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Disease or Disorder?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pennybridge, May 6, 2007.

  1. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned Banned

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    Oct 13, 2006
    I've been furiously googling this for like five minutes.

    Any smartypants out there know if "officially" there's a subtle difference, or is it just a zero-sum semantics game?
     
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  3. The traditional difference was that diseases were caused by an outside entity (virus, bacteria, rickettsia, parasite, etc) that could be spread from one individual of a population to the next. Disorders were defined as having arose from a source that was either something wrong with the processes of the individual's body (atherosclerosis, diabetes, etc) or that was due to an non-contagious outside source (toxins, etc). At least that was the way it was explained to me in an epidemiology course.
     
  4. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned Banned

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    Oct 13, 2006
    wouldn't that just make it an "infectious disease?" And what about "heart disease" or "liver disease"...


    the only time I remember being taught a distinction was in a human genetics class, but go figure I've forgotten it.

    the best distinction I have found is a "disease" is something that we can pinpoint a "cause" for, versus a "disorder" which has no known and/or identifiable cause. Like "heart disease" versus "an eating disorder"

    that makes sense I guess, but then what is the difference if any between a "genetic disorder" and a "genetic disease" if we even use the term "genetic disease"



    gahd this is driving me nuts. damn you, english language!
     
  5. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    Feb 23, 2007
    So is alcoholism a disease or a disorder?

    If you don't know the difference between a disease and a disorder, do you have a condition that is secondary to a syndrome?

    I think that I need a procedure...

    Are cheerleaders considered athletes? When does life begin anyway?
     
  6. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned Banned

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    Oct 13, 2006
    (stares blankly at avatar)

    ....I'm sorry, what?
     
  7. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 4, 2000
    In the medical world you will sometimes see these terms used interchangably. There are exact definitions and there is overlap among them.

    A disease can cause a disorder...and a disorder can put you at risk for diseases. Some people develop syndromes that are a conglomerate of diseases, disorders or both.

    Medical terminology is constantly changing.

    Just say what your attendings say and you will be fine.
     
  8. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    Feb 23, 2007
    :thumbup: Do what they say, not what they do.
     
  9. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 4, 2000
    Absolutely.
     
  10. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned Banned

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    Oct 13, 2006
    what about doing who they do? Can we do that?
     

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