Quiz 11: Other Chronic Diseases and Conditions

Health & Kinesiology

Genetic testing is carried out for screening the mutated cancer causing genes. The genetic testing is available to everyone but there is also a discussion going on whether genetic testing is allowed to all individuals or must be confined to a research setting. Genetic testing should be allowed only to those who have the family history of chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's disease etc. This is because all individuals can not afford to undergo the genetic tests as they are very expensive. One more reason is that, there is a chance of false positive and false negative results which may lead to the confusion among the individuals. False positive results occur, and then the individuals may unnecessarily undergo the treatment and get more complications. If false negative results are obtained the individual who is suffering from cancer may neglect the disease by not undergoing the treatment. Because of this confusion individuals along with their family members undergo lot of suffering which should be avoided by prohibiting the genetic tests to all individuals except for those who have the family history. Some people say genetic testing must be confined to research setting because to study the gene mutation that causes the predisposition of cancer in an elaborated way. If research study was not carried out, as above said the risk of false positive and negative results play a major role and the misinterpretation may risk the life of an individual

Chronic disease is a disease that persists and progresses slowly over a long period of time. There is no complete cure for chronic conditions or rarely may be cured completely. The chronic conditions are predisposed by factors such as genetics, lifestyle factors including diet, physical activity and environmental exposure. These factors influence the individual health status and development of a chronic condition. Living with chronic condition influences a person's physical, mental and economical status. Suffering with chronic condition, strict diets, physical exercise and medication are followed without failure. Therefore, social movements and occasions are missed in personal life. Continuous medication and inability of physical activity may cause mental disorders like depression. Lifelong medication, regular checkups and diagnosis frequently would be an economical burden and increase the costs for the family. Still chronic diseases can be controlled with right attitude and lifestyle modifications. Smoking and alcohol abuse must be stopped. Prescribed physical activity and medication are followed carefully. Participation in some awareness programs and counseling would help an individual to do better and come out of depression. Therefore, life may be as usual before the diagnosis of the disease even after diagnosis.

To prevent the progression of the chronic diseases the first step should be lifestyle changes. A healthy diet, regular physical activity and cessation of smoking, drug and alcohol abuse are required to promote the health. Knowledge and awareness of chronic conditions and their symptoms can bring a better approach toward disease prevention. Getting screening tests done immediately to recognize the changes and problems may prevent or progression of disease before the complications are arise. For example, middle aged women should go for bone mineral density test frequently to prevent osteoporosis. Women who are prone to arthritis should become more active in taking care of their health and should learn better ways to manage the diseases. Women are at high risk to develop Alzheimer's disease than men. Women with family history should go for genetic testing at the earliest to take decisions for the future about health care, financial and long term management of individual as well as family.