The Determinants of Illness

The Determinants of Illness

Health is a condition of mental, physical and social well being where illness and infirmity are completely absent. It entails your ability to endure physical activities and to maintain or give up a healthy way of life. One’s ability to be healthy influences his/her behavior, work and relationships. To achieve good health, one must start from the inside out. A good start to health is from within and involves first recognizing oneself and one’s own health needs.

In the health sciences, the three determinants of good health are homeostasis, immunity and carbohydrate metabolism. Determinants are habits or physical structures that facilitate the accumulation or dissipation of the energy within our systems. Some of these determinants are diet (food), stress level, body type and genetics. The goal of therapy is to enhance the capacity for self-maintenance of the determinants, or facilitate the elimination of the ones that compromise our health. In order to achieve the desired and realistic results of any treatment, the treatment plan should consider the total lifestyle of the person.

The two aspects of physical and mental health are interrelated and dependent on each other, and the control of one cannot be separated from the other. Health counseling is to improve the conditions of people that face mental disorders as well as those of the physical person, in order to promote total well-being. The physical well-being is achieved by addressing the basic problems related to health: obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, while the mental health is promoted through proper education about stress, depression, anxiety and phobias, and through the implementation of techniques such as yoga, meditation, and behavioral therapies. Counseling also helps people change their views and behaviors concerning health and safety and promotes personal responsibility.

The determinants of good health in industrialized countries are relatively high and have been found to differ in most developed countries, particularly in the area of physical well-being. However, the determinants in less-developed countries are also similar, although many of the issues in developed countries seem to be associated with poor dietary habits or exposure to dangerous environmental factors (smoking, drinking, exposure to drugs and the like). Socio-economic factors such as wealth, position, and educational attainment have a positive impact on physical well-being. These determinants can be improved through changes in life style choices and attitudes, as well as through better availability of quality health care. This is especially important for women, who face particular problems in relation to physical well-being and its regulation. This is especially important in developed countries where many women live with high levels of stress and abuse physical health.

The promotion of physical capabilities and the maintenance of these capabilities through health promotion and education emphasizes social support networks and active participation in communities. Such networks can be made by governmental organizations and local organizations, through multidimensional programs such as mass media campaigns and community events. Health promotion programs involve improving the quality of life through encouraging healthy lifestyles and promoting active participation in community activities. These can include promoting sports and recreation, promoting physical education and promoting active outdoor activities.

Illness has different effects on people at different ages and health status. It can either cause a temporary or permanent disability. The determinants that affect the prevalence of disease also have strong influences. These include social determinants such as poverty and ethnicity, physical determinants such as obesity and physical exertion, genetic or biological determinants such as hereditary or environment, and mental determinants such as stress and depression. In the case of chronic illness, prevention of such illnesses requires changing the lifestyle of the affected person and addressing the underlying causes of illness.

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