Understanding of Health

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As explained by the World Health Organization (WHO), health is defined as “a state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.’ This definition essentially states that an individual is not considered healthy unless they are 100% fit in reference to physical, mental, and social health. However, this definition of health very pervasive, which can be problematic in terms of understanding and application. When considering delivering public health interventions to uninsured adults in Pontiac, there is an array of problems. A lack of mental health awareness and the increased social stigma surrounding it makes it harder for individuals to express and improve their state of mental well-being.

In many cases, discrimination has been one of the leading causes related to lack of mental stigma. Doctors once perceived that African Americans felt less pain which is inherently racist. These ideas may not be as prevalent today but medical doctors may allow gender or race to affect their treatment of an individual. One problem that the definition faces is that it does not consider how individuals feel. The WHO believes that intrinsic values are not relevant in the constructs of health. In order to combat this issue, there needs to be a higher consideration placed on health. The more importance health is given, people are more likely to embark and initiate improvements towards augmenting health.

Another problem that this definition poses is the comparison of two individuals with the same measurements and statuses of physical, mental, and social well-being. What may be considered normal for one individual may not be enough for another even though both are physically, mentally, and socially similar. According to the WHO’s definition of health, however, both are considered healthy. Rectifying this issue could involve doctors asking their patients how they feel about their certain predicament. Such questions could be how this situation is affecting their lives and what plans for treatment, if any, do they propose. Another problem that the definition faces is that it doesn’t consider other factors in achieving and maintaining health.

Such factors could include genetics, level of education, and cultural values. One way of overcoming this issue is to pose a definition of health that encompasses other factors that can greatly impact the health and well-being of an individual. The definition of health should rank an individual’s ability and capacity to overcome certain health disparities. By formulating such a definition, we will be able to provide guidance, instructions and reduce risk factors in helping to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Public Health has essentially provided us with the methods and tools to help us examine diseases and illnesses in both the developed and under-developed worlds. In creating and administering prevention plans, we are able to act towards preventing chronic diseases and infections in a way that is safe and unharmed. Prevention in public health is defined as averting the onset of disease or other related health problems before the body becomes consumed by the disease or by unforeseeable measures.

Within the application of prevention, there are three levels to consider: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary prevention. Individuals will bear the responsibility in the first stage of prevention. Primary prevention is the measure an individual would take in order to prevent the onset of a disease. An example of this would be immunizations. During the second stage, doctors, physicians, and the patient would bear the responsibility. Secondary prevention is the measure that leads to the prognosis of the first stages of the disease or health problem and offers immediate treatment before advanced complications arise. Examples of this include physical examination performed by the physician, ultrasounds, and processing blood work.

In the last stage, those who would take responsibility would be peer educators and awareness campaigns. Tertiary prevention is mainly aimed towards patients who have reached a severe state of the disease and requires rehabilitation to reduce damages done by the body. An example of this prevention would be nurses educating patients who have third stage liver disease on how to reduce alcohol intake. Here is an example of how a prevention applied towards hypertension would be administered: For this health issue, we are targeting African American patients aged 35-50 who are at the first stage of kidney disease. Hypertension is one of the first onsets of developing kidney disease.

The goal of this prevention would be to hinder the progression of kidney disease through adhering to following the DASH diet. Because these patients are only on the first stage of kidney disease, we would use secondary prevention such as measuring their blood pressure every 4 weeks, light-moderate exercise 4-5 days/week, and also measuring creatinine levels in the blood. Because this prevention is secondary, both the patient and medical doctor are responsible. The doctor is responsible for detecting the disease through various tests and offering treatment and the patient is responsible for not only completing the tests given by the doctor but also adhering to the treatment options. According to the health belief model, there are multiple constructs associated with performing an intended health behavior.

For this discussion, I have chosen to work with why some mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies while some do not. Some of the constructs that I have chosen to work with are perceived benefits, perceived barriers, perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, influence factors, and the health consequences of not breastfeeding. My health behavior was “to increase frequent breastfeeding (3-4 times a day) to newborns and babies aged 0-6 months.” For the model, as there are many variables that can be considered, I chose biological variables such as the age of the mother, body mass index of the mother, and the amount of lactation that was produced per day. Both components of health behavior and variables are relevant when focusing on the various constructs.

When it comes to perceived benefits, an advantage of breastfeeding helps to bond with the baby more quickly. This will create the intended effect of producing physiological and emotional pleasures for the mother and the baby. However, for some mothers, the bonding connection can be delayed due to age, BMI, and lactation production. Women who give birth later in life are at greater chances of delayed milk production. Perceived barriers such as not knowing the correct method/ technique to breastfeed sometimes depends on the age of the mother. For example, very young mothers might have thoughts of embarrassment and become afraid to breastfeed their child because they don’t have the proper knowledge of breastfeeding. Perceived susceptibility and perceived severity will depend on all of the variables.

Depending on what the mother consumes can directly impact the baby’s health. If a mother consumes mostly dairy products during the few first few weeks/months of pregnancy, the baby might develop conditions like lactose intolerance and malabsorption. These outcomes are considered perceived severity. Other factors that can affect the amount of lactation towards the baby’s health are BMI of the mother and their age. Consider a mother who is in their mid-twenties and has a BMI of 28.

This mother is considered overweight. Due to the high BMI, this mother will produce greater amounts of leptin that will affect the infant’s body weight later in life. Influence factors and health consequences are also directly correlated with the biological variables. Influence factors like stress, environment, and eating habits can cause moderate to severe complications for both the mother and the baby. When a mother chooses not to breastfeed, reasons can be due to a lack of support from the spouse, family and school responsibilities, and body image. By not breastfeeding, the mother may be more susceptible to risks of CVD and breast cancer which can impact the mother’s lactation production and BMI. By not getting breastfed, the baby is prone to ear and respiratory infections.


Cite this paper

Understanding of Health. (2021, Jul 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/understanding-of-health/

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