June 1, 2023

Hypochondriacs or deniers? This is why being healthy or sick depends a lot (also) on us

Yes you can being healthy and feeling sick, or even having important disease risk factors but ignoring them. One aspect that is not often thought about is that, with regards to one’s own state of health, each individual is not only a consumer of health services, but also a first-person producer of states of health and states of disease. A function carried out largely unconsciously, through choices regarding one’s lifestyle. In fact, the role that everyone plays in the define your own risk levels. This takes place through decisions made daily in areas such as nutrition, the level of physical activity and cognitive activity, whether or not to use cigarette smoke and alcohol, all elements that tend to influence the general state of health and that of especially important structures of the organism, such as the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. An innovative scheme for understanding attitudes and behaviors relating to the combination of health/illness and access to care services emerges from an article published in theAmerican Journal of Medicine from John Fava from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Fiametta Cosci of the University of Florence, Nicoletta Sonino of the University of Padua and Jenny Guidi of the University of Bologna. Contrary to what is often believed, arriving at a definition of what exactly the state of health and the condition of disease are is an operation that is not without difficulty. «Health and disease are not two separate entities, but elements in constant dynamic equilibrium» says Fava.

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