Chronic diseases are conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases are also the leading cause of death as well as disabilities in the US. Some common risks that lead to chronic diseases include smoking, or secondhand smoke, excessive alcohol, and lack of nutrition. Here are the top chronic diseases facing the US and symptoms to look out for.
Heart disease is a cardiovascular disease that over 868,000 Americans die from every year. It is a range of conditions such as, heart infection, heart valve disease, congenital heart defects, and more. Risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, unhealthy diet, and high cholesterol. Symptoms are all different depending on the condition. Some different conditions and their symptoms:
Symptoms of heart disease in your blood vessels:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Chest tightness or discomfort
- Pain in jaw, neck, throat
- Weakness, numbness, pain in your legs or arms
Heart disease symptoms caused by diseased heart muscle:
- Dizziness, fainting
- Swelling of ankles, legs or feet
- Irregular heartbeats
Symptoms caused by heart infection:
- Dry cough
- Weakness, fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in the legs
- Changes in your heart rhythm
Treatments of heart conditions vary from condition and person. General treatments include lifestyle changes, eating a low-sodium, low-fat diet, quitting bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking and including exercise in your day. Medication is another treatment where doctors will prescribe you with medicine to help control your disease. When medications aren’t enough, surgery and medical procedures are the next step in treatment. The type of surgery depends on the conditions.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in America. It is a condition where the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread throughout parts of the body. Cancer can happen anywhere on the body. Categories of cancers include leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoma, carcinoma, melanoma and more. There are over 100 different types of cancers which are usually named by the part of the body the cancer is formed, such as lung cancer, brain cancer, and skin cancer. Any symptoms of cancer can be caused by cancer but also could be other health conditions, if you have any of the following symptoms it doesn’t automatically mean you have cancer but you should see a doctor if these symptoms worsen:
- Swelling or lumps anywhere in the body
- Fever, nights sweats
- Lump in the breast or other part of the body
- Fatigue, extreme tiredness that doesn’t get better even when rested
- Vision, hearing problems
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- New or unknown pain that doesn’t go away or gets worse
Treatment for cancer is dependent on the type of cancer and the severity of it. Cancer treatment goal is to prevent the spread of cancer in the body. Some people will have just one treatment, others will have a combination. These treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy.
Diabetes is a condition that prevents the body from properly metabolizing sugar from different foods and using it as fuel in the body’s cell. Over 34 million Americans have diabetes. Diabetes can be a serious condition as well that can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other serious health problems. There are also chronic diabetes types, Type 1 and Type 2. Risk factors of diabetes include, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, smoking, being overweight, high blood pressure and more. Symptoms to look out for:
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
- Unexpected weight loss
- Persistent urination
- Extreme hunger
Treatment plans for diabetes vary from person to person. A doctor will create a plan for you to follow but you might also need further healthcare professionals like a nutritionist, eye doctor and more depending on the severity of your condition. Treatments are so that you can keep a close eye on your blood sugar, so medications, exercise, and diet will be recommended.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms above, don’t hesitate to call your healthcare provider. You might not have one of the chronic conditions but it is better to be safe and up to date with your health.
At Spring Hills, our Clinical Programs and Signature Touch Approach offer holistic healthcare with techniques and expertise to help manage clinical complexities. Our nursing staff and entire multi-disciplinary team are fully trained to properly administer medication and manage the care needs for multiple diagnoses. Additionally, working with the latest technology allows for electronic records, increasing our efficiency and accuracy. Our activities and dining teams are made aware of any diagnoses that a senior may have in order to accommodate their needs and abilities. It is very important for us to follow all steps to ensure that our seniors with clinical complexities are cared for properly to enjoy life to the fullest and Live Happy.