6 Most Debilitating Diseases in the World

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Whether it’s a condition affecting us physically, mentally or otherwise, a debilitating disease is one causing life-altering consequences to those who suffer.

Debilitating diseases cause severe impairment in life, often leaving the individual unable to maintain normal daily activities on their own.

Although there are many different debilitating diseases out there, some are far worse than the next and affect many more people than others.

Take a look at 6 of the most debilitating diseases out there. These conditions affect many people across the world

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid Arthritis, or RA, is a disease affecting some 1.3 million people in the U.S. The autoimmune disease causes chronic joint inflammation, as well as inflammation of several other organs found throughout the body.

Individuals bothered by RA will quickly alert you to the fact that the condition causes severe pain throughout the body, sometimes so severe that they are unable to even get out of the bed.

The severity of symptoms vary from one person to the next. Additionally some of the conditions may disappear for  a while, but usually return later.

Common symptoms of RA include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Swollen joints
  • Tender joints
  • Morning stiffness that can last well into the day
  • Bumps underneath the tissues

These signs are just some of those experienced with RA. There is no cure for RA; it is a progressive disease, though periods of remission are commonly experienced by those diagnosed with the condition.

Treatment is available, with a variety of options available  for treating the condition.

Alzheimer ’s disease

Alzheimer ’s disease affects the way that an individual thinks and acts, as well as their memory. Individuals under the age of 50 are most likely to have early onset of Alzheimer ‘s disease.

The condition is the most common type of dementia diagnosed today. As a progressive disease, Alzheimer’s disease only worsens, as there is currently no cure.

Many treatments are available, however, and these treatments (oftentimes medications) work to slow down the progression of the disease and to ease the symptoms.

Patients with Alzheimer’s typically have a life span of 4 to 8 years after diagnosis, although with the right treatments that time frame may extend to as long as 20 years.

There are several stages of Alzheimer’s, each with its own set of symptoms that worsen over time.

Most Debilitating Diseases

Parkinson ’s disease

Parkinson ’s disease is a condition generally affecting only those over the age of 50, although some people younger than this age may also be diagnosed.

Parkinson ’s disease is one without a cure, but treatment options that prolong and improve a person’s lifestyle.

It is important that a proper diagnosis be made as quickly as possible, since those who seek treatment quickly are at the best odds of survival.

There are five stages of Parkinson’s and the sooner the disease is caught the better. The symptoms of this debilitating condition vary from one person to the next.

Oftentimes it is family, friends and close acquaintances of the individual who notice the signs of the condition.

When signs are present, they include tremors, shaking, stiff muscles, added stress, face weakness, imbalances when walking, slow movements, limited movements and  trouble swallowing.

Multiple Sclerosis

Another autoimmune disorder, MS affects roughly 2.5 million people around the world. Multiple Sclerosis affects the central nervous system and the spinal cord and the brain.

Symptoms of MS include muscle stiffness, urinary health issues, tremors, fatigue, optic neuritis, problems with bladder and bowel movements, loss of vision, slurred speech and others.

The first sign of MS is usually a condition known as Lhermitte Sign. This disease occurs when the nerves to the brain are blocked by other symptoms.

It causes the individual to experience shocks like electricity down their back and their spine.


Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder affecting around 3 million people around the world.

The condition is considered to be the most debilitating mental health disorder out there.

Those with schizophrenia are unable to maintain normalcy in their life, whether at work, home or at school.

The condition causes the individuals to experience a disturbed or unrealistic look at reality.

Schizophrenia patients have  many different symptoms that interfere with their daily life, including hallucinations, disoriented behaviors, delusions and psychosis, among others.

For some people the state of psychosis may last for periods of up to six months at a time.

Medications are available to help manage the conditions of the condition but sadly, most people who suffer with Schizophrenia never seek help for the condition.

One of the biggest reasons is the fact that those who suffer from the condition see nothing wrong with their behaviors; it is their normalcy. Medical treatments are available to help manage the condition.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, causes a change in the pathway of the lungs, making it more difficult for the affected individual to breathe.

Although a condition commonly diagnosed in people who smoke, anyone can be affected.

There is no cure for the progressive disease, which causes increased breathing difficulty with each stage of the disease. Signs and symptoms of COPD are those you’d expected with a blocked lung –trouble breathing, coughing, and other breathing conditions such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.

For many people diagnosed with COPD, fatality is the ultimate results. But, managing the condition is certainly possible, thanks to the many different medications and treatments available.

Those who manage the condition are able to live a better, longer lifestyle, even when they have COPD.

Final Thoughts

The six debilitating conditions listed above are among the worst diagnoses an individual can receive in relation to their health.

Many others share the same debilitating, life-altering qualities as these diseases, however.

It is important to visit your doctor on a regular basis to reduce risk of developing one of these conditions or for a proper diagnosis quickly.

You must also live a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce your risk of developing the debilitating conditions listed above (and others).



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