How To Deal With A Chronic Condition?

How To Deal With A Chronic Condition?

As per the stats, 86% of people under 70 years of age have been diagnosed with chronic conditions, and 45% lose their lives. The consequences of such conditions may be harsh, but they can be reduced by making slight lifestyle interventions. So, let’s have a deep insight into what chronic conditions are and how to cope with them.

The medical field defines a chronic condition as a condition that lasts for more than a year. It can even persist for several years. It is distinguished from an acute disease on two grounds: how long the condition persists, and secondly, how it affects the body. For example, an acute disease only affects a specific body part and responds to the medications, whereas a chronic illness may affect multiple parts. And acute infections persist for a shorter period, whereas certain chronic conditions may stay until the person’s death.

Chronic conditions may also disappear for a specific time-lapse and then reappear. This usually happens with conditions like asthma or cancer. Common chronic diseases include hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, asthma, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, etc.

Common chronic conditions and their early signs

  • Heart disease:

Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of global deaths. Both result from a lack of blood flow to critical body parts: a stroke is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the brain, while a heart attack is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the heart. This condition results in the blockage of blood flow to the heart. Symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness, pressure in the chest, nausea, and irregular heartbeats.

  • Stroke:

Stroke is a life-threatening disease as it creates a blockage in the blood flow resisting it to reach the brain. Symptoms of stroke include dizziness, blurred vision, trouble speaking, loss of balance, difficulty walking, numbness in the limbs, or confusion in understanding.

  • Cancer:

Cancer results in the growth of unwanted or abnormal body cells. It may pass on genetically or due to a poor lifestyle (lack of proper diet and exercise).

  • Diabetes:

Diabetes is one of the prevalent chronic diseases. It may persist due to poor diet preferences and lack of physical activities. This may also be linked with obesity.

  • Arthritis:

It is medically defined as the inflammation in the body that happens due to the widening of blood vessels. Its early signs include excruciating joint pain, swollen joints, stiffness, and numbness at joints.

  • Obesity:

It is a chronic health condition of being above average body weight. It is a risk factor for other chronic diseases such as arthritis, stroke, heart attack, asthma, Type 2 diabetes, etc. In addition, obesity is often related to a person’s lifestyle, such as lack of physical activity or consuming a high fat/calorie diet.

Causes And Factors Leading To Chronic Diseases

While there may be many factors leading to chronic illness, some of the common factors include:

  1. Biological factors

Chronic conditions such as asthma or cancer may pass down genetically. So if any of your family relatives have such situations, it is more likely for you to develop them.

  1. Socio-Economic Factors

People living with poor socio-economic conditions are more prone to chronic diseases. Moreover, since they live in unhygienic conditions and without proper nutrition, they are at a greater risk of facing such illnesses.

  1. Lifestyle Factors

Poor lifestyle is one of the major factors leading to chronic conditions. Consuming an unhealthy diet or maintaining no activities regularly may lead to obesity and many other diseases too.

  1. Behavioral Factors

Those who develop bad habits such as smoking, consuming alcohol, or chewing tobacco are highly prone to chronic illness. Such habits affect their lungs and kidneys significantly, leading to diseases like cancer.

Preventing The Development Of Chronic Diseases

By making healthy lifestyle choices, you can significantly reduce the chances of developing a chronic disease over time.

  • Quit smoking

If you quit smoking or have never consumed cigarettes, you are at shallow risk of developing serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or even premature death.

  • Healthy diet

Maintaining a proper diet is one of the critical factors for a good lifestyle. And better the lifestyle, lower are the chances of chronic diseases. A healthy diet must include a balanced amount of nutrients consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. Such a diet would also help you reduce your weight. And if you are obese, losing even 5% to 7% of weight can help improve conditions such as diabetes.

  • Physical activities

Doing physical activities regularly greatly helps you prevent the development of diseases such as obesity. Also, if you have any chronic conditions, involving you in some exercises will help you manage them better. For example, you could walk or even jog for an hour or so.

  • Stop consuming alcohol

You can save yourself from various chronic conditions such as heart diseases, stroke, liver diseases, high blood pressure, or cancer by not consuming alcohol.

  • Screening

To prevent the development of hazardous health conditions, it is necessary to get screened regularly. It would help if you visited your doctor at least twice ear for a health check-up. This will help you diagnose your conditions at an early stage so that you can start taking the required preventive measures.

  • Proper sleep

Getting enough sleep is as essential as maintaining a healthy diet or exercising regularly. Adults should get rest of at least 7 hours daily. This can highly reduce the conditions of diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, or depression.

Coping With A Chronic Disease

Unlike other illnesses that have a chance of getting cured, chronic conditions may last a lifetime. So, that makes it more challenging to deal with them. But you can still manage its symptoms and cope up with the disease through these measures:

  • Find information about your disease. The greater your knowledge about your condition is, the better you will be able to manage it.
  • Approach and speak up to your family and friends as they are the ones who will help you deal with the disease. Also, this will keep you away from depression.
  • Start developing healthy habits such as running or exercising. This will help you take control of the disease.
  • You must know about self-monitoring. For example, if you have any heart disease or blood pressure conditions, you must know how to check your pulse or bp.

Coping with a chronic condition may seem like a daunting task. You may lose hope too. And that’s when the disease would start ruling you. But if you take adequate measures with a positive attitude, it might so happen that the symptoms of the conditions are managed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here