If you think you don’t need to worry about preventing chronic conditions, consider this: 60% of all adults have one, and 40% have two or more chronic health diseases. At Woodlands Primary Healthcare, Javier Sosa, MD, focuses on helping patients prevent chronic conditions. But if a disease develops, he works closely with each patient to manage the problem and help them maintain optimal health. If you’d like to learn about your risks for chronic diseases or you need medical care for an existing condition, call the office in The Woodlands, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
When you have an injury or illness that lasts longer than three months, it’s considered to be chronic. However, these chronic issues may ultimately receive treatment that resolves the problem.
By comparison, a chronic health condition is not curable. You can prevent most chronic health conditions, but once a condition develops, in most cases you’ll have it for the rest of your life.
These are a few examples of some of the most common chronic conditions:
Asthma and COPD cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing. Otherwise, many chronic conditions develop for years without causing symptoms.
You may inherit a genetic tendency to develop a chronic condition, but that doesn’t mean you’ll end up with the disease. Your lifestyle choices significantly affect genetic signals and a healthy diet may offset your genes.
You’re more likely to develop a chronic disease if you:
You can prevent chronic diseases by doing the opposite of this list: eating a balanced diet, getting exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight, for example.
Once a chronic disease develops, managing the problem means taking the steps necessary to keep that specific issue under control and stop it from getting worse. Chronic disease management consists of lifestyle changes and medications.
The exact steps differ for each type of chronic disease, so here’s an example. To manage Type 2 diabetes, you must keep your blood sugar within normal limits. Many patients can stabilize their blood sugar with dietary changes, regular exercise, and losing weight if needed. If lifestyle changes don’t do the job, you’ll need medication to lower your blood sugar.
Effective management also requires regular examinations to monitor your condition. When your disease isn’t well-controlled, it can become a life-threatening problem.
For example, persistently high blood sugar damages nerves and blood vessels, leading to neuropathy, kidney disease, and diabetic eye disease. Uncontrolled high blood pressure causes blocked blood vessels, strokes, and heart attacks.
To prevent or manage chronic disease, call the office or use online booking to schedule an appointment at Woodlands Primary Healthcare.