Health and wellness Tag: chronic-disease

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is defined as the gradual onset of cramping pain or tiredness in the calf, thigh, hip, or buttocks that occurs because arterial blood flow cannot keep up with the increased demand of exercise. This is known as claudication. The reduction, or loss, of arterial blood flow to the legs can lead to ulceration and gangrene, and eventually amputation.

Obesity is defined clinically as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. BMI is a screening measure of body fat and obesity in adults 20 years and older. As BMI increases risks for certain diseases increase along with it. These diseases include coronary artery or heart disease, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabeteshigh blood pressurehigh cholesterol etc.

Millions of Americans take medicines for many different health conditions. Many do not understand the seriousness of the health conditions being treated or the importance of the medicines that have been prescribed. This lack of understanding about health conditions is called medical illiteracy and is a significant contributor to noncompliance – or people failing to take their medicines and incorporate diet and lifestyle changes as prescribed by their healthcare providers.

Ischemic stroke is defined as the sudden onset of characteristic neurologic defects such as arm, leg, or facial weakness, numbness, inability to talk, garbled speech, or changes in vision due to the blockage of an artery in the brain by a blood clot or foreign material. Ischemic stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. There is another type of stroke, known as hemorrhagic stroke, that is caused by bleeding in the brain due to a ruptured artery.

Insulin is a hormone that is normally secreted in the body by special cells located in an organ called the pancreas. The purpose of insulin is to regulate the amount of glucose, or sugar, in the blood. It accomplishes this by stimulating the body to absorb glucose and store it in the liver and muscle cells. Problems with the production or response to the hormone insulin leads to diabetes. 

High cholesterol is diagnosed by a total lipid molecule greater than 200 mg/dL. People with this condition should have a fasting low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) and high density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) performed to better determine their health risk. Increased levels of this organic molecule in the blood is caused by heredity, obesity, physical inactivity, and an unhealthy diet.

Over 66 million adults have high blood pressure and over half of people with high blood pressure are either not controlled, unaware of having it, or not being treated.  Chronic health problems such as type 2 diabeteshigh blood pressure, and high cholesterol are significant contributors to worse events such as heart attack, stroke etc.

Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of 2 abnormalities: 1. Resistance to insulin which stimulates the body to absorb blood sugar and 2. Inadequate insulin production to make up for this resistance. Those with type 2 diabetes typically are not dependent on daily insulin injections. Type one diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10% of all diabetes cases and is due to the destruction of special cells in the pancreas (beta cells) that produce insulin. People who have type 1 diabetes are therefore dependent upon daily insulin injections to control their blood glucose levels.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is defined as the presence of airflow obstruction in the lungs due to excessive mucous production and permanent enlargement of the air spaces in the lungs. COPD grouped together with asthma is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. Over 14 million Americans suffer from COPD and it is believed that a similar number remain undiagnosed.