What is a disease?
What is a disease? A simple question at first glance, but the exact definition is still uncertain. Diseases, also referred to as illnesses or conditions, are characterized by anomalous changes in human body behavior. They can affect entire organism or one specific part of the body. All of them can be distinguished by their own set of symptoms, by cause or by mechanism which triggers the disease. Those conditions may show up as a result of internal abnormalities or external factors like pathogens. Diseases are also divided into 2 categories based by their infectiousness, since they can be infectious (communicable) or non-infectious (non-communicable). The accurate and universal definition of diseases is a difficult subject for specialists, because of its complexity.
Diseases types and causes
There are countless different types of diseases, and they can be categorized according to 4 major factors:
- Pathogenesis, which is the biological mechanism that cause diseases. It can be inflammation, infection, necrosis or malignancy.
- Etiology, which defines exact cause or origin.
- Associated symptoms and signs. They can range from mild to severe and be present ly or in intervals.
- Involved organ system, for instance cardiovascular, urinary, endocrine or nervous system.
The most popular disease classification is the 10th revision of International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10). The ICD-10 was made, and is periodically updated, by World Health Organization. The international revision contains 16,000 codes, however there are also national modifications. National revisions are altered in order to suite local demands, and they may include even 70,000-80,000 different codes.
One of the main cause of diseases include infection, which is triggered by pathogens like virus, bacteria, fungi or protozoa. They can be transmitted through the air, close contact, contaminated water or food, bites of possible carrier and some of them can be even sexually transmitted. They might also be contagious, which means they easily spread between people. However, the most dangerous type of diseases are non-communicable diseases, taking into consideration that this type of conditions caused 68% of all deaths worldwide. What is worse, this death proportion is ly growing, when compared to previous years. Those diseases are often partially caused by genetic background, thus they may spread between generations.
Once the patient will find out what is a disease, it is time to battle. Some types of diseases do not require any particular treatment, as they tend to disappear spontaneously over short period of time. But still, those incidents are in minority. In most cases the patient should pass through medical treatment or therapy in order to cure disease or relieve the symptoms. The most popular treatment methods include medications, medical devices, surgery and self-care. Unfortunately, certain conditions cannot be cured, thus treatment is not available.
It needs to be remembered, that many diseases can be prevented. Simple lifestyle changes are greatly reducing the risk and keep the organism in good condition. Popular and profitable home remedies include proper nutrition with the help of supplements, sanitation and regular exercises.
The most popular diseases
Common types of diseases vary greatly depending on localization. It is caused by differences in healthcare advancement, education level and financial status of citizens. However, there are similarities between reports around the globe.
Most popular diseases include:
- Influenza, simply known as flu
- Common cold
- Strep throat
Most dangerous and deadliest diseases include:
- Coronary artery disease (CAD), also referred to as ischemic heart disease (IHD)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Lower respiratory infections