Chronic diseases are long-term conditions that can result from a combination of environmental, genetic and lifestyle management factors. These conditions, which include cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, autoimmune disorders and obesity have been attributed to 74 percent of all deaths around the world (about 41 million people) each year. While chronic diseases have long been associated with older adults, an increasing number of young adults are struggling with some form of chronic disease, particularly in the US. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of therapies and lifestyle management techniques available for younger adults to support whole body health at the root level and decrease the risk of chronic diseases.
For years, many people thought that genetic factors were the primary cause of chronic diseases. However, recent studies suggest that genetic predispositions are only a smaller piece of a larger puzzle in regards to the leading factors of chronic diseases. This observation has been buoyed by the trend of an increasing amount of younger adults having to struggle with at least one form of chronic disease. In the US alone, almost 54 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 had at least one chronic condition, and 22 percent reported having more than one chronic condition.
Which Factors Are To Blame for This Trend?
Obesity (25 percent), depression (21 percent) and high blood pressure (almost 11 percent) are the three most common forms of chronic disease reported in young adults. Not surprisingly, there is not a single smoking gun that can be attributed to the increase of chronic illness in young adults. Rather, it is a combination of internal and external factors that can contribute to an increased risk of chronic diseases. Fortunately, doctors and medical experts have started to get a grasp on the potential sources for this upward trend and how to provide each individual body with the best odds to avoid chronic illness by promoting enhanced overall wellness.
Lifestyle Management Decisions
The term “lifestyle management” covers a wide range of behaviors and routines that make up everyday life, including diet, exercise, sleep routine and stress management. Studies have long established the link between poor nutrition and chronic diseases. Excess body fat, in particular, has been linked to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer.
Adhering to a regular exercise routine and a healthier diet can support optimal body functions and reduce the risks of many chronic illnesses. Experts also recommend avoiding certain activities like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Environmental toxins are external factors that can contribute to chronic illness. Whether introduced to the body through food and water or extended exposure, environmental toxins have the potential to promote oxidative stress and possibly lead to various forms of chronic disease that include cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain forms of cancer and neurocognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Some of the most common sources of environmental toxins include:
- Toxic elements – These elements are usually found in foods, drinking water, fish and consumer products. The most common examples of toxic elements include lead, mercury and arsenic.
- Pesticides – These products have been used for years to control weeds and insects, because they were developed with the purpose of being toxic. While developed countries have tried to develop non-toxic options and reserve the most toxic compounds for essential uses, pesticides have still been connected to a number of chronic diseases that include neurological, respiratory, endocrine and immunological disorders as well as various forms of cancer.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – This class of chemicals includes formaldehyde, gasoline, benzene and some ingredients commonly found in cosmetic fragrances. VOCs have been associated with negative neurological effects.
Hereditary genetic traits can also play a role in chronic illness. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer are examples of chronic illnesses that can be exacerbated by genetic factors. Yet, some studies suggest that while genetic factors can play a role in the development of chronic diseases, they are not the major cause. The data further highlights the importance of engaging in regular exercise and providing the body with all of the nutrients that it needs to function optimally in order to reduce the risks of chronic disease.
Supporting the Body: Integrative Therapies and Preventive Lifestyle Management
With so many varying factors that can go into the development of chronic diseases, there is an increasing importance for medical specialists to provide customized therapy to meet the unique needs of each individual person. Fortunately, practitioners who specialize in integrative and functional therapies have been catering to those unique needs for years.
Peptide therapy featuring natural peptides has been used for years to enhance function in a number of processes throughout the body. Peptides are essentially shorter versions of proteins, chain-like structures composed of amino acids that serve as building blocks in the body. Supplementing with bioactive peptides has been used to promote reduced blood pressure, support optimized immune function, and an enhanced response to both inflammation and oxidative stress
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has also long been utilized for addressing many of the health conditions that can contribute to chronic disease, including cardiovascular issues, stress, bone loss and excess body fat from unexpected weight gain. HRT, especially using bioidentical hormones that have been engineered to mimic each individual’s unique hormone levels, has the potential to enhance whole body health from the root level. When used in tandem with healthy lifestyle management choices and professional grade nutraceuticals, HRT could give the human body the boost it needs to reduce the risks of chronic disease.
Discover Customized Care
EVEXIAS Health Solutions offers the single solution for practitioners and their patients. The practitioners of the EVEXIAS network are trained in the latest integrative therapies that support preventive health, including the EvexiPEL Method of pellet therapy, nutraceuticals, peptide therapy and lifestyle management guidance. Discover an integrative medicine practitioner near you today to help support reduced risks of disease now and as you age