Understanding Four Main Types Of Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases are responsible for the global burden of morbidity and mortality. Non-Communicable diseases are those diseases that are not transmissible directly from one person to another. 

Research suggests that deaths from non-communicable diseases are largely preventable and this is because many of them are caused by the common risk factors – physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco consumption. There are many types but here are the four main types of non-communicable diseases:

1. Diabetes mellitus 

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease which is extremely common among people across the world. It is a disease that occurs when the blood sugar level or the level of glucose in the blood of a person becomes too high. In this condition, the body becomes incapable to produce or respond to the insulin. This leads to the abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and an increased level of glucose in the blood. Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas and helps glucose in food get into the cells and use it for energy. Diabetes is of two types type 1 and type 

Type 1 diabetes – It occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. 

Type 2 diabetes – It occurs when the body fails to use the produced insulin. 

Diabetes is associated with negative health-related quality of life. The management takes a key role in improving the quality of life of patients having diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes is associated with a large number of complications and the effects of diabetes include long term damage, dysfunction, and failure of various organs in the body. The long term effect of diabetes includes the progressive development of specific development of complications of retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. 

2. Cardiovascular disease 

Cardiovascular disease involves a group of diseases that are associated with the heart. There are many different types of cardiovascular diseases and coronary heart disease is the most common type. Normally, heart disease occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is completely or partially blocked in such a way that the heart becomes unable to get oxygen. 

The supply of blood to the heart can be blocked due to the buildup of plaque or fatty tissue on the walls of arteries. Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. When the blood cells stick over on the damaged parts, it results in the formation of a clot that leads to the blockage of the blood flow to the heart muscle. 

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There are various factors that could lead to the occurrence of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure (that can cause strain on the coronary arteries and causes the arteries to become narrowed and the buildup of fat, known as plaque), high low density lipoprotein cholesterol (cholesterol is a fat-like substance and a high amount of cholesterol could lead to a buildup of fat in the body), stress (it can cause damage to the lining of the arteries).

3. Cancer 

Cancer is a life-threatening disease which is associated with the significant impairment in the health-related quality of life of an individual. The human body consists of millions of cells which are constantly replaced with the new cells when they get old or damaged, but many times, these cells lead to an abnormal growth which causes the formation of tumour.  

There are various factors that could lead to the abnormal growth of the cells in the body such as dietary habits, environmental factors, genetics, and exposure to harmful substances. Cancer is of many types depending upon the parts of the body whose cells have been affected. Five most common types of cancer include:

  • Lung cancer – It is one of the leading causes of deaths across the world. It begins when the cells in the lungs begin to grow uncontrollably and lead to the formation of tumour. 
  • Breast cancer – It has become a common problem associated with women’s health. The breast cancer begins from the breast tissue and can be felt as a lump in the breast. 
  • Liver cancer – Sometimes it is also known as hepatic cancer and when the tumor begins to form in the cells in the liver, it is known as liver cancer. 
  • Colorectal cancer – It is another common type of cancer which begins as a growth on the inner lining of the colon which is known as polyps. 
  • Cervical cancer – It is a type of cancer which begins from the cervix. It is one of the leading causes of death of women from cancer. 

4. Chronic respiratory diseases 

Chronic respiratory diseases involve the group of diseases that includes the airways and other structures of the lungs. Although the chronic respiratory disease is believed to have preventable causes, the prevalence of this group of diseases is increasing everywhere. In fact, research suggests that millions of people across the world are dying from these diseases every year. There are many diseases that come under this group and some of them include:

  • AsthmaAsthma is a chronic disorder which affects the airways of the lungs and is characterized by inflammation which leads to the secretion of thick and sticky mucus. This causes the airways to become narrower which makes it difficult for the air to get in and out of the lungs. It is accompanied by symptoms like tightening of the chest, shortness of breath, and coughing. 
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – It is a serious but preventable disease which is characterized by the limitation of airflow and abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to gases. It includes two diseases which cause airflow limitation – chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  
  • Obstructive sleep apnea – It is a sleep disorder which is characterized by the problems with breathing and involves problems with the airflow despite an ongoing effort. The complete pause in breathing lasts for at least 10 seconds and most often, it lasts for 10 to 30 seconds. But in some cases, it may last for a minute.

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for CheapMedicineShop.com. She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.