Today is World AIDS Day, awareness is power and is the first step in putting a stop to dreadful pandemics spread worldwide. Infectious diseases, especially ones that spread carelessly from person to person, are dangerous and can change your life for the worse. Don’t live your life in terror–instead, head over to your doctor’s office and get the recommended physicals regularly. In honor of today, check out these five diseases that you could have without knowing. These diseases have proven hard to diagnose and are even sometimes symptomless or go dormant for long periods of time. Can you confidently say you’re disease free?
You’re not alone; celebs are battling diseases too:
1. Heart Disease is more commonly undetected in women than men for fundamentally different reasons. Instead of obvious blockages in major arteries, women tend to acquire plaque that spreads more evenly in arteries or in smaller blood vessels making it hard for doctors to properly detect. Blockages, such as these, can cause severe or even debilitating pain and fatigue that can cause heart attacks if not properly addressed. Toni Braxton is one starlet who not only suffers from heart disease, but has also made it her goal to spread the word among women!
2. HPV or Human Papillomavirus is a commonly undetected STI that proves how important it is to practice safe sex. HPV tends to be symptomless and carriers are often simply unaware that they have it. This is dangerous because HPV is closely linked with cancers like cervical cancer. Farrah Fawcett recently died of anal cancer, a cancer that is caused by HPV in 90 percent of cases.
3. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is one of the most widely suffered and least detected illnesses across the country today. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, weight gain, swelling of the face and eyelids, thick tongue, unusual feelings of coldness while others are comfortable, abnormally dry skin, slow speech, brittle nails, and frequent headaches. Oprah Winfrey unfortunately struggles with hypothyroidism.
4. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that ranges from very mild to extremely serious and is rare, but is most commonly found in women. Symptoms include a butterfly-shaped rash over the cheeks, fatigue or malaise, and unexplained fevers. However, it requires multiple diagnostic tests in order to be distinguished from disorders like fibromyalgia, diabetes, and depression among others. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, is the most famous lupus sufferer. He was diagnosed with the disease shortly after “Thriller” was released in 1984.
5. Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection caused by ticks, is hard to diagnose because of its vague symptoms that sometimes include a rash, fatigue, aches, or malaise. It can easily be treated with various antibiotics when found. Parker Posey was diagnosed with Lyme Disease while preparing for the Off-Broadway play This.