Something I get asked a bit too frequently is “What is the difference between Illness, Sickness, Disease, Disorder… (quite a few terms to explain something that is not right with your health)?
In the beginning of my professional career, years back, my answer would be to define each term and explain their differences, but for each passing time, in my mind I would see less differences than the previous time. Understanding your body and it’s symptoms really does turn the table and what once seemed to be complicated can be as easy as “pie” if you know how to remove and select the right information.
Truth is, now a days, I only use the word Disorder when my patients or friends ask me about their health and balance. Why? Well, it’s easy to say, really. If your body is not doing well, it is not in order, therefore Disorder. And to keep the focus on getting your body back in order, why make it complicated?
All these terms and new terms that keep coming up about what a symptom is, or to describe your illness, or to relate with a disease… blah blah blah… People, it is all the same. Might as well just make it simple. If you are not well, you are dealing with a moment of Disorder. And the answer to this problem is to put your body and/or mind back in order. Right?! YES =)
So next time you get caught in between definitions that make your head spin in despair on what to do next, there is no need to feel incapable, (a lot of times) language is a problem. Justs keep it simple. This is almost 90% of the times the best and most direct answer to solving a problem, your problem.
Example, if you have a rash… it’s a rash! It doesn’t matter if it’s from an allergy, Eczema, Rosacea… there are so many different names…. so so many. They are all still a rash… and basically they all have the same origin, the only difference is that everyone is different and the disorder can manifest differently, but nonetheless it doesn’t change the source of where it all started.
I guess at some point, us from the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries, decided that it would be easier to put different names to different “symptoms” because it could help us see the differences from one manifestation to the other. But with time, this has really made a huge mess. Confusing both Doctors and specially Patients from treating the cause and not the many different manifestations the cause causes. Mmmm might sound a bit confusing… But do spend some minutes rereading this and your mind will begin to understand how the world could be a simpler place.
Another example… Stomach Disorders (here is where it gets really interesting and twisting)… There are ulcers, cancer, gastric, gazzy, bloaty, pft… I think this list can go on for another 3 pages… maybe more… but hey! They are all stomach disorders. So stomach disorders = bad digestion = bad eating = improve eating = better digestion = things in order!