Health is a condition of mental, physical and social well being where infirmity and disease are absent. It encompasses a range of conditions and diseases that affect the mind and the body. It can be affected by humans at any stage in their lives and is an enduring quality of life that impacts the way people live.
People live longer if they manage their personal health well. Mental and physical health often go hand in hand and a healthy body is good for your mind as well as your physical health. A healthy mind and body are reflected in your social and emotional well-being and these can change with personal stress and illness. Your health is affected by genetics, age, diet, general health, occupation, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption and family history. There are many causes for ill health including inherited traits, high stress levels and poor nutrition and ill health can affect people of all ages and races.
The determinants of ill health status are known as risk factors. Risk determinants are influenced by the environment, behaviours, genes, hormones, genetics and lifestyle choices. There are three main risk factors which include general lifestyle, underlying disorder and cognitive impairment.
Lifestyle is the habits you engage in on a daily basis such as your diet and general health status. Poor diet and lack of exercise result in a poor general health status, which can lead to obesity, poor metabolism and various chronic diseases. It also affects the blood pressure, sugar level and can cause heart diseases. Overweight and obese people have a greater chance of developing coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes and other associated diseases. Smoking and alcohol abuse can also lead to serious health issues and poor well-being.
An underlying disorder can be an infection, neurological disorder, malformation or gene abnormality. Serious genetic disorders can lead to various health problems such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune disorders, mental retardation, birth defects and many more. Mental disorders include depression, psychosis, bipolar, schizophrenia and delusional disorder. In addition, behaviours which result in poor health status include smoking, drug use, inappropriate sexual behaviour, substance abuse and consuming alcoholic beverages.
Lifestyle and behaviours can be improved by utilising self help strategies. This can include stress management techniques and dietary modifications. A combination of medication and therapy can also help in improving the illness and wellbeing of an individual. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) can provide immediate relief and support and in improving the overall physical and mental health of an individual. Overall wellbeing is the desired result of any illness and this can be achieved through a complete physical examination, proper diagnosis and treatment.