Progressive diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and Alzheimer’s fall under the list of terminal or incurable diseases. The following HealthHearty post elaborates more on the diseases that cannot be cured.
Did You Know?
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which is an incurable neurological disorder.
Despite medical science taking giant strides in curing various diseases, the global community continues to be plagued by ailments that have no cure. Scientific breakthroughs have helped in eradicating many ailments through vaccination, but they are yet to find a solution when the disease has reached the advanced or terminal stage. Following are the diseases that, to date, have no known cure.
Once affected with the polio virus, it can leave the person disabled for the rest of his/her life. Polio is a contagious viral infection and when it affects the central nervous system, it can cause paralysis of either one or both legs. The affected leg may become deformed and shrunken as the infection inhibits the growth of the leg/s. Children under the age of 5 are at an increased risk of getting the viral infection that may render them paralytic permanently. Although there is a polio vaccine, it only helps in preventing the infection, but when the viral illness strikes, there is no scope for recovery.
Diabetic patients suffer from abnormally high blood sugar levels. Increased urination, unreasonable thirst, increase in appetite, weight loss, and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms of diabetes. In this condition, the hormone insulin that controls blood sugar is either produced insufficiently or the body does not respond to the action of insulin. Diabetes is a life-long condition and requires strict monitoring of the diet as well as following a daily exercise routine to keep the blood sugar levels under control. However, if diabetes is not managed properly, it can cause complications, which can be fatal.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition in which the airway passages become swollen, which leads to breathing problems. Although with the right treatment, asthma can be managed effectively, it cannot be cured. Asthma symptoms alleviate and aggravate from time to time, but this inflammatory condition never goes away completely.
This is a viral infection that impairs the immune system considerably. Having unprotected sex with an HIV-infected person is one of the most common causes of HIV/AIDS. The virus is potent enough to destroy the crucial infection-fighting cells. The progression of HIV/AIDS is a slow process but when it reaches the end stage, the defense mechanism is severely compromised, causing opportunistic pathogens to thrive. As a result, people in the advanced stage of HIV/AIDS die from secondary infections.
The dreaded C that sends chills down the spine is marked by uncontrolled proliferation of cells in a specific part of the body. The malignancy may spread to different regions of the body, causing further complications. There are different types of cancer, but in each case the condition is characterized by abnormal production of cells. Although cancer can be treated with chemotherapy drugs, there is no guarantee that the patient will recover from the illness. If cancer is detected at a late stage, treatment only helps to prolong the lifespan of the patient.
The common cold virus is certainly not lethal, but currently, there is no medication that can cure the infection. Common cold that typically causes runny nose, frequent sneezing, and a sore throat, usually does not last for more than 2 weeks. Medications that are formulated only help in managing symptoms and do not kill the virus. So no matter what medicine you take, the virus runs its course of around 7 to 14 days. Similarly, the influenza A, B and C virus has no known cure, and treatment involves relieving the symptoms.
The outbreak of Ebola virus that was observed in Africa recently is said to be one of the most deadliest infections with presently no known cure. The virus that has taken the lives of more than 10,000 natives living in various parts of Africa including Nigeria, Guinea, and Liberia. The condition is characterized by high fever, headache, sore throat, joint and muscle aches. As the infections aggravates, it can cause internal bleeding, which may lead to bloody diarrhea and coughing up blood.
This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system turns against itself. So instead of defending the body against pathogens, the immune system starts damaging the healthy tissues of the body. This causes widespread chronic inflammation in different areas of the body. Some of the common symptoms associated with lupus include extreme fatigue, joint and muscle aches, and formation of rash over the face.
Arthritis that is characterized by chronic inflammation of joints is incurable. Stiffness in the joints that causes limited range of motion is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis. The arthritis symptoms fluctuate between periods of flare-ups and remissions. So even if the pain is not consistent, the condition lasts for a lifetime.
A person affected with Alzheimer’s disease suffers from a gradual loss of memory function. Apart from memory problems, the condition results in impairment of thinking and reasoning skills. Alzheimer’s is irreversible and progressive that can severely disrupt a person’s day-to-day routine.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder typically marked by progressive loss of dopamine-secreting neurons that regulate muscle movement. As a result, people affected with this condition face difficulty initiating movement. Slowness in movement and tremors is the prominent feature of Parkinson’s disease. Patients need lifelong treatment with dopaminergic drugs that help in increasing dopamine levels in the brain, which work in improving bodily movement.
Other medical conditions that are considered incurable are given below:
- Crohn’s disease
A point to note here is that although there are some medical conditions like diabetes that are incurable, but with proper treatment and healthy lifestyle changes, patients can still lead a normal life.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.