Q:

What is the difference between a disease and an illness?

A:

Quick Answer

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 about Conditions & Diseases

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is pharyngitis contagious?

    A:

    While pharyngitis itself isn't contagious, the underlying illness causing it might be contagious. Pharyngitis is another name for a sore throat, which is caused by swelling between the larynx and the tonsils at the back of the throat.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • 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 mold toxicity?

    A:

    According to Sponaugle Wellness Institute, mold toxicity is an illness that develops in individuals with high levels of indoor mold toxins in their systems. While many people produce antibodies when exposed to mold gases, some can't naturally create mold antibodies, which can lead to severe toxicity.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens to your throat when you have mono?

    A:

    Mono causes a sore throat that lasts for seven to 10 days in most individuals with the illness, according to Mayo Clinic. In some, it causes swelling of the tonsils to the point it becomes difficult to swallow or breathe.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore