Living with chronic illness is perhaps the most difficult challenge that adults can face. Michael a 45-year-old male has had a history of unhealthy behaviors such as poor eating habits that include fried and fast food, lack of physical activity and engaging in unhealthy habits.

His medical history is affected by the following chronic diseases, “a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured” (MDC.)

Cholesterol and Triglyceride

Since the 9th grade up to his adult life he has been diagnosed with high serum cholesterol, which is a waxy substance the body uses to protect nerves, make cell tissues, and produce hormones (HCO.) Having a high cholesterol could increase the triglyceride levels which is also a disease Michael suffers from. According to the “American heart association” triglyceride is a form of fat and a major source of energy for the body, few of the reasons why Michael’s triglyceride levels are elevated is because of physical inactivity, cigarette smoking and a diet high in carbohydrates.


Michael’s fathers was diagnosed from hypertension (high blood pressure) which tends to run in the family therefore Michael suffers from high blood pressure as well. According to “Medical news today” the risk of high blood pressure increases as a person becomes older because the blood vessels become less flexible and most adults tend to adapt a poor diet with less exercise. The prevalence of hypertension is higher in men than women until after menopause (GDH.) Overweight and obesity is one of many risk factors of hypertension. Smoking can also affect the heart rate and blood pressure because of the nicotine in cigarettes (HBP.)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes

Another disease he suffers from is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which is defined as a lower abdominal pain, disturbed defecation (constipation, diarrhea, or alternating patterns of both) and bloating in the absence of structural or biochemical features that might explain these symptoms, 80% of people affected by IBS are women under the age of 50 (IBS.) Genes may also play a role, as may shared factors in a family’s diet habits or a combination of genes and diet habits. Type 2 diabetes can be hereditary, Michael’s mother suffers from type 2 diabetes. A recent physical exam showed Michael’s BMI is 35 meaning it is higher than the normal BMI for a 45-year-old male, according to (BMI) the normal BMI are between 18 and 24. Besides diabetes been hereditary, his type 2 diabetes is caused by having a higher amount of body fat increased and high BMI. Diabetes type 2 is a relative insulin deficiency.

Gender plays a major role affecting the prevalence of chronic disease, while it is partially true that women live longer than men, it is also the case that women tend to be more affected by long-term and chronic illness because of weaker immune systems. Diabetes type 1 and 2 are influenced by genetics, in fact more than 200 genes identified as possible causes (GAD.) Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adults age 55 and older are exposed to chronic illness such as the ones Michael suffers from. As we age our bodys tend to be exposed to different illness because the body lowers its defense mechanism. Although Michael is only 45 years old, his chronic disease has developed due to his dietary habits. Poor dietary practices, high energy intake, high intake of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol along with low intake of fiber and low physical activity are the major risk factors for these disorders.

If we look at Michael’s eating habits we can see it’s been an unhealthy lifestyle he adapted since he was a child. He eats out at least 5 times a week for lunch and dinner, Michael’s dietary pattern is a “western diet,” which mainly consisting of fried foods, refined grains, sugar, high carbohydrates and meat. The phrase “you are what you eat” is the notion that if we eat junk food, we will feel emotionally and physically drained. Having productive habits such as been activity and exercise regularly at least 3 times a week could lower the chances of having chronic diseases, lack of exercise is a major cause for chronic diseases (LOE) by implementing physical activities in an everyday lifestyle, obesity could be manageable and treatable lowering chances of illness increasing to become deadly.

“BMI is an estimate of body fat and a good gauge of your risk for diseases that can occur with more body fat. The higher your BMI the higher your risk for certain diseases” (AYW.) Michael’s BMI at the age of 45 years old is of 35 meaning he is considered to be obese base on the BMI chart. A normal BMI for an adult is considered to be between 18 and 24. To lower his BMI drastic changes will be necessary. Having a high BMI is one of the many reasons chronic diseases develop. It’s all connected if an unhealthy diet is adapted combined with no exercise, is what affects Michael’s BMI to be at a high level.

Smoking is a risk factor for many chronic diseases. Tobacco dependence and chronic diseases are highly prevalent and each are top causes of morbidity and mortality in the world (CSA.) Patients suffering chronic diseases that smoke every day are exposed to cancer and even dead. Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths (SAD) Michael smokes a pack of cigarettes a day, he might have adapted this habit to de-stress, according to his dietitian his weight gain could be the cause of social stress, being bullied and disliking his image. A habit cannot be eliminated easily but can be replaced with a better habit, there’s no one way to quit smoking that works for everyone. Michael must be ready emotionally and mentally to change his habits and lifestyle.

Family history plays a major role in increasing the risk of Michael's chronic diseases.

As I mentioned before hypertension is a genetic chronic disease that runs in the family, Michael’s father suffers from hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and coronary heart disease, increasing the risk of Michael developing all of them later on if he continues an unhealthy lifestyle. Michael’s mother is type 2 diabetic, this is one of the causes Micheal has recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Michael lived in a family considered to be physically inactive and that could be the main reason why in his adult life he continues an inactive physical level and unhealthy dietary habits.