Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is the name used to describe any one of several diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (also known as blood glucose). Your brain and the cells that make up your muscles and tissues need lots of energy to function properly. The glucose in your blood is what provides them with this energy. If you have will begin to have many serious health problems. Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with a condition called ‘pre-diabetes’- where your blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be classed as diabetes – changing your lifestyle (the way you eat and the amount you exercise) can potentially reverse your condition. Pregnant women are sometimes diagnosed with gestational diabetes but this condition usually goes away after the baby is born.

Hypertension

When the long-term force of blood against the walls of your arteries is very high you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension. This condition may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Two things affect blood pressure – the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance within your arteries to the flow of blood. The scary thing about hypertension is that often there are no symptoms that can tell you that you have this condition, so it may be years before you realise the damage it may have caused your blood vessels or heart. Controlling your blood pressure is vital to avoid serious health problems like heart attack and stroke. Once detected you can work with your doctor to control it and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Arthritis

When one or more of your joints become inflamed and painful or stiff you might be diagnosed with arthritis. Usually these symptoms get worse as you grow older. There are two common types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. If your condition has been labelled osteoarthritis this means that your cartilage – the pliable, slippery tissue in your joints – is breaking down. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the synovium or joint lining to break down – this type of arthritis is known as an autoimmune disorder. In treating arthritis your doctor will try to reduce the pain and stiffness in your joints so that you can enjoy a better quality of life.

Asthma

Having asthma means your airways have become narrow and swollen. In addition they may also be producing extra mucus making it difficult for you to breathe. Asthma can be a mild irritation for some people. For others, though, it could prevent them from carrying out their normal day-today activities and may even lead to a potentially fatal asthma attack. This condition is often one that will last a long time – perhaps even throughout your life – so you need to follow your doctor’s advice and check in with him or her regularly to adjust treatment as needed.

Dyslipidaemia

In the fatty part of your blood is a substance called cholesterol. Cholesterol helps to build healthy cells. But too much cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease because the fatty deposits make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Your blood will not be able to carry enough oxygen to your heart and brain resulting in a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) is hereditary, but can also be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. A good diet and lots of exercise combined with medication where necessary will help control high levels of cholesterol.

Psoriasis

Every day there is a normal build up of cells in your skin. As the older top layers disintegrate and fall off new layers take their place. If you have psoriasis this means that the cells are building up too rapidly on the surface of your skin. The extra skin cells become itchy and dry. They sometimes form red patches that are painful. Psoriasis is a chronic disease which sees your symptoms alternating between mild to severe but never really going away. Your doctor will work with you to find a form of treatment that aims to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly and providing you with relief from this condition.