Chronic Conditions and Your Health

October 12, 2022

Did you know that 44% of Canadians aged 20 years and older have at least one chronic condition?

Chronic conditions or diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Examples include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis and cancer.

Chronic conditions and diseases lead to elevated healthcare costs, loss of productivity and poor quality of life.

But did you know that four out of five Canadians have at least one modifiable risk factor?

These are risk factors that can be prevented through lifestyle changes. Modifiable risk factors include:

 ·       smoking

·        high blood pressure

·        physical inactivity

·        being overweight

·        high blood cholesterol. 

 

The Role of Inflammation in Chronic Conditions

More and more research points to chronic inflammation as the underlining condition that contributes to chronic conditions and disease.

There are two types of inflammation you should be aware of: acute and chronic.

Acute inflammation plays an essential role in healing and injury repair to keep your body safe and healthy. Science has proven that chronic, low-grade inflammation can turn into a silent killer that contributes to cardiovas­cular disease, cancer, type 2diabetes and other conditions.

Inflammation is a bodily function in response to stress, often caused by illness and injury. When inflammation occurs, our white blood cells release chemicals into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body. In these cases, inflammation is a recovery mechanism of our body and is necessary.

However, a problem arises when we have chronic, or continuous, inflammation, at which point our body is constantly in "repair mode" and can't balance all the stressors to recover. This becomes a viscous cycle, as we become more susceptible to stressors without the means to address them.

The best way to combat chronic inflammation is to follow an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

So, what exactly is an anti-inflammatory lifestyle?

The key components of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle include:

·        eat a whole food diet (refrain from processed and fried foods),

·        be physically active,

·        don't smoke,

·        limit alcohol intake,

·        get enough good quality sleep,

·        manage stress well,

·        and manage your weight.

Does your workforce need help incorporating any of these lifestyle changes? Get in touch with us to learn more about our workplace Health Coaching Program at info@mediwell.ca.

 

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