Are you experiencing a chronic condition? Learn how one chronic condition raises risk for others and how to improve your health.
As people get older, the risk of chronic conditions increases. For reference, around 85% of people ages 60 and older have one chronic condition (and 60% have two or more).
The problem is that some conditions go hand in hand and one can automatically increase the risk of another one. For example, common chronic conditions like beauty, diabetes, and heart disease are very closely related.
Chronic Conditions Affect Others
Many of the most common chronic conditions serve as risk factors for other chronic conditions. As a result, they create a domino effect, which is why it’s important to treat each condition early.
To give you an idea, obesity can cause type 2 diabetes and even high blood pressure. Moreover, these conditions can then damage blood vessels, increase cholesterol levels, form plaque, and lead to cardiovascular disease.
In addition to these issues, you may experience peripheral artery disease, vision loss, chronic kidney disease, and erectile dysfunction. To prevent these problems from developing, you have to catch them early and treat them before they get worse.
According to a 2020 study in Circulation, diabetes can still raise the risk for cardiovascular disease even when well-managed. “We often don’t diagnose diabetes until some time after it starts, so we don’t have the opportunity to control risk factors from the beginning,” says Dr. David M. Nathan.
“Also, we only have a small number of patients with all of those risk factors controlled.” Dr. David M. Nathan is the director of the Diabetes Center and Clinical Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Other examples of chronic conditions that link to others include autoimmune conditions. These conditions result in the immune system erroneously attacking the body’s tissues, mistaking them for foreign invaders.
“Autoimmune diseases tend to run in clusters. Once you have one, you’re more vulnerable to others because your immune system has a basic defect,” Nathan says.
“For example, if you have Hashimoto’s disease, you have a 14% chance of developing another autoimmune disease… [This is] far greater than people who don’t have any autoimmune disease.”
What You Can Do
If you suffer from one chronic condition, talk with your doctor about possible links to other conditions. Furthermore, you can get health screenings to determine certain conditions and the risk of developing them.
Those with high blood pressure should bring up any sleep problems to their doctors. Moreover, if you have diabetes, get your blood pressure, kidney function, and cholesterol levels checked.
Most importantly, you should discuss options for reducing the risk of other chronic conditions. “You don’t want to be surprised by complications,” says Nathan.
Meanwhile, take care of your heart and overall health, which can be done by exercising, eating healthy, and taking supplements. For instance, Circulation Boost is an effective supplement that helps increase nitric oxide production.
As a result, your blood vessels can dilate and relax, making it easier for blood to circulate. Try Circulation Boost as a way to effectively promote your blood flow, blood pressure, and heart health at home.