Health and Diseases

Health and Diseases

Health and Disease Concepts

  • Health is the state of physical and mental wellbeing, and it’s not just the absence of disease or illness.
  • A disease disrupts the body’s normal functioning, and is often caused by infections, nutrient deficiencies, genetic disorders, or lifestyle choices.

Types of Diseases

  • Infectious diseases (also known as contagious or communicable diseases) can be spread from person to person. Examples include the flu, malaria, and HIV/AIDS.
  • Non-infectious diseases are not spread between individuals. These include heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • Diseases can also be categorised as degenerative (caused by the gradual deterioration of the body’s functions), nutritional (caused by a lack of important nutrients in the diet), or genetic (caused by faulty genes).

Causes and Transmission of Diseases

  • Pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi, are microorganisms that cause disease.
  • Diseases can be transmitted in different ways, such as through the air (coughing and sneezing), physical contact, contaminated food and water, or vectors like mosquitos.
  • People with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to disease.

The Impact of Lifestyle on Health

  • Choices about diet, exercise, and habits like smoking and drinking can significantly affect health.
  • A balanced diet is crucial in maintaining good health and preventing diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
  • Regular physical activity can help prevent diseases like heart disease and obesity.
  • Smoking is linked to several diseases including cancer and heart disease, while excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver disease and mental health problems.

Communicable Diseases Prevention

  • Good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and preparing food safely can prevent the spread of many diseases.
  • Using barriers like condoms can prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Immunisation through vaccination can prevent certain diseases by exposing the body to a weakened or dead version of the pathogen, triggering a defence response.

Treatment of Diseases

  • Medication can help manage the symptoms of a disease or cure it entirely.
  • Surgery can remove diseased parts of the body or repair damage.
  • Therapy, either physical or mental, can help manage chronic diseases or recovery after surgery.
  • Lifestyle changes can often prevent or manage diseases, for example through diet and exercise.

Remember to practice exam questions and use this revision content as a guide rather than the whole picture. Always refer to your teacher or textbook for further understanding and clarification.