“Taking no action is not an option.” That is the takeaway from the WHO’s recent report on the most pressing health issues of the next ten years. True, coronavirus will continue to dominate the headlines in the foreseeable future. But that does not mean we should turn a blind eye to other health issues impacting several communities worldwide.
According to credible healthcare bodies, the following are the most common modern-day health challenges:
Substance abuse is the intake of mind-altering chemicals that result in adverse health and behavioral outcomes. In several countries, substance abuse and addiction have reached pandemic levels. Population studies revealed that over 275 million people used illicit drugs in 2021. Abusing any drug can lead to a plethora of health complications.
Substance abuse could result in a variety of gastrointestinal issues, especially Cocaine. Cocaine has been linked to gastrointestinal problems, such as retroperitoneal fibrosis, gastric ulcers, and intestinal ischemia.
Besides, high levels of drugs in the blood can harm the kidneys, which are responsible for filtering toxins from the blood. This kidney damage may eventually lead to renal failure. In addition, contaminants and additives in some illegal street drugs might clog the tiny capillaries that carry blood to the kidneys following injection.
Community leaders and members of national and international drug prevention networks are instrumental in reducing the availability of illegal substances globally. Educating the public with the help of individuals with online masters in public health can be an effective strategy since qualified professionals are more likely to be aware of concerns and methods to deal with this issue and have knowledge of techniques to spread the word in communities.
Obesity refers to the accumulation of abnormally high levels of fat in the body. According to the latest statistics, one billion individuals are overweight worldwide. WHO projects that weight-related health problems will affect an estimated 167 million individuals by 2025. Obese individuals develop various medical conditions, including breathing issues, hypertension, and early symptoms of heart disease.
But the good news is that some simple lifestyle changes can help combat obesity:
Stay away from processed foods: Obesity has been linked to a higher intake of processed foods. These ready-to-eat items contain too much sugar, salt, and fat. Besides, they also trigger hormonal desires to overeat. So start by cutting back on the chips and switching to water instead of soda. After that, you should work your way up to include more whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
Be physically active: Physical activity is an effective antidote to obesity. Contrary to the common assumption, you do not have to be a gym freak to maintain a healthy weight. Even engaging in physical activities such as walking or dancing will get the job done.
Get adequate sleep: Lack of sleep can increase caloric intake simply because people are awake for longer. Apart from that, sleep deprivation affects the hormones that control hunger. So, if you do not get enough sleep, you might be more hungry than usual.
When an artery in the brain leaks or gets blocked, it might result in a stroke. That way, the brain cells do not get enough oxygen and start dying. It is common for people to experience numbness and confusion during a stroke. Though strokes can lead to permanent disabilities, individuals who receive medical attention within three hours following a stroke are less likely to face this issue.
In a study, CDC found that 93% of respondents knew that abrupt numbness is a major stroke symptom. However, only 38% were aware of the rest of the signs associated with stroke.
Controlling high blood pressure with the help of surgery or medication is one of the potential preventative measures for strokes. It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a low-sodium diet. If you smoke or drink excessively, you should limit them drastically to keep this disease at a safe distance.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a serious public health issue on the verge of becoming a pandemic worldwide. Every year, cardiovascular disease claims the lives of around 18 million individuals. Type 2 diabetes and hypertension are key contributors to the development of this condition.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance and the inability to regulate blood sugar levels. The condition causes an excessive amount of sugar to circulate in the bloodstream. In the long run, high blood sugar levels can cause cardiovascular, neurological, and immune problems.
The beginning of type 2 diabetes might be gradual. Symptoms, when they appear, are initially so innocuous that they are easy to dismiss. In the early stages, some of the symptoms might include:
- Constant hunger
- Blurry vision
- Incessant urge to urinate
- Excessive thirst
As the condition continues, the symptoms may worsen and lead to grave complications along the way.
Two primary causes of 2 diabetes are a lack of insulin production in your pancreas and cells responding poorly to insulin. Type 1 Diabetes can start very early because some people are born with the problem that their bodies cannot produce insulin. If you are 45 or older, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This scenario is common in developed countries. In developing countries, people between the ages of 35 and 64 are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Medical treatments cannot cure diabetes, but you may control it by losing weight, consuming a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. You might need to turn to diabetic medicines or insulin therapy if these measures prove insufficient.
Medical science has come a long way. Today, we have tried and tested treatments for diseases that used to be incurable only a few decades ago. This possibility speaks volumes about the progress trajectory for medical innovation. However, at the same time, we also need to admit our inability to get the upper hand over the diseases covered in the post.