Article
EDUCATION CORNER

    Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

    Diseases that spread through physical contact with an infected person are termed as communicable diseases. Opposite to these, non-communicable diseases occur due to reasons related to our diet and lifestyle. As we live in a period where diet and lifestyle changes have become inevitable, we are forced to deal with invariable threats to our health. Females are more prone to these non-communicable diseases owing to their ever-increasing household and professional responsibilities. They are under much more pressure and take very little care of themselves and get trapped by these diseases.


    This is an alarming signal and needs serious efforts for better health of our female population.


    Here we list some major non-communicable diseases that are rising with serious threats especially in females:


    1.Cardiovascular- Heart and its blood vessel make cardiovascular system and diseases affecting any of the parts of these are termed as cardiovascular diseases


    2. Heart attack- It is one of the most common heart problems in which blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked by a blood clot.


    3.Diabetes- Diabetes is a condition in which there is a surge in the blood sugar level beyond the normal limits.



    4. Respiratory Disorder- Disorders that affect the lungs and the airways to affect human respiration are termed as respiratory diseases.


    5. Kidney Diseases- Kidney disease like kidney stones, Renal Disease, Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), Kidney Failure, Acute Renal Failure (ARF), End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), and Nephrotic Syndrome, etc. occurs mainly due to improper functioning of the kidneys. 


    6. Cancer- The human body is made up of cell and these cells grow and die in a cyclic manner. Cancer is uncontrolled growth of body cells.


    7. Mental Disorder- Mental disorders are conditions that affect the thinking, mood, and behaviour of a person. 


    1.Cardiovascular:


    Heart and its blood vessel make cardiovascular system and diseases affecting any of the parts of these are termed as cardiovascular diseases.

    Gone are the days when heart problems were considered male-dominated. Now females also suffer from heart problems. 


    2.Heart attack:


    It is one of the most common heart problems in which blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked by a blood clot. Chest pain, excessive sweating and light-headedness are the major heart attack symptoms.


    • Heart failure or congestive heart failure: It is a condition in which the heart isn’t pumping blood as efficiently as it should.
    • Arrhythmia: It is an abnormal heart rhythm that can be very slow, very fast or irregular. 
    • Valvular heart disease: There can be problems with heart valves that can affect heart functioning. 
    • Cardiomyopathy: It is a disease of cardiac muscle
    • Hypertensive heart disease: It is a disease of the heart occurred due to hypertension


    Risk factors


    • Smoking & chewing tobacco
    • Excessive alcohol consumption
    • Unhealthy diet
    • Obesity
    • Family history of cardiovascular disorders
    • Hypertension, diabetes, raised blood cholesterol
    • Physical inactivity


    Prevention


    • Cessation of smoking cigarettes & avoidance of secondhand smoking
    • Eat low fat, high fiber, low sugar diet including whole grain, fruits and vegetables
    • Do moderate exercise every day
    • Limit alcohol utilization to the recommended daily limit
    • Lower blood pressure, non HDL cholesterol and body fat if elevated


    3.Diabetes:


    Diabetes Mellitus is one of the most common debilitating diseases that make the person grow bitter towards sweets. Diabetes is a condition in which there is a surge in the blood sugar level beyond the normal limits. This could either be due to inadequate production of insulin, a hormone responsible for glucose break down or can also occur when there is a hampering in the response towards insulin. Its complications can affect other parts of the body as well, like eyes, kidney, blood vessels. females are most affected due to their demanding lifestyle and health ignorance.


    Risk factors


    • Family history
    • Disease of pancrea
    • Obesity
    • Impaired glucose tolerance, 
    • Sedentary lifestyle


    Prevention


    • Maintain normal body weight
    • Do daily physical activity
    • Eat a healthy diet, limiting sugar in food & beverages
    • Smoking cessation


    4.Respiratory Disorders:


    Disorders that affect the lungs and the airways to affect human respiration are termed as respiratory diseases. Females are affected equally by respiratory disorders and should take preventive measures and undergo regular screening.

    Major respiratory diseases include lung cancer, asthma, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis.


    Risk factors


    • Tobacco smoke
    • Second hand tobacco smoke
    • Indoor air pollutants
    • Outdoor air pollutants
    • Allergens 
    • Occupational agent


    Prevention


    • Avoidance of tobacco
    • Allergens 
    • Reduction of personal exposure to harmful particles and gases 


    5.Kidney Disease:


    Kidney disease like kidney stones, Renal Disease, Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), Kidney Failure, Acute Renal Failure (ARF), End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), and Nephrotic Syndrome, etc. occurs mainly due to improper functioning of the kidneys. Genetic problems, medicines or injuries can also damage kidneys making them unable to remove wastes from the body. 


    Risk factors


    • Diabetes
    • Highblood pressure
    • Heart disease
    • Family history of kidney disease
    • Cigarette smoking
    • Obesity, high cholesterol
    • Autoimmune disease


    Prevention


    • Decrease the fat, salt, potassium and protein in your diet. 
    • Decreasing salt and fluid intake can help control blood pressure and prevent fluid overload.
    • Restrict your carbohydrate intake, if you have diabetes
    • Do adequate exercise
    • Quite smoking


    You should get regular screenings for kidney disease if you’re at high risk.

    If you catch and treat properly kidney disease on an early stage, then you may be able to prevent it from getting worse. Females can be affected by any of these disorders and should consult a specialist if there is any cause of concern.


    6.Cancer:


    The human body is made up of cell and these cells grow and die in a cyclic manner. Cancer is uncontrolled growth of body cells. It is a generalized term and is specified by denoting the organ involved e.g. breast cancer, lung cancer etc. It affects both males and females. Females are especially at high risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.


    Risk factors


    • Tobacco smoking
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Physical inactivity
    • Obesity, high salt diet, high fat diet
    • Radiation exposure
    • Hormonal therapy


    Prevention


    • Limit alcohol
    • Don't smoke
    • Control your weight
    • Be physically active
    • Avoid exposure to environmental pollution & radiation
    • Mammogram can be done as screening for breast cancer


    Consult your specialist and know details about how you can stay protected from these cancers. Also screening and noticing any change in your body or its functions can help you in early detection and better treatment. 


    7.Mental disorders:


    Mental disorders are conditions that affect the thinking, mood, and behaviour of a person. Females have so much pressure all the time that they are more bound to be affected by mental disorders than males.

    Most common types of mental health disorders in females are depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, dementia, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Schizophrenia, Autism, and Post traumatic stress disorder. 


    Risk factors


    • Drugs like cannabis, alcohol, caffeine which promote anxiety
    • High neuroticism, emotional, instability
    • Social influences like abuse, neglect, traumatic events, employment problems, socioeconomic ineuqality, negative or overwhelming life experiences
    • Stressful life situations
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Having few friends or a few healthy relationships


    Prevention


    • Taking steps to control stress
    • Increase your resilience to boost low self-esteem 
    • Complete sleep, healthy eating, and regular physical activity are important. Try to maintain a regular schedule. 
    • Consult psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor or other mental health practitioners.


    Mental disorders can sometimes make the person suicidal, so it is highly advised to consult a psychiatrist and seek medical help if you experience any mental conditions. Mental disorders are treatable and can be very well managed by medication and counselling. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Chest congestion or chest tightness or heaviness can be due to simple reason like cold. But it can also indicate some serious condition like pneumonia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Asthma, Lung cancer, etc. If you experience some more symptoms or it becomes worse, then consult a specialist and seek his advice.


    Diabetes can increase the risk of UTI. This is due to the presence of extra sugar in the urine that causes the growth of extra bacteria leading to bladder infection and hence UTI. Also, in some diabetic people, the bladder becomes less efficient and could not empty well which causes a prolonged stay of urine in the bladder facilitating a breeding ground for bacteria.


    Endometriosis can affect fertility by not letting egg reach its destination or by damaging the sperm and eggs. Adhesions caused by endometriosis can result in the stocking of pelvic organs and decreased functioning.


    Cysts in the ovaries often go unnoticed as they either cause very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. But fortunately, it’s rare that ovarian cysts are malignant, or cancerous. Most of them are benign, or non-cancerous.

    Genetic testing is a blood test that is done to see if a person is carrying a gene change that can put you at high risk of cancer. Genetic testing for ovarian cancer can be helpful in knowing the risk of ovarian cancer.

    Research has shown that there is 30-50% less risk of ovarian cancer in a woman who takes contraceptive pills. So oral contraceptives are can reduce the risk in a woman who is at high risk of developing ovarian cancer.

    Smoking affects fertility by causing some cervical changes, by damaging developing eggs or causing fallopian tube problems and increase chances of ectopic pregnancy.

    Anything that is recurrent and disturbs your day to day life should not be ignored. So, it is advised to consult a specialist and undergo a thorough examination and diagnostic tests as advised by him to find out the real cause of the problem.

    Very small stones can be removed naturally by increasing fluid intake but if the stone size is big, it needs medication or lithotripsy to remove it from kidneys.

    Drinking alcohol increases the risk of liver diseases, peptic ulcers, and cancer. But it can also affect heart muscles causing cardiomyopathy that can affect your heart functioning.

    Breast cancer is quite manageable if detected at an early stage. Even in most cases, late-stage breast cancer can also be managed by proper treatment and follow-up. You are advised to stay positive, follow treatment and inculcate healthy eating and lifestyle habits in your routine.

    Getting irritated more easily can be due to depression or other mental illnesses. You should either try to stay calm or divert your mind in such circumstances. If it does not get controlled, please consult a psychologist and seek his advice.

    Diabetes is mainly a lifestyle disorder that can be very well managed by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle habits. You should eat a well-balanced diet and stay active throughout the day. Regular exercise or walk is also very important for a diabetic person.