Top Health Concerns

The top health concerns facing the U.S. today include: Heart disease, cancer, respiratory, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are leading the list of top health concerns and challenges facing us today. They are pressing issues for all genders and nationalities. I have also added obesity amongst children, teens and adults followed by lack of physical activity to include in this list as well.

Regardless of your nationality, gender or age, health issues either are or will be of concern to most of us during our lifetime. And with the soaring health costs showing no relief in the near future, it is distressing to think about. Even with the Affordable Care Act, there are allot of unknowns to be seen.  There will still be families that will be unable to afford or have access to health care. Then there is the mandatory fee to be imposed on individuals that do not choose to sign up to the government plan.

Presented below are health concerns pertaining to general health. The list is not complete but does touch upon major health problems we face today.

HEART DISEASE
It is estimated that heart disease, for both men and women, kills the largest number of AHeart disease kills!mericans each year. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.

Healthy choices include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a low-fat and low-sodium diet
  • Exercise consistently
  • Regular checkups
  • Remember, moderation is the key

Heart disease (cardiovascular disease) related issues associated with the heart include: heart attacks, stroke, atherosclerosis (plaque buildup), arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), hypertension and blood pressure.

Resource Links:
American Heart Association
Web MD
Mayo Clinic

CANCER DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE
Cancer is a terrible disease that ravages the body and it does not discriminate and shows no mercy. Regardless if you are male or female, young or old, rich or poor, cancer does not care… we are susceptible to cancer and it plays no favorites.

Cancer does not discriminate!Top cancers in the U.S. include:

  • Lung cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer

There are preventative measures we can take to reduce cancers: Avoid smoking, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, use sunscreen, limit time in the sun and schedule regular cancer screenings are some suggestions.

Support from family, friends and groups can help families deal with the issues that arise when someone we love has cancer. It’s important to spend quality time with your loved ones while you can.

If you would like to learn more about cancer, reliable resource links with good information is listed below. Cancer research has made enormous strides in better understanding the various types of cancers and continued advancement in this field will continue offering hope to future generations.

Resource Links
Cancer Ribbon Color Card
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
Susan G. Komen for the Cure

RESPIRATORY DISEASES
Respiratory diseases, such as chronic asthmatic bronchitis and emphysema belong to a class of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Damage caused by COPD eventually interferes with normal breathing. COPD is a leading cause of death and illness in the U.S. and abroad. The damage caused to your lungs cannot be reversed and treatment is focused on lessening and controlling symptoms from causing further damage.

Top respiratory diseases in the U.S.

  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Emphysema
  • Lung Cancer
  • Tuberculosis
  • Influenza
  • Pneumonia

Tobacco (including second-hand smoke) and indoor/outdoor air quality are important risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabeteschronic respiratory diseases.

If you are currently a smoker, you may want to consider the direct impact on how the smoke affects your lungs, your family and friends. In addition, smokers increase their risk of developing lung cancer, COPD and asthma which can lead to a shorter lifespan.

Should you want to stop smoking, contact your doctor and develop a support system. Take time to attend support groups and search online for reliable support sources. Be kind to yourself, you’re the only “you” there is!

Resource Links
American Lung Association
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

DIABETES
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Over time and left unchecked diabetes is associated with kidney damage, damage to the nerves and cause heart disease and blindness.

You have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes if you are older, obese, have a family history of diabetes, or do not exercise. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes appear slowly. Some people do not notice symptoms at all. Symptoms can include:

  • Being very thirsty (more than usual)
  • Frequent urination
  • Increase of appetite (increased hunger)
  • Weight loss (without trying)
  • Fatigue (tired and irritable)
  • Having sores that heal slowly or frequent infections
  • Having blurry eyesight (affects your ability to focus clearly)

Preventative measures include the loss of extra weight, regular exercise and a healthy diet. Regular doctor visits and help from a dietician can be invaluable when choosing to make important lifestyle changes.

Resource Links
Diabetes Self-Management
American Diabetes Association
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of mental deterioration causing severe memory problems and confusion. Over the past decade, there has been substantial progress in understanding genetic, potential environmental and other risk factors and how Alzheimer’s Disease affects the regions of the brain.

Alzheimer's is a progressive diseaseUnfortunately, there still is no cure for Alzheimer’s. However, there are effective treatment options that help to slow the progression. It is important to note that drugs currently being used treat the symptoms and not the cause of the conditions and does not cure it.

Families and Caregivers — Those caring for a person with Alzheimer’s can impact the caregivers physically, emotionally and financially. The difficulties of day-to-day care and making tough decisions concerning long-term care can weigh heavily on the caregivers.

Become informed; get involved in programs that offer information on the various stages and long-term strategies in dealing with Alzheimer’s. Direction and strategies can help relieve stress and provide hope.

Some caregivers find relief and hopefulness within support groups, they feel heard and understood; they are no longer alone. Support groups are a great place to find comfort and information on various topics and services from people who care and have been where you are. As the Alzheimer’s disease progresses, caregivers will have a place to openly discuss and receive support when the time comes to make difficult decisions. Indeed, it is a sad and frustrating disease that you don’t have to go through alone.

Resource Links:
Alzheimer’s Association
Bright Focus Foundation
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

OBESITY AND LACK OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Upon researching top health issues facing the U.S. today, a common theme addressed were child obesity and lack of exercise. It was repeatedly listed as one of the top concerns facing kids’ health. Unless the problem is curved, it will continue to hold top lace as one of the most urgent health problem(s) in our country.

There is no magic bullet in reversing the growing trend of child and adult obesity. It is important to remember that children learn through example. If parents, family and friends choose a healthy lifestyle, the children may very well copy what they see.

For most children, being overweight is the result of unhealthy eating habits (too many calories) and not enough physical activity. Since these habits are established in early childhood, efforts to prevent obesity should begin early. Ways to encourage child activity:

  • Help children develop healthy eating habits
  • Provide healthy meals and snacks
  • Promote regular physical exercise through family participation
  • Reduce inactivity (limit computer and TV time)
  • Encourage children to participate in school and outdoor activities
  • Parents – Be a power of example, become involved

Childhood obesity can have immediate and damaging long-term effects on their health and overall well-being. If children are not helped to change their sedentary lifestyle, they can face heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other life-threatening health issues as they become adults.

Resource Links:
Choose My Plate
Let’s Move
We Can Movement
Obesity Action Coalition
Shape Up America

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may
be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.  ~3 John 1:2



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