Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and twisted. Carl Arnold Ruge is credited with having first defined varicose veins as “any dilated, elongated and tortuous vein irrespective of size”. The term commonly refers to the veins on the leg, although varicose veins occur elsewhere. Veins have leaflet valves to prevent blood from flowing backwards (retrograde). Leg muscles pump the veins to return blood to the heart. When veins become enlarged, the leaflets of the valves no longer meet properly, and the valves don’t work. One cause of valve failure is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can cause permanent damage to the valves. The blood collects in the veins and they enlarge even more. Varicose veins are common in the superficial veins of the legs, which are subject to high pressure when standing. Besides cosmetic problems, varicose veins are often painful, especially when standing or walking. They often itch, and scratching them can cause ulcers. Serious complications are rare. Non-surgical treatments include sclerotherapy, elastic stockings, elevating the legs, and exercise. The traditional surgical treatment has been vein stripping to remove the affected veins. Newer read more [...]
Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a type of lymphoma first described by Thomas Hodgkin in 1832. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is characterized clinically by the orderly spread of disease from one lymph node group to another and by the development of systemic symptoms with advanced disease. Pathologically, the disease is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells (RS cells). Hodgkin’s lymphoma was one of the first cancers to be cured by radiation. Later it was one of the first to be cured by combination chemotherapy. The survival rate is generally around 90% when the disease is detected relatively early, making it one of the most curable forms of cancer. Later-stage cancers show a significantly worse prognosis . The Handbook of Cancer Chemotherapy, Sixth Edition states that “the potential for cure should not lead clinicians and patients to lose sight of the fact that [Hodgkin’s lymphoma] is a malignancy and that approximately 20% to 25% of patients die of the disease.” Nevertheless, recent trials are showing much higher 5-year survival rates than have previously been seen, often on the order of 98% for many patients. 
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Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells attack and destroy the exocrine glands that produce tears and saliva. It is named after Swedish ophthalmologist Henrik Sjögren (1899-1986), who first described it. Sjögren’s syndrome is also associated with rheumatic disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, and it is rheumatoid factor positive in 90 percent of cases. The hallmark symptoms of the disorder are dry mouth and dry eyes (part of what are known as sicca symptoms). In addition, Sjögren’s syndrome may cause skin, nose, and vaginal dryness, and may affect other organs of the body, including the kidneys, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and brain. Nine out of ten Sjögren’s patients are women and the average age of onset is late 40s, although Sjögren’s occurs in all age groups in both women and men. It is estimated to strike as many as 4 million people in the United States alone making it the second most common autoimmune rheumatic disease.
Diagnosis for Sjögren’s syndrome
Diagnosing Sjögren’s syndrome is complicated by the range of symptoms a patient may manifest, and the similarity between symptoms from Sjögren’s syndrome and read more [...]
Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of genetic, hereditary muscle diseases that cause progressive muscle weakness. Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue. Nine diseases including Duchenne, Becker, limb girdle, congenital, facioscapulohumeral, myotonic, oculopharyngeal, distal, and Emery-Dreifuss are always classified as muscular dystrophy but there are more than 100 diseases in total with similarities to muscular dystrophy. Most types of MD are multi-system disorders with manifestations in body systems including the heart, gastrointestinal and nervous systems, endocrine glands, skin, eyes and other organs.
The first historical account of muscular dystrophy appeared in 1830, when Sir Charles Bell wrote an essay about an illness that caused progressive weakness in boys. Six years later, another scientist reported on two brothers who developed generalized weakness, muscle damage, and replacement of damaged muscle tissue with fat and connective tissue. At that time the symptoms were thought to be signs of tuberculosis.
In the 1850s, descriptions of boys read more [...]
Leukemia or leukaemia (Greek leukos λευκ?ς, “white”; aima α?μα, “blood”) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases. In turn, it is part of the even broader group of diseases called hematological neoplasms.
Classification of Leukemia
Leukemia is clinically and pathologically subdivided into several large groups. The first division is between its acute and chronic forms:
Acute leukemia is characterized by the rapid increase of immature blood cells. This crowding makes the bone marrow unable to produce healthy blood cells. Acute forms of leukemia can occur in children and young adults. (In fact, it is a more common cause of death for children in the US than any other type of malignant disease). Immediate treatment is required in acute leukemias due to the rapid progression and accumulation of the malignant cells, which then spill over into the bloodstream and spread to other organs of the body. Central nervous system (CNS) involvement is uncommon, although the disease can read more [...]
Bedwetting is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which bladder control would normally be anticipated. The medical term for this condition is “nocturnal enuresis.” Primary Nocturnal Enuresis (PNE) is when a child has not yet stayed dry on a regular basis. Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis is when a child or adult begins wetting again after having stayed dry.
Bedwetting is the most common pediatric-health issue. Studies show that parents become worried too quickly because they expect children to stay dry too early. Most girls can stay dry by age six and most boys stay dry by age seven. By ten years old, 95% of children are dry at night. Studies place adult bedwetting rates at between 0.5% to 2.3%.
Developmental delay causes most bedwetting, frequently associated with a family history of the condition. Only a small percentage (5% to 10%) of bedwetting cases are caused by specific medical situations.
Treatment ranges from behavioral-based options such as bedwetting alarms, to medication such as hormone replacement. For most patients, the treatment is aimed at protecting or improving self-esteem. Treatment guidelines recommend that the physician counsel the read more [...]
Cardiomyopathy, which literally means “heart muscle disease,” is the deterioration of the function of the myocardium (i.e., the actual heart muscle) for any reason. People with cardiomyopathy are often at risk of arrhythmia or sudden cardiac death or both.
Cardiomyopathies can generally be categorized into two groups, based on World Health Organization guidelines: extrinsic cardiomyopathies and intrinsic cardiomyopathies.
These are cardiomyopathies where the primary pathology is outside the myocardium itself. Most cardiomyopathies are extrinsic, because by far the most common cause of a cardiomyopathy is ischemia. The World Health Organization calls these specific cardiomyopathies:
Coronary artery disease
Congenital heart disease
Ischemic (or ischaemic) cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy secondary to a systemic metabolic disease
Ischemic cardiomyopathy is a weakness in the muscle of the heart due to inadequate oxygen delivery to the myocardium read more [...]
A venous thrombosis is a blood clot that forms within a vein. (Thrombosis is a specific medical term for a blood clot that remains in the place where it formed.)
Classification of Venous thrombosis
Superficial venous thromboses can cause discomfort but generally do not cause serious consequences, unlike the deep venous thromboses (DVTs) that form in the deep veins of the legs or in the pelvic veins.
Since the veins return blood to the heart, if a piece of a blood clot formed in a vein breaks off it can be transported to the right side of the heart, and from there into the lungs. A piece of thrombus that is transported in this way is an embolism: the process of forming a thrombus that becomes embolic is called a thromboembolism. An embolism that lodges in the lungs is a pulmonary embolism (PE). A pulmonary embolus is a very serious condition that can be fatal if not recognized and treated promptly.
Systemic embolisms of venous origin can occur in patients with an atrial or ventricular septal defect, through which an embolus may pass into the arterial system. This is termed a paradoxical emboli.
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Constipation, costiveness, or irregularity, is a condition of the digestive system in which a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that are difficult to expel. This usually happens because the colon absorbs too much water from the food. If the food moves through the gastro-intestinal tract too slowly, the colon may absorb too much water, resulting in feces that are dry and hard. Defecation may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. The term obstipation is used for severe constipation that prevents passage of both stools and gas. Causes of constipation may be dietary, hormonal, anatomical, a side effect of medications (e.g. some painkillers), or an illness or disorder. Treatments consist of changes in dietary and exercise habits, the use of laxatives, and other medical interventions depending on the underlying cause.
Signs and symptoms of Constipation
Types 1 and 2 on the Bristol Stool Chart indicate constipation
In common constipation, the stool is hard, difficult, and painful to pass. Usually, there is an infrequent urge to void. Straining to pass stool may cause hemorrhoids and anal fissures, read more [...]
In medicine, diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea (see spelling differences), is frequent loose or liquid bowel movements.
Although for many people diarrhea is merely unpleasant, diarrhea that is both acute and severe is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. It is often due to gastroenteritis.
Causes of Diarrhea
Diagram of the human gastrointestinal tract.
Diarrhea is most commonly caused by viral infections, parasites or bacterial toxins. In sanitary living conditions where there is ample food and a supply of clean water, an otherwise healthy patient usually recovers from viral infections in a few days. However, for ill or malnourished individuals diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and can become life-threatening without treatment.
Diarrhea can also be a symptom of more serious diseases, such as dysentery, cholera, or botulism, and can also be indicative of a chronic syndrome such as Crohn’s disease or severe mushroom poisoning syndromes. Though appendicitis patients do not generally have diarrhea, it is a common symptom of a ruptured appendix. It is also an effect of severe read more [...]