A chronic disease is an illness that lasts for one year or more, and needs on-going treatment and care. Chronic illnesses cause thousands of hospitalizations, disability and death every year.
Chronic diseases include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Heart Disease.
- Chronic Kidney Disease.
- Mental Disorders.
Mental disorders are recognised in Australia as a chronic disease, and many people suffer from such illnesses as depression, phobias, personality disorders etc. It has also been found that Diabetes is one of the diseases with the highest number of affected people, which also leads to certain other health complications.
Studies have found that people don’t just suffer from one chronic disease, but are affected with two or more, which causes great difficulty due to disability and increased expenses.
The main causes of chronic diseases have been found to be:
- Smoking or tobacco use.
- Excessive use of alcohol.
- Poor nutrition or eating habits.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Family history of chronic diseases.
When it comes to chronic diseases, prevention and management of the disease are the best paths to follow. So how do you prevent chronic diseases?
- Don’t smoke – Smoking is one of the major causes of many chronic diseases such as cancer, respiratory diseases, heart disease etc.
- Don’t use too much alcohol – Excessive use of alcohol has contributed towards a lot of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease etc.
- Eat healthy – Eating healthy by adding more fruits and vegetables, lean red meat, whole grains etc to your diet can help prevent many chronic diseases, more importantly you should stay away from excessively fatty and salty food.
- Stay physically active – Exercise is very good for keeping your body healthy and trim, and is a great way to avoid getting certain chronic diseases.
- Sleep well – A good night’s sleep is essential for your body as well as your organs. Doctors in Mt. Gravatt and all over the world, recommend at least seven hours of sleep per day for adults.
- Regular check-ups and screening – A regular visit to your doctor as well as screening is a must in order to stay healthy and disease free. If there are any irregularities in your health, a GP in Mt. Gravatt or any clinic close to you will be able to detect it during routine testing. Early detection of certain illnesses is the best way of controlling them.
Chronic diseases have contributed towards the huge financial burden that many countries face, as it leads to higher costs in medical care and less productivity. On a personal level as well, a chronic disease can be very expensive to treat, as it required long term medical attention, in addition to regular testing and specialised treatments.
If you are suffering from a chronic disease, it is very likely that your GP in Mt Gravatt or the clinic you go to, will recommend you for a chronic disease management plan, which provides support to patients with chronic diseases.
A chronic disease management plan offers many benefits to patients, such as:
- It promotes healthy living.
- Identifies health care needs.
- Provides on-going support.
- Provides access to certain services, which some people may not be able to get otherwise.
- Your GP can plan and coordinate your health care effectively.
What exactly is included in a chronic disease management plan?
- Identifies and lists out your health care needs.
- Lists out the services to be provided by your GP.
- Lists out what you can do to manage your illness.
Effective management of a chronic disease can increase the quality of life for a patient, and even helps those close to the patient to lead healthier lifestyles. Chronic diseases are not contagious, but they are preventable with drastic changes to lifestyles.
Many doctors in Mt Gravatt and other areas in Australia state that two of the main reasons that chronic diseases are so prevalent in Australia are because of:
- People’s changing lifestyles.
- An ageing population.
If we can prevent being affected by serious diseases with a few simple changes in our lives, why not make that active decision today? Don’t let chronic diseases get you down and rob you of living a full life.