Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are chronic health conditions that are not contagious to others. While a diagnosis can be scary, there are many options in treating or preventing symptoms. Learning about your condition can be the best tool in managing it.
Understanding Non-Communicable Disease (NCD)
The label of non-communicable disease describes a wide range of conditions, diseases and disorders. These have genetic, lifestyle, or environmental causes rather than viral or bacterial, and they are characterised as health conditions that:
• Aren’t caused by acute infections or illness
• Result in long-term health issues
• Require long-term treatment and care, such as lifestyle changes or medication.
Health conditions that are considered non-communicable diseases include:
• Cardiovascular disease
• Chronic lung illnesses
• Injuries that cause permanent damage
• Mental health disorders
The severity of global impact.
Non-communicable diseases are the number one cause of death and disability around the world. Worldwide statistics regarding non-communicable diseases show that:
• Non-communicable diseases kill 41 million people worldwide on an annual basis. This accounts for 71% of all deaths globally.
• Each year, 15 million people around the world die prematurely between the ages of 30 and 69 years old from a non-communicable disease.
• Cardiovascular diseases make up most non-communicable disease deaths, followed by cancer, respiratory diseases and then diabetes.
• These four categories of disease account for more than 80% of all premature non-communicable disease deaths.
NCDs cannot be cured. Lifestyle Interventions are crucial.
Treating non-communicable disease may look different than treating an infection, but there is a wide range of options to manage your condition. Talk to your health care professional about which treatment plan may work best for you.
Cannot be cured
Keep in mind that there are no treatment options that lead to curing a non-communicable disease from your body. Instead, your doctor may prescribe medications and recommend lifestyle changes to improve your symptoms.
Preventing and managing NCDs
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Not all non-communicable diseases are preventable, but you can lower your risk by maintaining healthy habits: Including an exercise regime to your daily schedule, eating less sugary and high salt foods, managing your stress levels, quality sleep and eliminating unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
You can also stay ahead of these diseases by keeping up with regular doctor visits. If you have health concerns or know of a condition that runs in your family, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They can help narrow down what may be affecting you and complete screenings to detect chronic health conditions.