What Does Self-Limiting Mean?

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Seeing a doctor about health worries is essential.
Seeing a doctor about health worries is essential. (Image: Doctor image by Monika 3 Steps Ahead from Fotolia.com)

Self-limiting is a medical term that may be applied to many common conditions or diseases that are regularly seen at doctors’ offices and in surgeries and hospitals. It can also be applied to much rarer conditions.

Definition

A self-limiting disease or condition is one that usually stops or ends without therapy or assistance.

Seeing a doctor about health worries is essential.
Seeing a doctor about health worries is essential. (Image: Doctor image by Monika 3 Steps Ahead from Fotolia.com)

Examples

According to author Herbert Shelton, most acute diseases, such as typhoid fever, pneumonia, diphtheria, colds and tonsillitis, are self-limiting. All of these illness must “run their course” in order for the body to repair itself with its own immune system.

Although many diseases are self-limiting, hospital treatment may still be necessary.
Although many diseases are self-limiting, hospital treatment may still be necessary. (Image: patient image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com)

Medical Intervention

Even if a disease is self-limiting, it does not mean that no medical intervention is necessary. Medical attention will assist in relieving discomfort or pain, keeping the patient strong enough to fight the disease and boost his immune system. Hospital treatment still may be necessary, depending on the disease.

A doctor will know the best course of treatment.
A doctor will know the best course of treatment. (Image: Lovely Doctor image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com)

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