While most common illnesses fit neatly into a specific category, others are trickier to categorize. Even so, many of these ailments represent some of the most common medical problems in the United States. Topping the list is the common cold.
Complex by nature, colds can be caused by over 200 different viruses. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rhinovirus is the most common type of virus that triggers colds. For those who have already been exposed, colds are associated with a runny nose, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, headaches/body aches, and watery eyes. For some, these symptoms can last up to two weeks. While some illnesses may improve with antibiotics, colds that are viral in nature do not. As such, the virus must run its course. In the interim, people can take over-the-counter medications to help manage the symptoms. Another prevalent medical condition in the U.S. is anemia. The condition, which the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says affects over three million Americans, occurs when a person’s red blood cell count in lower than normal. Anemia can also be caused by a person’s red blood cells not having enough hemoglobin. This protein is crucial in carrying oxygen throughout the body. For some, anemia is a short-term problem. For others, it’s a chronic condition that can cause serious damage. The most extreme cases can be fatal. Diarrhea is another very common medical condition that can be brought on by a variety of factors. In most cases, a stomach virus is to blame. However, ingesting contaminated food or drinks can also trigger it. Either way, a serious complication of diarrhea involves dehydration. This is why experts recommend drinking plenty of fluids during this time. In the majority of cases, diarrhea clears up on its own. But medical professionals recommend seeking medical attention in some cases to rule out an underlying condition. A decrease in urine, dizziness, dry mouth, and sunken eyes are all red flags.