What is a Chronic Disease? What are the Types of Chronic Diseases?

What is chronic disease? What are the types of chronic disease?
What is chronic disease? What are the types of chronic disease?

Chronic diseases occur due to many factors and continue throughout the life of the person, causing a decrease in the quality of life. At the first onset of the disease, it can be very difficult to detect by the person and the health system, as the symptoms have not yet fully manifested. Medical interventions remain unresponsive to chronic diseases that develop slowly over a long period of time.

In whatever body system the chronic disease has occurred, a number of symptoms and signs occur due to the inability of the organs and tissues in that area to function fully. Due to the long duration of the disease process, additional symptoms such as pain, weakness and mood disorders become part of the person's daily life. A decrease develops in the person's ability to do business. Therefore, chronic diseases also appear as a cause of loss of workforce.

Chronic disease may pave the way for the formation of tumoral structures due to suppression of immune system functions in the tissue and surrounding areas.

The long duration of the diseases causes psychosocial disorders in the person over time. Sadness, anger, helplessness, loss of self-esteem, anxiety of being dependent on others, and depression are psychological symptoms accompanying chronic diseases.

What is a chronic illness?

Chronic diseases are long-term diseases that have a waiting period for the symptoms and signs of the disease to emerge, develop due to many reasons, and have no definitive treatment.

Chronic illnesses require regular medical attention and limit the activities of a person's daily life.

The severity of the symptoms caused by the disease is variable. While the disease may exacerbate and follow a severe course in some periods, the severity of the disease may decrease and the symptoms of the person may be alleviated in some periods.

What are the types of chronic diseases?

The Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have evaluated some diseases within the definition of chronic disease, the most common of these diseases:

  • Heart and vascular diseases
  • Some types of cancer
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Joint inflammation (Arthritis)
  • Chronic respiratory diseases (COPD and asthma)

Heart and Vascular Diseases

They are chronic diseases that progress insidiously with the accumulation of fatty molecules in the bloodstream on the walls of the vessels and usually progressed when they show symptoms. If the vascular occlusion process, called atherosclerosis, occurs in the vessels that feed the heart, a heart attack occurs in the vessels feeding the brain, but a stroke picture occurs.

The number of cardiovascular system-related diseases is expected to double in our country in the next 10 years. In addition to physical signs and symptoms, depression is a very common condition in individuals with heart disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes, a chronic metabolic disease, is a condition characterized by constant high blood sugar. The reason for this picture is impaired insulin secretion from the pancreas and / or resistance to insulin in the body. The frequency of diabetes increases with age in both men and women. The reason for this is harmful lifestyle changes such as inactivity and unbalanced diet.

In a person who did not have diabetes before, diabetes is diagnosed if the measured fasting blood glucose value is above 125mg / dl.

Type 2 diabetes is the form seen in 90% of individuals with all diabetes. There is resistance that occurs with the decrease in the response given by cells to insulin. In the early stages of the disease, the amount of insulin secreted increases in order to normalize the high blood sugar level, the amount of insulin secreted gradually decreases with the continuing unresponsiveness and type 2 diabetes occurs.


Its incidence is increasing all over the world and it is important because it is a preventable disease with lifestyle changes. In our country, obesity is most common in the 55-64 age group.

If the body mass index is over 30kg / m2, it is called obesity, and if it is over 40kg / m2, it is called morbid obesity. These measurements show that there is more fat than normal in the body. Apart from body mass index, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio can provide information about the distribution of this excess fat in the body. A waist circumference of 102 cm in men and over 88 cm in women is defined as wide. At the same time, the limit values ​​for the waist-to-hip ratio obtained by dividing the waist circumference by the hip circumference are 0.95 for men and 0.88 for women. People above this value are considered risky in terms of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Obesity is seen as a chronic disease that needs to be treated today, as it lays the groundwork for many diseases related to different body systems. The possibility of fatal disease increases in obese people.

Diseases developing on the basis of obesity:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary artery diseases
  • Sleep apnea syndrome
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Skin diseases
  • The weakening of the immune system
  • Social anxiety and depression with psychological influence
  • Increased susceptibility to breast, colon, gallbladder, female reproductive organs and prostate cancers
  • Arthritis in the knee and hip joints due to increased load on the joints and limitation of movement

Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which are diseases obstructing the airways, affect millions of people around the world. Although the causes and symptoms of these two diseases are different from each other, they also have common features such as chronic course and causing inflammation in the airways.

Asthma is caused by the excessive response of the airways to various factors. As a result of this excessive response, wheezing, chest tightness, cough and the feeling of hunger for air occur especially at night and early in the morning.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the world. Air flow in the respiratory system is restricted after structural changes and narrowing in the small airways.

As a result of these diseases, the defense of the lungs against disease-causing microorganisms weakens. The risk of fatal course of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia increases.

In chronic respiratory diseases, brain functions are affected due to the decrease in the amount of oxygen in the blood, anxiety and fear occur.

Chronic Joint Inflammation (Arthritis)

Arthritis is an inflammation condition accompanied by swelling and tenderness in one or more joints. The main complaints it causes are joint pain and limitation of movement, which gets worse with age. Among the most common chronic joint inflammations, rheumatoid arthritis, known as osteoarthritis, calcification and rheumatism, is in the first two places.

In osteoarthritis, damage occurs in the cartilage structure in the joints as a result of excessive use. After this damage, the movement of the joints is limited. Due to the loss of lubricity, the articulating bones start to rub against each other and this causes bone damage.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, defines the fight that immune cells, which are the basis of the body's defense, open against one's own joint. Inflammation that begins between the joint fluid and cartilage may involve all joint structures over time.

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