Chronic Illness: Can You Avoid It?

Chronic Illness:  Can You Avoid It?
| by Angie Galatas

This is Part 1 in series of client stories. The names have been changed but the stories are real.

Sometimes subtle symptoms may be a warning that something is heading in the wrong direction. You may feel some vague symptoms, such as fatigue and low energy; other times, you may have symptoms that come and go. How do you know if it is worthy of a trip to the doctor’s office? It’s a relief to know it may be general aging versus developing to a chronic condition or serious illness. I am here to inform you to recognize signs and symptoms to avoid developing a chronic disease.

If You Don’t Take Time For Wellness, You’ll Be Spending Time With Illness.

Meet Rick. He’s a 42-year-old who assumed he was in good health. He is 25 pounds overweight, he wears his shirts slightly too tight and his pants too loose. Rick works a virtual job, putting in about 45 hours a week. He is married with two children and a Labrador Retriever. They live in a modest home 10 miles from the city center.

Rick's diet consists of coffee in the morning and after lunch, diet sodas, low-fat foods, whole grains, meats including processed deli meats, and some fruits and vegetables. He walks his dog a few blocks in the neighborhood each night. Rick seldom goes to the doctor as he is rarely “sick.” But, each morning he wakes up feeling tired and sore. As the day progresses, he lacks energy and feels slightly bluesy. After his wife encouraged him to have a checkup, routine blood work, and a physical, Rick discovered he is borderline diabetic due to high sugar levels. His doctor recommended he take action to improve his diet, exercise more, and watch his sugar intake.

Rick felt lost. He thought he was eating well with the diet sodas and low-fat options. He didn’t realize that most low-fat foods contain extra sugar to make up for the low-fat version. He also didn’t know the impacts of consuming processed foods.

Many chronic conditions are preventable. Rick may learn some additional health complications contributing to his situation; however, he identified some red flags. It is the beginning of Rick’s path to better health.

Stay tuned for the story of Connie...

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