Diseases & Conditions

The human body is a remarkable structure. It's designed to efficiently manage the wear and tear of everyday life and fend off all sorts of threats. Most of us are healthy for most of our lives. But we're also susceptible to hundreds of injuries, diseases, and conditions. Some are quite common, others are extremely rare. Here are some of the most common conditions that affect humans.


Diseases & Conditions Articles

Coma and Persistent Vegetative State

Coma is a deep and prolonged state of unconsciousness resulting from disease, injury or poisoning. The word coma usually refers to the state in which a person appears to be asleep but cannot be awakened.  Persistent vegetative state refers to another form of altered consciousness in which the person appears to be awake but does not respond meaningfully to the outside world. In this condition, the person's eyes may be open and there may be some yawning, grunting or other vocalizations. In both cases, the patient is alive, but the brain does not function fully.  Some causes of coma include:  (Locked) More »

Hepatitis Overview

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. There are several types of hepatitis. The disease has several causes. One cause of hepatitis is infection. Most cases of infectious hepatitis in the United States are caused by hepatitis A, B or C virus. An infection with one of these viruses might not cause any symptoms. Or it might cause only a mild, flu-like illness. Hepatitis A is usually a mild short-term illness. But hepatitis B and C often cause long-term (chronic) infections. (Locked) More »

Seizure Overview

A seizure is a sudden change in the brain's normal electrical activity. During a seizure, brain cells "fire" uncontrollably at up to four times their normal rate, temporarily affecting the way a person behaves, moves, thinks or feels. There are two major types of seizures: (Locked) More »

Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)

A sore throat, also called a throat infection or pharyngitis, is a painful inflammation of the back part of the throat (pharynx). Pharyngitis can involve some or all of these parts of the throat: The most common cause of sore throat is infection with bacteria or a virus. Because an infection of the pharynx almost always involves the tonsils, tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) was once a common name for infectious pharyngitis. (Locked) More »

Stroke Overview

A stroke is a brain injury that occurs because the brain's blood supply is interrupted. The brain's blood supply can be disrupted for different reasons. Doctors generally classify strokes into three categories, depending on the cause: Hemorrhagic stroke — Bleeding (hemorrhage) causes this type of stroke. Bleeding can occur within the brain or between the brain and the skull. When bleeding occurs, small blood vessels near the hemorrhage tighten in a spasm. As a result, some brain areas get too little blood flow. (Locked) More »

Tics

A tic is a sudden, rapid, repetitive movement (motor tic) or vocalization (vocal tic). There are two main types of tics: Tics sometimes change over time from one simple type of tic to another or from a simple to a complex tic. Some tics are slow and sustained rather than brief and rapid. Some involve the lower body. (Locked) More »

Urinalysis

A urinalysis is a routine examination of the urine for cells, tiny structures, bacteria, and chemicals that suggest various illnesses. A urine culture attempts to grow large numbers of bacteria from a urine sample to diagnose a bacterial urine infection. For a regular urinalysis, you are asked to urinate briefly into a plastic cup. When urine is collected for a urine culture, you must provide a "clean catch" sample - one that is not contaminated by skin cells and skin bacteria. This is so the doctor can obtain a sample of urine from inside your bladder, where normally there should be no bacteria. In contrast, there are many bacteria on the skin of a penis or in a vagina. The trick (harder for a woman than a man) is to pee directly into a sterile container without having the stream of urine first touch your skin or the nonsterile tissues of the vagina. To collect a clean catch sample, you are given a sterile plastic container and asked to wipe off the area around your urethra (where urine exits) with an antiseptic cloth. For women, it's also helpful to hold the two labia (outer walls) of the vagina apart with one hand when you urinate, so that the stream of urine passes directly into the sterile container. Since the first flow of urine is most likely to be contaminated by bacteria from around the opening of the urethra, first urinate for a moment into the toilet and then use the cup to collect the "middle" portion of your urine stream. (Locked) More »

The facts about Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurogenerative disease that causes nerve cells (or neurons) in the area of the brain that controls movement to weaken and/or die. While healthy neurons produce a chemical called dopamine, which the brain needs a certain amount of in order to regulate movement, weakened neurons produce lower levels of dopamine. What causes these neurons to weaken is currently unknown.  Some patients with Parkinson's disease also suffer from a decline in norepinephrine, a chemical that transmits signals across nerve endings and controls various functions, such as blood pressure and heart rate. More »

What’s causing bladder pain or burning?

Bladder pain and burning with urination affect more women than men. The symptoms can be caused by many conditions, such as upper or lower urinary tract infections, genitourinary syndrome of menopause, vaginitis, sexually transmitted infections, and interstitial cystitis (bladder pain syndrome). When symptoms occur, one should see a primary care doctor or gynecologist, and possibly a urologist or urogynecologist. Depending on the condition, treatment can include the use of antibiotics, vaginal estrogen cream, or bladder training. (Locked) More »