Health and Social Care


Cardiovascular Malfunctions

Coronary Heart Disease 

The walls of the arteries become blocked with fatty deposits, and it is when they become completetly blocked it can cause a heart attack, which can permanely damage the heart muscle and if not treated straight away be fatal.

Coronary heart diseases is caused by a build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries around the heart.

Lifestyle factors such as; smoking, lack of exercise, a person with high chlolestrol etc. all increase the risk of this developing. 

  • an ECG can measure the electrical activity of the heart and can show any damage to the heart muscle or signs of coronary heart disease. 
  • medication- statins (chlorestrol-lowering) or surgery
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Respiratory Malfunctions


Symptoms and effects can include recurring episodes of breathlessness, tightness of the chest and wheezing. 

Asthma 'attacks' are eposides that require the use of an inhaler (medication) to open the airways.

The exact cause of asthma is not known, but the imflamation of the bronchi which carries air in and out of the lungs can lead to it being more sensitive. And becoming into contact with allergens- known as a trigger, can make airways become narrow and the muscles around them to tighten.

  • peakflow meters can be used to compare the breathing of someone with asthma to the norm.
  • inhalers- prevention inhalers (reduce inflammation and sensitivity of airways) whereas reliever inhalers (provide muscle relaxants for immediate relief).
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Respiratory Malfunctions


aka. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary/Airways Disease (COPD)

Symptoms and effects often include; shortness of breath, wheezing, yellow sputum, persistent cough that never seems to go away and frequent chest infections.

It is said that the airways of the lungs become inflammed and narrowed, and as the air sacs (alveoli) get permanently damaged it becomes increasingly difficult to breathe out. 

  • no cure but sooner the condition is diagnosed- less chance of severve lung damage.

The lifestyle choice of smoking is the main cause of COPD. 

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Cardiovascular Malfunctions


aka. High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is considered to be high when its 120/90mmHg or higher.

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers. The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body. Whereas the diastolic presure (lower number) is the resistnace to the blood flow in the blood vessels.

  • High blood pressure damages the blood vessels.

Age, a family history, a high salt intake etc. are all factors that can increase the risk of high blood pressure. 

Blood pressure will need to be monitored and life style changes are often advised, aswell as medication needung to be taken.

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Respiratory Malfunctions

Cystic Fibrosis

Recurring chest infections, persistent inflammation of the airways, coughing, malnutrition (jaundice).

The condition is present at birth and is due to a defect in a gene on a chromosome (faulty chromosome). The protein that is produced by this gene causes mucus-secreting cells to make a very sticky type of mucus.

Resultong in the build-up of sticky mucus in the lungs and digestive system. Over time the lungs become increasingly damaged and may eventually stop working properly.

  • Spirometry is a test that can be carried out to measure the breathing capacity of the lungs, looking at the volume of air expired and allows this condition to be monitored.
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Digestive Malfunctions

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Symptoms of IBS include; stomach pains and cramping, changes in bowel habits, bloatng and swelling of the stomach, excessive wind, sudden urge to go to the toilet and the feeling that the bowels have not fully emptied after going to the toilet.

IBS is where food moves through the digestive system either too quickly or too slowly. If food moves too quickly it causes diarrhoea and it is because not enough water is being absorbed by the intestinesIf too slowly it results in constipation because too much water is absorbed by the intestines and this results is hard feaces.

Causes. It is believed that it is linked to an increase sensitivity of the gut to certain foods. Symptoms triggered by something they have eaten or drunk.

  • high-fibre foods to avoid diarrhoea
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Digestive Malfunctions

Coeliac Disease

It is an autoimmune condition, meaning that the immune system which fights infections, mistakes part of the body for a threat and attacks it. 

  • It mistakes a substance found in gluten and attacks it, this damages the villi (lining of the small intestines) as the body produces antibodies against it. Effecting the bodys ability to absorb nutrients.

Symptoms include indigestion, stomach pain, bloating, loss of appetite- feeling tired all the time as a result of malnutrition.

Often runs in the family or is a result of a genectic mutation.


  • Avoid food which contains gluten to prevent long-term damage, vaccinations- as people with coeliac disease are more vulnerable to infections and vitamin supplements can be taken.
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Digestive Malfunctions


Gallstones can form if there are unusually high levels of cholestrol inside the gallbladder or if there is unusually high levels of waste product inside the gallbladder.

These chemical imbalances cause tiny crystals to develop in the bile, which can gradually grow into solid stones.

  • Gallstones are thought to be caused by an imbalance in the chemical make-up of bile inside the gallbladder.

Symptoms include; abdominal pain, excessive sweating, jaundice, itchy skin or loss of appetite.

Your gallbladder can be removed with surgery as it is not an essential organ, so individual can live an normal life without one.

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Musculoskeletal Malfunctions


Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, leading to fragility. Bone density scans are carried out to asses and monitor the progress of the disease.

no obvious symptoms until a minor fall causes a fracture.

Osteoporosis is due to loss of protein matrix, weakening and making the bones brittle. 

  • Bones naturally become thinner with age, particullay in women, who lose bone more rapidly as a result of the menopause. This is because the hormone oestrogen (which promotes bone formation) declines after the menopause.

Possible methods of monitoring include; bone density scans and blood tests.

Treatements include; taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, hormone replacemnet therapy (oestrogen prescribed to post-menopausal), physiotherapy and medication.

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Musculoskeletal Malfunctions

Arthritis -mediaction (steriods), physiotheraphy 


The joints become painful and stiff. There is joint tenderness and increased pain if the joint hasnt moved in a while. Also there can be a cracking noise or grating sensation of the joint. 

General wear and tear of the joints is usually repaired by the body, but for someone with oestoarthritis the cartilage can be lost. And it is the catilage that is there to reduce friction in the joints and to act as a 'shock-absorber'. Therefore over time as the cartilage deteriates it can cause the bones to rub against each other causing pain. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Throbbing and aching pain in the joints. The joints can swell and become hot and tender to touch.

The immune system mistakely attacks the cells that line the joints, and the cartilage is gradually destroyed and replaced with scar tissue that misshapens the joint.   

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Malfunctions of Control and Regulatory Systems


Face. Arms. Speech.   Other symptoms may include dizziness, confusion, problems with balance and co-ordination, sudden and severe headache.

  • Strokes happen either because a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, or they can occur when a blood vessel in the skull bursts and bleeds into and around the brain

Coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stress and bad lifestyle factors are risk factors.

Medication, Surgery to remove blood clots, physiotherapy and mobility aids to help wth recovery.

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Malfunctions of Control and Regulatory Systems

Multiple Sclerosis

MS is an autoimmune disease, whereby the immune system attacks the mylein sheath in the brain/ and or the spinal cord. This damage to the mylein sheath disrupts the messages travelling along the nerves.

It is thought that MS is caused partly by genes and partly by outside factors. eg. people who smoke are twice as likely to get MS.

The main symptoms include; fatigue, difficulty walking, numbness or tingling in different parts of the body, and muscle stiffness and spasms. Mobility problems

no cure. 

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Malfunctions of Control and Regulatory Systems

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

  • feeling very thristy, tired and urinating more often
  • unexplained weight loss, blurred vision and cuts take longer to heal.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, and insulin controls the body's glucose levels. 

Type 1 diabetes is autoimmune- the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Whereas Type 2 diabetes occurs when the bodys production of insulin is insufficient to control glucose levels.

Being overwieght or obese (risk factor for type 2) and having a relative with diabetes is also a risk factor.

People with diabetes will need to monitor their glucose levels via. frequent blood tests and insulin may be required to be injected.

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Malfunctions of Control and Regulatory Systems

Nephrotic Syndrome

This is whereby the kidneys do not work properly, causing large amounts of protein to leak into the urine, as a result of kidney disease. This leads to low protein levels in the blood which causes water to be drawn into the tissues, resulting in swelling of the body tissues.

Swelling of the body tissues, high levels of urine being passed and a freater chance of catching infections due to the loss of protein antibodies.

Main tretament is steriods, but worst case kidney transplant is needed so individual is relying on dialysis untill they can recieve one.

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Malfunctions of Control and Regulatory Systems

Liver Disease aka. Cirrhosis

  • nausea, weightloss, loss of appetite
  • vomiting blood, jaundice, swelling of lower body parts

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver caused by continous, long-term liver damage which is alcohol related. Scar tissue replaces the healthy tissue and prevents the liver working properly. -cause Alcohol misuse.

Also cirrhosis can be a result of a build-up of fat in the liver cells. -cause Obesity.

Lifestyle changes such as cutting down or stopping drinking alcohol and aimimg for a better weight can help reduce the symptoms of cirrhosis as there is no cure.

If the liver fails a transplant is the only option.

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Malfunctions of the Eye


Glaucoma is caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye when fluid is unable to drain properly. This increase in pressure damages the optic nerve.

It affects the edges of your vision (peipheral vision) first. Glaucoma can result in blurred vision or seeing rainbow-coloured circles around bright lights. 

  • daily eye drops, regular eye check-ups to monitor development, laser treatment

Age- Related Macular Degeneration

AMD has been linked to smoking, high blood pressure and being overwieght. It doesnt cause total blindness, but it can make everday activities like reading and recognising peoples faces difficult as there is gradual loss of central vision.

Sesing straight lines as wavy or crooked, objects looking smaller than normal and hallucinations.

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Malfunctions of the Eye


Diabetes, exposure to UV light in sunlight, family history are all possible causes.

  • Cataracts involve a change in the lens which result in cloudy patches forming. Causing blurred, cloudy and misty vision, in which colours may appear less clear and bright lights may appear dazzling or uncomfortable to look at. 

Regular monitoring required to check the catarcts development and stronger glasses may help. Eventually surgery may be necessary to replace the lens.


This is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the retina, as diabtes can cause abnormal blood flow reaching the retina. 

Monitor blood sugar levels closely and attend diabetic eye-screening appointmnets. Treatment may include injections of medication into the eyes or an operation.

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Malfunctions of the Ear


Gradual hearing loss- can be due to ageing or to exposure to loud noises.

Conductive hearing loss- may be due to a blockage, such as earwax or to an infection that can cause a build-up of fluid.

Sensorineural hearing loss- is caused by damage yo the the hair cells in the inner ear or damage to the auditory nerve. 

Deafness can result in having difficulting hearing other people clearly or misunderstanding what they say. It may result in them needing people to repeat things to them. 

People who suffer from deafness can find it hard to hold or keep up with a conversation.

  • Hearing aid or Cochlear implant, learning sign language or lip reading.
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