- Health Encyclopedia

The cardiovascular system

Rheumatic Heart Disease - symptoms and treatment

What are Rheumatic Heart Diseases Rheumatic Heart Disease is damage to the valves of the HEART as a consequence of rheumatic FEVER, which develops as a complication of untreated or undertreated STREP THROAT. Streptococcal BACTERIA attack the heart valves, most commonly the mitral and aortic valves, which can leave them scarred and deformed. Rheumatic fever

The Blood and Lymph System

Plasma definition

What is Plasma and Definition Plasma - The liquid portion of the BLOOD. Plasma is about 90 percent water and makes up 55 percent of the total blood volume. It contains numerous substances dissolved in it including electrolytes, hormones, enzymes, antibodies, GLUCOSE, and CLOTTING FACTORS (specialized proteins). It also carries the blood cells in

Infectious Diseases

Influenza virus - symptoms, treatment and flu vaccine

What is Influenza Influenza is a common and potentially serious viral INFECTION, commonly called the flu, that causes upper respiratory symptoms. Influenza viruses rapidly adapt and mutate, which gives them the perpetual ability to cause illness. There are three types of human influenza VIRUS-influenza A, influenza B, and influenza C. Influenza A viruses

Whipple’s disease - symptoms and treatment

Whipple’s disease is a bacterial INFECTION of the SMALL INTESTINE, also called intestinal lipodystrophy, that impairs absorption of fats (lipids). The PATHOGEN (infective BACTERIA) is Tropheryma whippelii. Though T. whippelii can infect various body systems including the HEART and the EYE, the gastrointestinal tract is its most common site. In the

Aspirin Therapy for heart

Aspirin Therapy is a form of ANTICOAGULATION THERAPY to help prevent BLOOD clots from developing, which doctors prescribe as a prophylactic measure for HEART ATTACK and STROKE. Aspirin has a moderate anticoagulation effect. It interferes with PLATELET AGGREGATION, the first step in the clotting process. Aspirin blocks the body’s production of

Intermittent Claudication - symptoms and treatment

What is Intermittent Claudication and Definition Intermittent Claudication is PAIN in the lower legs that occurs with physical activity such as walking. Intermittent claudication is the primary symptom of PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE (PVD), which is ATHEROSCLEROSIS that affects the arteries of the legs. The atherosclerotic accumulations of PVD occlude

Gout - what is, diet, treatment, causes and symptoms

What is Gout Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis. Gout develops when uric acid crystals form within the JOINT capsules, causing irritation and INFLAMMATION. Uric acid is a waste byproduct of the METABOLISM of forms of protein (nucleic acids) called purines. Purines occur naturally in the body as well as in meats consumed in the diet (especially organ

Intermittent Claudication - symptoms and treatment

What is Intermittent Claudication and Definition Intermittent Claudication is PAIN in the lower legs that occurs with physical activity such as walking. Intermittent claudication is the primary symptom of PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE (PVD), which is ATHEROSCLEROSIS that affects the arteries of the legs. The atherosclerotic accumulations of PVD occlude

Hematospermia - Blood in the Semen - causes and treatment

What is Hematospermia, causes and treatment Hematospermia - BLOOD in the SEMEN that may be apparent with EJACULATION. Trauma and INFECTION are the main causes of hematospermia. SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDS), notably GONORRHEA and CHLAMYDIA, are common infections that irritate and inflame the URETHRA, often causing bleeding into both the URINE

Endometrial Cancer - what is, signs, symptoms, stages and treatment

What is Endometrial Cancer Endometrial Cancer - a malignant (cancerous) tumor, sometimes called uterine cancer, that arises from the tissues of the endometrium, the lining of the UTERUS. Often endometrial cancer is HORMONE driven, which means it requires ESTROGENS to grow. Doctors in the United States diagnose endometrial cancer in about 40,000 women each

Environmental Hazard Exposure

Environmental Hazard Exposure - numerous substances in the environment create risk for a variety of health problems and conditions. They include pesticides, herbicides, industrial pollutants, minerals and metals, molds and fungi, BACTERIA, viruses, radiation, sewage, garbage, biological waste, and electromagnetic fields. These substances may be naturally

Diplopia - medical term for double vision

Diplopia - the medical term for double vision, a circumstance in which a person perceives a single object as a two distinct images. Diplopia can be vertical (images one above the other) or horizontal (images beside each other). Diplopia that is present when using both eyes and goes away when covering one EYE is binocular; diplopia that persists even when

Heart Transplantation surgery

What is Heart Transplant Heart Transplantation is the replacement of a diseased HEART with a healthy heart from a deceased donor. Heart transplantation is a therapeutic option for severe CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) as well as hypertrophic CARDIOMYOPATHY and end-stage HEART FAILURE. South African heart surgeon

Amniotic Fluid - what is and levels

What is Amniotic Fluid Amniotic Fluid - The liquid that surrounds the developing FETUS within the amniotic sac, a membranous structure that forms inside the UTERUS in PREGNANCY. The amnion, the inner membrane of the amniotic sac, begins producing amniotic fluid at about two weeks of gestation. The amniotic fluid, which is mostly water, cushions the fetus

Plastic Surgery procedures

What is Plastic Surgery Plastic Surgery - any surgical OPERATION to alter the appearance of a body area or part. Plastic surgery may be reconstructive (re-creates or repairs a body part that is damaged or missing) or cosmetic (changes physical appearance for reasons of personal preference). Though both disciplines encompass elective operations, the US

Electroretinography test - definition

Electroretinography is a test that measures the electrical activity of the RETINA’s rods and cones in response to light stimulation. The ophthalmologist places anesthetic drops in the EYE to numb it, then attaches an electrode to the surface of the CORNEA. The electrode detects electrical impulses on the retina when the ophthalmologist flashes a beam

Bladder Cancer - staging, signs, symptoms, treatment and prognosis

What is Bladder Cancer and Definition The growth of a malignant (cancerous) tumor in the BLADDER. Bladder CANCER may be primary or metastatic (travel to the bladder from a point of origin elsewhere in the body). Doctors diagnose bladder cancer in about 55,000 Americans each year. Bladder cancer is about three times more common in men, and in the United

Endocarditis - symptoms, causes and treatment

What is Endocarditis Endocarditis is INFLAMMATION of the ENDOCARDIUM, the lining of the HEART. Viral or bacterial INFECTION can cause endocarditis; either is potentially life threatening, though bacterial infection is considerably more common. Bacterial endocarditis is a particular risk for people who have certain forms of CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE (CVD) and

Genetic Counseling - what is and information

Genetic Counseling is a multidisciplinary approach to evaluating the risk for specific genetic diseases or CHROMOSOMAL DISORDERS. Doctors often recommend genetic counseling for people who have strong family history for GENETIC DISORDERS such as TAY-SACHS DISEASE or HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE and older women who are or who are planning to become pregnant.

Bladder - what is, definition, function, diseases and urination

What is Bladder and Definition A muscular, saclike structure in the lower pelvis that serves as a reservoir for the URINE the KIDNEYS produce. In women the bladder is in front of and slightly below the UTERUS. During PREGNANCY the expanding uterus limits the bladder’s ability to expand, accounting for the URINARY FREQUENCY common in pregnancy’s

Neonatal Jaundice - what is and treatment

What is Neonatal Jaundice A condition in which the newborn infant’s LIVER cannot yet properly destroy old erythrocytes (red BLOOD cells), resulting in the accumulation of BILIRUBIN in the blood circulation. The excessive bilirubin, a pigmented protein compound, gives the SKIN a characteristic yellowish orange hue. Neonatal JAUNDICE, also called

Blood Pressure - low / high - normal / systolis / diastolic

Blood Pressure - the force BLOOD exerts against the walls of the arteries as it travels through them, as a combination of resistance and the HEART’s pumping effort. A sphygmomanometer is the device that measures blood pressure, reported in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A typical blood pressure reading reports the pressure at the peak (systole, at

Syncope definition and causes

What is Syncope and Definition Syncope is the temporary loss of CONSCIOUSNESS and posture, commonly called fainting. Syncope is common and can arise from numerous causes ranging from standing too long, which allows BLOOD to pool in the legs, to ARRHYTHMIA and TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK (TIA), which interrupt the flow of blood to the BRAIN. About 10 percent

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Clotting Factors - names and list

The Blood and Lymph System |

Proteins in the BLOOD that are essential for COAGULATION. Clotting factors circulate in the blood as inert proteins until the coagulation cascade initiates their conversion into participants in blood clotting. Clotting factors interact with each other as well as other enzymes in the blood, notably fibrin and thrombin, to form blood clots. Deficiencies of

Plantar fasciitis - symptoms and treatment

The Musculoskeletal System |

Plantar fasciitis is INFLAMMATION of the FASCIA along the bottom of the foot (plantar surface). Fascia is a thin, tough sheet of connective tissue that covers and connects the muscles, tendons, and other connective tissue structures throughout the body. It becomes irritated and inflamed with overuse. Plantar fasciitis develops with repeated stretching of

Snellen Chart - eye test

The Eyes |

Snellen Chart - the familiar eye chart, featuring lines of letters and numbers that progressively decrease in size, to assess VISUAL ACUITY. Dutch ophthalmologist Herman Snellen (1834–1908) developed the chart in the 1860s. The top letter is typically E. A person with normal vision can read a one-inch letter from 20 feet away, designated as 20/20

Whitlow - herpes

The Integumentary System |

Whitlow is an INFECTION at the end of the finger, or less commonly the end of a toe, that contains pus and is very painful. The area is inflamed, enlarged, erythematous (reddened), and often oozing. A common cause of whitlow is infection with the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS (HSV), conveyed to the finger via contact with infectious secretions from oral herpes

Low-Cost Prescription Programs

Information about Drugs |

Low-Cost Prescription Programs - need-based programs, usually under the sponsorship of major pharmaceutical manufacturers, that make certain prescription medications available to people who lack insurance coverage for prescription medications or who cannot otherwise afford to obtain them. Most low-cost prescription programs have income limitations for

Back pain - lower / upper and acute - causes, symptoms and treatment

The Musculoskeletal System |

What is Back Pain Back pain - PAIN that arises from injury to the structures of the spine. Most back pain involves the soft tissue structures muscles, ligaments, tendons, and CARTILAGE. Back pain is very common, affecting nearly every adult at some time in his or her lifetime and is second only to HEADACHE as a reason for missing work. Though most back

Appendix - function, location and information

The Gastrointestinal System |

Appendix is a small, fingerlike projection, sometimes called the vermiform appendix, extending from the bottom of the CECUM, the first segment of the large intestine (COLON). Historically health professionals have viewed the appendix as a vestigial structure with no functional purpose. However, recent research identifies clusters of GUT-ASSOCIATED LYMPHOID

Minimally Invasive Surgery / endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery

Surgery - information and types |

Minimally Invasive Surgery - Any OPERATION in which the surgeon uses an endoscope and specialized instruments to enter the body through small incisions, called ports. An endoscope is a lighted, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the tip that sends visual images of the operative site to a monitor similar to a television screen. The endoscope is specialized

Soy and cardiovascular health

The cardiovascular system |

Soy protein appears to help lower cholesterol blood levels, particularly low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). The American Health Association recommends replacing animal protein with soy protein as part of a balanced, low-fat diet. People who consume 25 to 50 grams of soy protein daily can lower their LDL-C levels by as much as 8 percent. In

Dandruff - treatment, causes and symptoms

The Integumentary System |

Dandruff is a common symptom in which the sebaceous glands on the scalp increase their activity, ccelerating the SKIN’s normal, continuous process of replacing itself. Consequently the skin on the scalp sheds cells at an accelerated rate, causing visible patches of collected cells that accumulate on the scalp’s surface (most commonly on the top