What are chronic diseases and why medical monitoring is essential

What are chronic diseases and why medical monitoring is essential

Chronic diseases are those that last for a prolonged period, generally considered to be from three months, or accompany the patient for the rest of his life. The pictures do not put the patient’s life at risk in the short term, that is, they are not considered medical emergencies.

But for the person to have longevity and ensure a good quality of life, regular follow-up with doctors and other health professionals, when necessary, is essential.

“Many chronic diseases have no cure, but they can be controlled. Regular checking with a doctor needs to be part of the patient’s life, as that disease, for many, will always be present. The health professional will be able to assess whether the medication is in the right dose. correct and if the treatment needs changes”, indicates Ricardo Pereira, general practitioner and cardiologist at the HUWC (Walter Cantídio University Hospital), linked to the UFC (Federal University of Ceará).

In some cases, such as for people who suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure), forgetting to take the prescribed medicine for just one day can cause headache, dizziness and general malaise.

Therefore, in addition to regularly consulting with a doctor, the patient also needs to be aware of the risks of his illness and the responsibility he has to take care of his own health.

Medicines for the most prevalent chronic diseases in the country, such as hypertension and diabetes, are available in the SUS (Unified Health System) and usually offer few side effects, usually mild, or no physical or psychological changes for the patient.

“As they are very common conditions, there are very large studies and many tests carried out with the drugs”, says Nilton Carneiro, a cardiologist at Hospital Santa Catarina/Paulista (SP).

Most chronic diseases are not communicable. “But some conditions, such as tuberculosis, which can be considered chronic due to the duration of the disease and the follow-up of the patient, have a long transmission time”, explains Carneiro.

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What are the most prevalent chronic diseases and their risks

According to the latest PNS (National Health Survey) carried out by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) in 2019, some of the most prevalent diseases in Brazil are: hypertension, diabetes, asthma, depression, chronic heart diseases (such as arrhythmia), chronic lung diseases (such as bronchitis and COPD), cancer and kidney failure.

Some of these diseases, as cardiologist Ricardo Pereira explains, are linked to genetic factors, such as asthma and type 1 diabetes. Others, such as COPD, are more related to environmental factors, such as the high level of pollution in cities. and lifestyle habits such as smoking.

Among the greatest risks when chronic diseases are not properly treated are, according to the doctor Nilton Carneiro, conditions that have the power to compromise the proper functioning of some organ, such as stroke (cerebrovascular accident), heart attack and kidney failure. chronic.

“These diseases can result in disabling physical sequelae or even death”, completes Thiago Miranda Lopes de Almeida, specialist in intensive care medicine and ICU doctor at Hospital Japonês Santa Cruz, in São Paulo.

But each disease has specific characteristics, which can be more or less dangerous depending on the worsening of the condition itself and also on the general health status of the patient: whether it is a young person with only one comorbidity, or a person of advanced age and more compromised immunity. for multiple diseases.

Is it possible to prevent the onset of chronic diseases?

Some chronic diseases, as mentioned above, are related to family history. But the best method to prevent these conditions from appearing — a unanimous agreement among doctors — is still to lead a healthy life, consuming good foods, moving the body and taking care of mental health.

“The main actions aimed at preventing these diseases are regular physical activities, healthy eating, and avoiding bad habits such as the consumption of alcoholic beverages, the habit of smoking and sedentary lifestyle”, points out Carlos Ribeiro, general practitioner specialist in intensive care at Hospital Japonês Santa Cruz, in Sao Paulo.

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