Our health can be negatively impacted through various illnesses and conditions, especially if they’re not spotted early enough, making it more difficult to manage and even prevent. Stairlift manufacturer, Acorn Stairlift bring you this guide to spotting symptoms of six common types of conditions.

Arthritis
Caused when there is a breakdown of tissue located inside the joints, Arthritis Is the result inflammation, pain and restricted movement of the area as well as the apparent weakness within the joints affected. According to UCB Canada, more than 4.6 million Canadian adults are reported to have arthritis; one in six Canadians aged 15 years and older.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis, it can however be managed through various treatment that slow the condition down.

If you’re concerned that someone you know is starting to suffer from arthritis, you should look out for signs of feeling unusually fatigue and generally feeling ill, along with stiffness in the morning that can last for a few minutes or even hours. Be aware of stiffness in one or more of the body’s smaller joints too, and mild inflammation of the joints concerned. This inflammation may also cause surrounding tendons and ligaments to become unstable or deformed, meaning that the range of motion is decreased, while pain and inflammation of the joints may be accompanied by a low-grade fever.

The Arthritis Society has information and support available for those worried about loved ones suffering with Arthritis. Click here to find information on pain management and here for how to live with condition.

Osteoporosis
This condition sees the bones weakening and develops gradually over time. Around two million Canadians are affected by osteoporosis, according to Osteoporosis Canada, and over 80 per cent of all fractures in people aged 50 and over are caused by the condition.

There are three key signs to watch out for when it comes to osteoporosis:

  1. Multiple osteoporotic fractures in the spine can cause the back to lose its normal curvature — the result being a stooped back and a loss of height, as the vertebral bones in the spin begin to weaken and collapse.
  2. Sudden or intense back pain being suffered without warning or from doing something small, such as bending over to tie a shoelace.
  3. Fractures being suffered after having what at first seemed like a minor incident, such as slipping on the pavement or even making a sudden movement.

Have you got concerns that someone close to you is suffering from osteoporosis? Be sure to check out this guide on treatment options put together by Osteoporosis Canada.

Breast Cancer
Most common form of cancer among Canadian women, compared to other non-melanoma skin cancers, according to The Canadian Cancer Society. During 2017, an estimated 26,300 women across the country were diagnosed with breast cancer. While it is most common in women, it’s not uncommon for men to be diagnosed with breast cancer, too.

Detect breast cancer at an early stage though, and treatment may be available before it is able to spread to other parts of the body. Surgery is often the first type of treatment for the disease, followed by radiotherapy, chemotherapy or, in some instances, either biological or hormone treatments.

One Of the first noticeable sign of breast cancer is a lump or section of thickened breast tissue. . It’s important to underline that many lumps around the breast will not be cancerous, but it’s wise to get any checked by a doctor if detected.

There are other symptoms associated with breast cancer. These include:

  • Pain around the breasts.
  • One or both breasts changing in their shape or size.
  • Dimpling on the skin of the breasts.
  • Discharge from either nipple (which might be streaked with blood).
  • A rash on or around the nipple.
  • The appearance of the nipple changing — perhaps becoming sunken into the breast.

A lump and swelling in one of the armpits can be another potential sign of breast cancer.

If you’re worried about breast cancer, than Check out the Canadian Cancer Society’s guide on getting screened for breast cancer for a raft of helpful advice.

Prostate Cancer
The Canadian Cancer Society has reported Prostate Cancer as being the most common cancer among men in Canada – excluding non-melanoma skin cancers. Around 21,300 men were diagnosed with the disease during 2017, the organisations also stated.

Men with prostate cancer may not be instantly treated as the doctor may suggest either ‘active surveillance’ or ‘watchful waiting’ is the cancer is spotted at an early stage and it’s not causing symptoms to appear. In some cases, the disease can be treated if spotted in the early stages via radiotherapy, or by surgically removing the prostate.

Many men are unable to detect any of signs or symptoms of the disease at an early stage because of the way it grows.

Early symptoms will often be seen if prostate cancer grows close to urethra, which is the tube in a man’s penis that he urinates through. This is because the cancerous growth may press against the urethra and change the way that someone urinates. Possible changes to be aware of include if it becomes difficult to start urinating or empty the bladder, if there’s a weak flow when urinating or if it feels that the bladder has not properly emptied after urinating. Also, look out for dribbling urine after urinating has finished, as well as the sudden urge to urinate or urinating more often — especially during the night.

It’s more likely thought, that the alterations in the way a man urinate will be associated with the non-cancerous issue of an enlarged prostate, or a different health problem altogether. No matter what though, it’s wise to see a doctor if any of the above changes are detected.

Usually however, prostate cancer will originate in a part of the prostate that is away from the urethra. Should the cancer break out of the gland or spread to other parts of the body, signs which could indicate this has happened include pain in the hips, pelvis or back, blood being evident in either semen or urine, weight loss that can’t be explained, and issues with either getting or keeping an erection.

If you’re concerned that you have prostate cancer or develop other problems with your prostate gland, then check out Prostate Cancer Canada’s guide on testing and diagnosing the disease.

Diabetes
Diabetes is caused when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. During 2015, 6.9 per cent of Canadians aged 12 years old and above — around 2.1 million people — were reported as being diagnosed with diabetes, with older members of society susceptible to developing the condition as their bodies change when they grow and age.

If you’re diagnosed early and treated, along with an effective control over diabetes than you can maintain in good health. These steps will also reduce the risk of the body developing serious complications.

Signs to look out for.

  • Weight loss
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Very thisty
  • Frequent use of the toilet
  • Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
  • Blurred vision
  • Genital Itching
  • Thrush

Symptoms associated with diabetes being displayed by someone you know? Check out Diabetes Canada’s treatments and medications guide on how to manage this condition.

Dementia
Demantia is the result of several brain disorders which affects the brains function. The conditions are often progressive but eventually severe. According to Alzheimer Society Canada, there are at least half a million people across Canada who are currently living with dementia.

Currently, there is no cure for Dementia, but the number of deaths can be reduced significantly Dementia was delayed by five years.

The impact of Dementia can differ from person to person. The common early symptoms to watch out for though include someone suffering from memory loss or having difficulty concentrating. A person may also find it difficult to carry out daily tasks that they are familiar with — getting confused when trying to sort out the correct change when shopping, for instance — and struggle to either follow a conversation or find the right word when speaking to someone. Look out for individuals being confused about the time and the place where they are too, as well as mood changes.

Alzheimers is the most common type of Dementia so watch out for symptoms of that too. Symptoms related specifically to Alzheimer’s disease include individuals becoming confused when in environments they aren’t familiar with, having problems with their memory — they may regularly forget names, faces or events which have only recently occurred, for example — and repetitively asking questions. Other common symptoms include a person encountering increasing difficulty completing tasks or getting involved in activities which require planning or organization, as well as if they become more anxious or withdrawn.

If you’re seeing signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease being displayed by someone you know, then there’s plenty of support available from Alzheimer Society Canada about what to do next.

We could have explored many more conditions throughout this guide. However, hopefully the advice provided will help to keep loved ones healthy and highlight how spotting signs and symptoms early can prove very beneficial.

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