Why Do We Fall Ill?

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Health is the most important and essential aspect of our life. If we are not fit or healthy enough, we will find it difficult to perform our day-to-day activities. 

A person can fall ill due to several reasons. This includes:

  • Polluted air, water or any harmful insects (may cause Dengue/Malaria).
  • Lack of personal hygiene.
  • To a certain extent, a person’s economic condition determines his well-being.
  • Compromises in our immune system might lead to different autoimmune diseases. 
  • Mental health is as important as physical health. Clinical depression may result in weight loss or loss of appetite. 

Significance of Health

It is essential to stay healthy. The consequences will be dire if we don’t take care of ourselves. Let’s see why it is important to stay healthy.

  • Being fit/healthy helps us to carry out our fundamental activities regularly.
  • Eating healthy food helps in fighting diseases.
  • Physical environment plays a great role in a person’s well-being. Hence it is important to live in a clean and healthy environment.
  • Public cleanliness is really important. Proper treatment of sewage and garbage in our locality help us to prevent the spread of diseases.
  • Being fit and happy has an impact on us personally and professionally.
  • Social equality and harmony are vital to be healthy.

Immune System

Our body’s protection system is known as the immune system. It acts as a hindrance to disease-causing germs. The immune system consists of a variety of cells and substances. Pathogens are prevented by these cells and substances. Pathogens comprise parasites, fungus, bacteria, viruses, and haptens. If it happens to come into touch with a protein, it will trigger an immunological response.     

These cells and chemicals will be present in body tissues as well as in lymphoid organs. Its main function is to prevent microbial diseases. The most important cells in the immune system are white blood cells/leukocytes. Their primary function is to eliminate disease causing germs/chemicals. Antibodies derived from lymphoid organs, tissues, and proteinaceous molecules are also important in the defense system.

Two types of immunological responses are:

Humoral Immunity

B cells play a key role in humoral immunity. Soluble molecules secreted by B cells into body fluids are known as antibodies. They bind to bacteria and other harmful substances in the bloodstream. The harmful substances get destroyed through antigen-antibody response.

Cell-mediated Immunity

T cells/cytotoxic T cells play an important role in this. Being unique to an infected target cell, they use a variety of techniques for destroying the infected cell. 

Types of Immunity

Innate, adaptive and passive immunity are three types of immunity.

Innate Immunity: Everyone is born with innate or natural immunity. The epidermis functions as a barrier for keeping viruses out of the body.

Adaptive Immunity: Adaptive immunity/active immunity develops over time. We tend to acquire adaptive immunity if we are exposed to illness or are inoculated against them with vaccinations.

Passive Immunity: Passive immunity is basically ‘stolen’ from another source and only lasts for a short period of time. For example, antibodies present in a mother’s breast milk will give a newborn temporary protection against illnesses.  


.‘Disease’ can be defined as an abnormal condition which affects an organism.

It might be difficult to diagnose certain diseases as they will have confusing symptoms. Diseases can be bacterial, digestive, cancerous, sexually transmitted etc. They can be cured through antibiotics, medications, and surgeries if required.

While antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections, they don’t really work against viral infections.

Types of Diseases

The signs/hints our body gives at the starting stage of a disease are known as symptoms. Cold, headache, and cough are common symptoms. 

Acute Diseases

Acute diseases last for a short period of time. Examples: Typhoid, common cold etc.

Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases will last for a long period of time. Examples: Cancer, HIV etc.

While microbes are among the infectious causes of diseases, internal factors (non-infectious) such as diabetes and high/low blood pressure can also make a person fall sick.

How to Prevent Diseases?

Here are a few tips for avoiding diseases.

  • Routine/regular health checkups. Treatment becomes easier if we diagnose a disease at its early stage.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Engaging in physical exercises will energize our bodies and will help us stay healthy.   
  • A balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health.
  • Since obesity is one of the major reasons for heart problems and increased cholesterol, reducing weight would be always ideal.

Reasons for Falling Ill

  • We might fall ill due to polluted surroundings/lack of personal hygiene.
  • Failing to adopt ‘healthy’ strategies.
  • Failing to do daily exercises.
  • Eating unhealthy food.
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption.
  • Imbalance in physical and mental health.

In this blog, we have discussed the reasons for falling ill. 


Check Your Knowledge

Answer) Innate immunity, adaptive immunity, and passive immunity.

Answer) Typhoid, common cold etc.

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