‘Poor’ People’s Illnesses Come Back With a Vengeance

GreenfaolStarred Page By Greenfaol, 17th Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Diseases & Infections

In the Western world, TB, Rickets, Scurvy, Typhoid are all making a comeback. Thought to have been eradicated in the West, these diseases are on the rise again with the increase in poverty. Read on to find out why, and what we can do to protect ourselves.

Rickets

Called Osteomalacia in adults, Rickets was always classed as a disease of the poor, this illness is back on the increase. It is caused by lack of Vitamin D and was so common among the poor a century ago, as many people saw too little sunlight (city work-houses) and had such poor diets.

The symptoms include aching joints and fatigue. This is due to weakened muscles and bones. In children, weak teeth (and often delayed 2nd set of teeth) and poor growth are another indication of rickets.

Today the growing issues is in people wearing such high Sun Protection Factor creams, and high UV filter moisturisers, forming a barrier against sunlight (the main source of Vitamin D). Most people also work indoors these days, and if not in offices, they are in their cars.

Get some sunshine to avoid this illness. Many more people are concerned with the aging effects of the sun, but in Spring and Autumn, the suns rays are far weaker and it is safer to wear a much lower SPF/UV filter cream. Get out more, eat oily fish and take Vitamin D supplements if you are concerned you are not getting enough.

Scurvy

Another poor man’s illness, Scurvy is caused by a deficiency in Vitamin C. It was rife during the second World War and pre-war Europe when fruit was harder to come by. It was a luxury of the wealthy.

Symptoms include dental issues, cracked lips and spotted legs. The latter is due to the break-down of capillaries in the body! In bad cases, the ears, nose and lips become very cracked and bleed and gums in the mouth can go spongy. This causes teeth to fall out, and bleeding.

Today poor diets, usually from eating far too much junk food and not enough fruit and vegetables is the main cause. The cost of healthy food is rising, so this is still classed as a poor-man’s illness but can hit anyone. In the UK, there has been an increase in this illness by 54%!

Ensure you eat your minimum of 5 fruit and vegetables a day and if genuinely concerned, take a supplement of Vitamin C. 5 is a minimum. Worried about costs? Frozen vegetables and fruit are just as nutritious as fresh, and tinned will also equate to a portion (as long as it’s in water, not brine/sugar/oil).

TB

Or Tuberculosis, this was believed to be a poor man’s illness as it is so contagious and poor people who tended to live in tight quarters, were more likely to catch it. This illness can be fatal, and pre-antibiotics, killed 1 in 4 patients. It was believed to be eradicated in the UK because so few cases have been seen in the last 40 years but it is on the rise again.

Symptoms include a persistent cough, lasting more than 3-4 weeks, fever, tiredness, weight-loss, night sweats, lack of appetite. TB is a disease of the lungs but affects the whole body, as seen by list of symptoms.

In 2010, more than 7,000 people were diagnosed with this illness! This rate is the highest it has been in 30 years and it is believed that misdiagnoses is the main issue. If you know of anyone you have been in contact with having TB, make sure you contact your doctor.

Typhoid

Typhoid is not found in the UK so much as people coming back from tropical locations with it.

Symptoms include constipation, fever, loss of appetite and headaches. After several days, diarrhoea can occur, with blood in many cases. This is only relevant if you have been to tropical regions without being vaccinated. It is contracted through contaminated food or water.

Today, more and more people are travelling abroad, but are not, or cannot afford to be vaccinated. If you start to suffer from any of these symptoms and have recently been abroad, without vaccination, see your doctor immediately.

Prevention – get a vaccination prior to travelling abroad.

Finally, a note on a rich-man’s illness

Gout is also on the increase. This was thought to be a rich-man’s illness, as it was thought to be caused by over-indulging in red meat and port.

Symptoms include a very painful, red, swollen and shiny big toe. Gout is actually a form of arthritis.

Today it is rapidly on the increase, especially in women ad can be the result of excessive drinking and stress, and also by purines, a compound found in red meat, alcohol and some medication.

Avoid or prevent by eating a diet low in purines, reduce your alcohol intake and avoid medicines with these compounds as well. Contact your doctor for a proper diagnoses if you feel you may have gout.

Sources: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Scurvy/Pages/Introduction.aspx
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rickets/pages/introduction.aspx
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tuberculosis/pages/introduction.aspx
http://www.thetruthabouttb.org
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/typhoid-fever/pages/introduction.aspx
http://www.goutsociety.org

Tags

Arthritis, Doctor, Gout, Health, Illness, Poor, Poverty, Rich, Rickets, Scurvy, Sunshine, Supplements, Tropical, Tuberculosis, Typhoid, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Wellbeing

Meet the author

author avatar Greenfaol
I write a variety of things, from health to cooking, to spiritual, to everyday living. Writing is a passion, and I am trying to become a professional.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
17th Jan 2011 (#)

Good article ,thanks

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author avatar Uma Shankari
17th Jan 2011 (#)

Good article.
I didn't understand about TB being misdiagnosed. Does it mean people who did not have TB were diagnosed as having it?

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author avatar Greenfaol
17th Jan 2011 (#)

Hiya, thanks Geny, Hi Uma, it's the other way around. Sorry, should have made that clearer. People were diagnosed with other things when they actually had TB. Thanks for your comment :D

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author avatar Jerry Walch
17th Jan 2011 (#)

A very well-written article Norma. Definitely earned the star.

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author avatar Barbara10Broek
17th Jan 2011 (#)

Interesting and one more reason I am glad not to work in the medical field

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author avatar Greenfaol
17th Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks for the comments guys :D

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author avatar christopheranton
18th Jan 2011 (#)

Good article. The only one I
am unlikely to get is Gout.
Keep up the good work.

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author avatar Jack Vorster
18th Jan 2011 (#)

I guess that diet given to Adam in the Garden of Eden was the right one.

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author avatar Greenfaol
18th Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks guys :D

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author avatar Emgee
19th Jan 2011 (#)

this is indeed very interesting

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author avatar Angelique Newman
19th Jan 2011 (#)

Congratulations on the star Greenfaol, it's well deserved :) Great article.

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author avatar Greenfaol
19th Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks Emgee and Angelique :D It was quite shocking to learn, especially just how fast and how many people are suffering! Cheers for your comments :D

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author avatar Retired
20th Jan 2011 (#)

Outstanding work.

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author avatar Denise O
20th Jan 2011 (#)

What a very well written and researched article. Great work green. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved.
I am fixing to go get my vitamin D right now, with Bugg.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Greenfaol
20th Jan 2011 (#)

Lol, thanks Denise and Martin :D

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author avatar CC23
28th Jan 2011 (#)

a nice article of scary vengeance. woah...

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author avatar Greenfaol
28th Jan 2011 (#)

lol, thanks :D

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
30th May 2011 (#)

Excellent article.

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author avatar Greenfaol
30th May 2011 (#)

Cheers :D

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