There are hundreds of diseases and health problems out there, but these eight combined killed the most people in 2016 and will continue to kill the most people in years to come until governments, pharmaceutical companies and people learn to deal with the diseases in every aspect of their manifestation.
While man shall always have to deal with one type of disease or another forever, proactive actions such as reducing stress levels, improving healthy diets, doing more physical exercises, combating environmental degradation, and winning the war over genetic issues will help to drastically reduce the prevalence of certain diseases.
It must also be pointed out that fully understanding the main causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatments of diseases would go a long way to dealing with prevalent health issues in our world today.
The following are the greatest killer diseases of 2016 and they remain eternal threats for many years to come:
1. Cancer: There are over 50 types of cancers affecting people, but the most common are prostate cancer among men and breast cancer among women. The main causes of cancer are not known, but certain factors increase the chances of their occurrence – excessive alcohol, smoking, obesity, increased exposure to sun and radiation and chemicals, and genetic factors. Early screening, lifestyle changes, chemotherapy, surgery, and drug therapy are some of the treatment options available.
2. Diabetes: Diabetes has been labelled the “silent killer” because most people are not aware they have it and it rarely shows symptoms until its last stages. It is caused by excessive blood sugar levels or even lack of it. Type 1 diabetes is more common in youths and children and Type 2 is more common to adults and older folks. Diabetes damages the eye, brain, heart, ear, nerves, skin, and internal organs; annd it is best treated with insulin therapy, healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight control.
3. Heart diseases: Heart failure, cardiac arrest, and angina are some of the commonest manifestations of heart diseases. It is also a silent killer because people are not aware until they suffer a terrible cardiovascular event. High blood pressure, high fat foods, sedentary lifestyle, and smoking and alcohol are some of the factors that aggravate heart conditions; and removing these causative factors will help overcome the seriousness of heart diseases.
4. Kidney disease: This is also known as renal failure, and signifies the dysfunctions of the human kidneys in filtering wastes from the body system. Dehydration, internal injury, and renal obstruction are some of the causes of kidney diseases. Treatment options include treatment of underlying causes and kidney transplant in very serious cases.
5. Alzheimer’s disease: This is a degenerative disease of the brain and it is marked by dementia and senility in older folks above the age of 50. Its main causes are not known but doctors are aware of its symptoms and effects on the body and brain. Treatments include the use of antidepressant drugs, cholinesterase inhibitors, and physical exercises to reduce progression of the disease.
6. Influenza: This is commonly known as flu, and you may be surprised to learn that it kills more people than is acknowledged everywhere. Flu is especially fatal in pregnant women, old folks, children, and people with compromised immunity. Symptoms include pneumonia, sneezing, and chest pain among others. Vaccination is the best preventive treatment and antiviral drugs also help.
7. Stroke: Stroke is a sudden loss of consciousness resulting from the rupture of a blood vessel as a result of oxygen lack in the brain. This could lead to the death of brain cells and it could also result into partial or complete paralysis. Risk factors for stroke include hypertension, high blood glucose, obesity, and genetic issues. Treatment is usually very complicated.
8. AIDS: HIV/AIDS affects over 37 million worldwide, and it is a disease of the immune system. It is spread through contaminated needles, unscreened blood, unprotected sex, and from mother to child during childbirth or breastfeeding. Treatment includes protected sex, sexual fidelity to only one partner, and the use of antiretroviral(ARV) drugs to suppress the viral load and suppress progression of the disease.