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I'm At Risk for a Chronic Health Problem—What Should I Do?

Dec 05, 2023
I'm At Risk for a Chronic Health Problem—What Should I Do?
If you have or are at risk for a chronic health condition, it’s important to be proactive with your health. Learn how to take control of your wellness and manage your health to help prevent ongoing issues.

If you’re at risk for a chronic health problem, it’s natural to feel confused, uncertain, or afraid. But you aren’t alone. About 60% of US men and women experience at least one chronic health issue, and many struggle with multiple chronic diseases. 

Being at risk means you have a higher chance of developing a chronic disease because of factors like family history, lifestyle, or pre-existing health issues. Common chronic conditions include diabetes, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

The board-certified providers at Triad Internal Medicine in Asheboro, North Carolina, specialize in helping patients with and at risk for chronic health problems. We offer personalized chronic disease management and tailored guidance on lowering your risk of developing ongoing health issues.

Take a moment to learn what you can do if you’re at risk for a chronic disease, and the ways we help you stay on top of your health. 

1. Don’t skip wellness visits!

One of the best ways to manage your risk of developing a chronic disease is to be proactive about your health. This begins with regular annual physicals with your primary care provider.  

Your primary care provider at Triad Internal Medicine assesses your overall wellness during your annual physical exam and wellness visits. This appointment gives your provider valuable information about your baseline health and an opportunity to check for signs of health issues. 

2. Be proactive with preventive screenings and immunizations

Being at risk for a chronic disease means staying on top of health screenings and preventive measures, like immunizations, is especially important. Your Triad Internal Medicine provider recommends the right schedule for screenings and immunizations based on your unique needs. 

For example, if you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, your team member may recommend more frequent blood glucose checks. This allows for early intervention if your disease progresses, which typically leads to better outcomes.  

3. Pay special attention to diet and exercise

Eating a healthy diet and staying active are the keys to long-term wellness, especially if you have or are at risk for chronic disease. Your Triad Internal Medicine provider can help you create a realistic, healthy diet and exercise plan.  

Food plays a key role in lowering your chances of chronic disease. Take control of your health by planning your meals around health-boosting plants. Include veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins (like legumes and beans), and healthy fats (like avocado) on your plate. 

Equally important is avoiding foods that damage your health. Stay away from choices linked to chronic conditions, like refined sugars, excessive salt, saturated fats and oils, and all processed and pre-packaged foods.

You’ll also want to focus on moving your body, as exercise reduces chronic disease. Try engaging in activities that get your heart pumping and cause you to break a sweat 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Consider engaging in exercises or activities that build strength two to three times a week. 

4. Keep your weight under control

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of almost all chronic health diseases. On the other hand, maintaining a healthy weight keeps your risk down and improves your overall health. 

However, it isn’t always easy to shed excess pounds. The team at Triad Internal Medicine specializes in medical weight loss for patients struggling with their weight. We work with you to create actionable, tailored plans that take into account your needs and preferences. 

5. Consider chronic disease management

As your primary care providers, the Triad Internal Medicine team members have a unique understanding of your health and medical history. For this reason, we understand how any chronic health problems may impact your health and affect your life.

If you develop a chronic disease or have an elevated risk, chronic disease management offers a way to make sure all aspects of your health are monitored and managed. If the need for care arises, we coordinate care with specialists as needed.

If you’re at risk for or are worried about chronic disease, don’t wait to talk to an internal medicine specialist by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone at Triad Internal Medicine in Asheboro, North Carolina.