8 Modern Diseases with Bigger Threats Today


All the simplicity brought by the advancement of technology and information provide us with endless options. However, this change is also affecting our lifestyle and diet – what with all the junk food available in abundance, or the technology allowing us to move less and less.

With this going on, we risk having to deal with rare diseases and even ones that were not even heard of a decade ago. To avoid this, look out of these symptoms:

1. Vitamin D Deficiency

With dozens and hundreds of malls scattering around, especially in big cities, Indonesians are increasingly attracted to indoor activities where exposure to sunlight is non-existent. This becomes worse with the lack of city park facility and public activities which encourage people to go out of their houses – except on Sundays, during the car-free-day events.

If you are among the people who rarely have outdoor activities, struggle with weight problem, or have dark-pigmented skin, you may be at risk of suffering vitamin D deficiency. Furthermore, vegetarians may also develop this risk, because this vitamin is only found in several types of fish – salmon, tuna, and mackerel – or cod liver oil, milk, cow’s liver and egg yolk.

Vitamin D deficiency may lead to a number of serious diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, depression, et cetera. Research has shown that vitamin D helps in preventing and treating type 1 and 2 diabetes, hypertension and multiple sclerosis. Make sure your vitamin D requirement is fulfilled, even when you are older than 60 – by enjoying the morning sunlight and consuming vitamin D-packed foods mentioned above. For vegans, there are food supplements to fulfill your daily requirement of 2000 IU of vitamin D.

2. Insomnia

Insomnia is a state where someone is finding it difficult to sleep or lacking good sleeping quality. The common symptoms are difficulty to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night and feeling exhausted when waking up and sleepiness or difficulty to concentrate during the day.

According to several sources, insomnia can be triggered by various things – from your current lifestyle and room condition to physical, psychological health, as well as medical side effects. As an example, someone may find it hard to sleep due to asthma, backbone problem or depression.

In the era of advanced technology such as today, many insomnia cases are triggered or caused by bad sleeping habit that is not seriously resolved.

If you often experienced those symptoms, do not hesitate to see a doctor. There are many devices in the market that provide a function to record one’s sleeping time and quality. This makes it easier for the doctor to analyze your problem and do physical test. Sleeping pills are indeed easy to find and will give an instant result. However, it should be taken as the last resort because such medication is not for a long-term use and could lead to addiction.

3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you frequently feel numbness, pins and needles, or soreness in your hand, do not ignore this. The common parts affected by these symptoms are thumbs, middle fingers and index fingers. The disease that has just been uncovered in the last decade occurs due to swelling in the nerves, tendons, or both. This causes pressure on median nerve in the carpal tunnel and in turn causes the syndrome.

According to some sources, several things that could increase someone’s risk of suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) include pregnancy, wrist injury or repetitive hand movement such as when someone typing for a long period of time either using ten fingers on computer keyboard or two thumbs on phone screen. Those with arthritis and diabetes also face CTS risk.

If you have similar symptoms, it is better to consult a doctor and undergo several tests. In some, such as pregnant women, CTS will recover by itself and need no treatment other than resting the hands and reducing stress on fingers and wrist. However, if the symptoms are not getting better, patients with CTS may opt for operation to avoid permanent muscle damage.

4. Hearing Loss

When in public spaces such as airport lounges, bus stations or gyms, we often see people becoming “deaf” as they are listening to music through their earphones with excessive volume.

The use of earphones, earbuds, and any similar device have raised concern about their lasting effect on users’ hearing if they spend too much time listening to the music in high volume.

With the abundance of gadgets available on the market, we will not able to dissociate ourselves from this device. We just need to make sure not to set the volume above 85 dB and to remember taking them off from time to time. To give you an idea, the noise generated by a vacuum cleaner and a crowded restaurant is around 85 dB.

5. Spot baldness (alopecia areata)

Hair loss may sound unimportant, but it does affect the overall look, especially if it happens to a woman. The exact cause of alopecia areata or spot baldness has yet to be identified. However, some suspect stress and the use of chemical substance on hair as the triggers. Other than that, some people have weak hair roots that cannot retain long hair – thus, resulting hair loss and baldness.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that is neither related to the nerves nor contagious like scabies. Usually the hair will fall suddenly in small parts of the head although the skin will still look normal.

Some solutions worth trying in treating this problem include maintaining a short hair, reducing stress by doing fun exercise – such as yoga and swimming, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding hair treatment at salon.

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