Health and Medicine Encyclopedia - Vol 8

Health and Medicine Encyclopedia

Craniosacral Therapy - Definition, Purpose, Description, WILLIAM SUTHERLAND (1873–1954), Precautions, Side effects, Research and general acceptance

Craniosacral therapy is a holistic healing practice that uses very light touching to balance the craniosacral system in the body, which includes the bones, nerves, fluids, and connective tissues of the cranium and spinal area. According to Upledger, craniosacral therapy is ideally suited for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), headaches, chronic middle ear infection, pain, and general…

6 minute read

Craniotomy - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Surgical removal of part of the skull to expose the brain. A craniotomy is the most commonly performed surgery for brain tumor removal. It may also be done to remove a blood clot and control hemorrhage, inspect the brain, perform a biopsy, or relieve pressure inside the skull. Before the operation, the patient will have undergone diagnostic procedures such as computed tomography scans (CT) or magn…

4 minute read

Creatine Kinase Test - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

The creatine kinase test measures the blood levels of certain muscle and brain enzyme proteins. Creatine kinase (CK or CPK) is an enzyme (a type of protein) found in muscle and brain. Normally, very little CK is found circulating in the blood. Elevated levels indicate damage to either muscle or brain; possibly from a myocardial infarction (heart attack), muscle disease, or stroke. There are three …

2 minute read

Creatinine Test - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Creatine is an important compound produced by the body. It combines with phosphorus to make a high-energy phosphate compound in the body. Creatine phosphate is used in skeletal muscle contraction. The creatinine test is used to diagnose impaired kidney function and to determine renal (kidney) damage. A diet high in meat content can cause transient elevations of serum creatinine. Some drugs that ma…

3 minute read

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a transmissible, rapidly progressing, fatal neurodegenerative disorder called a spongioform degeneration that seems to be related to "mad cow disease." Before 1995, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was little-known outside of the medical profession; even within it, many practitioners did not know much about it. Most doctors had never seen a case. With the …

15 minute read

Cri Du Chat Syndrome - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Cri du chat syndrome occurs when a piece of chromosomal material is missing from a particular region on chromosome 5. Individuals with this syndrome have unusual facial features, poor muscle tone (hypotonia), small head size (microcephaly), and mental retardation. A classic feature of the syndrome is the catlike cry made by infants with this disorder. Dr. Jerome Lejeune first described cri du chat…

6 minute read

Crohn's Disease - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), resulting in swelling and dysfunction of the intestinal tract. Crohn's disease involves inflammation of the intestine, especially the small intestine. Inflammation refers to swelling, redness, and loss of normal function. There is evidence that the inflammation is caused by various products of the immune system that attac…

11 minute read

Croup - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Croup is a common childhood ailment. Typically, it arises from a viral infection of the larynx (voice box) and is associated with mild upper respiratory symptoms such as a runny nose and cough. The key symptom is a harsh barking cough. Croup is usually not serious, and most children recover within a few days. In a small percentage of cases, a child develops breathing difficulties and may need medi…

5 minute read

Cryoglobulin Test - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Normal results, Abnormal results

Cryoglobulin is an abnormal blood protein associated with several diseases. Testing for cryoglobulin is done when a person has symptoms of this protein or is being evaluated for one of the associated diseases. Cryoglobulin clumps in cold temperatures. This physical characteristic causes people with cryoglobulin to have symptoms during cold weather: blanching, numbness, and pain in their fingers or…

3 minute read

Cryotherapy - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Cryotherapy is a technique that uses an extremely cold liquid or instrument to freeze and destroy abnormal skin cells that require removal. The technique has been in use since the turn of the century, but modern techniques have made it widely available to dermatologists and primary care doctors. The technique is also called cryosurgery. Cryotherapy can be employed to destroy a variety of benign sk…

6 minute read

Cryptococcosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cryptococcosis is an infection caused by inhaling the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. It is one of the diseases most often affecting AIDS patients. Cryptococcosis may be limited to the lungs, but frequently spreads throughout the body. Although almost any organ can be infected, the fungus is often fatal if it infects the nervous system where it causes an inflammation of the membranes covering the …

8 minute read

Cryptosporidiosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cryptosporidiosis refers to infection by the spore-forming protozoan known as Cryptosporidia. Protozoa are a group of parasites that infect the human intestine, and include the better known Giardia. Cryptosporidia was first identified in 1976 as a cause of disease in humans. Cryptosporidia are normally passed in the feces of infected persons and animals in the form of cysts. The cysts can remain i…

5 minute read

Culture-Fair Test - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

A culture-fair test is a test designed to be free of cultural bias, as far as possible, so that no one culture has an advantage over another. The test is designed to not be influenced by verbal ability, cultural climate, or educational level. The purpose of a culture-fair test is to eliminate any social or cultural advantages, or disadvantages, that a person may have due to their upbringing. The t…

2 minute read

Cushing's Syndrome - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Cushing's syndrome is a relatively rare endocrine (hormonal) disorder resulting from excessive exposure to the hormone cortisol. The disorder, which leads to a variety of symptoms and physical abnormalities, is most commonly caused by taking medications containing the hormone over a long period of time. A more rare form of the disorder occurs when the body itself produces an excessive amoun…

11 minute read

Cutaneous Larva Migrans - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cutaneous larvae migrans is a parasitic skin disease caused by a hookworm larvae that usually infests dogs, cats, and other animals. Humans can pick up the infection by walking barefoot on soil or beaches contaminated with animal feces. Cutaneous larvae migrans (also called "creeping eruption" or "ground itch") is found in southeastern and Gulf states, and in tropical d…

3 minute read

Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a malignancy of the T-helper (CD4+) cells of the immune system. CTCL, also known as mycosis fungoides, is a cancer of the white blood cells that primarily affects the skin and only secondarily affects other sites. This disease involves the uncontrollable proliferation of T-lymphocytes known as T-helper cells, so named because of their role in the immune response…

9 minute read

Cutis Laxa - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cutis laxa (Latin for loose or lax skin) is a connective tissue disorder in which the skin lacks elasticity and hangs in loose folds. Cutis laxa is extremely rare; less than a few hundred cases worldwide have been described. The several forms of cutis laxa are divided into primary cutis laxa, which is present from birth and is hereditary, secondary cutis laxa, which arises later in life and may be…

4 minute read

Cyanosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Treatment, Prognosis

Cyanosis is a physical sign causing bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes. Cyanosis is caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood. Cyanosis is associated with cold temperatures, heart failure, lung diseases, and smothering. It is seen in infants at birth as a result of heart defects, respiratory distress syndrome, or lung and breathing problems. This elderly woman's lips tu…

2 minute read

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis

Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is a rare disorder characterized by recurring periods of vomiting in an otherwise normal child. Children in the pre-school or early school years are most susceptible to CVS, although it can appear anywhere from infancy to adulthood. This disorder was identified a century ago, but its cause is still unknown. Episodes can be triggered by emotional stress or infections,…

2 minute read

Cyclosporiasis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cyclosporiasis refers to infection by the spore-forming protozoan known as Cyclospora. Protozoa are a group of parasites that infect the human intestine. Parasites are organisms that live in another body, called the host, and get food and liquids from that host. This parasite is a member of the group of protozoa known as coccidia, to which Cryptosporidia also belongs. This group of parasites infec…

4 minute read

Cystectomy - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Cystectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the bladder. Cystectomy is performed to treat cancer of the bladder. Radiation and chemotherapy are also used to treat bladder cancer. Surgery is used to remove cancer when it is in the muscle of the bladder. Cystectomy is an aggressive treatment that may not be appropriate for patients with superficial tumors that respond to more conservative treatment…

3 minute read

Cystic Fibrosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease that affects the lungs, digestive system, sweat glands, and male fertility. Its name derives from the fibrous scar tissue that develops in the pancreas, one of the principal organs affected by the disease. Cystic fibrosis affects the body's ability to move salt and water in and out of cells. This defect causes the lungs and pancreas to secrete th…

22 minute read

Cystinuria - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cystinuria is an inborn error of amino acid transport that results in the defective absorption by the kidneys of the amino acid called cystine. The name means "cystine in the urine." Cystine is an amino acid. Amino acids are organic compounds needed by the body to make proteins and for many normal functions. When the kidneys don't absorb cystine, this compound builds up in the…

5 minute read

Cystitis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cystitis is defined as inflammation of the urinary bladder. Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, which is the passageway that connects the bladder with the exterior of the body. Sometimes cystitis and urethritis are referred to collectively as a lower urinary tract infection, or UTI. Infection of the upper urinary tract involves the spread of bacteria to the kidney and is called pyeloneph…

9 minute read

Cystometry - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Cystometry is a test of bladder function in which pressure and volume of fluid in the bladder is measured during filling, storage, and voiding. The urinary bladder stores urine produced by the kidneys. The main muscle of the bladder wall, the detrusor, relaxes to allow expansion of the bladder during filling. The urethra, the tube through which urine exits, is held closed by a ring of muscle, know…

3 minute read

Cystoscopy - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Cystoscopy (cystourethroscopy) is a diagnostic procedure that is used to look at the bladder (lower urinary Cystoscopy is a diagnostic procedure which is used to view the bladder, collect urine samples, and examine the prostate gland. This procedure also enables biopsies to be taken. The primary instrument used in cystoscopy is the cystoscope, a tube which is inserted through the penis into th…

6 minute read

Cytomegalovirus Antibody Screening Test - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Normal results, Abnormal results

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common human virus. Antibodies to CMV are evidence of a current or past infection. Consequences of a CMV infection can be devastating in a pregnant woman, a transplant patient, or a person with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Antibody screening helps control the infection risk for these groups. In a healthy, nonpregnant person, CMV infection is almost never serious. …

3 minute read

Cytomegalovirus Infection - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus related to the group of herpes viruses. Infection with CMV can cause no symptoms, or can be the source of serious illness in people with weak immune systems. CMV infection is also an important cause of birth defects. CMV is an extremely common organism worldwide. It is believed that about 85% of the adult population in the United States have been infected by CMV at…

4 minute read

Dacryocystitis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Dacryocystitis is an inflammation of the tear sac (lacrimal sac) at the inner corner of the eye. Tears drain into little openings (puncta) in the inner corners of the eyelids. From there, the tears travel through little tube-like structures (canaliculi) to the lacrimal sac. The nasolacrimal ducts then take the tears from the lacrimal sac to the nose. That's why people need to blow their nos…

4 minute read

Death - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

Death is defined as the cessation of all vital functions of the body including the heartbeat, brain activity (including the brain stem), and breathing. Death comes in many forms, whether it be expected after a diagnosis of terminal illness or an unexpected accident or medical condition. When a terminal illness is diagnosed, a person, family, friends, and physicians are all able to prepare for the …

8 minute read

Debridement - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results

Debridement is the process of removing non-living tissue from pressure ulcers, burns, and other wounds. Debridement speeds the healing of pressure ulcers, burns, and other wounds. Wounds that contain non-living (necrotic) tissue take longer to heal. The necrotic tissue may become colonized with bacteria, producing an unpleasant odor. Though the wound is not necessarily infected, the bacteria can c…

5 minute read

Decompression Sickness - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Decompression sickness (DCS) is a dangerous and occasionally lethal condition caused by nitrogen bubbles that form in the blood and other tissues of scuba divers who surface too quickly. According to the Divers Alert Network (DAN), a worldwide organization devoted to safe-diving research and promotion, less than 1% of divers fall victim to DCS or the rarer bubble problem called gas embolism, air e…

7 minute read

Decongestants - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Risks, Normal results

Decongestants are medicines used to relieve nasal congestion (stuffy nose). A congested or stuffy nose is a common symptom of colds and allergies. This congestion results when membranes lining the nose become swollen. Decongestants relieve the swelling by narrowing the blood vessels that supply the nose. This reduces the blood supply to the swollen membranes, causing the membranes to shrink. These…

7 minute read

Deep Vein Thrombosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a major vein, usually in the legs and/or pelvis. Deep vein thrombosis is a common but difficult to detect illness that can be fatal if not treated effectively. According to the American Heart Association, more than two million Americans develop deep vein thrombosis annually. An estimated 600,000 of these develop pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal …

4 minute read

Defibrillation - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks

Defibrillation is a process in which an electronic device sends an electric shock to the heart to stop an extremely rapid, irregular heartbeat, and restore the normal heart rhythm. Defibrillation is performed to correct life-threatening fibrillations of the heart, which could result in cardiac arrest. It should be performed immediately after identifying that the patient is experiencing a cardiac e…

3 minute read

Dehydration - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Dehydration is the loss of water and salts essential for normal body function. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. This condition can result from illness; a hot, dry climate; prolonged exposure to sun or high temperatures; not drinking enough water; and overuse of diuretics or other medications that increase urination. Dehydration can upset the delicate fluid-salt b…

7 minute read

Delayed Hypersensitivity Skin Test - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

A delayed hypersensitivity test (DHT) is an immune function test measuring the presence of activated T cells that recognize a certain substance. The immune system protects against infection by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. After initial exposure to a foreign substance, or antigen, the immune system creates both antibodies and sensitized T cells. Both these immune agents respond when the…

4 minute read

Delirium - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Delirium is a state of mental confusion that develops quickly and usually fluctuates in intensity. Delirium is a syndrome, or group of symptoms, caused by a disturbance in the normal functioning of the brain. The delirious patient has a reduced awareness of and responsiveness to the environment, which may be manifested as disorientation, incoherence, and memory disturbance. Delirium is often marke…

4 minute read

Delusions - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

A delusion is an unshakable belief in something untrue. These irrational beliefs defy normal reasoning, and remain firm even when overwhelming proof is presented to dispute them. Delusions are often accompanied by hallucinations and/or feelings of paranoia, which act to strengthen confidence in the delusion. Delusions are distinct from culturally or religiously based beliefs that may be seen as un…

4 minute read

Dementia - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Dementia is a loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities of daily living, lasting more than six months, not present since birth, and not associated with a loss or alteration of consciousness. Dementia is a group of symptoms caused by gradual death of brain cells. The loss of cognitive abilities that occurs with dementia leads to impairments in memory, reasoning, plann…

11 minute read

Dengue Fever - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Dengue fever is a disease caused by one of a number of viruses that are carried by mosquitoes. These mosquitoes then transmit the virus to humans. The virus that causes dengue fever is called an arbovirus, which stands for arthropod-borne virus. Mosquitoes are a type of arthropod. In a number of regions, mosquitoes carry this virus and are responsible for passing it along to humans. These regions …

6 minute read

Dental Trauma - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Dental trauma is injury to the mouth, including teeth, lips, gums, tongue, and jawbones. The most common dental trauma is a broken or lost tooth. Dental trauma may be inflicted in a number of ways: contact sports, motor vehicle accidents, fights, falls, eating hard foods, drinking hot liquids, and other such mishaps. As oral tissues are highly sensitive, injuries to the mouth are typically very pa…

6 minute read

Depo-Provera/Norplant - Definition, Purpose, Preparation, Risks, Normal results

Norplant is a long-acting hormone that is inserted under the skin and prevents conception for up to five years. Depo-Provera is also a hormone, but is administered by intramuscular injection and provides protection against pregnancy for three months. Lunelle is another injectable contraceptive that is administered monthly (every 28 to 30 days); it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (…

5 minute read

Depressive Disorders - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Signs Of Mental Depression, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Depression or depressive disorders (unipolar depression) are mental illnesses characterized by a profound and persistent feeling of sadness or despair and/or a loss of interest in things that were once pleasurable. Disturbance in sleep, appetite, and mental processes are a common accompaniment. Everyone experiences feelings of unhappiness and sadness occasionally. But when these depressed feelings…

11 minute read

Dermatitis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Dermatitis is a general term used to describe inflammation of the skin. Most types of dermatitis are characterized by an itchy pink or red rash. Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction to something that irritates the skin and is manifested by one or more lines of red, swollen, blistered skin that may itch or seep. It usually appears within 48 hours after touching or brushing against a substance…

8 minute read

DES Exposure - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

DES (diethylstilbestrol) is a hormone that was prescribed for pregnant women in the 1950s and early 1960s. Many years later, doctors discovered that the daughters of the women who received DES were at high risk for a variety of problems, including infertility, premature labor, and cancer of the vagina and cervix. In the 1950s and early 1960s, several drug companies claimed that DES (diethylstilbes…

4 minute read

Detoxification - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparations, Side effects, Research and general acceptance

Detoxification is one of the more widely used treatments and concepts in alternative medicine. It is based on the principle that illnesses can be caused by the accumulation of toxic substances (toxins) in the body. Eliminating existing toxins and avoiding new toxins are essential parts of the healing process. Detoxification utilizes a variety of tests and techniques. Detoxification is helpful for …

13 minute read

Deviated Septum - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

The nasal septum is a thin structure, separating the two sides of the nose. If it is not in the middle of the nose, then it is deviated. The nasal septum is composed of two parts. Toward the back of the head the nasal septum is rigid bone, but further forward the bone becomes cartilage. With one finger in each nostril this cartilage can easily be bent back and forth. If the nasal septum is suffici…

3 minute read

Diabetes Insipidus - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a disorder that causes the patient to produce tremendous quantities of urine. The massively increased urine output is usually accompanied by intense thirst. The balance of fluid within the body is maintained through a number of mechanisms. One important chemical involved in fluid balance is called antidiuretic hormone (ADH). ADH is produced by the pituitary, a small glan…

5 minute read

Diabetes Mellitus - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin or when cells stop responding to the insulin that is produced, so that glucose in the blood cannot be absorbed into the cells of the body. Symptoms include frequent urination, lethargy, excessive thirst, and hunger. The treatment includes changes in diet, oral medications, and in some cases, daily injections o…

20 minute read

Diabetic Foot Infections - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Dhiabetic foot infections are infections that can develop in the skin, muscles, or bones of the foot as a result of the nerve damage and poor circulation that is associated with diabetes. People who have diabetes have a greater-than-average chance of developing foot infections. Because a person who has diabetes may not feel foot pain or discomfort, problems can remain undetected until fever, weakn…

4 minute read

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous complication of diabetes mellitus in which the chemical balance of the body becomes far too acidic. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) always results from a severe insulin deficiency. Insulin is the hormone secreted by the body to lower the blood sugar levels when they become too high. Diabetes mellitus is the disease resulting from the inability of the body to produc…

5 minute read

Diabetic Neuropathy - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve disorder caused by diabetes mellitus. Diabetic neuropathy may be diffuse, affecting several parts of the body, or focal, affecting a specific nerve and part of the body. The nervous system consists of two major divisions: the central nervous systems (CNS) which includes the brain, the cranial nerves, and the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) which …

5 minute read

Dialysis, Kidney - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results

Dialysis treatment replaces the function of the kidneys, which normally serve as the body's natural filtration system. Through the use of a blood filter and a chemical solution known as dialysate, the treatment removes waste products and excess fluids from the bloodstream, while maintaining the proper chemical balance of the blood. There are two types of dialysis treatment : hemodialysis an…

10 minute read

Diaper Rash - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Dermatitis of the buttocks, genitals, lower abdomen, or thigh folds of an infant or toddler is commonly referred to as diaper rash. The outside layer of skin normally forms a protective barrier that prevents infection. One of the primary causes of dermatitis in the diaper area is prolonged skin contact with wetness. Under these circumstances, natural oils are stripped away, the outer layer of skin…

6 minute read

Diaphragm (Birth Control) - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results

Diaphragms are dome-shaped barrier methods of contraception that block sperm from entering the uterus. They are made of latex (rubber) and formed like a shallow cup. Since vaginas vary in size, each patient will need to be fitted by a doctor or nurse with a diaphragm that conforms to the shape and contour of the vagina as well as the strength of the muscles in the vaginal walls. Diaphragms must be…

4 minute read

Diarrhea - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

To most individuals, diarrhea means an increased frequency or decreased consistency of bowel movements; however, the medical definition is more exact than this. In many developed countries, the average number of bowel movements is three per day. However, researchers have found that diarrhea best correlates with an increase in stool weight; stool weights above 10 oz (300 g) per day generally indica…

10 minute read

Diets - Definition, Purpose, Description, Precautions, Side effects, Research and general acceptance

Humans may alter their usual eating habits for many reasons, including weight loss, disease prevention or treatment, removing toxins from the body, or to achieve a general improvement in physical and mental health. Others adopt special diets for religious reasons. In the case of some vegetarians and vegans, dietary changes are made out of ethical concerns for the rights of animals. People who are …

4 minute read

Diffuse Esophageal Spasm - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Diffuse esophageal spasm is a term used to define an uncoordinated or spastic esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube that actively transports food from the throat to the stomach by rhythmic contractions known as peristalsis. The actual mechanism and anatomy are quite complex, involving three distinct segments and allowing a person to swallow even when upside-down. Diffuse esophageal spasm des…

2 minute read

Digeorge Syndrome - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

DiGeorge syndrome (also called congenital thymic hypoplasia, or third and fourth pharyngeal pouch syndrome) is a birth defect that is caused by an abnormal chromosome and affects the baby's immune system. The syndrome is marked by absence or underdevelopment of the thymus and parathyroid glands. It is named for the pediatrician who first described it in 1965. The prevalence of DiGeorge synd…

5 minute read