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Biggest Chronic Illnesses in SA

Health • by Paul De Beyer • 07 July 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has left us all worried about our, and our loved ones’, health on a daily basis.

The thing is, there have been a few silent killers stalking our communities for decades. Each one of these acute or chronic illnesses has impacted millions of people across all walks of life. But just what are these silent killers in our midst?

1. Heart disease and stroke

Heart disease, according to a 2019 survey, is the most widespread of all the chronic illnesses in the country. There are currently over four million South Africans suffering from hypertension, or high blood pressure, which is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease is a wide term and includes conditions like:

Strokes are a very common chronic condition that are caused by the narrowing and/or hardening of the arteries and blood vessels in the heart. This is generally made worse by bad nutrition and a lack of physical exercise.

Preventive health measures have become a great focus in the healthcare industry in recent years.

These are screenings or tests that allow people to stay on top of their health. These tests may detect disease even before symptoms become apparent which help health practitioners treat it more effectively.

2. Chronic lung disease

Chronic lung conditions like asthma, emphysema, and pulmonary hypertension are more common than you think, with almost all of them being incurable.

While lung disease does vary quite widely, with some very manageable with medication, they’re still something to be very concerned about. 

3. Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes:

Diabetes is also regarded as something of a gateway chronic condition, as those who suffer from it are also likely to suffer from other illnesses like hypertension, heart disease, and increased risk of stroke. If your family has a history of diabetes, you should consider implementing lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of contracting the disease.

Regular health screenings can improve your quality of life and prevent chronic health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

FeelBetterFast offers the following health assessment tests done by a nurse or pharmacist:

4. Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney failure, is the slow loss of function of your kidneys.

The kidney’s main function is to help filter your blood of waste and excess fluids, which are then excreted from the body in the form of urine.

Chronic kidney disease isn’t treatable but can be managed to slow the progression of the disease. Late-stage kidney failure is fatal without regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.

5. HIV

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is one of those chronic diseases that can be managed effectively with medication but, if left untreated, can result in AIDS.

If you, for any reason, believe you might have contracted HIV, you should know that it’s very manageable with viral suppression medications like antiretroviral therapy, which will lower the viral load in your blood to a level that it shouldn’t hinder your life. 

GetSavvi Health’s Unlimited HIV, Trauma and Assault Counselling benefit assists members who are currently dealing with personal issues by:

Medication Explained: Is it Chronic, Acute or Generic?

“Get the most for your money by grabbing the generic version, which will ensure your yearly allowance lasts longer!”

Get the low-down on medication, and find out what the differences are between chronic and acute medication. Oh, and what on earth generic medication might be! Click here for more. 

References:
‘Lifestyle diseases’ plaguing poor
Population suffering from chronic health conditions in South Africa in 2019, by disease
About Chronic Diseases
Heart disease
What Is Cancer?
Chronic Lung Diseases: Causes and Risk Factors
Alzheimer's disease
What is Diabetes?
Chronic kidney disease
What Is HIV?

 

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