What Stops The Body Working Normally? and How to Improve Your Health With a Balanced Diet

Your body is made from trillions of cells that work together within tissues, organs, and systems to keep you alive. Keeping healthy helps ensure that cells work normally. But sometimes things go wrong and you get ill. Usually, modern medicine can treat and cure these malfunctions.

Bleeding used to be employed as a (useless) way of treating illness, by cutting a vein or by applying a bloodsucking leech. Today, leeches have made a comeback, used by doctors to stimulate blood flow where, for example, severed body parts have been sewn back on.

You won’t believe it!

Testing urine using chemical tests to look for signs of disease is routine these days. Centuries ago doctors examined a patient’s urine by smelling it, looking at its color, and seeing if it was cloudy or not – and they also tasted it. Yuck!

A balanced diet

Follow the guidelines of the food pyramid!
The proportion of space in the pyramid given to each category shows how much of each food type the body needs to provide it with energy and to keep it working and healthy.

Balanced diet Food pyramid
Balanced diet Food pyramid

Sugary foods: Fats, sugars, and junk foods.

Dairy: Milk, yogurt cheese, and butter.

Proteins: Meat, fish, eggs, and nuts.

Fruit and vegetables: Include apples, bananas, carrots and cabbage.

Starchy foods: Potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, and grains.

Six key branches of medicine

Anatomy: The of structure of the body.

Epidemiology: How diseases are caused and spread.

Immunology: The immune system and its disorders.

Neurology: The nervous system and its diseases.

Physiology: How cells, tissues, organs, and systems work.

Psychiatry: Mental illness and its treatment.


Thousands of years ago, people with mental problems were sometimes subjected to a particularly brutal “treatment” called trepanning. A stone knife was used to cut a hole in the person’s skull to let “evil spirits” escape from the brain.

Blasts from the past

First vaccination (against deadly smallpox) is carried out by English doctor Edward Jenner.

First anaesthetic (to make a patient unconscious) is used during an operation in Boston, USA.

French scientist Louis Pasteur shows how bacteria cause infectious diseases.

English doctor Joseph Lister uses antiseptics to prevent wound infection during operations.

German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovers X-rays.

Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin – the first antibiotic (drug that kills bacteria).

South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard performs the first heart transplant.

Introduction to “keyhole” surgery to perform operations through tiny openings in the body.

Four types of pathogens

Pathogens are micro-organisms that cause disease.


Colds, influenza (flu), measles, chickenpox.


Dental caries (tooth decay), whooping cough, tuberculosis (TB).


Malaria, sleeping sickness, giardiasis (severe diarrhoea).


Athlete’s foot, ringworm. candidiasis (thrush).


Before pain relief and aesthetics, the best surgeons were regarded as the ones that worked fastest. On 21 December 1846, Scottish surgeon Robert Liston performed a thigh amputation in just 25 seconds.

Alternative therapies

Acupuncture: Sticks fine needles into the skin at specific point to treat disorders.

Aromatherapy: Uses scented plant oils to treat disorders or help relaxation.

Chiropractice: Manipulates the joints of the backbone to give pain relief.

Herbalism: Uses certain plants and their extracts to treat illnesses.

Homeopathy: Patients given incredibly dilute doses of a remedy that undiluted produces symptoms similar to the illness being treated.

Naturopathy: Holistic (whole body) treatment by changing the patient’s lifestyle or diet.

Reflexology: Massaging specific parts of the feet that are supposed to linked to the afflicted body pants.

Five ways to improve your health

  1. Eat a balanced diet with the right mix of foods in the right quantities.

  2. Only eat small amounts of fatty, sugary, or salty foods.

  3. Take regular exercise.

  4. Avoid spending hours in front of a television or computer.

  5. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and all other types of drugs.

Looking inside the body

Passes X-rays through the body to show its bones.

A special kind of X-ray, used to show arteries.

CT scan
Uses X-rays and a computer to show body tissues.

MRI scan
Uses magnets and radio waves to show body tissues.

PET scan
Uses radioactive substances to show the brain at work.

Ultrasound scan
Sound waves produce images of organs and developing babies.

Puts a tiny camera inside body opening.