Prevention 101: Top 5 Avoidable Health Conditions

By | September 18, 2021

Top Avoidable Health ConditionsSometimes when it comes to disease it’s completely out of your hands. However, some health conditions can and should be prevented because often those conditions lead to other risks or worse health conditions. The top 5 avoidable health conditions are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung cancer, arthritis, and tooth decay. You may be wondering what causes these conditions, in most cases it comes from poor diet and lack of exercise.

Avoidable Health Conditions and What to Do to Prevent Them

The following are certain diseases and illnesses that are often seen as avoidable health conditions in certain circumstances.  Certainly, this is not universally true. There are times when genetics, medication side effects and other factors can mean that they are not preventable.

However, they are avoidable health conditions to millions of people who can benefit from preventative action.  Consider the following.

Avoidable Health Conditions: Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease commonly occurs in people with weight issues, or people with untreated obesity. Unhealthy eating habits lead to high cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to the most common cause of heart disease and death, atherosclerosis.

Prevention 101

  • Stop using tobacco/smoking
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes 5 times a week
  • Eat a heart healthy diet, most doctors recommend the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low in fat, and low in sodium.)
  • Supplements such as omega-3 and fiber are important for a heart healthy diet

Avoid or limit foods like

  • Red meat
  • Dairy
  • Coconut or palm oil
  • Deep fried fast food
  • Bakery goods
  • Packaged snack food
  • Margarines
  • Crackers
  • Also watch out for the words “partially hydrogenated” anything

Avoidable Health Conditions: Diabetes

Next on the top 5 avoidable health conditions is diabetes, another disease that occurs in people with weight issues or untreated obesity. Increased fatty tissues make it harder for the body to use insulin to convert glucose into energy, causing the pancreas to work overtime. When the pancreas has to work harder to make more insulin over time it causes strain on the pancreas, causing diabetes. Approximately 24 million Americans have diabetes, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non traumatic lower amputations, and blindness.

Prevention 101

Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 times a week is the goal. Simple changes in diet including plenty of fiber, switching to whole grains, and skipping fad diets is important for preventing diabetes. Also, trying to keep off or take off extra pounds can make a world of difference when trying to prevent both diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.

Avoidable Health Conditions: Lung Cancer

Number 3 on the top 5 avoidable health conditions is lung cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death, behind cardiovascular illness. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both women and men. More than 80% of lung cancer comes from smoking, or exposure to second-hand smoke. Cancer claims half a million lives each year.

Prevention 101

The best way to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking or using tobacco. Also, talk to your kids about not smoking, and not exposing themselves to second-hand smoke. Lastly, do not hang around second-hand smoke yourself, get proactive and make your work environment a smoke free environment.

Avoidable Health Conditions: Arthritis

Number 4 on the top 5 avoidable health conditions is arthritis, the most common cause of disability. 1 out of every 5 adults has arthritis, which often leads to other chronic conditions. It also often leads to inactivity which in turn leads to other health conditions such as obesity. Arthritis can make everyday tasks such as opening lids or cleaning up around the house quite difficult.

Prevention 101

To preserve muscles and joints, it’s important to have a good exercise routine. This routine should include 30 minutes of activity at least 5 times a week, as well as stretching daily, and some find it very helpful to do low impact exercises such as yoga or tai chi. Those things are important for keeping joints flexible and keep them from getting inflammation. Eating well is important to prevent most chronic illness, disease, and health conditions. When trying to combat or prevent arthritis it’s important to include omega-3, vitamin C, vitamin E, and calcium rich foods and supplements. Also, make sure you are drinking plenty of water.

Avoidable Health Conditions: Tooth Decay

Lastly, on the top 5 avoidable health conditions are oral conditions such as tooth decay. 90% of adults experience tooth decay at some point in their lives, and it is also the most common of childhood diseases. Oral conditions are not limited to tooth decay, there is also gum disease, and oral cancers. A lot of times this comes from poor diet, or poor oral hygiene. It is completely preventable.

Prevention 101

Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once daily. It is best to brush after every meal and most definitely before bed. The best toothpaste is one with fluoride, if approved by your dentist there is additional fluoride supplements you may use. If you are avoiding oral disease make sure your diet is filled with nutritious, well balanced meals and limit snacking. Avoid or limit certain carbs, like those in candy, chips, pretzels, crackers, and things that stick to your teeth. If you do consume things like that make sure you brush shortly after to avoid anything sticking to your teeth. Visit your dentist regularly (every 6 months) and ask your dentist to apply dental sealants.

Final Thoughts

Often times when it comes to illness, disease, and health conditions we are given a choice to prevent it, treat it, or sweep it under the rug. Be proactive about your health, one health problem leads to another that leads to another. Prevention 101’s top 5 avoidable health conditions are completely avoidable and often times can be treated and reversed. Don’t sweep your health and quality of life under the rug, be proactive, and take each change in your lifestyle one step at a time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *