7. Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common type of muscular dystrophies (genetic diseases that worsen muscle weakness). Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic muscular disease that appears before age 6 (sometimes even earlier) and is characterized by symptoms such as extreme muscle weakness, fatigue and possible mental retardation. The muscular weakness begins in the legs and then spreads to the upper body making it difficult to walk as well as do typical day-to-day tasks with time. By age 12, most children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy are already confined to wheelchairs. Although the disease affects both sexes, boys are more susceptible. Besides, fatigue and mental retardation, Duchenne muscular dystrophy can also cause respiratory problems, associated heart problems as well as chest and back deformities.
Thalassemias is the last most common genetic disease in this list. Thalassemias is a genetic blood disease that occurs when hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying molecule) isn’t properly synthesized by red blood cells resulting in anemia. The disease causes symptoms which are similar to those that occur among patients with anemia i.e. fatigue, shortness of breath, fragile bones and bone pain. Individuals with Thalassemias also tend to have an enlarged spleen, poor appetite, dark urine and jaundice (yellowish skin/eye discoloration). Jaundice is an indication of liver dysfunction and since the liver plays a crucial role in defending the body against diseases, individuals with Thalassemias tend to get infections often.
The above information summarizes the most common genetic diseases affecting people today. Although there may be many other genetic diseases, the above diseases are the once you should be most concerned about. If your family has a history of any one or more of the above genetic diseases, it’s advisable to seek medical advice on how you can control or reduce your chances of being affected. Getting informed is the first step to conquering genetic diseases.