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441 US 130,

East Windsor, NJ 08520

(609) 336-7518

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441 US 130,

East Windsor, NJ 08520

(609) 336-7518

09AM to 05PM EST

What is a Chronic Disease? Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Chronic diseases are long-term illnesses that require ongoing management to prevent complications and improve quality of life. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors. In the United States, around 70% of the population is affected by at least one chronic disease. 

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of chronic diseases, including their causes, risk factors, prevention, and management. We’ll also discuss lifestyle changes that can help you manage your chronic disease symptoms, and when to seek medical attention for your condition. 

What is a Chronic Disease?

Chronic diseases persist for an extended period and may worsen over time. They can affect any part of the body and have a wide range of chronic disease symptoms, depending on the type of disease. Common chronic disease symptoms include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, and chronic skin diseases like eczema and dermatitis.

What is a Chronic disease

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), Six in ten Americans live with at least one chronic disease, like heart disease and stroke, cancer, or diabetes. These and other chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in America, and they are also a leading driver of health care costs.

Causes and Risk Factors of Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors. For example, diabetes can be caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors like poor diet and lack of exercise. Hypertension is often caused by genetic factors, but can also be exacerbated by lifestyle choices like a diet high in salt and a lack of exercise. 

Other chronic diseases illness, like heart disease and cancer, can also be caused by a combination of genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors like exposure to pollution or toxins. Smoking is a well-known risk factor for COPD and cancer, and exposure to UV radiation from the sun can increase the risk of skin cancer.

Prevention and management of chronic diseases

Preventing and managing chronic diseases often involves a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and ongoing medical care. Some lifestyle changes that can help prevent and manage chronic diseases include: 

  • Maintaining a healthy diet 
  • Engaging in regular exercise 
  • Reducing stress 
  • Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption 
  • Getting regular check-ups and screenings
What is a Chronic Disease

In addition to lifestyle changes, medication and ongoing medical care can help manage symptoms and prevent complications.

For example, medications like insulin and blood pressure-lowering drugs can help manage symptoms of diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery can be used to treat cancer, while bronchodilators and antibiotics can help manage symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

 

When to Seek Medical Attention for Chronic Diseases

If you have a chronic disease, it’s important to monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention when needed. Some warning signs that you should seek medical attention include: 

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Chest pain or pressure 
  • Sudden or severe pain 
  • Vision changes or loss of vision 
  • Sudden or severe headache 
  • Severe or persistent fever 

It’s also important to get regular check-ups and screenings, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Your healthcare provider can help you manage your chronic disease and prevent complications. 

Conclusion:

Chronic diseases can be challenging to manage, but with the right knowledge and care, you can prevent complications and improve your quality of life. Lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, along with medication and ongoing medical care, can help you manage your symptoms and prevent complications. 

If you have a chronic disease, it’s important to seek medical attention when needed and get regular check-ups and screenings. Your healthcare provider can work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs and helps you live your best life. 

At Prime Health Of New Jersey, our healthcare providers are committed to helping you chronic disease management and live a healthy, happy life. Book an appointment today to get the support you need. 


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Dr. Farhan Malik Primary Care Physician
Dr. Shoaib Malik Primary Care Physician

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