A chronic illness is an illness that persists for a long time or at least lasts for three months. An individual might suffer from a chronic illness for years and it often leads to death. Chronic illnesses often require constant medical attention to make them easier to manage, as there is no cure in most cases. Chronic illnesses are often regarded as a sign of old age. While it is true that people over 65 are more likely to suffer from one chronic disease or the other, anybody of any age can suffer from a chronic illness.
Chronic illnesses often cause great discomfort and pain to the individuals dealing with them. They may have to take regular medications just to feel a bit of comfort for a while. Some chronic illnesses could even lead to disability.
In today’s post, we would be looking at some common chronic illnesses in Nigeria. Also, please note that this list is in no particular order.
Arthritis is often seen as a disease that affects only old people, but this is not the case. Some common factors that could increase the risk of having arthritis include obesity, genetics, and if a person has suffered a joint injury in the past. People suffering from arthritis deal with it till death, but arthritis does not cause death. In severe cases, it could lead to disability. There are medications that one could use to manage the pain and discomfort that comes with arthritis. Arthritis is one of the common illnesses that affects older people in Nigeria.
One recent study revealed that the prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis in Nigeria is high. According to the results, number of persons with clinical asthma in Nigeria is approximately 13 million.
Asthma is a condition some people are born with. It is a condition where the airways are inflamed and narrow, and produce extra mucus. This could lead to difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. A person with asthma might experience attacks, which could be life-threatening if not quickly brought under control. The good thing is there are special inhalers one can use when they experience attacks. The attacks can occur at any time, making it important that one has their inhaler around them all the time.
Diabetes is another chronic illness that people deal with for life. In some cases, it can lead to death, but it can also be well managed. Diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin to regulate sugar levels in the blood. Some ways to manage diabetes include eating healthily and taking the time to work out, as well as taking some medications.
Cancer is a very serious disease that often leads to death. Some common types of cancer include lung cancer, cervical cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and so on. It is caused by the abnormal growth of cells in the body. The key to beating cancer is early detection, which is why it is important that one goes for regular screening as often as they can. The process of treating cancer in the early stages can be easy, and the chances of survival are high, compared to when the cancer must have progressed and spread.
5. Heart Disease
Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is the name given to a range of conditions that affect the heart. Some common examples of heart disease include coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, heart valve disease, and so on. Heart disease often leads to emergencies, which could lead to death in some cases.
In a 2020 study done to investigate the patterns of chronic illness among older patients attending a university hospital in Nigeria, they found out that heart diseases was the major chronic disease in older Nigerian adults.