Degenerative Diseases: Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Degenerative diseases are some of the most debilitating and painful parts of life. Many of these are terrible afflictions that affect millions of people around the world.

What are Degenerative Diseases?

Basically, degenerative disease is characterized by a gradual worsening of a condition, including increased tissue damage, organ malfunction, and generally poor health.

Some of the most common degenerative diseases are cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, atherosclerosis, diabetes, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Without proper medical care or coverage, they can severely impact the quality of life of those affected, and many of these diseases are inevitably fatal.



The actual cause of degenerative diseases is largely unknown. They can be caused by normal wear and tear on the body, lifestyle habits, exercise, or eating problems that exacerbate an underlying condition. Today, due to advances in science, medical scientists have identified a striking similarity between the different diseases – the presence of abnormal proteins. However, the role of these proteins in cell damage is still a mystery.


The symptoms of degenerative diseases vary according to the specific disease, though some symptoms may be common in different diseases. All degenerative diseases may not always display any symptoms during the early stages. Let’s look at the common symptoms of some diseases.

Muscular Dystrophy

Those suffering from muscular dystrophy experience the following symptoms:

  • Muscle loss
  • Muscle weakness

Alzheimer’s Disease

The signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s are:

  • Memory loss
  • Challenges in problem-solving and decision-making
  • Difficulty doing everyday tasks
  • Confusion with place or time
  • Inability to understand images
  • Problems in speaking and in writing
  • Misplacing things
  • Withdrawing from social life
  • Mood and behavioral changes

Parkinson’s Disease

The most common signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  • Tremors
  • Rigid muscles
  • Slow movements and delayed reaction time
  • Writing and speech challenges
  • Impaired balance and posture


The most common symptoms of cancer are:

Multiple Sclerosis

The most common signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis are:

  • Poor vision
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Pains and spasms
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Lack of balance or dizziness
  • Bladder issues
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Cognitive failure


The most common signs and symptoms of osteoporosis are:

  • Constant backache
  • Height loss
  • Fractures in hip, spine or wrist

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease with the following symptom:

  • Inflammation of joints, bones, and other connecting points in the body


The most common signs of atherosclerosis are:

  • Chest pain or angina
  • Pain in your leg, arm, or anywhere with a blocked artery
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constant fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Muscle weakness


The most common signs and symptoms of diabetes are: Protection Status
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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