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Heath and Diseases

Health 

The word health gives us an idea of 'being well' but health is actually a state of physical, mental and social well-being.


Effect of Environment on Health



Proper health can not be achieved alone! The health of an individual also depends on their surroundings and their environment.The health depends on both- physical and social environment.

  1. Physical Environment: Factors like heat, temperature, humidity and natural calamities like storms, cyclones, floods, droughts, etc. influence health on a large scale.
  2. Social Environment: Society is an important factor affecting a person's health. Human beings live in societies, and a person's social health depends on the interaction between him and the society he lives in.

Health depends on the following factors too:

  • Public health services/ public cleanliness: Sanitation is one of the major factor affecting health. The services must ensure removal of garbage, cleaning of drains, proper drinking water, vector and pest control, vaccination and health care. IF NOT TAKEN CARE, these things largely increase the possibility for poor health.Also, a person should take proper care of his hygiene. Personal hygiene is very important for a healthy life.
  • Economic Conditions: A balanced diet is essential for good health, but we need to earn properly in order to provide food to everyone in the family and to earn this money we need to do work. Therefore work opportunities should be made available to everyone so that the people and able to earn properly. Good economic conditions and jobs are required for maintaining good health of an individual. 

Difference between being Healthy and Disease-free



  • Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being of an individual.
  • The word 'disease' literally means being uncomfortable due to a particular cause.
  • Diseases are caused by microorganisms, improper diet or can be inherited from parents to offsprings.
  • If a person is affected by diseases his organ systems and various body part may not function properly.
  • When we talk about poor health, it does not always mean that we are suffering from a particular disease. 
  • Our health is usually affected by our physical, mental and social conditions.
  • Health is often affected by diseases. 


Symptoms of Disease


  • How will you know that your body is affected by a disease or not? Well, in the case of a disease, the functioning and sometimes the appearance of one or more body systems changes.
  • These changes give rise to the various symptoms of the disease.
  • Symptoms of a disease are the things that we feel as being something 'wrong' with the body.
  • Different symptoms which are usually established when you are affected by a disease include- a headache, cough, loose motion or wounds with pus.
  • Different diseases have different symptoms.


Types of Diseases


Cause of Diseases:
There are many causes for a disease. The causes could be categorised as follows:

  • The Immediate cause of the disease- The agent or factor that actually causes the disease is called immediate or primary cause of disease. e.g. Bacteria.
  • Contributory causes of the disease- These causes either make a person prone to catch a disease or create conditions that promote chances of diseases. e.g. Genetic difference or poor nourishment.


Based on Duration
On the basis of their duration diseases are of 2 types:

  1. Acute diseases: Acute diseases are the diseases that usually last only for short period of time. The person affected gets recovered soon and begins to live his normal life. e.g. common cold.
  2. Chronic diseases: Chronic diseases last for a long period of time Chronic diseases have a very drastic long-term effect on our health. Some chronic diseases last for the whole life. e.g. Diabetes, Elephantiasis.

Based on Occurrence or Spread

  • Infectious diseases: Infectious diseases are usually communicable diseases and can be transferred from an infected person to a healthy person. Infectious diseases are caused by microbes or microorganisms. In infectious diseases, the microbes are immediate causes. Infectious diseases are the diseases which are usually caused by micro-organisms like bacteria, virus, fungi, and protozoa. Infectious diseases are often spread from one person to another through air, food, water etc.
  • Non-infectious diseases: Non-infectious diseases are noncommunicable as they do not spread from one person to another. In non-infectious diseases, the immediate causes of disease are not the microbes. The causes are internal and non-infectious. Non-infectious are the diseases which are often caused by genetic abnormalities. e.g. Cancer.
Different treatments are used to cure infectious and non-infectious diseases.


Infectious diseases


Agents

Infectious diseases are caused by various viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoan, worms etc. Disease-causing microbes are spread through the air, water, food, sexual contact, casual physical contact ( handshakes, hugs, wrestling, etc), blood-to-blood contact, and transmitted from an infected mother to her baby.
Diseases can be spread:

  1. Through air: - Common cold, Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, etc.
  2. Through water: - Cholera, Amoebic dysentery, etc.
  3. Through vectors: -  Mosquitoes :- Malaria, Dengue, Yellow fever, etc.
  4. Through sexual contact: - Syphilis, AIDS.


Disease-causing organisms


  • Bacteria can cause diseases like typhoid, cholera, tuberculosis, anthrax, pimples and peptic ulcers, etc.
  • Viruses can cause diseases like common cold, influenza, dengue fever, SARS and AIDS.
  • Fungi usually cause skin infections.
  • Protozoa causes malaria, Kala-Azar and sleeping sickness.
  • Helminth worms cause intestinal infections and elephantiasis.

Target organs


There are the different parts of the body which are attacked by infectious agents. Mode of entry of microbes specifies the site of localisation and infection. Symptoms tell us about the target organ or the organ which is infected.

  • If the symptoms are continuous coughing and breathlessness, this means the lungs are the target.
  • Jaundice is a disease which affects the liver, which is the target organ in this case.
  • If the symptoms are a headache, vomiting, fits or unconsciousness, then the brain is usually the target.



Prevention of Diseases



"Prevention is better than cure". This statement also means that prevention of diseases is better than curing them. Therefore, one must do something to prevent diseases. Two ways of prevention are general and specific ways of prevention.


General ways: General ways involve preventing exposure to various diseases spreading agents. We can prevent exposure in various ways.

  • For air-born microbes, exposure can be prevented by avoiding overcrowded places.
  • For water-borne microbes,exposure can be prevented by providing safe drinking water. 
  • For vector-borne infections, can be prevented by providing  a clean environment.
  • Our immune system also plays an important role in killing of microbes that enter our body. Proper nourishment is necessary for a better functioning of our immune system. Having proper nourishment and a proper immune system is also a kind of prevention.

Specific ways: If you suffer from a disease once, it means your body have gained prevention against the subsequent attacks by the same pathogen. You will not be affected by the same diseases again and again. Vaccination is done to prevent diseases by this way.

  • When an infection occurs for the first time, our immune system responds to it in a specific way.
  • Next time if the same microbe enters our body, the immune system responds much powerfully eliminating the infection more quickly than the first time.
  • So, immunisation is often done to prevent diseases.
  • Vaccines are used to prevent many diseases nowadays and are available for a wide range of diseases.
  • Public health program for childhood immunisation in order to prevent infectious diseases are often run by the government.
  • People are vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, polio, etc.



AIDS

AIDS is a viral disease caused by a virus named Human Immuno Deficiency Virus or HIV.  HIV attacks the immune system of an individual and hence he cannot fight back many diseases. HIV finally causes death.