Health Library

Welcome to the Scripps health information library. It’s part of our commitment to partnering with you for lifelong wellness.

Here you can read articles on hundreds of health conditions and wellness topics, complete with medical illustrations and links to related symptoms, procedures and conditions.

Visit the library content using the tools below.

  • Test

    17-hydroxycorticosteroid urine test

    The 17-hydroxycorticosteroid (17-OHCS) test measures the level of 17-OHCS in the urine.

  • Test

    17-Ketosteroids urine test

    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.

    17-ketosteroids are substances that form when the body breaks down male steroid sex hormones called androgens and other hormones released by the adrenal glands in males and females, and by the testes in males.

  • Test

    17-OH progesterone

    17-OH progesterone is a blood test that measures the amount of 17-OH progesterone, a hormone produced by the and gonads.

  • Test

    24-hour urinary aldosterone excretion test

    The 24-hour urinary aldosterone excretion test measures the amount of aldosterone removed in the urine in a day. Aldosterone can also be measured with a .

  • Test

    24-hour urine copper test

    The copper urine test is performed by collecting urine at specific times for a 24-hour period.  The urine is tested for the amount of copper present.  The copper urine test is used to determine the presence of Wilson disease, a sometimes fatal condition in which the buildup of excess copper damages the liver, and eventually the kidneys, eyes and brain.

    The 24-hour urine copper test measures the amount of copper in a urine sample.

  • Test

    24-hour urine protein

    24-hour urine protein measures the amount of protein released in urine over a 24-hour period. See also:

  • Test

    25-hydroxy vitamin D 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 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is the most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body. In the kidney, 25-hydroxy vitamin D changes into an active form of the vitamin. The active form of vitamin D helps control calcium and phosphate levels in the body. This article discusses the blood ...

  • Test

    5'-nucleotidase

    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.

    5’-nucleotidase (5’-NT) is a protein produced by the liver. A test can be done to measure the amount of this protein in your blood.

  • Test

    5-HIAA

    5-HIAA is a urine test that measures the amount of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) — a breakdown product of a hormone called serotonin. This test tells how much 5-HIAA the body is producing.

  • Test

    A1c test

    A1c is a lab test that shows the average level of blood sugar (glucose) over the previous 3 months. It shows how well you are controlling your diabetes.

  • Disease

    Aarskog syndrome

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

    Aarskog syndrome is an inherited disease that affects a person’s height, muscles, skeleton, genitals, and appearance of the face. Inherited means that it is passed down through families.

  • Disease

    Aase syndrome

    Aase syndrome is a rare disorder that involves and certain joint and skeletal deformities.

  • Symptoms

    Abdomen - swollen

    A swollen abdomen is when your belly area is bigger than usual.

  • Disease

    Abdominal aortic aneurysm

    Abdominal aortic aneurysm involves a widening, stretching, or ballooning of the aorta. There are several causes of abdominal aortic aneurysm, but the most common results from atherosclerotic disease. As the aorta gets progressively larger over time there is increased chance of rupture.

    The aorta is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. An abdominal aortic occurs when an area of the aorta becomes very large or balloons out.

  • Surgery

    Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair - open

    Open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is surgery to fix a widened part in your aorta, called an aneurysm. The aorta is the large artery that carries blood to your belly (abdomen), pelvis, and legs. An is when part of this artery becomes too large or balloons outward.

  • Symptoms

    Abdominal bloating

    The test is done in the ultrasound or radiology department.  A conducting paste is applied to your abdomen while you are lying down.  The transducer (a hand-held instrument) is then moved over your abdomen.

    Abdominal bloating is a condition in which the belly (abdomen) feels full and tight. Your belly may look swollen (distended).

  • Test

    Abdominal CT scan

    CT stands for computerized tomography. In this procedure, a thin X-ray beam is rotated around the area of the body to be visualized. Using very complicated mathematical processes called algorithms, the computer is able to generate a 3-D image of a section through the body. CT scans are very detailed and provide excellent information for the physician.

    An abdominal is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the belly area. CT stands for computed tomography.

  • Surgery

    Abdominal exploration

    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.

    Abdominal exploration is surgery to look at the organs and structures in your belly area (abdomen). This includes your: Appendix Bladder Gallbladder Intestines Kidney and ureters Liver Pancreas Spleen Stomach Uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries (in women) Surgery that opens the abdomen is called ...

  • Special Topic

    Abdominal girth

    The measurement of the abdominal girth may be helpful in diagnosing abdominal distention, which commonly results from intestinal gas. Increased abdominal girth may also indicate disease of the intestines or liver.

    Abdominal girth is the measurement of the distance around the abdomen at a specific point, usually at the level of the belly button (navel). Measuring abdominal girth is used to diagnose and monitor the following: Buildup of fluid in the abdomen, most often caused by liver failure or heart ...

  • Symptoms

    Abdominal mass

    There are three body views (front, back and side) that may be helpful if you are uncertain of a body area. Many areas are referred to by both descriptive and technical names. For example, the back of the knee is called the popliteal fossa. However, areas like the "flank" may not have both names, so the location may be unclear.

    An abdominal mass is swelling in one part of the belly area (abdomen).

  • Test

    Abdominal MRI scan

    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.

    An abdominal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the inside of the belly area. It does not use radiation (x-rays). Single MRI images are called slices. The images can be stored on a computer or printed on film. One ...

  • Symptoms

    Abdominal pain

    The appendix is a small finger-shaped tube that branches off the first part of the large intestine. The appendix can become inflamed or infected causing pain in the lower right part of the abdomen.

    Abdominal pain is pain that you feel anywhere between your chest and groin. This is often referred to as the stomach region or belly.

  • Symptoms

    Abdominal pain - children under age 12

    Almost all children have abdominal pain at one time or another. Abdominal pain is pain in the stomach or belly area. It can be anywhere between the chest and groin. Most of the time, it is not caused by a serious medical problem. But sometimes abdominal pain can be a sign of something serious. ...

  • Symptoms

    Abdominal rigidity

    Abdominal rigidity is stiffness of the muscles in the belly area, which can be felt when touched or pressed.

  • Symptoms

    Abdominal sounds

    Abdominal sounds are the noises made by the intestines.

  • Test

    Abdominal tap

    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.

    An abdominal tap is a procedure used to remove fluid from the area between the belly wall and the spine. This space is called the abdominal cavity.

  • Test

    Abdominal ultrasound

    Abdominal ultrasound is a scanning technique used to image the interior of the abdomen. Like the X-ray, MRI, and CT scan, it has its place as a diagnostic tool. Ultrasound scans use high frequency sound waves to produce an image and do not expose the individual to radiation. The procedure is painless and safe.

    Abdominal is an type of imaging test. It is used to examine organs in the abdomen including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys. The blood vessels that lead to some of these organs can also be looked at with ultrasound.

  • Test

    Abdominal wall fat pad biopsy

    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.

    An abdominal wall fat pad biopsy is the removal of a small part of the abdominal wall fat pad. The procedure is done most often to test for .

  • Surgery

    Abdominal wall surgery

    Abdominal wall surgery is surgery that improves the appearance of flabby, stretched-out abdominal (belly) muscles and skin. It is often called a “tummy tuck.” It can range from a simple “mini-tummy tuck” to more complicated, extensive surgery. Abdominal wall surgery is not ...

  • Test

    Abdominal x-ray

    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.

    An abdominal x-ray is an imaging test to look at organs and structures in the belly area. Organs include the spleen, stomach, and intestines. When the test is done to look at the bladder and kidney structures, it is called a KUB (kidneys, ureters, bladder) x-ray.

  • Disease

    ABO incompatibility

    Newborn jaundice (producing yellow skin) can have many causes, but the majority of these infants have a condition called physiological jaundice, a natural occurrence in the newborn due to the immature liver.  This type of jaundice is short term, generally lasting only a few days.  Jaundice  should be evaluated by a physician until decreasing or normal levels of bilirubin are measured in the blood.

    A, B, and O are the three major blood types. The types are based on small substances (molecules) on the surface of the blood cells. When people who have one blood type receive blood from someone with a different blood type, it may cause their immune system to react. This is called ABO ...

  • Surgery

    Abortion - medical

    Medical abortion is the use of medicine to end a pregnancy. The medicine helps remove the fetus and placenta from the mother’s womb (uterus). There are different types of medical abortions. Therapeutic medical abortion is done because the woman has a health condition. Elective abortion is done ...

  • Surgery

    Abortion - surgical

    An abortion performed with dilation and curettage.

    Surgical abortion is a procedure that ends a pregnancy by removing the fetus and placenta from the mother’s womb (uterus). Surgical abortion is not the same as Miscarriage is when a pregnancy ends on its own before the 20th week.

  • Disease

    Abscess

    An abscess is a collection of pus in any part of the body that, in most cases, causes swelling and inflammation around it.

  • Test

    Abscess scan - radioactive

    Radioactive abscess scan looks abscesses in the body using a radioactive material. An occurs when pus collects due to an infection.

  • Disease

    Absence seizure

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

    An absence seizure is the term given to a staring spell. This type of seizure is a brief (usually less than 15 seconds) disturbance of brain function due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

  • Disease

    Absent pulmonary valve

    Tetralogy of Fallot is a birth defect of the heart consisting of four abnormalities that results in insufficiently oxygenated blood pumped to the body. At birth, infants may not show the signs of the cyanosis but later may develop episodes of bluish skin from crying or feeding called "Tet spells".

    Absent pulmonary valve is a rare defect in which the pulmonary valve, through which oxygen-poor blood flows from the heart to the lungs (where it picks up oxygen) is either missing or poorly formed. This condition is present at birth (congenital).

  • Disease

    Acanthosis nigricans

    This photograph demonstrates the hyperpigmented, brownish, velvety lesions of acanthosis nigricans. This skin condition may occur in skin folds such as the axilla (armpit - pictured here), neck, and other areas. In adults, it may be associated with hormonal problems, internal malignancy, obesity, and drugs.

    Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder in which there is darker, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases.

  • Test

    ACE 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 ACE test measures the level of angiotensin-converting (ACE) in the blood.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    ACE inhibitors

    Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors

  • Poison

    Acetaminophen and codeine overdose

    Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and codeine is a prescription pain medicine. It is a narcotic, which means it has the potential to relieve pain while making you feel sleepy. Acetaminophen and codeine occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this ...

  • Poison

    Acetaminophen overdose

    Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a pain medicine. Acetaminophen overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. Acetaminophen overdose is one of the most common poisonings worldwide. People often think that this medicine is ...

  • Poison

    Acetone poisoning

    Acetone is a chemical used in many household products. This article discusses poisoning from swallowing acetone-based products. Poisoning may also occur from breathing in fumes or absorption through the skin. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual ...

  • Test

    Acetylcholine receptor antibody

    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.

    Acetylcholine receptor antibody is a protein found in the blood of most people with . The affects a chemical that sends signals from nerves to muscles and between nerves in the brain. This article discusses the blood test for acetylcholine receptor antibody.

  • Disease

    Achalasia

    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.

    Achalasia is a disorder of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. This condition affects the ability of the esophagus to move food into the stomach.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Aches and pains during pregnancy

  • Disease

    Achilles tendinitis

    An inflamed or torn Achilles tendon causes intense pain and affects mobility.

    Achilles tendinitis is when the tendon that connects the back of your leg to your heel becomes swollen and painful near the bottom of the foot. This tendon is called the Achilles tendon. It is used for walking, running, and jumping.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Achilles tendon rupture - aftercare

    Heel cord tear; Calcaneal tendon rupture

  • Disease

    Achondrogenesis

    Achondrogenesis is a rare type of in which there is a defect in the development of bone and cartilage.

  • Disease

    Achondroplasia

    Achondroplasia is a disorder of bone growth that causes the most common type of dwarfism.

  • Test

    Acid loading test (pH)

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

    The acid loading test (pH) measures the ability of the kidneys to send acid to your urine when there is too much acid in your blood. See also:

  • Test

    Acid mucopolysaccharides

    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.

    Acid mucopolysaccharides is a test that measures the amount of released into the urine over a 24-hour period. Mucopolysaccharides are long chains of sugar molecules found throughout the body, often in mucus and in fluid around the joints.

  • Poison

    Acid soldering flux poisoning

    Acid soldering flux is a chemical used to clean and protect the area (joint) where two pieces of metal come together. Flux 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 ...

  • Test

    Acid-fast stain

    The acid-fast stain is a laboratory test that determines if a sample of tissue, blood, or other body substance is infected with the bacteria that causes tuberculosis and other illnesses.

  • Disease

    Acidosis

    The kidneys are located in the posterior abdomen and are responsible for filtering urine from the blood.

    Acidosis is a condition in which there is too much acid in the body fluids. It is the opposite of alkalosis (a condition in which there is too much base in the body fluids).

  • Surgery

    ACL reconstruction

    ACL reconstruction is surgery to rebuild the ligament in the center of your knee with a new ligament. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) keeps your shin bone (tibia) in place. A tear of this ligament can cause your knee to give way during physical activity.

  • Disease

    Acne

    Acne lesions frequently contain pus. This close-up photograph shows small acne pustules with surrounding inflammation (erythema).

    Acne is a skin condition that causes pimples or “zits.” This includes whiteheads, blackheads, and red, inflamed patches of skin (such as cysts).

  • Disease

    Acoustic neuroma

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

    An acoustic neuroma is a slow-growing tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. This nerve is called the vestibular cochlear nerve. It is behind the ear right under the brain. An acoustic neuroma is not cancerous (benign), which means it does not spread to other parts of the body. ...

  • Disease

    Acoustic trauma

    When sounds waves reach the ear, they are translated into nerve impulses.  These impulses then travel to the brain where they are interpreted by the brain as sound. The hearing mechanisms within the inner ear, can be easily damaged by excessively loud noise causing sensory hearing loss.

    Acoustic trauma is injury to the hearing mechanisms in the inner ear due to very loud noise.

  • Disease

    Acquired platelet function defect

    Blood clots (fibrin clots) are the clumps that result when blood coagulates.

    Acquired platelet function defects are diseases or conditions that cause the blood elements needed for blood clotting () to not work properly. The term “acquired” means these diseases or conditions are not present at birth.

  • Disease

    Acrodermatitis

    Gianotti-Crosti disease is also called acrodermatitis of childhood. These red, elevated lesions do not contain pus and can occur on the limbs, buttocks, face, and neck.

    Acrodermatitis is a childhood skin condition that may be accompanied by mild symptoms of and . It may also be associated with hepatitis B and other viral infections.

  • Disease

    Acrodysostosis

    
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.

    Acrodysostosis is an extremely rare disorder that is present at birth (congenital). It leads to problems with the bones of the hands, feet, and nose, and intellectual disability.

  • Disease

    Acromegaly

    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).

    Acromegaly is a condition in which there is too much growth hormone in the body.

  • Test

    ACTH (cosyntropin) stimulation test

    ACTH (cosyntropin) stimulation test measures how well the adrenal glands respond to the hormone . ACTH is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland that stimulates the to release cortisol.

  • Test

    ACTH blood test

    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).

    The ACTH test measures the level of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in the blood. ACTH is a hormone released from the pituitary gland in the brain.

  • Disease

    Actinic keratosis

    For people with actinic keratosis, cumulative skin damage is caused by repeated exposure to all ultraviolet light, including that found in sunshine. Over the years, the genetic material of cells becomes irreparably damaged and produces lesions. The lesions, like those seen here on the arm, may later become cancerous.

    Actinic keratosis is a small, rough, raised area found on areas of your skin that have often been exposed to the sun for a long period of time. Some actinic keratoses may develop into a type of skin cancer.

  • Disease

    Actinomycosis

    Actinomycosis (lumpy jaw) is caused by a bacteria introduced to face tissues by trauma, surgery or infection. Long term treatment with antibiotics is often required.

    Actinomycosis is a long-term (chronic) bacterial infection that commonly affects the face and neck.

  • Special Topic

    Acute

    Acute conditions are severe and sudden in onset. This could describe anything from a broken bone to an asthma attack. A chronic condition, by contrast is a long-developing syndrome, such as osteoporosis or asthma. Note that osteoporosis, a chronic condition, may cause a broken bone, an acute condition. An acute asthma attack occurs in the midst of the chronic disease of asthma. Acute conditions, such as a first asthma attack, may lead to a chronic syndrome if untreated.

    Acute means sudden or severe. Acute symptoms appear, change, or worsen rapidly. It is the opposite of .

  • Disease

    Acute adrenal crisis

    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).

    Acute adrenal crisis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when there is not enough cortisol. This is a hormone produced by the .

  • Disease

    Acute arterial occlusion - kidney

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

    Acute arterial occlusion of the kidney is a sudden, severe blockage of the artery that supplies blood to the kidney.

  • Disease

    Acute cerebellar ataxia

    Acute cerebellar ataxia is sudden, due to disease or injury to the cerebellum in the brain.

  • Disease

    Acute cholecystitis

    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.

    Acute cholecystitis is a sudden swelling and irritation of the gallbladder. It causes severe . See also:

  • Disease

    Acute cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection

    This so-called "Downy cell" is typical of lymphocytes infected by EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) or CMV (Cytomegalovirus) in infectious mononucleosis.  Downy cells may be classified as types I, II, or III. This is a type II Downy cell.

    Acute cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a condition caused by a member of the herpesvirus family.

  • Disease

    Acute kidney failure

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

    Acute kidney failure is the rapid loss your kidneys’ ability to remove waste and help balance fluids and in your body. In this case, rapid means less than 2 days.

  • Disease

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

    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.

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a fast-growing cancer of a type of white blood cells called lymphoblasts. These cells are usually found in the bone marrow. ALL occurs when the body produces a large number of immature lymphoblasts. The cancer cells grow quickly and replace normal cells in the ...

  • Disease

    Acute mountain sickness

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

    Acute mountain sickness is an illness that can affect mountain climbers, hikers, skiers, or travelers at high altitudes, usually above 8,000 feet (2,400 meters).

  • Disease

    Acute myeloid leukemia

    Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is cancer that starts inside bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. The cancer grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells. Acute means the disease develops quickly. For information on other types of leukemia, see:

  • Disease

    Acute nephritic syndrome

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

    Acute nephritic syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur with some disorders that cause , or swelling and inflammation of the glomeruli in the kidney.

  • Disease

    Acute pancreatitis

    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.

    Acute pancreatitis is sudden swelling and inflammation of the pancreas.

  • Disease

    Acute respiratory distress syndrome

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

    Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening lung condition that prevents enough oxygen from getting to the lungs and into the blood. .

  • Disease

    Acute tubular necrosis

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

    Acute tubular necrosis is a kidney disorder involving damage to the tubule cells of the kidneys, which can lead to .

  • Disease

    Addison disease

    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).

    Addison disease is a disorder that occurs when the do not produce enough hormones.

  • Surgery

    Adenoid removal

    Adenoid removal is surgery to take out the adenoid glands. The adenoid glands sit behind your nose above the roof of your mouth. Air passes over these glands when you take a breath. The adenoids are often taken out at the same time as the tonsils (). Adenoid removal is also called adenoidectomy. The ...

  • Disease

    Adenomyosis

    Adenomyosis is uterine thickening that occurs when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, moves into the outer muscular walls of the uterus.

  • Disease

    Adhesion

    Pelvic adhesions are bands of scarlike tissue that form between two surfaces inside the body. Inflammation from infection, surgery, or trauma can cause tissues to bond to other tissues or organs.

    Adhesions are bands of scar-like tissue that form between two surfaces inside the body and cause them to stick together.

  • Disease

    Adjustment disorder

    Adjustment disorder is a group of symptoms, such as stress, feeling sad or hopeless, and physical symptoms that can occur after you go through a stressful life event. The symptoms occur because you are having a hard time coping. Your reaction is stronger than expected for the type of event that ...

  • Special Topic

    Adolescent development

    Persistent depressed mood, faltering school performance, failing relations with family and friends, substance abuse and other negative behaviors are signs that a teenager may be depressed.

    The development of children ages 12 through 18 years old is expected to include predictable physical and mental milestones.

  • Disease

    Adolescent pregnancy

    The ultrasound has become a standard procedure used during pregnancy. It can demonstrate fetal growth and can detect increasing numbers of conditions in the fetus including meningomyelocele, congenital heart disease, kidney abnormalities, hydrocephalus, anencephaly, club feet, and other deformities. Ultrasound does not produce ionizing radiation and is considered a very safe procedure for both the mother and the fetus.

    Adolescent pregnancy is pregnancy in girls age 19 or younger.

  • Special Topic

    Adolescent test or procedure preparation

    Test performed to evaluate the ability to maintain control.

    Proper preparations for a test or procedure can reduce an adolescent’s anxiety, encourage cooperation, and help the adolescent develop coping skills.

  • Special Topic

    Adrenal glands

    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).

    Adrenal glands are triangle-shaped glands located on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the adrenal gland is called the cortex and produces steroid hormones such as , , and . The inner part of the adrenal gland is called the medulla and produces and , which are commonly called adrenaline and ...

  • Surgery

    Adrenalectomy

    Adrenalectomy is an operation in which one or both are removed. The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system and are located just above the kidneys.

  • Poison

    Adrenergic bronchodilator overdose

    Adrenergic bronchodilators are inhaled medicines that help open up the air passages. They are used to treat asthma and chronic bronchitis. Adrenergic bronchodilator occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for ...

  • Disease

    Adrenocortical carcinoma

    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).

    Adrenocortical carcinoma is a cancer of the .

  • Disease

    Adrenoleukodystrophy

    NALD is an inheritable disorder that affects the adrenal glands, the white matter of the brain and the testes. Some of the symptoms for this disorder include seizures, hyperactivity, crossed eyes, paralysis, hearing loss, and muscular weakness.

    Adrenoleukodystrophy describes several closely related inherited disorders that disrupt the breakdown () of certain fats (very long chain fatty acids).

  • Disease

    Adult Still's disease

    Adult Still’s disease is a rare illness that causes high fevers, rash, and joint pain. It may lead to long-term (chronic) arthritis. Still’s disease is a severe version of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), which occurs in children. Adults can have the same condition. The disease is ...

  • Special Topic

    Advance care directives

    Living will; Power of attorney; DNR – advance directive; Do not resuscitate – advance directive

  • Special Topic

    Aerobic

    Aerobic processed and organisms require oxygen.

    Aerobic means oxygen is needed to survive, grow, or work properly. For example, bacteria that need oxygen to grow are called aerobic bacteria. Aerobic is the opposite of .

  • Test

    Aerobic bacteria

    Aerobic bacteria are bacteria that can grow and live in the presence of oxygen.

  • Nutrition

    Aflatoxin

    Aflatoxins are produced by a mold that grows in nuts, seeds, and legumes.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    After a C-section - in the hospital

    Cesarean section – in the hospital

  • Special Topic

    After a fall in the hospital

  • Special Topic

    After an exposure to sharps or body fluids

  • Self-Care Instructions

    After vaginal delivery - in the hospital

    After vaginal birth

  • Poison

    Aftershave poisoning

    Aftershave is a lotion, gel, or liquid applied to the face after shaving. It is often used by men. This article discusses the harmful effects from swallowing aftershave products. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an ...

  • Disease

    Agammaglobulinemia

    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.

    Agammaglobulinemia is disorder passed down through families in which a person has very low levels of protective immune system proteins called immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins are a type of antibody. Low levels of these antibodies make you more likely to get infections.

  • Nutrition

    Age-appropriate diet for children

    A well-balanced diet is appropriate for a person of any age.  A healthy diet is especially important for children since a variety of food is needed for proper development.  Other elements of good health include exercise, rest and avoidance of stimulants such as sugar and caffeine.

    An age-appropriate diet is one that provides adequate nutrition, is appropriate for a child’s state of development, and can help prevent childhood obesity.

  • Disease

    Age-related hearing loss

    Ear anatomy

    Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is the slow loss of hearing that occurs as people get older.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in body shape

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in hair and nails

    Hair color is caused by a pigment (melanin) that is produced by the hair follicle. With aging, the follicle produces less melanin.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in hormone production

    Menopause is the transition in a woman's life when the ovaries stop releasing eggs, menstrual activity decreases and eventually ceases, and the body decreases the production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in immunity

    The immune system protects the body from potentially harmful substances. The inflammatory response (inflammation) is part of innate immunity. It occurs when tissues are injured by bacteria, trauma, toxins, heat, or any other cause.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in organs - tissue - cells

    There are 4 basic types of tissue: connective tissue, epithelial tissue, muscle tissue, and nervous tissue. Connective tissue supports other tissues and binds them together (bone, blood, and lymph tissues). Epithelial tissue provides a covering (skin, the linings of the various passages inside the body). Muscle tissue includes striated (also called voluntary) muscles that move the skeleton, and smooth muscle, such as the muscles that surround the stomach. Nerve tissue is made up of nerve cells (neurons) and is used to carry "messages" to and from various parts of the body.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in skin

    With aging, the outer skin layer (epidermis) thins even though the number of cell layers remains unchanged. The number of pigment-containing cells (melanocytes) decreases, but the remaining melanocytes increase in size. Aging skin thus appears thinner, more translucent. Age spots or liver spots may appear in sun-exposed areas. Changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin's strength and elasticity. This is known as elastosis and is especially pronounced in sun-exposed areas.

    Aging changes in the skin are a group of common conditions and developments that occur as people grow older.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in sleep

    Sleep patterns change with age, anxiety levels and many other factors. Normally, younger people have more concentrated periods of deep sleep compared to older people.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the bones - muscles - joints

    Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease of the joint cartilage and bone, often thought to result from "wear and tear" on a joint, although there are other causes such as congenital defects, trauma and metabolic disorders. Joints appear larger, are stiff and painful and usually feel worse the more they are used throughout the day.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the breast

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

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the face

    Facial skin tends to wrinkle with age.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the female reproductive system

    Menopause is the transition in a woman's life when the ovaries stop releasing eggs, menstrual activity decreases and eventually ceases, and the body decreases the production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the heart and blood vessels

    The carotid arteries take oxygenated blood from the heart to the brain. The pulse from the carotids may be felt on either side of the front of the neck just below the angle of the jaw. This rhythmic "beat" is caused by varying volumes of blood being pushed out of the heart toward the extremities.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the kidneys and bladder

    The kidney atrophies and is not as productive with age.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the lungs

    Lung tissue atrophies and is not as efficient with age.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the male reproductive system

    The main function of the male reproductive system is the production of viable sperm in sufficient quantities to increase the likelihood of fertilization of the female egg.

    Aging changes in the male reproductive system may include changes in testicular tissue, sperm production, and erectile function. These changes usually occur gradually.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the nervous system

    The nervous system controls the many complicated and interconnected functions of the body and mind. Motor, sensory cognitive and autonomic function are all coordinated and driven by the brain and nerves. As people age, nerve cells deteriorated in number and facility, causing some lessening in function.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in the senses

    The tongue is mainly composed of muscles. It is covered with a mucous membrane. Small nodules of tissue (papillae) cover the upper surface of the tongue. Between the papillae are the taste buds, which provide the sense of taste. In addition to taste, the tongue functions in moving food to aid chewing and swallowing, and it is important in speech.

  • Special Topic

    Aging changes in vital signs

    
Aerobic exercise gets the heart working to pump blood through the heart more quickly and with more force than normal. As blood is pumped faster, it must be oxygenated more quickly, which quickens respiration. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and boosts healthy cholesterol levels. Low impact aerobics include walking and swimming. Running, tennis and dance are high impact aerobics.

  • Special Topic

    Aging spots - should you be concerned

    Liver spots or age spots are a type of skin change that are associated with aging. The increased pigmentation may be brought on by exposure to sun, or other forms of ultraviolet light, or other unknown causes.

  • Symptoms

    Agitation

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

    Agitation is an unpleasant state of extreme arousal. An agitated person may feel stirred up, excited, tense, confused, or irritable.

  • Disease

    Agoraphobia

    Panic disorder is characterized by repeated and unpredictable attacks of intense fear and anxiety. Agoraphobia, literally "fear of the marketplace", develops from a panic disorder in more than one-third of cases.

    Agoraphobia is an intense fear and anxiety of being in places where it is hard to escape, or where help might not be available. Agoraphobia usually involves fear of crowds, bridges, or of being outside alone.

  • Disease

    Agranulocytosis

    Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.

    Agranulocytosis means a failure of the bone marrow to make enough white blood cells (neutrophils). Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells.

  • Disease

    Aicardi syndrome

    The corpus callosum is the structure deep in the brain that connects the right and left hemispheres of the cerebrum, coordinating the functions of the two halves.

    Aicardi syndrome is a rare disorder in which the structure that connects the two sides of the brain (called the corpus callosum) is partly or completely missing. Nearly all known cases of Aicardi syndrome occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family (sporadic).

  • Special Topic

    AIDS - resources

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

  • Disease

    Albinism

    Melanin is the natural substance that gives color (pigment) to hair, skin, and the iris.

    Albinism is a defect of production that results in little or no color (pigment) in the skin, hair, and eyes.

  • Test

    Albumin - blood (serum)

    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.

    Albumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood.

  • Special Topic

    Alcohol and pregnancy

    Pregnant women are strongly urged not to drink alcohol during pregnancy. Drinking alcohol while pregnant has been shown to cause harm to a baby as it develops in the womb. Alcohol used during pregnancy may also lead to long-term medical problems and birth defects.

  • Special Topic

    Alcohol use and safe drinking

    Alcohol use involves drinking beer, wine, or hard liquor.

  • Disease

    Alcohol withdrawal

    Alcohol withdrawal refers to symptoms that may occur when a person who has been drinking too much alcohol every day suddenly stops drinking alcohol.

  • Disease

    Alcoholic ketoacidosis

    Alcoholic ketoacidosis is the buildup of ketones in the blood. Ketones are a type of acid that form when the body breaks down fat for energy. The condition is an form of .

  • Disease

    Alcoholic liver disease

    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.

    Alcoholic liver disease is damage to the liver and its function due to .

  • Disease

    Alcoholic neuropathy

    Alcoholic neuropathy is a disorder involving decreased nerve function due to the damage caused by habitual alcohol abuse. The damage may affect the autonomic nerves (those that regulate internal body functions) and the nerves that control movement and sensation.

    Alcoholic neuropathy is damage to the nerves that results from excessive drinking of alcohol.

  • Special Topic

    Alcoholism - resources

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

  • Disease

    Alcoholism and alcohol abuse

    A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing a fatty liver (steatosis of the liver). Note the liver enlargement and dark color compared with the spleen (gray body in lower right).

    Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are two types of problem drinking. Alcoholism is when your drinking causes serious problems in your life, yet you keep drinking. You also may have a physical dependence on alcohol. This means that you need more and more alcohol to feel drunk. Stopping suddenly may cause ...

  • Test

    Aldolase 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.

    Aldolase is a protein (called an enzyme) that helps break down certain sugars to produce energy. It is found in high amount in muscle tissue. A test can be done to measure the amount of aldolase in your blood.

  • Test

    Aldosterone blood test

    The aldosterone blood test measures the level of the hormone aldosterone in blood. Aldosterone can also be measured using a .

  • Symptoms

    Alertness - decreased

    Decreased alertness is a state of reduced awareness. A coma is a state of decreased alertness from which a patient cannot be awakened. A long-term coma is called a vegetative state. See also:

  • Disease

    Alkalosis

    The kidneys are located in the posterior abdomen and are responsible for filtering urine from the blood.

    Alkalosis is a condition in which the body fluids have excess base (alkali). This is the opposite of excess acid ().

  • Disease

    Alkaptonuria

    Alkaptonuria is a rare condition in which a person’s urine turns a dark brownish-black color when exposed to air. See also:

  • Special Topic

    Allergen

    Allergic reaction is a sensitivity to a specific substance, called an allergen, that is contacted through the skin, inhaled into the lungs, swallowed or injected. The body's reaction to an allergen can be mild, such as a localized rash, or life-threatening, such as anaphylactic shock.

    An allergen is a substance that can cause an . In some people, the immune system thinks allergens are foreign or dangerous. This is what leads to allergy symptoms.

  • Disease

    Allergic conjunctivitis

    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.

    Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the clear layer of tissue lining the eyelids and covering the white of the eye (conjunctiva) become swollen or inflamed due to a reaction to pollen, dander, mold, or other allergy-causing substances.

  • Injury

    Allergic reactions

    Dermatographism is a condition where lightly scratching the skin raises wheals or welts. Histamine is released, which causes the small blood vessels (capillaries) to dilate, producing redness and localized swelling.

    Allergic reactions are sensitivities to substances called that come into contact with the skin, nose, eyes, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract. They can be breathed into the lungs, swallowed, or injected.

  • Disease

    Allergic rhinitis

    Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is a collection of symptoms, predominantly in the nose and eyes, to allergens such as dust, dander and pollen. The sensitized immune system produces antibodies to these allergens, which cause chemicals called histamines to be released into the bloodstream, causing itching, swelling of affected tissues, mucus production, hives, rashes, and other symptoms. Symptoms vary in severity from person to person.

    Allergic rhinitis is a group of symptoms affecting the nose. These symptoms occur when you breathe in something you are allergic to, such as dust, animal dander, or pollen. Symptoms can also occur when you eat a food that you are allergic to. This article focuses on allergic rhinitis due to plant ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Allergic rhinitis - self-care

    Hay fever – self-care; Seasonal rhinitis – self-care

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Allergic rhinitis - what to ask your doctor - adult

    Allergies to pollen, dust mites, and animal dander in the nose and nasal passages are also called allergic rhinitis. Hay fever is another word often used for this problem. Symptoms are usually a watery, runny nose and itching in your nose. Allergies can also bother your eyes. Below are some ...

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Allergic rhinitis - what to ask your doctor - child

    Allergies to pollen, dust mites, and animal dander are also called allergic rhinitis. Hay fever is another word often used for this problem. Symptoms are usually a watery, runny nose and itching in your eyes and nose. Below are some questions you may want to ask your child’s doctor or nurse to help ...

  • Disease

    Allergic vasculitis

    These spots of blood under the skin (purpura) are caused by vasculitis. They do not turn white with pressure (non-blanchable). In this particular case, the purpura are associated with an underlying disorder affecting the structure of the blood vessel walls (collagen-vascular disorder).

    Allergic vasculitis is an extreme reaction to a drug, infection, or foreign substance. It leads to inflammation and damage to blood vessels of the skin.

  • Disease

    Allergies

    Hives (urticaria) are raised, red, itchy welts, seen here on the arm.  The majority of urticaria develop as a result of allergic reactions.  Occasionally, they may be associated with autoimmune diseases, infections (parasitosis), drugs,  malignancy, or other causes.

    An allergy is an or reaction to substances that are usually not harmful.What causes seasonal allergies?The correct answer is an immune system reaction. Your immune system normally protects your body against harmful bacteria and viruses. If you have seasonal allergies, this system reacts strongly to ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Allergies, asthma, and dust

    Allergic rhinitis – dust

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Allergies, asthma, and molds

    Allergic rhinitis – mold

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Allergies, asthma, and pollen

    Allergic rhinitis – pollen

  • Test

    Allergy testing - skin

    Intradermal allergy testing is another method of skin testing to help determine whether an individual is allergic to a specific allergen. The test involves injection of a small amount of the suspected allergen under the surface of the skin. After about 20 minutes the area is examined for a reaction at the site. A typical reaction looks like a small hive with swelling and redness. The intradermal test is more sensitive than the skin prick test and can usually provide more consistent results.

    Allergy skin tests are tests used to find out which substances cause a person to have an allergic reaction.

  • Poison

    Aloe

    Aloe is an extract from the aloe plant that is used in many skincare products. Aloe poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance. However, aloe is relatively nonpoisonous. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have ...

  • Disease

    Alopecia areata

    Pus-filled lesions (pustules) are unusual in alopecia areata, but can occur, as in this picture. The pustules are infected where medication was injected into the area.

    Alopecia areata is a condition that causes round patches of hair loss. It can lead to total hair loss.

  • Test

    ALP - blood test

    Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a protein found in all body tissues. Tissues with higher amounts of ALP include the liver, ducts, and bone. A blood test can be done to measure the level of ALP. A related test is the .

  • Test

    ALP isoenzyme 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.

    Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme found in all body tissues. There are many different forms of ALP called isoenzymes. The structure of the enzyme depends on where in the body it is produced. This test is most often used to test ALP made in the tissues of the liver and bones. The ALP isoenzyme ...

  • Test

    Alpha fetoprotein

    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.

    Alpha fetoprotein (AFP) is a protein normally produced by the liver and yolk sac of a developing baby during pregnancy. AFP levels decrease soon after birth. AFP probably has no normal function in adults. A test can be done to measure the amount of AFP in your blood. See also:

  • Disease

    Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

    The liver serves a wide variety of body functions, including detoxifying blood and producing bile that aids in digestion.

    Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is a condition in which the body does not make enough of a protein that protects the lungs and liver from damage. The condition can lead to emphysema and .

  • Test

    Alpha-1 antitrypsin test

    Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a laboratory test to measure the amount of alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) in your blood.

  • Disease

    Alport syndrome

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

    Alport syndrome is an inherited disorder that damages the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys.

  • Special Topic

    ALS - resources

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

  • Disease

    Alström syndrome

    Alström syndrome is a very rare disease passed down through families (inherited) that can lead to , , , and .

  • Test

    ALT

    Alanine transaminase (ALT) is an found in the highest amounts in the liver. Injury to the liver results in release of the substance into the blood. This article discusses the test to measure the amount of ALT in the blood.

  • Special Topic

    Alternative medicine - pain relief

    Acupuncture, hypnosis and biofeedback are all alternative ways to control pain. Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny sterile needles, slightly thicker than a human hair, at specific points on the body.

  • Disease

    Alveolar abnormalities

    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.

    Alveolar abnormalities are changes in the tiny air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli. The alveoli allow oxygen to enter the blood. They are very thin to let oxygen move from the lungs to the blood vessels, and for carbon dioxide to be removed from the blood vessels to the lungs. These air sacs may ...

  • Disease

    Alzheimer's disease

    is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is one form of dementia that gradually gets worse over time. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior.

  • Special Topic

    Alzheimer’s - resources

    Aged nervous tissue is less able to rapidly communicate with other neural tissues.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Am I in labor?

    False labor; Braxton Hicks contractions

  • Disease

    Amaurosis fugax

    The retina is the internal layer of the eye that receives and transmits focused images. The retina is normally red due to its rich blood supply.

    Amaurosis fugax is loss of vision in one eye due to a temporary lack of blood flow to the . It may be a sign of an impending stroke. See:

  • Symptoms

    Ambiguous genitalia

    Ambiguous genitalia is a birth defect where the outer genitals do not have the typical appearance of either a boy or a girl. See also:

  • Disease

    Amblyopia

    Visual acuity tests may be performed in many different ways. It is a quick way to detect vision problems and is frequently used in schools or for mass screening. Driver license bureaus often use a small device that can test the eyes both together and individually.

    Amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” is the loss of one eye’s ability to see details. It is the most common cause of vision problems in children.

  • Disease

    Amebiasis

    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.)

    Amebiasis is an infection of the intestines caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

  • Disease

    Amebic Liver Abscess

    Organisms that carry disease can travel through the blood stream into the liver and form an abscess, a collection of infected tissue and pus.

    Amebic liver abscess is a collection of pus in the liver in response to an intestinal parasite.

  • Disease

    Amelogenesis imperfecta

    The appearance of normal teeth varies, especially the molars. Abnormally shaped teeth can result from many different conditions. Specific diseases can have a profound effect on tooth shape, tooth color, time of appearance, or absence of teeth.

    Amelogenesis imperfecta is a tooth development disorder in which the teeth are covered with thin, abnormally formed enamel.

  • Disease

    Amenorrhea - primary

    Primary amenorrhea is the absence of the menstrual period by the age of 16. Treatment of amenorrhea may range from hormonal supplementation for developmental abnormalities of the reproductive system to surgery for tumors of the pituitary.

    Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation. Menstruation is a woman’s monthly period. Primary amenorrhea is when a girl has not yet started her monthly periods, and she: Has gone through other normal changes that occur during puberty Is older than 15

  • Special Topic

    Amino acids

    Amino acids are either "essential", which must be supplied by food, or "nonessential", which are made in the body.

  • Test

    Aminoaciduria

    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.

    Aminoaciduria is an abnormal amount of in the urine. Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins in the body. This article discusses the test used to look for increased amounts of amino acids in the urine. See also:

  • Poison

    Aminophylline overdose

    Aminophylline or theophylline are medicines used to prevent and treat wheezing and other breathing difficulties caused lung diseases such as asthma. Aminophylline or theophylline occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of these ...

  • Poison

    Amitriptyline and perphenazine overdose

    Amitriptyline and perphenazine is a combination drug that is sometimes prescribed for patients with depression, agitation, or anxiety. Amitriptyline and perphenazine occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for ...

  • Poison

    Amitriptyline hydrochloride overdose

    Amitriptyline hydrochloride is a type of prescription medicine called a tricyclic antidepressant. Amitriptyline 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 ...

  • Test

    Ammonia - 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.

    The ammonia test measures the amount of ammonia in a blood sample.

  • Poison

    Ammonia poisoning

    Ammonia is a strong, colorless gas. If the gas is dissolved in water, it is called liquid ammonia. Poisoning may occur if you breathe in ammonia. Poisoning may also occur if you swallow or touch products that contain very large amounts of ammonia. WARNING: Never mix ammonia with bleach. This causes ...

  • Poison

    Ammonium hydroxide poisoning

    Ammonium hydroxide is a colorless liquid chemical solution that forms when ammonia dissolves in water. This article discusses poisoning due to ammonium hydroxide. 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 ...

  • Test

    Amniocentesis

    Amniocentesis is used to determine the health of an unborn baby.  Amniotic fluid contains cells that are normally shed from the fetus.  Samples of these cells are obtained by withdrawing some amniotic fluid.  The chromosome analysis of these cells can be performed to determine abnormalities.  In addition, the cells may be cultured and analyzed for enzymes, or for other materials that may indicate genetically transmitted diseases.  Other studies can be done directly on the amniotic fluid including measurement of alpha-fetoprotein.

    Amniocentesis is a test that can be done during pregnancy to look for birth defects and genetic problems in the developing baby.

  • Disease

    Amniotic constriction bands

    Amniotic constriction bands are strands of the fluid-filled sac (amniotic sac) that surrounds a baby in the womb. They may cause a congenital (present from birth) deformity of the face, arms, legs, fingers, or toes.

  • Special Topic

    Amniotic fluid

    Amniocentesis is used to determine the health of an unborn baby.  Amniotic fluid contains cells that are normally shed from the fetus.  Samples of these cells are obtained by withdrawing some amniotic fluid.  The chromosome analysis of these cells can be performed to determine abnormalities.  In addition, the cells may be cultured and analyzed for enzymes, or for other materials that may indicate genetically transmitted diseases.  Other studies can be done directly on the amniotic fluid including measurement of alpha-fetoprotein.

    Amniotic fluid is a clear, slightly yellowish liquid that surrounds the unborn baby (fetus) during pregnancy. It is contained in the amniotic sac.

  • Injury

    Amputation - traumatic

    In case of a complete amputation, the body part can be reattached. The body part should be wrapped in a clean, damp cloth, placed in a sealed plastic bag, and the bag immersed in cold water (ice water if available). Cooling the severed body part will keep it alive for much longer than if it is at room temperature or warmer.

    Traumatic amputation is the loss of a body part — usually a finger, toe, arm, or leg — that occurs as the result of an accident or injury.

  • Test

    Amylase - blood

    Amylase is an that helps digest carbohydrates. It is produced in the pancreas and the glands that make saliva. When the pancreas is diseased or inflamed, amylase releases into the blood. A test can be done to measure the level of this enzyme in your blood. Amylase may also be measured with a urine ...

  • Test

    Amylase - urine

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

    This is a test that measures the amount of amylase in urine. Amylase is an that helps digest carbohydrates. It is produced mainly in the pancreas and the glands that make saliva. Amylase may also be .

  • Disease

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

  • Special Topic

    Anaerobic

    Some fungi are able to survive, grow, and function in environments without oxygen.

    Anaerobic means “without oxygen.” The term has many uses in medicine. Anaerobic bacteria are able to survive and grow in environments that have no oxygen. This leads them to cause specific types of illness such as tetanus or gangrene. Anaerobic exercise, such as weight lifting, uses ...

  • Test

    Anaerobic bacteria

    Bacteria

    Anaerobic bacteria are bacteria that do not live or grow in the presence of oxygen. In humans, these bacteria are most commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. They play a role in conditions such as , , and .

  • Disease

    Anal fissure

    The rectum is the final portion of the large intestine. It empties stool from the body through the anus.

    An anal fissure is a small split or tear in the thin moist tissue () lining the lower rectum (anus).

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Anal itching - self-care

    Pruritus ani – self-care

  • Disease

    Analgesic nephropathy

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

    Analgesic nephropathy involves damage to one or both kidneys caused by overexposure to mixtures of medications, especially over-the-counter pain remedies (analgesics).

  • Disease

    Anaphylaxis

    Shock is a severe condition that occurs when not enough blood flows through the body, causing very low blood pressure, a lack of urine, and cell and tissue damage.

    Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening type of .

  • Disease

    Anaplastic thyroid cancer

    This CT scan of the upper chest (thorax) shows a malignant thyroid tumor (cancer). The dark area around the trachea (marked by the white U-shaped tip of the respiratory tube) is an area where normal tissue has been eroded and died (necrosis) as a result of tumor growth.

    Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer of the thyroid gland.

  • Special Topic

    Anastomosis

    The stomach connects the esophagus to the small intestine, and functions to break up food into small particles that can be absorbed by the small intestine. In cases of chronic stomach problems (such as ulcers), obesity or cancer, partial or total removal of the stomach may be indicated. In the procedure, the diseased portion of the stomach is removed and the small intestine is attached to the remainder of the stomach to maintain the integrity of the digestive tract. The patient will be on nasograstric tube suction to keep the stomach empty and at rest after surgery. After several days, and when the stomach starts to function normally again, the tube will be removed and the patient will begin ingesting clear liquids and gradually progress to a full and normal diet.

    An anastomosis is a surgical connection between two structures. It usually means a connection that is created between tubular structures, such as blood vessels or loops of intestine. For example, when part of an intestine is surgically removed, the two remaining ends are sewn or stapled together ...

  • Disease

    Androgen insensitivity syndrome

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

    Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) is when a person who is genetically male (who has one X and one Y chromosome) is resistant to male hormones (called androgens). As a result, the person has some or all of the physical traits of a woman, but the genetic makeup of a man.

  • Disease

    Anemia

    Hemoglobin is the most important component of red blood cells. It is composed of a protein called heme, which binds oxygen. In the lungs, oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide. Abnormalities of an individual's hemoglobin value can indicate defects in the normal balance between red blood cell production and destruction. Both low and high values can indicate disease states.

    Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. Other types of anemia include: Megaloblastic anemia

  • Disease

    Anemia - B12 deficiency

    This picture shows large, dense, oversized, red blood cells (RBCs) that are seen in megaloblastic anemia. Megaloblastic anemia can occur when there is a deficiency of vitamin B-12.

    Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. There are many types of anemia. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is a low red blood cell count due to a lack of .

  • Disease

    Anemia caused by low iron - children

    Hemoglobin is the most important component of red blood cells. It is composed of a protein called heme, which binds oxygen. In the lungs, oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide. Abnormalities of an individual's hemoglobin value can indicate defects in the normal balance between red blood cell production and destruction. Both low and high values can indicate disease states.

    Anemia is a problem in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells bring oxygen to body tissues. Iron helps make red blood cells, so a lack of iron in the body may lead to anemia. The medical name of this problem is iron deficiency anemia.

  • Disease

    Anemia caused by low iron - infants and toddlers

    Anemia is a problem in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells bring oxygen to body tissues. Iron helps make red blood cells, so a lack of iron in the body may lead to anemia. The medical name of this problem is iron deficiency anemia.

  • Disease

    Anemia of chronic disease

    Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.

    is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. There are many types of anemia. Anemia of chronic disease is anemia that is found in people with certain long-term (chronic) medical conditions.

  • Disease

    Anencephaly

    This is a normal fetal ultrasound performed at 17 weeks gestation.  The development of the brain and nervous system begins early in fetal development.  During an ultrasound, the technician usually looks for the presence of brain ventricles.  Ventricles are spaces in the brain that are filled with fluid.  In this early ultrasound, the ventricles can be seen as light lines extending through the skull, seen in the upper right side of the image.  The cross hair is pointing to the front of the skull, and directly to the right, the lines of the ventricles are visible.

    Anencephaly is the absence of a large part of the brain and the skull.

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - adult

    You are scheduled to have a surgery or procedure. You will need to talk with your doctor about the type of anesthesia that will be best for you. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor.

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - child

    Your child is scheduled to have a surgery or procedure. You will need to talk with your child’s doctor about the type of anesthesia that will be best for your child. Below are some questions you may want to ask.

  • Disease

    Aneurysm

    An aneurysm is a sac-like protrusion of an artery caused by a weakened area within the vessel wall. If a cerebral (brain) aneurysm ruptures, the escaping blood within the brain may cause severe neurologic complications or death. A person who has a ruptured cerebral aneurysm may complain of the sudden onset of "the worst headache of my life."

    An aneurysm is an abnormal widening or ballooning of a portion of an artery due to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel. See also:

  • Disease

    Aneurysm in the brain

    An aneurysm is a sac-like protrusion of an artery caused by a weakened area within the vessel wall. If a cerebral (brain) aneurysm ruptures, the escaping blood within the brain may cause severe neurologic complications or death. A person who has a ruptured cerebral aneurysm may complain of the sudden onset of "the worst headache of my life."

    An aneurysm is a weak area in the wall of a blood vessel that causes the blood vessel to bulge or balloon out. When an aneurysm occurs in a blood vessel of the brain, it is called a cerebral aneurysm.

  • Disease

    Angelman syndrome

    Angelman syndrome (AS) is a genetic condition that causes problems with the way a child’s body and brain develop. The syndrome is present from birth (congenital). However, it often isn’t diagnosed until about 6 to 12 months of age. This is usually when development problems are first ...

  • Disease

    Angina

    Angina is a specific type of pain in the chest caused by inadequate blood flow through the blood vessels (coronary vessels) of the heart muscle (myocardium).

    Angina is a type of chest discomfort due to poor blood flow through the blood vessels (coronary vessels) of the heart muscle (myocardium). Related topics:

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Angina - what to ask your doctor

    Angina is pain or pressure in the chest that happens when your heart muscle is not getting enough blood and oxygen. You sometimes feel it in your neck or jaw. Sometimes you may notice only that your breath is short. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Angina - when you have chest pain

  • Disease

    Angiodysplasia of the colon

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

    Angiodysplasia of the colon is swollen, fragile blood vessels in the colon that occasionally result in blood loss from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

  • Disease

    Angioedema

    Angioedema is a swelling that is similar to hives, but the swelling is under the skin instead of on the surface. Hives are often called welts. They are a surface swelling. It is possible to have angioedema without hives.

  • Surgery

    Angioplasty and stent placement - carotid artery

    You have an artery on each side of your neck called the carotid artery. This artery brings needed blood to your brain and face. The blood flow in this artery can become partly or totally blocked by fatty material called plaque. A partial blockage is called carotid artery stenosis (narrowing). A ...

  • Surgery

    Angioplasty and stent placement - heart

    Coronary artery stent

    Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. These blood vessels are called the coronary arteries. A coronary artery stent is a small, metal mesh tube that expands inside a coronary artery. A is often placed during or immediately after ...

  • Surgery

    Angioplasty and stent placement - peripheral arteries

    Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to your legs. Fatty deposits can build up inside the arteries and block blood flow. A is a small, metal mesh tube that keeps the artery open. Angioplasty and stent placement are two ways to open

  • Injury

    Animal bites

    Animal bites are injuries that result when flesh is torn between the teeth of an animal. First aid for a bite includes washing minor wounds, applying pressure and dressing with a clean cloth until bleeding subsides. If the animal is wild or domestic but not vaccinated there may be a concern about rabies. When possible the animal must be quarantined or autopsied to determine if it is rabid. A physician will make the decision about rabies prophylaxis.

    An animal bite can result in a break or tear in the skin, a bruise, or a puncture wound.

  • Symptoms

    Anisocoria

    The pupils of an individual are usually very symmetrical in appearance. In certain instances the pupils may vary in size. Occasionally, differing pupil size is inherited and there is no underlying disorder. Varying pupil size may also be due to infection, tumors, disease or trauma.

    Anisocoria is unequal pupil size. The pupil is the black part in the center of the eye. It gets larger in dim light and smaller in bright light.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Ankle fracture - aftercare

  • Symptoms

    Ankle pain

    Mild to severe swelling and bruising can accompany a sprain to the ankle. Bruising usually indicates tearing of ligament tissue and a more severe sprain.

    Ankle pain involves any discomfort in one or both ankles.

  • Surgery

    Ankle replacement

    Ankle anatomy

    Ankle replacement is surgery to replace the damaged bone and cartilage in the ankle joint. Artificial joint parts (prosthetics) are used to replace your own bones. There are different types of ankle replacement surgeries.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Ankle sprain - aftercare

    Lateral ankle sprain – aftercare; Medial ankle sprain – aftercare; Medial ankle injury – aftercare; Ankle syndesmosis sprain aftercare; Syndesmosis injury – aftercare; ATFL injury – aftercare; CFL injury aftercare

  • Disease

    Ankylosing spondylitis

    Cervical spondylosis is a disorder that results from abnormal growth of the bones of the neck and degeneration and mineral deposits in the cushions between the vertebrae. Progressive neck pain is a key indication of cervical spondylosis. It may be the only symptom in many cases. Examination often shows limited ability to bend the head toward the shoulders and limited ability to rotate the head.  The goal of treatment is relief of pain and prevention of permanent spinal cord and nerve root injury.

    Ankylosing spondylitis is a long-term type of arthritis. It most commonly affects the bones and joints at the base of the spine where it connects with the pelvis. These joints become swollen and inflamed. Over time, the affected spinal bones join together.

  • Disease

    Annular pancreas

    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.

    An annular pancreas is a ring of pancreatic tissue that encircles the (the first part of the small intestine). The normal position of the pancreas is next to, but not surrounding the duodenum.

  • Disease

    Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery

    Anomalous left coronary artery

    Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) is a heart defect in which the left coronary artery (which carries blood to the heart muscle) is connected to the pulmonary artery instead of to the aorta. ALCAPA is present at birth (congenital).

  • Disease

    Anorchia

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

    Anorchia is the absence of both at birth.

  • Disease

    Anorectal abscess

    The rectum is the final portion of the large intestine. It empties stool from the body through the anus.

    An anorectal abscess is a collection of pus in the area of the anus and rectum.

  • Disease

    Anorexia nervosa

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's newest food guide, called MyPlate, encourages consumers to make healthier food choices. The guide encourages you to eat less and avoid oversized portions. Half your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. At least half of your grains should be whole grains. You also should switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.

    Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes people lose more weight than is considered healthy for their age and height. Persons with this disorder may have an intense fear of weight gain, even when they are underweight. They may diet or exercise too much or use other ways to lose weight.

  • Test

    Anoscopy

    Rectal biopsy can be used to determine the cause of blood, mucus, or pus in the stool. Rectal biopsy can also confirm findings of another test or x-rays, or take a biopsy of a growth found in the colon.

    Anoscopy is a method to look at the anus, anal canal, and lower rectum.

  • Special Topic

    Anterior

    There are three body views (front, back and side) that may be helpful if you are uncertain of a body area. Many areas are referred to by both descriptive and technical names. For example, the back of the knee is called the popliteal fossa. However, areas like the "flank" may not have both names, so the location may be unclear.

    Anterior means “in front of” or “the front surface of.” It usually refers to the front side of the body. For example, your knee caps are on the anterior part of your body.

  • Injury

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury

    Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is very common and usually the result of a twisting of the leg while applying full downward pressure.

    An anterior cruciate ligament injury is the over-stretching or tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. A tear may be partial or complete.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury - aftercare

    Cruciate ligament injury – aftercare; ACL injury – aftercare

  • Disease

    Anterior knee pain

    Chondromalacia of the patella is the grating or grinding sensation during extension of the knee.  The cause is thought to be related to overuse, trauma and/or abnormal forces on the knee, such as a mildly abnormal alignment of the patella (knee cap) and femur.  Symptoms include knee tenderness, pain in the knee after sitting for a prolonged period of time, knee pain that is worse with stairs or getting out of a chair, and a grating sensation in the knee.

    Anterior knee pain is pain that occurs at the front and center of the knee. It refers to many different problems, including: Chondromalacia of the patella — the softening and breakdown of the tissue (cartilage) on the underside of the kneecap (patella) Runner’s knee (sometimes called ...

  • Surgery

    Anterior vaginal wall repair

    A cystocele is an downward outpocketing or hernia of the bladder towards the vaginal opening. The weakening of the muscular wall in this condition can cause urine to leak from the bladder when there is an increase in internal abdominal pressure such as in sneezing or coughing. Surgery such as an anterior vaginal wall repair may help this condition.

    Anterior vaginal wall repair is surgery that tightens the front () wall of the vagina.

  • Disease

    Anthrax

    Anthrax is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. While anthrax commonly affects hoofed animals such as sheep and goats, humans may get sick from anthrax, too. The most common type of anthrax infection is cutaneous anthrax, an infection of the skin.

    Anthrax is an infectious disease due to a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis. Infection in humans most often involves the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or lungs.

  • Test

    Anthrax - 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 anthrax blood test looks for against B. anthracis, the bacteria that cause .

  • Test

    Anti-DNase B

    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.

    Anti-DNase B is a blood test to look for antibodies to a substance produced by Group A Streptococcus, the bacteria that cause strep throat. See also:

  • Test

    Anti-glomerular basement membrane

    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 glomerular basement membrane is the part of the kidney that helps filter waste and extra fluid from the blood. Anti-glomerular basement membrane antibodies are against this membrane. They can lead to kidney damage. This article describes the blood test to detect these antibodies.

  • Test

    Anti-insulin antibody 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 anti-insulin antibody test checks to see if your body has produced antibodies against insulin.

  • Surgery

    Anti-reflux surgery

    Anti-reflux surgery is a treatment for acid reflux or , a problem in which food or stomach acid come back up from your stomach into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube from your mouth to the stomach. Reflux often occurs if the muscles where the esophagus meets the stomach do not close tightly ...

  • Surgery

    Anti-reflux surgery - children

    Anti-reflux surgery is surgery to tighten the muscles at the bottom of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach). Problems with these muscles can lead to (GERD). This surgery can also be done during a repair. This article discusses anti-reflux surgery repair in ...

  • Poison

    Anti-rust product poisoning

    Anti-rust product poisoning occurs when someone breathes in or swallows anti-rust products. These products may be accidentally breathed in (inhaled) if they are used in a small, poorly ventilated area, such as a garage. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of ...

  • Test

    Anti-smooth muscle antibody

    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.

    Anti-smooth muscle antibody is a blood test that detects the presence of against smooth muscle.

  • Special Topic

    Antibody

    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.

    An antibody is a protein produced by the body’s immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses) and chemicals. Antibodies may be produced when the immune system mistakenly considers ...

  • Test

    Antibody titer

    The antibody level in the blood is a reflection of the body's past experience or exposure to an antigen, or something that the body does not recognize as self. Every living cell has different protein markers on its surface called antigens, and the body's immune system identifies those cells that are not part of its structure by those surface proteins.

    Antibody titer is a laboratory test that measures the level of in a blood sample. The antibody level in the blood tells your doctor whether or not you have been exposed to an or something that the body thinks is foreign. The body uses antibodies to attack and remove foreign substances.

  • Poison

    Anticoagulant rodenticides poisoning

    Anticoagulant rodenticides are poisons used to kill rats. Rodenticide means rodent killer. An anticoagulant is a blood thinner. Anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning occurs when someone swallows a product containing these chemicals. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or ...

  • Poison

    Antidiarrheal drug overdose

    Antidiarrheal drugs are medications used to treat loose, watery, and frequent stools. This article discusses of antidiarrheal drugs containing diphenoxylate or atropine. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an ...

  • Test

    Antidiuretic hormone blood test

    Antidiuretic blood test measures the level of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) in blood.

  • Poison

    Antifreeze poisoning

    Antifreeze is a liquid used to cool engines. It is also called engine coolant. This article discusses poisoning caused by swallowing antifreeze. 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 ...

  • Special Topic

    Antigen

    An antigen is a substance that can provoke an immune response.  Typically antigens are substances not usually found in the body.

    An antigen is any substance that causes your immune system to produce against it. An antigen may be a foreign substance from the environment such as chemicals, bacteria, viruses, or pollen. An antigen may also be formed within the body, as with bacterial or tissue cells.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Antihistamines for allergies

  • Test

    Antimitochondrial antibody

    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.

    Antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA) are substances () that form against mitochondria, an important part of cells. Mitochondria are the energy source inside all of the body’s cells. Mitochondria help cells work properly. This article discusses the blood test used to measure the amount of AMA in ...

  • Test

    Antinuclear antibody 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.

    The antinuclear antibody panel is a blood test that looks at antinuclear antibodies (ANA). Antinuclear are substances produced by the immune system that attack the body’s own tissues.

  • Test

    Antiparietal cell antibody test

    Antiparietal cell antibodies is a test that measures the presence of antibodies against gastric parietal cells. Ninety percent of people with pernicious anemia test positive for antiparietal cell antibodies.

    An antiparietal cell antibody test is a blood test that looks for against the parietal cells of the stomach. The parietal cells make and release a substance that the body needs to absorb vitamin B12.

  • Disease

    Antisocial personality disorder

    Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others. This behavior is often criminal.

  • Test

    Antistreptolysin O titer

    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.

    Antistreptolysin O (ASO) titer is a blood test to measure against streptolysin O, a substance produced by group A Streptococcus bacteria.

  • Test

    Antithrombin III

    Antithrombin III is a blood test that measures the amount of antithrombin III (AT III), a that helps control blood clotting.

  • Test

    Antithyroglobulin antibody

    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.

    Antithyroglobulin antibody is a test to measure to a protein called thyroglobulin, which is found in thyroid cells.

  • Test

    Antithyroid microsomal antibody

    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.

    Antithyroid microsomal antibody is a test to measure antithyroid microsomal in the blood. Microsomes are found inside thyroid cells. The body produces antibodies to microsomes when there has been damage to thyroid cells.

  • Surgery

    Aortic aneurysm repair - endovascular

    Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is surgery to repair a widened area in your aorta, called an aneurysm. The aorta is the large artery that carries blood to your belly, pelvis, and legs. An is when a part of this artery becomes too large or balloons outward due to weakness in the wall ...

  • Test

    Aortic angiography

    An arteriorgram is the injection of contrast material or dye into one or more arteries to make them visible on an x-ray.  The blood flow through the area can be evaluated with fluoroscopy (i.e., continuous X-rays that allow one to see the contrast material in movement).

    Aortic angiography is a procedure that uses a special dye and x-rays to see how blood flows through the aorta, the major artery leading out of the heart, and through your abdomen or belly. Angiography is an imaging test that uses x-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries. Arteries are ...

  • Disease

    Aortic arch syndrome

    Aortic arch syndrome refers to a group of signs and symptoms associated with structural problems in the arteries that branch off the aortic arch. The aortic arch is the top part of the main artery carrying blood away from the heart.

  • Disease

    Aortic dissection

    Abdominal aortic aneurysm involves a widening, stretching, or ballooning of the aorta. There are several causes of abdominal aortic aneurysm, but the most common results from atherosclerotic disease. As the aorta gets progressively larger over time there is increased chance of rupture.

    Aortic dissection is a serious condition in which there is a separation of the aorta walls. The small tear can become larger. It can lead to bleeding into and along the wall of the aorta, the major artery carrying blood out of the heart.

  • Disease

    Aortic insufficiency

    Aortic insufficiency is a heart valve disease where the aortic valve no longer functions adequately to control the flow of blood from the left ventricle into the aorta. Commonly, aortic insufficiency shows no symptoms for many years. Symptoms may then occur gradually or suddenly. Surgical repair or replacement of the aortic valve corrects aortic insufficiency.

    Aortic insufficiency is a heart valve disease in which the aortic valve does not close tightly. This leads to the backward flow of blood from the aorta (the largest blood vessel) into the left ventricle (a chamber of the heart).

  • Disease

    Aortic stenosis

    Aortic stenosis is a heart valve disorder that narrows or obstructs the aortic valve opening. Narrowing of the aortic valve prevents the valve from opening properly and obstructs the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta. This can reduce the amount of blood that flows forward to the body.

    The aorta is the main artery that carries blood out of the heart to the rest of the body. Blood flows out of the heart and into the aorta through the aortic valve. In aortic stenosis, the aortic valve does not open fully. This decreases blood flow from the heart.

  • Surgery

    Aortic valve surgery - minimally invasive

    Blood flows out of your heart and into a large blood vessel called the aorta. The aortic valve connects the heart and aorta. The aortic valve opens so blood can flow out. It then closes to keep blood from returning to the heart. You may need aortic valve surgery to replace the aortic valve in your ...

  • Surgery

    Aortic valve surgery - open

    Blood flows out of your heart and into a large blood vessel called the aorta. The aortic valve connects the heart and aorta. The aortic valve opens so blood can flow out. It then closes to keep blood from returning to the heart. You may need aortic valve surgery to replace the aortic valve in your ...

  • Disease

    Aortopulmonary window

    Aortopulmonary window

    Aortopulmonary window is a rare heart defect in which there is a hole connecting the major artery taking blood from the heart to the body (the aorta) and the one taking blood from the heart to the lungs (pulmonary artery). The condition is congenital, which means it is present from birth.

  • Disease

    Apert syndrome

    Fingers or toes (digits) may be fused together (syndactyly) or the webbing between them (inter-digital webbing) may extend far up the digits.  Syndactyly is seen commonly between the 2nd and 3rd toes, and is usually associated with a syndrome.

    Apert syndrome is a genetic disease in which the seams between the skull bones close earlier than normal. This affects the shape of the head and face.

  • Test

    APGAR

    An evaluation of the newborn's condition is done immediately after delivery and again at five minutes, to determine the APGAR scores.  If some cyanosis (bluish skin) is present, the APGAR scores are lower and oxygen may be administered.  The oxygen can often be merely blown by the newborn's face, through the mask in front of the infant.

    APGAR is a quick test performed on a baby at 1 and 5 minutes after birth. The 1-minute score determines how well the baby tolerated the birthing process. The 5-minute score tells the doctor how well the baby is doing outside the mother’s womb. The test may rarely be done 10 minutes after ...

  • Special Topic

    Aplastic

    An aplastic condition refers to a structure or system that has failed to mature or fully develop.

    Aplastic means: Did not grow or develop normally Did not fully mature Became incapable of forming new tissue

  • Disease

    Aplastic anemia

    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.

    Aplastic is a condition in which the bone marrow does not make enough new blood cells. Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue in the center of bones.

  • Disease

    Apnea of prematurity

    Apnea monitor

    Apnea is breathing that slows down or stops from any cause. Apnea of prematurity refers to short episodes of stopped breathing in babies who were born before they were due.

  • Test

    Apolipoprotein B100

    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.

    Apolipoprotein B100 (apo B100) is a protein that plays a role in moving cholesterol around your body. It is a form of low density lipoprotein (LDL). This article discusses the test used to measure the level of apoB100 in the blood.

  • Test

    Apolipoprotein CII

    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.

    Apolipoprotein CII (apoCII) is a protein found in large fat particles absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. It is also found in very low density lipoprotein (), which is made up of mostly triglycerides. This article discusses the test used to check for apoCII in a sample of your blood.

  • Disease

    Apoplexy

    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).

    Apoplexy is bleeding into an organ or loss of blood flow to an organ. For example, adrenal apoplexy is bleeding into the , pituitary apoplexy is bleeding into the pituitary gland, and so on. When the word apoplexy (with no organ specified) is used alone, it often refers to stroke symptoms that occur ...

  • Surgery

    Appendectomy

    There are three body views (front, back and side) that may be helpful if you are uncertain of a body area. Many areas are referred to by both descriptive and technical names. For example, the back of the knee is called the popliteal fossa. However, areas like the "flank" may not have both names, so the location may be unclear.

    An appendectomy is surgery to remove the appendix.

  • Disease

    Appendicitis

    There are three body views (front, back and side) that may be helpful if you are uncertain of a body area. Many areas are referred to by both descriptive and technical names. For example, the back of the knee is called the popliteal fossa. However, areas like the "flank" may not have both names, so the location may be unclear.

    Appendicitis is swelling (inflammation) of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch attached to the large intestine.

  • Symptoms

    Appetite - decreased

    A decreased appetite is when you have a reduced desire to eat. The medical term for a loss of appetite is anorexia.

  • Symptoms

    Appetite - increased

    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.

    Increased appetite means you have an excess desire for food.

  • Special Topic

    Appropriate for gestational age (AGA)

    Fetal development can be monitored to test for normal growth patterns.

    Appropriate for gestational age (AGA) describes a fetus or newborn infant whose size is within the normal range for his or her .

  • Disease

    Apraxia

    Apraxia is a disorder of the brain and nervous system in which a person is unable to perform tasks or movements when asked, even though: The request or command is understood They are willing to perform the task The muscles needed to perform the task work properly The task may have already been ...

  • Symptoms

    Arachnodactyly

    Arachnodactyly is a condition in which the fingers are long, slender, and curved. They look like a spider’s legs.

  • Test

    Arm CT scan

    A computed tomography (CT) scan of the arm is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the arm.

  • Test

    Arm MRI scan

    An arm MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses strong magnets to create pictures of the the upper and lower arm. This may include the elbow, wrist, hands, fingers, and the surrounding muscles and other tissues. It does not use radiation (x-rays). Single MRI images are called slices. The images ...

  • Symptoms

    Armpit lump

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

    An armpit lump is a swelling or bump under the arm. A lump in the armpit can have many causes. These include swollen lymph nodes, infections, or cysts.

  • Disease

    Arrhenoblastoma of ovary

    Arrhenoblastoma of the ovary is an that releases the male hormone, , or other hormones. See also:

  • Disease

    Arrhythmias

    The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

    An arrhythmia is a disorder of the (pulse) or heart rhythm, such as beating too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregularly.

  • Disease

    Arterial embolism

    An embolism is a clot that travels from the site where it formed to another location in the body. The embolism can lodge in an artery at the new location and block the flow of blood there. The blockage deprives the tissues in that location of its normal blood flow and oxygen. This can result in damage, destruction, or even death of the tissues (necrosis) in that organ. Arterial embolism requires prompt treatment, usually with hospitalization.

    Arterial embolism is a sudden interruption of blood flow to an organ or body part due to a clot (embolus).

  • Disease

    Arterial insufficiency

    The development of arterial atherosclerosis may occur when deposits of cholesterol and plaque accumulate at a tear in the inner lining of an artery. As the deposits harden and occlude the arterial lumen, blood flow to distant tissues decreases and a clot may become lodged, completely blocking the artery.

    Arterial insufficiency is any condition that slows or stops the flow of blood through your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to other places in your body.

  • Test

    Arterial stick

    The pulse of an artery determines the location of an arterial stick. The primary reason for taking blood from an artery rather than a vein is to measure blood gases. Because arterial blood is oxygenated blood flowing directly from the heart, analysis of arterial blood can determine the chemistry of the blood before it is used by the tissues.

    An arterial stick is the collection of blood from an artery for laboratory testing.

  • Test

    Arteriogram

    An arteriorgram is the injection of contrast material or dye into one or more arteries to make them visible on an x-ray.  The blood flow through the area can be evaluated with fluoroscopy (i.e., continuous X-rays that allow one to see the contrast material in movement).

    An arteriogram is an imaging test that uses x-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries. It can be used to view arteries in the heart, brain, kidney, and other parts of the body. The procedure is often called angiography. Related tests include: (chest or abdomen) (brain) (heart) (legs or ...

  • Disease

    Arteriovenous malformation - cerebral

    The internal carotid arteries and the vertebral arteries supply blood to the brain.

    A cerebral arteriovenous malformation is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain that usually forms before birth.

  • Disease

    Arthritis

    Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease of the joint cartilage and bone, often thought to result from "wear and tear" on a joint, although there are other causes such as congenital defects, trauma and metabolic disorders. Joints appear larger, are stiff and painful and usually feel worse the more they are used throughout the day.

    Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. A joint is the area where two bones meet. There are over 100 different types of arthritis.

  • Special Topic

    Arthritis - resources

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the joints and surrounding tissues.

  • Disease

    Asbestosis

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

    Asbestosis is a lung disease that occurs from breathing in asbestos fibers.

  • Disease

    Ascariasis

    Roundworms are the most common type of worm infection.  It is estimated that there are 4,000,000 cases in the United States at any time.  Infection is more common in warm climates.  Eggs are passed in the stool of infected animals and contaminate the soil.  Ingestion of contaminated soil then leads to roundworm infection.  (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Ascariasis is infection with the parasitic roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides.

  • Disease

    Ascites

    This CT scan of the lower abdomen shows a massive amount of free abdominal fluid (ascites) in a patient with ovarian cancer.

    Ascites is the build-up of fluid in the space between the lining of the abdomen and abdominal organs.

  • Disease

    Asherman syndrome

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

    Asherman syndrome is the formation of intrauterine adhesions (scar tissue), which typically develop after uterine surgery.

  • Special Topic

    Aspartic acid

    Aspartic acid is an nonessential . “Nonessential” means that our bodies produce it even if we don’t get this amino acid from the food we eat. Aspartic acid is also called asparaginic acid. Aspartic acid helps every cell in the body work. It plays a role in: Hormone production and ...

  • Disease

    Asperger syndrome

    Asperger syndrome is often considered a high functioning form of autism. It can lead to difficulty interacting socially, repeat behaviors, and clumsiness.

  • Disease

    Aspergillosis

    Aspergillosis is an acute pulmonary infection caused by the aspergillus fungus. Aspergillus can cause illness three ways: an allergic reaction in asthmatics; a colonization in scarred lung tissue; and an invasive infection with pneumonia which can affect the heart, lungs, brain and kidneys.

    Aspergillosis is an infection or due to the Aspergillus fungus.

  • Test

    Aspergillosis precipitin

    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.

    Aspergillosis precipitin is a laboratory test to detect in the blood resulting from exposure to the fungus .

  • Poison

    Asphalt cement

    Asphalt is a brownish-black liquid petroleum material that hardens when it cools. Asphalt cement poisoning occurs when someone swallows asphalt. 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 ...

  • Special Topic

    Aspiration

    The term aspiration can refer to the process of inhaling purposely.   Aspiration also refers to withdrawing using suction, such as in a needle aspiration that would be done to remove tissues for sampling.

    Aspiration means to draw in or out using a sucking motion. It has two meanings: Aspiration can mean (such as sucking food into the airway). The term can also refer to a medical procedure that removes something from an area of the body. These substances can be air, body fluids, or bone fragments. An ...

  • Disease

    Aspiration pneumonia

    This picture shows the organism Pneumococci.  These bacteria are usually paired (diplococci) or appear in chains.  Pneumococci are typically associated with pneumonia, but may cause infection in other organs such as the brain (pneumococcal meningitis) and blood stream (pneumococcal septicemia).  (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Pneumonia is a breathing condition in which there is swelling or an infection of the lungs or large airways. Aspiration pneumonia occurs when food, saliva, liquids, or vomit is breathed into the lungs or airways leading to the lungs.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Aspirin and heart disease

    The development of arterial atherosclerosis may occur when deposits of cholesterol and plaque accumulate at a tear in the inner lining of an artery. As the deposits harden and occlude the arterial lumen, blood flow to distant tissues decreases and a clot may become lodged, completely blocking the artery.

    Blood thinners – aspirin; Antiplatelet therapy – aspirin

  • Poison

    Aspirin overdose

    An overdose of aspirin means you have too much aspirin in your body. This can happen in two ways: If a person accidentally or intentionally takes a very large dose of aspirin at one time, it’s called an acute overdose. If a normal daily dose of aspirin builds up in the body over time and ...

  • Special Topic

    Assisted delivery with forceps

  • Test

    AST

    AST (aspartate aminotransferase) is an found in high amounts in liver, heart, and muscle cells. It is also found in lesser amounts in other tissues. This article discusses the test to measure the amount of AST in the blood.

  • Disease

    Asthma

    Spirometry is a painless study of air volume and flow rate within the lungs. Spirometry is frequently used to evaluate lung function in people with obstructive or restrictive lung diseases such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.

    Asthma is a disease that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

  • Disease

    Asthma - children

    A peak flow meter is commonly used by a person with asthma to measure the amount of air that can be expelled from the lungs. If the airways become narrow or blocked due to asthma, peak flow values will drop because the person cannot blow air out of the lungs as well. A peak flow meter can be a useful aid in monitoring a person's asthma over time and can also be used to help determine how well a patient's medications are working.

    is a disease that causes the airways to swell and get narrow.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Asthma - control drugs

    Control medicines for asthma are drugs you take to control your asthma symptoms. You must take them every day for them to work. You and your doctor can make a plan for the medicines that work for you. This plan will include when you should take them and how much you should take.You may need to take ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Asthma - quick-relief drugs

    Short-acting beta-agonists; Bronchodilators; Oral steroids

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Asthma - what to ask the doctor - adult

    Asthma is a problem with the airways that bring oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of your lungs. A person with asthma may not feel symptoms all the time. But when an asthma attack happens, it becomes hard for air to pass through your airways. The symptoms are coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, or ...

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Asthma - what to ask your doctor - child

    Asthma is a problem with the airways that bring oxygen to your lungs. A person with asthma may not feel symptoms all the time. But when an asthma attack happens, it becomes hard for air to pass through your airways. The symptoms are coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath. Below ...

  • Special Topic

    Asthma and allergy - resources

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Asthma and school

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    Asthma control drugs

    Control drugs for asthma must be taken everyday in order for them to work.

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    Asthma quick relief drugs

    Asthma quick-relief drugs work fast to control asthma symptoms. You take them when you are coughing, wheezing, having trouble breathing, or having an asthma attack.

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    Asthma triggers

    It is important to know what things make your asthma worse. These are called asthma “triggers”. Avoiding them is your first step toward feeling better. The most common asthma triggers are mold, pets, dust, grasses, pollen, cockroaches, odors from chemicals, and smoke from cigarettes.

  • Disease

    Astigmatism

    Visual acuity tests may be performed in many different ways. It is a quick way to detect vision problems and is frequently used in schools or for mass screening. Driver license bureaus often use a small device that can test the eyes both together and individually.

    Astigmatism is a type of refractive error of the eye. Refractive errors cause blurred vision and are the most common reason why a person goes to see an eye professional. Other types of refractive errors are:

  • Special Topic

    Asymptomatic

    An illness or condition that is present without any recognizable symptoms is regarded as an asymptomatic condition.

    Asymptomatic means there are no symptoms. You are considered asymptomatic if you: Have recovered from an illness or condition and no longer have symptoms Have an illness or condition (such as early stage high blood pressure or glaucoma) but do not have symptoms of it

  • Disease

    Asymptomatic bacteriuria

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

    Asymptomatic bacteriuria is a significant number of bacteria in the urine that occurs without usual symptoms such as burning during urination or frequent urination. Asymptomatic bacteriuria may not need treatment, which makes it different from a bacterial .

  • Disease

    Asymptomatic HIV infection

    Asymptomatic HIV infection is characterized by a period of varying length in which there is slow deterioration of the immune system without clinical symptoms.

    Asymptomatic HIV infection is a phase of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during which there are no symptoms of HIV infection.

  • Disease

    Ataxia - telangiectasia

    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.

    Ataxia-telangiectasia is a rare childhood disease that affects the brain and other parts of the body. Ataxia refers to uncoordinated movements, such as walking. Telangiectasias are enlarged blood vessels (capillaries) just below the surface of the skin. Telangiectasias appear as tiny, red, ...

  • Disease

    Atelectasis

    Bronchoscopy

    Atelectasis is the collapse of part or (much less commonly) all of a lung. See also:

  • Disease

    Atheroembolic renal disease

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

    Atheroembolic renal disease (AERD) occurs when small particles made of hardened cholesterol and fat spread to the small blood vessels of the kidneys.

  • Disease

    Athlete's foot

    This is a picture of Athlete's foot (tinea pedis). "Tinea" infection is caused by a fungus that grows on the skin, and is also referred to as ringworm. Cutaneous (skin) tinea infections are often named by their location such as pedis, meaning foot.

    Athlete’s foot is an infection of the feet caused by fungus. The medical term is tinea pedis, or ringworm of the foot.

  • Disease

    Atopic dermatitis

    Keratosis pilaris occurs most commonly during childhood and produces small, rough spots (papules) that are typically skin-colored. They usually appear over the outer surface of the upper arms and thighs, but may also occur elsewhere on the body.  Dry skin (especially during winter months) makes the condition worse.  Keratosis pilaris tends to be inherited and may be associated with atopic dermatitis.

    Atopic dermatitis is a long-term (chronic) skin disorder that involves scaly and itchy rashes. Other forms of eczema include:

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Atopic dermatitis - self-care

    Eczema – self-care

  • Disease

    Atrial fibrillation or flutter

    The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

    Atrial fibrillation or flutter is a common type of abnormal heartbeat. The heart rhythm is fast and irregular in this condition.

  • Disease

    Atrial myxoma

    A myxoma is a benign tumor in the heart most commonly found in the left atrium. About 75% of myxomas are in the left atrium, usually beginning in the wall that divides the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) and growing into the atrium. Treatment is necessary to avoid metastasis and the formation of clots. In addition, untreated growth of the tumor can obstruct blood flow through the heart. Myxomas are curable with surgical removal.

    An atrial myxoma is a noncancerous tumor in the upper left or right side of the heart. It grows on the wall that separates the two sides of the heart. This wall is called the atrial septum.

  • Disease

    Atrial septal defect (ASD)

    An atrial septal defect is a congenital heart defect where the wall between the right and left atria does not close properly, leaving a hole between the two atria.

    Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a heart defect that is present at birth (congenital). While the baby is in the womb, there is normally an opening between the upper chambers of the heart (atria) to allow blood to flow around the lungs. This opening usually closes around the time when the baby is born. ...

  • Disease

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able control behavior, or a combination of these. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a person’s age and development.

  • Disease

    Atypical pneumonia

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

    Atypical pneumonia refers to pneumonia caused by certain bacteria, including Legionella pneumophila, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Chlamydophila pneumoniae. It is called “atypical” because the symptoms differ from those of pneumonia due to other common bacteria. Pneumonia is an infection of the lung.

  • Test

    Audiometry

    Ear anatomy

    An audiometry exam tests your ability to hear sounds. Sounds vary based on their loudness (intensity) and the speed of sound wave vibrations (tone). Hearing occurs when sound waves stimulates the nerves of the inner ear. Eventually the sound travels along nerve pathways to the brain. Sound waves can ...

  • Disease

    Aural polyps

    Ear anatomy

    An aural polyp is a growth in the outside (external) ear canal. It may be attached to the eardrum (tympanic membrane), or it may grow from the middle ear space.

  • Special Topic

    Auscultation

    Auscultation is a method used to "listen" to the sounds of the body during a physical examination by using a stethoscope.  A patient's lungs, heart, and intestines are the most common organs heard during auscultation.

    Auscultation is the method of listening to the sounds of the body during a .

  • Disease

    Autism

    Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills.

  • Special Topic

    Autism - resources

  • Disease

    Autoerythrocyte sensitivity

    Autoerythrocyte sensitivity means your body is sensitive to its own red blood cells (erythrocytes). This generally results in the destruction of red blood cells.

  • Disease

    Autoimmune disorders

    Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that involves overactivity of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Hallmarks of the condition are bulging eyes (exophthalmos), heat intolerance, increased energy, difficulty sleeping, diarrhea, and anxiety.

    An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders. See also:

  • Disease

    Autoimmune 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.

    Autoimmune hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that occurs when immune cells mistake the liver’s normal cells for harmful invaders and attack them.

  • Test

    Autoimmune liver disease panel

    An autoimmune liver disease panel is a series of tests that is done when a person is thought to have autoimmune . An autoimmune liver disease means that the body’s immune system attacks the liver. These tests include: Anti-liver/kidney microsomal antibodies Sometimes the panel may also include ...

  • Special Topic

    Autoinoculation

    Injection of some of the body's cells back into the body is called autoinoculation. Using one's own cells helps prevent or reduce antibody formation.

    Autoinoculation is a procedure in which cells are removed from the body, treated or medically changed, and then placed back into the body. It is done to help prevent an immune reaction or to help diagnose a medical condition or illness. Autoinoculation can also refer to the movement of ...

  • Poison

    Automatic dishwasher soap poisoning

    Automatic dishwasher soap poisoning refers to illness that occurs when you swallow soap used in automatic dishwashers or when the soap contacts the face. 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 ...

  • Disease

    Autonomic hyperreflexia

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

    Autonomic hyperreflexia is a reaction of the involuntary (autonomic) nervous system to too much stimulation. This reaction may include: Change in heart rate Excessive sweating High blood pressure Muscle spasms Skin color changes (paleness, redness, blue-grey skin color)

  • Disease

    Autonomic neuropathy

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

    Autonomic neuropathy is a group of symptoms that occur when there is damage to the nerves that manage every day body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, bowel and bladder emptying, and digestion.

  • Special Topic

    Autosomal dominant

    In the case of autosomal dominant genes, a single abnormal gene on one of the autosomal chromosomes (one of the first 22 "non-sex" chromosomes) from either parent can cause the disease. One of the parents will have the disease (since it is dominant) in this mode of inheritance and that person is called the CARRIER. Only one parent must be a carrier in order for the child to inherit the disease.

    Autosomal dominant is one of several ways that a trait or disorder can be passed down through families. If a disease is autosomal dominant, it means you only need to get the abnormal from one parent in order for you to inherit the disease. One of the parents may often have the disease.

  • Special Topic

    Autosomal recessive

    Autosomal recessive is one of several ways that a trait, disorder, or disease can be passed down through families. An autosomal recessive disorder means two copies of an abnormal must be present in order for the disease or trait to develop.

  • Disease

    Avian influenza

    Avian influenza is infection in birds. The virus that causes the disease in birds can change (mutate) so it can spread to humans.

  • Disease

    Avoidant personality disorder

    Avoidant personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a lifelong pattern of feeling very shy, inadequate, and sensitive to rejection.

  • Disease

    Axillary nerve dysfunction

    Conditions associated with axillary nerve dysfunction include fracture of the humerus (upper arm bone), pressure from casts or splints, and improper use of crutches. Other causes include systemic disorders that cause neuritis (inflammation of nerves). If the cause of the axillary nerve dysfunction can be identified and successfully treated, there is a possibility of full recovery. The extent of disability varies. The worst problem most often is shoulder weakness.

    Axillary nerve dysfunction is nerve damage that leads to a loss of movement or sensation in the shoulder.