In our increasingly health-aware culture, it’s easy to forget that in the beginning there was a time when people didn’t think much about health. People lived in the simplicity of daily life, gathering food, going to the temple, doing farming, protecting the livestock and so on, without the interference now seen in modern society. Health, as we use the term today, was not something that was on anyone’s top of the list and those who had it were deemed to be either lazy poor or unlucky. It was a concept that wasn’t even understood by some of our earliest cultures.
Modern health sciences have developed a number of different concepts to describe different aspects of health, and they are now used by nearly every country in the world as their official system of determining health status. According to the World Health Organization, health is “an essential part of the human personality and should be considered as a basic right of the society.” Determinants of health include age, gender, social environment, general health, diet, genetic background, occupational class and so on. A number of alternative determinants have also been created over time, such as self-evaluation and personal beliefs concerning one’s health.
In addition to using determinants to categorize the different characteristics of the human body, health science has also created several different theories regarding the causes of diseases. One such theory relates diseases to physical and mental stressors, explaining that physical illnesses are caused by injuries sustained to the body, while mental illnesses are caused by mental stresses. Another theory links diseases to emotional states, explaining that emotional states cause physical ailments. Still another theory suggests that diseases result from chemical imbalances in the brain, explaining that psychological stress can alter levels of chemicals used by the brain to function properly. In order to differentiate between various illnesses and disorders, health science has developed numerous tests, which allow doctors and other health professionals to quickly and accurately determine a patient’s status.
Aside from providing a definitive diagnosis, the tests created by health science help to determine the severity of the illness or disorder. For example, a physical exam will reveal if there are any abnormalities or structural deformities in the body. However, if mental health is being assessed, doctors will utilize a battery of tests that measure mental health and personality. The tests run include: memory, reasoning, personality, social skills, and emotional state. In cases of physical illness, doctors conduct blood tests to identify and measure abnormal levels of glucose and sugar in the blood.
Because all illnesses and diseases can have different causes, different treatments will be administered to each patient. The methods of treatment will also differ based on the diagnosis of the patient. In order to prevent certain health conditions from developing into more severe diseases, medical treatments may include medication, surgery, radiation therapy, and alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, hypnosis, and acupuncture. Alternative medicine attempts to deal with both the mind and the body through a combination of therapy, diet, exercise, and herbal remedies. It aims to use simple and natural techniques to achieve balance and harmony within the person.
Developed nations are known for their healthy diets and regular physical activities. Although most people in developed countries lead healthy lifestyles, they are still at risk of developing a number of health conditions due to factors such as stress, lack of sleep, and poor nutrition. Studies have indicated links between many health conditions and varying amounts of stress. In fact, the prevalence of several diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease can be attributed to stress. A healthy diet, stress management techniques, and a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the effects of stress on health.