10 Diseases in Outer Space

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Diseases refer to an aberrant condition that negatively affects the structure or function of an organism as a whole or in part. And that is not caused by an external injury immediately. Astronauts in space are exposed to a wide range of radiation levels that are higher and more variable than those experienced on Earth. There are three major sources of space radiation. Particles trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field, solar energetic particles from the Sun, and galactic cosmic rays. Particles trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field are the most common source of space radiation.

Bone loss

In the human body, bones are a type of connective tissue that helps to hold the different parts of the body together. Bone tissue is the substance that makes up bones. The structure of your bone tissue is very similar to that of your hair. One distinction is that bone tissue contains minerals such as calcium in addition to other elements. Minerals are responsible for the strength of your bone tissue.

In addition to the threat of severe bone loss in astronauts, one of the most significant obstacles to long-term space missions is the risk of radiation exposure. Astronauts lose an average of 1 percent to 2 percent of their bone mineral density per month while in space because of the microgravity environment. Bone loss is a relatively minor consequence of a short-distance flight.

Bone loss can be a serious hindrance during a long-duration space flight. Such as those planned for missions to Mars and beyond. While astronauts are in orbit, this loss may not pose a problem. But when they return to Earth, their weakened bones will be more brittle and at greater risk of breaking and getting bone diseases. As of right now, it is unclear whether the bone loss will eventually reach a plateau or whether it will continue indefinitely.

Muscle Atrophy

Maintaining one’s mental health while traveling through space is taxing. Working in space, on the other hand, is physically undemanding due to the lack of gravity. In light of the possibility of long-duration space missions in Earth orbit or to Mars, it is necessary to gather as much information as possible about the physiological adaptations that will take place. Muscle atrophy is a side effect of being in microgravity for an extended period of time (loss of muscle mass). In order to maintain our balance on Earth and resist the pull of gravity, we must constantly engage certain muscles.

Cardiovascular Alterations    

When the cardiovascular system is exposed to prolonged microgravity and radiation, it experiences a number of adverse effects, including massive cephalad fluid translocation and altered arterial pressure, both of which impair blood pressure regulation mechanisms and increase cardiac output. Additionally, as a result of the reduction in venous compression, the central venous pressure decreases. The stimulation of baroreceptors caused by the cephalad shift results in a reduction in plasma volume of approximately 10 percent to 15 percent, with fluid translocating from the vascular lumen to the interstitium.

Carcinogenesis Caused by Radiation

According to Durante and Cucinotta (2008), the cancer risk associated with exposure to space radiation has now been identified.

The following factors are generally considered to be the most significant impediment to interplanetary travel: large uncertainties have been linked to projected cancer risk estimates; there are currently no simple and effective countermeasures available; Furthermore, there are significant uncertainties that prevent scientists from determining the effectiveness of countermeasures. Optimizing operational parameters such as the length of space missions, crew selection based on age and gender, or applying new technologies are all examples of what we do.

Kidney Stones

Renal stones are another severe health risk and one of the serious diseases. A kidney stone can damage not only the crewmember’s health but also the mission’s success. The current study found a higher likelihood of renal stone formation in astronauts who had already generated one. Those astronauts who developed renal stones had higher urine supersaturation of stone-forming salts. Many astronauts had similar alterations in urine supersaturation after landing, indicating an increased risk of stone development.

Cataracts

In a collaborative effort, researchers from the National Eye Institute (NEI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed a simple, safe eye test for assessing a protein associated with cataract formation. If small protein changes can be discovered before a cataract occurs, people may be able to lower their risk of developing eye diseases like cataracts by adopting simple lifestyle changes such as limiting sun exposure, quitting smoking, discontinuing certain drugs, and managing diabetes.

Digestive Diseases

“It is undeniable that radiation has an effect on the gut microbiome,” said Martha Vitaterna, a neurobiologist at Northwestern University and the study’s principal author, in a statement. “However, such consequences do not appear to be the same as those we witnessed in spaceflight.”

The effects of being weightless on the digestive system are extremely complex and difficult to predict. The development of tools that assist in simulating a weightless environment gives a more convenient alternative for examining the impact of weightlessness on the human body as well as the process underlying the effect of weightlessness. In addition, the simulated microgravity environment aids in the conception of fresh concepts for use in regenerative medicine and other sectors of life science, which is particularly beneficial.

Early or Acute Effects from Radiation Exposure

Radiation is a type of energy that can be emitted or transmitted in the electromagnetic spectrum. Rays, electromagnetic waves, and/or particles are all examples of electromagnetic waves.

Equipment that is unique. Despite the fact that radiation can have negative effects. It can have an impact on both biological and mechanical systems.

Radiation has been a part of our lives since the beginning of time. As a result, our bodies are built to cope with the low levels of radiation we are exposed to on a daily basis. Too much radiation. On the other hand, can cause diseases like tissue damage by altering the structure of cells and damaging DNA. Health problems, including cancer, can result as a result of this.

It may also cause acute radiation syndrome, which is a serious condition (ARS, or “radiation sickness”). Headache and diarrhea are among the signs and symptoms of ARS. They typically begin within a few hours. Those symptoms will subside, and the person will appear to be in good health for a short period of time. However, they will become ill once more. The amount of radiation they received has an impact on how quickly they become ill again. What symptoms do they experience, and how sick do they eventually become. In some cases, ARS results in death within a few days or weeks of the onset of the illness.

Neurovestibular Adaptations

As they adjust to the microgravity environment of space. Astronauts report feeling dizzy and disoriented during their first few days in the atmosphere of the planet. When astronauts return to Earth after a period of prolonged exposure to microgravity. They frequently experience difficulties standing and walking upright. Also maintaining their gaze stability, and walking or turning corners in a coordinated manner. It takes time for an astronaut’s sense of balance and body orientation to re-adjust to Earth-normal conditions after being in space.

However, it is unclear what it is about the vestibular system that adapts to changing environmental conditions. Why? How? Maybe having a better understanding of the vestibular function induced by microgravity can help people back on Earth avoid the dizziness, disorientation, and susceptibility to falling that some older people experience?

Compromised Immune System

One of the most remarkable findings from the Apollo missions was that nearly half of the astronauts got sick within a week after returning to Earth. Some astronauts have even reactivated dormant diseases like chickenpox. This discovery sparked decades of research on the immune system’s effects of weak gravity, or “microgravity,”. Including manned rocket launches, shuttle trips, and space station stays, as well as lab simulations.

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