Chronic diseases persist for a long time and require constant medical attention and constrain daily activities. It is observed that chronic condition cases are increasing day by day across the world. The chronic condition is very much the opposite of acute illness. For instance, acute illness is time-bound, whereas chronic illness timelessly remains with the patient. Chronic illness is persistent and occurs at regular intervals depending on its nature.
People with chronic conditions pay more out-of-pocket as it’s a long run condition. Most of these chronic conditions require patients to do regular check-ups and tests, leading to a huge deficit in their household budget. Study shows that if one member of a family suffers from a chronic condition, around 20% of the family income may be spent on their care.
Some of the most common chronic diseases are Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases, Stroke, Mental conditions, Asthma, Cancer, etc. Managing and treating chronic conditions also places a big burden on our health and social system. The major spurs of chronic diseases are Sugar, Smoking, Inactivity, and Alcohol. Although these chronic conditions have no known cure and do not have vaccines to cure them, these conditions can be governed well by regular medical attention. About 80% of all heart diseases, strokes, and type – 2 diabetes can be prevented by reducing risk factors and ensuring a healthy and hygienic environment that protects our health. Many chronic diseases are preventable, or their commencement can be delayed.
Out of 300 million Asthma patients globally, 10% live in India, and this number is increasing rapidly day by day due to environmental imbalance. According to a survey, India, China, and the USA are having huge numbers of diabetic patients than in the world; about 65 million people have Diabetes in India (Till 2014); Type – 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and is caused by factors like lifestyles, genes, and most importantly diet. In 2016, nearly 55 million people were suffering from cardiovascular disease; one in four deaths in India are due to CVDs (Cardiovascular disease), and more than 80% of those are with heart disease and stroke; This is majorly caused by High blood pressure, Smoking, High cholesterol, Diabetes, etc. There are some alarming Cancer cases, too, reported in India. In 2018, there were about 1.2 million new cancer cases reported, and about 784,000 cancer deaths were reported.
Certain symptoms are very much specific to the condition the patient is suffering from. For example, an asthma patient has symptoms like Chest congestion, shortness of breath, etc. But there are some invisible symptoms like pain, fatigue, and mood swings. Chronic conditions can also affect your ability to work. Morning stiffness and other physical limitations will force you to adjust your work activities. Stress is also a by-product of chronic conditions nowadays, as a patient’s life revolves around it for a longer period. This inevitably leads to depression, wherein a patient has a severe condition and is helpless to get the cure. There is a lot of help available, like various support groups, Individual counseling, Family Counselling for patients suffering from chronic conditions.
The main contributors to chronic conditions are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, obesity, poor diet, stress, etc.
Although these chronic conditions can’t be cured, we can take certain precautions to manage them daily. Below are some precautions that the patients should take to decrease the occurrence and discomfort caused due to chronic conditions.
Asthma patients should strictly stay away from cigarette smoking. They should also wear masks to avoid outdoor pollution, and in addition to that, they should be aware of the common allergens such as dust, smell, pollens, etc. To counter-attack the adverse effects of an Asthma attack, they should practice yoga, especially Pranayama (Breathing Exercises), to limit the frequency of asthma attacks.
Type 2 diabetes patients should always keep their body fats to a certain extent. People with obesity usually are prone to diabetes. Although this is not the only reason people with a balanced weight also have diabetes, regular exercise, and a healthy diet are the best measures to prevent type – 2 diabetes.
Patients with High blood pressure should always put these precautions in their daily life, such as regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing excessive salt intake.
Studies reflect that patients with common chronic conditions who maintain the suggested lifestyle tend to show improvements in their conditions. Various programs experience rapid, significant, and sustainable healing in the ailment if followed with discipline. Yet, many patients lack the behavioral skills to maintain these good habits hampering their lives.