What are the different types of systemic disease?

A systemic disease is a disease that affects several parts of the body or the entire system. Treatment for systemic disease is considered long-term and generally focuses on managing symptoms and preventing secondary conditions and complications. Systemic diseases can affect people of any age, background, or ethnic background. Complications can occur if systemic diseases are not treated, therefore open dialogue with a healthcare professional, adherence to treatment and regular check-ups are essential.

Hypertension and diabetes are common systemic diseases that affect millions of people around the world. Both conditions can be controlled with the help of medication, diet and lifestyle changes, including exercise and weight loss. Compliance with a prescribed treatment regimen is essential to alleviate the risk of complications such as stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney problems.

Atherosclerosis is another form of systemic disease that is closely related to cases of hypertension and diabetes. When fatty material, or plaque, builds up in the arteries it hardens over time blocking blood flow. The pieces of plaque can break off and travel through the bloodstream to the heart or brain causing a heart attack or stroke. Medications and dietary changes are necessary to prevent further plaque buildup, and in some cases, surgery is required to remove extensive plaque buildup.

Oral manifestations of systemic diseases include those that affect the gastrointestinal tract, blood, and skin. Gastrointestinal tract problems that are considered systemic include Chron's disease. Anemias, or blood diseases, are characterized by persistent fatigue, pale or gray pallor, and a depressed resistance to infection. Skin conditions like psoriasis are associated with inflammation and skin lesions. Such chronic conditions require not only long-term medical treatment, but also lifestyle changes and preventive measures to decrease the risk of developing secondary conditions.

Autoimmune disease, another type of systemic disorder, is caused by the body's immune system mistaking healthy elements for damaged or diseased elements. The confusing signals result in the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy substances that cause inflammation and pain. Although there are no cures associated with systemic autoimmune diseases, symptom management is possible with the appropriate treatment regimen.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term, chronic disorder that causes the body's immune system to attack the joints and connective tissues. Symptoms of the disease include limited range of motion, swollen glands, and widespread pain. The diagnosis is confirmed by a series of tests including a complete blood count (CBC), X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the affected area. Rheumatoid arthritis requires a lifelong treatment plan that includes a combination of exercise, medication, physical therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery to correct joint damage.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic inflammatory disease that affects the joints, skin, and potentially numerous organs. Commonly found among African-Americans, general symptoms of this disease include muscle aches, joint swelling and pain, and sensitivity to sunlight. The severity and type of symptoms experienced vary with each case.

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