People who have some disease or condition want to receive prompt medical treatment. Many people believe that the use of prescribed medications is the only way to ensure that a disease or condition will be cured or improved. The use of drugs does have an important role in the treatment of disease; however, other treatment methods are available. For example, rest, radiotherapy, and physical therapy are very useful in the treatment of certain conditions. In many cases, various treatment methods are used to benefit the patient.
a. Rest prevents overwork of a diseased organ and includes more than freedom from physical work; a patient must have mental rest also.
b. Diet is of extreme importance both in the prevention of disease and in medical care. An adequate intake of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals is necessary in the treatment of all patients. Patients with fever generally require increased amounts of all dietary constituents. Patients with certain diseases require diets in which the various dietary constituents are carefully controlled. One example of a special diet of this type is that for diabetes mellitus, in which the amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates must be individually regulated.
c. Nursing care is another essential part of medical care. In addition to doing technical procedures such as administering drugs, nursing service personnel watch for the appearance of changes in the patient's condition. Frequently the personalities of such personnel will be an important factor in promoting the patient's morale, securing his cooperation, and fostering in him a desire to get well.
d. Drugs are substances used in the treatment of disease. They are used to relieve the unpleasant effects of disease and to eradicate the disease. Drugs may be administered externally and internally.
e. Radiotherapy is the use of x-rays, radium, and radioactive isotopes in the treatment of disease.
f. Occupational therapy is treatment that provides a patient with activity to keep his mind and body occupied. It is also used to help the patient regain muscular coordination and control of specific parts of the body.
g. Physical therapy is the treatment of disease by physical means. Various agents used in physical therapy are light, heat, cold, electricity, water, massage, and exercise.
h. Psychotherapy is treatment by various means, which may include the use of drugs, to lessen or rectify abnormal mental conditions. Surgery performed for the same purpose is called psychosurgery.
i. Surgery is the treatment of disease by manual operation or corrective apparatus. It includes the removal of diseased tissue or organs and the repair of injured structures.
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