Common Illnesses and How to Treat Them

SNORING

Snoring is a common condition that affects everyone. It happens when the air through our nose can’t move freely, which produces brassy noise and might disturb anyone’s deep slumber.

SYMPTOMS

Associated with sleep disorder, snoring is often called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Not all snorers have this OSA, but with the snoring comes along with any of these symptoms, it may be a suggestion for a serious evaluation:

  • Noise during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Morning headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Restless sleep
  • Gasping or choking at night
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain at night
  • Snoring so loud it disrupts the sleep of others
  • Waking up choking and gasping

 

HOME REMEDIES

Change your sleeping position
Elevating the head four inches may ease breathing and encourage the tongue and jaw to move forward. Also, sleep on your side instead of your back.

Clear nasal passages
If you have a stuffy nose, rinse your sinuses with saline before bed. Using a nasal decongestant or nasal strips can also help you breathe more easily while sleeping.

Keep bedroom air moist
Dry air can irritate membranes in the nose and throat, so if swollen nasal tissues are the problem, a humidifier may help.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

See your doctor if the symptoms stated above occur. These may indicate snoring is caused by a more serious condition. If your child snores, ask your pediatrician about it. They too can have OSA.

References: Mayo Clinic, Web MD, Health Guide

 

PULMONARY DISEASE

One of the most common medical conditions in the world, pulmonary disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) might hinder one from breathing properly.

SYMPTOMS

These symptoms don’t appear until significant lung damage has befallen, and they usually worsen over time. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical activities
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning, due to excess mucus in your lungs
  • A chronic cough that may produce mucus that may be clear, white, yellow or greenish
  • Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Lack of energy
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Swelling in ankles, feet or leg

HOME REMEDIES

Avoid and stop smoking
The smoke from a cigarette exposes your lungs to an irritant that causes physical damage.

Maintaining a healthy weight
Decrease the total number of calories you eat. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut out junk food, alcohol and sweetened drinks.

Stay active
Because pulmonary disease causes shortness of breath, it can be hard for people with this condition to stay active. Increasing your fitness levels can actually help symptoms such as shortness of breath.

Breathing exercise
The two main types of breathing techniques commonly used to help people with COPD get air without struggling to breathe. They include “pursed-lip” and “diaphragmatic” breathing.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

Difficulty breathing can keep you from doing activities you enjoy. And dealing with serious illness can contribute to development of depression. Talk to your doctor if you feel sad or helpless or think that you may be experiencing depression.

References: Mayo Clinic, Web MD, Health Line

 

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

While there are many types of heart diseases, cardiovascular disease normally refers to narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain or stroke.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of heart diseases vary on what type of cardiovascular problems you have and may differ for men and women. However, any of these signs can be a telltale sign of heart problems:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling dizzy when you move quickly from a seated to standing position
  • Irregular heartbeats that feel rapid, pounding or fluttering
  • Fainting

HOME REMEDIES

Quit smoking
The best way to reduce your risk of heart disease is to stop smoking, as it is a major risk factor for heart diseases

Check your cholesterol
Especially if high cholesterol is common in the family, always keep your cholesterol in check. Ask your doctor for regular cholesterol tests.

Exercise
Physical activity helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and control increased cholesterol and high blood pressure. Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise most days of the week. However, there may be some restrictions on the activities you can do for those with heart arrhythmia or heart defect.

Eat healthy
Aim for a healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help you control your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. Avoid saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugar.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

Heart problems are easier to treat when detected early, so it is best to talk to your doctor if you think you may have heart disease based on the symptoms you’re having. Some warning signs are:

  • New chest pain or discomfort that is severe and unexpected
  • Increased heart rate (more than 150 beats per minute)
  • Sudden weakness and inability to move the arms and legs
  • Fainting

References: Mayo Clinic, Web MD, Health Line

 

DIABETES

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases where the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar) caused by an inadequate insulin production, or the inability of the body’s cells to respond properly to insulin, or both.

SYMPTOMS

More often than not, people with diabetes experience very mild to no symptoms at all. Which is why in cases like these, people affected are unaware and left undiagnosed. However, keep an eye out for the most common signs of diabetes:

  • Frequent urination
  • Weight gain
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Increased fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts or bruises that don’t heal properly or quickly

HOME REMEDIES

Bitter Melon
Due to its blood glucose lowering effects, Bitter Melon or Ampalaya is said to be helpful in controlling diabetes, helps increase pancreatic insulin secretion and prevents insulin resistance. Drink a glass of bitter melon juice on an empty stomach every morning.

Cinnamon
Powdered cinnamon stimulates insulin activity that lowers blood sugar levels. Its bioactive components can also help prevent and combat diabetes. A mixture of ½ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a cup of warm water daily has shown significant results.

Mango Leaves
The tender mango leaf is known for regulating insulin levels and also improve blood lipid profiles. Drinking a glass of mango leaves-infused water everyday on an empty stomach has shown positive effects.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, it is best to call your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment, if needed. Some early signs include:
High blood sugar level throughout the day or at the same time everyday
Drinking and urinating a lot more than usual
Deep, rapid breathing
Ketones in your urine or blood

References: Mayo Clinic, Web MD, Health Line

 

Illustrations by Havren Pancho

Carlo Rivera
Carlo Rivera

Carlo Rivera is the Managing Editor of Zee Lifestyle Directory. He loves to eat, and travel more of Cebu. Follow his adventures and morbid #1amthoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @carlotherivera

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