Components of the disease

The diseases are mental categories, each with a particular meaning that gives individuality to be understood as a nosological entity. Such intellectual distinction (categorization) is based on the components of each nosological entity which characterize it as such. Consequently, the total information that makes each nosological entity which is part of the analysis of minimum and partial units, each representing an aspect of the process of disease. In some cases, certain aspects are unknown or uncertain, making it difficult a full description of these entities.

Several basic aspects (components) considered for the study of different pathological processes. Any of these components can be used as taxonomic criteria of different nosologic entities. Here are some of these aspects:


The concept of disease is an intellectual approach that provides guidance on the type of disease in question, and helps your understanding. Every disease has a conceptual component that categorizes and provides a reference point for identifying what may be common or a distinct nosological entity from another.

An example: the name 'diabetes', was a significant reference to the passage of water evident in the increased thirst (polydipsia) and the excretion of urine (polyuria). This led to group two disorders (diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus) that the only thing they have in common is the polydipsia and polyuria as their causes, frequency, and other events are totally different.


Represents significant information was tentatively set on the more likely it is possible to develop a disease. The science of epidemiology-considered statistically many variables to define such a case-by-case context (population, environmental, ethnic, genetic, labor, environmental, etc.)..

The epidemiology of a disease also provides parameters to determine the importance of pathology in particular in relation to his case (frequency of cases) and the probability of identifying a cause for such cases.


For a disease, the etiology is the main cause identified; represents the starting point for developing the disease. Factor is the sine qua non for the genesis of the disease process. However, in many disease processes and substitutes, the etiology is uncertain or unknown. In this aspect, it is a primary distinction, which makes syndromes plurietiológicas entities, while at most diseases have a single cause.

In this context, it should be noted that along with the etiology are often described triggers of the disease. Often, there are certain circumstances that are not due (at least directly) from the disease, as facts are kicking themselves in the process.

Sometimes, for an illness, described his "pathogenesis", ie: its etiology and pathogenesis of a conjugate as a unified process.


Pathogenesis patogenesia or is the description (sometimes tentative) complex pathophysiological process that develops from the effects triggered by the etiological factor. This description defines the transition to the status of disease.

The pathogenesis of the disease is a representation of the altered mechanisms of normal physiology that generate, sustain and end or perpetuate the disease process by promoting a cause (etiology).

Pathological findings

The anatomical and histological study allows to investigate for evidence of physical-chemical process of disease, which is reflected in alterations of normal morphology and physiology at any level (molecular, cellular, tissue, organic, etc.).. The discovery of this evidence, generally, is a definitive diagnosis.

There are several techniques and methodologies to demonstrate the various morphofunctional injuries, and determine its interpretation in the context of the pathogenesis, since the lesions can be seen as milestones that mark a year: patogenésico the path that leads toward a kind of disease.

Clinical picture

Clinical, clinical or 'clinical' is a meaningful context or framework, defined by the relationship between the signs and symptoms that occur in a given disease (in fact, introducing the ill). Clinical semiology is the tool that allows clinical denifir, which can be distinguished:

* Symptoms are the subjective reference on which the patient's own perception of the manifestations of the illness suffered. Symptoms are the patient's statement about what happens (see history). Symptoms by their subjective nature, are highly variable, sometimes unreliable and not very accurate, and sometimes, their interpretation can be difficult. Still, its value in the diagnosis is clear.

* Clinical signs: The signs from the examination or psychological exploration of the patient. Clinical signs include sensory elements (related to the senses), collected in the biology of the patient from observation, smelling, palpation, percussion and auscultation, in addition to the application of certain maneuvers. Every sign is in full meaning as it has an interpretation as a semiological.


The evidence of clinical semiology involve providing additional information from the biology of the patient by applying different techniques, usually instrumental. The results produced by the tests should be interpreted as complementary.

Examples of evidence are all the imaging techniques (ultrasound, X-ray, CT, MRI, scintigraphic, etc..) Electocardiograma, spirometry, blood tests (blood count), myelogram, punctures (several), urinalysis, psychological tests, physical tests, polysomnography, and so on.


It is a complex process that develops the professional, and implies a cognitive response to the raising of the status of the patient. The diagnosis can determine whether or not a pathological condition (also diagnosed in a patient's health).

The process includes the differential diagnosis, ie the valuation of all possible causes nosologic that might give a similar clinical picture. It remains to choose the most appropriate depending on the results of a case history, physical examination, complementary tests, and sometimes treatment.


Evolution or natural history of the disease represents a sequence or course of events between the biological action sequence components of the causes (etiology) to which the disease occurs and the outcome (cure, step by chronicity or death). The natural history of the disease represents an evolution of the disease process without medical intervention.


Consists of all those options environmental, human, physical, chemical, among others, that contribute to the healing of the patient, the process, or to alleviate their symptoms (palliative treatment) if possible to improve their quality of life achieved incorporation into society.


Represents information of a statistical trend that continues on a disease process. Many variables must be taken into account when preparing a forecast. It is not always possible to predict the evolution of disease, with or without treatment.


Prevention or prophylaxis is information pertaining to actions that alter the probability of disease, reducing the risks. Prevention involves action measures aimed at preventing disease and improving health status.


The classification of disease as nosologic entities are governed by the nosotaxia, discipline dependent on nosology. The classifications are varied and depend on the criteria taken into account.

Disease classification is the result of an overwhelming amount of comments in an attempt to order and print a claim that the order does not come from an interpretation, but a correspondence, an approach to the natural order (Viesca, et al .).

"In medicine, diseases are grouped according to anatomical similarities, etiology or pathogenesis. The classification is more appropriate that combines all three characteristics. It is not, however, common.

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Written by
S. Rajalakshmi
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