Humoral Concept, Anatomical Theory and the Germ Theory

2 February 2017

In this paper I am going to discuss the differences between the Humoral concept of disease, the anatomical theory of disease, the germ theory of disease and the differences between each theory.

I am also going to look at the historical significance of these theories and how they apply to health and wellness in today’s health care. The humoral theory comes from an ancient Greek theory that states that the human body is composed of four basic humors. The Humoral theory is derived from the word “humor,” but in this context, means “fluid”.The Humoral theory is related to the theory of the earth and the four elements. These elements are better known as earth, fire, water and air. The balance in these earthly elements allows the earth to sustain human life. These four basic humors of the Humoral theory consist of black bile (known as melancholy), yellow bile, phlegm and blood.

Humoral Concept, Anatomical Theory and the Germ Theory Essay Example

These four basic humors act as the basis that helps us to determine the health of an individual. According to this ancient theory, the four humors must be in balance for the body to be healthy (homeostasis).If an individual has an excess or is deficient in one of the humors this imbalance results in disease or the disability in the physical health or mental health of an individual. In (1682 – 1771) an Italian physician named Giovanni Battista Morgagni did an in depth study of the Anatomical Concepts of Disease. In this study Dr. Giovanni found a connection between a patient’s visible symptoms and pathology. This theory lead him to a link between the patient’s physical signs and what was happening in a patient’s internal organs.

It was a new concept that believed that because blood flowed throughout the body that therefore blood could carry disease through the body and organs. The germ theory was made possible by the advent of certain laboratory instruments and techniques that enabled the study of bacteria and microorganisms during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The germ theory lead to the discovery of antiseptics founded by a Hungarian physician named Ignaz Phillippe Semmelweis (1818 – 1865).The fundamental concept of this theory states that microorganisms can invade the body and cause certain diseases or even death. Before this theory was accepted many people believed that a disease was a punishment for a person’s evil behavior not a medical problem. These three theories differ because they all covered different barriers when it came to treating and understanding diseases. The Humoral theory began with the four-elements and the anatomical theory allowed us to take a deeper look into the functioning of the bodies systems.

This helped us to learn what was happening in the body, in the body systems and in the organs. Without these two studies we would not have come to the Germ Theory. Even though each theory is different in concept each theory was important and we would not have been able to progress along to the next theory. If we would not have had the germ theory we would not have discovered the need for vaccines or discovered antiseptics. These theories also allowed physicians to learn to look at diseases on a micro (small scale) instead of just a macro scale or “big” picture.I feel that these theories have led to significant changes in health care over the years. These theories have allowed scientist to discover not only how to cure some disease but also how to prevent diseases from spreading.

Scientists were able to develop vaccines, antiseptics, create personal protective equipment and enabled the public to be educated on disease prevention. Even though at the time some of these theories were created they may have seemed outrageous I think that they have been extremely important and invaluable in today’s medicine, disease treatment and prevention.As we continue to evolve today many new theories and techniques are still based on some of these ancient theories. When a patient’s body is being treated for disease many physicians believe that it is also important to threat the patient’s mental state as well. I personally believe in this because if you are not well mentally it is hard to “want” to get better which leads to a harder and less productive recovery. I am very thankful for all the advancements in medicine and I am glad that I have these advancements available to me today.

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