Some science behind the scenes
A disease is the name given to a collection of symptoms - effects - resulting from an attack by an environmental aggressor on an organism.
The word illness is used more loosely, and usually by the person who is ill, to mean a disease. Often the name is a more easily remembered name.
For example people do not say I have varicella zoster virus disease, they say I have chicken pox [if they are a child] or shingles [if they are an adult]. Thus a disease may have more than one illness name.
As some collections of symptoms have not been given a name by the medical community there are some illnesses, with no disease name. Any illness recognised, but for which the medical community have been given no pharmaceutical to ‘treat’ it, is known as a syndrome.
There are only a limited number of environmental aggressors - causes of disease, [see the cause baby above] but literally thousands upon thousands of diseases, because of the emphasis of the medical community on symptoms and the need to group symptoms, because they practise on a pharmacological basis only.
For any one root cause of a disease, there may be one or multiple diseases resulting. The herpes virus, for example, actually produces numerous diseases from cancer to herpes itself. Parasites can produce blindness, cancer, mental illness, brain damage, epilepsy, various lung diseases, diabetes, pancreas diseases and so on.
For any one effect - symptom, there can be multiple diseases which have that as a symptom. Thus shortness of breath can be caused by smoke inhalation, heart failure, asthma, obesity, lung cancer, bronchitis, poisoning, food poisoning, the common cold, influenza and parasitical infestations.
And for any one disease it can have one or more effects - symptoms. Thus influenza can produce muscle aches, fever, mental confusion, shortness of breath, pallor, weakness, nausea, incontinence and so on.
Historically therefore, we have produced a muddle of illogicality and confusion designed to ensure very few are ever treated appropriately, because ultimately no two people ever get the same symptoms when they are ill and no one can unravel the mess of naming that has resulted.
If one was to start logically and re-devise the entire medical process, one would identify each cause precisely – down to the most precise organism and simply list the symptoms which have been observed to result from attack by that organism. There would be no diseases, all there would be was a long list of ultimate causes cross referenced in a many to many pattern with symptoms.
Patterns of symptoms could then be used to home in on likely causes. This could be done by a computer, and would be much more reliable.
From the short list a pathologist could then home in on the actual cause and this could then be tackled.
And it wouldn’t be tackled by pharmaceuticals – at least not the ones we have now.
It would be healed by plants - the entire plant as a medicine or food.
see also causes of illness in more detail