Articles

Find answers to your health-related questions in our Ilustrated Health Encyclopedia

  • Test

    B and T cell screen

    A B and T cell screen is a laboratory test to determine the amount of T and B cells (lymphocytes) in the blood.

  • Test

    B-cell leukemia/lymphoma panel

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    B-cell leukemia/lymphoma panel is a blood test that looks for certain proteins on the surface of white blood cells called B-lymphocytes. The proteins serve as markers that may be helpful in diagnosing or lymphoma.

  • Special Topic

    Babies and diarrhea

    Diapers and diarrhea

    Normal or healthy baby stools are soft and loose. Babies have frequent stools during the first 1 – 2 months. Because of this, it may be difficult to tell when your baby has diarrhea. Most babies have a stool pattern that is typical for them. This pattern may change slowly over time. Look for ...

  • Special Topic

    Babies and heat rashes

    To prevent or treat heat rash in an infant, dress the baby in light-weight cotton, use a fan with a gentle breeze (if air conditioning is unavailable), and avoid the use of powders.

    Heat occurs in babies when the pores of the sweat glands become blocked. This happens most often when the weather is hot or humid. As your infant sweats, little red bumps, and possibly tiny blisters, form because the blocked glands cannot clear the sweat.

  • Special Topic

    Babies and shots

    Immunizations (vaccinations) are given to initiate or augment resistance to an infectious disease. Immunizitions provide a specialized form of immunity that provides long-lasting protection against specific antigens, such as certain diseases.  Routine immunizations are administered with a needle since they need to be given right into the muscle.  Reducing the level of anxiety for your child is perhaps the best way to help limit the pain during a vaccine.

    Immunizations are important to keep your child healthy. This article discusses how to ease the pain of shots for babies.

  • Symptoms

    Babinski reflex

    Babinski reflex is one of the reflexes that occurs in infants. Reflexes are responses that occur when the body receives a certain stimulus. The Babinski reflex occurs after the sole of the foot has been firmly stroked. The big toe then moves upward or toward the top surface of the foot. The other ...

  • Special Topic

    Baby feeding patterns

    Baby feeding patterns refer to the time schedule for giving a baby food through a bottle or breast.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Baby supplies you need

    As you prepare for your baby to come home, you will want to have many items ready. If you are having a baby shower, you can put some of these items on your gift registry. You can buy other items on your own before your baby is born. The more you plan ahead, the more relaxed and ready you’ll be when ...

  • Poison

    Bacitracin overdose

    Bacitracin is a germ-killing medicine called an antibiotic, which is used to treat infections. Small amounts of Bacitracin are dissolved in petroleum jelly to create antibiotic ointments. Bacitracin overdose occurs when someone swallows products containing this ingredient or uses more than the ...

  • Poison

    Bacitracin zinc overdose

    Bacitracin zinc is a medicine applied to cuts and other skin wounds to help prevent infection. Bacitracin is a germ-killing medicine called an antibiotic. Small amounts of bacitracin zinc are dissolved in petroleum jelly to create antibiotic ointments. Bacitracin zinc overdose occurs when someone ...

  • Special Topic

    Back pain - when you see the doctor

    When you first see your health care provider for back pain, you will be asked questions about your back pain, including how often it occurs and how severe it is. Your provider will try to determine the cause of your pain and whether it is likely to quickly get better with simple measures, such as ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Back pain and sports

    Getting plenty of exercise and playing sports is good for our overall health. It also adds pleasure and a sense of well-being to our lives. Almost any sport will place at least some stress on your spine, some more than others. That is why it’s important to keep the muscles and ligaments that ...

  • Disease

    Bacterial gastroenteritis

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Bacterial gastroenteritis is inflammation of the stomach and intestines caused by bacteria.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bacterial vaginosis - aftercare

    Nonspecific vaginitis – aftercare

  • Test

    BAER - brainstem auditory evoked response

    The major areas of the brain have one or more specific functions.

    Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) is a test to measure the brain wave activity that occurs in response to clicks or certain tones.

  • Disease

    Baker’s cyst

    A baker's cyst is seen as a swelling behind the knee. It forms when joint fluid collects behind the knee. The swelling may be due from inflammation or from other causes, like arthritis. The condition can be seen in both adults and children.

    Baker’s cyst is a buildup of joint fluid (synovial fluid) that forms a cyst behind the knee.

  • Poison

    Baking powder overdose

    Baking powder is a cooking product that helps batter to rise. This article discusses the effects of swallowing a large amount of baking powder. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your ...

  • Poison

    Baking soda overdose

    Baking soda is a cooking product that helps batter to rise. This article discusses the effects of swallowing a large amount of baking soda. Soda loading refers to drinking baking soda. Some athletes and coaches believe that drinking baking soda prior to competition helps a person perform for longer ...

  • Disease

    Balanitis

    The male reproductive structures include the penis, the scrotum, the seminal vesicles and the prostate.

    Balanitis is swelling of the foreskin and head of the .

  • Disease

    Barbiturate intoxication and overdose

    Barbiturates are a type of depressant drug that cause relaxation and sleepiness. A barbituate overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is life threatening. At relatively low doses, barituates may cause you ...

  • Test

    Barium enema

    A barium enema in a patient with cancer of the rectum.

    Barium enema is a special of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum.

  • Disease

    Barrett’s esophagus

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Barrett’s esophagus is a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus is damaged by stomach acid. The lining becomes similar to that of the stomach.

  • Disease

    Bartholin’s cyst or abscess

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    Bartholin’s abscess is the buildup of pus that forms a lump () in one of the Bartholin’s glands, which are located on each side of the vaginal opening.

  • Disease

    Bartter syndrome

    Aldosterone is a hormone released by the adrenal glands. It is part of the complex mechanism used by the body to regulate blood pressure. Aldosterone increases the reabsorption of sodium and the excretion of potassium in the distal tubules of the kidneys. The reabsorption of sodium is accompanied by the reabsorption of water, which raises blood pressure.

    Bartter syndrome is a group of rare conditions that affect the kidneys.

  • Disease

    Basal cell carcinoma

    Basal cell nevus syndrome is an inherited disorder characterized by wide-set eyes, saddle nose, frontal bossing (prominent forehead), prognathism (prominent chin), numerous basal cell carcinomas, and skeletal abnormalities. Skin manifestations include pits in the palms and soles, and numerous basal cell carcinomas. This picture is a close-up of the pits found in the palm of an individual with basal cell nevus syndrome.

    Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. It is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Most skin cancers are basal cell cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is almost always a slow-growing form of skin cancer. Other common types of skin cancer are:

  • Disease

    Basal ganglia dysfunction

    Basal ganglia dysfunction is a problem with the deep brain structures that help start and control movement.

  • Test

    Basic metabolic panel

    The basic metabolic panel is a group of blood tests that provides information about your body’s .

  • Disease

    Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome

    Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome is a rare disease passed down through families in which a person is unable to fully absorb dietary fats through the intestines.

  • imagepage

    Bathing a child

    Do not leave your child alone around water, not even for a few seconds.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bathing a patient in bed

    Bed bath; Sponge bath

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bathing an infant

    Bathing safety tips; Infant bathing; Newborn bathing; Bathing your newborn baby

  • imagepage

    Bathroom safety

    Staying safe in the bathroom is important for people with joint pain, muscle weakness, physical disability or anything else that impairs mobility.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bathroom safety - adults

    Older adult bathroom safety

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bathroom safety - children

    To prevent accidents in the bathroom, never leave your child alone in the bathroom. Keep bathrooms closed when they are not being used.

  • Disease

    Becker muscular dystrophy

    Superficial muscles are close to the surface of the skin. Muscles which lie closer to bone or internal organs are called deep muscles.

    Becker muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that involves slowly worsening of the legs and pelvis.

  • Disease

    Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome

    Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome in the newborn is a consistent group of findings of unknown cause and is characterized by large tongue (macroglossia), large organs (visceromegaly), large body size (macrosomia), hernia of the navel (omphalocele) and small head (microcephaly).

    Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome is a congenital (present from birth) growth disorder that causes large body size, large organs, and other symptoms.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bed rest during pregnancy

    Your doctor’s orders to stay in bed for a few days or weeks might seem like a welcome break. But you will find that bed rest during pregnancy can be as much work as it is a break. You might not be able to work, do things around the house, or spend time with other family members the way you normally ...

  • Symptoms

    Bed wetting at home

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Bed wetting (or enuresis) is when children: Continue to wet the bed more than twice a month after age 5 or 6 Begin to wet the bed again after they are toilet trained for a period of time Children learn to fully control their bladder at different ages. Nighttime dryness is often the last stage of ...

  • Special Topic

    Bedtime habits

    YOUR NEW BABY (LESS THAN 2 MONTHS) AND SLEEP At first, your new baby is on a 24-hour feeding and sleep-wake cycle. Newborns may sleep between 10 and 18 hours a day. They stay awake only 1 to 3 hours at a time. Signs that your baby is becoming sleepy include: Crying Eye rubbing Fussiness Try putting ...

  • Disease

    Bedwetting

    Bedwetting is involuntary urination in children over 5 to 6 years old. It may occur at any time of the day or night. This article focuses on nighttime bedwetting. See also:

  • Special Topics

    Bedwetting

    Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is when a child wets the bed at night, more than twice a month, after age 5 or 6.

  • Poison

    Bee poison

    Allergic reaction to bee stings occurs when a person becomes sensitized to the venom from a previous sting. This reaction is different from the reaction to the poison in the bite of a black widow spider, which injects a potent toxin into the blood. Ordinarily, bee venom is not toxic and will only cause local pain and swelling. The allergic reaction comes when the immune system is oversensitized to the venom and produces antibodies to it. Histamines and other substances are released into the bloodstream, causing blood vessels to dilate and tissues to swell. Severe reactions can lead to anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening series of symptoms including swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing. Persons who develop an allergy to bee stings should carry prescription bee sting kits to counteract the reaction to bee venom.

    Bee poisoning is caused by a sting from a bee, , or yellow jacket. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at ...

  • Poison

    Beeswax

    Beeswax is wax taken from the honeycomb of bees. Beeswax poisoning occurs when someone swallows beeswax. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the ...

  • imagepage

    Being active after a heart attack

    Walking is the best activity when you start exercising after a heart attack. Start slowly, and increase the amount of time you exercise gradually.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Being active after your heart attack

    Heart attack – activity

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Being active when you have heart disease

    Heart disease – activity

  • Symptoms

    Belching

    Belching is the act of bringing up air from the stomach.

  • Disease

    Bell's palsy

    Drooping of the eyelid is called ptosis.  Ptosis may result from damage to the nerve that controls the muscles of the eyelid, problems with the muscle strength (as in myasthenia gravis), or from swelling of the lid.

    Bell’s palsy is a disorder of the nerve that controls movement of the muscles in the face. This nerve is called the facial or seventh cranial nerve. Damage to this nerve causes weakness or paralysis of these muscles. means that you cannot use the muscles at all.

  • Test

    Bence-Jones protein - quantitative

    The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, urethra and bladder.

    This test measures the level of abnormal proteins called Bence-Jones proteins in the urine.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Benefits of breastfeeding

    Nursing your baby; Lactation; Deciding to breastfeed

  • Special Topic

    Benefits of quitting tobacco

    If you smoke, you should quit. But quitting can be hard. Most people who have quit smoking have tried at least once, without success, in the past. View any past attempts to quit as a learning experience, not a failure. There are many reasons to quit using tobacco. Long-term use of tobacco can ...

  • Special Topic

    Benign

    A spontaneous growth of tissue which forms an abnormal mass is called a tumor. A tumor that is noninvasive and noncancerous is referred to as a benign tumor.

    “Benign” refers to a condition, , or growth that is not cancerous. This means that it does not spread to other parts of the body. It does not change or destroy nearby tissue. Sometimes, a condition is called benign to suggest it is not dangerous or serious. In general, a benign tumor ...

  • Disease

    Benign ear cyst or tumor

    Ear anatomy

    Benign ear cysts are lumps or growths in the ear. They are noncancerous.

  • Disease

    Benign positional vertigo

    Benign positional vertigo is the most common type of vertigo. is the feeling that you are spinning or that everything is spinning around you. It may occur when you move your head in a certain position.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Benign positional vertigo - aftercare

    You may have seen your doctor because you’ve had . It is also called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo and the easiest to treat.

  • Special Topic

    Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) - resources

    Hyperplasia is the increased cell production of normal tissue in the body which causes the organ to increase in size.

    The following organizations provide information on benign prostatic hyperplasia (): National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse – www.kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/prostateenlargement/index.htm Urology Care Foundation – ...

  • Poison

    Benzene poisoning

    Benzene is a clear, liquid, petroleum-based chemical that has a sweet smell. Benzene poisoning occurs when someone swallows, breathes in, or touches benzene. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should ...

  • Disease

    Beriberi

    Beriberi is a disease in which the body does not have enough (vitamin B1).

  • Test

    Bernstein test

    The stomach connects the esophagus to the small intestines and is where the majority of food digestion takes place.

    The Bernstein test is a method to reproduce symptoms of . It is usually done with other tests to measure .

  • Poison

    Beta blockers overdose

    Beta blockers are a type of drug used to treat high blood pressure. Beta blocker occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison ...

  • Test

    Beta-carotene blood test

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    The beta-carotene test measures the level of beta-carotene in the blood.

  • Disease

    Bezoar

    A bezoar is a ball of swallowed foreign material (usually hair or fiber) that collects in the stomach and fails to pass through the intestines.

  • Disease

    Bicuspid aortic valve

    Bicuspid aortic valve

    A bicuspid aortic valve is an aortic valve that only has two leaflets, instead of three. The aortic valve regulates blood flow from the heart into the aorta, the major blood vessel that brings blood to the body.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bicycle safety

    Helmets can save lives and prevent trauma, but only if they are worn properly. A helmet should be worn squarely on the top of the head, covering the top of the forehead. The chinstrap must be fastened and the helmet should fit snugly and comfortably. The helmet should not be able to move side-to-side or front-to-back. Most helmets come with removable pads so you can customize the fit for any child.

    Many cities and states have bike lanes and laws that protect bicycle riders. But riders are still at risk of being hit by cars. Therefore, you need to ride carefully, obey the laws, and watch for other vehicles. Always be prepared to stop or take evasive action. While riding your bicycle: Watch for ...

  • Disease

    Bilateral hydronephrosis

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Bilateral hydronephrosis is the enlargement of the parts of the kidney that collect urine. Bilateral means both sides.

  • Special Topic

    Bile

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Bile is a fluid that is made and released by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps with digestion. It break down fats into fatty acids, which can be taken into the body by the digestive tract. Bile contains mostly cholesterol, bile acids (also called bile salts), and (a breakdown ...

  • Test

    Bile culture

    A bile culture test is performed to see if there is infection in the biliary tract. A specimen of bile is placed in culture media and observed for growth of microorganisms.  If there is no growth in the culture, then there is no infection.  If there is growth in the culture media, the growth is then isolated and identified to determine the appropriate method of treatment.

    Bile culture is a laboratory test to detect disease-causing germs in the .

  • Disease

    Bile duct obstruction

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Bile duct obstruction is a blockage in the tubes that carry from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine. Related topics include:

  • Special Topic

    Bili lights

    Using bili lights is a therapeutic procedure performed on newborn or premature infants to reduce elevated levels of bilirubin. If blood levels of bilirubin become too high, the bilirubin begins to dissolve in the body tissues, producing the characteristic yellow eyes and skin of jaundice. Bilirubin also has an affinity for brain tissue, where it can accumulate and cause permanent brain damage.

    Bili lights are a type of light therapy (phototherapy) that is used to treat . Jaundice is a yellow coloring of the skin and eyes. It is caused by too much of a yellow substance called bilirubin. Bilirubin is created when the body replaces old red blood cells with new ones.

  • Disease

    Biliary atresia

    The biliary organs and duct system that creates, transports, stores, and releases bile into the duodenum for digestion includes the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts (named the cystic, hepatic, common, and pancreatic duct).

    Biliary atresia is a blockage in the tubes (ducts) that carry a liquid called bile from the liver to the gallbladder.

  • Disease

    Biliary stricture

    The biliary system is comprised of the organs and duct system that create, transport, store and release bile into the duodenum for digestion. Includes the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts (named the cystic, hepatic, common, and pancreatic duct).

    A biliary stricture is an abnormal narrowing of the common bile duct, the tube that moves from the liver to the small intestine. Bile is a substance that helps with digestion.

  • Special Topic

    Biliary system

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    The biliary system creates, moves, stores, and releases into the to the body digest foods. The biliary system includes the gallbladder, bile ducts and certain cells inside the liver, and bile ducts outside the liver.

  • Test

    Bilirubin - blood

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. This article discusses the laboratory test that is done to measure bilirubin in the blood. A small amount of older red blood cells are replaced by new blood cells every day. Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are ...

  • Test

    Bilirubin - urine

    The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, urethra and bladder.

    Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in , a fluid produced by the liver. This article is about a lab test to measure the amount of bilirubin in the urine. Large amounts of bilirubin in the body can lead to jaundice. Bilirubin may also be measured with a blood test.

  • Symptoms

    Binge eating disorder

    Binge eating is an eating disorder in which a person regularly eats unusually large amounts of food. During binge eating, the person also feels a loss of control and is not able to stop eating.

  • Special Topic

    Biofeedback

    Biofeedback is a process for monitoring a body function such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and altering that function through relaxation or imagery.

    Biofeedback is a technique that measures bodily functions and gives you information about them in order to help train you to control them.

  • Test

    Biopsy

    A biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.

  • Test

    Biopsy - biliary tract

    An endoscope, a flexible fiberoptic scope with a light, is inserted through the mouth into the duodenum.  A catheter is advanced through the endoscope and inserted into the pancreatic or biliary ducts. A contrast agent is injected into these ducts and X-rays are taken to evaluate their caliber, length and course.  Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is performed to identify any narrowing, stones, or tumors in the pancreatic or biliary ducts.

    A biliary tract biopsy is the removal of small amount of cells and fluids from the duodenum, bile ducts, pancreas, or pancreatic duct. he sample is examined under a microscope.

  • Test

    Biopsy - polyps

    A polyp is a test that takes a sample of, or removes polyps (abnormal growths) for examination.

  • Disease

    Bipolar disorder

    Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by episodes of mania and major depression. Treatment with lithium or mood stabilizers may be effective, but medication regimens are sometimes difficult to tolerate and maintain, thus increasing risk of relapse.

    Bipolar disorder is a condition in which a person has periods of and periods of being extremely happy or being cross or irritable. In addition to these mood swings, the person also has extreme changes in activity and energy levels.

  • Special Topic

    Birth control - slow release methods

    Certain birth control methods contain man-made forms of hormones that are normally made in a woman’s ovaries. These hormones are called estrogen and progestin. Both estrogen and progestin prevent a woman’s ovaries from releasing an egg during her menstrual cycle (called ovulation). They ...

  • Special Topic

    Birth control and family planning

    The female condom, like the male condom, is a barrier contraceptive made of latex or polyurethane. The condom has a ring on each end. The ring that is placed inside the vagina fits over the cervix, while the other ring, which is open, rests outside of the vagina and covers the vulva. The female condom is sold over-the-counter.

    Your choice of a birth control method depends on a number of factors, including your health, how often you have sex, and whether or not you want children.

  • Poison

    Birth control pill overdose

    Birth control pills, also called oral contraceptives, are prescription medicines designed to prevent pregnancy. Birth control pill occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Birth control pills - combination

    The pill – combination; Oral contraceptives – combination; OCP – combination; Contraception – combination

  • Special Topic

    Birth control pills - overview

    Birth control pills (BCPs) contain man-made forms of two hormones called estrogen and progestin. These hormones are made naturally in a woman’s ovaries. Birth control pills can contain both of these hormones, or have progestin only. Both hormones prevent a woman’s ovary from releasing an ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Birth control pills - progestin only

    Mini-pill; the pill – progestin; Oral contraceptives – progestin; OCP – progestin; Contraception – progestin

  • Disease

    Birthmarks - pigmented

    Mongolian blue spots are flat bluish- to bluish-gray skin markings commonly appearing at birth or shortly thereafter. They appear commonly at the base of the spine, on the buttocks and back and also can appear on the shoulders. Mongolian spots are benign and are not associated with any conditions or illnesses.

    A birthmark is a skin marking that is present at birth. Birthmarks include cafe-au-lait spots, moles, and mongolian spots.

  • Disease

    Birthmarks - red

    A stork bite is a vascular lesion quite common in newborns consisting of one or more pale red patches of skin. Most often stork bites appear on the forehead, eyelids, tip of the nose, upper lip or back of the neck. They are usually gone within 18 months of birth.

    Red birthmarks are skin markings created by blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. They develop before or shortly after birth.

  • Poison

    Black nightshade poisoning

    Black nightshade poisoning occurs when someone eats pieces of the black nightshade plant. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National ...

  • Poison

    Black widow spider

    Many arthropods are capable of carrying disease. This illustration shows some of the general characteristics of arthropods.

    The black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) has a shiny black body with a red hourglass-shape on the belly area. The bite of a black widow spider is poisonous. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you ...

  • Symptoms

    Blackheads

    Blackheads, or open comedones, are common in acne. Clogged hair follicles reflect light irregularly to produce this black hue.

    Blackheads are tiny, dark spots on the skin. They are caused by a small plug in the opening of a follicle (pore). Blackheads are also called open . Related conditions include:

  • Test

    Bladder biopsy

    A catheter (a hollow tube, often with an inflatable balloon tip) may be inserted into the urinary bladder when there is a urinary obstruction, following surgical procedures to the urethra, in unconscious patients (due to surgical anesthesia, coma, etc.), or for any other problem in which the bladder needs to be kept empty (decompressed) and urinary flow assured.

    Bladder is a procedure that involves removing a small piece of tissue from the bladder. The tissue is examined under a microscope.

  • Disease

    Bladder cancer

    Cystoscopy is a procedure that uses a flexible fiber optic scope inserted through the urethra into the urinary bladder. The physician fills the bladder with water and inspects the interior of the bladder. The image seen through the cystoscope may also be viewed on a color monitor and recorded on videotape for later evaluation.

    Bladder cancer is a cancer that starts in the bladder. The bladder is the body part that holds and releases urine. It is in the center of the lower abdomen.

  • Surgery

    Bladder exstrophy repair

    Bladder exstrophy repair is surgery to repair a birth defect of the bladder. The bladder is inside out and sticks out of the abdominal wall. The pelvic bones are also separated.

  • Disease

    Bladder outlet obstruction

    The kidneys are responsible for removing wastes from the body, regulating electrolyte balance and blood pressure, and stimulating red blood cell production.

    Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) is a blockage at the base of the bladder that reduces or prevents the flow of urine into the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.

  • Disease

    Bladder stones

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Bladder stones are hard buildups of minerals that form in the urinary bladder.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bland diet

    A bland diet can be used to treat ulcers, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and gas. You may also need a bland diet after stomach or intestinal surgery. A bland diet is made up of foods that are soft, not very spicy, and low in fiber. If you are on a bland diet, you should not eat spicy, fried, ...

  • Disease

    Blastomycosis

    Fungal infections are caused by microscopic organisms (fungi) that can live on the skin. They can live on the dead tissues of the hair, nails, and outer skin layers.

    Blastomycosis is an infection caused by breathing in the Blastomyces dermatitidis fungus. The fungus is found in wood and soil.

  • Injury

    Bleeding

    Bleeding from most injuries can be stopped by applying direct pressure to the injury. This keeps from cutting off the blood supply to the affected limb.

    Bleeding is the loss of blood. Bleeding may be: Inside the body (internally) Outside the body (externally) Bleeding may occur: Inside the body when blood leaks from blood vessels or organs Outside the body when blood flows through a natural opening (such as the , mouth, or rectum) Outside the body ...

  • Disease

    Bleeding disorders

    Bleeding disorders are a group of conditions in which there is a problem with the body’s blood clotting process. These disorders can lead to heavy and prolonged bleeding after an injury. Bleeding can also begin on its own. Related problems include: Hemophilia C (Factor XI deficiency) (types ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bleeding during cancer treatment

    Your bone marrow makes cells called platelets. These cells keep you from bleeding too much by helping your blood clot. Chemotherapy, radiation, and bone marrow transplants can destroy some of your platelets. If you do not have enough platelets, you may bleed too much. Everyday activities can cause ...

  • Disease

    Bleeding esophageal varices

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Bleeding esophageal varices are enlarged veins in the walls of the lower part of the esophagus that bleed. The esophagus is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach.

  • Symptoms

    Bleeding gums

    The structure of the tooth includes dentin, pulp and other tissues, blood vessels and nerves imbedded in the bony jaw. Above the gum line, the tooth is protected by the hard enamel covering.

    Bleeding gums can be a sign that you have or are at risk for gum disease. Ongoing gum bleeding may be due to serious medical conditions such as leukemia and bleeding and platelet disorders.

  • Symptoms

    Bleeding into the skin

    A black eye is caused by bleeding into the tissue around the eye.  This most often follows trauma.  The medical term for this type of bruising is ecchymosis.

    Bleeding under the skin can occur from broken blood vessels that form tiny pinpoint red dots (called petechiae). Blood also can collect under the tissue in larger flat areas (called ), or in a very large bruised area (called an ecchymosis).

  • Test

    Bleeding time

    The bleeding time test is used to evaluate how well a person's blood is clotting.  The test evaluates how long it takes the vessels cut to constrict and how long it takes for platelets in the blood to seal off the hole.  Blood vessel defects, platelet function defects, along with many other conditions can result in prolonged bleeding time.

    Bleeding time is a blood test that looks at how fast small blood vessels in the skin close to stop you from bleeding.

  • Disease

    Blepharitis

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    Blepharitis is swelling or inflammation of the eyelids, usually where the eyelash hair follicles are located.

  • Disease

    Blind loop syndrome

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Blind loop syndrome occurs when digested food slows or stops moving through part of the intestines. This causes an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines. It also leads to problems absorbing nutrients.

  • Special Topic

    Blindness - resources

    
Counselors sometimes work with a group of people (support group) to help identify problem issues and direct members towards understanding and personal wellness.

    The following organizations are good resources for information on : American Foundation for the Blind – www.afb.org Foundation Fighting Blindness – www.blindness.org National Eye Institute – www.nei.nih.gov National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped – ...

  • Symptoms

    Blindness and vision loss

    This X-ray shows the skull of a child with neurofibromatosis (NF-1).  This child developed visual difficulties and was discovered to have a glioma (nerve tumor) in the optic nerve.  The tumor has enlarged the bony opening (optic foramen), through which the optic nerve passes.  This can be seen on the right side of picture.

    Blindness is a lack of vision. It may also refer to a loss of vision that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Partial blindness means you have very limited vision. Complete blindness means you cannot see anything and do not see light. (Most people who use the term ...

  • Disease

    Blockage of upper airway

    Structures of the throat include the esophagus, trachea, epiglottis and tonsils.

    Blockage of the upper airway occurs when the upper breathing passages become narrowed or blocked, making it hard to breathe. Areas in the upper airway that can be affected are the windpipe (trachea), voice box (larynx) or throat (pharynx).

  • Disease

    Blocked tear duct

    Blocked tear duct

    A blocked tear duct is a partial or complete blockage in the pathway that carries tears from the surface of the eye into the nose.

  • Disease

    Blood clots

    A thrombus is a blood clot that forms in a vessel and remains there. An embolism is a clot that travels from the site where it formed to another location in the body. Thrombi or emboli can lodge in a blood vessel and block the flow of blood in that location depriving tissues of normal blood flow and oxygen. This can result in damage, destruction (infarction), or even death of the tissues (necrosis) in that area.

    Blood clots are clumps that occur when blood hardens from a liquid to a solid. A blood clot that forms inside one of your veins or arteries is called a thrombus. A thrombus may also form in your heart. A thrombus that breaks loose and travels from one location in the body to another is called an . A ...

  • Test

    Blood culture

    A blood culture is a laboratory test to check for bacteria or other microorganisms in a blood sample. Most cultures check for bacteria.

  • Test

    Blood differential

    Basophils are a specific type of white blood cell. These cells are readily stained with basic dyes (this is where the name comes from). Note the dark grains inside the cellular fluid (cytoplasm) of this basophil. Basophils make up only a small portion of the number of white blood cells but are important parts of the body's immune response. They release histamine and other chemicals that act on the blood vessels when the immune response is triggered.

    The blood differential test measures the percentage of each type of white blood cell (WBC) that you have in your blood. It also reveals if there are any abnormal or immature cells. See also:

  • Test

    Blood gases

    The blood gases test is performed by collecting a sample of blood through a needle from an artery.  The test is used to evaluate respiratory diseases and conditions that affect the lungs, and it is used to determine the effectiveness of oxygen therapy. The acid-base component of the test also gives information on how well the kidneys are functioning.

    Blood gases are a measurement of how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in your blood. They also determine the acidity (pH) of your blood.

  • Symptoms

    Blood in the semen

    Blood in semen

    Blood in the semen is called hematospermia. It may be in amounts too small to be seen except with a microscope, or it may be visible in the ejaculation fluid.

  • Test

    Blood pressure measurement

    Blood pressure is a measurement of the force applied to the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body. You can measure your blood pressure at home. You can also have it checked at your doctor’s office, a fire station or with automated machines in drug stores and other ...

  • Special Topic

    Blood pressure monitors for home

    Your doctor may ask you to keep at home. To do this, you will need to get a home blood pressure monitor. The monitor you choose should be of good quality and fit well. MANUAL BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORS Manual devices include a cuff that wraps around your arm, a rubber squeeze bulb, and a gauge that ...

  • Test

    Blood smear

    Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disease in which the red blood cells produce abnormal pigment (hemoglobin). The abnormal hemoglobin causes deformity of the red blood cells into crescent or sickle-shapes, as seen in this photomicrograph.

    A blood smear is a blood test that gives information about the number and shape of blood cells.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Blood transfusions

    There are many reasons you may need a blood transfusion: After knee or hip replacement surgery, or other major surgery After a serious injury When your body cannot make enough blood A blood transfusion is a safe and common procedure during which you receive blood through an intravenous (IV) line ...

  • Test

    Blood typing

    Antibodies from an Rh negative mother may enter the blood stream of her unborn Rh positive infant, damaging the red blood cells (RBCs). The infant responds by increasing RBC production and sending out immature RBCs that still have nuclei. This photograph shows normal RBCs, damaged RBCs, and immature RBCs that still contain nuclei.

    Blood typing is a method to tell what specific type of blood you have. What type you have depends on whether or not there are certain proteins, called antigens, on your red blood cells. Blood is often grouped according to the ABO blood typing system. This method breaks blood types down into four ...

  • Special Topic

    Bloodborne pathogens

    Bloodborne infections

  • Symptoms

    Bloody or tarry stools

    Food passes from the stomach into the small intestine. In the small intestine all nutrient absorption occurs. Whatever has not been absorbed by the small intestine passes into the colon. In the colon most of the water is absorbed from the food residue. The residue is then eliminated from the body as feces.

    Bloody stools often are a sign or a problem in the digestive tract. Blood in the stool may come from anywhere along your digestive tract from your mouth to your anus.

  • Disease

    Blount's disease

    
The skeleton is made up of 206 bones in the adult and contributes to the form and shape of the body. The skeleton has several important functions for the body. The bones of the skeleton provide support for the soft tissues. For example, the rib cage supports the thoracic wall. Most muscles of the body are attached to bones which act as levers to allow movement of body parts. The bones of the skeleton also serve as a reservoir for minerals, such as calcium and phosphate. Finally, most of the blood cell formation takes places within the marrow of certain bones.

    Blount’s disease is a growth disorder of the shin bone (tibia) in which the lower leg turns inward, resembling a bowleg.

  • Poison

    Blue nightshade poisoning

    Blue nightshade poisoning occurs when someone eats parts of the blue nightshade plant. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison ...

  • Disease

    Body lice

    This is a magnified view of a body louse. Lice produce itching and a characteristic skin rash, which looks like a scrape. Lice may also carry organisms that cause relapsing fever, typhus, and trench fever. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Body lice are tiny insects (Pediculus humanus corporis) that are spread through close contact with other people. Two other types of lice are:

  • Special Topic

    Body mass index

    Body frame size is determined by a person's wrist circumference in relation to his height. For example, a man whose height is over 5' 5" and wrist is 6" would fall into the small-boned category.Determining frame size: To determine the body frame size, measure the wrist with a tape measure and use the following chart to determine whether the person is small, medium, or large boned.Women:Height under 5'2" 

Small = wrist size less than 5.5"Medium = wrist size 5.5" to 5.75"Large = wrist size over 5.75"Height 5'2" to 5' 5" 

Small = wrist size less than 6"Medium = wrist size 6" to 6.25"Large = wrist size over 6.25"Height over 5' 5" 

Small = wrist size less than 6.25"Medium = wrist size 6.25" to 6.5"Large = wrist size over 6.5"Men:Height over 5' 5" 

Small = wrist size 5.5" to 6.5"Medium = wrist size 6.5" to 7.5"Large = wrist size over 7.5"

    A good way to decide if your weight is healthy for your height is to figure out your body mass index (BMI). You and your health care provider can use your BMI to estimate how much body fat you have. Being puts strain on your heart and can lead to serious health problems. These problems ...

  • Special Topic

    Body temperature normals

    A thermometer is a useful aid used to measure body temperature. A thermometer is usually filled with mercury.  Mercury in the tube rises when expanded by an increase in body temperature.

    Normal body temperature varies by person, age, activity, and time of day. The average normal body temperature is generally accepted as 98.6°F (37°C). Some studies suggest there is a wider range of “normal” body temperatures. A temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) usually means you have a ...

  • Disease

    Boils

    At the base of the hair follicle are sensory nerve fibers that wrap around each hair bulb.  Bending the hair stimulates the nerve endings allowing a person to feel that the hair has been moved.  One of the main functions of hair is to act as a sensitive touch receptor.  Sebaceous glands are also associated with each hair follicle that produce an oily secretion to help condition the hair and surrounding skin.

    A boil is an infection that affects groups of hair follicles and nearby skin tissue. Related conditions include:

  • Special Topics

    Bonding with your newborn

    Bonding happens when you and your baby begin to feel a strong attachment with each other. You may feel great love and joy when you look at your baby. You may feel very protective of your baby. It is this first relationship with you that teaches babies to feel secure and good about themselves with ...

  • Surgery

    Bone graft

    A bone graft is surgery to place new bone or bone substitutes into spaces around a or bone defects.

  • Test

    Bone lesion biopsy

    A bone biopsy is performed by making a small incision into the skin.  A biopsy needle retrieves a sample of bone and it is sent for examination.  The most common reasons for bone lesion biopsy are to distinguish between benign and malignant bone tumors, and to identify other bone abnormalities.  Bone biopsy may also be performed to determine the cause of bone pain and tenderness.

    A bone lesion biopsy is the removal of a piece of bone or bone marrow for examination.

  • Test

    Bone marrow aspiration

    A small amount of bone marrow is removed during a bone marrow aspiration.  The procedure is uncomfortable, but can be tolerated by both children and adults.  The marrow can be studied to determine the cause of anemia, the presence of leukemia or other malignancy, or the presence of some "storage diseases" in which abnormal metabolic products are stored in certain bone marrow cells.

    Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. It is found in the hollow part of most bones. Bone marrow aspiration is the removal of a small amount of this tissue in liquid form for examination. Bone marrow aspiration is not the same as . A biopsy removes actual marrow for ...

  • Test

    Bone marrow biopsy

    A small amount of bone marrow is removed during a bone marrow aspiration.  The procedure is uncomfortable, but can be tolerated by both children and adults.  The marrow can be studied to determine the cause of anemia, the presence of leukemia or other malignancy, or the presence of some "storage diseases" in which abnormal metabolic products are stored in certain bone marrow cells.

    A bone marrow is the removal of marrow from inside bone. Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. It is found in the hollow part of most bones.

  • Test

    Bone marrow culture

    A small amount of bone marrow is removed during a bone marrow aspiration.  The procedure is uncomfortable, but can be tolerated by both children and adults.  The marrow can be studied to determine the cause of anemia, the presence of leukemia or other malignancy, or the presence of some "storage diseases" in which abnormal metabolic products are stored in certain bone marrow cells.

    Bone marrow culture is an examination of the soft, fatty tissue found inside certain bones. The bone marrow tissue produces blood cells. This test is done to look for an infection inside the bone marrow.

  • Surgery

    Bone marrow transplant

    A small amount of bone marrow is removed during a bone marrow aspiration.  The procedure is uncomfortable, but can be tolerated by both children and adults.  The marrow can be studied to determine the cause of anemia, the presence of leukemia or other malignancy, or the presence of some "storage diseases" in which abnormal metabolic products are stored in certain bone marrow cells.

    A bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones. Stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all of your blood cells.

  • Test

    Bone mineral density test

    A bone density scan measures the density of bone in a person.  The lower the density of a bone the higher the risk of fractures.  A bone scan, along with a patient's medical history, is a useful aid in evaluating the probability of a fracture and whether any preventative treatment is needed.  A bone density scan has the advantage of being painless and exposing the patient to only a small amount of radiation.

    A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures how much calcium and other types of minerals are in an area of your bone. This test helps your health care provider detect and predict your risk of bone fractures.

  • Symptoms

    Bone pain or tenderness

    The skeleton consists of groups of bones which protect and move the body.

    Bone pain or tenderness is aching or other discomfort in one or more bones.

  • Test

    Bone scan

    A radiotracer is injected into a peripheral vein.  As the radiotracer decays, gamma radiation is emitted and is detected by a Gamma camera.  When the tracer has collected in the target organ the area is scanned.  Radionuclide scans can detect abnormalities such as fractures, bone infections, arthritis, rickets, and tumors that have spread, among other diseases.

    A bone scan is an imaging test that shows areas of increased or decreased bone turnover ().

  • Disease

    Bone tumor

    X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation that can penetrate the body to form an image on film. Structures that are dense (such as bone) will appear white, air will be black, and other structures will be shades of gray depending on density. X-rays can provide information about obstructions, tumors, and other diseases, especially when coupled with the use of barium and air contrast within the bowel.

    A bone is an abnormal growth of cells within a bone. A bone tumor may be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous ().

  • Test

    Bone x-ray

    The skeleton consists of groups of bones which protect and move the body.

    A bone is an imaging test to look at the bones.

  • Disease

    Borderline personality disorder

    Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition in which a person has long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions. These inner experiences often result in impulsive actions and chaotic relationships with other people.

  • Poison

    Boric acid poisoning

    Boric acid is a dangerous poison. Poisoning from this chemical can be acute or chronic. Acute boric acid poisoning usually occurs when someone swallows powdered roach-killing products that contain the chemical. Chronic poisoning occurs in those who are repeatedly exposed to boric acid. For example, ...

  • Disease

    Botulism

    Bacterial infections can lead to the formation of pus, or to the spread of the bacteria in the blood.

    Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The bacteria may enter the body through wounds, or by eating it as they may live in improperly canned or preserved food.

  • Symptoms

    Bowel incontinence

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Bowel incontinence is the loss of bowel control, leading to an involuntary passage of stool. This can range from occasionally leaking a small amount of stool and passing gas, to completely losing control of bowel movements. , a separate topic, is the inability to control the passage of urine.

  • Special Topic

    Bowel retraining

    A program of bowel retraining, , or therapy may be used by people with: Nerve problems (such as from or other conditions) Severe The bowel program has several steps that help with regular bowel movements. Within a few weeks of beginning a bowel program, most people can have regular bowel ...

  • Test

    Bowel transit time

    Food passes from the stomach into the small intestine. In the small intestine all nutrient absorption occurs. Whatever has not been absorbed by the small intestine passes into the colon. In the colon most of the water is absorbed from the food residue. The residue is then eliminated from the body as feces.

    Bowel transit time refers to how long it takes for the food to move from the mouth to the anus. This article discusses the medical test used to determine bowel transit time.

  • Disease

    Bowlegs

    Bowlegs is a condition in which the knees stay wide apart when a person stands with the feet and ankles together. It is consindered normal in children under 18 months.

  • Disease

    Brachial plexopathy

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Brachial plexopathy is pain, decreased movement, or decreased sensation in the arm and shoulder due to a nerve problem.

  • Special Topic

    Brachial plexus

    The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that originate from the neck region and branch off to give rise to most of the nerves that control movement in the upper limb. Injuries to the brachial plexus are common and can be debilitating. If the injury is severe it can cause weakness or paralysis of the entire upper limb.

    The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that run from the lower neck through the upper shoulder area. These nerves allow the shoulder, arm, forearm, and hand to move and feel things.

  • Disease

    Brachial plexus injury in newborns

    Brachial plexus injury is a loss of movement or weakness of the arm that occurs when the collection of nerves around the shoulder are damaged during birth. This bundle of nerves is called the brachial plexus.

  • Disease

    Brain abscess

    Amebiasis, normally an infection of the intestinal tract, may spread and infect other organs such as the liver or brain.  Infection of the brain can be fatal. In this slide, ameba are shown in a sample of brain tissue.  Ameba represent a serious infection in immunocompromised individuals.  (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    A brain abscess is a collection of pus, immune cells, and other material in the brain, usually from a bacterial or fungal infection.

  • Surgery

    Brain aneurysm repair

    Brain aneurysm repair is a surgical procedure to correct an , a weak area in a blood vessel wall that causes the blood vessel to bulge or balloon out and sometimes burst (rupture). It may cause: Bleeding into an area around the brain (also called a ) Bleeding in the brain that forms a collection of ...

  • Disease

    Brain herniation

    The major areas of the brain have one or more specific functions.

    A brain herniation is when brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, and blood vessels are moved or pressed away from their usual position inside the skull.

  • Test

    Brain natriutetic peptide test

    Brain natriutetic peptide (BNP) test is a blood test that measures levels of a protein made by your heart and blood vessels. This protein is called BNP. BNP levels are higher than normal when you have heart failure.

  • Test

    Brain PET scan

    A brain positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test of the brain. It uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease or injury in the brain. A PET scan shows how the brain and its tissues are working. Other imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging () and ...

  • Surgery

    Brain surgery

    Brain surgery may be needed in treatment of subdural hematoma to remove blood and to decrease intracranial pressure. The outcome of the surgery depends on the source, severity, and location of the problem.

    Brain surgery is an operation to treat problems in the brain and surrounding structures.

  • Disease

    Brain tumor - children

    The major areas of the brain have one or more specific functions.

    A brain tumor is a group (mass) of abnormal cells that start in the brain. This article focuses on primary brain tumors in children.

  • Disease

    Brain tumor - primary - adults

    A primary brain tumor is a group (mass) of abnormal cells that start in the brain.

  • Disease

    Branchial cleft cyst

    A branchial cleft cyst is a lump that develops in the neck or just below the collarbone. It is a type of birth defect.

  • Special Topics

    BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene testing

    The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene test is a blood test that can tell you if you have a higher risk of getting cancer. The name BRCA comes from the first two letters of breast cancer.

  • Symptoms

    Breast - premenstrual tenderness and swelling

    The female breast is either of two mammary glands (organs of milk secretion) on the chest.

    Premenstrual swelling and tenderness of both breasts occurs during the second half of the menstrual cycle.

  • Test

    Breast biopsy - stereotactic

    A breast biopsy is the removal of breast tissue to examine it for signs of or other disorders. Different types of biopsy may be done. One type called stereotactic breast biopsy uses to help pinpoint the spot in the breast that needs to be removed.

  • Test

    Breast biopsy - ultrasound

    A breast biopsy is the removal of breast tissue to examine it for signs of or other disorders. There are several different types of breast biopsies, including , open, and . This article focuses on needle-based, ultrasound-guided breast biopsies.

  • Disease

    Breast cancer

    The female breast is either of two mammary glands (organs of milk secretion) on the chest.

    Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the tissues of the breast. There are two main types of breast cancer: Ductal carcinoma starts in the tubes (ducts) that carry milk from the breast to the nipple. Most breast cancers are of this type. Lobular carcinoma starts in the parts of the breast, called ...

  • Disease

    Breast infection

    The female breast is either of two mammary glands (organs of milk secretion) on the chest.

    A breast infection is an infection in the tissue of the breast.

  • Surgery

    Breast lift

    A breast lift, or mastopexy, is cosmetic breast surgery to lift the breasts. The surgery may also involve changing the position of the areola and nipple.

  • Symptoms

    Breast lump

    The female breast is either of two mammary glands (organs of milk secretion) on the chest.

    A breast lump is swelling, a growth, or a lump in the breast. Breast lumps in both men and women raise concern for , even though most lumps are not cancer.

  • Surgery

    Breast lump removal

    The female breast is either of two mammary glands (organs of milk secretion) on the chest.

    Breast lump removal is surgery to remove a breast cancer along with some surrounding tissue from the breast. It is called a lumpectomy. When a fibroadenoma or other noncancerous tumor of the breast is removed, it is often called an excisional breast biopsy instead of a lumpectomy. This article ...

  • Disease

    Breast milk jaundice

    Using bili lights is a therapeutic procedure performed on newborn or premature infants to reduce elevated levels of bilirubin. If blood levels of bilirubin become too high, the bilirubin begins to dissolve in the body tissues, producing the characteristic yellow eyes and skin of jaundice. Bilirubin also has an affinity for brain tissue, where it can accumulate and cause permanent brain damage.

    Jaundice is a condition that causes the skin and parts of the eyes to turn a yellow color. Breast milk jaundice is long-term jaundice in an otherwise healthy, breast-fed baby. It develops after the first week of life and continues up to the sixth week of life.

  • Test

    Breast MRI scan

    A breast (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the breast and surrounding tissue. It does not use radiation (). A breast MRI may be done in combination with or . However, it is not a replacement for mammography.

  • Symptoms

    Breast pain

    The female breast is either of two mammary glands (organs of milk secretion) on the chest.

    Breast pain is any discomfort or pain in the breast.

  • Test

    Breast PET scan

    A breast positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance (called a tracer) to look for breast cancer. This tracer can help identify areas of cancer that an MRI or CT scan may miss. See also:

  • Surgery

    Breast reconstruction - implants

    After a , some women choose to have cosmetic surgery to recreate their breast. This surgery can be performed during mastectomy itself or later. The breast is usually reshaped in two stages, or surgeries. During the first stage, a tissue expander is used. An implant is placed during the second stage. ...

  • Surgery

    Breast reconstruction - natural tissue

    After a , some women choose to have cosmetic surgery to remake their breast. This type of surgery is called breast reconstruction. During breast reconstruction that uses natural tissue, the breast is reshaped using muscle, skin, or fat from another part of your body. This surgery can be performed at ...

  • Surgery

    Breast reduction

    Breast reduction is surgery to reduce the size of the breasts.

  • Special Topic

    Breast self exam

    The female breast is either of two mammary glands (organs of milk secretion) on the chest.

    A breast self-exam is a check-up a woman does at home to look for changes or problems in the breast tissue. Many women feel that doing this is important to their health. However, experts do not agree about the benefits of breast self-exams in finding breast cancer or saving lives. Talk to your ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Breast skin and nipple changes

    Inverted nipple; Nipple discharge

  • Test

    Breast ultrasound

    The female breast is either of two mammary glands (organs of milk secretion) on the chest.

    Breast ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to examine the breasts.

  • Special Topic

    Breastfeeding - resources

    Breast milk contains the appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, and provides, minerals, vitamins, and hormones that infants require. Breast milk also contains antibodies from the mother that can help the baby resist infections.

    The following organizations are good resources for information on breastfeeding and : La Leche League International Inc. – www.lalecheleague.org March of Dimes – www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/14332_9148.asp U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Breastfeeding - self-care

    Nursing mothers – self-care

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Breastfeeding - skin and nipple changes

    Inverted nipple; Nipple discharge

  • Test

    Breath alcohol test

    The breath alcohol test measures the amount of alcohol in the blood by testing exhaled air. The test is performed by blowing into a breath machine 15 minutes after alcohol consumption. The test determines how much alcohol it takes to raise the blood-alcohol level to a dangerous level.

    A breath alcohol test determines how much alcohol is in your blood by measuring the amount of alcohol in the air you breathe out (exhale).

  • Disease

    Breath holding spell

    Some children have breath holding spells. This is an involuntary stop in breathing that is not in the child’s control.

  • Symptoms

    Breath odor

    Breath odor is the scent of the air you breathe out of your mouth. Unpleasant breath odor is commonly called bad breath.

  • Symptoms

    Breath sounds

    The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.

    Breath sounds are the noises produced by the structures of the lungs during breathing.

  • Symptoms

    Breathing - slowed or stopped

    Breathing that slows down or stops from any cause is called apnea.

  • Injury

    Breathing difficulties - first aid

    A collapsed lung, or pneumothorax, occurs when all or part of a lung collapses or caves inward. This occurs when air gets in the area between the lung and chest wall. When this happens the lung cannot fill up with air, breathing becomes hard, and the body gets less oxygen. A collapsed lung can occur spontaneously in a healthy person or in someone who has lungs compromised by trauma, asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema.

    Breathing difficulties can range from being short of breath, unable to take a deep breath, gasping for air, or feeling like you are not getting enough air. This article discusses first aid for someone who is having breathing problems.

  • Symptoms

    Breathing difficulty

    Emphysema is a lung disease involving damage to the air sacs (alveoli).There is progressive destruction of alveoli and the surrounding tissue that supports the alveoli. With more advanced disease, large air cysts develop where normal lung tissue used to be. Air is trapped in the lungs due to lack of supportive tissue which decreases oxygenation.

    Breathing difficulty may involve: Difficult breathing Uncomfortable breathing Feeling like you are not getting enough air

  • Symptoms

    Breathing difficulty - lying down

    Breathing consists of two phases.  The first phase is the inspiration phase. Inspiration allows air to flow into the lungs. The second phase is expiration.  Expiration involves gases leaving the lungs.  During inspiration, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles contract allowing air to enter the lungs.  During expiration, the inspiration muscles relax forcing gases to flow out of the lungs.

    Breathing difficulty while lying down is an abnormal condition in which a person must keep the head raised by sitting or standing to be able to breathe deeply or comfortably. A type of breathing difficulty while lying down is paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. This condition causes a person to wake up ...

  • Special Topic

    Breech birth

    The best position for your baby inside your uterus at the time of delivery is head down. This position makes it easier and safer for your baby to pass through the birth canal. In the last weeks of pregnancy, your health care provider will check to see what position your baby is in. If your baby’s ...

  • Disease

    Brief psychotic disorder

    Brief psychotic disorder is a sudden, short-term display of psychotic behavior, such as or delusions, which occurs with a stressful event.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Bringing your child to visit a very ill sibling

    Bringing a healthy child to visit a very ill sibling in the hospital can help the whole family. But, before you take your child to visit their ill sibling, you need to prepare your child for the visit so that the child knows what to expect.

  • Symptoms

    Broad nasal bridge

    The physical landmarks of the human face are very similar from one face to another.

    Broad nasal bridge is a widening of the top part of the nose.

  • Injury

    Broken bone

    X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation that can penetrate the body to form an image on film. Structures that are dense (such as bone) will appear white, air will be black, and other structures will be shades of gray depending on density. X-rays can provide information about obstructions, tumors, and other diseases, especially when coupled with the use of barium and air contrast within the bowel.

    If more pressure is put on a bone than it can stand, it will split or break. A break of any size is called a fracture. If the broken bone punctures the skin, it is called an open fracture (compound fracture). A stress fracture is a hairline crack in the bone that develops because of repeated or ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Broken collarbone - aftercare

    Fracture – collarbone; Fracture – clavicle

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Broken kneecap - aftercare

    Patella fracture

  • Injury

    Broken or knocked out tooth

    The structure of the tooth includes dentin, pulp and other tissues, blood vessels and nerves imbedded in the bony jaw. Above the gum line, the tooth is protected by the hard enamel covering.

    The medical term for a knocked out tooth is “avulsed” tooth.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Broken toe - self-care

    Each toe is made up of two or three small bones. These bones are small and fragile. They can break after you stub your toe or drop something heavy on it.

  • Poison

    Brompheniramine overdose

    Brompheniramine is a type of medicine called an antihistamine, which helps relieve allergy symptoms. Brompheniramine occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment ...

  • Disease

    Bronchiectasis

    Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.

    Bronchiectasis is destruction and widening of the large airways. If the condition is present at birth, it is called congenital bronchiectasis. If it develops later in life, it is called acquired bronchiectasis.

  • Disease

    Bronchiolitis

    The lungs are located in the chest  cavity and are responsible for respiration.  The alveoli are small sir sacs where oxygen is exchanged in the lungs.

    Bronchiolitis is swelling and mucus buildup in the smallest air passages in the lungs (bronchioles). It is usually due to a viral infection.

  • Disease

    Bronchitis - acute

    Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi, the main air passages to the lungs, it generally follows a viral respiratory infection. Symptoms include; coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and fatigue.

    Acute bronchitis is swelling and inflammation of the main air passages to the lungs. This swelling narrows the airways, making it harder to breathe and causing other symptoms, such as a cough. Acute means the symptoms have only been present for a short time.

  • Disease

    Bronchopulmonary dysplasia

    Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a lung condition that affects newborn babies who were either put on a breathing machine after birth or were born very early (prematurely).

  • Test

    Bronchoscopic culture

    Bronchoscopy

    Bronchoscopic culture is a laboratory exam to check a piece of tissue or fluid from the lungs for infection-causing organisms.

  • Test

    Bronchoscopy

    Bronchoscopy is a surgical technique for viewing the interior of the airways. Using sophisticated flexible fiber optic instruments, surgeons are able to explore the trachea, main stem bronchi, and some of the small bronchi. In children, this procedure may be used to remove foreign objects that have been inhaled. In adults, the procedure is most often used to take samples of (biopsy) suspicious lesions and for culturing specific areas in the lung.

    Bronchoscopy is a test to view the airways and diagnose lung disease. It may also be used during the treatment of some lung conditions.

  • Poison

    Brown recluse spider

    Many arthropods are capable of carrying disease. This illustration shows some of the general characteristics of arthropods.

    The brown recluse spider’s bite is poisonous. The scientific name for the brown recluse is Loxosceles reclusa. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as ...

  • Disease

    Brucellosis

    Brucellosis is a disease that starts with flu-like symptoms. Complications may include arthritis, heart disease and brain damage.

    Brucellosis is an infectious disease that occurs from contact with animals carrying Brucella bacteria.

  • Injury

    Bruise

    A bone bruise results from compressive forces incurred during an injury. The damaged area occurs in the medullary portion of the bone and can be accompanied by  bleeding and swelling.Bruises are often caused by falls, sports injuries, car accidents, or blows from other people or objects. Bruises can last from days to months, with the bone bruise being the most severe and painful.

    A bruise is an area of skin discoloration. A bruise occurs when small blood vessels break and leak their contents into the soft tissue beneath the skin.

  • Disease

    Bruxism

    Bruxism is when you clench (tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together) or grind (slide your teeth back and forth over each other) your teeth.

  • Poison

    Bubble bath soap poisoning

    Bubble bath soap poisoning occurs when someone swallows bubble bath soap. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center ...

  • Test

    Buccal smear

    Structures of the throat include the esophagus, trachea, epiglottis and tonsils.

    A buccal (pronounced “buckle”) smear is the painless removal of a sample of cells from the inside of your mouth (cheek) for study.

  • Special Topic

    Bug repellent safety

    Insect bites or stings can be painful and sometimes deadly.  Most often bites or stings do not require medical care but an allergic reaction from the sting can be an emergency situation.  If a sting occurs from a honey bee, remove the stinger. Do not use tweezers since pinching the stinger will cause more venom to be released. Use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Over the next 24 to 48 hours, observe the site for signs of infection (such as increasing redness, swelling, pain).

    The safest bug repellent is to wear proper clothing. Wear a full-brimmed hat to protect your head and the back of your neck. Make sure your ankles and wrists are covered. Tuck pant cuffs into socks. Wear light-colored clothing. Light colors are less attractive than dark colors to biting insects. It ...

  • Poison

    Bug spray poisoning

    This article discusses the harmful effects from breathing in or swallowing bug spray. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison ...

  • Disease

    Bulimia

    The upper gastrointestinal organs include the mouth, esophagus and stomach.

    Bulimia is an illness in which a person has regular episodes of overeating (bingeing) and feels a loss of control. The person then uses different ways, such as vomiting or laxatives (purging), to prevent weight gain. Many people with bulimia also have .

  • Symptoms

    Bullae

    Bullous pemphigoid is a blistering skin condition that most often affects the elderly. This is a close-up picture of the typical blisters. Large blisters, like these, are called bullae.

    Bullae are large on the skin that are filled with clear fluid. They can be caused by many different skin conditions.

  • Disease

    Bullous pemphigoid

    Bullous pemphigoid is a blistering skin condition that most often affects the elderly. This is a close-up picture of the typical blisters. Large blisters, like these, are called bullae.

    Bullous pemphigoid is a skin disorder characterized by large .

  • Test

    BUN - blood test

    BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen. Urea nitrogen is what forms when protein breaks down. A test can be done to measure the amount of urea nitrogen in the blood.

  • Surgery

    Bunion removal

    removal is surgery to treat deformed bones of the big toe and foot.

  • Disease

    Bunions

    A bunion forms when your big toe points toward the second toe. This causes a bump to appear on the inside edge of your toe.

  • Disease

    Burkitt lymphoma

    The lymphatic system filters fluid from around cells.  It is an important part of the immune system.  When people refer to swollen glands in the neck, they are usually referring to swollen lymph nodes.  Common areas where lymph nodes can be easily felt, especially if they are enlarged, are: the groin, armpits (axilla), above the clavicle (supraclavicular), in the neck (cervical), and the back of the head just above hairline (occipital).

    Burkitt lymphoma is a very fast growing form of .

  • Injury

    Burns

    The depth of a burn determines its severity. First degree burns damage the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and cause pain, redness and swelling (erythema). Second degree burns damage the epidermis and the inner layer, the dermis, causing erythema and blistering. Damage from third degree burns extend into the hypodermis, causing destruction of the full thickness of skin with its nerve supply (numbness). Third degree burns leave scars and may cause loss of function and/or sensation.

    There are three levels of burns: First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of the skin. They cause pain, redness, and swelling. Second-degree burns affect both the outer and underlying layer of skin. They cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering. They are also called partial thickness ...

  • Special Topic

    Burns - resources

    First degree burns affect the outer layer of the skin, causing pain, redness, and swelling.

    The following organizations are good resources for information on : American Burn Association – www.ameriburn.org Burns Recovered Support Group – http://brsg.org

  • Disease

    Bursitis

    Bursae are fluid-filled cavities located at tissue sites where tendons or muscles pass over bony prominences near joints, such as the elbow. The function of a bursa is to facilitate movement and reduce friction between moving parts.

    Bursitisis the swelling and irritation of a bursa. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between a muscles, tendons, and joints.

  • Disease

    Bursitis of the heel

    Flexibility exercise in its simplest form stretches and elongates muscles. Disciplines which incorporate stretching with breath control and meditation include yoga and t'ai chi. The benefits of greater flexibility may go beyond the physical to the improvement of stress reduction and the promotion of a greater sense of well-being.

    Bursitis of the heel is swelling of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) at the back of the heel bone under the Achilles tendon.

  • Poison

    Butazolidin overdose

    Butazolidin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Butazolidin occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Butter, margarine, and cooking oils

    When you cook, solid margarine or butter are not the best choices. Butter is loaded with saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol. It can also increase your chance of heart disease. Most margarines, on the other hand, have some saturated fat plus trans-fatty acids, which can also be bad for ...

  • Poison

    Button batteries

    Button batteries are tiny, round batteries usually used to power watches and hearing aids. Children often accidentally swallow these batteries or put up them up their nose, where the battery can be further breathed in (inhaled). This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or ...

  • Disease

    Byssinosis

    The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.

    Byssinosis is a disease of the lungs brought on by breathing in cotton dust or dusts from other vegetable fibers such as flax, hemp, or sisal while at work.