Diseases Related to the Human Body Systems
The human body has several systems that function together to help everyday activities happen. Sometimes these individual systems can become impaired by an outside source causing the creation of a disease within the system. The four systems and their related diseases that will be discussed are: the nervous system- Parkinson’s disease and Cerebral Palsy, the circulatory system- Atherosclerosis and Arrhythmia, the respiratory system- Cystic Fibrosis and Pneumonia, and the excretory system- Bright disease and Uremia. All of these diseases have their own signs, symptoms, treatments, and prognosis; which will be discussed in further detail one system and disease at a time.
The Nervous System
The nervous system is an essential part of the body that helps humans not only thing but act as well. The system is made up of a collection of nerves and neurons to send signals to different parts of the body. The nervous system is made up of two different systems: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the central nervous system. Clusters of neurons (ganglia), sensory neurons, and nerves that connect to the central systems and to other nerves are all included in the peripheral nervous system. When relating to function the system shave two subdivisions: somatic and automatic. These are also known as voluntary and involuntary. Automatic relates to things that are done without thought, such as the beating of the heart and blood flow. Somatic relates to things that are controlled, such as movement, which is why this subdivision has the connection of the brain and spinal cord to muscles and sensory receptors.
Neurodegenerative disorders are diseases that cause the loss of brain cells and celling within the spinal cord. Over time, the loss of these cells causes dysfunction and disability. An example of this disorder is Parkinson’s disease. This disease affects an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. This area is part of the basal ganglia, which is where dopamine cells are produced. Parkinson’s disease affects the dopamine producing neurons in this specific area of the brain. The cause of this disease is unknown but thought to be associated with the exposure to chemicals.
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There are several signs of the development of Parkinson’s disease but not all are present or noticeable. Listed below are a few of the common symptoms that are looked for when diagnosing Parkinson’s disease: 1) Micrographia is small and cramped handwriting. A change in letter sizes and crowded words is a sign Parkinson’s disease when the change is unrelated to aging. If there is a stiffness in the hand or fingers and poor vision, then the change is likely due to getting older. 2) The loss of smell is associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease. A trouble in smelling bananas, dill pickles, or licorices is what doctors look out for when diagnosing for this disease. 3) Constipation, difficulty passing bowel movements without staining, is an early sign of Parkinson’s disease. If there is a constant intake of fiber and no pain medications in the diet, then there should be no constant constipation.
Parkinson’s is known to be a very diverse disease causing the symptoms to vary from person to person. Generally, symptoms are developed slowly over the span of years. Common symptoms are tremor, bradykinesia, limb rigidity, and gait and balance problems. Tremor is the involuntary shaking of the hands, arms, legs, and other parts of the body. There are two types of tremor: pill-rolling and resting tremor. Pill-rolling is described as the motion of rolling a small round object between two fingers. Resting tremor is more of a sensation than actual movement. It is reported as felling the shaking movement inside the body, common places are the chest and legs. Bradykinesia is the slowing of movement. This can range from walking to writing. Limb rigidity refers to the stiffening of the arms and legs. It differs from the results of aging and arthritis. It is best described as the tightening of the limbs. Gait is the way someone walks. Someone who has developed Parkinson’s disease can have difficulty walking or difficulty continuing to walk when in the middle of doing so.
Parkinson’s has an unknown cause. There is no cure but there are various treatment pathways, some of which are medications and surgery. There is ongoing research to find biomarkers that will lead to an earlier diagnosis and a treatment plan that will be more effective from patient to patient to slow down the disease. The current course of treatments improves or lessen the symptoms being experiences but fail to slow the process or growing of the disease itself. Parkinson’s is not considered to be a fatal one but can have serious complications. Complications of Parkinson’s disease is the 14th cause of death in the United States of America.
A developmental disorder called Cerebral palsy, also known as CP, is the leading cause of disabilities in young children. This disorder is a result of brain injury that can be acquired during birth or fetal development. This can be a hard disease to diagnose due to it affecting the coordination and independent movement of the child. The injury is not always diagnosed quickly due to the time it takes to notice the symptoms, even more so when the symptoms are mild. When relating to children, parents notice something is wrong when babies do not meet developmental milestones, such as: rolling over, crawling, walking
Some children are diagnosed as late as toddlers. When there is damage to the motor cortex of the brain, cerebral palsy is developed. The motor cortex is the part of the brain that has muscle control and coordination of the body.
Symptoms can vary from person to person based on the severity of the patient. Some of them take longer to develop. Some are seen as early as five months and other won’t be noticed until later during the toddler ages. The commonalities of them all are the struggle with fine motor skills and walking. If there are other conditions within a patient the complexity of the disease can increase. Some of the coexisting conditions are epilepsy, vison problems, and cognitive disability. This isn’t a disease with a well-defined list of symptoms. This leads to many unknown things and a difficult condition to understand.
Due to this disease being such a complicated and difficult one to understand not much to do to help. There is no cure for this disease, but there are treatment plans to help improve the quality of life for those who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Treatment plans can help prevent worsening conditions and secondary symptoms to develop. The overall idea is to provide the best possible life for a child that has been diagnosed.
The Circulatory System
The circulatory system in a network that uses several components in the body and controls several others. These organs and vessels involved are responsible for the flow of substances throughout the body. There substances include blood, nutrients, hormones, oxygen, and other gases. These substances are transported from cell to cell throughout the body to fit the individual needs of them separately. There is a process called homeostasis which enables the body to fight against disease or maintain the proper temperature and pH within the internal environment.
A substance, that can be sticky, made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other things found in the blood stream is called plaque. When this plaque builds up inside the arteries it is a disease called Atherosclerosis. With this disease, the plaque hardens over time and causes the arteries to become narrower. This causes a limited amount of oxygen-rich blood to be distributed throughout the body. This disease should not be taken lightly as it can lead to other serious disease, such as coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, and peripheral arterial disease. Coronary artery disease can cause a heart attack due to the blocking of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Carotid artery disease can cause a stroke due to the blocking of blood flow to the brain. Peripheral arterial disease can cause numbness, pain, and infection in the limbs due to the blocking of the arteries that supply blood to these body parts. Symptoms for atherosclerosis are not usually seen or noticed until the arteries are very narrow or completely blocked. In most cases, patients don’t know they have the disease until a medical emergency has happened.
Test such as physical exams, diagnostic test, and imaging are required to be done in order to be diagnosed with the disease. There isn’t a cure necessarily, but there are ways to help manage the disease. These can go from simple changes to heavy ones. The heavy one would be getting an angioplasty, which is done to open the arties. This can also be done on the coronary and carotid arteries. The simple changes are the ones that relate to life style changes. Things that can help are healthy eating, regular exercise, not smoking, and managing the stress level of the patient.
Arrhythmia is also known as an irregular heartbeat. It affects the rate in the rhythm of your heartbeat. This can vary from the heart rate being too fast or too slow causing an irregular heart pattern. Tachycardia is the name used when the heart is beating at a rate considered faster than what is known to be normal. Bradycardia is what it is called when the heart is seen to be beating at a rate slower than what is considered to be normal. An irregular and faster hear beat is the mast common arrhythmia and it is called atrial fibrillation. There are several factors that can cause a change in the heart’s rhythm. These things can be having a heart attack, excessive smoking, congenital heart defects and even stress. Sometimes even medications and other substances can cause arrhythmias.
Symptoms can be seen through the use of test that a doctor can perform on a patient. The more obvious one is the speed of the heartbeat, ranging from fast and slow. In some cases, the heart can skip a beat causes the blood flow to the lungs and body to be thrown off and lessened. Being lightheaded or dizzy and be an effect from the lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Chest pain is a direct result from an irregular heart. Shortness of breath can be causes by the lack of blood and oxygen going to the lungs. The last common system is sweating to cool the body due to the lack of oxygen throughout the body, causing it hard to breath and a rise in body temperature.
A series of test must be run in order to diagnose arrhythmia. There are treatments to help maintain a normal heart rhythm. Sometimes heart medication can help and in other cases an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, also known as an ICD or a pacemaker. This just regulates the heartbeat by sending a signal to tell it to beat on command. In extreme cases surgery may be necessary.
The Respiratory System
The respiratory system is responsible for the gas exchanging of taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide out of the body. The primary organs are the lungs, which does the exchange of gasses as breathing takes place. The lungs and red blood cells work together by getting oxygen where it is needed in the body and carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be exhaled. Oxygen is one of the primary resources the human body needs to survive.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that leads to constant lung infections and causes restricted breathing overtime. The trouble is from the buildup of thick and sticky mucus. This is from the dysfunctionality of the CFTR protein. When the protein messes up in the body it can’t move chloride within salt to the surface of the cell. Chloride is supposed to attract water, but without it at the cell surface it causes mucus to form on various organs. When the lungs have mucus, it can clog the pores and create a way for germs to get stuck on the lung. Sometimes bacteria can get stuck to the lungs and cause inflammation. Infection, and even respiratory failure. Due to how easy it is for germs to get stuck; it is important for patients with cystic fibrosis to avoid contamination as much as possible. The mucus can all so buildup on the pancreas, preventing digestive enzymes to be released, and on the liver, which can cause liver disease by blocking the bile duct.
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Symptoms in patients with cystic fibrosis can vary but the many that are seen are as followed: salty skin, heavy cough (sometimes with phlegm), consistently having lung infections (such as pneumonia), shortness of breath, malnutrition, frequent bowel movements. There are several ways to test for this disease. Some of which are a newborn screening, a sweat test, and a genetic test since it is a genetic disease that is passes down from parents. Just like the symptoms, the treatments vary from patient to patient. Usually, people with CF do through more than one treatment at a time. Some of the include clearing the airway to loosen mucus, enzyme supplements to promote absorption of vital nutrients, and medications that are inhales that thin the mucus and open airways. Cystic fibrosis is a non-curable disease but has a lot of research being done to help further the knowledge to better treatment plants. Due to the varying disease, it is possible for a CF patient to have an almost normal and happy life.
Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs that cause inflammation in the alveoli (the lungs’ air sacs). Alveoli can fill with fluids or pus, which may cause several symptoms such as a cough, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. The cough can have mucus that varies from green to bloody. There may even be sharp chest main that progressively gets worse as the patient breaths. There are multiple facts that are considered on how the body will react to having pneumonia. Some of the things are age, health, and the organism causing the infection.
The symptoms of pneumonia often resemble those of the flu and a strong cold. It is because of this that it can be hard to diagnose at times. In order to diagnose the disease a medical history will be charted, a physical exam will be performed, and multiple test will be run. Some of the test are blood test, chest x-rat, and sputum test (sample of mucus). When looking at treatments, the main goal is to cure the infection and prevent further complication. When a bacterium is causing the infection and antibiotic is given. If it is viral pneumonia an antiviral medication is used to treat it.
The Excretory System
The primary responsibility of the excretory system is to expel the waste within the body. The waste is seen to be unnecessary materials from the body and its organisms. The organs that are involved in this process are the lungs, kidneys, lives, and sweat glands. The excretory system also works with the digestive system to discharge the waste from the body.
Bright disease is now known as glomerulonephritis. This is the inflammation of the glomeruli. The glomeruli are in the kidneys and are the foundations of small blood vessels. The vessels help filter the blood and remove unnecessary fluids. If the glomeruli are damages, it can cause the kidneys to stop working properly and eventually lead to kidney failure. There are two types of glomerulonephritis: acute and chronic. The symptoms of acute are blood in the urine, urinating less often, high blood pressure, fluid in the lungs, and swelling in the face. For chronic the symptoms are blood or protein in the urine, high blood pressure, swelling in the ankles, constant nosebleeds, and pain in the abdomen.
To diagnose bright disease a urinalysis test must be done first. The blood and protein within in the urine are key markers for having the disease. These tests look for osmolarity, red blood cells, concentration of urine, and total protein. Blood test can also be done and may show anemia (low red blood cells count), high creatinine levels, abnormal albumin levels and blood urea nitrogen. The main treatment that is seen is the control of the blood pressure. This is a main cause which is why it is necessary to control. If the disease is advances and is leading to kidney failure, then dialysis will need to be performed. Dialysis is the use of a machine to filter the blood but is not a permanent fix. A kidney transplant will be needed.
Uremia can be life threatening if left untreated. It happens when the kidneys are damaged. Usually the damage done to the kidneys at this point cannot be reversed. This disease means that the kidneys can’t filters the waste any longer. Instead of sending toxins and waste out through urine, the kidneys send it to the bloodstream. The toxins are better known as creatinine and urea. Uremia is the last stage for chronic kidney disease and a symptom of renal failure. Uremia can come with other symptoms such as fatigue, leg cramps, head pain, nausea, and difficulty concentrating.
One of the only treatments at this point in kidney damage is dialysis. Dialysis is the use of a machine to filter the blood to remove waste products, toxins, and unnecessary substances from the bloodstream. Once the patient reaches end stage renal failure a kidney transplant is necessary. This is when a healthy kidney is placed in place of the failing one in the patient. In order to ensure the body takes the kidney the patient will be placed on antirejection medicine to prevent the body from rejecting the new organ.
There are several systems that relate to each other but with the invasion of a virus or bacteria, it can cause the body to perform functions that are less than ideal. No matter how small the disease is to the body, it affects multiple organs and organ systems. For example, Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disease, but it can also affect the skeletal system by causing involuntary movement. Uremia is involved in the excretory system and affects the circulatory system by infecting the bloodstream. Even through a disease is more targeted to one system, it plays a role throughout the whole body.
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- “About Cystic Fibrosis.” CF Foundation, www.cff.org/What-is-CF/About-Cystic-Fibrosis/.
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- “Uremia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/health/uremia.
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