The one lesson we learned from the traumatic year of 2020 is that our lives’ quality depends on our health. Doing even mundane everyday tasks can become a hassle if one doesn’t feel physically fit or in the right shape. Time and time again, science emphasizes that health is wealth. However, most of us don’t consider our well-being unless we notice visible signs of distress. We think investing in healthcare is a luxury rather than a necessity and only visit the doctor when we fall severely ill. Due to this negligence, by the time the condition is detected, it has already caused significant harm. And that’s why we must not take minor health issues lightly and should approach professionals for an examination. The stage of diagnosis is a critical aspect of recovery, especially in the case of illnesses that become terminal with progression. A slight delay in treatment could be the sole difference between life and death.
Chronic Health Issues
Chronic issues are those that persist for a year or more. An example of a rare but lethal chronic condition is mesothelioma. It’s a form of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells within the membranous coverings of various organs. The illness, which begins with only a few mutations within the DNA of healthy cells, progresses rapidly and disrupts everything in its path. It forms a parasitic attachment with the host’s body utilizing its vital nutrients to further its growth and development. Within a short period, the malignant mesothelioma cells make their way to critical organs of the respiratory and lymphatic systems. Eventually, cancer becomes too widespread to be contained and causes permanent damage to the host’s body, significantly reducing their chance of survival.
Signs of a Chronic Illness
The key protection is to remain aware, vigilant, and well-informed about common illnesses and associated markers. We have created a list of signs that could indicate an underlying chronic health condition. If you too struggle with these troubling symptoms consistently, schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional immediately.
A condition characterized by excessive and persistent lack of focus, energy, and lethargy that doesn’t go away no matter how much rest one takes. Participating in daily activities and performing even the simplest tasks becomes tiresome when one constantly feels tired and dull. When the human body is afflicted by an infection, virus, or disease, the immune system works harder than normal. It works harder to ward off foreign invaders, neutralize cellular health, and prevent further damage.
Since the body is at constant war with itself, all its essential nutrients, fuel, and vitalities are utilized to combat the illness. What’s left behind is little to no energy for the victim. A persistent weariness hindering your everyday life indicates an underlying chronic disease.
Unlike a normal disease, fevers associated with chronic illnesses don’t go away in a day or two. Instead, they are aggressive and keep coming back from time to time. When infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, or parasites settle and replicate within the body, they release toxins called pyrogens which impact the functioning of the hypothalamus. Hypothalamus is a critical brain region that controls involuntary functions, like blood pressure, heartbeat, breathing, and temperature. Pyrogens deceive the hypothalamus by inhibiting heat-sensing neurons and triggering the cold-sensing ones, causing an involuntary rise in body temperature. The additional heat assists the immune system by enhancing white blood cell growth, producing antibodies, and delaying the progression of the disease. Stubborn, unexplained fever is an obvious telltale sign and should not be ignored.
Another telltale sign of deteriorating health is drastic fluctuations in weight without any change in diet or activity. When certain groups of infectious agents strengthen their control of the body, they require added nutrition and energy to fuel their progression. Since the food that is supposed to be nourishing the victim’s health assists the growth of an existing disease, the body burns more calories than normal. This energy theft leaves the body depleted of energy, disturbs its metabiotic rate and the ability to absorb and break down nutrition.
Additionally, the body releases cytokines as a coping mechanism that causes loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.
Some illnesses impact the body differently, causing the individual to put on a few extra pounds rapidly. It is established that in the presence of foreign invaders, body systems behave abnormally and malfunction. These toxic elements influence mutations, genetically alter healthy cells, and trigger hormonal imbalances. Insufficient production of critical hormones massively slows down the body’s metabolism and its ability to process calories. This inability to degrade fat and utilize nourishment can ultimately lead to unwanted weight gain. So, don’t consider your weight gain a mere change in diet.
Commonly called swelling or bloating, edema is a condition caused by the malfunctioning of the body’s lymphatic system. This system monitors blood flow and regulated secretory fluid. Toxins and carcinogenic chemicals released by foreign agents invade the blood vessels, lymph nodes, and capillaries that form this system. They also block them and degrade their ability to drain fluid.
Some bacteria are also known to degrade albumin levels within the blood. Long-term protein deficiency and water retention is the leading cause of edema.
While the site and severity of pain depend largely on the region of the body afflicted, unexplained pain that worsens over time is an undeniable trait of an existing illness. When genetically altered cells further their progression, they latch onto surrounding organs. In doing so, they release toxoids that irritate the body and trigger an inflammatory response. Moreover, mutated cells form a mass that presses against nerves, tendons, and bones. This repeated compression, pressure, and unwanted force can cause chronic pain in the long run.
How to tackle a Chronic Illness
Most chronic conditions last years or even a lifetime. With no viable cure available, a patient must learn to manage the symptoms and cope with the consequences. Some strategies to better tackle chronic ailments include:
- Educate yourself. The more you understand the illness, the better equipped you’ll be to manage it. Understanding the timeline of spread, triggers, and defects will keep you prepared. You’ll know what to do if the condition becomes serious.
- While a doctor can provide guidance and support, you must take responsibility for your health and enforce the treatment plan. Be vigilant and monitor your health. Check your heart rhythms, blood levels, and weight from time to time to spot potentially harmful changes before they transition to real danger.
- Don’t just rely on one doctor. Consult physicians, and experts specialized in tackling your condition along with nurses and dieticians who can assist you in making lifestyle choices that delay the progression of your illness.
- To manage your condition, you must begin by addressing your health. Choose whole food options, start exercising, lose weight, avoid smoking, alcohol and maintain good hygiene. These small but effective changes will significantly improve your health.
- Realize that the battle of a chronic illness is a long one that impacts you mentally. You must learn to reach out and ask for help if need be, or you’ll end up losing yourself to depression.
We cannot entirely protect ourselves from the numerous health-related issues that exist in the world today. Still, we can certainly reduce our chances of contracting them by being aware. Prevention is indeed better than cure. To stay on top of your well-being, keep an eye out for telltale signs, schedule regular health check-ups, and be conscious about your lifestyle.