Every disease has a cause, although the causes of some remain to be discovered. Every disease also displays a cycle of onset, or beginning, course, or time span of affliction, and end, when it disappears or it partially disables or kills its victim. An epidemic disease is one that strikes much person in a community. When it strikes the same region year after year it is an endemic disease. An acute disease has a quick onset and runs a short course, an acute heart attack, for example, often hits without warning and can be quickly fatal. A chronic disease has a slow onset and runs a sometimes years-long course. The gradual onset and long course of rheumatic fever makes it a chronic ailment.
Moderate exercise is necessary to health, but athletes who do vigorous exercises have not been noted for longevity. Fresh air is stimulating, but, where actual breathing is concerned, it's no better than the air in most rooms. General quality of air affected by pollution is indeed a concern.
A balanced diet containing correct amounts of the basic food substances is essential, but there is no evidence that when or at what intervals one eats makes the slightest differences -unless one is a sufferer of stomach ulcer, in which case the interval between meals should be narrowed down. The concept of having meals at fixed intervals is nothing but a social convention and in a modern life obviously a matter of convenience.
Sleep, too, is a necessity. But different people require vastly different amounts of sleep. In a number of studies of men and women who lived to a ripe old age it was found that the commonality they had was balanced diet of healthy food, contented minds, their interest in something which gave them a focus in life and partly their heredity.
Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well- being and not merely the absence of diseases or infirmity.
The main rules of health are-
(a) Do not abuse your body -i.e., exercise, it, feed it sensibly and in moderation and don't poison it with cigarette smoke (your's or anyone else's), with alcohol or with other drugs
(b) Think positively about health-make it a purpose for living
(c) Turn your thoughts away from those bodily functions (digestion, circulation, breathing and so on), which can look after themselves. Introspection leads to hypochondriasis, and
Medicine has come a long way from the time when disease was considered as punishment from the gods to a time where the society is looked on as the patient (society being responsible for them). Its treatment requires lot of tenderness and care. The field of medicine became more and more truly scientific, and the 20th century saw the-most rapid advances ever known, marked by the discovery of germs by Pasteur, of antiseptics by Lister, of vaccination by Jenner and anaesthetics by well sand Scot Simpson, the use of the microscope by Vuirchoe (German) brought great advance in the understanding of diseases and Ehrlich (German) conceived the brilliant idea of 'magic bullet' -drugs aimed at the real cause of the disease which would attack the germs at the root of the disease without hurting the patient. Edwin Chadwick, one of the greatest names, revolutionised the social control concept by so dealing with the causes of disease (like proving safe drinking water, controlling pests, lice, files, mosquito, etc.) that they were prevented form arising at all. A population riddled with