Disease? Condition? Disorder?

text reads disease vs condition vs disorder

So last night I was struck with a curious question: is Endometriosis a disease? A disorder? A condition? How the heck is is classified in the medical community? How does our government see it?

So the research began!

First ,what’s the difference between the terms condition, disease, or disorder?  According to the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary:

Condition: a usually defective state of health

Disease: an impairment of the normal state of the living animal or plant body or one of its parts that interrupts or modifies the performance of the vital functions, is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms, and is a response to environmental factors (as malnutrition, industrial hazards, or climate), to specific infective agents (as worms, bacteria, or viruses), to inherent defects of the organism (as genetic anomalies), or to combinations of these factors

Disorder: to disturb the regular or normal functions of

After looking up countless webpages of either medical or government authority, I’ve put together the following lists of how certain facilities classify Endometriosis:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



John Hopkins Medicine


Mayo Clinic

Medical News Today

The Center for Endomtriosis

The Center for Young Women’s Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Washington University


The Endometriosis Association

The Endometriosis Foundation of America

No classification:

MedicineNet.com simply describes Endometriosis as an “abnormal growth of cells.”

I find it fascinating that 2 of the 3 governmental agencies I looked up classified Endo as a “problem.”  And that the only agencies that classify it as a “disease” are non-profits.  As you can see, the bulk of the agencies I looked up classify Endometriosis as a “condition.”   I could continue to look up more and more agencies, compare different countries, etc., but I have to get to work and the list would just never end!

With my understanding of Endometriosis and the definitions presented above, I still personally consider Endometriosis a disease.  Especially with all of the recent studies that are finding genetic links to the…disease…condition…whatever you want to call it.

What are your thoughts?  Are you as outraged at the classification of “problem” as I am? A problem just seems so dismissive, insignificant.  We all know better…

Yours, Lisa


Center for Endometriosis

Center for Young Women’s Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Endometriosis Association

Endometriosis Foundation of America

John Hopkins Medicine


Mayo Clinic

Medical News Today


Merriam Webster Dictionary

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Washington University


~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

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