Chronic diseases are extremely common, affecting one out of every ten people. Age, genetics, and gender may all contribute to an increased risk of developing a chronic illness. Chronic diseases are long-term, persistent conditions that frequently require specialized therapy, education, and training for the individual suffering from the disease to maintain health. Family Medicine doctors play an important role in educating and supporting patients in the management of chronic conditions.
What causes chronic diseases?
Chronic disease causes are well established and well known; a small set of common risk factors is responsible for the majority of the major chronic diseases. These risk factors are modifiable and the same in men and women: unhealthy diets; lack of physical activity; and tobacco use. These causes manifest themselves as intermediate risk factors such as high blood pressure, high glucose levels, abnormal blood lipids, overweight, and obesity.
Some examples of common chronic diseases
- cardiovascular diseases, mainly heart disease and stroke
- chronic respiratory diseases like asthma
- others, such as mental disorders, vision and hearing impairment, oral diseases, bone and joint disorders, and genetic disorders.
It occurs when fat builds up in your arteries restricting the normal amount of oxygen from flowing through your arteries thus causing your blood vessels to become stiff reducing the blood flow to your organs. There are different types of heart disease; therefore, symptoms vary from chest pain and numbness in your legs and arms to shortness of breath. Depending on the type of heart disease and the severity of your condition will determine which treatment is best for you.
This condition comes in many forms, often leading to:
- Irregular heartbeats
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Chest pain
- Stroke is a disease of the brain caused by interference to the blood supply. Stroke and heart disease are the main cardiovascular diseases.
Cancer describes a range of diseases in which abnormal cells proliferate and spread out of control. Other terms used are tumors and neoplasms. There are many types of cancer and all organs of the body can become cancerous.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body has difficulty utilizing blood sugar due to an excess of it in your blood. Diabetes is classified into four types: type 1, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are chronic diseases, whereas pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes are preventable and sometimes reversible. If you have high blood sugar, you are at greater risk for:
- Kidney disease
- Potential amputations
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a chronic condition that, if untreated, can lead to serious heart problems such as a stroke or heart attack. When the blood pushes too hard through the arteries, it causes high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a condition that is easily detectable and highly manageable. Blood pressure can be controlled with simple lifestyle changes and medications. Your family medicine doctor will develop a personalized treatment plan to ensure your health.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease in which the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and swollen, restricting airflow to and from the lungs. The exact cause of asthma is unknown, but it is thought that weather conditions, contact with certain allergens, viral infections, and exercise can all contribute to an attack. Symptoms of asthma often include:
- Tightness in your chest
- Extra mucus
- Persistent coughing
Arthritis develops when the joints begin to deteriorate, fray, and decay, resulting in inflammation, swelling, and pain. It may also result in total disability in the joint. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and the exact cause is unknown. There are, however, numerous treatment options available to alleviate and possibly eliminate some or all of the symptoms. Your family medicine doctor will work with you one-on-one to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
Family medicine clinic in Abu Dhabi
Adam and Eve Specialized Medical center in Abu Dhabi specializes in family medicine and provides a variety of treatment options for symptoms associated with chronic diseases. Book an appointment with our specialists today.