Concepts of disease and illness are changing. Disease is said to be a social contract which is established only after all parties concerned agree to the presence of such condition while illness is often described as a subjective experience which means that it is an account of a person regarding the state of his/her health (Robinson, 1971).
Disease and illness concepts are constructed based on different personal, familial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds but it is the universal experience of feeling ill which drives an individual seek medical and other kinds of assistance (Engel, 1980).
Across cultures, ethnicities and or religion, there is a consistent view of illness as a detachment from the dynamic interaction between the self and the external world. There is also a perceived breakdown of balance in the person's system (Robinson, 1971).
In the context of modern medicine, disease or illness is defined as a state of imbalance or disorder of a person's health caused by pathological microorganisms, genetics, pollution, malnutrition, stress and other psychological problems. This state is manifested through symptoms which are actually changes in the structure and function of the body. Symptoms come in the form of pain, abscess, swelling, dizziness, and collapse of organ or body parts (West Bar Surgery, 2005).
In general pr...
Symptoms come in the form of pain, abscess, swelling, dizziness, and collapse of organ or body parts (West Bar Surgery, 2005).
In general practice, the range of illnesses includes major and minor illnesses. Major illnesses or diseases are considered chronic and highly disruptive conditions of a patient. Some of the most common diseases are cancer, hypertension, and heart and lung impairment to name a few (Johnson, et al., 2000).
Minor illnesses, on the other hand, are temporary and relatively less intrusive conditions. These include colds, sore throat, earache, coughs, diarrhea, vomiting, urinary tract infection, warts, head lice, low back pain, sprains, strains and sun burn, depression and anxiety (West Bar Surgery, 2005).
Colds, coughs and sore throats are generally caused by viruses and cannot be treated by ordinary antibiotics. The only treatment recommended is mitigating pain and fever that are associated with the said conditions. This can be achieved by taking pain relievers and anti-pyretic over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen which are available as mixture for infants and tablet for children and adults. Patients are also advised to drink plenty of fluids and rest (Johnson, et al., 2000).
Diarrhea and vomiting may be caused by ingesting certain foods or some other factors such as dizziness brought about by problems with eyesight or sleep. These may be critical to infants and elderly persons thus requiring attention from primary care practitioners but for most people these illnesses may be treated through simple means such as drinking of plenty of fluids. Specific fluids and certain foods are recommended to prevent the worsening of symptoms. Some medications may be taken to end these