Provincial Health Services Authority

Medical disorders can be categorized into mental disorders, physical disorders, genetic disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, and functional disorders. The term disorder is often considered more value-neutral and less stigmatizing than the terms disease or illness, and therefore is preferred terminology in some circumstances. While the term medical condition generally includes mental illnesses, in some contexts the term is used specifically to denote any illness, injury, or disease except for mental illnesses.

The social implication of viewing aging as a disease could be profound, though this classification is not yet widespread. Epidemiology is the study of the factors that cause or encourage diseases. Some diseases are more common in certain geographic areas, among people with certain genetic or socioeconomic characteristics, or at different times of the year.

Although extraordinary progress has been made in the fight against new HIV cases and AIDS deaths, the HIV pandemic continues. More than 80 diseases occur as a result of the immune system attacking the body’s own organs, tissues, and cells. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and inflammatory bowel disease. Treatments are available for many autoimmune diseases, but cures have yet to be discovered. Provincial Health Services Authority improves the health of British Columbians by seeking province-wide solutions to specialized health care needs in collaboration with BC health authorities and other partners.

Spanish versions are available for most of the diseases and conditions pages. See the full list of diseases and conditions in Spanish or go to the English page and click the link on the right side of the page. Viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis, but the condition can also be caused by other infections, heavy alcohol use, toxins, certain medications, and autoimmune disease. There are five main virus types that cause hepatitis—type A, B, C, D, and E. Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone” fever because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

Health Topics, MedlinePlus descriptions of most diseases, with access to current research articles. An illness narrative is a way of organizing a medical experience into a coherent story that illustrates the sick individual’s personal experience. A condition may be considered a disease in some cultures or eras but not in others. For example, obesity can represent wealth and abundance and is a status symbol in famine-prone areas and some places hard-hit by HIV/AIDS. Epilepsy is considered a sign of spiritual gifts among the Hmong people. How a society responds to diseases is the subject of medical sociology.

MedTerms online medical dictionary provides quick access to hard-to-spell and often misspelled medical definitions through an extensive alphabetical listing. Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a disease that affects humans and other mammals. People typically get infected after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the bacterium or by handling a plague-infected animal. Without prompt treatment, the plague can cause serious illness or death. HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that causes AIDS and can be transmitted during sexual intercourse; by sharing syringes; or perinatally during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Since the first AIDS cases were reported in 1981, HIV/AIDS has been one of humanity’s deadliest and most persistent epidemics.

A treatment or cure is applied after a medical problem has already started. A treatment attempts to improve or remove a problem, but treatments may not produce permanent cures, especially in chronic diseases. Cures are a subset of treatments that reverse diseases completely or end medical problems permanently. Pain management is a branch of medicine employing an interdisciplinary approach to the relief of pain and improvement in the quality of life of those living with pain. The quality-adjusted life year and disability-adjusted life year metrics are similar but take into account whether the person was healthy after diagnosis.

Health experts have known about dengue fever for more than 200 years. The autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome is a rare genetic disorder of the immune system first described by NIH scientists in the mid-1990s that affects both children and adults. In ALPS, unusually high numbers of white blood cells called lymphocytes accumulate in the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen and can lead to the enlargement of these organs.

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