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Understanding Non-Communicable Diseases: An Overview

non communicable disease

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a topic of notable importance in contemporary times. Medical experts are concerned with the rising numbers of them across nations. Due to its difference in attributes from infectious diseases, the escalation of NCDs has questioned the life choices of the populace. The younger generation is facing the burden of NCDs in India mostly due to genetic and lifestyle factors. 

Popularly known as chronic diseases, NCDs are caused mostly due to long-term health conditions. Persisting over an extended period, these underlying issues could become severe. Hence, The World Health Organization identifies a list of these diseases consisting of different kinds of heart disease, respiratory, cancer, and diabetesLet us dive into their types and symptoms briefly!


Diabetes as one of most common non-communicable diseases

Marked by elevated blood sugar levels, diabetes is a metabolic disorder that if persisted over time could lead to serious heart conditions, kidney issues, eyesight weakening, and neurological disorders. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2

During type 1 diabetes the body becomes incapable of producing insulin, which could happen due to insufficient physical activity. And an unhealthy diet and obesity could lead to type 2 diabetes caused due to the body’s struggle to utilize insulin effectively.

The early symptoms of  diabetes could be – 

  • Frequent urination, particularly during the night.
  • Intense thirst.
  • Unusual fatigue.
  • Unintentional weight loss.
  • Experiencing genital itching or thrush.
  • Delayed healing of cuts and wounds.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Heightened appetite

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Heart Diseases 

A picture about Heart Disease

Heart Diseases are medically termed as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and encompasses a variety of conditions affecting blood vessels and the heart. A very large proportion of the population every year is diagnosed of different types of this non-communicable diseases. There are different kinds of heart diseases as discussed below. 

a. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Although coronary artery disease is a powerful enemy, people may control their heart health if they are informed and take preventative action. A heart-healthy lifestyle, frequent check-ups, and risk factor awareness can effectively prevent coronary artery disease (CAD). 

b. Heart Arrhythmias

Even though heart arrhythmias can interfere with the heart’s harmonious functioning, people can still enjoy happy lives. Modern medical science enables people to diagnose and prevent these diseases largely. Navigating the heart’s rhythms and maintaining its harmonious operation require understanding the signals, getting medical assistance, and adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.

c. Heart Failure

Heart failure is a disorder that can be effectively controlled with medication and lifestyle modifications rather than a diagnosis. People can empower themselves to embrace heart health and lead satisfying lives in spite of this chronic illness with modern medical science.

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d. Heart Valve Disease

Despite its difficulties, heart valve disease is manageable with advances in medical research and a proactive attitude to heart health. Through comprehension of the various varieties, identification of indications, and prompt medical care, people can guarantee that the portal to their cardiovascular well-being stays accessible and functional. 

e. Pericardial Disease

Maintaining cardiovascular health requires a grasp of pericardial illness, since the pericardium is the heart’s loyal defender. People can help keep this crucial shield intact by identifying symptoms, getting help when they need it, and taking preventative action. 

f. Cardiomyopathy (Heart Muscle Disease)

Although cardiomyopathy may present difficulties, people can have happy, fulfilled lives with the help of medical technology developments and proactive heart health care. Navigating the depths of cardiomyopathy requires an understanding of the types, the ability to recognize signs, and an acceptance of lifestyle modifications. 

Most cardiovascular diseases are caused due to an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, use of tobacco and excessive consumption of alcohol.

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Non-communicable diseases: Cancer

Out of all the non communicable diseases cancer is arguably the most risky and dangerous. It is characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells and could affect different organs in proximity and important tissues. Cancer could grow due to multiple reasons ranging from genetic predisposition, exposure and intake of carcinogens, an unhealthy diet and a desk-bound lifestyle. 

Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory diseases: a picture of lungs

Breathing difficulties are caused by a variety of disorders that affect the lungs and airways. They are collectively known as chronic respiratory illnesses. These ailments include asthma, interstitial lung disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Many times, factors like exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollution, occupational dangers, and respiratory infections are blamed for the development of these diseases.

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Risk Factors of NCDs

While the specific factors influencing the risk of various non-communicable diseases may differ, common elements contribute significantly to their development:

  1. Unhealthy Diet: Diets rich in saturated fats, salt, and sugar contribute to the onset of obesity and high blood pressure. They also enhance risk factors associated with some other rare non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
  2. Physical Inactivity: Sedentary lifestyles are correlated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity.
  3. Tobacco Use: Smoking and other forms of tobacco consumption are major contributors to the development of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory conditions, and cancer.
  4. Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Cardiovascular problems and liver diseases are also largely caused by the abuse of alcohol. 
  5. Genetic Factors: An individual’s susceptibility to specific NCDs can be influenced by family history and genetic predisposition.


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