Illnesses encompass many types of conditions, including diseases and sicknesses. Illnesses are typically classified into two categories: acute and chronic. Acute illnesses are far more common and include any disease or infection that lasts up to three months; as it exceeds this timeframe, an illness is considered chronic. Acute illnesses range in type and severity; some present mild symptoms for a few days while others can exhibit severe symptoms that persist relentlessly for several weeks. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective treatments for acute illnesses, from antiviral and antibacterial medications to dietary changes and increased physical activity.
What is considered an acute illness?
An acute illness is any illness that lasts between a few hours and three months, including respiratory tract infections, pneumonia and sinusitis. In general, symptoms develop quickly with an illness that is expected to be brief in duration (less than three months). These illnesses typically improve with medical treatments, although in some cases they can improve without any professional intervention.
What causes acute illness?
There are many causes of acute illnesses, from viral infections to bacterial infections. Common causes include infection, which can occur when foreign pathogens such as viruses or bacteria replicate within the body and interfere with normal functions. Cellular tissues are often infected, impeding them from performing their normal functions. Inflammation is another common cause of illness, and occurs when the body is healing from injury. This causes an increase of blood flow to the affected area which results in pain, tenderness and redness.
What are the signs of an acute illness?
Signs and symptoms of acute illnesses range in type and severity and can either be mild and fleeting or severe and persistent. Common symptoms include:
— Fever — An increase in body temperature is the body’s way of trying to eliminate harmful pathogens, like invading viruses and bacteria. This higher temperature, often called a fever, helps the body rid itself of these harmful microorganisms and return to homeostasis.
— Diarrhea — Another way the body rids itself of harmful substances including bacteria and viruses is through defecation—particularly loose and watery stools that exit the body very quickly.
— Fatigue — The body often experiences a state of fatigue as it works to remove any infections. This is because the body is spending its energy resources at a cellular level, which makes the body feel slow, tired and enervated.
— Muscle Aches — When sick, the body releases histamines and cytokines as an immune response to dilate blood vessels and get rid of the infection. Sometimes these cytokines can create a biochemical pathway that has an impact on pain receptors, resulting in muscle pain.
— Cough — Coughing is the body’s natural response to clear the airways of foreign particles, irritants, fluids and microbes. Coughing often occurs because the lungs are irritated from an infection, which can last days, weeks, or even months.
What is the difference between acute and chronic disease?
Acute and chronic diseases vary in several ways; the most important being their duration and onset. Acute diseases typically have a faster onset and shorter duration, whereas chronic diseases often progress more gradually and can last a lot longer. They both can have symptoms that range from mild to severe, although acute diseases typically respond better to conservative treatments, while chronic diseases can be much more challenging to treat.
At Rapid City Healthcare, we are dedicated to providing you with all of your healthcare needs. Our kind and caring medical professionals are experienced at treating acute illnesses and can help you feel better, sooner. Call us today to book an appointment for acute illness treatment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 800 W Airport Freeway, Suite 100, Irving, TX 75062. We serve patients from Irving TX, Euless TX, Grand Prairie TX, Bedford TX, Arlington TX, Dallas TX, Flower Mound TX, Carrollton TX, Coppell TX, Grapevine TX, Farmers Branch TX, and Fort Worth TX. We look forward to serving you!
- Various Illness and Infections
- Athlete’s Foot
- Abdominal Pain
- Abscess and Skin Infections
- Acute Pain and Injuries
- Anxiety & Panic Attack
- Allergic Reaction
- Back Pain
- Bites (Insect, Spider, Animal bite)
- Blood Pressure high
- Burn (Minor burn care)
- Canker Sores Treatment
- Cholesterol Screening
- Cough or Wheezing
- Diabetes Screening
- Drug Testing
- Ear Infection
- Ear Lavage
- Eye Infection
- Flu or COVID
- Fractures and Sprains
- Heartburn/ Acid Reflux
- HIV pre-or post-exposure treatment
- Injuries and Minor Trauma
- Joint Pain & Joint Injections
- Laceration/Cut Repair
- Mono Diagnosis & Treatment
- Motion Sickness Prevention
- Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea
- Nebulizer/Breathing Treatment
- Pink Eye
- Poison Ivy and Poison oak
- Pregnancy Testing
- Minor dermatologic and skin care
- Respiratory Infection
- Sinus Infection
- Sore Throat/ Strep Throat
- STD Testing & Treatment
- Stop Smoking
- Skin Infections
- Skin Tag Removal
- Urinary Tract Infection / UTI/ Bladder Infection
- Wart Treatment
- Worms Treatment