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Managing Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases are those that last longer than a year, require ongoing medical care, and limit daily activities. Some examples of chronic diseases include diabetes, arthritis, asthma, and heart disease.

Chronic diseases can be difficult and expensive to treat, but the good news is that in many cases, you can keep yourself from getting a chronic disease. Your healthy choices to eat right and to exercise can help you avoid chronic disease or manage the ones you already have to live a longer, healthier life.

Next time you visit your doctor, prepare yourself to take charge of managing your health care. Be ready to ask three questions:

1) What is my main problem?

2) What do I need to do?

3) Why is it important for me to do this?1

You can also find a lot of information online to help you manage your chronic disease. Just be sure the advice you choose to follow is from a trustworthy source. You can also contact your local public health department for information on how to manage chronic diseases.

References:

1 "Ask Me 3", Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston, MA

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The American Diabetes Association offers simple information about diabetes. They will help you understand your risk for diabetes. They explain different types of diabetes. They also offer food plans and recipes to help you learn to make healthy food choices to prevent or manage diabetes.

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Blood pressure tells you how hard your body is working to push blood through from your heart. High blood pressure means your body is working harder than it should to circulate your blood. You can lower your blood pressure by eating healthier, exercising more, and stopping smoking or tobacco use.

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Stress affects all of us at one time or another. But stress that goes on for a long time is not healthy, and can negatively affect our mind, body, and spirit.

You can lower your stress level by getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy foods, and finding activities that help you stay calm.

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