The human body is complex and equally complicated are its issues. The battle between health and disease is not new, but medical advancements have made it a fair fight by equipping us with the tools and techniques to combat diseases. It has led to a better understanding of diverse health problems prevalent today and helped categorize them into their respective groups. However, there is still a gap that needs to be filled. Where technology has made the treatment of many previously untreatable diseases possible, the lifestyle changes it has brought have also stirred novel diseases not prevalent
Moreover, there are profound disparities in our health outcomes despite being closely interlinked individuals. The causes for it can be diverse. Though biological factors are apparent, many underlying layers affect the outcome of the same disease for each of us. It includes non-biological factors, such as environment, socioeconomic conditions, and culture. This fact is evident in different health outcomes among various ethnic groups. Only after considering all these factors, which include both biological and non-biological, will we be able to understand the dynamics and complexities on which these health issues operate.
If you are a public health professional associated with an organization that supports
people’s well-being or want to become one, you must upgrade your knowledge of how the public health system works. You must know everything, from devising policies to taking action and playing your part in solving health crises.
Here are some health problems rampant today that you should watch out for.
Despite eliminating many diseases from the world, such as smallpox, and developing effective vaccinations against others, infectious outbreaks remain a problematic health concern in the US and the world. Whether the pandemic of influenza that occurred more than a century back or today’s COVID-19 pandemic, infectious diseases have defied all odds and continue to haunt us.
The remarkable ability of these microorganisms to evolve and become resistant to antibiotics poses a serious health concern today. Approximately one million people have died because of COVID-19 infection in the US alone. Moreover, about 2.3 million Americans visit the doctor for treatment of other infectious diseases. Another problematic thing is their contagiousness. It makes their spread as much of a problem as their treatment. No one knows when a new or pre-existing infection will strike, giving the public unwelcome health surprises. All these factors combined make infectious diseases a challenge to put down.
Diabetes is a condition that arises when the blood sugar level exceeds its normal range. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin, a hormone that enables sugar to enter our cells for energy production. On the other hand, patients with type 2 diabetes have insulin production, but their bodies do not recognize and use it properly.
Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from this disease, including both adults and children. Most of them have the type-2 form in which their bodies become resistant to insulin. While it can be genetic, type 2 diabetes is also associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. Obesity, physical inactivity, and alcohol consumption increase your vulnerability to this disease. However, even if the disease tends to run in your family, healthy lifestyle changes, such as daily exercise and a nutritious diet, can help mitigate the severity of this disease.
There is no denying the fact that cancer is one of the most feared diseases, and its diagnosis is often considered synonymous with a death sentence. It is the second leading cause of death in the United States. The top causes of cancer death include lung cancer, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and liver cancer. All types of cancer have uncontrollable cell division, resulting in abnormal cells that interfere with body systems and can also invade other tissues.
While some types of cancer are less severe and treatable, others are more deadly. The warning signs include lumps, fatigue that wouldn’t go away, skin changes, bleeding for no apparent reason, and eating disorders. While the name itself is enough to give chills, cancer treatments are more promising than ever before. With new and advanced cancer treatment techniques, many patients live healthy and long lives with an early diagnosis.
Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the US, including coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart valve or muscle problems, rhythm issues, etc. In addition to targeting the most crucial and sensitive organ of your body, the thing which makes heart disease even more deadly is that it is often silent until it strikes. As a result, people feel nothing until the disease progresses to a later stage. The key risk factors include smoking, cholesterol, hypertension, stress, old age, obesity, and a family history of
heart disease. While you may not be able to trace them, you can certainly prevent them by
incorporating simple and healthy lifestyle changes.
Mental issues are one of the most pressing health concerns, yet they remain the least acknowledged ones. They affect not only our social, emotional, and psychological well-being but our physical health as well. On top of that, they usually go undiagnosed, and the patient fights the battle alone most of the time. One in every five Americans experiences a mental illness in a given year. The causes can be multiple. It can include a life-altering trauma or abuse, facing a life-threatening disease, drug abuse, financial debts, stress of academia, or a persistent feeling of loneliness. It stirs worthlessness, hopelessness, a disturbed sleep cycle, and irritability. All these factors can combine to drag a person to a dark pit called depression.
The prevalent health concerns can vary from place to place, depending on the genetic pool and socioeconomic conditions. It implies that the measures you need to take to prevent a disease might not be the same as well. It is, therefore, necessary to recognize the rampant diseases and adopt strategies that can prevent, slow down, or even reverse a health problem.
While some things might not be in our control, a healthy lifestyle and regular checkups will keep most diseases at arm’s length. Nothing is more precious than health. So, ensure a sound body and mind that will guarantee a quality life and open up many new horizons of progress and development for you.