Chronic Diseases: What you should know

Chronic diseases make a very serious impact on the lives of individuals and on society in general. The quality of life is greatly affected by those suffering from a chronic disease, not to mention the financial burden it can place on the individual, and possibly their families too.

The good news is, many of these chronic diseases can actually be prevented in many cases, and in other instances, can be treated and managed effectively. Along with educating ourselves on how to live healthier lifestyles, exploring alternate therapies can be much kinder to our bodies and less expensive too.

What is a Chronic Disease?

By definition, a chronic disease is one that persists over a long period of time and is usually progressive. It is something that generally cannot be prevented by vaccines, nor cured by medication. Chronic diseases do not just disappear on their own, and are also the major cause of premature death in adults under the age of 70, in many parts of the world. A few examples include:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Heart Disease
  • Chronic respiratory conditions
  • Diabetes
  • IBS – irritable bowel syndrome
  • Insomnia

Risk Factors

Risk factors related to an individual’s lifestyle can impact on, and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. There are often underlying causes of chronic disease disorders that are thought caused by:

  • Unhealthy diet and nutritional deficiencies
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Stress
  • Toxin exposure in our homes and environment

Adopting a healthier lifestyle can significantly reduce an individual’s chances of contracting many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory conditions, and diabetes. While some chronic diseases cannot be prevented by a healthy lifestyle, they can more effectively be controlled, which aids in reducing the instances of expensive complications of the disease.

If you now realise that you are a risk of contracting a chronic disease that could otherwise be avoided, challenge yourself to start making changes today!

Exploring Alternate Therapies

Prescription medication, besides being expensive, can further complicate an individual’s discomfort by producing side-effects from long-term use. It is well documented that many chronic diseases have found to respond better to alternate treatments such as acupuncture, herbal therapy, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, advice on proper nutrition, and body strengthening and stress-reducing exercises such as yoga or Pilates.

Many more common chronic diseases such as IBS, insomnia, high blood pressure, and diabetes, can be treated, greatly improved and sometimes even cured by the correct alternate therapies.

Due to pain and fatigue associated with autoimmune disorders in particular, beginning the process of relieving these symptoms, starting with the most non-invasive treatment first, allows an individual to function more normally, while gradually working their way to the more invasive approaches if necessary.

Alternate therapies can definitely work hand in hand with appropriate pharmaceuticals to treat chronic disease in an effective way - the emphasis being on less is more.

Alternate therapies do take more time and input to work than the medical alternative of ‘pill popping’, so a fair amount of discipline and commitment is required by the individual seeking help for their chronic disease, but the results are definitely worth giving it your best effort.

While illness may be an unavoidable part of life, your body wants to heal and you can help it do that despite the obstacles. Be patient, measure your progress in weeks rather than days, and have faith in the methods you choose to use to help your body cope or recover.

Dr. Alain Sanua is a qualified doctor with additional qualifications in Homeopathy and Acupuncture and is passionate about Integrative Medicine. Talk to him about your chronic disease and let him show you how using alternate therapies can help you.


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