Q:

What is the difference between a disease and an illness?

A:

A disease is an identifiable condition affecting an organ or organism whereas illness is the subjective negative experience that comes with ill health. Specifically, in this case, illness is a product of disease although one can be made ill through psychosomatic processes without a disease.

Know More

Full Answer

In 1978, Eric Cassell established the distinction between disease and illness by saying "disease … is something an organ has; illness is something a man has." What is meant in this case is that illness refers to feelings that are part of an individual's subjective experience. Illness is typically what sends individuals to the doctor. When the illness, negative feelings and symptoms, abate one considers treatment a success. This incongruity between disease and illness is why doctors advise their patients to complete their fully prescribed dosage of medicines, such as antibiotics. Because illness can disappear before disease, since illness is contingent on the subject experience, one must be vigilant when treating their disease.

The danger of having a disease without an illness, experiencing no symptoms, makes regular check-ups essential for all individuals. The idea of one having an illness without a disease, such as through a psychosomatic process, is a matter of some dispute. Many medical professionals argue that the experiencing of illness, symptoms without the corresponding disease, means that the patient is experiencing a neuro-biological disease that is not yet understood by modern medicine.

Learn more in Conditions & Diseases

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you get sick fast?

    A:

    Healthline shares a number of factors that can cause a person to be more susceptible to illness, including an unbalanced diet, dehydration, sleep deprivation, dirty hands and poor oral health. Failing to maintain a healthy lifestyle can therefore result in becoming sick more quickly.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a strep carrier?

    A:

    A strep carrier is an individual who carries the bacteria that causes strep throat but never becomes sick with the illness. When a family experiences repeated bouts of strep, someone in the family may be a carrier, according to MedlinePlus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the prodromal stage of an infectious disease?

    A:

    According to the Free Dictionary, the prodromal stage of an infectious illness is the period between invasion of the body by an organism and the point at which the characteristic symptoms of the illness appear. A person in the prodromal stage of an infectious illness often displays non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue or malaise, Wikipedia explains.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the treatment for E. coli?

    A:

    The primary treatment for illness from E. coli is rest and fluids. The Mayo Clinic states that most illnesses caused by E. coli are self-limiting and do not require treatment. However, serious E. coli infections can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, which does require supportive care in a hospital.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore