As the world is evolving, many are the challenges facing the human race. It is faced by a threat to its existence, one of the greatest threats is that of deadly diseases which claim lives daily; they range from bacterial invasions, immunity, genetic disorders, viral invasions and cardiac problems .Many of the diseases are epidemic and affects thousands of people.
Meningitis, which is scientifically known as meningococcal disease .It is one of the deadliest diseases that kills in less than 24 hours, if not treated earlier. It is caused by a bacterial disease known as meningococcus; that is spread through contact with respiratory droplet of infected people. The disease manifest in three forms: which are the meningeal syndrome, septic form and pneumonia. The bacteria attacks the protective membranes of the brain and spinal cord which are referred as meninges: they become infected and swell. Some of the most common symptoms of this disease are sudden onset of fever, severe headache, and a stiff neck, an aversion to light, nausea, and vomiting.
Nutrition plays an important role in managing meningitis, especially antioxidant and anti –inflammatory which help boost the immune system that is over activated by the bacteria. Essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids help reduce inflammation; this has been proved by studies that have been done. They are effective since they help reduce prostaglandin hormone, a hormone that causes inflammation. Antioxidants also help to reduce oxidative stress that is found with meningitis patients. It is caused by a nitrogen reactive species found in the bacteria causing disease. The antioxidants can be found in fruits such as citrus fruits and vegetables. Patients with meningitis should be given palliative care, which is inclusive of proper bed rest: to prevent dehydration fluid intake must be increased. Patients need follow up after they are released from the hospital.
Stroke is a cardiovascular disease. Statistics show that the disease has caused 6.2 million deaths in the year 2015 alone. This has led a huge global burden. It occurs when an artery in the brain is blocked or leaks .This event leads to the brain cells to be deprived of oxygen, whence they begin dying .A stroke leaves one in a state of sudden numbness, confusion and may also have troubles walking and seeing. The risk factors of having stroke are having high blood pressure, a family history of stroke among many others. Stroke can be managed through maintaining a healthy lifestyle that consists of regular exercise, an optimum diet that has low sodium intake. Unsaturated fats should also be included in the diet of a stroke patient as it is essential for a healthy fat; some of the sources include fish. Intake of whole grains such as oats ,whole grain bread, brown rice, brown ugali: they are essential in the diet of a person who is recovering from stroke .They create a feeling of satiety and help to maintain the weight of the individual. Fruits and vegetables should also be taken in frequently with at least 5 servings per day ,they contain the necessary minerals and vitamins needed for a healthy heart .Patients that suffer from stroke should also quit smoking and consuming alcohol as it is a predisposing risk factor that can lead to stroke.
Coronary Artery disease also known as ischemic heart disease .According to a research done by World Health Organization, the year 2012 alone close to 7.4 million died from Ischemic heart disease. This disease manifest when the coronary heart artery that supplies blood to the heart gets narrow ,normally caused by plaques that accumulate on the walls of the artery .This leads to the obstruction of blood flow to the heart muscles which weaken and are finally subjected to cardiac failure /arrest . Common risk factors include high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, smoking, hypertension and high intake of dietary fats. Symptoms that appear when one is ailing from coronary heart disease are breathlessness, chest pains that maybe associated with fainting, fast heartbeats, and episodes of sweating. Coronary heart disease can be managed nutritionally cutting down the intake of sugar and other sweeteners ,avoiding caffeinated drinks .Avoiding fat –rich desserts and fried snacks .patients should also increase intake of vitamin C ,as it maintains the elasticity and integrity of the artery walls .One should improve their method of food preparation by avoiding to fry food ,and using other methods such as boiling ,steaming ,grilling , and roasting food .
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease whose acronym is COPD,is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world .Often associated with respiratory disorders .Patients with this disease find it hard to breathe as their lungs are dysfunctional. A research done by World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 3.12 million people died from this disease in the year 2012 .The main cause and risk factor of this disease is tobacco smoking .The smoke from the cigarette affects smokers and passive smokers .A patient suffering from COPD should drink plenty of fluids and avoid caffeinated beverages. One should include high fibre foods such as whole grain foods ,bran ,cereals .Fibre helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood .Controlling sodium is essential as to much salt can lead to retention of water ,causing breathing to be difficult .One should also include increase potassium intake ,can be done through taking in foods rich in potassium such as oranges, bananas and potatoes .
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused HIV virus which attacks the immune cells of the body whence the immunity of the body is lowered. Since the start of this disease about 39 million people have died .No cure has been found yet for the disease hence prevention is necessary. Nutrition helps in managing HIV thus the person will live longer .A diet rich in vegetables, fruits helps in boosting the immune system. Intake of an optimal diet that consists of protein, carbohydrates and a little fat helps in reducing the chances of succumbing to the ailment.
Diabetes mellitus is another dangerous disease that kills if not well managed .It is a condition where the pancreatic cells are unable to produce or secrete enough insulin, which in turn affects the balance of blood glucose in t he body .High blood glucose levels can affect and damage many organs in the body leading to death. Research done in the year 2012 show that 1.5 million deaths were as a result of diabetes .Management of diabetes mellitus can be done in the following ways: diet that is combined with exercise if possible and insulin treatment. The diet should be exclusive of exclusive salt intake ,artificial sweeteners should taken in moderation .The intake of carbohydrates should be about 50-60 %of the total number of calories taken :though much emphasis has been put on the type of carbohydrate taken in, the focus should be on the quantity consumed .Protein should be taken from both animal and plant sources ,they should give about 10-15 percent of the total calorie intake .Cholesterol intake should be limited to less than 300 milligrams a day .Alcohol consumption should be restricted as it increases the chance of hyperglycemia .
Cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung cancer claimed the lives of 1.6 million people in the year 2012 alone, this according to research that has been done. The common causes of the cancers are environmental toxins ,carcinogens and smoking .Symptoms include :lung cancer –a new cough that doesn’t go away ,coughing blood ,shortness of breath ,chest pain, hoarseness: cancer of trachea –dry cough,hoarseness,breathlessness,dysphagia :cancer of bronchus –cough ,chest pain, coughing blood .Since cancer patients suffer from cachexia and anorexia that could lead to malnutrition, the care giver should aim at improving the appetite of the patient .This is achievable through :eating five or six smaller meals a day , eating the largest meal when they feel hungry ,,starting with high –protein foods while your appetite is strongest ,keep favorite high-calorie foods and beverages within easy reach. Managing vomiting and nausea in cancer patients can be done through avoid foods with strong odors, sip on beverages between meals rather than with meals, avoiding high-fat, greasy, spicy and overly sweet foods.
Tuberculosis ,is a air borne disease that affects the human lung tissues .It can be successfully treated, however due to lack of treatment facilities many people die because of this disease .A research reported by WHO shows that in the year 2012 ,900,000 people died from tuberculosis .Symptoms of TB include exhaustion ,chest pains , fever ,loss of appetite, persistent coughing for up to 2 weeks and weight loss. for the management of the disease the patient need high energy intake ,approximately 35-40 kilocalories per ideal body weight .Protein intake in the diet is essential to prevent wasting of body stores ,an intake of 1.2 -1.5 gram per kilogram body weight is necessary. A link has been found between vitamin D deficiency and tuberculosis, it has been postulated that fish liver oils and sunlight were used in treatment of tuberculosis before the discovery and the introduction of antimicrobial drugs. The patient should keep the mouths covered to prevent the spread of the disease. If the patient is receiving care from home they should be quarantined .Those living with a patient suffering from T.B should be vaccinated from the disease.
Diarrheal diseases which may seem like ordinary diseases can be fatal .It has is the cause of majority of the deaths ,which is caused by dehydration of the patients .A research done in the year 2012 showed that 1.53 million deaths were as a result of diarrhea. It is the second top cause of death in children younger than 5 years. The risk factors for diarrheal disease include living in an area with poor sanitary conditions, no access to clean water, malnourishment, and a weakened immune system. Once a person consumes infected water or food the virus, bacteria and parasites are enter the body and infect the intestines thus water cannot be absorbed. Feeding during diarrhea can be determined by the person’s age. The best method for prevention is practicing good hygiene .Practicing good hand washing techniques can help reduce the incidences of diarrheal diseases .Improved sanitation and water quality and access to medical intervention help to prevent diarrheal diseases for young children, breast feeding should not be reduced or stopped. One should also be given some extra minerals to replace the electrolytes lost; some of the minerals include iron, folic acid, vitamin A.
Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that destroys memory and interrupts normal mental functions. These include thinking, reasoning, and typical behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. About 60 -80 % of dementia are as a result of Alzheimer’s. The disease starts off by causing mild memory problems, difficulty recalling information, and slips in recollection. Over time, the disease progresses and one may not have memory of large periods of time. Risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease include: being older than 65,a family history of the disease, inheriting genes for the disease from your parents, existing mild cognitive impairment, Down syndrome, unhealthy lifestyle, previous head trauma, being shut off from a community or having poor engagement with other people for extended periods of time. Alzheimer’s disease does not have any prevention measures .One thing that may be helpful in reducing your risk of the disease is a heart-healthy diet. A diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fats from meat and dairy, and high in sources of good fats like nuts, olive oil, and lean fish may help you reduce your risk of more than just heart disease may protect one’s brain from Alzheimer’s disease. To sum up, the deadliest of the diseases can be managed and some can even be prevented. One needs to practice good nutrition that translates to having a good diet. Exercise plays an important role in management of diseases .However, more research should be done to find cure to these diseases, and this will help lift the burden on the countries.