6 Habits that can Lead to Chronic Disease

May 2, 2022 By , , , , ,

hcg diet and exerciseIt’s a hard statistic to swallow, but in the United States, about half of all adults suffer from chronic health conditions, and about 26% of adults live with 2 or more chronic conditions.  Conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, and heart disease are prevalent and extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, some lifestyle habits that contribute to chronic disease can have effects that go unnoticed in the short term  and

Even though I focus my practice on medical weight loss, I always like to discuss  six habits that can increase your risk of developing serious chronic disease, as well as tips for lowering your risk.

Smoking is a Killer

We all know that smoking is detrimental to your health. Not only is smoking proven to cause lung cancer, but it also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. People who smoke traditional cigarettes are 2.6 more likely to develop chronic lung disease compared to nonsmokers.  Vaping really is not any better and we have leaned that both smoking and vaping present a very high risk of chronic lung disease. .

 Heavy Drinking is a Heavy Hit on the Body.

Drinking small amounts of alcohol on occasion is not bad for you. However, heavy drinking is highly correlated to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and overall mortality rates. In a recent study, heavy alcohol drinkers (consuming more than 12 servings of alcohol per week) experienced a substantial increase in their risks of CVD, cancer, and overall mortality when compared to light alcohol drinkers (2 servings of alcohol per week).  Surprisingly, the lowest risk of alcohol-related chronic disease was found to be the group that drank 1 serving or less  of alcohol per week.

Poor Nutrition

Today, many people are guilty of overeating or eating too many processed foods void of nutrition.  This habit can lead to obesity. On the other hand,  undereating and a lack of proper nutrition also contribute to chronic health problems.   No surprise, researchers discovered that greater consumption of fruits and vegetables lowered the risk of multimorbidity. Grain products have also been found to be highly correlated with a lower risk of multimorbidity.

Some of the chronic diseases that poor nutrition puts you at risk of are obesity, CVD, cancer, and osteoporosis.

Poor and Insufficient Sleep

You have probably been told your whole life that getting enough sleep is important.  Unfortunately, while getting too little sleep is extremely common, it is also correlated with obesity and other chronic diseases.  Working night and early morning shifts have also been shown to significantly affect your sleep.  Getting too little sleep is associated with obesity, belly fat, lack of sleep is also related to accidents, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Poorly Managed Stress

Stress has become the “new normal,” these days.  Almost everyone would report experiencing stress most days. While stress may feel like mostly an emotional problem, the effects of chronic stress on your body can be very pronounced and put you at an increased risk of developing a chronic condition. There is evidence that links stress to the onset of major depression, CVD, and even cancer since chronic stress can suppress a proper immune response.

Physical Inactivity and Being Sedentary

They say with the internet in every home, office, school and cell phone activity levels in humans has decreased significantly. With more people working from home, people are moving less than they ever have. Historically, physical activity, consuming food, and reproducing were the three cornerstones needed to sustain life. Now, with technological advancement, humans have essentially made physical activity optional — but not without consequences. Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases.

The WHO has stated that “Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression, and anxiety.” Science has shown that a lack of physical activity is a primary cause of most chronic diseases and, likely, a major cause of most chronic disease-related death.

Reducing your risk of chronic disease doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can make small changes over a long period of time to see real results.

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