According to the World Health Organization, health is a resource that sustains a person’s physical, mental, and social well-being. It provides the means for a productive and fulfilling life. Health is also defined by researchers in The Lancet as the capacity to resist disease and adapt to new threats. These definitions are based on the advancement of modern science in the field of disease awareness. But what exactly is health? What should health professionals be concerned with?
The first thing to consider is the definition of health. The medical community defines health as the absence of disease. However, as medical knowledge improves, new diseases are discovered. Thus, the definition of health is not limited to the absence of disease; it can also be the presence of disability or impairment. For example, a person can be physically fit but may not be mentally healthy. This does not mean that a person has no limitations, however; it is more important to assess their physical and mental abilities.
Acute diseases last only a short period of time, whereas chronic diseases are long-lasting. While an acute disease may leave a person feeling uncomfortable for a week or two, a chronic disease may be chronic and result in a lifetime of deterioration in a person’s health. For example, people with asthma or allergies may be able to overcome the effects of allergies in a week. However, those with diabetes are not healthy.