6 Invisible Illnesses That Are Very Real
Do you know how it feels to be sick but still go to work or take your kids to school? You have to hide your pain and walk on the street pretending that everything is fine. People living with invisible illnesses are facing this issue every day. They may be in pain or feel sick overall and yet, they have to act as if nothing is wrong with them.
When you’re struggling with an invisible illness, no one else knows it. Certain symptoms, such as pain, migraines, or fatigue are not visible. Your boss and colleagues can not tell that you’re sick. Sometimes, these issues can be debilitating and affect your daily life.
Surprisingly, about 90 percent of disabilities are not visible. This makes diagnosis difficult and reduces your chances of recovery. Additionally, people may not be able to understand why you can not work, focus on your projects, or complete your daily tasks. They might say that you’re lazy or unmotivated, or that it’s all in your head.
Even though there are several campaigns seeking to raise awareness, invisible illnesses are still misunderstood. This only creates unnecessary stress for sufferers and their families.
Want to find out more? Here are six invisible illnesses to be aware of:
1. Chronic Fatigue Syndromes
Do you have a friend or colleague who’s always tired and low on energy? They might be struggling with chronic fatigue. This invisible illness affects a huge number of Australians. It’s more common in women and develops in early adulthood.
Most suffers experience fatigue, extreme exhaustion, headaches, muscle pain, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating. They feel tired regardless of how much they sleep, and have a hard time staying focused. Some also report joint pain, confusion, and sensitivity to light. Other common symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and feeling sick for over 24 hours after exercise or other physical activities.
Chronic fatigue is difficult to diagnose because its syndromes are non-specific. Its exact cause remains a mystery. Most people suffering from this illness are prescribed sleeping pills and antidepressants, which can make things worse.
Approximately 20,000 people in Australia and New Zealand have lupus. This autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system produces antibodies that attack the body’s own healthy tissues. Its symptoms are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.
People diagnosed with lupus may experience tiredness, mouth or nose ulcers, chest pain, swelling, headaches, and extreme fatigue. They typically develop butterfly-shaped rashes across their nose and cheeks, lose their hair, and report sensitivity to light. Curhis condition is rently, there is no permanent cure for lupus. The only way to manage tto make lifestyle changes. Drugs can only relieve its symptoms on short-term.
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common invisible illnesses affecting women. This debilitating disease causes memory problems, muscle and joint pain, tension headaches, facial tenderness, insomnia, and severe argue. Its symptoms can affect your quality of life and make it hard to function normally. The pain can be so severe that you may not be able to move around or go to work. Treatment involves medications and lifestyle changes.
4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS affects 10 to 15 percent of the world’s population. It’s one of the most common yet overlooked diseases worldwide. Most sufferers are not unaware of their condition, or receive the wrong diagnosis.
This digestive disorder causes gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and cramps. Some people experience bouts of diarrhea immediately after eating, while others are struggling with chronic constipation. The only way to manage IBS is to limit stress and adopt a strict diet. Medications only provide temporary relief.
5. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
People suffering from POTS experience fatigue, dizziness, fainting, and rapid increases in heart rate. This condition occurs when there’s too little blood returning to your heart & brain when moving from a standing up or lying down position. Depending on its severity, you may feel light-headed, sweat excessively, and have difficulty working out.
Women are five times more likely to develop POTS than men. This disease affects people of all ages, especially those struggling with stress, trauma, or sepsis. It may also occur during pregnancy or after surgery. Those dealing with it often have fatigue as a prominent clinical feature.
Health experts believe that POTS is caused by circulatory problems or changes in blood vessels and heart function. Genetics may play a role too. Since this condition has a variety of causes, no single treatment will work for everyone.
6. Psychosomatic Illnesses
Psychosomatic disorders affect both the body and mind. They’re usually triggered by stress and anxiety, and have a variety of symptoms. For instance, some people experience digestive distress every time they’re stressed or worried. Others report back pain and headaches under stressful situations.
Researchers agree that every physical disease has a mental aspect. Your feelings and emotions influence your brain, which sends nervous impulses to various parts of the body. You may experience chest pain, high blood pressure, arrhythmia, fatigue, increased respiratory rate, or insomnia.
Psychosomatic disorders can negatively impact every system in your body. Emotional stress is the most common trigger. It can also worsen existing conditions, such as IBS or heart disease. In the long run, psychosomatic illnesses may lead to ulcers, infertility, migraines, dermatitis, and even cancer. The higher your sensitivity to stress, the worse your symptoms will be.
Invisible illnesses are an integral part of our lives. They can impact both the mental and physical health of individuals, causing disability and stress. They interfere with a person’s everyday functioning and quality of life.
If you know someone struggling with an invisible illness, be kind and understanding. Offer your help whenever possible, and stop questioning them. No one chooses to be sick. Some of these diseases can not be treated or prevented. The lack of understanding only makes things worse. Living with an invisible illness is challenging on its own.