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  By Yap Ding Xin (Malaysia) 文:叶丁心(马来西亚)    Will excessive sugar intake lead to diabetes? How many eggs canyoueatinaday?Isfoamin the urine a symptom of kidney disease? Is high cholesterol the main cause of heart disease? Does the myriad of online health information make you more confused about what is true and what is false? 50 Questions to Break Down the Myths of Chronic Diseases is the latest book published by family medicine specialist Dr Tan Sing Yee. Through her new book, the director of Klinik Kesihatan Jenjarom in the Malaysian state of Selangor and health columnist at Sin Chew Daily hopes to help her readers clear up the confusion about various chronic diseases. What are Chronic Diseases? According to the World Health Organization, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – also known as chronic diseases – tend to be of long duration, and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors. The main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes. About two-thirds of the adult population in Malaysia suffer from at least one chronic disease. Chronic diseases are notoriously difficult to fully recover from, especially when these conditions result in other complications. Even poor long-term eating habits can lead to chronic diseases. Three Wrong Mindsets Chronic diseases affect not only a patient’s health, but also the quality of their lives and that of their families. Fighting chronic diseases can be a long and testing process, but many patients often have the following three wrong mindsets: 1. Ostrich mentality: Only seeking medical help when the symptoms appear to be serious. This mindset is extremely dangerous as many chronic diseases are asymptomatic in the early stages, and may be latent in the body for a long time before complications occur. Take the example of diabetes: complications from this chronic disease usually surface only after the patient has had diabetes for at least five years. Therefore, regular health screening and check-ups are crucial for early detection. 2. Impatience: The desire to see the immediate results of medical treatments. "Chronic diseases are not viruses,”DrTansays.“Thereisnospecial medicine or antibiotics for an instant cure.” She suggests changing one’s daily routine to include exercising and paying attention to one’s diet. “These measures are not likely to be effective within a week or two,” Dr Tan advises. “It may take up to 10 years to see the improvements, but modern people are too impatient to wait that long." 3. Lack of scientific thinking: The availability of health advice on the internet has resulted in many patients trying out diets or home remedies that have not been verified by scientific research to cure their medical conditions. Dr Tan shares that many of her patients have revealed taking medicine and doing exercise through advice from social networking sites, or from their relatives and friends, with 28 - popularnews 138 陈欣怡医生专访: 

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