Diseases & Disorders: Everything you need to know

Diseases and Disorders


Diseases and disorders are widespread in today’s world. Billions of people suffer from them, and many even die. There are more than thousands of diseases and hundreds of disorders.

As science advances, we have been finding new cures and therapies for the diseases and disorders that ail humanity.

People generally think that the terms disease and disorder mean the same. We use these words interchangeably and casually. And yet, these two words mean different things.

Although it is easy to confuse the two words, they have particular meanings. Let’s explore the meaning and various types of diseases and disorders.


Diseases VS Disorders

A disease is a medical condition that has specific physical signs and symptoms. Whereas, a disorder may not show physical symptoms.

A disorder is also a medical condition. It is a disruption in the order of the organism. This is where it can get confusing. Both cause malfunction in the body.

Diseases are what cause disorders. For example, cardiovascular disease is the root cause of arrhythmia, which is a disorder.

Also, a person with a communicable disease can transmit it to another person. In contrast, disorders cannot be transmitted. For example, a person can transmit chickenpox (disease) but not depression (disorder).


Types of diseases

There are mainly two types of diseases. These diseases are as follows:

  • Communicable diseases
  • Non-communicable diseases


Communicable diseases

A communicable disease can be transmitted from one person to another. Bacteria, viruses and pathogens are the carriers of diseases. They spread the disease from one person to another.

Malaria, HIV, Chickenpox, coronavirus are examples of communicable diseases.

How to prevent communicable diseases?

  • Wear a mask
  • Avoid touching people who have a communicable disease
  • Keep your house clean
  • Have clean personal hygiene
  • Wash your hands regularly to keep harmful bacteria and viruses away


Non-communicable diseases

A non-communicable disease does not spread from one person to another. It is caused due to allergies, malnutrition, poor lifestyle habits and illnesses.

Non-communicable diseases do not have carrier agents like communicable diseases. But they can be passed down from one generation to another. For example, children can inherit their parents’ cancer genes.

These diseases are chronic as they develop over a period of time. In comparison, communicable diseases are acute as they develop suddenly.

Cancer, Rickets, heart diseases and diabetes are a few examples of non-communicable diseases.

How to prevent non-communicable diseases?

  • Go for regular body check-ups
  • Tell your doctor about your family history
  • Have a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep a balanced routine and get enough sleep


Doctors also classify diseases based on how long they last. Acute diseases develop suddenly and last for a short duration. When they are not treated appropriately, acute diseases can also turn into chronic diseases.

Fever, cold and flu are acute diseases.

Chronic diseases develop slowly and last for a long duration. Cancer, arthritis and diabetes are examples of chronic diseases.


Types of disorders

There are more than 100 types of disorders. But doctors classify disorders in mainly three ways:

  • Psychosomatic disorders
  • Genetic disorder
  • Physical disorders


Psychosomatic disorders

Psychosomatic disorders are a combination of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. In these type of disorders, the body and mind are not working in harmony.

Some examples of psychosomatic disorders are as follows:

  • Anxiety disorder: The person feels life-threatening anxiety. They cannot live their life in a normal way. People with anxiety disorders often freak out over small matters.
  • Anti-social behaviour disorder: People with anti-social behaviour disorder have trouble in social environments. They do not know how to behave. And so, this disorder is a behavioural disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder: With bipolar disorder, the person experiences extreme highs and lows. They struggle to find balance in their day-to-day lives.
  • Depressive disorder: Depressive disorder can cause a person to feel low all the time. People with depressive disorders feel like there is no meaning to life. And they cannot shake off this feeling.
  • Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a deadly disorder. Hallucinations, delusions and erratic behaviours are common symptoms of schizophrenia.


All psychosomatic disorders are a combination of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. An imbalance between emotions, actions and thoughts is one of the causes of psychosomatic disorders.

Patients with psychosomatic disorders heal with the right medication and psychotherapy. Along with psychotherapy, doctors prescribe anti-depressants and other drugs to manage the disorder.


Genetic disorders

A genetic disorder occurs due to a defect in the genome. In simple words, when there is an abnormality in the gene, it can manifest as a genetic disorder.

Some of the most common genetic disorders are as follows:

  • Autism: Repetitive behaviour, difficulty in verbal and non-verbal communication, and social interaction are some of the symptoms of autism disorder.

          According to research,  vaccinations also cause autism. 

  • Haemophilia: This genetic disorder is a blood disorder. People with haemophilia have excessive bleeding when they get hurt. This is because their blood is unable to clot due to the genetic disorder.
  • Down Syndrome: Trisomy 21 is another name for down syndrome. People with down syndrome have three sets of chromosome 21, instead of two. Learning problems and delay in physical growth are some symptoms of down syndrome.
  • Colour blindness: People with colour blindness disorder are unable to see colours. A person can also develop this genetic disorder, is there is an injury to the optical nerve.
  • Progeria: A person with this genetic disorder experiences rapid ageing. It develops from the mutation of the LMNA gene. Alopecia and bone abnormalities are some of the symptoms of progeria disorder.


Physical disorders

Psychosomatic disorders manifest on a mental and emotional level. Genetic disorders manifest on a gene level. Similarly, physical disorders manifest on a physical level.

Physical disorders are often connected to psychosomatic disorders.

Some examples of physical disorders are as follows:

  • Nervous system disorders: Doctors call the malfunctioning of the nervous system as nervous system disorders. Multiple sclerosis and epilepsy are examples of this disorder.
  • Endocrine disorders: These are disorders of the endocrine system. They can have physical and psychological implications. Adrenal gland disorders and pituitary disorders are examples of endocrine disorders.
  • Cardiovascular disorders: These are disorders that involve the heart and blood vessels. Arrhythmia and blood pressure disorders are examples of cardiovascular disorders.



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