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Dr. Gloria Mendizabal-Piedra MD

(305) 823-2433

3986 W. 16 Avenue | Hialeah, FL 33012

Illness Vs Disease: Understanding The Differences

illness vs disease

Understanding the difference between illness and disease is a matter of educating about the nature of both. Although the two terms are interchanged carelessly in many conversations when describing a reference of sickness, they are represented by two distinct definitions:

Illness is suffering from something that makes one sick. Illnesses span during a precise period of time, meaning they have a beginning and an end. In layman’s terms, an illness is basically termed as an unwell or unhealthy state of mind or body.

Disease falls under an entirely different classification. A disease is defined as suffering from a malfunctioning organism or function within the body itself. A disease is not something that can occur from an incidence, event, or from an external element or behavior.

Understanding the differences between illness and disease are critical so that you can receive the care you require. If you are unwell, contact GMP Medical today.

Differences Between Illness and Disease

  • Illness can affect the body or mind in a myriad of different capacities.
  • A disease has a specific result on a body part or function.
  • Illness can be a perceived notion of unwellness or derive from self-diagnosis.
  • Disease must be diagnosed by a medical expert.
  • Illness can fall under a generalized periscope of health maladies.
  • Disease is a named by a pathological identification label or marker such as diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, or lupus.

Illness vs Disease – A Few Points to Consider

Misunderstanding the difference between illness and disease has the potential to cause confusion amongst sufferers. Many clinical studies have begun to point out the distinguishing elements of an illness vs a disease in a different construct. They outlined a series of questions that pertain to an event of sickness such as:

  • Why did I get sick?
  • How did I get sick?
  • What will I do to recover?

The answers to these questions provide clues as to the severity and nature of the perceived notion of illness. Medical anthropologists reveal there is a self-diagnostic trait to illness related events. These are immediately distinguishable from disease-related events by the fact that there isn’t a substitution principle or high percentage of discontinuation of a form of treatment.

For example, the methodology of treating a common cold may vary from one person to another. Whereas, the treatment protocol for treating pernicious anemia is straightforward and prescribed to the affected patient. Subjective interpretation by the patient cannot occur without potentially harmful consequence.

Being labeled as ill can fall into a tidal wave of unverified descriptive situations: a common cold, a side effect, food poisoning, but also, a complication from a pre-existing disease.  While there is a difference between illness and disease, in some situations, they do overlap. The terminology can easily become blurry, but it is worth noting the difference between illness vs disease. Because of the confusion many people have differentiating between both illness and disease, if you feel unwell it is essential that you visit your doctor immediately.

Contact GMP Medical for Quality Health Advice

If you live in the greater Miami area and are feeling unwell, visit our Hialeah clinic. Our family doctors specialize in a number common ailments, and can quickly determine if your feeling of malaise is due to illness or disease.  For over 20 years, GMP Medical has been serving the residents of Hialeah, Miami, Doral, Perrine, Cutler Ridge, Coral Gables, South Miami, Pembroke Pines, Miami Lakes, Kendall, and Miami Springs. Give us a call today at (305) 823-2433.

December 21, 2018 2:28 pm
Categories: Family Health