Common Disease and Illness
Disease is an abnormal condition that impairs bodily functions usually associated with specific symptoms and signs.
It is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes discomfort, dysfunction, distress, social problems, and/or death to the person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person.
Sometimes: including injuries, disabilities, disorders, syndromes, infections, and isolated symptoms which detract from our overall health and wellness.
Physicians, medication, alternative medicines and practitioners, modern technologies (e.g. air purifiers), and other environmental considerations all play an active role in reducing illness and increasing well being.
Many different factors intrinsic or extrinsic to a person can cause disease.
Examples of intrinsic factors are genetic defects or nutritional deficiencies which can show up as
coronary heart disease,
high blood pressure,
An environmental exposure, such as second-hand smoke or mold is an example of an extrinsic factor and can manifest symptoms such as
the common cold,
or adrenal fatigue
bought on by outside stresses.
Many illnesses result from a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors working together which may have a hand in conditions such as
and for many, no cause or set of causes has been identified.
A disease such as influenza is contagious or infectious. Infectious illnesses can be transmitted by any of a variety of mechanisms, such as;
- Aerosols produced by coughs and sneezes.
- Insect bites including mosquitoes.
- Contaminated water or food.
- Body contact.
- Body fluid contact.
How to protect yourself and your family from contagious/infectious illnesses:
- Keep your hands clean. Washing with soap and water several times a day is the single best way to combat most infections. Teach your children to rub their hands briskly with a antibacterial soap for at least 15 seconds (about the time it takes to recite the alphabet). Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer for times when soap and water aren't available. It's also helpful to keep kids fingernails short and to discourage nose picking.
- Cover cuts and scrapes. Any wound should be washed with soap and water, then covered with a dry, sterile bandage until it heals. Apply a clean dressing daily. Pus from infected sores can contain CA-MRSA (staph infection), so it's also important to wash your hands after changing bandages.
- Don't share personal items. Tell your children not to use friends' and teammates' towels, washcloths, clothing, uniforms or razors. People who appear perfectly healthy can still have an infectious illness. Shared sports equipment, such as helmets and gym mats, should be cleaned with an antibacterial solution after every use.
- Sanitize gym clothing and linens. If anyone in the family has a cut, sore or infection, wash bedding and towels in hot water with added bleach. Wash sports clothing and washable athletic gear with laundry detergent after each use. Drying laundry in a hot dryer, not on a clothesline, also helps kill bacteria.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Germs will travel in the air as an infectious aerosol. After sneezing or coughing remember to then clean your hands, as some infectious disease can also be transmitted through skin contact or by touching your eye or mouth with an germ infected finger.
Disease can occur with or without the feelings of being unwell. A yearly routine physical exam by a medical professional can help in ensuring your continued health and wellness.
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