6 in 10 U.S. adults have chronic disease and 4 in 10 have at least two or more chronic diseases.
What is a Chronic Disease?
A chronic disease is defined as ongoing conditions that require scheduled medical attention and are generally incurable illnesses such as heart disease, asthma, cancer, and diabetes. Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.
Chronic diseases usually emerge after long exposure to an unhealthy lifestyle involving tobacco use, a lack of regular physical activity, and eating food with high saturated fats, sugars, and salt, often found in “fast food”. This unhealthy lifestyle results in chronic conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Chronic diseases have significant health and economic costs in the United States. 90% of the nation's 3.8 trillion in annual health care expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions.
Reverse Chronic Diseases
Although common and costly, many chronic diseases are also preventable. Many chronic diseases are linked to lifestyle choices that are within your own hands to change.
Even if it’s due to environmental or genetic factors, Dr. Dean Ornish and Anne Ornish’s research proved that simple lifestyle changes like eating well and being physically active can not only prevent but also reverse chronic diseases!
So which chronic diseases are reversible? Here’s a shortlist:
- heart disease
- type-2 diabetes
- early-stage prostate cancer
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- early-stage dementia
- autoimmune conditions
Follow Healthy Habits:
Here are some lifestyle habits to help you get started:
- Eat healthy meals- eat a balanced diet with vegetables and white meat, and watch your portion size
- Be physically active – physical activity like exercise, walking, or even doing chores in the house are all great ways to stay active
- Get quality sleep – Getting enough quality sleep is important to your overall health, try to aim for 7-9 hours of good sleep.
Living It Up Anywhere
The idea of living your best life can be done anywhere, at any time, and all it really takes is a mindset shift. Take it one core lifestyle habit at a time, whether that is eating healthy and less, daily exercise, quitting bad habits, getting a routine checkup, or being positive. Take a chance today to Live It Up!