Many things can increase your chances of developing chronic diseases. Some things you may have no control over — such as genetics — but other things you may have control over — such as not exercising enough.
In this blog, Kimberley Shine, MD, of Shine Health and Wellness explains what can increase your chances of developing chronic illness and what you can do about it.
What are chronic diseases?
A disease is considered chronic if you’ve dealt with it for longer than a year with recurrent symptoms. Symptoms don’t have to be constant for the condition to be labeled chronic. Chronic conditions can affect just about any system in your body at any time in your life.
Here are some of the most common chronic conditions:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Although you can take steps to decrease your risk for developing chronic diseases, some factors may be out of your control, such as genetics.
Factors that can put you at risk
Unfortunately, genetics can play a role in your chances of developing chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. If a relative has certain medical conditions, this can increase your chances of developing the conditions, too. However, there are other things that can make you more susceptible to developing chronic conditions, such as doing the following:
- Using tobacco
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Consuming a diet high in fats and sodium
- Exercising too little or not at all
If you do any of the things listed above, you can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other conditions. Fortunately, the factors listed above are within your control. If you stop your negative habits and behaviors, you can help yourself get healthy.
What you can do to get and stay healthy
One of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases is consume a healthy diet. This involves eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. You can also decrease your risk by doing the following:
- Exercising regularly
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Reducing stress
- Staying socially connected
Making lifestyle changes can be hard, especially in today’s world. However, making small changes here and there can greatly reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases and can also help reduce their symptoms if you do get a chronic disease.
To learn more about preventing or treating chronic diseases, book an appointment online or over the phone with Shine Health and Wellness today.