Homeless people are in very vulnerable desperate situations which forces them to sacrifice necessities Generally most of them cannot afford or access proper medical care and this can worsen their situation and ultimately lead to death The homeless population is more susceptible to health problems due to poor diet sexual health and lack of access to medications caused by their environment and low standard of living Although homeless people need to buy food to survive they have a limited budget to work with which results in numerous health issues caused by their restricted diet Fast food and canned food is less expensive than fresh produce which causes up to half of homeless youth are obese Malzone In addition to little physical activity children with poor diets can have more severe complications later in life like heart failure and diabetes that originated from their poverty The least expensive foods are the ones high in fat but lack nutrients essential to life Due to the fact that they do not have the money to buy healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables homeless people are often malnourished Malnutrition can lead to other health complications when the body cannot get the necessary amounts of proteins carbohydrates and vitamins These nutritional problems stem from the simple truth that the homeless do not have the funds or ability to properly feed themselves in a way that improves their health and well being
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These financial restrictions regularly cause health issues ranging from starvation to obesity and have life long complications on their health and well being The risks and dangers that the homeless face in the shelters temporary homes and on the streets can leave them vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases STDs pregnancy and other health issues without healthy treatments support and medication Homeless people may resort to sex in order to get food or shelter which can cause them to get STDs but they do not have a safe way to get tested or treated for these diseases because of their financial situation Malzone They are either not educated in the places that can help them they are too scared or do not have enough money If they do not seek help theses diseases can have life altering effects and ultimately lead to death They do not have the same access to medications and treatments as people who are above the poverty line because of the prejudice against them and their financial state Another problem in the homeless community is pregnancy In general they do not have the same access to contraceptives and women generally cannot afford birth control This makes them more likely to have an unwanted pregnancy On top of this they do not have the means to get prenatal vitamins or visit a OBGYN so their deliveries are high risk In the womb babies do not receive proper nutrients because of the mother s poor diets and this causes many of them to be born premature and underweight with numerous other health complications In addition Jonathan Kozol found that the infant mortality rate in the Martinique hotel was over twice the national rate Kozol After birth the infant's are generally not taken to their check ups due to the costs and if they are the conditions they experience at home impair their health Infants immune systems are extremely suppressed so their bodies cannot handle the dirt dust and disease found in the shelters Finally the mothers cannot afford the additional costs of having a newborn such as bottles diapers cribs and other items to protect the health and safety of the child All of these obstacles together make childbirth in the homeless community very deathly for the mother and child Overall sexual health is seen as a small problem compared to other challenges people experience on the streets but it has a large impact on their physical health and financial stability
On top of the health problems stemming from the unhealthy environment on the streets the homeless do not have access to proper medications for health issues that they previously had or acquired after becoming homeless Homelessness can be caused from health problems because of the high cost of treatment or it can be a product of homelessness Polgar In either situation these people are not given the opportunity to receive medical help for something that could be potentially curable According to a study done by the Children s Health Fund 28 of homeless children and adolescents have a chronic medical condition which requires medication to control or treat Malzone Asthma is most common among homeless children because of the dirt and mold found on the streets and in the shelters but their families cannot afford to purchase inhalers This treatable disease can progress to the point that people feel like they are choking Kozol This is just one example of a disease caused by homelessness where they have no ability to help their condition because of money Numerous other diseases such as tuberculosis diabetes and heart disease require medical visits and medications Most of the time they not have the transportation or money to fill their prescriptions so their conditions worsen Overall they do not have the access or financial ability to get medications and treatments for their diseases which increases their suffering The environment that the homeless are forced into has a disastrous effect on their diet sexual health and medications which decreases their general health and well being They are extremely disabled in regards to solving their medical problems because of their financial status The homeless community is hurt by the cost literal and metaphorical of receiving medical care and treatments because of their living situation
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