

So bear with me while I attempt to explain chronic and complex diseases.

Did you know approximately half of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease? Chronic, meaning lasting long in duration and typically develops over time. 

Common Chronic Diseases include: 

• Cardiovascular disease including heart disease and stroke

• Cancer

• Chronic respiratory disease

• Diabetes

• Stroke

Some chronic diseases progress and become complex chronic (the condition involves multiple medical conditions; for example, developing kidney failure secondary to diabetes). Lastly, some diseases are defined as complex due to environmental and genetic factors (asthma, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, autoimmune disease).  

What are the threats to your health?

• Lifestyle 

• Genetic

• Environmental

• Socioeconomic

• Mental Health

• Physiological

You may wonder how you can reduce the progression of a complex disease that is primarily genetic? Or, what causes many chronic diseases to become more complex such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease? 

Lifestyle and environment are two factors influencing the course of your disease. Sometimes it starts with unhealthy habits, a lack of health education, or awareness of your family history. 

The good news is you can reduce the development of chronic diseases. Even better, you can reduce the progression of a current disease even if it is genetic.  

What are the common risks that you can control?

• Unhealthy diet

• Physical activity

• Removal of toxins in your environment

• Drug and tobacco abuse, including alcohol 

Staying healthy and avoiding chronic/complex diseases can be challenging to manage. You can’t control your age or genetics. However, you can include preventative steps to reduce your risks of developing further complications. 

It is difficult to change habits, especially if you’ve been doing them a long time!

It requires energy, education, and motivation to change learned behaviors.

Prevention seeks to assist you in avoiding, curing, slowing the progression of, or mitigating health disorders that might affect you otherwise.

So, getting back to the woman at the airport with a bag full of prescription medications. Not knowing her story, I can’t help but wonder, would she live a healthier life today if she knew how to mitigate her health, even if her medical issues were from a complex genetic disease? Proper education about lifestyle changes and becoming aware of your warning signs is equally important as knowing your family history.

Reach out to me today to help navigate your health and reduce your risk of developing or worsening a complex disease.  

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