Causes of Disease

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Submitted By phil0101
Words 1583
Pages 7
Causes of disease

A disease is defined as a physical or mental disorder or malfunction with a certain set of signs or symptoms.

Diseases may be caused by a single factor such as a pathogenic microorganism or have many causes some of which may depend on lifestyle.

Pathogens have many qualities that assist with the causing of diseases: they can gain entry to the host, colonise tissues of the host, resist defences of the host and cause damage to the host’s tissues. Microorganisms gain entry to the host through the skin and through exchange sites. For example, if someone has physical contact with an infected individual. All these characteristics lead to a disease occurring in the host. Some examples of pathogens are bacteria, viruses and fungi. A healthy lifestyle involves, maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, drinking a limited amount of alcohol and not smoking. If individuals lead a healthy lifestyle, the risk of contracting a disease will decrease. For example, the carcinogenic chemicals found in tobacco smoke may increase an individual’s risk of contracting cancer. However, people need to remember that it’s never too late to change your lifestyle. For example, there is clear evidence showing that the risk of lung cancer to a smoker is reduced if they stop smoking. Going into more detail about the pathogen, we can understand what consequences the production of toxins can cause. A toxin is a harmful chemical that damages the body. For example, the bacterium that causes tetanus produces a toxin that blocks the function of certain nerve cells, causing muscle spasms. Pathogenic microorganisms can also damage the host’s cells. They do this by rupturing them to release nutrients inside them (e.g. protein), breaking down nutrients inside the cell for their own use (this starves and eventually kills the cell) and…...

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