from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term idiopathy (from ancient Greek ἴδιος ídios , German 'own' and πάθος páthos , German 'suffering' ) is used in connection with diseases that arise without a tangible cause.


The term idiopathic is essentially used in medicine, similar to the synonymous term there . In naming the disease, both are intended to indicate that research into the cause of the disease has so far been unsuccessful. The use of the term does not imply a valuation with regard to a suspected cause or the severity of the disease.

It also does not assume hypochondria , in which the patient fears a clinical picture, but which cannot be objectified by findings. The term is not used for many diseases for which the cause is not exactly clarified. Since research into the causes of diseases is progressing continuously today, the term is used less often.

The English doctor Thomas Willis first proposed the theory that migraines were idiopathic in 1672 .

Idiopathic Medicine

The German pediatrician Stephan Heinrich Nolte coined the term "idiopathic medicine" in 1993. He described a medicine that accepts the knowledge and acceptance of the fatefulness of health and illness in their somatic and psychosocial conditions and contexts and distinguishes an empathic, accompanying and advisory medical attitude from an action -oriented medicine characterized by therapeutic actionism .

Behind this is a basic attitude that assumes that what keeps us healthy ( salutogenesis ) is usually just as little known as what makes us sick ( pathogenesis ). This applies on the physical as well as on the psychological level. Before more harm than good is caused by blind therapeutic action in a complex system, doctors should empathically support and strengthen the patient in the face of this lack of understanding and recognize and remove mechanical, psychological and social obstacles to healing.

Further examples

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wilhelm Gemoll : Greek-German school and hand dictionary . G. Freytag Verlag / Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, Munich / Vienna 1965.
  2. ^ Stephan Heinrich Nolte: Idiopathic medicine. Empathic support and advice instead of therapeutic actionism . In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt . tape 90 , 1993, A1, p. 2614-2616 .