folk illness the experience of symptoms that are not identifiable with biomedical categories of disease; causes include natural forces, supernatural factors, interpersonal factors, and emotions. An example is susto, which is a Hispanic term for fright caused by a traumatic experience. Symptoms include listlessness, loss of appetite, and withdrawal. Curanderos (folk healers) treat the illness with prayers, rituals, and laying on of hands.
pertaining to the interrelations of mind and body; having bodily symptoms of psychic, emotional, or mental origin.
) a disorder in which the physical symptoms are caused or exacerbated by psychological factors, such as migraine headache, lower back pain, or irritable bowel syndrome; see also somatoform disorders
. It is now recognized that emotional factors play a role in the development of nearly all organic illnesses and that the physical symptoms experienced by the patient are related to many interdependent factors, including psychological and cultural. The physical manifestations of an illness, unless caused by mechanical trauma, cannot be divorced from a person's emotional life. Each person responds in a unique way to stress; emotions affect one's sensitivity to trauma and to irritating elements in the environment, susceptibility to infection, and ability to recover from the effects of illness. Physical conditions to which psychological factors are shown to be contributory are currently classified as psychological factors affecting medical condition.
Any physical condition can be so classified, but the most frequently included are asthma
, peptic ulcer
, bowel disorders, cardiovascular disorders, arthritis
, and certain endocrine disorders. In recent years there has been some success in using behavior therapy to treat these and other illnesses whose symptoms are related to the autonomic nervous system. Clients are taught new ways of coping with stress and new patterns of behavior. Among the techniques used are biofeedback
, relaxation training, classical conditioning
, and operant conditioning
using social and material reinforcement.
1. Sickness; disease.
2. An ailment.
Rapid weight loss with loss of body fat and muscle mass that frequently accompanies short-term, self-limiting conditions such as infection or injury. This condition may be associated with diabetic ketoacidosis, multiple organ system failure, and chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer.
Inflammation should be reduced and appropriate nutrients provided.
An unusually prolonged or complex illness, esp. one that causes severe organ dysfunction or threatens life. Catastrophic illnesses often make exceptional demands on patients, caregivers, families, and health care resources.
Aeroembolism due to an excessively rapid ascent to the surface by a deep-sea diver. Synonym: bends
; caisson disease
; Synonym: diver's palsy
Affected patients should be transported to specialized treatment centers where recompression or hyperbaric chambers are available.
A disease or condition found only in specific societies, ethnic groups, or cultures. Often the culture has causal explanations for these illnesses, as well as preventive and treatment measures. Well-known examples are present in the Hispanic American culture (e.g., empacho, caida de mollera, mal de ojo, susto
). These are diagnosed and treated by folk healers called curanderos.
Some other examples of folk illnesses include amok
, though numerous other examples exist within multiple cultures. See: amok
functional illnessFunctional disease.
A general term used to describe the harmful effects on the human body of being exposed to high temperature and/or humidity. See: tableheat cramp; heat exhaustion for table; heatstroke; syncope
influenza-like illness Abbreviation: ILI
Any disease of the respiratory tract that causes cough, fever, malaise, headache, sore throat, and fatigue. ILI can be caused by rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, coronaviruses, adenoviruses, rickettsia, and other infectious microorganisms.
mass psychogenic illnessMass sociogenic illness.
mass sociogenic illness Abbreviation: MSI
An unexplained, self-limiting illness characterized by nonspecific symptoms among people in a social setting such as a school, workplace, church, or military group. The onset is usually rapid and may occur after an unusual or peculiar odor is detected. Symptoms may include dizziness, weakness, headache, abdominal pain, rash, itching, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, and fainting. There are no laboratory studies to confirm an etiologic agent. Resolution of the mass illness may occur when those affected are reassured that it is not due to a toxic substance or disease. Synonym: mass psychogenic illness
Any disorder that affects mood or behavior.
Any acute or chronic disorder associated with or caused by an individual's occupation. See: table; chronic lead poisoning
|Anemia||Lead (battery reclaimers, shipyard workers)|
|Asbestosis||Shipyard workers and others exposed to asbestos fibers|
|Asthma||Meat wrappers, woodworkers, those exposed to platinum, nickel, solder, ammonia, cotton dust, formaldehyde, pesticides|
|Byssinosis||Cotton textile workers|
|Cancer||People who work with radioactive materials (health care, lab workers), x-ray workers (industrial and health care), miners|
|Carpal tunnel syndrome||Typists, computer programmers, and other people who work with their hands|
|Contact dermatitis||Health care workers using latex gloves, and florists|
|Decompression sickness||Divers, marine salvage workers|
|Hearing impairment||People who work in noisy environments without adequate ear protection|
|Pneumonitis||Wood workers (esp. red cedar), mushroom growers, cheese handlers, and farmers|
|Silicosis||Miners, foundry workers|
|Skin granulomas||Beryllium workers (e.g., in auto or aircraft industries)|
|Tennis or golfer's elbow||Carpenters, plumbers, and athletes|
|Vibration syndrome, including Raynaud's phenomenon||Truck drivers, hand-vibrating drill operators, jackhammer workers|
|Evaluation Finding||Heat Cramps||Heat Syncope||Heat Exhaustion||Heat Stroke|
|Core Temperature*||Within normal limits**||Within normal limits||102° – 104°F (38.9° – 40°C)||Greater than 104°F (40°C)|
|Skin Color and Temperature||Within normal limits||Within normal limits||Cool/clammy||Hot|
|Pulse||Within normal limits||Decreased||Rapid and weak||Increased|
|Blood Pressure||Within normal limits||A sudden, imperceptible drop in blood pressure, which rapidly returns to normal||Low||High|
|Respiration||Within normal limits||Within normal limits||Hyperventilation||Rapid hyperventilation|
|Mental State||Within normal limits||Fatigue||Dizziness||Dizziness|
|Fainting||Slight confusion||Confusion/ disorientation|
|Neuromuscular Changes||Cramping in one or more muscles||Muscle cramps||Weakness|
|Gastrointestinal and Urinary Changes||Intestinal Cramping||Nausea|
|Decreased Urinary output|
|Central Nervous System||Syncope||Headache|
|Other Findings||Thirst||“Tunnel vision” may be reported||Thirst||Dilated pupils|
|Loss of appetite (anorexia)|
SOURCE: Starkey, C, Brown, S, and Ryan, J: Examination of Orthopedic and Athletic Injuries, ed 3, FA Davis, Philadelphia, 2010. *As determined by the rectal temperature ** Within normal limits for an exercising athlete
psychosomatic illness See: somatoform disorder
Southern tick–associated rash illness See: Southern tick–associated rash illness
A final, fatal illness.
The health care professional supports the patient and family by anticipating their loss and grief and helps the patient to deal with fear, pain and suffering, hopelessness, dependency, disability, loss of self-esteem, and loss of pleasure. Hospice care is provided if desired and available. The patient receives caring comfort and help in adjusting to decreased quality of life to ensure that death occurs with dignity.