The Importance of Determining What Makes Up a Healthy Definition of Health
Health, according to the World Health Organization; is “a condition of total physical, mental and emotional well-being and not just the absence of illness and infirmity.” A variety of other definitions have also been employed over the years for various purposes. The better definition, therefore, is health: that state of well-being that encompasses all the important areas of life that the human being experiences and wants to survive as well as live in a healthy way.
The second definition, the first-class disease definition, indicates that the absence of any disease does not necessarily indicate a healthy condition. In other words, even though there may be no pain or ill effects, this does not mean that the person is in a healthy condition. The third definition emphasizes the social nature of health. It says that health is a relational concept, referring both to the mental state and the physical environment in which a person finds himself.
The definition of healthy, as noted above, differs from other related definitions by adding the idea of being able to endure or recuperate from the effects of disease. The word disease, in this case, emphasizes the reality of suffering and its possibility to cause harm. The absence of disease, by contrast, emphasizes the absence of suffering. This definition is considered the traditional definition in Western medicine, but many other definitions have come into existence since the advent of more scientific methods in diagnosis and treatments.
The definition of normal, which is also called the reference class, includes persons who are generally healthy and whose mortality rate is not elevated compared with the average population. Diseases, on the other hand, are those that are associated with abnormal physical processes or biological hazards that make them difficult to cope with. These include such things as congenital anomalies, malformations, genetic disorders, and infectious diseases. Hypertension is a common example of a disease associated with high blood pressure, and hypothyroidism is a condition that imply low thyroid function. In the definition of normal, it includes persons who are not at risk for death due to their physical attributes, but may still have other health problems that make living a typical life difficult.
Another definition of normal is health in a balanced manner, indicating a level of total health and bodily capacities that are sufficient for the maintenance of the community. Persons having a healthy definition of health can benefit from a number of public health programmes, like immunization programs, use of pharmacological and antioxidant drugs for the prevention of diseases, and programmes to evaluate the progress of disease progression. By preserving and improving the quality of the food consumed by communities, and reducing the intake of toxins through environmental cleanliness and detoxification, this definition can be made more meaningful and beneficial to people in maintaining health and avoiding diseases.
A third definition, representing a cross-section of the spectrum of what we mean by normal, may also be called the compromise point. Here, conditions that are regarded as normal by another set of people may not meet the needs of another. When this happens, a discussion on how to maintain or improve these conditions can ensue, with consequent research, and may eventually lead to legislation and programs. This definition could, for example, include the need for healthier ways of life and practices by health professionals in addressing diseases and conditions. For instance, if a heart disease was considered to be normal, doctors might then recommend lifestyle changes, like cessation of cigarette smoking or lowering of blood pressure, as ways of coping with the disease.