We have all heard about silent killer diseases at least once in our lives. These are illnesses that can be present in the body for years, show no signs and symptoms, and may go unnoticed and cause serious damage. However, the symptoms usually become obvious when the disease has entered its advanced stage.
No one likes to talk about it, but we all agree that prevention is better than cure. The best way to prevent these silent killer diseases (and others) is to know what they are. If you are one of the unlucky individuals who might get infected with one in the future, you’d be glad you knew what caused it in the first place.
Here are some of these silent killers that you should know about.
Cancer is a collection of more than 100 diseases characterized by abnormal cell growth, which can invade healthy tissue and spread to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, cancer symptoms are never that obvious and are usually mistaken for other minor diseases or viral infections.
For example, one of the deadliest cancers in the world is mesothelioma. It takes decades (20-50 years) for cancer to develop. Unfortunately, it is too late when the latency period is over and the symptoms become obvious. Unfortunately, the prognosis of this disease is 4-18 months, and there is no known treatment for this cancer.
People diagnosed with mesothelioma are left with no choice but to seek financial compensation through the legal framework for the exposure they were unaware of. If you are in Illinois, you can reach out to an Illinois mesothelioma lawyer to help you sort out your settlement case. Their experience and expertise will help you gain financial compensation for the emotional trauma and pilling medical bills that came with the diagnosis.
2. Heart Diseases
According to the CDC, heart disease is the top cause of mortality for both men and women, accounting for one in every four deaths and claiming about 600,000 lives each year in the US.Heart disease is a condition that occurs when the heart muscle and its surrounding blood vessels are damaged. It can lead to heart failure, chest pain, heart attack, and other complications. The silent killer – Arteriosclerosis is a disease that causes arteries to get stiff and narrow over time. It becomes harder for blood to flow through them and reach organs like your brain or heart, leading to serious health problems like stroke or heart attack.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that affects how your body uses glucose (sugar). Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is needed to move glucose from your blood into your cells to be used for energy. If you don’t have enough insulin or your body doesn’t use insulin well (called insulin resistance), too much glucose stays in your blood instead of going into cells where it belongs.
In the beginning, the patient may not feel the symptoms. Unfortunately, as the disease progresses, the patient will experience weight loss, excessive thirst, frequent trips to the loo, and extreme fatigue. Diabetes that slowly progresses badly affects your heart, kidneys, and weight.
According to the CDC, 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and half of these do not know that they have this disease. Another 86 million American adults have prediabetes which puts them at increased risk for developing diabetes of type 2 over time. If they do not adopt healthy habits such as regular exercise and weight loss through dieting/exercise or medication, their condition is bound to worsen.
4. Liver Infections
Infection of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B virus is known as hepatitis B (HBV). Contacting infected blood, semen, or other bodily fluids spreads the virus. Hepatitis B can infect everyone, although some people are more susceptible than others. These include people who share needles or syringes, health care personnel who come into touch with blood, staff, patients of hemodialysis facilities, etc.
Hepatitis C is another virus that causes liver damage and inflammation. The virus is spread through blood-to-blood contacts, such as sharing needles for injecting drugs, receiving a tattoo or piercing, or having medical procedures done in medical facilities that use unsterilized instruments.
Liver infections like hepatitis B and C are silent killers because they don’t have any symptoms until they cause severe damage to the liver. Once symptoms appear, they can include:
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- A yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Dark urine and pale stool
- Poor appetite
- Mild fever.
The information presented in the article is valuable for people of any age, but especially for the elderly. These silent killers are not easy to spot, and even the healthiest and most physically active are susceptible to these diseases. Therefore, it is important to stay aware of symptoms as most people do not even know the symptoms of their diseases. The best way to prevent these diseases is to be observant about your body and its conditions. If you start feeling pain or discomfort, consult a doctor right away. There may be something wrong with you that can be treated before it sours into a full-blown disease in your body. Opting for healthier life choices like a balanced diet, strict physical activity routine, and reduction of stressors in life can hugely improve your quality of life and reduce the chances of developing these diseases.