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Synthesis Paper on the Framework for Pathophysiology

It is a common knowledge among health professionals that physiology has something to do with the functions of the body parts of an organism (for this instance, human beings). Pathology, on the other hand, delves on the study of the processes of disease progression from one phenomenon to another. When combined, they become an important term that encompasses both the study of functions and disease development. Pathophysiology, therefore, becomes the study of the deviations from normal functioning of the body and its parts or as the authors suggest as the breaking down of the normal functions of body. The complex process of disease condition and development warrants careful examination as it touches certain areas worthy of attention. Namely, these are the etiology, pathogenesis, and the clinical manifestations. An example of a pathophysiologic diagram

Before anything else, it is of major importance to know the cause of a certain disease condition. Just like any crime, a suspect should be determined and if all the evidences confirm the suspicion, that suspect may be convicted. Etiology, by trying to point out the causative agent or factor to a disease condition, can make the intervention to halt the disease progression effective. It gives focus to the medical/nursing management of a patient. An example would be in the case of an infection where the causative agents are highly transmissible viruses, the doctor or nurse practitioner may have the idea that antibiotics is useless in the patients condition and therefore will opt for an antiviral agent and will enforce a strict isolation precaution. Additionally, diseases can be caused by certain conditions inside and outside the body of a person that can also be either mainly preventable or mainly manageable by him. These are his genetics and environment. Because of the improvement of science especially in the field of genetics, major implications to medicine have been constantly resulting and thus a constant change in the knowledge and management of diseases. Inherited diseases like haemophilia and Down syndrome are best prevented so as not to cost so much in their cure and lifelong management. For example, Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by an extra chromosome and so the best approach to this disorder is a preventive approach through genetic counselling or therapy. This accounts for the internal or inherent influences in the disease causation.

The environment also has its share in the disease causation. External pressures like cold weather and high altitude residence may bring about certain changes in the human body that are not seen from other persons living any different conditions. The environment can mould the human body but it can also bring about disease or destruction to its system. For example, a very hot climate and a dessert-like place puts a person who is living in that hypothetical area prone to dehydration or skin diseases related to over-exposure to sunlight. Certain organisms, the environment, and the genes are three different etiologic factor that are worthy of attention in Pathophysiology. However, they are not mutually exclusive from each other. In fact, these three factors are interrelated that in some cases, an action directed at, say, the environment can also help make changes in the number of organisms that can cause diseases. For example, the dengue virus causes many deaths among children bitten by the infected mosquito but an alteration in the environment like cleaning and throwing of stagnant water or potential mosquito breeding sites can help diminish significantly the chances of acquiring dengue. Therefore, the three factors mentioned are not to be taken or studied in isolation but be looked upon with an open mind that they can in many ways affect each other and in general the disease process and the patients condition. Not to be arrogant though, not all diseases have notable etiologic reasons. Namely, they are idiopathic or the disease conditions cause is unknown. This is true for example with Alzheimers disease though certain factors like lifestyle (constant lack of sleep) and inheritance are noted to have their influence, specifically speaking the actual cause is still not yet uncovered.


Pathogenesis or the disease development itself is for me the soul of Pathophysiology. Knowledge of the actual progression of the disease helps in the proper management and implementation of interventions aimed at halting or curing the process itself and/or minimizing its unwanted effects and transmissibility. While etiology gives us suspects for the disease, pathogenesis provides us with the possible verdict. Pathogenesis can give the draft or the most possible consequence of a patient suffering from a severe

bacterial infection. However, it can also provide researchers with idea on how to establish protocols in the treatment plan of patients. In a situation where a patient is schistosomiasis, the nurse assigned to that patient will have the hint that the liver and intestines are the major organs that can be affected and so careful monitoring and assessment on the liver function tests and stool exam of the patient is of great importance. Equally important in the nursing intervention in that particular patient is the giving of health teaching by the nurse of the disease progression and the possibility of infecting another person if that specific patient will not adhere to the health teachings. Though we can say knowledge of the disease progression is important, the same holds true in the constant research for the improvement of this knowledge. Medicine is ever evolving and the knowledge in this area of study is constantly changing. Necessary alterations in the Pathophysiologic process may offer wonderful changes or improvement to the treatment plan and nursing intervention aimed for the patients cure and care.

Clinical Manifestations
Identification of the etiologic factor of the disease and knowing the process of progression is relevant in Pathophysiology but the outward manifestations either verbalized by patient or are observable by other persons reaffirms the whole process and puts the entire investigation of the disease process on tract. These clinical manifestations can tell where the disease is its developmental stages and gives the observer, especially the healthcare provider the idea or impressions on how to go on the diagnostic procedures and treatment plan either necessary for the alleviation of unwanted signs and symptoms or in confirming the diagnosis previously made based on this signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms were interchangeably used but their actual meanings are distinct. Symptoms are changes in the body felt by the patient. Examples are feeling nauseated, losing appetite, dizzy, and difficulty of breathing. Signs on the other hand are changes in the patients body observed by another person. These includes rashes, thinning body, and in drawing of chest during breathing in. For this matter, there are diseases that are most likely noted for having different notable signs and symptoms. This collection of signs and symptoms are termed as syndrome. In the case of Downs syndrome, a person with this disease exhibits different physical and mental characteristics that are overtly distinguishable by an observer.

Every person is unique. Physically, not all have the same shape of face or body built. Biologically, some persons have normally high blood pressures and some have low (in the case of athletes). When it comes to disease patterns among different groups of persons (tightly termed population) or people from different areas, the entire disease pattern could vary. Some manifestations of COPD could be more pronounced in people living in high places than from people in lower places. Factors such as age and sex, ethnic group, geographical location, and climate affect disease patterns. For this reason, the science of epidemiology exists to study the patterns of disease among groups of people or population. Distribution, prevalence, incidence, and transmission of disease are important aspects that are examined in the epidemiology.

Pathophysiology as a Whole
Knowledge of Pathophysiology implies that disease management can be aimed at the etiologic or to the two other factors. It could be primary, secondary or tertiary. Primary prevention collectively are steps taken to improve the health of people mostly to improve housing conditions, enough of rest and exercise. Disease condition is not yet present. Secondary prevention are those that help diagnose disease like screening and/or stop the disease progression in its earliest stages. Tertiary prevention are those mostly occurring in the late or most established stages of the disease. Some interventions in this particular stage may just be aimed at alleviation the painful manifestation and facilitation of acceptance of inevitable death. Etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations are ought to be examined carefully when figuring out the disease and/or its process because these three factors are just three legs of the same body for these three are interdependent from each other. They all present different types of information important for constructing the clinical picture of the patients condition but changes in any of these three factors can mean changes in the entire picture. - Gregor Alfonsin C. Pondoyo