When a healthcare provider suspects that you have an autoimmune disease , such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may hear them talk about your symptoms and diagnosis in various terms, such as disease, disorder, syndrome, and condition. While these terms may seem interchangeable, they all refer to specific health conditions.
From symptoms to diagnosis of a disease
Symptom, syndrome, disorder, disease are terms that are used in the hierarchy to classify how it affects our health. Symptoms are the first thing we notice, indicating a possible problem. When a group of symptoms occurs at the same time, it is classified as a syndrome.
Knowing about the syndrome helps doctors analyze your health to identify the disorder. At this stage, there is usually no direct indication that the symptoms are caused by one or the other. Once the cause of the disorder is established, a diagnosis can be made.
It can take years to get a diagnosis for a particular autoimmune disease. You may have clusters of symptoms that clearly indicate that you have some type of autoimmune disease, but there is no specific diagnosis. During the time it takes to get a correct diagnosis, your condition or how you feel on a daily basis may change.
If you experience arthritis symptoms, such as joint pain, your healthcare provider may tell you that you have arthritis. Without knowing the exact cause of your symptoms, you suffer from arthritis syndrome or disease. Arthritis syndromes and disorders are often referred to simply as arthritis.
Once the cause of your arthritis is identified, you will be informed about the disease. All diseases have a specific cause. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the cause is that the immune system attacks the joints.
Illness versus illness
Illness is a broad term, while illness refers to a specific condition that a healthcare provider can diagnose. When we consider disease versus disease, the term disease is more subjective.
You can identify yourself as sick by your symptoms. Some of your symptoms may be fleeting, such as a runny nose, while others may be more severe and prolonged, such as high blood pressure. When you have a medical condition, you have a specific medical condition that has been identified by your healthcare provider, and this is more objective.
What is a disease?
Disease is a disease process that healthcare professionals can see, touch, and measure. Diseases have certain signs and symptoms. When diagnosing autoimmune diseases, healthcare professionals will look for specific clinical signs and symptoms.
For example, rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function. The disease can also cause fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite.
To determine if your symptoms are caused by rheumatoid arthritis, your healthcare provider will take a complete history, perform an exam, and may order other tests, such as X-rays and blood tests.
What is a disorder?
The disorder is characterized by functional impairment and impairment of the normal function and structure of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disorders are a group of diseases marked by the fact that they cause the immune system to attack the body itself instead of foreign objects such as viruses or bacteria. In the case of RA, the immune system attacks the joints.
Disease versus disorder
While healthcare providers often use the two terms interchangeably, there are subtle differences between the two. The disease is distinguishable and measurable.
A disorder may indicate that a particular disorder is possible, but there is insufficient clinical evidence to make a diagnosis. It may be clear that you have some type of autoimmune disease, but it can take time to get a specific diagnosis, such as RA.
What is the syndrome?
A syndrome is a group of symptoms associated with a specific cause. Symptoms of an autoimmune disease differ depending on the type of disease.
Autoimmune diseases are often divided into two groups: organ specific and systemic. In organ-specific autoimmune diseases, symptoms affect or are caused by a specific organ.
When an autoimmune disease is systemic, that is, it affects the entire body. For example, with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus , any organ in the body, such as the heart, skin, brain, and kidneys, can be affected. Knowing the specific symptoms or syndrome can help the doctor diagnose the underlying disorder.
Syndrome versus disease
Syndromes are groups of symptoms associated with a disease. Knowledge of the syndrome can help diagnose the disease.
What is a state?
A condition indicates your state of health. This is an abnormal condition that feels different from your normal health. Often times, you learn that someone is hospitalized and find that they are in a stable or critical condition.
Get the word of drug information
Living with an autoimmune disease can be unpredictable, but keeping an open line of communication with your healthcare provider is key to living well with any medical condition. When you know something is wrong with your body and you are on your way to a diagnosis, you can take any of the steps mentioned above.
You may have groups of symptoms that correspond to certain syndromes or disorders, and your condition may remain constantly changing. There are good days and bad days with autoimmune diseases, but working with your healthcare provider to make a specific diagnosis of the disease can help you manage your health.