An illness is simply a special, unique condition which negatively impacts the functioning or structure of any or all parts of an organ, and this is not caused by any direct external force. Illnesses are commonly understood to be associated with certain distinctive symptoms and signs. These include fever, chills, pain in joints and muscles, vomiting, swelling, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, liver or renal diseases, respiratory problems, skin disorders, arthritis, osteoporosis, acne, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Many of these conditions, if they go untreated or undiagnosed, can eventually result in severe illness or death. An illness is generally considered to be any condition causing a reduction in the quality of life, where a person is unable to perform normally or is experiencing an untimely decline.
Viral infections are frequently linked with a sickness though some can be life threatening. An illness can affect the development of a fetus if the mother is carrying a sick role in her pregnancy. Sick mothers have higher risks of premature delivery or low birth weight babies. The father of a child can also suffer a sick role if the mother is carrying a child who is infected with a communicable disease. A sick role may also involve a pregnant woman, who is said to have a personal sickness when she carries a child, that is, she is carrying a child of a very young age or who is very weak or debilitated.
There are many types of illness, which fall into a sick role category. The major categories of diseases which fall into a sick role category are: anemia; arthritis; arteriosclerosis; cellulite; cancer; chronic fatigue; diabetes; epilepsy; HIV/AIDS; kidney disease; osteoporosis; Parkinson’s disease; and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Each of these diseases has different degrees of illness depending on its prevalence, occurrence, and characteristics. A disease can have a long-term or short-term period of effect.
A disease which has a long-term effect is usually an illness which can cause death if not treated properly. An illness which has only a short-term effect is usually an illness which does not require immediate treatment. In the case of a woman carrying a child, the illness of pregnancy must be considered as a sickness for the duration of the pregnancy. If untreated, the consequences of this illness can be life-threatening.
A short-term illness is an illness which generally responds to prompt treatment and control. This illness can be classified as moderate, prompt, or late-stage. Symptoms include frequent urination, fatigue, fever, chills, skin rash, head pain, joint pain, headaches, stomach aches, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of weight, skin lesions, and muscle and joint stiffness. These symptoms can be mild or severe. However, the severity of the symptoms of a sick person is usually proportional to the degree of his immune system’s resistance to the infection.
A patient who develops any of these illnesses usually shows symptoms within one to three days of the incubation period. Generally, these short-term illnesses develop in people who are: aged, diabetic, HIV-positive, preexisting or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, who use or take drugs involvingstreptococcal antibiotics, who have kidney or liver disease, or who have a history of allergies (histamine reactions). These illnesses can lead to sepsis, neutropenia, and other complications, including infections and pneumonia. An incubation period of three days to a week is considered to be the normal interval between infection and presentation of symptoms, irrespective of whether the patient is healthy or unhealthy.