A while ago, my grandmother asked me “What is a chronic disease, Sepideh?” She got curious by watching TV programs that talked about chronic diseases. She wanted to know if her health condition can be called a chronic disease and if she could prevent it when she was younger.
The important points regarding chronic diseases are that they take a long time to manifest themselves, they are prolonged in duration, treatment cannot cure the conditions spontaneously, and, unfortunately, they usually cannot be cured completely. These diseases are not communicable; for instance, a person who had stroke or is obese does not transfer it to other people.
Here are some common chronic diseases:
- Heart disease and stroke
Good news: Chronic diseases are preventable.
Although they are most common in older people and adults, they can occur in younger people, too. For instance, the incidence of obesity and diabetes in young people has been increased recently due to health-damaging behaviors such as sedentary lifestyle and poor diet habits.
Low level of physical activity, poor diet habits such as fast foods, sugary sweetened beverage consumption and low fruit and vegetable consumption, tobacco and alcohol use contribute to the development of these diseases. Having control over these behaviors and substituting them with healthy habits can save us from unfavorable consequences.
Let's encourage each other to improve healthy habits!