How Disease Occurs In Human Body : A Complete Guide, According To Ayurveda With Modern Co-Relation





Health – It can be defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. When people are in good state of health, they will be more efficient at work.

Health is affected by:

  • Genetic disorders-heritable defects of parents to offspring.
  • Infections
  • Life style including food and water we take, rest and exercise we give to our bodies, habits that we have or lack etc.

Diseases can be broadly grouped into infectious and non-infectious. Diseases that can easily transmitted from one person to another is known as diseases. Among non infectious diseases, cancer is considered as a major cause of death. Drugs and alcohol abuse or consumption can also affect our health adversely.

In Ayurveda Disease is called ‘Vyadhi’. It is the state of body and mind in which body of a person is subjected to discomfort, pain and injury. The fundamental cause for this is imbalance of all the three doshas -i.e, Vata, Pitta and kapha. The state of balance or equilibrium between all these three doshas in the body is called as health and the state of imbalance or disequilibrium is called disease.The imbalance may be due to an increase or decrease in one, two or all the three doshas


The WHO has defined health but not disease. This is because disease has many face “spectrum of disease” ranging from inapparent (subclinical) cases to severe manifest of illness. Some diseases occurs acutely (e.g… food poisoning), and some insidiously (e.g., mental illness, rheumatoid arthritis). In some diseases, a “carrier” state occurs in which the individual remains outwardly healthy, and is able to infect others (e.g.. typhoid fever). In some cases, the same organism will be causing more than one clinical manifestation (e.g., streptococcus). In some instances, the same disease will be caused by more than one organism (e.g., diarrhoea). Some diseases will be having a short course, and some have a prolonged course. It is easy to determine illness when the signs and symptoms are well manifested, but in many diseases the border line between normal and abnormal is very indistinct as in case of diabetes, hypertension and mental illness. The end-point or final outcome of disease is mental or final outcome of disease is variable recovery, disability or death of the host.

So now what is disease??

A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of part or all of an organism, and that is not due to any external injury. Diseases well known to be medical conditions that shows a specific sign and symptom.

विविधं दुःखं आदधाति इति व्याधिः। (Ref – Charaka Chikitsa 1/5)

That which brings about various forms of aadhi (grief or pain) or dukha is called Vyadhi

Classification of diseases:-

It is done in various ways in Ayurveda.

1. According to the trauma (abhigaata)

  • Adhyatmika: physical and psychic type, constitutional
  • Adhibhautika:caused by environment
  • Aadhidaivika:caused by gods or spirits

2.Practical classification useful for disease treatment

Aadi- bala pravritta :Genetically predisposed

  • Janma- bala :Congenital
  • Dosha -bala :caused by imbalances in Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
  • Sanghata-bala :Traumatic
  • Kala – bala :Seasonal, time linked
  • Daiva -bala :Gods or demons
  • Svabhava -ball :natural changes

Modern way of classification

  • Infectious diseases
  • Contagious diseases
  • Food borne illness
  • Communicable diseases
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Airborne diseases
  • Lifestyle diseases
  • Mental disorders
  • Organic disease
  • Water prone disease

Now let us discuss how disease occur in human body

There are so many theories to prove this in both ancient as well as modern time:


  • Attributed disease to supernatural powers, the product of animism which imbued all moving things with a spirit
  • In this ‘spirit-world’, disease could be produced by witches, superhuman entities and spirits of the dead.
  • Treatment therefore included: placation, for example by sacrifice; exorcism (forcible expulsion) etc.


Punitive theory has its origin with the religion with the belief that one’s attitude toward the deity is responsible as a cause of sickness. For a time being from christian era to the present time, there have been beliefs that disease was a punishment given by a angry God for the sins of the individual or the community. There are recorded statements in biblical writings where in punishment is meted for a sin of David, with devastating plague in which the whole nation suffered and which was stayed only by David’s repentance and the making of a sacrifice.

Such references are abundantly available in Hindu mythology also especially those related to eruptive fevers such as Small pox, Chicken Pox etc.


The humoral theory says that the body consists of four humors which represent the cardinal fluids of the human body. The cardinal fluids are blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm, Fach humor is associated with a different organ and season. Black bile is said to be a spleen and autumn, yellow bile is associated with the liver and summer, phlegm is compared with brain and winter, and the last one blood is heart and spring. In addition, all human beings has two primary opposite qualities: hot, dry, moist, or cold. An individual’s temperament can be distinguished by which humor he possesses. These fluids has a natural balance which is unique to each person, which is maintaing the health in the human. If this specific balance is disturbed, illness occurs as a result. Hippocratic physicians believed these balances could be restored by removing or adding humors in a number of different ways


  • During the 1800s, the miasma theory of disease dominated medical thought
  • It was believed that disease could be caused by the foul smells created by decomposing bodies, food, human waste, marsh gases and general filth.
  • Road sweeping was one way to help clean up the streets and hopefully prevent the spread of disease.


The concept of “contagion,” together with the concept of “contagiousness,” is like about 1000 years old. The meanings of both the word and the concept have changed over time. Two of the oldest diseases which are associated with contagiousness are leprosy, which is mentioned in the Bible, and smallpox. Historically, believed to be contagious, both the plague and syphilis were believed to be contagious

Before the late 19th century, many diseases that we now know to be contagious (like cholera and tuberculosis) were considered non contagious by educated peoples. In fact, in many other cases, a belief in contagiousness was associated with folk traditions and lay people.

Modern view


What is Germ Theory?

Philosophy-The Germ theory of Disease

  • Antoni van Leuwenhoek was first to see bacteria.
  • Louis Pasteur was the founder of the Germ Theory of Disease.
  • Micro organism enter the body in number of ways.
  • Specific diseases are caused by specific micro organism.
  • Natural immunity is an inherited resistance to infection.

As defined by the Encyclopedia Britanica, Germ Theory of disease is:

“The theory that certain diseases are caused by the invasion of the body by microorganisms.”

This is based on three basic underlying principles that developed throughout the history of medicine (described by John Waller in The Discovery of the Germ:

  1. Microbes can cause illnesses within the body.
  2. Microbes (and thus the illness) can spread from one person to another.
  3. A specific microbe exists for each illness which will always invoke the same illness.


  • This theory was propounded by Pottenkofer of Munich. This theory describe that the disease is not caused by single agent like in germ theory but many other factors. The use of chemotherapy, antibiotics and other drugs only communicable diseases began to decline and replaced by modern disease like lung cancer, coronary heart disease, mental illness etc,
  • These disease could not be explained on the basis of germ theory of disease nor could they be prevented by traditional method of isolation, immunization or improvement of sanitation.


  • A number of models of disease causation have been proposed. Among the simplest of these is the epidemiologic triad or triangle, the traditional model for infectious disease. The triad consists of an external agent, a susceptible host, and an environment that brings the host and agent together. In this model, disease results from the interaction between the agent and the susceptible host in an environment that supports transmission of the agent from a source to that host.
  • Agent, host, and environmental factors interrelate in a variety complex ways to produce disease. Different diseases require different balances and interactions of these three components. Development of appropriate, practical, and effective public health measures to control or prevent disease usually requires assessment of all three components and their interactions.


BEINGS concept postulates that human diseases and its consequences are caused by a complex interplay of nine different factors. By using the first letters of these all factors the theory is called BEINGS theory.

This concept says that human disease and its consequences are caused by a complex interplay of all these nine different factors –

  • Biological factors innate in a human being,
  • Behavioural factors concerned with individual lifestyles.
  • Environmental factors as physical, chemical and biological aspects of environment,
  • Immunological factors.
  • Nutritional factors.
  • Genetic factors,
  • Social factors,
  • Spiritual factors and
  • Services factors, related to the various aspects of health care services.


Above mentioned all the theories explain how the disease occur in human beings..

But however you have to be careful with everything you eat and touch, viruses and bacteria are everywhere. Salmonella is a kind of bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Ebola is a deadly virus which is in parts of Africa. But anyways you have to be careful diseases are everywhere.

Remember that its important to always know about everything, never refuse to read something that will help you.

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About author
Nishkarsh kumar recieved his bachelor of science in nutritional sciences from Chandigarh University and completed his internship program in Chandigarh. He is an ayurvedic enthusiastic and passionate about evidence based nutritional information.
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