The Top 250 Health Issues in Alternative Medicine, Nutritional Support and Dietary Wellness - Group #1
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a term which is used to describe a localized dilatation of the abdominal aorta, that exceeds the normal diameter by more than 50%. It is caused by a degenerative process of the aortic wall, however the exact etiology remains unknown. It is most commonly located infrarenally (90%), other possible locations are suprarenal and pararenal. The aneurysm can extend to include one or both of the iliac arteries. Read more about Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm ...
Abortion - the removal or expulsion from the uterus of an embryo or fetus, resulting in or caused by its death. This can occur spontaneously as a miscarriage, or be artificially induced through chemical, surgical or other means. Commonly, "abortion" refers to an induced procedure at any point in the pregnancy; medically, it is defined as a miscarriage or induced termination before twenty weeks gestation, which is considered nonviable.
There have been various methods of inducing abortion throughout history. The moral and legal aspects of abortion are the subject of intense debate in many parts of the world.Read more about Abortion ...
Acetyl-L-carnitine - the acetyl ester of L-carnitine. It occurs naturally in animal products. Chemically, acetyl-L-carnitine is known as beta-acetoxy-gamma-N, N, N-trimethylaminobutyrate. Carnitine, also known as L-carnitine (levocarnitine) is a quaternary ammonium compound derived from the amino acid lysine and is responsible for the transport of fatty acids from the cytosol into the mitochondria. It is often sold as a nutritional supplement. Originally found as a growth factor for mealworms and labled Vitamin Bt. Natural carnitine is the L-stereoisomer. It can be synthesised within the body from the amino acids lysine or methionine. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is essential to the synthesis of carnitine. It has been speculated that during growth or pregnancy the requirement of carnitine could exceed its natural production.
The best source of natural carnitine is in red meat and dairy products. Other natural sources of Carnitine include nuts and seeds (e.g pumpkin, sunflower, sesame), legumes or pulses (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts), vegetables (artichokes, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard greens, garlic, mustard greens, okra, parsley), fruits (apricots, bananas), cereals (buckwheat, corn, millet, oatmeal, rice bran, rye, whole wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ) and other 'health' foods (bee pollen, brewer's yeast, carob, kale).
Acetyl-L-carnitine has recently demonstrated some efficacy as a possible neuroprotective agent and may be indicated for use in strokes, Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome and for the management of various neuropathies. It may also have anti-aging properties. Research regarding acetyl-L-carnitine's possible beneficial effect on sperm motility is early-stage but promising.
Typical doses of supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine are 500 milligrams to 2 grams daily in divided doses.
Acetaminophen - Paracetamol or acetaminophen is a common analgesic and antipyretic drug that is used for the relief of fever, headaches, and other minor aches and pains. It is a major ingredient in numerous cold and flu medications and many prescription analgesics. It is remarkably safe in recommended doses, but because of its wide availability, deliberate or accidental overdoses are fairly common.
The words acetaminophen and paracetamol both come from the chemical names for the compound: N-acetyl-para-aminophenol and para-acetyl-amino-phenol. In some contexts, it is shortened to apap, for N-acetyl-para-amino-phenol.
Acid Reflux - Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD; or GORD when spelling oesophageal, the BE form) is defined as chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus.
This is commonly due to transient or permanent changes in the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. This can be due to incompetence of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), transient LES relaxation, or association with a hiatal hernia.
Acne - Acne vulgaris is an inflammatory disease of the skin, caused by changes in the pilosebaceous units (skin structures consisting of a hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland). Acne lesions are commonly referred to as pimples, spots or zits.
The condition is common in puberty among Western societies. It is considered an abnormal response to normal levels of the male hormone testosterone. The response for most people diminishes over time and acne thus tends to disappear, or at least decrease, after one reaches their early twenties. There is, however, no way to predict how long it will take for it to disappear entirely, and some individuals will continue to suffer from acne decades later, into their thirties and forties and even beyond. Acne affects a large percentage of humans at some stage in life.
The term acne comes from a corruption of the Greek word "acme" (acme in the sense of a skin eruption) in the writings of Aetius Amidenus.
Acupuncture - An ancient Chinese healing art and science of acupuncture (from Lat. acus, "needle" (noun), and pungere, "prick" (verb) or in Standard Mandarin, zhen jiu is a technique of inserting and manipulating needles into "acupuncture points" on the body. According to acupunctural teachings this will restore health and well-being. The definition and characterization of these points is controversial. Acupuncture is thought to have originated in China and is most commonly associated with Traditional Chinese medicine. Other types of acupuncture (Japanese, Korean, and classical Chinese acupuncture) are practiced and taught throughout the world.
Whether acupuncture is efficacious or a placebo is subject to scientific research. There is no scientific consensus over whether or not evidence supports efficacy. Reviews of existing clinical trials have been conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration and Bandolier according to the protocols of evidence-based medicine; some reviews have found efficacy for headache and nausea, but for most conditions have concluded a lack of effectiveness or lack of well-conducted clinical trials. The World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the American Medical Association (AMA) and various government reports have also commented on acupuncture. These groups disagree on what is acceptable evidence and on how to interpret it.
Acute Myeloid Leukemia - (AML) also known as acute myeloid leukemia, is a cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells. The median age of patients with AML is 70; it is rare among children.
Myeloid leukemias are characterized as "acute" or "chronic" based on how quickly they progress if not treated. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is often without symptoms and can remain dormant for years before transforming into a blast crisis, which is markedly similar to AML.
Classifications of AML include:
AML with characteristic genetic abnormalities, which includes AML with translocations between chromosome 8 and 21 [t(8;21)], inversions in chromosome 16 [inv(16)] and translocations between chromosome 15 and 17 [t(15;17)] (which causes acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)). Patients with AML in this category generally have a high rate of remission and a better prognosis compared to other types of AML.
AML with multilineage dysplasia. This category includes patients who have had prior myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or a myeloproliferative diseases (MPD) that transforms into AML. This category of AML occurs primarily in elderly patients
AML and MDS, therapy related. This category includes patients who have had prior chemotherapy and/or radiation and subsequently develop AML or MDS.
AML not otherwise categorized. Includes subtypes of AML that do not fall into the above categories.
Acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage. Acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage (also known as mixed phenotype acute leukemia) occur when the leukemic cells can not be classified as either myeloid or lymphoid cells or where both types of cells are present.
Addison's Disease - (also known as chronic adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism) is a rare endocrine disorder. The disease was first described by British physician Thomas Addison in his 1855 publication: On the Constitutional and Local Effects of Disease of the Suprarenal Capsules.
It is estimated that it affects about 1 to 2 in 100,000 people.
It occurs when the adrenal glands, seated above the kidneys, fail to produce enough of the hormone cortisol and, sometimes, the hormone aldosterone.
Addison's disease refers specifically to primary adrenal insufficiency, in which the adrenal glands themselves malfunction; secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the anterior pituitary gland does not produce enough adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) to adequately stimulate the adrenal glands.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder - Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric diagnosis that identifies characteristics such as hyperactivity, forgetfulness, mood shifts, poor impulse control, and distractibility, when judged to be chronic, as symptoms of a neurological pathology. It is seen in both children and adults and is believed to affect between 3% to 5% of the human population.
Much controversy exists surrounding the diagnosis, such as over whether or not the diagnosis denotes a disability in its traditional sense, or simply describes a personal or neurological property of an individual. Those who believe that ADHD is a traditional disability or disorder often debate over how it should be treated, if at all. According to a majority of medical research in the United States, as well as other countries, ADHD is now generally regarded as a non-curable neurological disorder for which a wide range of effective treatments are available. Methods of treatment include the use of medication, psychotherapy, a combination of both, as well as other techniques. Many patients are able to control their symptoms over time, even without the use of medication.
ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children. When diagnosed in adults, it is regarded as adult attention-deficit disorder (AADD). It is believed that anywhere between 30 to 70% of children diagnosed with ADHD retain the disorder as adults.
AIDS - Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections in humans resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The late stage of the condition leaves individuals prone to opportunistic infections and tumors. Although treatments for AIDS and HIV exist to slow the virus's progression, there is no known cure. HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk. This transmission can come in the form of anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding, or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids.
Most researchers believe that HIV originated in sub-Saharan Africa during the twentieth century; it is now a pandemic, with an estimated 38.6 million people now living with the disease worldwide. As of January 2006, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized on December 1, 1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. In 2005 alone, AIDS claimed an estimated 2.4 - 3.3 million lives, of which more than 570,000 were children. A third of these deaths are occurring in sub-Saharan Africa, retarding economic growth by destroying human capital. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the mortality and the morbidity of HIV infection, but routine access to antiretroviral medication is not available in all countries. HIV/AIDS stigma is more severe than that associated with other life-threatening conditions and extends beyond the disease itself to providers and even volunteers involved with the care of people living with HIV.
Alcoholism - a medical diagnosis that describes a multifactorial condition widely believed to be based upon both genetic (Lowinson JH, Ruiz P, Millman RB, Langrod JG. Substance Abuse, A Comprehensive Textbook, 4th Ed. 2005) and environmental factors. Generally described as a continued use of alcohol despite ones best interest, the condition is thought to be lifelong (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Ed, APA, 2004) and can be treated through ongoing therapy and/or attendance at self-help meetings. In a 1992 JAMA article, the Joint Committee of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the American Society of Addiction Medicine published this definition for alcoholism: "Alcoholism is a primary chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, mostly denial. Each of these symptoms may be continuous or periodic."
Alopecia - commonly known as baldness, the condition of alopecia a set of disorders which involves the state of lacking hair where it would normally grow, especially on the head. The most common form of baldness is a progressive hair thinning condition called androgenic alopecia or 'male pattern baldness' that occurs in adult human males and some primate species. Nonetheless, the severity and nature of baldness can vary greatly; it ranges from male and female pattern alopecia (androgenetic alopecia, also called androgenic alopecia or alopecia androgenetica), alopecia areata, which involves the loss of some of the hair from the head, and alopecia totalis, which involves the loss of all head hair, to the most extreme form, alopecia universalis, which involves the loss of all hair from the head and the body. Treatment for alopecia has limited success. The more hair lost, the less successful the treatment will be.
Alzheimer's Disease - (AD) - a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living and neuropsychiatric symptoms or behavioral changes. It is the most common cause of dementia. The most striking early symptom is memory loss (amnesia), which usually manifests as minor forgetfulness that becomes steadily more pronounced with illness progression, with relative preservation of older memories. As the disorder progresses, cognitive (intellectual) impairment extends to the domains of language (aphasia), skilled movements (apraxia), recognition (agnosia), and those functions (such as decision-making and planning) closely related to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain as they become disconnected from the limbic system, reflecting extension of the underlying pathological process.
Amalgam - An amalgam is any alloy of mercury. Most metals are soluble in mercury, but some (such as iron) are not. Amalgams are commonly used in dental fillings. For some centuries dentists have been cleaning out decay and creating dental fillings, using filling material such as stone chips, resin, cork, turpentine, gum, lead and gold leaf. The renowned physician Ambroise Par (1510 - 1590) used lead or cork to fill teeth. Amalgams were the first true standard filling material.
Mercury amalgams were used in dentistry because they were cheap, easy to use, durable, and regarded as safe. They are made by mixing approximately equal measures of mercury and an alloy of silver, copper, tin and other metals. There is an ongoing controversy because of the mercury content of amalgam.
The first people to use amalgam to fill cavities were the Chinese in the 7th century. In 1816 Auguste Taveau developed a dental amalgam from silver coins and mercury. This early amalgam was low in mercury and had to be heated in order for the silver to dissolve at any appreciable rate. More modern dental amalgams are mixed cold. Current dental amalgams contain copper to eliminate the gamma-2 phase of the silver-mercury-tin alloy. The gamma 2 phase is weaker than the other phases so a high copper, low gamma-2 dental amalgam has superior strength.
Amnesia - also spelled amnaesia (see spelling differences) is a condition in which memory is disturbed. The causes of amnesia are organic or functional. Organic causes include damage to the brain, through trauma or disease, or use of certain (generally sedative) drugs. Functional causes are psychological factors, such as defense mechanisms. Hysterical post-traumatic amnesia is an example of this. Amnesia may also be spontaneous, in the case of transient global amnesia. This global type of amnesia is more common in middle-aged to elderly people, particularly males, and usually lasts less than 24 hours.
Types of amnesia In anterograde amnesia, new events are not transferred to long-term memory, so the sufferer will not be able to remember anything that occurs after the onset of this type of amnesia for more than a few moments. The complement of this is retrograde amnesia, where someone will be unable to recall events that occurred before the onset of amnesia. The terms are used to categorise patterns of symptoms, rather than to indicate a particular cause or etiology. Both categories of amnesia can occur together in the same patient, and commonly result from damage to the brain regions most closely associated with episodic/declarative memory: the medial temporal lobes and especially the hippocampus. Traumatic amnesia is generally due to a head injury (fall, knock on the head). Traumatic amnesia is often transient; the duration of the amnesia is related to the degree of injury and may give an indication of the prognosis for recovery of other functions. Mild trauma, such as a car accident that could result in no more than mild whiplash, might cause the occupant of a car to have no memory of the moments just before the accident due to a brief interruption in the short/long-term memory transfer mechanism. Dissociative amnesia is used to refer to long-term repressed memory that is the result of psychological or emotional trauma. Long-term alcoholism can cause a type of memory loss known as Korsakoff's syndrome. This is caused by brain damage due to a Vitamin B1 deficiency and will be progressive if alcohol intake and nutrition pattern are not modified. Other neurological problems are likely to be present in combination with this type of Amnesia. Lacunar amnesia is the loss of memory about one specific event. Fugue state is also known as dissociative fugue. It is caused by psychological trauma and is usually temporary. The Merck Manual defines it as "one or more episodes of amnesia in which the inability to recall some or all of one's past and either the loss of one's identity or the formation of a new identity occur with sudden, unexpected, purposeful travel away from home". Childhood amnesia (also known as Infantile amnesia) is the common inability to remember events from one's own childhood. Whilst Sigmund Freud attributed this to sexual repression, others have theorised that this may be due to language development or immature parts of the brain. Global amnesia is total memory loss. This may be a defence mechanism which occurs after a traumatic event. Post-traumatic stress disorder can also involve the spontaneous, vivid retrieval of unwanted traumatic memories. Posthypnotic amnesia is where events during hypnosis are forgotten, or where past memories are unable to be recalled. Psychogenic amnesia results from a psychological cause as opposed to direct damage to the brain caused by head injury, physical trauma or disease, which is known as organic amnesia. Source amnesia is a memory disorder in which someone can recall certain information, but they do not know where or how they obtained it. Memory distrust syndrome is a term invented by the psychologist Gisli Gudjonsson to describe a situation where someone is unable to trust their own memory. Excessive short-term alcohol consumption can cause a blackout phenomenon with similar symptoms to amnesia.
Amniocentesis - or an Amniotic Fluid Test (AFT), is a medical procedure used for prenatal diagnosis, in which a small amount of amniotic fluid is extracted from the amnion around a developing fetus. It is usually offered when there may be an increased risk for genetic conditions (i.e., Down syndrome, sickle-cell disease, cystic fibrosis, etc) in the pregnancy.
Amniocentesis can be done as soon as there is enough amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus that a sample can be removed safely. Early amniocentesis can be performed as early as 13 weeks gestation. Standard amniocentesis is usually performed between 15 and 20 weeks gestation. Results take about two weeks. Often, genetic counseling is done before amniocentesis, or other types of genetic testing, is offered.
Anemia - or anaemia (see spelling differences), which literally means "without blood," is a deficiency of red blood cells and/or hemoglobin. This results in a reduced ability of blood to transfer oxygen to the tissues, and this causes hypoxia; since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences. Hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein in the red blood cells) has to be present to ensure adequate oxygenation of all body tissues and organs.
The three main classes of anemia include excessive blood loss (acutely such as a hemorrhage or chronically through low-volume loss), excessive blood cell destruction (hemolysis) or deficient red blood cell production. In menstruating women, dietary iron deficiency is a common cause of deficient red blood cell production.
Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. There are several kinds of anemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra, to mention a few.
Different clinicians approach anemia in different ways; two major approaches of classifying anemias include the "kinetic" approach which involves evaluating production, destruction and loss, and the "morphologic" approach which groups anemia by red blood cell size. (Schier) The morphologic approach uses a quickly available and cheap lab test as its starting point (the MCV--see below). On the other hand, focusing early on the question of production (e.g., via the reticulocyte count) may allow the clinician to more rapidly expose cases where multiple causes of anemia may coexist. Regardless of one's philosophy about the classification of anemia, however, methodical clinical evaluation should yield equally good results.
Angina Pectoris - chest pain due to ischemia (a lack of blood and hence oxygen supply) of the heart muscle, generally due to obstruction or spasm of the coronary arteries (the heart's blood vessels). Coronary artery disease, the main cause of angina, is due to atherosclerosis of the cardiac arteries. The term derives from the Greek ankhon ("strangling") and the Latin pectus ("chest"), and can therefore be translated as "a strangling feeling in the chest".
Worsening ("crescendo") angina attacks, sudden-onset angina at rest, and angina lasting more than 15 minutes are symptoms of unstable angina (usually grouped with similar conditions as the acute coronary syndrome). As these may herald myocardial infarction (a heart attack), they require urgent medical attention and are generally treated as a presumed heart attack.
Ankylosing Spondylitis - (AS) is a chronic, painful, progressive inflammatory arthritis primarily affecting spine and sacroiliac joints, causing eventual fusion of the spine; it is a member of the group of the autoimmune spondyloarthropathies with a probable genetic predisposition. Complete fusion results in a complete rigidity of the spine, a condition known as bamboo spine.
Anxiety - a complex combination of negative emotions that includes fear, apprehension and worry, and is often accompanied by physical sensations such as palpitations, nausea, chest pain and/or shortness of breath.
Anxiety is often described as having cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components (Seligman, Walker & Rosenhan, 2001). The cognitive component entails expectation of a diffuse and uncertain danger. Somatically the body prepares the organism to deal with threat (known as an emergency reaction); blood pressure and heart rate are increased, sweating is increased, bloodflow to the major muscle groups is increased, and immune and digestive system functions are inhibited. Externally, somatic signs of anxiety may include pale skin, sweating, trembling, and pupillary dilation. Emotionally, anxiety causes a sense of dread or panic and physically causes nausea, and chills. Behaviorally, both voluntary and involuntary behaviors may arise directed at escaping or avoiding the source of anxiety. These behaviors are frequent and often maladaptive, being most extreme in anxiety disorders. However, anxiety is not always pathological or maladaptive: it is a common emotion along with fear, anger, sadness, and happiness, and it has a very important function in relation to survival.
Neural circuitry involving the amygdala and hippocampus is thought to underlie anxiety (Rosen & Schulkin, 1998). When confronted with unpleasant and potentially harmful stimuli such as foul odors or tastes, PET-scans show increased bloodflow in the amygdala (Zald & Pardo, 1997; Zald, Hagen & Pardo, 2002). In these studies, the participants also reported moderate anxiety. This might indicate that anxiety is a protective mechanism designed to prevent the organism from engaging in potentially harmful behaviors such as feeding on rotten food.
A chronically recurring case of anxiety that has a serious effect on a person's life may be clinically diagnosed as an anxiety disorder. The most common are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Appendicitis - epityphlitis, is a condition characterised by inflammation of the appendix. While mild cases may resolve without treatment, most require removal of the inflamed appendix, either by laparotomy or laparoscopy. Untreated, mortality is high, mainly due to peritonitis and shock.
The causes of appendicitis are generally unknown, but the leading theory is that obstruction of the appendiceal orifice is the inciting factor. Obstruction may come from fecal matter lodged in the appendix, impaction of mucous, a small tumor (such as a carcinoid), or even a small blood clot. Viral infections, which can cause ulceration of the lining, can also lead to obstruction of the appendix through proliferation of lymphatic tissue in its walls. A viral etiology is a possible explanation for seasonal variations in rates of appendicitis and clustering of cases. Regardless of the cause, obstruction of the appendix may lead to progressive appendiceal distension. This distension increases the pressure within the appendix, which in turn impairs its blood supply. Deprived of blood, the appendix loses the ability to fight infection and fecal bacteria begin to grow out of control. Although spontaneous recovery can rarely occur, with time and lack of treatment the walls of the appendix eventually become gangrenous from the infection and lack of blood flow. As bacteria begin to leak out through the dying walls, pus forms within and around the appendix (suppuration). The end result of this cascade is appendiceal rupture causing peritonitis, which may lead to septicemia and eventually death.
Although the model described above is traditionally taught in medical schools, histories of patients operated for appendicitis do not often correlate well with such a single disease progression. Specifically, those with atypical histories have findings at surgery that are consistent with a suppurative process that starts at the onset of symptoms and then smolders. Patients with typical histories may have findings suggesting resolution. Histories to suggest rupture of the appendix while patients are being diagnostically observed are exceedingly rare.
Thus appendicitis is now considered by some to behave as two distinct disease processes, typical and atypical (or suppurative). Approximately 2/3 of patients with appendicitis have typical histories, and findings suggest a virus or mild obstruction as a cause. In the 1/3 with atypical histories, an early suppurative process begins at the clinical onset, and severe unremitting obstruction is the likely cause. In any case, early operation is the best treatment for either type of appendicitis.
Asbestos - (a misapplication of Latin: asbestos "quicklime" from a Greek word: a-, "not"; sbestos, "extinguishable") describes any of a group of fibrous metamorphic minerals of the hydrous magnesium silicate variety. The name is derived for its historical use in lamp wicks; the resistance of asbestos to fire has long been exploited for a variety of purposes. Asbestos was used in fabrics such as Egyptian burial cloths and Charlemagne's tablecloth which according to legend, he threw in a fire to clean. Asbestos occurs naturally in many forms (see below); it is mined from metamorphic rocks.
When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibers are often mixed with cement or woven into fabric or mats. Asbestos is used in brake shoes and gaskets for its heat resistance, and in the past was used on electric oven and hotplate wiring for its electrical insulation at elevated temperature, and in buildings for its flame-retardant and insulating properties, tensile strength, flexibility, and resistance to chemicals. The inhalation of some kinds of asbestos fibers, however, causes various serious illnesses, including cancer. Thus, most uses of asbestos are banned in many countries. Fiberglass or Synthetic Mineral Fibre has been found to be a suitable substitute for thermal insulation, and woven ceramic fiber performs as well as or better than asbestos as an insulator of high-temperature electrical conductors.
Most respirable asbestos fibers are invisible to the unaided human eye because their size is about 3.0-20.0 µm in length and can be as thin as 0.01 µm. Human hair ranges in size from 17 to 181 µm. Fibers ultimately form because when these minerals originally cooled and crystallized, they formed by the polymeric molecules lining up parallel with each other and forming oriented crystal lattices. These crystals thus have three cleavage planes, just as other minerals and gemstones have. But in their case, there are two cleavage planes that are much weaker than the third direction. Thus, when sufficient force is applied, they tend to break along their weakest directions, resulting in a linear fragmentation pattern and hence a fibrous form. This fracture process can keep occurring over and over until they have been broken down to their smallest unit dimensions. For this reason, one larger asbestos fiber can ultimately become the source of hundreds of much thinner and smaller fibers in a normal environment over the course of time.
Asperger's Syndrome - also called Asperger's syndrome, AS, or the common shorthand Asperger's - is one of five neurobiological pervasive developmental disorders, and is characterized by normal intelligence and language development, but deficiencies in social and communication skills.
The term "Asperger's syndrome" was coined by Lorna Wing in a 1981 medical paper. She named the syndrome after Hans Asperger, an Austrian psychiatrist and pediatrician who himself had used the term autistic psychopathy in describing a group of boys with Asperger's in a 1940 paper. Asperger's syndrome was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1994, and has only become more widely recognized and diagnosed in recent years.
Aspirin - or acetylsalicylic acid is a drug in the family of salicylates, often used as an analgesic (against minor pains and aches), antipyretic (against fever), and anti-inflammatory. It has also an anticoagulant ("blood-thinning") effect and is used in long-term low-doses to prevent heart attacks.
Low-dose long-term aspirin irreversibly blocks formation of thromboxane A2 in platelets, producing an inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation, and this blood-thinning property makes it useful for reducing the incidence of heart attacks. Aspirin produced for this purpose often comes in 75 or 81 mg dispersible tablets and is sometimes called "Junior aspirin". High doses of aspirin are also given immediately after an acute heart attack. These doses may also inhibit the synthesis of prothrombin and may therefore produce a second and different anticoagulant effect.
Several hundred fatal overdoses of aspirin occur annually, but the vast majority of its uses are beneficial. Its primary undesirable side effects, especially in stronger doses, are gastrointestinal distress (including ulcers and stomach bleeding) and tinnitus. Another side effect, due to its anticoagulant properties, is increased bleeding in menstruating women. Because there appears to be a connection between aspirin and Reye's syndrome, aspirin is no longer used to control flu-like symptoms in minors.
Aspirin was the first discovered member of the class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), not all of which are salicylates, though they all have similar effects and a similar action mechanism.
Asthma - a disease of the human respiratory system where the airways constrict, become inflamed and become lined with mucous, often in response to one or more "triggers," such as exposure to an allergen, cold air, exercise, or emotional stress. In children, the most common triggers are viral illnesses such as those that cause the common cold. This airway narrowing causes symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing, which respond to bronchodilators. Between episodes, most patients feel fine.
The disorder is a chronic (reoccurring) inflammatory condition in which the airways develop increased responsiveness to various stimuli, characterized by bronchial hyper-responsiveness, inflammation, increased mucus production, and intermittent airway obstruction. The symptoms of asthma, which can range from mild to life threatening, can usually be controlled with a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes.
Public attention in the developed world has recently focused on asthma because of its rapidly increasing prevalence, affecting up to one in four urban children. Susceptibility to asthma can be explained in part by genetic factors, but no clear pattern of inheritance has been found. Asthma is a complex disease that is influenced by multiple genetic, developmental, and environmental factors, which interact to produce the overall condition.
Autism - classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder which manifests itself in markedly abnormal social interaction, communication ability, patterns of interests, and patterns of behavior.
Although the specific etiology of autism is unknown, many researchers suspect that autism results from genetically mediated vulnerabilities to environmental triggers. While there is disagreement about the magnitude, nature, and mechanisms for such environmental factors, researchers have found seven genes prevalent among individuals diagnosed as autistic. Some estimate that autism occurs in as many as one American child in 166, however the National Institute of Mental Health gives a more conservative estimate of one in 1000. For families that already have one autistic child, the odds of a second autistic child may be as high as one in twenty. Although autism is about 3 to 4 times more common in boys, girls with the disorder tend to have more severe symptoms and greater cognitive impairment. Diagnosis is based on a list of psychiatric criteria, and a series of standardized clinical tests may also be used.
Autism may not be physiologically obvious. A complete physical and neurological evaluation will typically be part of diagnosing autism. Some now speculate that autism is not a single condition but a group of several distinct conditions that manifest in similar ways.
By definition, autism must manifest delays in "social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play," with "onset prior to age 3 years", according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The ICD-10 also requires symptoms to be "manifest before the age of three years." There have been large increases in the reported incidence of autism, for reasons that are heavily debated by researchers in psychology and related fields within the scientific community.
With intense therapy and practice and schooling, some children diagnosed with autism can improve their social and other skills to the point where they can fully participate in mainstream education and social events, but there are no indications that a cure from autism is possible with current technology or advances in medicine. Some autistic children and adults who are able to communicate (at least in writing) are opposed to attempts to cure their autism, because they (and/or the guardians) see autism as part of who they are.
Avian Influenza - Influenzavirus A is a genus of a family of viruses called Orthomyxoviridae in virus classification. Influenzavirus A has only one species in it; that species is called "Influenza A virus". Influenza A virus causes "avian influenza" (also known as bird flu, avian flu, Influenzavirus A flu, type A flu, or genus A flu). It is hosted by birds, but may infect several species of mammals. All known subtypes are endemic in birds. This may also be called bird flu by many people.
Back Pain - (also known as "dorsopathy") is pain felt in the human back that may come from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine. The pain may be constant or intermittent, stay in one place or refer or radiate to other areas. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation. The pain may be felt in the neck (and might radiate into the arm and hand), in the upper back, or in the low back (and might radiate into the leg or foot), and may include weakness or numbness.
Back pain is one of humanity's most frequent complaints. In the U.S., acute low back pain (also called lumbago) is the fifth most common reason for all physician visits. About nine out of ten adults experience back pain at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults have back pain every year.
Much of this epidemic of back pain may be caused by tension myositis syndrome, a mindbody disorder discovered by John E. Sarno, MD of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, for which he has developed an educational treatment program, with which he has cured more than ten thousand of his patients over the past three decades, as well as many more through his books.
The spine is a complex interconnecting network of nerves, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, and all are capable of producing pain. Large nerves that originate in the spine and go to the legs and arms can make pain radiate to the extremities. Also, back pain is sometimes experienced when no underlying anatomical problem is apparent. Much of this can be attributed to tension myositis syndrome, a mindbody disorder.
While it is rare, back pain can be a sign of a serious medical problem:
Typical warning signs of a potentially life-threatening problem are bowel and/or bladder incontinence or progressive weakness in the legs. Patients with these symptoms should seek immediate medical care. Severe back pain (such as pain that is bad enough to interrupt sleep) that occurrs with other signs of severe illness (e.g. fever, weight loss) may also indicate a serious underlying medical condition, such as cancer. Back pain that occurs after a trauma, such as a car accident or fall, should also be promptly evaluated by a medical professional to check for a fracture or other injury. Back pain in individuals with medical conditions that put them at high risk for a fracture, such as osteoporosis or multiple myeloma, also warrants prompt medical attention.
In general, however, back pain is not usually a sign of a serious medical condition. The vast majority of episodes of back pain are benign, self limiting and non-progressive. Most back pain syndromes are due to inflammation, especially in the acute phase, which typically lasts for two weeks to three months.
Bipolar Disorder - Bipolar disorder (previously known as manic depression) is a diagnostic category describing a class of mood disorders where the person experiences states or episodes of depression and/or mania, hypomania, and/or mixed states. Left untreated, it is a severely disabling psychiatric condition. The difference between bipolar disorder and unipolar disorder (also called major depression) - for the purpose of this introduction - is that bipolar disorder involves "energized" or "activated" mood states in addition to depressed mood states. The duration and intensity of mood states varies widely among people with the illness. Fluctuating from one mood state to another is called "cycling" or having mood swings. Mood swings cause impairment not only in one's mood, but also in one's energy level, sleep pattern, activity level, social rhythms and thinking abilities. Many people become fully disabled - for significant periods of time - and during this time have great difficulty functioning.
Baldness - also known as Alopecia, is a set of disorders which involves the state of lacking hair where it would normally grow, especially on the head. The most common form of baldness is a progressive hair thinning condition called androgenic alopecia or 'male pattern baldness' that occurs in adult human males and some primate species. Nonetheless, the severity and nature of baldness can vary greatly; it ranges from male and female pattern alopecia (androgenetic alopecia, also called androgenic alopecia or alopecia androgenetica), alopecia areata, which involves the loss of some of the hair from the head, and alopecia totalis, which involves the loss of all head hair, to the most extreme form, alopecia universalis, which involves the loss of all hair from the head and the body. Treatment for alopecia has limited success. The more hair lost, the less successful the treatment will be.
Male pattern baldness is thought to occur in varying forms in about 66% of adult males at some point in their lives. It is characterized by hair receding from the lateral sides of the forehead, known as "receding hairline" or "receding brow." An additional bald patch may develop on top (vertex). The trigger for this type of baldness (called androgenic alopecia because it is caused by male hormones or androgens) is DHT, a powerful sex hormone. The mechanism by which DHT accomplishes this is not yet understood. In genetically-prone scalps, DHT initiates a process of follicular miniaturization. Through the process of follicular miniaturization, hair shaft width is progressively decreased until scalp hair resembles fragile vellus hair or "peach fuzz" or else becomes non-existent. Onset of hair loss sometimes begins as early as end of puberty, and is mostly genetically determined. Male pattern baldness is classified on the Hamilton-Norwood scale I-VIII. Female pattern baldness, in which the midline parting of the hair appears broadened, is less common. It is believed to result from a decrease in estrogen, a hormone that normally counteracts the balding effect of testosterone, which normally occurs in women's blood. Female pattern baldness is classified on the Ludwig scale I-III.
It was previously believed that baldness was inherited from a person's maternal grandfather. While there is some basis for this belief, both parents contribute to their offspring's likelihood of hair loss. (see 'baldness folklore' below)
There are several other kinds of baldness. Traction alopecia is most commonly found in people with ponytails or cornrows who pull on their hair with excessive force. Wearing a hat shouldn't generally cause this, though it is a good idea to let your scalp breathe for 7 hours a day. Traumas such as chemotherapy, childbirth, major surgery, poisoning, and severe stress may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium. Some mycotic infections can cause massive hair loss. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder also known as "spot baldness" that can result in hair loss ranging from just one location (Alopecia areata monolocularis) to every hair on the entire body (Alopecia areata universalis).
Birth Control - a regimen of one or more actions, devices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of a woman giving birth or becoming pregnant. Methods and intentions typically termed birth control may be considered a pivotal ingredient to family planning. Mechanisms which are intended to reduce the likelihood of the fertilisation of an ovum by a spermatozoon may more specifically be referred to as contraception. Contraception differs from abortion in that the former prevents fertilization, while the latter terminates an already established pregnancy. Methods of birth control which may prevent the implantation of an embryo if fertilization occurs are medically considered to be contraception but characterized by some opponents as abortifacients.
Birth control is a controversial political and ethical issue in many cultures and religions, and although it is generally less controversial than abortion specifically, it is still opposed by many. There are various degrees of opposition, including those who oppose all forms of birth control short of sexual abstinence; those who oppose forms of birth control they deem "unnatural," while allowing natural birth control; and those who support most forms of birth control that prevent fertilisation, but oppose any method of birth control which prevents a fertilized embryo from attaching to the uterus and initiating a pregnancy.
Bird Flu - Avian flu (also "bird flu", "avian influenza", "bird influenza"), means "flu from viruses adapted to birds", but is sometimes mistakenly used to refer to both other flu subsets and the viruses that cause them. (Example: from any flu virus rather than ones adapted to birds, e.g. Dog flu, Horse flu, Human flu, Swine flu), or (also incorrectly) even the virus itself.
All known avian flu viruses belong to the species of virus called Influenza A virus. All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
As of 2006, "avian flu" is being commonly used to refer to infection from a particular subtype of Influenza A virus, H5N1, which is currently the world's major flu pandemic threat.
Avian flu viruses are noninfectious for most species. When they are infectious they are usually asymptomatic, so the carrier does not have any disease from it. Thus while infected with an avian flu virus, the animal doesn't have a "flu". Typically, when illness (called "flu") from an avian flu virus does occur, it is the result of an avian flu virus strain adapted to one species spreading to another species (usually from one bird species to another bird species). So far as we know the most common result of this is an illness so minor as to be not worth noticing (and thus little studied). But with the domestication of chickens and turkeys, we have created species subtypes (domesticated poultry) that can catch an avian flu virus adapted to waterfowl and have it rapidly mutate into a form that kills in days over 90% of an entire flock and spread to other flocks and kill 90% of them and can only be stopped by killing every domestic bird in the area. Until H5N1, this was basically the whole story of avian flu so far as anyone knew or cared (outside of the poultry industry). Now with H5N1, we have a whole new ballgame with H5N1 inventing new rules as it goes with behaviors never noticed before, and possibly never having occured before. This is evolution right before our eyes. Even the Spanish flu virus did not behave like this. What is worth mentioning about illness from avian flu viruses is covered in H5N1 flu, Flu, and the subtype articles (H5N1, HxNy) linked below (and the references in those articles).
A few examples of correct and incorrect usage of the term "avian flu" itself follow. For more scientific information about avian flu, see the subtype links towards the bottom of this article, H5N1 flu, Flu, Influenzavirus A, and other linked articles.
Blood Transfusion - the process of transferring blood or blood-based products from one person into the circulatory system of another. Blood transfusions may treat medical conditions, such as massive blood loss due to trauma, surgery, shock and where the red cell producing mechanism (or some other normal and essential component) fails.
Bone Cancer - an inexact term, which can be used for both benign and malignant abnormal growths found in bone, but is most commonly used for primary tumors of bone, such as osteosarcoma (or osteoma). It is less exactly applied to secondary, or metastatic tumors found in bone. The most common symptom of bone tumors is pain, but many patients will not experience any symptoms, except for a painless mass. Bone Tumors can be divided into primary and secondary tumors. Secondary tumors can be further subdivided into: (1) Metastatic tumors, (2) Tumors resulting from contiguous spread of adjacent soft tissue neoplasms, and (3) Tumors representing malignant transformation of the pre-existing benign lesions.
Bone Grafts - a surgical procedure where bone is taken from a donor site and implanted into the patient. A common use of bone grafting is dental implants.
Borage Seed Oil - (Borago officinalis), also known as "starflower", is an annual herb native to central and eastern Europe. It grows to a height of 60-100 cm, and is bristly-hairy all over the stems and leaves; the leaves are alternate, simple, and 5-15 cm long. The flowers are small, blue or pink, with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. It produces plenty of seeds and thus continues to grow and spread from where it is first sown or planted. The leaves have been found to contain small amounts (10 ppm of dried herb) of the liver-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids: intermedine, lycopsamine, amabiline and supinine. They taste like fresh cucumber and are used in salads and soups especially in Germany. One of the better known recipes with borage is the Green Sauce made in Frankfurt. Frankfurter Grune Sauce, as it is called in Germany, is made from seven herbs: parsley, chervil, chives, cress, sorrel, burnet and borage. The flower, which contains the non-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid thesinine, has a sweet honey-like taste and is often used to decorate desserts and dishes. If frozen into ice-cubes, the flowers become exotic drink coolers. The oil that is extracted from the seeds (marketed as "starflower oil" or "borage oil") is a good source of gamma-linolenic acid. It's also rich in oleic and palmitic acid, which confers an hypocholesterolemic effect. This oil, which is recently being commercialised, regulates metabolism and the hormonal system, and is considered a good remedy for PMS. Borage is also indicated to alleviate and heal colds, bronchitis, and respiratory infections in general for its anti-inflammatory and balsamic properties.
USUAL DAILY DOSAGE OF BORAGE OIL -- about 1-2 gel capsules per day containing 1,000 to 1,200 mg of oil, with about 250-300 mg of the GLA active ingredient (gamma-linolenic acid). A second choice for borage seed oil would be black currant oil or evening primrose oil, which contain less GLA per capsule and are therefore usually more expensive per effective dose.
Botox or Botulin toxin - a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is the most poisonous naturally occurring substance in the world. A single drop is capable of killing 50,000 people. Though it is highly toxic, it is used in minute doses both to treat painful muscle spasms, and as a cosmetic treatment in some parts of the world. It is sold commercially under the brand names Botox and Dysport for this purpose. The terms Botox and Dysport are trade names and are not used generically to describe the neurotoxins produced by Clostridia species.
Brain Cancer or Brain Tumors - any intracranial tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either found in the brain itself (neurons, glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells), lymphatic tissue, blood vessels), in the cranial nerves (myelin-producing Schwann cells), in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary and pineal gland, or spread from cancers primarily located in other organs (metastatic tumors). Primary (true) brain tumors are commonly located in the posterior cranial fossa in children and in the anterior two-thirds of the cerebral hemispheres in adults, although they can affect any part of the brain. In the United States in the year 2000, it was estimated that there were 16,500 new cases of brain tumors, which accounted for 1.4 percent of all cancers, 2.4 percent of all cancer deaths, and 20-25 percent of pediatric cancers. Ultimately, it is estimated that there are 13,000 deaths/year as a result of brain tumors.
Breast Cancer - cancer of breast tissue. Worldwide, it is the most common form of cancer in females, affecting approximately one out of twelve to thirteen women who reach age ninety at some stage of their life in the Western world. It is (after lung cancer) the second most fatal cancer in women. Because the breast is composed of identical tissues in males and females, breast cancer can also occur in males, but here the incidence is very low, less than 1 percent.
Breast Implants - a prosthesis used in cosmetic surgery to enlarge the size of a woman's breasts (known as breast augmentation), or to reconstruct the breast (e.g., to correct genetic deformities or after a mastectomy, or during male-to-female sex reassignment surgery). According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation is the third most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. In 2005, 291,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed. Implants have been used at least since 1865 to augment the size of women's breasts. The earliest known implant occurred in Germany, in which fat from a lipoma (benign fatty lump) was removed from a woman's back and implanted in her breast. In the following years, the medical community experimented with implants of various materials, most commonly paraffin. There are two primary types of breast implants: (1) Saline implants, which have a silicone rubber shell filled with sterile saline liquid. These implants are currently the only type available outside of clinical trials in the United States, but future regulation may make more filler types available. (2) Silicone gel implants, which have a silicone shell filled with a viscous silicone gel.
Breastfeeding - the process of a woman feeding an infant or young child with milk from her breasts, usually directly from the nipples. Babies have a sucking urge that enables them to take in the milk, provided there is a good 'latch' (ie correct orientation between the woman and the baby), a normal frenulum, and a milk supply. Breast milk has been shown to be best for feeding a child (assuming the mother does not have any serious transmissible infections.) Some mothers do not breastfeed their children, either for personal or medical reasons. Some diseases, such as HIV and HTLV-1, may be passed through the breast milk, and may therefore preclude breastfeeding in some cases. Some medicines may also transfer through breast milk. However, most medicines are transferred in very small amounts and are considered safe to take during breastfeeding. Therefore most women are not precluded from breastfeeding, and most doctors and governments promote the practice. Still, many medications are labelled as unsafe for use while breastfeeding, and the breastfeeding mother and her physician must carefully weigh the risks and benefits. Many governmental strategies and international initiatives have promoted breastfeeding as the best method of feeding a child in his or her first year and beyond. So do the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and many others.
Bruxism - This is an oral para-functional habit observed in a large number of people occasionally and, in a smaller number, habitually. The mechanism of causation is tension and spasm of the muscles used for mastication. The term also refers to clenching of the teeth, which causes similar problems.
Often, it occurs during sleep; even a short nap may induce it. In a typical case, the canines and incisors are commonly moved against each other laterally, i.e. with a side to side action. This abrades tooth enamel, removing the sharp biting surfaces and flattening the edges of the teeth. Sometimes, there is a tendency to grind the molars together, which can be loud enough to wake a sleeping partner.
Over time, bruxing shortens and blunts the teeth being ground, and may lead to pain in the joint of the jaw, the temporomandibular joint, or headache. Teeth hollowed by previous decay (caries) may collapse; the pressure exerted by bruxism on the teeth is extraordinarily high.
The cause, or causes, of bruxism remains unclear. Some dentists believe it is due to a lack of symmetry in the teeth; others, that it reflects anxiety, digestive problems or a disturbed sleep pattern. The most likely explanation is that the cause of bruxism includes the simultaneous conditions of emotional stress and occlusal disharmony (where teeth do not bite down on each other correctly).
A recently introduced device called the BiteStrip enables at-home overnight testing for Sleep Bruxism and might help diagnose bruxism before damage appeared on the teeth. The device is a miniature electromyograph machine that senses jaw muscle activity while the patient sleeps. A dentist can establish the severity level, which helps in choosing a treatment plan.
The effects of the condition may be quite advanced before sufferers are aware they brux. Abraded teeth may be brought to the patient's attention during a routine dental examination. If enough enamel is abraded, the softer dentine will be exposed, and abrasion will accelerate. This opens the possibility of dental decay and tooth fracture, and in some people, gum recession. Early intervention by a dentist is advisable.
Some drugs are known to cause bruxism as a side-effect, e.g. MDMA and others of the amphetamine-based family.
Caffeine - (sometimes called guaranine when found in guarana, mateine when found in mate, and theine when found in tea) is a xanthine alkaloid found in the leaves and beans of the coffee tree, in tea, yerba mate, guarana berries, and in small quantities in cocoa, the kola nut and the Yaupon holly. In plants, caffeine acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills many insects feeding upon them. The name is derived apparently from Italian caffe ("coffee") plus the alkaloid suffix -ine.
Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Beverages containing caffeine - such as coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks - enjoy popularity great enough to make caffeine the world's most popular psychoactive drug.
In nature, caffeine is found with widely varying concentrations of the other xanthine alkaloids theophylline and theobromine, which are cardiac stimulants. When caffeine appears to have different effects depending on the source, it is due primarily to varying concentrations of other stimulants and absorption rates of the mixture.
Campylobacter - a genus of Gram-negative bacteria. Motile, with either uni- or bi-polar flagella, the organisms have a somwhat curved, rod-like appearance, and are oxidase-positive. At least a dozen species of Campylobacter have been implicated in human disease, with C. jejuni and C. coli the most common. C. fetus is a cause of spontaneous abortions in cattle and sheep, as well as an opportunisitic pathogen in humans. The genomes of several Campylobacter species have been sequenced, providing insights into their mechanisms of pathogenesis.
Candida - a genus of yeasts (the most important being Candida albicans) that can cause fungal infections (candidiasis or thrush) in humans and other animals. Candida grows in the medical laboratory as large, round, white or cream (albicans is Latin meaning 'whitish') colonies on agar plates.
Another Candida species is Candida dubliniensis which presents a problem in HIV positive patients receiving antifungal drugs.
Too much Candida in someone's body can lead to candidiasis.This literally means candida in blood.
Colonization of the gastrointestinal tract by C. albicans may result from taking antiacids or antihyperacidity drugs. This colonization may interfere with absorption of Coenzyme Q10 (Krone, et al., Med Hypotheses 2001 Nov;57(5):570-2).
One of the most common Candida infections is oral candidiasis caused by acrylic dentures, especially in elderly denture wearers [Samaranayake and MacFarlane, 1990 (Oral Candidosis)].
The word "candida" can have various meanings: Candida is a genus of yeasts, such as candida albicans. In Latin, candidus, candida means clear and white, with the whiteness of pure quartz rather than the whiteness of chalk (albus). Candida was the name of the clear-thinking, outspoken, and candid eponymous heroine of George Bernard Shaw's 1895 play poking fun at well-meaning socialist reformers in the Church of England. Candida is a commune in the province of Avellino in southern Italy. "Candida" was also the name of a 1970 song performed by Tony Orlando and Dawn; the song appears on their album Candida.
Celiac Disease - Coeliac disease or celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small bowel that occurs in genetically-predisposed individuals. It is caused by an abnormal reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat. Upon exposure to gliadin, the body's immune system cross-reacts with the enzyme tissue transglutaminase, causing flattening of the villi lining the small intestine, which interferes with the absorption of nutrients. The only effective treatment is a diet, lifelong in principle, from which gluten is absent. This condition has several other names, including: cÏliac disease (with ligature), c(o)eliac sprue, non-tropical sprue, gluten enteropathy, and gluten intolerance.
Cellulite - describes dimpling of skin, caused by the protrusion of subcutaneous fat into the dermis creating an undulating dermal-subcutaneous fat junction adipose tissue. The term cellulite originated in France more than 150 years ago and began appearing in English language publications in the late 1960s. Descriptive names for cellulite include orange peel syndrome, cottage cheese skin, the mattress phenomenon, and hail damage. Synonyms include: adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, status protrusus cutis and gynoid lipodystrophy. It is unrelated to cellulitis, which is infection of the skin and its underlying connective tissue.
Between 85% and 98% of post-pubescent females display some degree of cellulite. It is prevalent in women of all races but is more common in Caucasian females than in Asian females. There appears to be a hormonal component to its presentation. It is rarely seen in males. It is seen more commonly in males with androgen-deficient states such as Klinefelter's syndrome, hypogonadism, post-castration states and in those patients receiving estrogen therapy for prostate cancer. The cellulite becomes more severe as the androgen deficiency worsens in these males. Cellulite is not related to being overweight; average and underweight people also get cellulite.
While harmless, the dimpled appearance is a cause of concern for some people. The cosmetics industry claims to offer many remedies. There are no supplements that have been approved as effective for reducing cellulite. Liposuction, which extracts fat from under the skin, is not effective for cellulite reduction. Dieting does not get rid of the dimpled appearance, but balanced eating, drinking and exercising may help.
Cellulite has been found to be indistinguishable from ordinary fat in every medical and scientific test. It is not proven whether any cosmetic lotion, massager or pills can reduce/increase cellulite versus ordinary fat. The only effective way to reduce cellulite is the same one which reduces ordinary fat, namely exercise.
Ceramics - derived from the Greek word keramikos, "having to do with pottery". The term covers inorganic non-metallic materials whose formation is due to the action of heat. Up until the 1950s or so, the most important of these were the traditional clays, made into pottery, bricks, tiles and the like, along with cements and glass. The traditional crafts are described in the article on pottery. A composite material of ceramic and metal is known as cermet. The word ceramic can be an adjective, and can also be used as a noun to refer to a ceramic material, or a product of ceramic manufacture. Ceramics is a singular noun referring to the art of making things out of ceramic materials.
Historically, ceramic products have been hard, porous and brittle. The study of ceramics consists to a large extent of methods to mitigate these problems, and accentuate the strengths of the materials, as well as to offer up unusual uses for these materials.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines a ceramic article as "an article having a glazed or unglazed body of crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or of glass, which body is produced from essentially inorganic, non-metallic substances and either is formed from a molten mass which solidifies on cooling, or is formed and simultaneously or subsequently matured by the action of the heat."
Cerebral Palsy - the most common childhood physical disability. It is a permanent physical condition that affects movement. A new international consensus definition has been proposed: "Cerebral palsy (CP) describes a group of disorders of the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain. The motor disorders of cerebral palsy are often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, cognition, communication, perception, and/or behavior, and/or by a seizure disorder" (Rosenbaum et al, 2005)". The incidence in developed countries is approximately 2-2.5 per 1000 live births. Incidence has not declined over the last 60 years despite medical advances like electro-fetal monitoring. Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disorder, however secondary orthopaedic deformities are common for example, hip dislocation and scoliosis of the spine. There is no known cure; medical intervention, Conductive Education (w) has been shown to be helpful. These treatments focus on developing the person's participation in everyday life, and not 'fixing' their impairments. While severity varies widely, cerebral palsy ranks among the most costly congenital conditions to manage.
Cerebral palsy is an "umbrella term" in that it refers to a group of different conditions. It has been suggested that no two people with CP are alike even if they have the same diagnosis. Cerebral palsy is divided into four major classifications to describe the different movement impairments. These classifications reflect the area of brain damaged. The four classifications are: (1) Spastic; (2) Athetoid; (3) Ataxic and (4) Mixed. Spastic cerebral palsy is further classified by topography, dependent on the region of the body affected. These typography classifications include: (1) hemiplegia (one side being more affected than the other); (2) diplegia (the lower body being more affected than the upper body); and (3) quadriplegia (All four limbs affected equally).
Cerebral palsy can occur during pregancy (~75%), at birth (~5%) or after birth (~15%). 80% of causes are unknown. For the small number where cause is known this can include infections, malnutrition, and significant head injury in very early childhood.
Cervical Cancer - a malignancy of the cervix. Worldwide, it is the second most common cancer of women. It may present with vaginal bleeding but symptoms may be absent until the cancer is in advanced stages, which has made cervical cancer the focus of intense screening efforts utilizing the Pap smear. Most scientific studies have found that human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is responsible for >90% of the cases of cervical cancer. There are 7 most common types of HPV - 16, 18, 31, 33, 42, 52 and 58. Types 16 and 18 being the most common cause of the cancer. Treatment is with surgery (including local exicision) in early stages and chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced stages of the disease. An effective vaccine for the two most common strains of HPV has recently been licenced.
Chemotherapy - the use of chemical substances to treat disease. In its modern-day use, it refers primarily to cytotoxic drugs used to treat cancer. In its non-oncological use, the term may also refer to antibiotics (antibacterial chemotherapy). In that sense, the first modern chemotherapeutic agent was Paul Ehrlich's arsphenamine, an arsenic compound discovered in 1909 and used to treat syphilis. This was later followed by sulfonamides discovered by Domagk and penicillin G discovered by Alexander Fleming. Other uses of cytostatic chemotherapy agents (including the ones mentioned below) are the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, the treatment of some chronic viral infections such as Hepatitis, and the suppression of transplant rejections (see immunosuppression and DMARDs).
Chicken Flu - a type of Avian flu (also "bird flu", "avian influenza", "bird influenza"), means "flu from viruses adapted to birds", but is sometimes mistakenly used to refer to both other flu subsets and the viruses that cause them. (Example: from any flu virus rather than ones adapted to birds, e.g. Dog flu, Horse flu, Human flu, Swine flu), or (also incorrectly) even the virus itself. All known avian flu viruses belong to the species of virus called Influenza A virus. All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
Chicken Pox - also spelled "chickenpox", is the common name for Varicella simplex, classically one of the childhood infectious diseases caught and survived by most children. Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), also known as human herpes virus 3 (HHV-3), one of the eight herpes viruses known to affect humans. It starts with conjunctival and catarrhal symptoms, moderate fever and then characteristic spots appearing in two or three waves, mainly on the body and head rather than the hands and becoming itchy raw pox (pocks), small open sores which heal mostly without scarring.
Chlamydia - a common term for infection with any bacteria belonging to the phylum Chlamydiae. This term derives from the name of the bacterial genus Chlamydia in the family Chlamydiaceae, order Chlamydiales, class and phylum Chlamydiae. The genus Chlamydia includes three species: Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia muridarum, and Chlamydia suis. Chlamydia trachomatis infection is described below.
Chlamydia trachomatis is a major infectious cause of human eye and genital disease. C. trachomatis is naturally found living only inside human cells and is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in people worldwide - about four million cases of Chlamydia occur in the United States each year. Not all infected people exhibit symptoms of Chlamydia. About half of all men and three-quarters of all women who have Chlamydia have no symptoms and do not know that they are infected. It can be serious but is easily cured with antibiotics if detected in time. Equally important, Chlamydia infection of the eye is the most common cause of preventable blindness in the world. Blindness occurs as a complication of trachoma (chlamydia conjunctivitis). There are many other species of Chlamydiae that live in the cells of animals (including humans), insects, or protozoa. Two of these species cause lung infection in humans: Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydophila psittaci. Both of these species previously belonged to the genus Chlamydia.
Cholesterol - a sterol (a combination steroid and alcohol) and a lipid found in the cell membranes of all body tissues, and transported in the blood plasma of all animals. Lesser amounts of cholesterol are also found in plant membranes. The name originates from the Greek chole- (bile) and stereos (solid), and the chemical suffix -ol for an alcohol, as researchers first identified cholesterol (C27H45OH) in solid form in gallstones in 1784.
Most cholesterol is not dietary in origin; it is synthesized internally. Cholesterol is present in higher concentrations in tissues which either produce more or have more densely-packed membranes, for example, the liver, spinal cord and brain, and also in atheroma. Cholesterol plays a central role in many biochemical processes, but is best known for the association of cardiovascular disease with various lipoprotein cholesterol transport patterns and high levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Often, when most doctors talk to their patients about the health concerns of cholesterol, they are referring to "bad cholesterol", or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). "Good cholesterol" is high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Cleft Palate - a congenital deformity caused by a failure in facial development during gestation. It can be treated with surgery shortly after birth with highly successful results. Cleft occurs in somewhere between one in 600 and one in 800 births. Cleft occurs in several severities and is divided in two major categories: cleft lip and cleft palate. The term hare lip or hair lip are sometimes used to describe the condition because of the resemblance of a hare's lip; they are however quite derogaratory and old fashioned.
A cleft is a separation in a body structure. Clefts that occur in the oral-facial region often involve the lip, the roof of the mouth (hard palate) or the soft tissue in the back of the mouth (soft palate). Two major types of oral-facial clefts are cleft lip/palate and isolated cleft palate.
A microform cleft is a very minor cleft where no surgery is required to correct it. A microform cleft can appear as small as a little dent in the red part of the lip or look like a scar. Joaquin Phoenix for example has a microform cleft.
Climate Change - refers to the variation in the Earth's global climate or regional climates over time. It describes changes in the variability or average state of the atmosphere - or average weather - over time scales ranging from decades to millions of years. These changes may come from internal processes, be driven by external forces or, most recently, be caused by human activities. In recent usage, especially in the context of environmental policy, the term "climate change" is often used to refer only to the ongoing changes in modern climate, including the average rise in surface temperature known as global warming. In some cases, the term is also used with a presumption of human causation, including in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC uses "climate variability" for non-human caused variations. For information on temperature measurements over various periods, and the data sources available, see temperature record.
Colon Cancer - also called Colorectal cancer or bowel cancer, includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. It is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of death among cancers in the Western world. Many colorectal cancers are thought to arise from adenomatous polyps in the colon. These mushroom-like growths are usually benign, but some may develop into cancer over time. The majority of the time, the diagnosis of localized colon cancer is through colonoscopy. Therapy is usually through surgery, which in many cases is followed by chemotherapy.
Coma - in medicine, a coma (from the Greek koma, meaning deep sleep) is a profound state of unconsciousness. A comatose patient cannot be awakened, fails to respond normally to pain or light, does not have sleep-wake cycles, and does not take voluntary actions. Coma may result from a variety of conditions, including intoxication, metabolic abnormalities, central nervous system diseases, acute neurologic injuries such as stroke, and hypoxia.
Conjunctivitis - an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids), often due to infection, commonly called "pinkeye". It may also be caused by adenoviruses. Blepharoconjunctivitis is the combination of conjunctivitis with blepharitis. Keratoconjunctivitis is the combination of conjunctivitis and keratitis.
Constipation or irregularity - a condition of the digestive system where a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that are difficult to eliminate; it may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. Obstipation refers to severe constipation. Causes of constipation may be dietary, hormonal, a side effect of medications, and anatomical. Treatment is with a change in dietary habits, laxatives, fiber therapy, enemas, and rarely surgery.
Contraception or Birth Control - a regimen of one or more actions, devices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of a woman giving birth or becoming pregnant. Methods and intentions typically termed birth control may be considered a pivotal ingredient to family planning. Mechanisms which are intended to reduce the likelihood of the fertilisation of an ovum by a spermatozoon may more specifically be referred to as contraception. Contraception differs from abortion in that the former prevents fertilization, while the latter terminates an already established pregnancy. Methods of birth control which may prevent the implantation of an embryo if fertilization occurs are medically considered to be contraception but characterized by some opponents as abortifacients.
Contraception or Birth control is a controversial political and ethical issue in many cultures and religions, and although it is generally less controversial than abortion specifically, it is still opposed by many. There are various degrees of opposition, including those who oppose all forms of birth control short of sexual abstinence; those who oppose forms of birth control they deem "unnatural," while allowing natural birth control; and those who support most forms of birth control that prevent fertilisation, but oppose any method of birth control which prevents a fertilized embryo from attaching to the uterus and initiating a pregnancy.
Cosmetic Surgery or Plastic Surgery - a general term for operative manual and instrumental treatment which is performed for functional or aesthetic reasons. The word "plastic" derives from the Greek plastikos meaning to mold or to shape; its use here is not connected with modern plastics. The principal areas of plastic surgery include two broad fields. (1) Reconstructive surgery, including microsurgery, focuses on undoing or masking the destructive effects of trauma, surgery or disease. Reconstructive surgery may include closing defects using skin grafts or with local, regional or distant flaps-that is, by moving tissue from other parts of the body. (2) Cosmetic (or aesthetic) surgery is most often performed in order to change features the patient finds unflattering. In many cases, however, there are medical reasons (for example, breast reduction when orthopedic problems are present).
Much of the content on this page was obtained from the Wikipedia, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Other information was obtained from the National Institutes of Health Pubmed.org online database.
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*All information on Level1Diet.com is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Before changing your diet, or adding supplements to your diet, or beginning an exercise program, everyone should consult a qualified and licensed health practitioner; a physician, dietician or similar professional.