Diseases have been a part of human life since the dawn of time, and they remain prevalent today.
The most dangerous illnesses cause the highest number of deaths each year. While many diseases can be treated with modern medicine, some remain incurable. This article reports the world’s top 10 deadliest diseases and how to prevent them.
1. Ischemic Heart Disease
Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. It is caused by a narrowing of the arteries, which leads to decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the heart.
The risk for ischemic heart disease increases with age and other factors such as smoking, obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. To reduce your risk for this disease, quit smoking and exercise regularly. Also, keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.
The symptoms of ischemic heart disease include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and palpitations. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
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Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide. A stroke is a medical emergency resulting from a blockage of blood flow to the brain. It can also be caused by bleeding in the brain, which can cause swelling and damage to the affected areas.
The risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and obesity. To reduce your risk of a stroke, maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, reduce stress levels, and limit alcohol consumption.
The symptoms of a stroke include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, slurred speech, confusion, severe headache, and difficulty walking and seeing. If you experience any of these symptoms, call EMS immediately.
3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is a group of lung diseases that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is caused by airway inflammation, making it difficult to breathe normally. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD.
To reduce your risk of developing COPD, quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke. Also, get regular checkups from your doctor to monitor your lung health. Your lungs can be damaged even if you don’t smoke, so exercise regularly and limit your exposure to air pollution.
The symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing up mucus or blood. Don’t take these symptoms lightly – seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of them.
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4. Lower Respiratory Infections
Lower respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, are the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. These infections are caused by viruses or bacteria in the lungs. The symptoms include fever, chest pain, coughing mucus or blood, and difficulty breathing.
To prevent lower respiratory infections, practice good hand-washing habits and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Also, get a flu shot each year to reduce your risk of getting the flu virus.
If you have a respiratory infection, stay home and get plenty of rest and fluids. If your symptoms don’t improve or if they become worse, seek medical attention.
5. Neonatal Conditions
Neonatal conditions are illnesses that affect newborns during their first month of life. They can be caused by premature birth, low birth weight, or infection. The leading causes of death in newborns are birth asphyxia (lack of oxygen during delivery) and preterm complications.
To reduce your risk of having a premature baby, seek medical care early in your pregnancy and follow your doctor’s advice. Also, get regular prenatal care and keep yourself healthy throughout your pregnancy.
If you have delivered a premature or low birth weight baby, ensure they receive the appropriate medical care. They may need specialized treatments such as oxygen or medication.
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6. Trachea, Bronchus, and Lung Cancers
Trachea, bronchus, and lung cancers are the sixth leading cause of death worldwide. This type of cancer is generally caused by smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke. Other risk factors include exposure to radon gas, asbestos, and air pollution.
Quitting smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke are the best ways to lower your risk for these cancers. It would help if you also got regular checkups from your doctor to monitor your lung health.
The symptoms of these cancers can vary but may include a persistent cough, chest pain, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor. Early detection increases the chance of successful treatment.
7. Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are the seventh leading cause of death worldwide. They are caused by the gradual death of nerve cells in the brain, leading to memory loss, confusion, and personality changes.
The risk factors for dementia include age, family history, and lifestyle habits such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol. To reduce your risk, stay physically active and eat a healthy diet. Keep mentally active by reading, doing puzzles, or learning new skills.
The symptoms of dementia can vary but may include difficulty remembering recent events, confusion about time and place, and changes in behavior or personality. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, get help.
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8. Diarrheal Diseases
Diarrheal diseases are the eighth leading cause of death worldwide, claiming almost two million lives each year. These diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that get into your digestive system and cause watery diarrhea.
If your diarrhea lasts over a few days, you will lose more fluid and salt than your body can replace. Dehydration is a severe complication of diarrhea and can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.
The best way to prevent diarrheal diseases is to wash your hands with soap and warm water before eating or preparing food. Ensure your food is cooked thoroughly, and avoid drinking untreated water.
9. Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. People with diabetes may experience high blood sugar levels, which can cause serious health complications if left untreated.
Common symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing wounds, and infections. If you experience any of these symptoms, get help from your doctor.
The best way to prevent diabetes is to eat a healthy diet, maintain an active lifestyle, and avoid smoking. If you already have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and take medications as prescribed by your doctor. With proper management, diabetes can be controlled, reducing the risk of complications.
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10. Kidney Diseases
Kidney diseases can range from mild to severe and can be caused by several factors, such as genetics, lifestyle habits, medications, or environmental toxins. Some of the most common types of kidney diseases include chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute kidney injury (AKI), glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and kidney stones.
Symptoms of kidney diseases can vary but may include swelling in the legs or feet, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, and frequent urination. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away.
To reduce your risk of developing kidney disease, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking. Additionally, drink plenty of water daily and eat a well-balanced, low-sodium diet.
These are the most common causes of death worldwide. Taking proactive steps to reduce your risk, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, can help you stay healthy and live longer. Please don’t leave anything to chance regarding your health; be proactive and stay informed.
This article was produced on Health Makes You.