Explanation of diseases and the risk factors that cause them is very crucial for health decisions making and planning. Most of the scientific and health resources go towards treatment. However, understanding risks to health is a key to preventing disease. Lots of things in this world today are scary. Germs, bacteria etc float through the air and then enter our lungs and blood, parasites feast on our skin etc. These cause diseases make people very, very sick. Let us go through the deadliest diseases on this planet.
Cancer: This is one of the most well known and common deadly diseases. Cancer is a disease of the cells, where cancer cells grow very fast. If cancer is detected early, they can treat or remove the damaged cells and stop the disease from spreading.
Diabetes: Is a group of diseases that affect the insulin production and its use. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can’t generate insulin. The cause is not known. In Type 2 diabetes the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin and it can’t be used effectively. This can be caused due to various reasons like poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight.
Alzheimer’s disease: This disease that destroys a person’s memory and disrupts the normal mental functions which include thinking, reasoning and also typical behavior. Risk factors include Down syndrome, family history of the disease and unhealthy lifestyle.
AIDS: The WHO reports AIDS as an epidemic disease of gigantic proportions. This disease has spread to all corners of the world, with no remedy. The disease occurs when a patient is infected by the Human Immuno deficiency Virus (HIV). The disease can be controlled by maintaining basic cleanliness in laboratories and hospitals as well as educating masses on good moral values, basic to any cultural system.
Tuberculosis: This disease is spread by airborne saliva, which usually attacks the lungs. The symptoms of active tuberculosis infection include a chronic cough with blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and also weight loss. It is estimated that nearly one-third of the world is having some form of tuberculosis.
Stroke: It is a sudden loss of blood flow to the brain which is commonly caused by rupture of a major cerebral artery. Stroke is estimated to cause 9% of deaths and is the second leading cause of mortality worldwide. Some end up in a nursing home at 6 months after stroke and some are permanently disabled. This is one of the most preventable diseases. Increase in tobacco use, poor diet leading to overweight and obesity, raised BP and cholesterol and less physical activity are causes of concern.
Lower respiratory infections: This is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among infants and children in developing countries. This consists mainly of pneumonia's, but also includes croup, tracheobronchitis, and bronchiolitis. Lower respiratory diseases have been reported to be higher in crowded urban areas of low socioeconomic status. Also, indoor air pollution, environmental exposure to tobacco, the presence of a pet at home, the presence of household allergens are certain causes of this disease.
Malaria: It is a deadly disease which is spread by mosquitoes that feed on human blood. Each year there are approximately 100 million new cases of malaria and around 1 million deaths are associated with it. Malaria is a complex disease that may occur in four different forms. It has caused illness, suffering, and death and caused a major impact on history. Today malaria remains a serious medical challenge in much of the world. In addition to children, certain groups for e.g. pregnant women, non-immune travelers, refugees, displaced persons and laborers entering prevalent areas are more prone to get malaria with higher morbidity and mortality.
Cirrhosis: It is a complication of many liver diseases characterized by abnormal structure and function of the liver. As the liver performs a variety of vital functions which includes detoxifying the harmful substances from our body and also cleans the blood. Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by various forms of liver diseases such as hepatitis and chronic alcoholism. If liver cirrhosis is detected early and the cause is treated, further damage could be limited and hence rarely it could be reversed.
Cholera: This is a serious infectious disease caused by eating the food or drinking water which is contaminated with the bacteria Vibrio cholera, which affects the intestinal system of the body. The symptoms include excessive diarrhea, dehydration, and severe vomiting. If not treated immediately, cholera may result in death within four or twelve hours after the symptoms begin. Though there is a vaccine against cholera, WHO does not recommend it. We can protect ourselves and family by using only boiled water or chemically disinfected or bottled water, thorough hand washing, avoiding areas and people with cholera, and eating cleaned and well-cooked hygienic food. As dehydration can happen quickly it’s very important to get cholera treated right away.