Articles

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

  • Surgery

    D and C

    D and C (dilatation and curettage) is a procedure in which the vaginal canal is held open with a speculum and the cervix is dilated with a metal rod. A curette is then passed through the cervical canal into the uterine cavity where endometrial tissue is scraped away and collected for examination.

    D and C is a procedure to scrape and collect the tissue (endometrium) from inside the uterus. Dilation (“D”) is a widening of the cervix to allow instruments into the uterus. Curettage (“C”) is the scraping of the walls of the uterus.

  • Test

    D-xylose absorption

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

    D-xylose absorption is a laboratory test to determine how well the intestines absorb a simple sugar (D-xylose). The test helps determine if nutrients are being properly absorbed.

  • Special Topic

    Dacron graft

    A dacron graft is sutured to the aorta to repair an ascending aortic aneurysm.

    A Dacron graft is a man-made (synthetic) material that is used to replace normal body tissues. It is usually made in a tube form to replace or repair blood vessels. The graft causes very few reactions. It is chemically harmless and easily tolerated by the body. When used in blood vessels, the body ...

  • Disease

    Dacryoadenitis

    Dacryoadenitis is an inflammation of the tear-producing gland (lacrimal gland).

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Daily bowel care program

    Incontinence – care; Dysfunctional bowel – care; Neurogenic bowel – care

  • Special Topic

    Day care health risks

  • Self-Care Instructions

    De Quervain’s tendinitis

  • Special Topic

    Death among children and adolescents

    Clear, specific information about sexual behavior and its consequences is frequently not provided to adolescents by their families, schools and communities. The "sex education" that many receive comes from misinformed or uninformed peers.

  • Symptoms

    Decerebrate posture

    Decerebrate posture is an abnormal body posture that involves the arms and legs being held straight out, the toes being pointed downward, and the head and neck being arched backwards. The muscles are tightened and held rigidly. This type of posturing usually means there has been severe damage to the ...

  • Special Topic

    Deciding about treatments that prolong life

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Deciding to have knee or hip replacement

    When you are thinking of having knee or hip replacement surgery, you may want to read more and talk to others with knee or hip problems. But a key step is sitting down with your doctor to discuss your quality of life and what your goals are. Surgery may or may not be the right choice for you. Only ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Deciding to quit drinking alcohol

  • Symptoms

    Decorticate posture

    Decorticate posture is an abnormal posturing in which a person is stiff with bent arms, clenched fists, and legs held out straight. The arms are bent in toward the body and the wrists and fingers are bent and held on the chest. This type of posturing is a sign of severe damage in the brain. People ...

  • Surgery

    Deep brain stimulation

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment in which a device called a neurostimulator delivers tiny electrical signals to the areas of the brain that control movement.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Deep breathing after surgery

  • Disease

    Deep Venous Thrombosis

    Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) affects mainly the veins in the lower leg and the thigh. It involves the formation of a clot (thrombus) in the larger veins of the area.

    Deep venous thrombosis is a that forms in a vein deep inside a part of the body. It mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Defining overweight and obesity - children

  • Disease

    Dehydration

    A decrease in skin turgor is indicated when the skin (on the back of the hand for an adult or on the abdomen for a child) is pulled up for a few seconds and does not return to its original state. A decrease in skin turgor is a late sign of dehydration.

    Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body’s fluid is lost or not replenished. When it is severe, dehydration is a life-threatening emergency.

  • Disease

    Delayed ejaculation

    The male reproductive system, viewed from a sagittal section.

    Delayed ejaculation is a medical condition in which a male cannot ejaculate, either during intercourse or by manual stimulation with a partner. Ejaculation is when semen is released from the penis.

  • Symptoms

    Delayed growth

    The range of toddler development is from 1 to 3 years of age.  Toddler safety is very important during this time since  more accidents occur during toddler years than at any other stage of childhood. Consistent discipline is also important at this age, where temper tantrums may be daily occurrences. It is important for the child to learn from experience and be able to rely upon solid, consistent boundaries defining acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.

    Delayed growth is poor or abnormally slow height or weight gains in a child younger than age 5. This may just be normal, and the child may outgrow it.

  • Disease

    Delirium

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

    Delirium is sudden severe and rapid changes in brain function that occur with physical or mental illness.

  • Disease

    Delirium tremens

    Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that involves sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes.

  • Special Topic

    Delivery presentations

    Childbirth is really a series of four stages that culminate in the actual birth and short period thereafter. For more specific information regarding emergency delivery see the information on childbirth, emergency delivery.

    Delivery presentation describes the way the baby (fetus) is positioned to come down the birth canal for delivery.

  • Special Topic

    Delivery presentations

  • Disease

    Delta agent (Hepatitis D)

    Hepatitis B is also known as serum hepatitis and is spread through blood and sexual contact.  It is seen with increased frequency among intravenous drug users who share needles and among the homosexual population.  This photograph is an electronmicroscopic image of hepatitis B virus particles.  (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Delta agent is a type of virus called hepatitis D. It causes symptoms only in people who also have a infection.

  • Test

    Delta-ALA

    A "clean-catch" urine sample is performed by collecting the sample of urine in midstream. Men or boys should wipe clean the head of the penis. Women or girls need to wash the area between the lips of the vagina with soapy water and rinse well. A small amount of urine should initially fall into the toilet bowl before it is collected (this clears the urethra of contaminants). Then, in a clean container, catch about 1 to 2 ounces of urine and remove the container from the urine stream. The container is then given to the health care provider.

    Delta-ALA is a protein (amino acid) produced by the liver. A test can be done to measure the amount of this substance in the urine.

  • Disease

    Dementia

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

    Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior. See also:

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Dementia - behavior and sleep problems

    Alzheimer's disease

    Sundowning – care

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Dementia - daily care

    Alzheimer's disease

  • Special Topic

    Dementia - home care

    Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior. See also:

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Dementia - keeping safe in the home

    Alzheimer's disease

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Dementia - what to ask your doctor

    Alzheimer's disease

    You are caring for someone who has dementia. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of that person.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Dementia and driving

    Alzheimer's disease

  • Disease

    Dementia due to metabolic causes

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

    Dementia is a loss of brain function over weeks, months, or years that occurs with certain diseases. Dementia due to causes is a loss of brain function that can occur with diabetes, thyroid disease, and other metabolic disorders. The term “metabolic” refers to the physical and ...

  • Disease

    Dengue fever

    There are many different species of mosquito, which can carry some of the world's most common and significant infectious diseases, including West Nile, Malaria, yellow fever, viral encephalitis, and dengue fever. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Dengue fever is a virus-caused disease that is spread by mosquitoes. See also:

  • Disease

    Dengue hemorrhagic fever

    There are many different species of mosquito, which can carry some of the world's most common and significant infectious diseases, including West Nile, Malaria, yellow fever, viral encephalitis, and dengue fever. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a severe, potentially deadly infection spread by mosquitos, mainly the species Aedes aegypti.

  • Special Topic

    Dental care - adult

    The teeth are vital in assuring that an individual can eat a proper diet and a variety of foods to remain healthy.  Good oral hygiene prevents many of the dental and oral disorders that need to be prevented in order to have healthy teeth and mouth.

  • Special Topic

    Dental care - child

    Healthy teeth and gums are essential to a child's overall good health. Without proper dental care tooth decay and gum disease can lead to serious problems such as cavities and gingivitis, swollen and bleeding gums. Regular visits to the dentist, brushing twice each day, and flossing, are ways to help maintain a healthy mouth.

    Proper care of your child’s teeth and gums includes brushing and rinsing, routine dental exams, and any necessary treatments such as fluoride, extractions, fillings, or braces and other orthodontics. See also:

  • Disease

    Dental cavities

    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.

    Dental cavities are holes (or structural damage) in the teeth. See also:

  • Test

    Dental plaque identification at home

    Plaque is the major cause of tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis), so it is important to floss and brush properly. One way to test for proper brushing is to use disclosing tablets. After chewing a tablet and rinsing the mouth, pink-stained areas on the teeth identify the areas that contain plaque. If plaque is not removed, tooth decay or gingivitis can develop.

    The home dental plaque identification test identifies plaque, a sticky substance that collects around and between teeth. The test helps show how well you are brushing and flossing your teeth. Plaque is the major cause of and gum disease (). It is hard to see with the naked eye because it is whitish ...

  • Test

    Dental x-rays

    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.

    Dental x-rays are a type of picture of the teeth and mouth. X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation, just like visible light. They are of higher energy, however, and can penetrate the body to form an image on film. Structures that are dense (such as silver fillings or metal restoration) will ...

  • Special Topic

    Denture problems

    Dentures are used when an individual is missing his natural teeth.  It is just as important to take care of dentures as it is to take care of natural teeth, since problems such as gingivitis can still occur.

  • Poison

    Deodorant poisoning

    Deodorant poisoning occurs when someone swallows deodorant. 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 ...

  • Disease

    Dependent personality disorder

    Dependent personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people depend too much on others to meet their emotional and physical needs.

  • Poison

    Depilatory poisoning

    Depilatory is a product used to remove unwanted hair. Depilatory poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance. 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 ...

  • Symptoms

    Depression

    Children who are depressed may exhibit symptoms differently than adults. For instance, a depressed child may seem bored and unusually irritable.

    Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for a longer ...

  • Disease

    Depression - elderly

    The elderly are at high risk for depression because they are more likely than younger people to have experienced illness, death of loved ones, impaired function and loss of independence. The cumulative effect of negative life experiences may be overwhelming to an older person.

    Depression is a medical illness in which a person has persistent feelings of ,often with and a lack of self-worth. Depression in the elderly is a widespread problem, but it is not a normal part of aging. It is often not recognized or treated.

  • Special Topic

    Depression - resources

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

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Depression - stopping your medicines

  • Surgery

    Dermabrasion

    Dermabrasion is the removal of the top layers of the skin. It is a type of skin smoothing surgery.

  • Disease

    Dermatitis herpetiformis

    Dermatitis herpetiformis is a chronic inflammatory disease that produces lesions that burn and itch intensely.  This is a close-up of dermatitis herpetiformis lesions. The lesions are red (erythematous) and may be slightly raised (papular), form small pus-filled areas (pustules), or there may be blisters (vesicles).  The disease develops suddenly and may last from weeks to months.   It may occur in association with gluten (wheat) sensitivity and allergy.

    Dermatitis herpetiformis is an extremely itchy rash consisting of bumps and blisters. The rash is chronic, which means it continues over a long period.

  • Disease

    Dermatomyositis

    Red, thickened, scaly skin over the knuckles (Gottron's sign) associated with dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disease of the skin and muscles.

    Dermatomyositis is a muscle disease that involves inflammation and a skin rash. It is a type of inflammatory myopathy.

  • Disease

    Dermatoses - systemic

    The skin is the largest organ of the body.  The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection.  It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature.  The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells.  Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin.  The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to.  Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore.  Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

    Dermatoses is a general term used to describe any skin defect or lesion on the skin. means it affects the whole body, rather than just one part.Systemic dermatoses may be linked to problems in other organs.

  • Poison

    Desipramine hydrochloride overdose

    Desipramine hydrochloride is a type of medicine called a tricyclic antidepressant. Desipramine hydrochloride 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 ...

  • Poison

    Detergent poisoning

    Detergents are powerful cleaning products that may contain strong acids, alkalis, or phosphates. Cationic detergents are often used as germ-killing cleansers (antiseptics) in hospitals. Anionic detergents are sometimes used to clean carpeting. Detergent poisoning occurs when someone swallows ...

  • Disease

    Developmental coordination disorder

    Developmental coordination disorder is a childhood disorder that leads to poor coordination and clumsiness.

  • Disease

    Developmental disorders of the female reproductive tract

    Developmental disorders of the female reproductive tract are problems in a baby girl’s reproductive organs that occur while she is growing in her mother’s body. Female reproductive organs include the , ovaries, uterus, and .

  • Disease

    Developmental dysplasia of the hip

    Although most dislocations are caused by a blow, fall, or other trauma, a dislocation can also occur from birth. The cause is unknown but genetic factors may play a role. Problems resulting from very mild developmental dysplasia of the hip may not become apparent until the person is in his 30s or 40s.

    Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a dislocation of the hip joint that is present at birth. The condition is found in babies or young children.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record

    Normal development in a child such as crawling or walking is a developmental milestone. Each period of growth in a child is marked by developmental milestones up until the adolescent years.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 12 months

    The typical 12-month-old child will demonstrate certain physical and mental skills. These skills are called developmental milestones.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 18 months

    Skills and growth milestones of 18-month-old children describes the physical and mental development that is expected for this age.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 2 months

    Some of the developmental characteristics of a healthy 2 month old baby include turning the head to locate sounds, visually fixing on close objects, vocally responding to familiar voices and smiling in response to stimuli.

    This article describes the skills and growth targets of 2-month-old infants.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 2 years

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 3 years

    This article describes the skills and growth markers relevant to 3-year-olds.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 4 months

    Typical 4-month-old infants are expected to develop certain physical and mental skills. These skills are called milestones.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 4 years

    There are skills and growth markers expected in a typical 4-year-old child. These milestones are physical and mental developments considered normal for this age group.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 5 years

    This article describes the skills and growth markers relevant to 5-year-old children.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 6 months

    This article describes the skills and growth targets for 6-month-old infants.

  • Special Topic

    Developmental milestones record - 9 months

    At 9 months, a typical infant will have certain skills and reach growth markers called milestones.

  • Disease

    Developmental reading disorder

    Developmental reading disorder is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols. It is also called dyslexia.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Devices for hearing loss

  • Test

    Dexamethasone suppression test

    Dexamethasone suppression test measures the response of the to .

  • Disease

    Dextrocardia

    Dextrocardia

    Dextrocardia is a condition in which the heart is pointed toward the right side of the chest instead of normally pointing to the left. It is present at birth (congenital).

  • Poison

    Dextromethorphan overdose

    Dextromethorphan is a medicine that helps stop coughing. It is considered a cough suppressant. Dextromethorphan 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 ...

  • Test

    DHEA-sulfate test

    DHEA-sulfate test measures the amount of DHEA-sulfate in the blood. DHEA-sulfate is a weak male hormone (androgen) produced by the adrenal gland in both men and women.

  • Disease

    Diabetes

    Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to increased glucose levels in the blood.

    Diabetes is usually a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there is a high level of sugar in the blood.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes - eye care

    Diabetic retinopathy – care

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes - foot ulcers

    Debridement of skin ulcers

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes - keeping active

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes - low blood sugar - self-care

    Hypoglycemia – self-care

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes - preventing heart attack and stroke

  • Special Topic

    Diabetes - resources

    Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is necessary for cells to be able to use blood sugar.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes - taking care of your feet

    People with diabetes are prone to foot problems because the disease can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves, which may result in decreased ability to sense a trauma to the foot. The immune system is also altered, so that the diabetic cannot efficiently fight infection.

    Diabetes – foot care – self-care

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes - tests and checkups

    Routine diabetes tests

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Diabetes - what to ask your doctor - type 2

    Type 2 diabetes is a (lifelong) disease that causes high levels of sugar (glucose) in your blood. It can damage your organs. It can also lead to a heart attack or stroke and cause many other health problems. You can do many things to control your symptoms, prevent damage due to diabetes, and make ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes - when you are sick

    Sick-day management – diabetes

  • imagepage

    Diabetes and blood pressure

    People with diabetes have a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes. Your doctor or nurse should check your blood pressure at every visit. Ask your doctor what your target blood pressure is. Exercising (such as walking), eating low-salt foods, and losing weight (if you are overweight) can lower ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes and exercise

    A person with type 2 diabetes can use exercise to help control their blood sugar levels and provide energy their muscles need to function throughout the day.  By maintaining a healthy diet and sufficient exercise, a person with type 2 diabetes may be able to keep their blood sugar in the normal non-diabetic range without medication.

  • Disease

    Diabetes and eye disease

    A slit-lamp, which is a specialized magnifying microscope, is used to examine the structures of the eye (including the cornea, iris, vitreous, and retina). The slit-lamp is used to examine, treat (with a laser), and photograph (with a camera) the eye.

    Diabetes can harm the eyes. It can damage the small blood vessels in the retina, the back part of your eye. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes also increases the chance of having glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems.

  • Disease

    Diabetes and kidney disease

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

    Diabetic nephropathy is kidney disease or damage that can occur in people with .

  • Disease

    Diabetes and nerve damage

    Diabetes can damage the nerves and cause a complication called neuropathy. This generally begins as loss of sensation in the toes, and possibly fingers. Eventually, the neuropathy can move up the person's legs or arms.

    Nerve damage that occurs in people with diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy. This condition is a complicaiton of .

  • Nutrition

    Diabetes diet - gestational

    is high blood sugar (glucose) that starts or is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Eating a balanced diet is an important part of any pregnancy. Diet is even more important if you have diabetes. This article discusses the diet recommendations for women with gestational diabetes who do NOT take ...

  • Nutrition

    Diabetes diet - type 2

    The American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association have developed specific dietary guidelines for people with . This article focuses on diet recommendations for people with type 2 diabetes.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diabetes eye exams

  • Disease

    Diabetes insipidus

    Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).

    Diabetes insipidus is a condition in which the kidneys are unable to conserve water.

  • Disease

    Diabetes insipidus - central

    Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).

    Central diabetes insipidus is a rare condition that involves extreme thirst and excessive urination. See also:

  • Disease

    Diabetes insipidus - nephrogenic

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

    Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is a disorder in which a defect in the small tubes (tubules) in the kidneys causes a person to pass a large amount of urine. The tubules normally allow water to be removed from the kidney and returned into the blood, without leaking into the urine. See also:

  • Disease

    Diabetic hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome

    Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to increased glucose levels in the blood.

    Diabetic hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS) is a complication of that involves extremely high blood sugar (glucose) levels without the presence of ketones. Ketones are byproducts of fat breakdown.

  • Disease

    Diabetic Ketoacidosis

    Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to increased glucose levels in the blood.

    Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening problem that affects people with . It occurs when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is no insulin or not enough insulin. Fat is used for fuel instead. When fat breaks down, waste products called ketones build up in the ...

  • Test

    Diagnostic laparoscopy

    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.

    Diagnostic laparoscopy is a procedure that allows a health care provider to look directly at the contents of a patient’s abdomen or pelvis.

  • Surgery

    Dialysis

    Dialysis is a treatment used when the kidneys do not work well. It removes harmful substances from the blood when the kidneys cannot. There are different types of kidney dialysis. This article focuses on hemodialysis.

  • Disease

    Diaper rash

    This microscopic film shows a fluorescent stain of Candida. Candida is a yeast (fungus) that causes mild disease, but in immunocompromised individuals it may cause life-threatening illness. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    A diaper rash is a skin problem that develops in the area beneath an infant’s diaper.

  • Disease

    Diaphragmatic hernia

    An abnormal opening in the diaphragm that allows part of the abdominal organs to migrate into the chest cavity, occurring before birth.

    A diaphragmatic hernia is a birth defect in which there is an abnormal opening in the diaphragm, the muscle that helps you breathe. The opening allows part of the organs from the belly (stomach, spleen, liver, and intestines) to go up into the chest cavity near the lungs.

  • Surgery

    Diaphragmatic hernia repair - congenital

    repair is surgery to correct an opening or tear in a baby’s diaphragm. This opening is called a hernia. It is a rare type of birth defect. The diaphragm is a muscle. It is important for breathing. It separates the chest cavity (where your heart and lungs are) from the belly area. In a child ...

  • Symptoms

    Diarrhea

    The most common cause of diarrhea is a mild viral infection that resolves on its own within a few days, usually known as the "stomach flu". Two other common causes of diarrhea is from food poisoning and traveler's diarrhea. They occur from eating food or drinking water contaminated with organisms like bacteria and parasites. Medications can also cause diarrhea, especially antibiotics, laxatives containing magnesium, and chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

    Diarrhea is when you pass loose or watery stool.

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Diarrhea - what to ask your doctor - adult

    Diarrhea is when you have more than three very loose bowel movements in 1 day. For many, diarrhea is mild and will pass within a few days. For others, it may last longer. It can make you feel weak and dried out (dehydrated). It can also lead to unhealthy weight loss. A stomach or intestinal illness ...

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Diarrhea - what to ask your doctor - child

    Diarrhea is when your child has more than two very loose bowel movements in 1 day. For many children, diarrhea is mild and will pass within a few days. For others, it may last longer. It can make your child feel weak and dried out (dehydrated). It can also lead to unhealthy weight loss. A stomach or ...

  • Nutrition

    Diarrhea in children - diet

    Diarrhea in children and babies is the passage of loose stools.

  • Special Topic

    Diarrhea in infants

    Bananas can help relieve an upset stomach by stimulating the production of mucus from the stomach lining.  The mucus creates a barrier between the stomach lining and the acidic gastric substances that cause heartburn and stomach upset.

  • Disease

    Diastasis recti

    Diastasis recti, a normal condition in newborns, is a separation of the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which is the muscle covering the front surface of the abdomen. A diastasis recti is seen as a large ridge running down the midline of the abdomen from the bottom of the breastbone to the navel which appears whenever an infant strains or attempts to sit up.

    Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area.

  • Poison

    Diazepam overdose

    Diazepam is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety disorders. Diazepam 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 ...

  • Poison

    Diazinon poisoning

    Diazinon is an insecticide, a product used to kill or control bugs. Poisoning can occur if you swallow this product. 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 ...

  • Poison

    Diclofenac sodium overdose

    Diclofenac sodium is a prescription medicine used to relieve pain and swelling. It is an nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Diclofenac sodium occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only ...

  • Poison

    Dieffenbachia poisoning

    Dieffenbachia is a type of house plant with large, colorful leaves. Poisoning can occur if you eat the leaves, stalk, or root of this 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 ...

  • Poison

    Diesel oil

    Diesel oil is a heavy oil used in diesel engines. Diesel oil poisoning occurs when someone swallows diesel oil. 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) ...

  • Nutrition

    Diet - chronic kidney disease

    When you have chronic kidney disease, you need to make changes in your diet, including: Limiting fluids Eating a low-protein diet (this may be recommended) Restricting salt, potassium, phosphorous, and other Getting enough calories if you are losing weight Your recommended diet may change over time ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diet - clear liquid

    Clear liquid diet

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diet - full liquid

    Full liquid diet

  • Nutrition

    Diet - liver disease

    Some people with must eat a special diet. This diet helps the liver function and protects it from working too hard.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diet after gastric banding

    Restrictive gastric operations, such as an adjustable gastric banding procedure, serve only to restrict and decrease food intake and do not interfere with the normal digestive process.In this procedure, a hollow band made of special material is placed around the stomach near its upper end, creating the small pouch and a narrow passage into the larger remaining portion of the stomach. This small passage delays the emptying of food from the pouch and causes a feeling of fullness.The band can be tightened or loosened over time to change the size of the passage. Initially, the pouch holds about 1 ounce of food and later expands to 2-3 ounces.

  • Special Topic

    Diet and cancer

    The bone disease osteoporosis is caused by more bone cells being resorbed than  being deposited. This imbalance results in a progressive loss of bone density and a thinning of bone tissue. Osteoporotic bones are more porous and therefore more vulnerable to fracture.

    Experts believe that more than half of human cancers may be preventable. Diet, as well as tobacco use, infections, and chemicals or hormones are thought to be major risk factors that can be changed. However, there is still little agreement over which dietary changes can prevent most cancers.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Diet and eating after esophagectomy

    Esophagectomy – diet; Post-esophagectomy diet

  • Special Topic

    Diet and substance abuse recovery

  • Special Topic

    Dietary fat and children

    
Children require a wide variety of foods in their diet so that they can acquire all of the nutrients needed to grow healthy and strong. One important element in the diet of children is the proper amount of fat. Children under two years of age should not be on a fat-restricted diet, because cholesterol and fat are thought to be important nutrients for brain development. Children over two can have lower fat foods added to their diets. Fat in the diet is necessary to help absorb some of the vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Dietary fats explained

    Saturated fats are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream, and fatty meats. They are also found in some vegetable oils -- coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils.

Eating too much saturated fat is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. A diet high in saturated fat causes a soft, waxy substance called cholesterol to build up in the arteries. Too much fat also increases the risk of heart disease because of its high calorie content, which increases the chance of becoming obese (another risk factor for heart disease and some types of cancer).

  • Disease

    Diffuse interstitial lung disease

    Clubbing may result from chronic low blood-oxygen levels. This can be seen with cystic fibrosis, congenital cyanotic heart disease, and several other diseases. The tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails become extremely curved from front to back.

    Diffuse interstitial lung disease is a group of lung disorders in which the deep lung tissues become inflamed and then damaged.

  • Special Topic

    Digestive diseases

    Digestive diseases are disorders of the digestive tract, which is sometimes called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In digestion, food and drink are broken down into small parts (called nutrients) that the body can absorb and use as energy and building blocks for cells. The digestive tract is made ...

  • Test

    Digital rectal exam

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States. Prostate cancer forms in the prostate gland, and can sometimes be felt on digital rectal examination. This is one of the purposes of the digital rectal exam.

    A digital rectal exam is an examination of the lower rectum. The doctor uses a gloved, lubricated finger to check for abnormalities.

  • Disease

    Digitalis toxicity

    Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is a common garden plant that contains digitalis and other "cardiac glycosides".  These chemicals affect the heart.  Foxglove is poisonous, although recorded poisonings from this plant are very rare.

    Digitalis is a medication prescribed to certain heart patients. Digitalis toxicity is a complication of digitalis therapy, or it may be occur when someone takes too much of the drug at one time. (This is called an acute ingestion.) The most common prescription form of this medication is called ...

  • Test

    Digoxin 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.

    A digoxin test checks to see how much digoxin you may have in your blood. Digoxin is a type of medicine called a cardiac glycoside. It is used to treat certain heart problems. See also:

  • Poison

    Dilantin overdose

    Dilantin is a medicine used to prevent seizures. 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. If you have an exposure, ...

  • Disease

    Dilated cardiomyopathy

    Dilated cardiomyopathy involves enlargement of the heart muscle and is the most common type of cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems.

    Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.There are several different types of . Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common form.

  • Poison

    Dimenhydrinate overdose

    Dimenhydrinate is a type of medicine called an antihistamine. Dimenhydrinate 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 ...

  • Poison

    Diphenhydramine overdose

    This article discusses the health effects from an overdose of diphenhydramine, a type of medicine called an antihistamine, which is found in various allergy and sleep medicines. occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of a drug or ...

  • Disease

    Diphtheria

    Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens.

    Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

  • Poison

    Dirt - swallowing

    This is poisoning from swallowing or eating dirt. 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 1-800-222-1222.

  • Special Topic

    Discipline

  • Special Topic

    Discussing death with children

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

  • Surgery

    Diskectomy

    Herniated nucleus pulposus is a condition in which part or all of the soft, gelatinous central portion of an intervertebral disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk, resulting in back pain and nerve root irritation.

    Diskectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a cushion that helps protect your spinal column. These cushions, called disks, separate your spinal bones (vertebrae).

  • Disease

    Diskitis

    The spine is divided into several sections.  The cervical vertebrae make up the neck.  The thoracic vertebrae comprise the chest section and have ribs attached.  The lumbar vertebrae are the remaining vertebrae below the last thoracic bone and the top of the sacrum.  The sacral vertebrae are caged within the bones of the pelvis, and the coccyx  represents the terminal vertebrae or vestigial tail.

    Diskitis is swelling (inflammation) and irritation of the space between the bones of the spine (intervertebral disk space).

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Dislocated shoulder - aftercare

    Shoulder dislocation – aftercare; Shoulder subluxation – aftercare; Shoulder reduction – aftercare

  • Injury

    Dislocation

    Radial dislocation may be caused by a sudden pull on a child's arm or hand. For first aid, immobilize the arm and take the child to the doctor's office or emergency room.

    A dislocation is a separation of two bones where they meet at a joint. Joints are areas where two bones come together. A dislocated bone is no longer in its normal position.

  • Disease

    Disorder of written expression

    Disorder of written expression is a childhood condition that involves poor writing skills.

  • Special Topic

    Dissect

    A breast lump is surgically excised and then tested for malignancy.

    Dissect means to cut or separate tissues. Doctors dissect tissue during surgery. Most of the time, this is done to remove a part of the body that is thought to be diseased. Pathologists dissect dead bodies. This is part of doing an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

  • Disease

    Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)

    Meningococcemia is a life-threatening infection that occurs when the meningococcus, Neisseria meningitidis, invades the blood stream.  Bleeding into the skin (petechiae and purpura) may occur. The tissue in areas may die (become necrotic or gangrenous).  If the person survives, the areas heal with scarring.

    Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a serious disorder in which the proteins that control blood clotting become over active.

  • Disease

    Disseminated tuberculosis

    Kidneys can be damaged by tuberculosis.  Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but may cause infection in many other organs in the body.  (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Disseminated tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial infection in which TB bacteria has spread from the lungs to other parts of the body through the blood or .

  • Special Topic

    Distal

    Distal refers to sites located away from a specific area, usually the center of the body. In medicine, it refers to parts of the body further away from the center. For example, the hand is distal to the shoulder. The thumb is distal to the wrist. Distal is the opposite of proximal.

  • Disease

    Distal median nerve dysfunction

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

    Distal median nerve dysfunction is a form of that affects the movement of or sensation in the hands. A common type of distal median nerve dysfunction is .

  • Disease

    Distal renal tubular acidosis

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

    Distal renal tubular acidosis is a disease that occurs when the kidneys don’t remove acid properly into the urine, leaving the too much acid in the blood (called acidosis).

  • Disease

    Diverticulitis

    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.

    Diverticulitis is small, bulging sacs or pouches of the inner lining of the intestine (diverticulosis) that become inflamed or infected. Most often, these pouches are in the large intestine (colon).

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Diverticulitis - what to ask your doctor

    Diverticulitis is inflammation of small pouches (diverticula) that can form in the walls of your large intestine. This leads to fever and pain in your belly, usually the lower left part. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse about diverticulitis.

  • Symptoms

    Dizziness

    A carotid arteriogram is an x-ray study designed to determine if there is narrowing or other abnormality in the carotid artery, a main artery to the brain. This is an angiogram of the left common carotid artery (both front-to-back and side views) showing a severe narrowing (stenosis) of the internal carotid artery just beyond the division of the common carotid artery into the internal and external branches.

    Dizziness is a term that is often used to describe two different symptoms: lightheadedness and vertigo. Light-headedness is a feeling like you might faint. Vertigo is a feeling that you are spinning or moving, or that the the world is spinning around you. See also:

  • Special Topic

    Do not resuscitate orders

    No code; End-of-life – do not resuscitate; DNR

  • Special Topic

    Doctor of medicine profession (MD)

    Health care providers range from generalists to providers who specialize in certain areas of the body or disease.  Any category of medicine or care such as cancer or anesthesia can have a specialist.  Nurses also can specialize in certain areas of medical care.

  • Special Topic

    Doctor of osteopathic medicine

    
The scope of practice for osteopathic physicians includes diagnostic and therapeutic techniques (including musculoskeletal manipulations as well as prescriptions and other therapies) and preventive measures.

    A doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) is a physician licensed to practice medicine, perform surgery, and prescribe medication.

  • Test

    Donath-Landsteiner test

    The Donath-Landsteiner test is a blood test to detect harmful related to a rare disorder called . The antibodies form and destroy red blood cells when the body is exposed to cold temperatures.

  • Disease

    Donovanosis (granuloma inguinale)

    The skin is the largest organ of the body.  The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection.  It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature.  The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells.  Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin.  The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to.  Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore.  Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

    Donovanosis (granuloma inguinale) is a sexually transmitted disease that is rarely seen in the United States.

  • Test

    Doppler ultrasound exam of an arm or leg

    Doppler ultrasonography examines the blood flow in the major arteries and veins in the arms and legs with the use of ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves that echo off the body). It may help diagnose a blood clot, venous insufficiency, arterial occlusion (closing), abnormalities in arterial blood flow caused by a narrowing, or trauma to the arteries.

    This test uses to examine the blood flow in the major arteries and veins in the arms and legs.

  • Disease

    Double aortic arch

    Vascular ring

    Double aortic arch is an abnormal formation of the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It is a congenital problem, which means that it is present at birth.

  • Disease

    Double inlet left ventricle

    Double inlet left ventricle

    Double inlet left ventricle (DILV) is a congenital heart defect that affects the valves and chambers of the heart. Congenital means it is present from birth. Babies born with this condition have only one working pumping chamber (ventricle) in their heart.

  • Disease

    Double outlet right ventricle

    Double outlet right ventricle

    Double outlet right ventricle (DORV) is a in which the aorta rises from the right ventricle (the chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the lungs), instead of from the left ventricle (the normal pumping chamber to the body). Both the pulmonary artery (which carries oxygen-poor blood to the lungs) ...

  • Disease

    Down syndrome

    Down syndrome is a genetic condition in which a person has 47 instead of the usual 46.

  • Poison

    Doxepin overdose

    Doxepin is a type of medication called a tricyclic antidepressant. The drug is prescribed to treat depression and anxiety. Doxepin 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 ...

  • Poison

    Drain cleaner poisoning

    Drain cleaners contain very dangerous chemicals that can be harmful to your health if swallowed, breathed in (inhaled), or come in contact with your skin and eyes. This article discusses poisoning from swallowing or breathing in drain cleaner. This is for information only and not for use in the ...

  • Poison

    Drain opener poisoning

    Drain opening agents are chemicals used to open clogged drains, often in homes. Drain opening agent poisoning can occur if a child accidentally drinks these chemicals, or if someone splashes the poison into the eyes when pouring it or breathes in the fumes of “foaming” drain ...

  • Poison

    Drainpipe cleaners

    Drainpipe cleaners are chemicals used to clean drainpipes. Drainpipe cleaner poisoning occurs when someone swallows or breathes in (inhales) a drainpipe cleaner. 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 ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Drawing medicine out of a vial

    Administering injections; Giving a needle; Giving insulin

  • Symptoms

    Drooling

    Drooling, or excessive salivation, in infants and toddlers is normal and is highly unlikely to be associated with either disease or complications.

    Drooling is saliva flowing outside the mouth.

  • Symptoms

    Drowsiness

    Drowsiness refers to feeling abnormally sleepy during the day. People who are drowsy may fall asleep in inappropriate situations or at inappropriate times.

  • Special Topic

    Drug abuse

    Drug abuse is the use of illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for at least a year with negative consequences. See also:

  • Injury

    Drug abuse first aid

    is the misuse or overuse of any medication or drug, including alcohol. This article discusses first aid for drug and withdrawal.

  • Disease

    Drug allergies

    Anaphylaxis is an acute systemic (whole body) type of allergic reaction which occurs when a person has become sensitized to a certain substance or allergen and is again exposed to the allergen. Some drugs, such as those used for pain relief or for X-rays, may cause an anaphylactoid reaction on first exposure. Histamines and other substances released into the bloodstream cause blood vessels to dilate and tissues to swell. Anaphylaxis may be life-threatening if obstruction of the airway occurs, if blood pressure drops, or if heart arrhythmias occur.

    Drug allergies are a group of symptoms caused by an allergic reaction to a drug (medication).

  • Disease

    Drug dependence

    Depression is less reported in the male population, but this may be caused by male tendency to mask emotional disorders with behavior such as alcohol abuse.

    Drug dependence means that a person needs a drug to function normally. Abruptly stopping the drug leads to withdrawal symptoms. Drug addiction is the compulsive use of a substance, despite its negative or dangerous effects. A person may have a physical dependence on a substance without having an ...

  • Special Topic

    Drug signs and teenagers

    Blood shot eyes can be a sign of drug abuse.  The blood vessels on the surface of the eye dilate in response to the use of certain drugs, making the eyes appear red.

  • Disease

    Drug-induced diarrhea

    The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.

    Drug-induced diarrhea is loose, watery stools caused by certain medications. See also:

  • Disease

    Drug-induced hepatitis

    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.

    Drug-induced hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that may occur when you take certain medicines. Other types of hepatitis include:

  • Disease

    Drug-induced hypertension

    Drug-induced hypertension is high blood pressure caused by a response to using, or stopping the use of, a chemical substance, drug, or medication.

    Drug-induced hypertension is high blood pressure caused by using a chemical substance, drug, or medication. See also:

  • Disease

    Drug-induced hypoglycemia

    Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to increased glucose levels in the blood.

    Drug-induced is low blood sugar that results from medication.

  • Disease

    Drug-induced immune hemolytic anemia

    Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens.

    Drug-induced immune hemolytic anemia is a blood disorder that occurs when a medicine triggers the body’s defense (immune) system to attack its own red blood cells. This causes red blood cells to break down earlier than normal, a process called hemolysis. See also:

  • Disease

    Drug-induced lupus erythematosus

    Lupus, discoid - view of lesions on the chest: This close-up picture of the neck clearly shows the typical rounded appearance of discoid lupus. The whitish appearance is caused by scaling. The two dark spots are biopsy sites and are not part of the disease.

    Drug-induced lupus erythematosus is an that is brought on by a reaction to a medicine.

  • Disease

    Drug-induced pulmonary disease

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

    Drug-induced pulmonary disease is lung disease brought on by a bad reaction to a medication.

  • Disease

    Drug-induced tremor

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

    Drug-induced tremor is involuntary shaking due to the use of medication. Involuntary means you shake without trying to do so. The shaking occurs when you move or try to hold your arms, hands, or head in a certain position. It is not associated with other symptoms. See also:

  • Special Topic

    Drugs that may cause impotence

  • Poison

    Dry cell battery poisoning

    Dry cell batteries are a common type of power source. Tiny dry cell batteries are sometimes called button batteries. This article discusses the harmful effects from swallowing a dry cell battery (including button batteries) or breathing in large amounts of dust or smoke from burning batteries. This ...

  • Disease

    Dry eye syndrome

    The cornea is the clear layer covering the front of the eye. The cornea works with the lens of the eye to focus images on the retina.

    Tears are needed to lubricate the eyes and to wash away particles and foreign objects. A healthy tear film on the eye is necessary for good vision. Dry eyes develop when the eye is unable to maintain a healthy coating of tears

  • Symptoms

    Dry eyes

    The lacrimal gland lies within the orbit on the outer portion of the upper eye. The gland continually secretes tears which moisten, lubricate, and protect the surface of the eye. Excess tears drain into small ducts which empty into the nasal cavity.

    Dry eyes are caused by a lack of tears. Tears are necessary for the normal lubrication of your eyes and to wash away particles and foreign bodies.

  • Symptoms

    Dry hair

    The skin is the largest organ of the body.  The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection.  It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature.  The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells.  Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin.  The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to.  Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore.  Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Dry mouth

  • Symptoms

    Dry skin

    Lichen simplex chronicus on the ankle: Lichen simplex chronicus is also known as neurodermatitis. A minor itch may encourage scratching which increases the irritation, leading to more scratching. This ultimately results in a rough, scratched (excoriated), thickened skin surface which may develop increased pigmentation (hyperpigmentation) as seen here on the front part of the foot, just below the leg.

    Dry skin is most common in your lower legs, arms, sides of the abdomen (flanks), and thighs. The symptoms of dry skin include: Itching Cracks in the skin

  • Special Topic

    DTaP immunization (vaccine)

    Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease caused by the toxin-producing bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. It usually affects the respiratory tract (primarily the larynx, tonsils and throat). It may also affect the skin, and the toxin produced by this bacteria can damage the nerves and heart. The disease is now rare in many parts of the world because of widespread immunization.

    DTaP immunization is a combination vaccine that protects against three bacterial illnesses: , , and (whooping cough). See also:

  • Disease

    Dubin-Johnson syndrome

    The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.

    Dubin-Johnson syndrome is a disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which a person has mild jaundice throughout life.

  • Disease

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy

    There are several X-linked (or sex-linked) recessive genetic disorders, (hemophilia, muscular dystrophy) which are inherited through a genetic defect on an X chromosome. A female has 2 X chromosomes, one she inherited from her mother and one she got from her father. A male has an X chromosome from his mother and a Y chromosome from his father. Since male offspring receive their X chromosome from their mothers, the inheritance of a defect attached to that one copy of the X  will cause the disorder.

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that involves , which quickly gets worse.

  • Disease

    Duodenal atresia

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

    Duodenal atresia is a condition in which the first part of the small bowel (the ) has not developed properly. It is not open and cannot allow the passage of stomach contents.

  • Special Topic

    Duodenum

    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 duodenum is the first part of the small intestine. It is located between the stomach and the middle part of the small intestine, or jejunum. After foods mix with , they move into the duodenum, where they mix with from the gallbladder and digestive juices from the pancreas. Absorption of ...

  • Test

    Duplex ultrasound

    The duplex/doppler ultrasound test examines the blood flow in the major arteries and veins in the arms and legs.  The test uses duplex ultrasonagraphy to visualize the blood flow and doppler ultrasonagraphy provides an audio means to hear the blood flow.  This test is done as an alternative to arteriography and venography and may help diagnose abnormalities in an artery or vein.

    A duplex ultrasound is a test to see how blood moves through your arteries and veins. See also:

  • Disease

    Dupuytrens contracture

    Dupuytrens contracture is a painless thickening and tightening (contracture) of tissue beneath the skin on the palm of the hand and fingers.

  • Poison

    Dye remover poisoning

    Dye remover is a chemical used to remove dye stains. Dye remover poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance. 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 ...

  • Disease

    Dysarthria

    Dysarthria is when you have difficulty saying words because of problems with the muscles that help you talk.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Dysarthria - care

  • Disease

    Dyscrasias

    Dyscrasias is a nonspecific term that refers to any disease or disorder. However, it usually refers to blood diseases. Before modern medicine, it meant an imbalance of four body fluids: blood, bile, lymph, and phlegm.

  • Disease

    Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB)

    The uterus is a muscular organ with thick walls, two upper openings to the fallopian tubes and an inferior opening to the vagina.

    Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) is abnormal bleeding from the vagina that is due to changes in hormone levels.

  • Disease

    Dyshidrotic eczema

    The skin is the largest organ of the body.  The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection.  It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature.  The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells.  Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin.  The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to.  Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore.  Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

    Dyshidrotic eczema is a condition in which small blisters develop on the hands and feet. Blisters are often itchy.

  • Disease

    Dysthymia

    Dysthymia is a type of depression in which a person’s moods are regularly low. However, symptoms are not as severe as with major depression.