What is disease? A disease is a type of illness that affects the body. Diseases can be as mild as cold and flu or as severe as cancer. When we talk about disease, we usually refer to sicknesses that are caused by organisms and spread from person to person. The causes of diseases vary from person to person, but in general, it is said that our lifestyle choices can also lead to disease. Some types of diseases are believed to be genetic in nature while others are due to external factors like the environment. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites are common agents of diseases.
A disease is any disturbance in the human body or mind that causes it to function improperly. Diseases can be caused by external factors, such as biological, chemical, and physical agents, or they can be caused by internal factors such as a poor diet or genetics. The word “disease” comes from the latin word “dis” meaning “away from” and “egere”, which means “to grow”. So disease can be anything that disturbs or affects the growth of something. Plants can get diseases, but we usually use the word “disorder” instead of disease to describe plant diseases.
In general, you can say that a disease is a condition of sickness that affects your body in some way. Other than that, a disease could also be anything that is related to health such as a virus or bacterium. For example, the common cold is also referred to as an upper respiratory tract infection, which is an illness that affects your respiratory tract.
Diseases also include a variety of illnesses such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, mental illness, arthritis, and allergies. As technology advances in medicine and science become more precise about the causes of diseases, more effective treatments are developed to treat those diseases.
There are many types of diseases. There are two main types of diseases- communicable and non-communicable. Communicable diseases are things that are transmissible from one person to another person, such as some viral diseases, bacteria, viruses, etc. Non-communicable diseases are those that do not have an easy means of transmission to another person.
Communicable diseases, also known as infectious diseases, can be transferred from one person to another by a form of contact or living in close proximity. Non-communicable diseases cannot be transmitted from one person to another and are caused by other factors like lifestyle, environment, genetics, etc.
Communicable diseases can be further divided into two categories: infectious and noninfectious. Infectious communicable diseases can spread through the air or through direct contact with infected people or objects such as food or surfaces. Noninfectious communicable diseases cannot spread through the air but only through contact with infected people or objects.
Noncommunicable disease is also divided into two categories: chronic and acute. Acute noncommunicable disease lasts for less than six months and is most commonly caused by infections or injuries that cause severe damage to the body. Chronic noncommunicable disease lasts for more than six months but less than twelve months. Chronic noncommunicable diseases are also known as degenerative diseases because they tend to get worse over time.
Chronic diseases are caused by exposure to toxic substances and lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drugs, etc. However, addiction is a condition of the brain that develops over time when an individual repeatedly seeks and consumes drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences. Addiction can be part of a person’s life for years to decades and is often intertwined with mental disorders such as schizophrenia.
There are three types of chronic diseases-namely, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and respiratory diseases. These diseases can be further classified into the following subcategories: coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease (CVD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and neoplasms such as lung cancer and breast cancer. It is difficult to distinguish between acute and chronic diseases because they often overlap with each other which makes them hard to diagnose.
The major forms of cancer are breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, and liver tumors. As per the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 2016 approximately 40% to 45% of men and women will be diagnosed with some form of this disease in their lifetime. These diseases have different causes such as exposure to toxic substances and radiation from the sun or medical facilities during surgery or chemotherapy.
These diseases can be categorized into the following types: pulmonary, cardiac, and digestive. Lung cancer is generally caused by smoking tobacco products. When a person smokes tobacco, the chemicals in it enter the lungs and damage the lung tissue which can result in cancerous cells. Some people develop lung cancer even if they have never smoked because of exposure to toxic substances or radioactive materials. Cancer of the digestive tract is also known as gastrointestinal (GI) tract cancer and is broadly divided into three types- esophageal cancer, colon cancer, and small intestine cancers.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to a disease that affects the heart or blood vessels that carry blood to all parts of your body. CVD is most commonly caused by high blood pressure due to atherosclerosis (build-up of plaque in arteries). Atherosclerosis is a result of smoking, drinking alcohol, and being overweight. Some research has shown that people who carry a particular gene may be more susceptible to developing coronary artery disease. Other risk factors include a family history of heart attack, previous heart attack, and high blood cholesterol levels.
Heart diseases include coronary heart disease (CHD), peripheral vascular disease (PVD), and hypertensive heart disease. CHD refers to the narrowing of one or more of the vessels that carry blood to the heart. Sometimes a part of these vessels becomes clogged up with plaque which restricts blood flow and can cause chest pain. PVD refers to abnormal growth in the arteries that carry blood away from the heart. This leads to reduced blood flow and therefore reduced oxygen supply to various parts of your body such as muscles, brain, etc. Hypertensive heart disease is a condition caused by high blood pressure. It is commonly caused by high cholesterol levels.
Circulatory diseases include atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, pulmonary embolism, and pulmonary hypertension. Atherosclerosis is a disease that starts when arterial walls narrow due to the build-up of plaque in the arterial walls over time. This can be caused by a variety of factors including exposure to toxic substances or excessive tobacco smoking over many years. Myocardial infarction occurs when part of the heart dies due to a blockage in one or more of its blood vessels (arteries). One part of the heart may die and not be able to function properly, while another part of the heart continues to work.
Respiratory diseases include asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These diseases are caused by exposure to toxic substances such as smoke from cigarettes or other indoor air pollution. Emphysema is a lung disease caused by prolonged exposure to toxic substances in the air. The airways become inflamed because of this and can result in shortness of breath and chest pain.
Bronchitis is also known as bronchial asthma which is an inflammation of the small airways that carry air into the lungs. Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs that spreads from other parts of your body to the lungs. TB is also known as tuberculosis and is caused by a form of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These bacteria are spread through coughing or sneezing. COPD is a long-term disease in which the body’s airways get inflamed due to prolonged exposure to toxic substances.
Many different foods are known to be beneficial for cardiovascular health including traditionally well-known foods such as whole grains, olive oil, and vegetables (e.g., spinach). More specifically, foods containing soluble fiber, omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, and potassium are thought to have a particularly beneficial effect on cardiovascular health. These foods help to reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels while increasing the chance of a healthy weight.
Some other commonly recommended foods with cardiovascular benefits include garlic, carrots, apples, bananas, grapefruits (and indeed all citrus fruits), tomatoes and tomato-based products (e.g., ketchup) which contain lycopene, eggs containing choline which has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and has been shown to help prevent strokes in women under 55 years of age as well as legumes (e.g.
Finally, a number of studies have shown that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish, can help protect against cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are very important because they help make cell membranes function properly and they also form a part of the structure of several important fats, such as bile acids which are involved in digestion. Effects on the heart include: prevention of sudden cardiac death or sudden heart failure.
Increased levels of inflammatory markers are associated with cardiovascular diseases. Dietary choices and not just the use or abuse of drugs could significantly change inflammation markers biomarkers that are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. More specifically, there is a positive association between dietary cholesterol intake and serum inflammatory markers (e.g. hsCRP) and “negative” association for fiber. This suggests that eating foods that are high in cholesterol may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing blood inflammatory markers (hsCRP).
The association between inflammation and heart disease is well established. High levels of inflammation are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death. More specifically, an elevated level of C-reactive protein (a biomarker used to indicate systemic inflammation) is known to predict heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis, as well as an increased risk for unstable angina.
In conclusion, take very good care of your body and it will take very good care of you. The key is to eat right and exercise regularly for your own health. Get enough nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, and vegetables each day. If your body is also healthy – not just physically but mentally too – then you will feel better overall, you will have more energy, and you will feel happier. Knowledge is power.