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What is Disease ? What are the different types of Disease ?

 In this article, you are going to read about the different types of diseases and their impact on us. But before that, you should be aware that what is disease.

What is Disease ?

A disease is a particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function that affects part or all of an organism. The causal study of disease is called pathology.

Disease is often construed as a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors such as pathogens, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune diseases.

What is Disease

Diseases usually affect people not only physically, but also emotionally, as contracting and living with a disease can alter one's perspective on life as well as one's personality.

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Different Types of Disease

1. Hereditary Diseases

These are also named as congenital diseases. These diseases are present right from the birth. They are caused either due to genetic disorder or environmental factors during development, e.g. haemophilia, colour-blindness, sickle-cell anaemia, albinism, etc. They are passed on from generation to generation.

2. Acquired Diseases

These diseases are acquired by an organism after birth from environment and are not hereditary, i.e., do not pass on from generation to generation. These are further classified into two categories:

(a) Communicable Diseases : This disease is also called Infectious disease. It is caused by the germ called pathogen, which must reach a healthy person before he suffers from the disease.

Communicable (infectious) diseases are always caused by some pathogens (pathos- diseases, gen - producing) i.e., disease-producing organisms. Some of the communicable diseases are: AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, Chickenpox, Cholera, Tuberculosis, etc.

These diseases always spread from an infected to healthy person. The pathogens include various plants and animals which are usually microorganisms. 

Communicable diseases are of two types:

  1. Contagious Diseases : These diseases spread through direct contact like Smallpox, Ringworm, etc.
  2. Non-Contagious Diseases : These diseases spread through direct or indirect contact with infected person like Malaria, Tuberculosis

(b) Non-Communicable Diseases : These diseases do not spread from person to person but remain restricted to a person who has acquired them. These are not caused by pathogens or germs. These are further classified into four types:

  1. Degenerative or Organic Diseases : An organic disease is one caused by a physical or physiological change to some tissue or organ of the body. It is commonly used in contrast with mental disorders. It includes emotional and behavioural disorders if they are due to changes to the physical structures or functioning of the body, such as Brain Tumors, Facial Paralysis, Spinal cord damage and tumors to more complex problems. These diseases worsen with age factor and are also known as old age diseases.
  2. Deficiency Diseases : These are caused due to the deficiency of some nutrient in the diet, e.g., night-blindness, scurvy, rickets, anaemia, etc.
  3. Allergies : These are caused due to hypersensitivity of the body to any foreign substance e.g., dust, allergy, smoke, pollen grains.
  4. Cancer : It is caused due to the uncontrolled growth and multiplication of certain types of tissues in the body.

Some other terms related to Disease

  • Defect : It is reduction in functional ability of body.
  • Injury : It is danger to any part of body, externally or internally.
  • Chronic Diseases : These are the diseases that are a long term issue.
  • Incurable Diseases : These diseases cannot be cured, also known as pathological diseases.
  • Terminal Diseases : These diseases are with death as an inevitable result of it.
  • Illness : Illness and sickness are generally used as synonyms for disease. However, this term is occasionally used to refer specifically to the patient's personal experience of his or her disease.
  • Disorder : In medicine, a disorder is a functional abnormality or disturbance. Medical disorders can be categorized into mental disorders, physical disorders, emotional disorders and functional disorders.

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