Deadliest Diseases in India

Published On Apr 27, 2020 5:30 AM By Sakshi Aggarwal

When we talk about the life-threatening diseases in the world, many of us start thinking of incurable diseases as they generally grab the headlines. But, apart from them, many more diseases have found places in the list when we talk of top life-threatening diseases in India.

No doubt, the development in the healthcare industry has changed a lot, but there is still a good number of deadly diseases prevalent in India. The treatment costs of some of which are very high. 

However, keeping aside treatment costs, these diseases also affect highly on an individual’s productivity and hence impair their earning ability. This is why it becomes important to learn about the symptoms, causes and how we can prevent ourselves from catching them. 

This will help us combat the deadly diseases in an era where our lifestyles are probably not satisfactory. 

Top 10 Deadliest Diseases in India

Here are the 10 Deadliest Diseases in India.

1. Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)

Cardiovascular diseases are a range of conditions that affect your heart. They are the leading cause of deaths in India. Lifestyle risk factors, socio-economic changes, etc. are major causes of the rise of CVD. 

Symptoms of Cardiovascular Diseases 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Chest discomfort
  • Pain in the upper abdomen, neck, back, throat, jaw
  • Pain or numbness in your arms, and legs

Causes of Cardiovascular Diseases

Main risk factors of cardiovascular diseases include:

  • Tobacco intake
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet
  • Hereditary
  • High BP or Cholesterol
  • Overweight
  • Family history of CVD

Preventive Measures and Diets for CVD

There are certain things you can do to avoid the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Be physically active
  • Exercise regularly
  • Monitor your weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Keep a check of Your Cholesterol

Eat healthy food like fish, walnuts, almonds, oats, carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes, kale, broccoli.  Also increase the intake of fruits like oranges, and papaya, including other fruits that contain beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber.

2. Stroke

A stroke occurs when the artery in your brain leaks or gets blocked. The symptoms of stroke include sudden numbness and confusion. It also causes vision loss and weakness. Read below in detail the symptoms, causes and preventive measures of Stroke. 

Symptoms of Stroke

  • Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg 
  • Trouble seeing from one or both the eyes
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Trouble walking
  • Sudden confusion, difficulty in speaking or understanding

Causes of Stroke

  • People with high BP, high cholesterol
  • Diabetes are at higher risk
  • Smoking
  • Hemorrhage in the brain
  • Heart disease
  • Medications
  • Genetic disorder

Preventive Measures and Diets for Stroke

To reduce the risk of stroke, you can take the steps given below:

  • Quit smoking
  • Control blood pressure
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit alcohol

Eat low fat and high fiber food. Add plenty of green leafy vegetables, beans, tomatoes. Eat fruits, nuts and seeds, pomegranate. Also, intake milk, yoghurt, cheese and their alternatives – mostly reduced fat. Drink plenty of water. For more details about stroke, click here. 

3. Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory infections including lung abscess, acute bronchitis and pneumonia are another biggest cause of death in India. It is one of the most common infections which affect adults. 

Symptoms of respiratory infections

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath lasting for more than a week
  • Scratchy or sore throat

Causes of Respiratory Infections

Causes of respiratory infections include-

  • Excessive exposure to smoke or other toxic substances
  • Low immune functioning
  • Smoking
  • Dust
  • Air pollution
  • Inappropriate growth of lungs before birth or during childhood

Preventive Measures and Diets for Respiratory Infections

You can avoid getting infected by doing the following:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Stay active
  • Wear a surgical mask if required
  • Avoid going to polluted areas

An increase in diet protein, fruits and vegetables (red & yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, beetroot, carrot, papaya, and pomegranates provides multiple vitamins and minerals and increases overall immunity). Also intake food rich in vitamin C, like broccoli, orange, Kiwi, sweet lime, green leafy vegetables, etc. 

4. Tuberculosis (TB)

It is an infectious disease that generally affects the lungs but may affect other body parts as well. But the good news is that tuberculosis is curable and preventable. 

Symptoms of Tuberculosis

The most common symptom of Tuberculosis is lasting for more than 3 weeks. Other symptoms include - 

  • Fatigue
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss      

Causes of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis can be caused because of:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Traveling or living in certain areas 
  • Saliva droplets spreading from person to person when the infected person coughs or sneezes 
  • Friends and family of the infected person      

Preventive Measures and Diets for Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis can be prevented by following the given preventive measures: 

  • Avoid close contact with people where infected may be seen for instance hospitals
  • Screening for those who have a high risk
  • Vaccinations if you are infected so that it does not spread

Foods for tuberculosis are banana, peanut, cereal porridge, wheat and ragi, mango, orange, sweet pumpkin carrots, amla, guava, tomato, nuts and seeds, whole grain cereals, seeds, nuts, fish and chicken.

5. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a long-term lung disease that causes the patients difficulty in breathing. Not only in India, but COPD is responsible for taking the lives of many across the world. 

Symptoms of COPD

  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Lack of energy
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Swelled ankles, legs or feet
  • Shortness of breath 

Causes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  • Smoking or second-hand smoke
  • Chemical fumes and other lung irritants
  • Anyone in the family linked to COPD
  • History of respiratory infections during childhood

Preventive Measures and Diets for COPD

To avoid the risk of COPD, take the following steps:

  • Do not smoke
  • Know your family history
  • Protect yourself against dust, fumes, and chemicals at home or at work
  • Avoid air pollution

Diets for COPD include peas, bran, potatoes with skin, lentils, beans, oats, barley, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, oranges. For a higher fat diest, eat avocados,  seeds, nuts, olives and olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, cheese and fatty fish. These foods can help you intake more overall nutrition, especially in the long-term.

6. Diabetes

Diabetes affects insulin production and use. There are two types of Diabetes-Type 1 where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and Type 2 where enough insulin is nor produced or it cannot be used effectively. Diabetes is a life-threatening disease. Read along to know about its symptoms, causes, and ways to prevent-

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Irritability

Causes of Diabetes

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Not exercising regularly
  • High BP
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy food intake

Health insurance policy for diabetes.

Preventive measures and Diets for Diabetes

To prevent the risk of Diabetes, follow the preventive measures like:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
  • Maintain good nutrition
  • Quit smoking
  • Add more fiber to your diet and cut sugar

The best diet for diabetes, high-fiber, lean protein, less processed carbs, low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables, and healthy vegetable-based fats like nuts, avocado, canola oil, or olive oil. It is also advisable to manage your carbohydrate intake.

7. Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

With Alzheimer’s disease comes not only loss of memory, but also loss of life in many cases. The progressive disease destroys memory and interrupts in activities like thinking, reasoning, etc. let’s put some light on the symptoms, causes, and ways to prevent-

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s are listed below:

  • Difficulty in completing familiar tasks
  • Forgetting recently learned information
  • Misplacing things 
  • Problems with words in writing or speaking
  • Poor judgment and decision making
  • Inability to manage budget

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by the following:

  • Family history
  • Old age (more than 65 years)
  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Hereditary
  • Previous head trauma
  • Having poor communication with people for a long period

Preventive Measures and Diets for Alzheimer’s Disease

The following can be done to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Have a heart-healthy diet (include fruits and veggies in your diet)
  • Avoid fatty food (Meat, dairy products, olive oil, lean fish, etc.)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Control of cardiovascular risk factors

Healthy foods for Alzheimer’s disease include beans, berries, nuts, green and leafy vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, red meat, butter, cheese.

Read more about  Alzheimer’s disease here.

8. Malaria

Malaria is a fatal disease which is caused by Plasmodium parasite transmission by mosquitoes. It usually affects people in tropical and subtropical climates where parasites live. Read below symptoms, causes and ways to treat the disease. 

Symptoms of Malaria:

Symptoms of malaria include the following: 

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain 
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea, which can be seen within 7 days after you’ve been bitten by an insect 

Causes of Malaria

Transmission by female Anopheles mosquitoes 

Preventive measures and Diets for Malaria

You can prevent Malaria by following the steps given below:

  • Stay in well-screened areas in the night
  • Use insect repellent
  • Opt for full-sleeved clothes
  • Use bed net while sleeping to get rid of the mosquitoes

Diets for Malaria patients are foods rich in nutrients. Add foods like carrot, papaya, beetroots, fruits especially citrus fruits. Also increase the intake of orange, berries, lemon and other foods that are rich in vitamins B and C to boost immunity. You can also opt for dal and rice combinations, chapattis with sprouts/dals, dairy products, etc.

9. Diarrheal Diseases

Diarrhea is when you pass three or more loose stools in a day. It reduces the water and salt levels from your body making it weak. If it continues for days, then you may face dehydration. Let us read about its symptoms, causes, and how can we prevent ourselves from the disease-

Symptoms of Diarrheal Disease:

Signs associated with Diarrheal disease are:

  • Loose stool
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Bloating 
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain, cramps
  • Blood in the stool
  • Urgent need to have a bowel movement

Causes of Diarrheal Diseases

  • No access to clean water
  • Living in an area with poor sanitation facilities
  • Malnourishment
  • Weak immune system 
  • Preventive Measures and Diets for Diarrheal Diseases

Diarrhea can be prevented by following the steps given below:

  • Quit alcohol
  • Wash hands regularly
  • Follow good hygiene
  • Avoid the use of Aspirin, and steroids

Also, read Importance of Health Insurance for Kidney Failure Treatment in India

Foods include hot cereals, like oatmeal, cream of wheat, or rice porridge. Also eat bananas, plain white rice, toast or bread, boiled potatoes. 

10. Malignant and Other Tumours

Malignant tumours are cancerous and develop when cells grow without any control. It can grow to other parts of the body and spread as well making it life-threatening. The person may feel a tumour while often it is detected via imaging tests like MRI. Let us read about the symptoms, causes, and ways to prevent it below-

Symptoms of Malignant and Other Tumours

In the early stages, malignant tumours usually don’t show any symptoms. The first symptom is usually a painless lump. 

Causes of Malignant and Other Tumours 

Causes of malignant and other tumors include:

  • Ionising radiation 
  • Genetics
  • Pathogen
  • Exposure to chemical or toxic compounds

Preventive Measures of Malignant and Other Tumours

Preventive measures of malignant and other tumours are-

  • Quit tobacco
  • Eat healthy food
  • Get regular immunization 
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

The symptoms and diets may vary from patient to patient. It is advisable to consult a doctor if you are having these symptoms.

Talking of deadliest diseases in India, recently coronavirus (COVID-19) was added to the list too. As per the latest reports, India's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed the annual toll from H1N1 on April 30. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses like the common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Originated in China, the virus was identified as a cause of a disease outbreak. The pandemic declared coronavirus is also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, i.e. coronavirus disease. The disease was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Following are the common symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of taste or smell

Other symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chills muscle aches
  • Chest pain
  • Pink eye

The symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe. And the list of symptoms is not all-inclusive as there are some symptoms reported too like rash, nausea, vomiting, etc. 

Causes of COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by the infection with the new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). As per the data, the virus spreads from one person to another if they are in close contact, which is generally within 6 feet or 2 meters. The virus spreads by respiratory droplets released by an infected person when he/she coughs, sneezes, breathes, talks, sings, etc. The droplets could land in the mouth of a person nearby who would then catch the virus. 
In some situations, the virus may also spread when a person inhales the droplets that stay in the air for some time (several minutes or hours), known as airborne transmission.
Also, it spreads when a person touches a surface that has the virus on it and then touches his/her mouth, nose, or eyes, without washing hands.

Prevention of COVID-19

COVID-19 can be prevented by the following:

  • Avoid close contact with the infected person
  • Keep yourself at a distance of around 6 feet from others keeping in mind that others may have the infection
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can also an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available
  • Cover your face with a mask or cloth when in public places
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Do not share dishes, towels, etc. with anyone who is sick
  • Stay home and void going outside if not necessary 

At the End

Although the life-threatening diseases that we just talked about can be prevented and treated, in case the supplies are not readily available or if the response is not quick, these may even cause deaths. Moreover, in order to lower the risk associated with any of these health conditions is to continue living a healthy lifestyle by including a balanced diet and daily exercising habit. Also, by saying no to drinking and smoking can prove to be extremely helpful. For any kind of viral or bacterial infection, maintaining hygiene and properly washing hands can help in reducing or preventing the risk associated with health altogether.

As the risk is high, we should not compromise on the precautionary measures as well, of which buying critical illness coverage is one. Having a comprehensive health insurance plan assures you good quality treatment in time of emergency. 

Talk to the customer care executives at InsuranceDekho today on the toll-free number 7551196989 and make yourselves prepared for the worst.

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