A lot of diseases in the world fall under the category of “Silent Killer.” These kinds of diseases disguise their warning signs to make it unnoticeable.
They are known due to their subtle symptoms that are usually hidden and overlooked. If too much time goes by without even treating these diseases, it may actually result to serious complications or the worst is death.
The chances are extremely high that most of people may be living with such dangerous diseases without even knowing it. As a result, it is really essential to spread awareness about these dangerous diseases.
Moreover, you have to do regular medical checkups with your personal doctor so that unexplained or unclear symptoms can be diagnosed quickly and may possibly save your life.
Here are the 10 Silent Killer diseases that you should know:
- High Blood Pressure
A person can be identified that suffers from high blood pressure or also known as hypertension when their blood pressure reading reached 140/90 mm Hg or higher than this.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, there are at least 70 million of American adults, which means one out of three adults, have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is commonly linked with stress, smoking, high consumption of salt, anxiety, too much alcohol drinking as well as leading a sedentary lifestyle. Other contributing factors include obesity, genetic factors, usage of birth control pills or even pain relievers, as well as kidney disease and adrenal disease.
Normally, high blood pressure does not present visible symptoms. In some cases, it may actually lead to headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these kinds of symptoms happen when the blood pressure reading is extremely high.
If left untreated, hypertension can actually result to heart disease or even strokes. The only way to identify it is to regularly measure your blood pressure, either on your own way at home or by the help of a doctor. If you find the numbers too high, begin taking steps in order to control it.
Blood pressure can be measured by a blood pressure monitor, which is known as sphygmomanometer. If it reads 140/90 mmHg or higher, you need to consult your doctor and make sure to take any prescribed medicine as directed in order to control it.
Diabetes is a kind of condition that needs constant attention. There are two types of it:
- Type 1 diabetes, wherein the body does not produce any insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes, which is a metabolic disorder in which your body does not have the ability to make enough insulin or cannot use it properly.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, there is an estimated 387 million of people worldwide that have diabetes and one out of two people do not even know that they have it.
This is the reason why diabetes has been considered as a silent killer. Some frequent symptoms include excessive thirst, hunger, unexpected weight loss, recurrent urination, and tiredness, slow-healing of sores or cuts and even blurry vision.
The precise cause of diabetes is not yet known. Nevertheless, there are some factors that play an essential role in developing it such as genetics, obesity, a poor diet and lack of exercise.
If ignored, diabetes can actually lead to a variety of serious difficulties which includes heart disease, kidney failure, limb amputation, as well as stroke and loss of vision.
If you have an elevated risk of developing diabetes and you have already notice any of the common symptoms of it, immediately get you blood sugar levels checked. When you are diagnosed with it, treatment may include taking insulin or other kind of medication.
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
Coronary Artery Disease or also known as CAD is a common heart disease that is caused by a plaque accumulation in the walls of your arteries. Excessive plaque accumulation has the ability to narrow the arteries over time, which could either partially or entirely block the flow of the blood all throughout the body. Over a period of time, CAD can also make the heart muscles weak that leads to heart failure.
Chief risk factors for CAD include obesity or overweight, a family history of heart diseases, a poor type of diet and even lack of physical activities.
Because CAD does not shows any sudden signs and symptoms, it can actually go without being noticed until heart attack occurs. You have to do regular checkups for appropriate diagnosis.
Consume a diet which is low in both sodium and fat, avoid smoking, do exercise on a daily basis and take some medications after consulting your doctor in order to decrease the risk of having CAD or other heart problems.
- Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver disease has been known as a kind of health condition wherein the liver has difficulty in breaking down fats, which leads to the accumulation in the liver tissue. There are two types of fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
As you can actually notice in its name, alcoholic liver disease is due to an excessive alcohol intake. The exact cause of having nonalcoholic disease is not known yet.
It commonly runs in the family. Fatty liver has been described as when more than 10% of the liver is fat and the impaired liver function has happened in someone who drinks a little or no alcohol at all.
During the early stage, it does not usually show any visible symptoms; rather the disease is harmless at this kind of stage.
After a while, the fat that has been accumulated in the liver will cause inflammation and even scarring. This will result to a lot serious form of the disease.
You may actually suffer from dull or aching pain in the top of your right abdomen, as well as fatigue, loss of appetite and even a general feeling of being in poor health of you have this disease.
You will be at a higher risk of experiencing this health issue if you had gastric bypass surgery. Other risk factor includes high cholesterol, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, underactive thyroid and even underactive pituitary gland.
If you are already suspecting that you have some issues with you liver, you better consult your doctor. A simple blood test or ultrasound has the ability to help you in diagnosing this problem at an early stage.
Osteoporosis is a kind of health problem that usually result to bone deterioration, which makes them thin and brittle. It is known as a “silent disease” that commonly has no symptoms in its primary stages.
As a result, the initial stages of osteoporosis are really hard to be detected and diagnosed. On the top of that, this disease has the ability to strike at any stage.
Most of the time, the first sign is a painful bone fracture. A few signs of osteoporosis are loss of height over time, pain in the back, a stooped posture and even bone fractures that happens even due to a minor fall.
Its risk factor includes being female, post-menopausal and being of Caucasian or Asian descendant. Other risk factor comprises family background, poor diet, and lack of exercise, smoking, certain medications and even a small-boned frame.
If you are thinking that you are at risk for osteoporosis, immediately consult your doctor about having a bone mineral density test. In order to prevent this kind of disease, you have to do regular exercise, consume healthy foods, particularly those who are loaded with calcium and Vitamin D, limit your consumption of alcohol and avoid smoking.
- Colon Cancer
Colon cancer has been known as a common silent killer of all times. It is ranked as the third most common cancer in the United States with thousands of people is being diagnosed per year.
A tumor in the rectum or colon seldom develops overnight. It usually begins as a small growth which is called as a polyp. Most of these polyps are noncancerous, but when they are left untreated or overlooked, some of them can turn to a cancerous one after some years.
Initial detection and removal of cancerous cells in the colon can actually help in treating the cancer in 90% of its cases. However, the key is to have a colorectal screening done at regular basis in order to detect the polyps and get them eliminated.
Even though colon cancer will not give you any primary warning signs and symptoms, if you see more constipation, diarrhea, blood in your stool, uncommon gas or abdominal pain, low blood count, unexplained weight loss, vomiting and fatigue, get a simple checkup done in order to address the main reason of the issue and possibly save your life.
- Non-melanoma Skin Cancer
Non-melanoma skin cancer slowly progresses in the upper layers of your skin because of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or other sources of indoor tanning just like tanning beds and sunlamps.
A family history of this kind of cancer, as well as pale skin that easily burns and a huge number of moles or freckles may actually elevate your risk. Men and people over 40 years of age are at even higher risk.
Most of the time, a red lump or a scaly patch on your skin that does not heal even after several weeks is the initial sign of non-melanoma skin cancer.
Immediately consult your doctor if you notice any skin abnormality that has not healed after a month. The specialist may perform a biopsy in order to confirm whether it is cancerous or not.
You have to avoid overexposure to UV lights, sunlamps and even tanning beds, instead, use a sunscreen, limit your exposure of sun during peak hours, and get regular checkups of your skin in order to decrease your risk of it.
Chagas disease or most commonly known as American trypanosomiasis, is a parasitic disease which affects over 10 million of people all around the world. It usually occurs when you are bitten by a bug known as the ‘kissing’ bug that brings the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.
In its early stage, there are commonly no signs or symptoms, although a huge number of parasites are already circulating in your blood.
In less than 50% of the people, the first noticeable signs are a sore, where the parasite has entered the body, eyelid swelling if the parasite has entered through the eyes, as well as fever, fatigue, body aches, headaches, swollen glands, loss of appetite, nausea and even vomiting.
When the disease becomes chronic, it leads to severe cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues that can even result to death.
There are factors that can actually elevate your risk of getting Chagas disease and it includes living in a place having these deadly bugs, just like rural areas of Central America, South America and Mexico, as well as receiving a blood transfusion from an infected person.
If you have symptoms of this type of disease, immediately consult your doctor. A simple blood test can confirm the presence of the deadly bugs and on time treatment may actually save your life.
Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver and has been known as a viral infection that affects thousands of people around the globe. There are different hepatotoxic viruses which cause different kinds of this disease, which includes hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.
Both of Hepatitis A and E are caused by consuming contaminated food or drinking contaminated water/ Hepatitis B, C and D are contracted through the transfusion of contaminated blood, sexual contact and even during childbirth.
Hepatitis can also happen due to excessive alcohol intake and an autoimmune disease.
The virus may be present in the body for couple of years without even noticing any symptoms. Nonetheless, it may show symptoms such as fatigue, muscle aches, as well as jaundice, pale stools, low grade fever, vomiting and even diarrhea. If you have any of these signs, immediately consult your doctor for a simple blood test of a liver biopsy in order to check for hepatitis.
If you are at an elevated risk of hepatitis, ask your doctor about getting a hepatitis vaccination.
- Cervical Cancer
According to the World Health Organization or WHO, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer and cause of cancer mortality in women, particularly in developing countries.
This type of cancer happens in the cells of cervix and it commonly shows no symptoms during its initial stage. If not diagnosed on time, the cancer may soon spread to the bladder, liver, intestines or even in the lungs. At its later stages, an individual may suffer from pelvic pain or vaginal bleeding.
Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus or HPV, which transmit through sexual contact. In most if its cases, the natural immune system of a woman has the ability to fight this infection. However, certain kinds of HPV may result to cervical cancer.
Women who usually smoke, have multiple sex partners, have a lot of children, overweight, uses birth control pills for a long period of time or are infected with human immunodeficiency virus of HIV are at an elevated risk of developing cervical cancer.
Usually, normal cells in the cervix takes couple of years before it turn to a cancer cell. Therefore, if you are already suffering from its mild symptoms, kindly consult your doctor about getting a Pap smear test. It is extremely effective in screening for cervical cancer.