Are you interested in hearing about some of the most common medical conditions out there right now? Let’s go through today.
Over 133 million Americans suffer from an ongoing chronic medical condition; these conditions include arthritis, asthma, cancer, diabetes, and countless others.
These long-term medical conditions can cause their victims to suffer physically and financially for their entire life. Knowledge about some of the most common medical conditions and how to prevent them can ensure everyone’s best chance at a happy and healthy life.
Hypertension (Blood Pressure)
Affecting nearly half the adults in the United States, hypertension is defined by the elevated pressure exerted by blood against the arterial wall. While your blood pressure changes throughout the day, the continuous above-average level thoroughly places one in hypertension levels.
High blood pressure tends to result from unhealthy lifestyle habits, but health conditions such as diabetes and obesity can also contribute to it. In some cases, hypertension can also be a side effect of pregnancy.
Symptoms & Risks
Hypertension does not usually carry symptoms. While not particularly dangerous alone, hypertension can lead to other conditions that can prove life-threatening. Individuals with high blood pressure are at risk for heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.
Treatment for hypertension can include diet and exercise changes and a variety of medications.
Often incorrectly denoted as merely feeling sad or having a bad day, depression is a sickness that has the potential to interfere with everyday life severely. Affecting 7.1% of US adults in 2017, depressive episodes can result in individuals feeling lethargic and experiences a significant lack of interest or pleasure in daily activities for weeks at a time.
As most psychologists will tell you, the exact cause of depression is unknown; it can be a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Factors that may have impact one’s odds to have depression are:
- Family history of depression.
- Extremely traumatic or stressful events.
- Meaningful life changes.
- Certain medications.
- Alcohol or drug use.
Symptoms & Risks
Depression is more nuanced than merely having a bad day; what makes depression tricky is that it is highly individualistic. No two people may experience it the same way. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to, lethargy, disrupted eating patterns, sleep issues, feelings of helplessness, and suicidal ideation.
It is recommended that individuals with depression seek professional help. Treatment for depression often includes a combination of therapy and medication (Zoloft & Prozac being two of the more common drugs).
Obesity is an increasingly serious health issue that affects 42.4% of US adults were obese (with 9.2% clocking in at severely obese). Calculated by the adult Body Mass Index (BMI), anything over a BMI of 30.0 is classified as obese.
Two main factors have contributed to the obesity epidemic: individual behavior and community environment. Like hypertension, the lack of balancing good nutrition with proper exercise on a personal level can result in unhealthy bodily growth. However, a growing concern among doctors and scientists is the community’s effect on obesity.
People make daily decisions that are heavily influenced by their community. For example, someone may base the decision to bike or drive to work on the availability of bike lanes; for others, they live in a food desert where affordable grocery stores are nowhere near where they live, meaning nutritional food is simply not available. While not an excuse, it is impossible to ignore the environmental impact.
Symptoms & Risks
Obesity is a precursor to a number of severe health conditions. The most serious of these are:
- Type 2 Diabetes.
- Coronary Heart Disease.
- Many types of cancer.
- Mental Health Issues.
Obesity treatment often boils down to proper exercise, dieting, and a doctor’s supervision.
Coronary Artery Disease
Similar to how food debris and saliva can create plaque on teeth, cholesterol can create plaque buildup in coronary arteries. This results in Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). In 2018 it was estimated that about 18.2 million adults 20+ experienced some degree of CAD.
Cholesterol buildup is mostly a passive growth that can begin as soon as your teen years. The development and subsequent introduction of atherosclerosis is accelerated by foods with high fat or sodium content.
Symptoms & Risks
For some, a heart attack is the first symptom that they have CAD. While extreme, it highlights the subversive nature of plaque buildup in the arteries. Other symptoms can include chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in the arm and shoulder region, or light-headedness.
CAD itself is dangerous but combined with other health conditions, it becomes downright deadly. Obesity, smoking, poor dieting and exercise, and lung cancer are considerable risk factors.
Most doctors recommend making significant lifestyle changes in the face of CAD. Also, many recommend medications such as nitrates to help with chest pain and a blood thinner such as Plavix or Integrilin (Plavix often has affordable alternatives at online drugstores).
Type 2 Diabetes
Nearly 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, with Type 2 Diabetes accounting for almost 95% of all cases. This diabetes results from irregular cell response to insulin, and the body creates more insulin to compensate. As the body is not made for that, and this situation creates high blood sugar.
High blood sugar is a danger to the body and can damage it, leading to severe medical conditions such as vision loss, kidney failure, and heart disease.
Type 2 Diabetes primarily comes from two sources: genetics and obesity. The rise in obesity, especially among younger individuals, has been matched by a surge in diabetes.
Symptoms & Risks
There aren’t many symptoms for diabetes outside of the heart, kidney, and eye issues listed above. Know your risk factors and get a blood sugar test from your doctor if you have any concerns.
Unlike other medical conditions, Type 2 diabetes is mostly self-managed. The doctor may prescribe insulin or oral medication, but the brunt of the responsibility falls on the patient and their family and friends.
Common Medical Conditions
Knowing about common medical conditions is only half the battle; we can’t always control our circumstances. But if we educate ourselves and seek professional help, we can often improve our quality of life and manage these medical conditions. Talk to a medical professional to seek answers such as diagnoses, therapies, and medication.
For more information about medicinal treatment and affordable alternatives, consult Maple Leaf Meds.