Introduction to Diseases

Topics: Influenza, Diabetes mellitus, Insulin Pages: 42 (10781 words) Published: January 29, 2013
Name:Tenesha Lewis


Date: 18th January, 2013




The difference between good health and disease is that health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain (as in “good health” or “healthy”) whiles a disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs that may be caused by external factors such as infectious disease, or by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune diseases. The differences between signs and symptoms are signs are what a doctor sees, they are the physical manifestation of injury, illness or disease and shows a definite indication of a specific disease, whereas symptoms are what a patient experiences and can be defined as one of the characters of a disease, it can also be described as what a patient experiences about the injury, illness or disease. A doctor may notice in a patient a high temperature, rapid pulse, low blood pressure, open wound or bruising which are all signs of a disease. Whiles a patient notices symptoms of a disease for instance chills, shivering, fever, nausea, shaking and vertigo which are all symptoms.


Asthma is a disorder that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma is caused by inflammation in the airways. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles surrounding the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swells. This reduces the amount of air that can pass by.

Common causes of asthma attacks are:

• Animals (pet hair or dander)

• Dust

• Changes in weather (most often cold weather)

• Chemicals in the air or in food

• Exercise

• Mold

• Pollen

• Respiratory infections, such as the common cold

• Strong emotions (stress)

• Tobacco smoke

Most people with asthma have attacks separated by symptom-free periods. Some people have long-term shortness of breath with episodes of increased shortness of breath it can either be wheezing or a cough may be the main symptom. Asthma attacks can last from minutes to days, and can become dangerous if the airflow is severely restricted.

Symptoms may include:

• Cough with or without sputum (phlegm) production
• Pulling in of the skin between the ribs when breathing (intercostals retractions) • Shortness of breath that gets worse with exercise or activity • Wheezing, which may:

o Comes in episodes with symptom-free periods in between;

o May be worse at night or in early morning;

o May go away on its own;

o Gets better when using drugs that open the airways (bronchodilators);

o Gets worse when breathing in cold air;

o Gets worse with exercise;

o Gets worse with heartburn (reflux);

o Usually begins suddenly;

Emergency symptoms are usually:

• Bluish color to the lips and face
• Decreased level of alertness, such as severe drowsiness or confusion, during an asthma attack • Extreme difficulty breathing
• Rapid pulse
• Severe anxiety due to shortness of breath
• Sweating

Other symptoms that may occur with this disease are:

• Abnormal breathing pattern --breathing out takes more than twice as long as breathing in

• Breathing temporarily stops

• Chest pain

• Tightness in the chest

Allergy testing may be helpful to identify allergens in people with persistent asthma. The doctor or nurse will use a stethoscope to listen to the lungs. Wheezing or other...
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