Prevention of chronic diseases

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Prevention of chronic diseases

Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year, and treating people with chronic diseases accounts for 86% of our nation’s health care costs.

Heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems. Half of all European adults have at least one chronic condition, and almost one of three have multiple chronic conditions. Just as chronic diseases share many of the same causes, many of the same strategies and interventions can prevent them or lessen their severity.

Tobacco use, poor diet and physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, high blood pressure and hyperlipidaemia are the main key risk factors, which cause most chronic disease in Europe. Prevention of these chronic diseases is an important priority for the medical team oft he Clinica Picasso.

Illness out of blue – here a few examples from experience:

Alex was an athlete, in perfect shape, and rarely ate junk food. His 30-year-young life was good, and he knew that nothing could stop him from achieving his dreams. He had only one vice—smoking. He was on a business trip from London to Palma de Mallorca when suddenly he lost the grip on his carry-on. Alex hardly paid attention when his bag fell to the ground. He picked it up and was on his way. During a meeting the next day, however, he felt an unbearable shooting pain on the left side of his chest, shoulder, and down the left arm. Alex was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with heart disease. Shortly thereafter, he had to endure bypass surgery. An Exercise ECG earlier could have detected this problem a long time before!

Julia was also in seemingly great health at 72 years old, still played tennis, and never smoked. She was having her afternoon tea one day when she suddenly felt uneasy and had difficulty in breathing. She woke up in a hospital three days later, realizing that she would never be able to walk again or perform the daily activities of life on her own. Julia had suffered a stroke. Now, she is entirely dependent on a caregiver. What was the reason? Very simple: she suffered from a cardiac arrhythmia called Atrial Fibrillation! A blood thinner could have reduced the chance of a stroke by 60%.

Life will never be the same for Alex and Julia!

Peter, just turned 40 last September suddenly saw blood in his stool – he just thought maybe it was from drinking red pop the day earlier or from haemorrhoids or an ulcer – he was also feeling light headed. Later that night he had passed more blood and made an appointment. During a colonoscopy we removed six polyps from inside and Peter thought pretty much that it was nothing to worry about since he was young and pretty health. Unfortunately one polyp came back positive (cancer) and he needed to have surgery – if he had not had the colonoscopy till he turned 50, like normal, Peter would of been dead before 50.

Screening is the process of looking for cancer or pre-cancer in people who even have no symptoms of the disease. Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colorectal cancer. If you have irregularities of bowel movements or a strong family history of colorectal polyps or cancer, talk with your doctor about your risk.

One of the biggest obstacles to early detection is that many patients show no symptoms or mistake a symptom as a normal aspect of another condition. For example, someone with asthma might assume an increased shortness of breath means his or her condition is getting worse, when instead it could be a sign of congestive heart failure.

The most important step for early detection is to see your doctor regularly and discuss any changes in routine, mood or behaviour, so he or she can determine the appropriate screening tests or diagnostic workups. Detection is the job of the physicians of the Clinica Picasso, let us be your partner for a good and hopefully long life!

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