Classifying Diseases Within The Medical Profession

Malaria B50.9- Caused by a female mosquito injecting anophelins into the blood to make it thinner, when doing this if the mosquito carries the Plasmodium parasite that would also be injected into the blood. The parasite then travels up to the liver through the bloodstream. After several days they have matured and begin to enter the bloodstream again where they infect white blood cells. The parasite will cause the red blood cells to burst as they have multiplied so much that the cell can’t hold them. There are four different types of malaria which affect humans: Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae, and Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria can only travel from person to person by infected blood eg, blood transfusion or through mother to baby during birth.

Symptoms: Develop after 7 days to one year of being infected.

  • High Fever
  • Feeling Hot or Shivery
  • Headaches-Vomiting-

Muscle Aches

  • Diarrhea
  • General Unwell Feeling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness

Treatment for Plasmodium Falciparum

As this malaria can become severe rapidly you would have to stay in a hospital overnight and be monitored. Doctors will give you one of the following depending on the circumstances: Quinine with doxycycline or clindamycin, Artemether-lumefantrine or Atovaquone with proguanil. If the malaria is more severe doctors will inject quinine straight into a blood vein.Treatment for Plasmodium Vivax and Ovale Doctors will give you primaquine after taking chloroquine tablets, this is because the parasite may come back or stay in the liver. You can take these tablets at home and only need to go to the doctors if complications develop.

Treatment for Plasmodium malariae

Doctors will offer you chloroquine tablets which you can then take at home. You would only need to go to the doctors if complications develop.


  • Before you travel, visit your GP for malaria advice.
  • Stay in well air conditioned areas which have screening doors and windows to keep the mosquitos out.
  • Apply insect repellent frequently.
  • Antimalarial tablets reduce risk by 90% as there is no vaccine to prevent malaria.

Environmental Diseases: Obesity E66.9-

Obesity can cause serious and life-threatening problems to physical health. The main causes of obesity are, poor diet and lack of exercise, lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and genetics.

Life-threatening Problems to physical health:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Strokes
  • High cholesterol
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Liver disease

Other side effects:

  • Breathlessness,
  • Increased sweating,
  • Snoring,-Tiredness,
  • Joint and back pain,
  • Low confidence,
  • Feeling isolated,
  • Difficulty to exercise.


Genetics: Rare conditions like Prader-Willi syndrome can cause overeating due to a symptom being excessive appetite there are also genetic characteristics make it difficult to lose weight but not impossible.

Lack of physical activity: A lack of exercise would cause you to gain weight as no calories are being burned through exercise, this means that the energy taken in from the food is stored as fat and builds up.

Inadequate diet: An inadequate diet consists of eating more than is necessary for meals, a diet consisting of mainly the top category of the food pyramid is considered unhealthy as this section has the most calories in it.

Medication:Some medications such as antidepressants can cause weight gain. The cause differs with each medication as they each contain different chemicals.


The main categories which will help improve weight are; dietary changes, a vital part to losing weight is reducing calorie intake and getting a healthier diet, doctors will decide what the best calorie intake will be for your condition as an unrealistic diet will not help long term.

Exercise and activity

Obese and overweight people need to get 150 minutes of exercise a week to prevent gaining weight again and 300 minutes of exercise a week to lose weight.

Behavior changes

Go to counseling or support groups as this will help with anxiety and there will be people with similar conditions who are easy to relate to. Prescription weight loss medication will be recommended by a doctor. Weight loss surgery would also be recommended by a doctor but it does not guarantee that you will lose excess weight, the types of surgeries are: Gastric bypass surgery, Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch and gastric sleeve.

Asthma J45.901-

A condition that causes the airway to narrow, swell, become clogged with mucus and produces extra muscle. This then makes it harder to breathe which leads to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.


The main cause of Asthma is still unknown but many people put it down to genetics, bad air (pollution), and hygiene standards. Although we don’t know the cause we do know what can put you at a higher risk of getting asthma:

  • Having an allergy
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Asthma runs in the family (genetics)
  • Having bad bronchiolitis
  • Being born prematurely
  • Mother smoking during pregnancy


  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing or wheezing when exhaling
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by the flu
  • Trouble sleeping


The is no cure for asthma but products have been made so a normal life can be lived with limiting effects of asthma.


People diagnosed with asthma are given two types of inhalers reliever inhaler and a preventer inhaler. The reliever inhaler widens the airways and relaxes the muscles which would tighten. This helps to make it easier to breathe again. The preventer inhaler Helps to prevent asthma attacks by controlling the inflammation and swelling in the airways this helps to prevent symptoms from occurring.


The types of tablets that can be taken for asthma are LTRA’s, Theophylline, and steroid tablets. All of these tablets help to prevent the symptoms from occurring Degenerative Diseases.

Alzheimer’s Disease G30.9-

The most common type of dementia which is a physical disease that affects the brain. This disease causes proteins to build up in the brain which then forms plaques and tangles causing there to be a loss of connection with nerve cells which then die. A cause hasn’t yet been found but some things that can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s are increased age, family medical history, untreated depression and lifestyle factors associated with cardiovascular disease.


The symptoms of Alzheimer’s emerge slowly over the years or at varying rates for different people. Sometimes Symptoms like infections, stroke, and delirium are the cause for worsened symptoms.

Early Symptoms-

Can’t recall recent conversations or events

  • Misplacing items
  • Forgetting names of places/people
  • Inability to think of the right wording
  • Repetitively asking questions
  • Hesitant trying new things

Middle-stage symptoms

  • Disortianated
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Delusional/paranoid
  • Speech problems
  • inability to sleep
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Difficulty performing tasks
  • HallucinatingLater symptoms
  • Struggle to eat and swallow
  • Struggle to move
  • weight loss
  • urinary incontinence or bowel incontinence
  • Speech loss
  • Significant memory problems
  • Trouble Making decisions


There is no cure for Alzheimer’s but there are treatments available that can be taken to reduce the symptoms.


The main types of medicines used for Alzheimer's are Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors, Memantine, and other medications like antidepressants that help with challenging behavior. These medicines temporarily improve the symptoms, but some depend on the stage they are at and can only be prescribed if in the early to mid-stage of the disease like AChE.

Therapies and activities

The main types of therapy are cognitive stimulation therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, and reminiscence and life story work. These therapies help to deal with the dementia side of the disease.

Spinal Stenosis M48.02-

This disease occurs in the lower back and neck when the space within the spine narrows putting pressure on the nerves traveling through it. Spinal nerves run through openings in the vertebrae and are protected by surrounding bone and tissue. These nerves send signals to the body from the brain. and if they become damaged it can affect balance, sensation, and walking.


The most common cause of this disease is due to aging as degenerative processes occur as you age like tissue thickening, bones getting bigger, which then puts pressure on the nerves in the spine. Two types of arthritis can contribute to spinal stenosis osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Other types of conditions that can cause spinal stenosis: Spine defects at birth, Naturally narrow spinal cord, Scoliosis, Bone tumors, Achondroplasia, Paget’s disease.


In the lower back:

  • Numb or tingling foot/leg
  • Weak foot/leg-pain/cramping in the legs when stood up for long durations or during walking.
  • Back pain

In the neck:

  • Numb or tingling hand/arm-weak hand/arm-problems with walking
  • Neck aches
  • Urinary incontinence


There are two types of treatment for spinal stenosis surgery and first-line treatments. Treatment also depends on the location of the stenosis and also how severe the symptoms are.

First-Line Treatments

First-line treatments are the treatments given to relieve the pain and are tried before any surgeries. The main type of injection given is cortisone, this helps to reduce the swelling within the spinal. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are given to help relieve the pain


The types of surgery available are laminectomy, Foraminotomy, and spinal fusion. Laminectomy removes some of the vertebrae which the nerves run through so there is less pressure on them. Foraminotomy wides a part of the spine where the nerves exit. Spinal fusion is only performed in severe cases as bone grafts have to be attached to the affected bones and the spine to attach them together.

Classification of diseases (Assess the basis for classification of disease)

Diseases are classified using the ICD which stands for the international classification of disease. The ICD is used in more than 100 countries and has been translated into 43 languages. ICD-10 is the latest version of the ICD and it is efficient with the latest technology used during procedures and uses alphanumeric code. This classification system is used by doctors, nurses, policymakers, researchers, and others who need to classify and record disease. Once it has been recorded they use the information to monitor the health of the population which will then help to make financing decisions about the countries health care. Each code represents a different disease, for example, the code for influenza A is J11.1 and the code for spinal stenosis is M48.02.

Pros of classification

  • It can be understood by all doctors around the world as there is one code for every disease.
  • Doctors can share their medical knowledge of diseases
  • Tools can easily be ordered to hospitals from other countries.
  • Medical history can be understood if you are abroad
  • Correct medication can be given to patients

Cons of classification

New diseases are difficult to classify because there would need to be a revision, even then it may lead to problems and confliction.

Can be confusing to those who don’t understand the codes, (not within the medical profession)

Not useful when there is no code for the disease a patient has or the disease is unidentifiable


In conclusion, I believe that classifying diseases is important and useful within the medical profession for many reasons. The main reasons being: the codes can be understood by all doctors from around the world which can be helpful when they are reading medical histories of patients, ordering new medical equipment, and giving out medication.

03 December 2019
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