Chronic diseases – heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and even obesity – are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. In fact, seven of the top 10 causes of death in America are chronic diseases (and just two, heart disease and cancer, account for 48 percent of all deaths).[i]
Nearly half of U.S. adults already have one or more chronic health conditions … which is unfortunate because many of them are preventable. If you’re among them, don’t lose hope; oftentimes you can reverse chronic health conditions or at least stop their progression in much the same way that they can be prevented … via a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re healthy, meanwhile, don’t take it for granted. You still need to pay attention to the basics (healthy diet, exercise, sleep, etc.) to stay well. And if any of the following warning signs apply to you, these are signs you’re on a fast track to chronic disease … make the appropriate changes now – not later.
9. You Have a Big Belly
Research from the University of Illinois and the Washington University School of Medicine showed that visceral fat (the kind around your belly) releases an inflammatory molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which leads to full-body systemic inflammation.[ii] Chronic inflammation, meanwhile, is linked to numerous chronic diseases from heart disease to cancer (and so, too, is excess belly fat).
What to Do: You can’t “spot-treat” belly fat. The only way to ultimately lose it is by losing body fat all over your body, which means eating right and exercising. If you’ve tried to lose your belly and can’t, here are seven reasons why.
8. You Smoke
Nearly half a million Americans die each year due to cigarette smoking. If you smoke, you’re accelerating your aging process and shortening your lifespan.
What to Do: Quit smoking now! The benefits start immediately and increase the longer you go. After just one year, your excess risk of heart disease will be half that of a current smoker’s …[iii]
7. You Drink Too Much Alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol results in 88,000 deaths each year.
What to Do:Drink it only in moderation. This means:
- No more than two drinks a day for men
- No more than one drink a day for women
One drink is defined as 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits (80-proof).
6. You Feast on Processed Foods (and Drinks) Regularly
Processed foods are the epitome of what you shouldn’t be eating. They’re low in nutrients and high in preservatives, unhealthy fats, salt, sugar, and artificial additives. Sugar alone, which is a primary source of calories in the U.S. diet mostly due to soda consumption, has been linked to numerous chronic diseases ranging from cancer and heart disease to high blood pressure and liver damage.
What to Do: Eat mostly whole foods like vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy products, nuts and seeds. Use these 10 tips to beat your sugar cravings.
5. You Don’t Eat Your Vegetables
Twenty-three percent of U.S. adults say they eat vegetables less than once a day. Yet vegetables are overflowing with phytochemicals that prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke.
What to Do: Eat more vegetables! Aim for five to seven servings a day, or more … you can do this – even frozen vegetables count.
4. You Stay Up Really Late
Burning the midnight oil will backfire, as lack of sleep triggers an inflammatory response in your body and dampens your immune system, which is key for fighting diseases. Insufficient sleep has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and depression.
3. You’re Overly Stressed
Stress is also linked to chronic diseases from cancer to heart disease, and may interfere with your body’s ability to regulate inflammation.[iv] This occurs because when you’re under chronic stress, your tissues become less sensitive to the spikes in cortisol, and inflammation is regulated, in part, by this hormone.
What to Do: Stress relief, stat!
2. You Don’t Exercise
Exercise has been called the best preventive ‘drug’ there is for a reason. Even if you’ve never exercised before, starting now can alter the way your DNA works for the better. Research shows that exercising can reduce the risk of the following conditions:[v]
- Pain and disability
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Premature death
What to Do: Get moving starting today. Enlist a personal trainer, a buddy or your own inner ‘cheerleader’ and walk, jog, dance, garden, lift weights, kickbox, swim … do whatever activities you enjoy that work your body. And quit making excuses … even busy people have time to exercise.
1. You Have Chronic Pain
Underlying chronic pain is chronic inflammation, which increases proteins involved in nerve cell communication, which may actually “imprint” the painful response into your brain, causing it to mimic pain even after the initial source (such as an injury or surgery) has been resolved.[vi] Again, if you have chronic pain you can be sure you also have chronic inflammation – the root cause of most chronic disease.
What to Do: You can fight inflammation via your diet (try these six inflammation-fighting foods, for starters), then take action now: take advantage of our 7 years of research and development, which lead us to uncover 12 of the most potent and natural anti-inflammatories in the world. We’ve combined them all into one all-natural formula … Heal-n-Soothe.
One of the (many) factors that makes Heal-n-Soothe unique is that it provides your body with proteolytic enzymes, which are the #1 way to end the chronic inflammation that underlies most pain.
Written By: Updated: September 22,2014