Even though modern medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds, chronic diseases continue to claim millions of lives per year. Dr. Richard Sorgnard is going to explain how complacency and poor health management can kill. He’ll also cover how technology can help.
Many chronic diseases rank among the deadliest diseases in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronary artery disease, a chronic condition, is the deadliest disease, killing more than 8 million people per year. Meanwhile, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the fourth deadliest disease, killing more than 3 million people per year.
Diabetes comes in 6th place, killing more than 1.5 million people per year. Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia also kill more than 1.5 million per year, while tuberculosis and cirrhosis each kill more than a million people annually.
“It should come as no surprise that chronic conditions are among the deadliest diseases, killing tens of millions of people each year,” Dr. Richard Sorgnard notes. “Chronic diseases require long-term treatment, and even with effective treatment, these diseases can slowly grind people down.”
In the United States, chronic diseases are estimated to contribute to at least 70 percent of deaths in the typical year. While many conditions, such as the flu or malaria, can effectively be eradicated from the body, chronic conditions are hard to treat and even harder to cure. There’s no known way to cure diabetes or completely reverse dementia.
“Chronic diseases require consistent treatment,” Dr. Richard Sorgnard says. “With diabetes, if you proactively control your blood sugar levels day in and day out, you can enjoy a high quality of life with severe symptoms and complications sometimes being rare and far between. But if you’re lax in managing blood levels, your body could quickly suffer permanent damage.”
Diabetes can cause fatigue, slow healing, increase thirst, and make you nauseous, among other things. As serious as these symptoms are, diabetes can also permanently damage your kidneys and contribute to cardiovascular diseases. Diabetes can even cause blindness and may contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease.
With proper treatment, a good diet, and proactively monitoring your blood sugar levels, and using insulin as needed, it’s possible to greatly reduce the risk of such serious complications. Yet if you’re not stringent in managing such conditions, your body will suffer lasting damage.
“It’s easy to cut corners with chronic conditions,” Dr. Richard Sorgnard says. “You might eat unhealthy food while already suffering from heart disease or diabetic individuals may indulge their sweet tooth too often. It’s just a candy bar, right? Over time, however, the damage will increase.”
Fortunately, technological advances are making it easier to effectively manage chronic diseases. Devices can automatically measure blood sugar levels, for example, or your heart rate and blood pressure. Automated insulin pumps can dispense insulin as needed. Many other devices are helping people manage chronic conditions day in and day out.
“The right technologies can act a bit like doctors and nurses,” Dr. Richard Sorgnard argues, “dispensing medications and monitoring vitals. Importantly, some of these devices are set and forget, being easy to use and largely automated. This reduces the risk of patients cutting corners or getting lax with treatment.”