Causes, triggers & root causes; these are all words we hear when speaking of health and wellness. But can you distinguish the three? Although there are fine lines between them, they have distinct differences and are often are confused with one another.
Causes are not the definition of the disease and nor are they to be confused with the triggers of diseases. Cause of disease is also known as the etiology, or origin, of disease. The cause of disease is the disorder of a structure or function in the body, or living organism, that is not due to any external injury. Causes of disease include external factors such as pathogens; and internal factors such as immunodeficiency, hypersensitivity and autoimmunity.
Doctors and scientists are more likely to be able to give the cause of acute (and more simple) illnesses, such as the common cold and flu, than more chronic and complex conditions that tend to have more triggers and subjective causes. I think that it is important to note that many causes of disease are idiopathic, or unknown.
To make it easier to comprehend the different subheadings of disease, here is an example (of Asthma) broken down into different subheadings: