Diseases and Conditions

Last Updated: Apr 5, 2019

While studying human anatomy and physiology—the structural parts of our body and how they function—it is also very useful to explore common ways in which our organs and body parts can fail to function properly. In this section, you will find many common (and some not so common) kinds of diseases and medical conditions that lead to—or result from—disruptions of normal body functioning. You’ll be able to explore the causes of these conditions; learn about their symptoms; and discover not only treatment regimens, but also preventative measures that can sometimes be taken to avoid acquiring a disease in the first place.

And if you want to bring some data for your next discussion with your healthcare provider:

Cancer

3D medical illustration depicting colon cancer

Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. There are actually more than one hundred known types of cancer that can happen in the human body. Cancer can manifest as a tumor, but not all cancers cause tumors and not all tumors are even cancerous; some are benign. With cancerous cell growth also comes the possibility that the growth will spread to other organs or systems in the body. This is called metastasis. In this section you can explore many of the most common forms of cancer that make people sick.

Cardiovascular

A cross-section illustration of the human heart

Diseases involving the blood vessels, heart and the movement of blood through the body are considered cardiovascular diseases. Beneath this umbrella we find some of the most common and deadly diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. Thankfully, the vast majority of cardiovascular disease is preventable. Time to get the facts about these diseases and the underlying conditions that lead to them!

Digestive and Urinary

An illustration of the lower esophagus, stomach, intestines and some accessory digestive organs

Learn about diseases and conditions that involve the digestive tract—including the esophagus, stomach and intestines—as well as accessory digestive organs like the liver and pancreas. In addition, explore diseases of the urinary tract, affecting organs like the kidneys and bladder.

Endocrine

An illustration of the thyroid gland highlighted among other features of throat anatomy

Diseases and conditions involving endocrine glands affect the balance of hormones in our bodies. These can profoundly disrupt our mood, physical health, body weight, metabolism, ability to reproduce and more. Learn all about diabetes, hyperthyroidism and other common diseases.

Immune/Lymphatic

An illustration of the immune/lymphatic system in the upper torso region - thymus gland, spleen and lymphatic ducts

Explore how our bodies respond to diseases that affect the very systems responsible for defending us from disease. Learn more about HIV/AIDS, lupus and other diseases affecting our immune and lymphatic systems.

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue

An illustration of the bones, muscles and tendons of the human hand

From tendinitis and arthritis to spinal disc problems and plantar fasciitis, musculoskeletal diseases and conditions make us painfully aware of the body’s mechanisms of movement that we often take for granted, until that movement is curtailed. Learn all about these common ailments, as well as how they are treated and prevented.

Nervous System and Mental Health

An illustration of the nervous system in the head, including the brain, facial nerves and optic nerves

Mental health and nervous system disorders affect people at all stages of life, from childhood to advanced age, and there’s never been a better time to study; scientists learn more about the incredibly complex human brain with each passing year.

Reproductive

An illustration of the immune/lymphatic system in the upper torso region - thymus gland, spleen and lymphatic ducts

Explore various diseases and conditions that affect our reproductive organs. Learn about how these disorders arise, how they might be prevented, and how healthcare professionals diagnose and treat them.

Respiratory

Anatomical illustration of the trachea, bronchi, lungs and diaphragm

The health of our respiratory system is vital to our overall health; our body’s cells require oxygen and we also need a way to get rid of the carbon dioxide that our bodies produce as waste. Learn about some of the common diseases and conditions that affect the proper functioning of our respiratory system.

Skin Conditions

3D illustrated cross-section of the layers of human skin showing hair follicles, sweat glands and more

Did you know that the skin is the body’s largest organ? It’s also the outermost organ, so it interfaces constantly with our surrounding environment and naturally plays protective, exploratory and regulatory roles for us. But there are many diseases and conditions that can affect the normal functioning of our skin. Sometimes the symptoms are primarily cosmetic, but other times the effects of a skin condition are much more threatening.

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