WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— Chronic diseases are just as they sound: Chronic. They’re long-lasting and take a toll. That’s where your physician comes in.
“Hypertension, it’s a silent killer, diabetes affects like every single organ in your body and we don’t realize that until it’s too late so I think regular lab work. Regularly seeing your physician kind of keeps you on your toes in order to keep you healthy and safe and you know around for your family members,” United Regional Family Physician Dr. Pruthvi Patel said.
Patel said regular check-ins with your doctor make those chronic diseases more manageable.
“I think as physicians we can help pick up on small cues whether it’s family history, something you’re doing that maybe you think is helping but it may be harming your body instead,” Patel said.
Statistics show in 2019, 14 percent of adults in the United States smoked cigarettes.
Smoking in itself is harmful, but Patel said it’s even worse if you’re living with a disease.
“Smoking contributes to a lot of chronic diseases and it contributes to a lot of preventable diseases, there’s been many studies that show it helps when you stop smoking, it decreases lung cancer and all different types of cancers, hypertension, diabetes they all can be contributed to you smoking or an individual smoking, even second-hand smoking it affects all the people around you,” Patel said.
If you’re suffering from something like diabetes or hypertension, put on running shoes, and get to walking. A little bit of exercise for anyone goes a long way.
“Walking for five times a week for 30 minutes does a lot for chronic diseases, it also builds that bond within your family if you do it as a family, you take the kids with you, you take the grandparents with you as much as they can walk and its just time you can spend with your family which is actually pretty good for mental health as well,” Patel said
Sleeping, well it depends on the person, but Patel said shoot for seven hours.
“Things you can do prior to sleeping is not doing anything in bed, your bed should typically only be for sleeping and don’t read books in bed, TV, stuff like that kinda minimize that, don’t exercise at least two hours prior to cause that can increase your energy level which can prevent you from sleeping,” Patel said.
One of the most important things you can do to promote a healthy lifestyle is start your kids young.
“What we’ve always done is eating dinner together as a family, it shows that the whole family is eating healthy together, making them excited about making dinner and eating at home,” Patel said.
To read more Healthy You stories on diet changes and overall well-being, click here.