I agree that the word "issue" has more or less replaced "problem."
I think it is a part of the tendency to use words that sound fancy. People often say things like , "If I had known when I started, the enormity of the task, I would never have started.
We've heard someone who is obviously well educated, maybe a senior academic, use this word "enormity" and we think that we'll have a go at it. We get it wrong but what the hell; if anyone points out our sloppy use of language we just say, "Don't be a grammar Nazi; language is always changing."
Some time back, the people who devise school curriculums (curricula?) decided that you could combine history and social studies by writing "issues based curricula." And It's not a bad idea; instead of asking students to memorize lists of dates and names and battles about a subject, say the American civil war, you raise the issue, "How did the slave owning and the non slave owning states resolve their dispute (issue?) regarding slavery.
In this context "issue" means, "a matter about which there is major disagreement."
But this popular step, writing "issue based curricula," gave rise, slowly, to the misunderstanding that "disputes that need to be reconciled", that is, "issues" are "problems."
And the word "issues" is much more impressive than "problems." Hey, they use it as the cornerstone of the curriculum design. We demonstrate that we are educated by using the word "issue."
And now a perfectly good, down to earth word has been edged out by a fancy word that, although it is largely misused, carries a certain snob appeal.
So use the word "issue" only when you mean "a matter about which there is disagreement which may be either academic, practical or social."
Don't use issue to mean "problem" which may be purely personal. Anyway, if you don't know the meaning of "problem" you can't be helped.