What Are Diseases?


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Disease is ‘dis’+’ease’, which says that when our body feels discomfort or it is not at ease, the condition is known as disease. Human health is affected by various factors, causes, or sources. They may be internal factors or external factors.

Internal Factors

Sometimes a defect in an organ, or organ system, causes them to stop functioning normally. These factors exist within the body. A few factors that affect human health are;

a) Malfunctioning of various body parts such as heart, kidney, liver, etc.

b) Genetic disorder

c) Hormonal imbalance

d) Malfunctioning of the immune system in our body.

Some of the diseases caused by internal factors are: cardiac failure, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, cataract etc.

External Factors

In some diseases, normal functioning of an organ is affected by some external factor. These factors enter the human body from outside, for example, a deficiency of iodine in diet causes the thyroid gland to function abnormally. This causes a deficiency disease called goiter. Here, deficient diet is an external factor. Alcohol and tobacco are external factors which damage the internal organs and cause disease. Apart from these, some more external factors are responsible for the malfunctioning of internal organs and causing disease. These factors are bacteria, virus, fungi, and parasites. The important external factors which upset human health are-

a) unbalanced or inadequate diet, which is a reason for various deficiency diseases like kwashiorkor, marasmus, scurvy, rickets, anaemia, and beri- beri etc.

b) Mental health – which may be due to some injury or psychological reason. Depression and paranoia are some examples of this.

c) Diseases causing micro organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and worms, which cause diseases, like typhoid, diarrhea and malaria etc.

d) Environmental pollutants also cause or aggravate various diseases like asthma and allergies.

e) Tobacco, drugs and some medicines also cause malfunctioning of organs.

Our body has a mechanism of natural defence against diseases, but some diseases still require medicinal cure under proper medical guidance, like anaemia, infections etc. In more recent years a killer disease known as ‘AIDS’ has developed which destroys our body’s defence system. No cure has so far been found for this disease. The only way to protect ourselves from this disease is proper education about it can spread, what are the do’s and don’ts for precaution and following them properly.

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