• A

    • Acute Bronchitis

      Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the major airways into the lungs. It may be caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses. These viruses can be spread in the air when a person coughs. They also can be spread through physical contact, such as through unwashed hands.

      Acute bronchitis can last from a few days to 10 days. But the cough that comes with acute bronchitis may last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

    • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

      Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the sudden failure of the respiratory (breathing) system. It can develop in anyone over the age of 1 who is critically ill. A person with ARDS has rapid breathing, difficulty getting enough air into the lungs and low blood oxygen levels.

      ARDS usually develops in people who are already very ill with another disease or who have major injuries. They are usually already in the hospital when they develop the ARDS.

      Air you breathe in travels to the air sacs in your lungs. Small blood vessels run through the walls of the air sacs. Oxygen passes from the air sacs into the blood vessels and then into the bloodstream, which distributes the oxygen to all parts of the body. In ARDS, the lung's blood vessels leak more fluid than normal into the air sacs. This prevents the lungs from filling with air and moving enough oxygen into the bloodstream. The result is the body's organs don't get enough oxygen and they may shut down.

    • Allergies

      An allergic reaction is a complex chain of events, which involve many cells, chemicals and tissues in the body. For individuals affected by allergens, once the immune system has detected an invader, it unleashes a host of chemicals such as histamines and other compounds resulting in localized inflammation leading to swelling of membranes, irritation, itching, drainage and discomfort.

      There are two factors that determine if a person will have allergies: their genetic background and their exposure to allergens. The genetic background provides the potential to develop allergies and the environment provides the allergen trigger. Some allergens have a defined season while others have a less defined season.

    • Angina

      "Angina" is the medical term for chest pain more likely to be related to the heart and includes:

      • Chest, pressure, pain or discomfort (often, but not always like “an elephant sitting on your chest”), especially if accompanied by arm, jaw or back pain
      • Worsening with exertion and relieved by rest or nitroglycerine

      Other symptoms may occur with angina, or in some patients, especially women, diabetics and the elderly, may occur alone, including:

      • Nausea, excessive fatigue, arm numbness or tingling, dizziness or fainting
      • New or increased shortness of breath

    • Asbestosis

      Asbestosis is a disease that involves scarring of lung tissue as a result of breathing in asbestos fibers. The disease causes the lung tissues and the lining of the chest wall to thicken and harden. The scarring makes it hard for you to breathe and for oxygen to get into the blood. The disease worsens slowly over time. In some people the disease causes no symptoms, while in others it can cause severe symptoms.

      Asbestos was previously widely used as an insulator and fire retardant until it became known that its microscopic fibers cause disease, including cancer. Asbestos exposure occurred in industries including the asbestos mining and milling industries, construction, and fireproofing.

      Today asbestos is a well-recognized health hazard, and is highly regulated by the government. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established regulations dealing with asbestos exposure on the job, specifically in construction work, shipyards, and general industry that employers are required to follow.

    • Asthma

      Asthma is a chronic, or life long, disease that can be serious—even life threatening. There is no cure for asthma. The good news is that it can be managed so you can live a normal, healthy life. The more you can learn about asthma, the better you and your loved ones can manage living with this disease, making the most of every day, and maintaining the quality of life that is important to you.

      Asthma is a lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of your lungs. There are three things that you should know about asthma:

      1. Asthma is chronic. In other words, you live with it every day.
      2. It can be serious – even life threatening.
      3. There is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed so you live a normal, healthy life.

      When you breathe, air passes through your nose and down your throat into your lungs. Inside your lungs are branching tubes called airways. With asthma, the airways are often swollen and red (or inflamed). This makes them extra sensitive to things that you are exposed to in the environment every day or asthma “triggers”. A trigger could be a cold, the weather, or things in the environment, such as dust, chemicals, smoke and pet dander.

      When someone with asthma breathes in a trigger, the insides of the airways make extra mucus and swell even more. This narrows the space for the air to move in and out of the lungs. The muscles that wrap around your airways can also tighten, making breathing even harder. When that happens, it’s called an asthma flare-up, asthma episode or asthma “attack”.

      Asthma can start at any age. Sometimes, people have asthma when they are very young and as their lungs develop, the symptoms go away. There is a possibility that it will come back later in life. Sometimes, people get asthma for the first time when they are older.

  • B

    • Breast Cancer

      Malignant tumors within the breast area are generally termed as "breast cancer." Any of the types of tissue in the breast can form a cancer, but cancer cells are most likely to develop from either the ducts or the glands. These tumors may be referred to as "invasive ductal carcinoma" (cancer cells developing from ducts), or "invasive lobular carcinoma" (cancer cells developing from lobes).

      Breast cancer is the second-most common type of cancer among women in the United States. One in eight (12 percent) U.S. women will develop the disease during her lifetime. Advances in research and in treatment have allowed more women to live longer overall and without disease progression. In 2011, the fatality rate was about 1 in 28, and that number will continue to decrease as research and advancement in physician care progresses. Only about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are caused by inherited gene abnormalities or mutations; the rest occur by chance or environmental factors that are not completely understood in medicine.

    • Bronchiectasis

      Bronchiectasis is an abnormal stretching and enlarging of the lungs' airways caused by mucus blockage. When the body cannot get rid of mucus, it becomes stuck and builds up in the airways. The blockage and accompanying infection cause inflammation, leading to the weakening and widening of the passages. The weakened passages can become scarred and deformed, allowing more mucus and bacteria to build up. This results in a cycle of infection and blocked airways.

      Bronchiectasis can develop at any age. It begins most often in childhood, but symptoms may not appear until much later. Bronchiectasis can occur as part of a birth defect, such as primary ciliary dyskinesia or cystic fibrosis. It can develop after birth as a result of injury or other diseases, like tuberculosis, pneumonia and influenza. It also can be caused by a blockage in your airways due to a growth or something you inhaled as a child such as a piece of a toy or peanut.

      Bronchiectasis cannot be cured. But with proper treatment most people with bronchiectasis can live a normal life. The sooner your bronchiectasis is detected and treated, the better the chance of preventing more damage to your lungs.

    • Bronchiolitis

      Bronchiolitis is an inflammation of the bronchioles, the small airways in the lungs. It is most common in early infancy. It often occurs due to viral infections, over half of which are caused by the respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

      When Should I Call the Doctor?

      Call your health care provider immediately, or go to the emergency room if your child with bronchiolitis:

      • Develops a bluish color in the skin, nails, or lips

      • Develops rapid, shallow breathing

      • Has a cold that suddenly gets worse

      • Has trouble breathing

      • Flares nostrils or retracts chest muscles when trying to breathe

      • Becomes lethargic

    • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

      Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a lung disease that is seen most often in babies who were born severely premature—more than 10 weeks before their due date. Babies with BPD have inflammation and scarring in the lungs.

      About 5,000 to 10,000 babies born in the United States each year have BPD. More babies today have BPD than 30 years ago because more very premature babies survive.

    • Burns (1st and 2nd Degree)

      To distinguish a minor burn from a serious burn, the first step is to determine the extent of damage to body tissues. The three burn classifications of first-degree burn, second-degree burn and third-degree burn will help you determine emergency care.

      1st-degree burn

      The least serious burns are those in which only the outer layer of skin is burned, but not all the way through.

      • The skin is usually red

      • Often there is swelling

      • Pain sometimes is present

      Treat a first-degree burn as a minor burn unless it involves substantial portions of the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, or a major joint, which requires emergency medical attention.

      2nd-degree burn

      • When the first layer of skin has been burned through and the second layer of skin (dermis) also is burned, the injury is called a second-degree burn.

      • Blisters develop

      • Skin takes on an intensely reddened, splotchy appearance

      • There is severe pain and swelling.

      • If the second-degree burn is no larger than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter, treat it as a minor burn. If the burned area is larger or if the burn is on the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, or over a major joint, treat it as a major burn and get medical help immediately.


    • Byssinosis

      What is Byssinosis?
      Byssinosis (brown lung disease) is a lung disease caused by exposure to dusts from cotton processing, hemp and flax. The small airways become blocked, severely harming lung function. In the United States, byssinosis is almost completely limited to workers who handle unprocessed cotton.

  • C

    • Cancer

      Our bodies are made up of millions of cells. Grouped together they form tissues and organs such as muscle, bone, the brain and liver. Cells contain coded instructions called genes that are used for creating new cells and programming how they behave. We are continuously dividing healthy cells to replace old or damaged cells at a naturally efficient, methodical pace. The process of cells dividing and passing along genes is usually well controlled, ensuring that the right kinds and numbers of cells are present for the different parts of the body to function correctly. But changes in the genetic information (called mutations) within the cell can lead to uncontainable cell division referred to as Cancer.

      While it is known that cells become cancerous due to the accumulation of defects or mutations in their DNA and certain inherited genetic traits, ultimately, what causes the genes in cells to change isn’t fully understood.

      Cancer cells make new cells that aren’t needed and they don’t die quickly when old or damaged. They often grow faster and live longer than healthy, normal cells. As a result, the mutated cells can replace normal cells at a faster rate than the human body can repair or replace them. These cell mutations can form lumps or tumors, and can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. This spreading process is called metastasis.

      Tumors that do not have the ability to spread throughout the body may be referred to as "benign" and are not thought of as cancerous. Tumors that have the ability to grow into other tissues or spread to distant parts of the body are referred to as "malignant."

      The presence of cancer can be detected in numerous ways. Regular wellness checks that include preemptive screenings such as mammograms, prostate exams and colonoscopies can result in early detection and significantly higher treatment options leading to higher rates of success.

      Cancer staging is the process of determining how advanced the cancer is and where it is located. It is based on whether the cancer is invasive or non-invasive, the size of the tumor, how many lymph nodes are involved, and if it has spread to other parts of the body. Understanding the stage of the cancer helps doctors develop a prognosis, design a treatment plan for the patient, and identify clinical trials that may be appropriate for that particular patient.

    • Carotid Artery Disease

      Carotid (ka-ROT-id) artery disease is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the carotid arteries. You have two common carotid arteries, one on each side of your neck. They each divide into internal and external carotid arteries.

      The internal carotid arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your brain. The external carotid arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your face, scalp, and neck.

    • Chronic Bronchitis

      Bronchitis is the inflammation of the lining of the airways, or bronchial tubes. When your airways are inflamed and/or infected, less air is able to flow to and from the lungs and you cough up heavy mucus or phlegm. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. A cute bronchitis can accompany a cold and clears up after a week or two.

      A person with chronic bronchitis has a mucus-producing cough most days of the month, three months of a year for two years in a row without other underlying disease to explain the cough. After a long period of irritation:

      • Excess mucus is produced constantly

      • The lining of the airways becomes thickened

      • An irritating cough develops

      • Air flow may be hampered

      • The lungs become scarred

      The airways then make an ideal breeding place for infections.

      Chronic bronchitis doesn't strike suddenly. After a winter cold seems cured, you may continue to cough and produce large amounts of mucus for several weeks. Since people who get chronic bronchitis are often smokers, the cough is usually dismissed as only "smoker's cough."

      As time goes on, colds become more damaging. Coughing and bringing up phlegm last longer after each cold. Without realizing it, you may begin to take this coughing and mucus production as a matter of course, all year long. Generally, the cough is worse in the morning and in damp, cold weather. You may cough up an ounce or more of yellow mucus each day.

      In 2009, it was estimated that 9.9 million Americans reported a physician diagnosis of chronic bronchitis. A person with chronic bronchitis also may develop emphysema. These two conditions together are commonly referred to as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

    • Chronic Venous Insufficiency

      CVI most commonly occurs as the result of a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs, a disease known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). CVI also results from pelvic tumors and vascular malformations, and sometimes occurs for unknown reasons. Failure of the valves in leg veins to hold blood against gravity leads to sluggish movement of blood out of the veins, resulting in swollen legs.

      Chronic venous insufficiency that develops as a result of DVT is also known as post-thrombotic syndrome. As many as 30 percent of people with DVT will develop this problem within 10 years after diagnosis.

    • Claudication

      Claudication is pain and/or cramping in the lower leg due to inadequate blood flow to the muscles. The pain usually causes the person to limp. The word "claudication" comes from the Latin "claudicare" meaning to limp. Claudication typically is felt while walking, and subsides with rest. It is commonly referred to as "intermittent" claudication because it comes and goes with exertion and rest. In severe claudication, the pain is also felt at rest.

    • Coccidioidomycosis (cocci)

      Coccidioidomycosis (cocci) is an infection of the lungs caused by inhaling spores of the fungus Coccidioides immitis. This fungus is present in the soil of the southwestern United States, California, and parts of Central and South America.

      The disease is not spread from human to human. After one bout with cocci, the body develops immunity to a second infection.

    • Colorectal Cancer

      Colorectal cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of epithelial cells, which form the lining of the colon or rectum. These small growths (known as polyps) are often benign, although some have the potential to develop and become cancerous. It is estimated that up to two thirds of colorectal polyps are pre-malignant and associated with a risk of colorectal cancer.

    • Compromised Skin Grafts and Flaps

      Compromised skin grafts and skin flaps stand for a problem involving inadequate oxygen supply to tissue. Skin grafts typically survive as oxygen disperses into them from the original wound bed. Skin grafts can partially or fully have fail when there is not enough oxygen supplied. There are a few types of skin grafts which are: full-thickness grafts where all the layers of skin are used, split-thickness grafts in which only the top layers and some of the deep layers are used, as well as pedicle grafts where part of the skin remains to the donor site. Factors such as age, nutritional status, smoking, and previous radiation result in an erratic pattern of blood flow to the skin.

    • Concussions

      A concussion is a type of brain injury. It's the most minor form. Technically, a concussion is a short loss of normal brain function in response to a head injury. But people often use it to describe any minor injury to the head or brain.

      Concussions are a common type of sports injury. You can also have one if you suffer a blow to the head or hit your head after a fall.

    • Conjunctivitis

      Conjunctivitis is the medical name for pink eye. It involves inflammation of the outer layer of the eye and inside of the eyelid. It can cause swelling, itching, burning, discharge, and redness. Causes include:

      • Bacterial or viral infection

      • Allergies

      • Substances that cause irritation

      • Contact lens products, eye drops, or eye ointments

      Pink eye usually does not affect vision. Infectious pink eye can easily spread from one person to another. The infection will clear in most cases without medical care, but bacterial pinkeye needs treatment with antibiotic eye drops or ointment.

    • COPD

      COPD, also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is a very serious disease, and the third leading cause of death in the United States. The good news is that COPD is often preventable and treatable.

    • Coronary artery disease (CAD)

      Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and death. It occurs when plaque builds up within the walls of your heart arteries (atherosclerosis). Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the organs and other parts of the body.

    • Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia (COP)

      Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP) is a rare lung condition in which the small airways (bronchioles) and air exchange sac (alveoli) become inflamed with connective tissue. This is an uncommon illness occurring in one study in 6 out of 100, 000 hospitalizations. It usually starts with a flu-like illness associated with fever, malaise, fatigue and cough. The cough may be persistent and troubling. There is shortness of breath with exertion and weight loss occurs in about half of patients.

      This condition is a form of interstitial [within the fine supporting tissue of the lung] pneumonia of unknown origin. Very similar interstitial pneumonias can be seen in association with connective tissue diseases such as lupus erythematosis, several drug exposures and malignancies.

      The physician examination is typical of other interstitial pneumonias but the chest x-ray and chest CT scan are distinctive and should lead an experienced lung specialist to suspect the diagnosis. However these findings are not definitive and a lung biopsy is recommended for confirmation. Pulmonary function tests are nonspecific.

      The course of the disease is variable however it tends to be persistent and not self-limited.

      Current therapy involves relatively high doses of corticosteroids [e.g. prednisone] for several months depending upon the response. Other immunosuppressive drugs [e.g. cyclophosphamide] may also be used. Treatment usually but not always results in significant improvement. However recurrences are common and patients should be periodically monitored with chest radiography, especially in the first year after treatment.

    • Cystic Fibrosis

      Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to form in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, this mucus blocks the airways, causing lung damage and making it hard to breathe. In the pancreas, it clogs the pathways leading to the digestive system, interfering with proper digestion.

      Cystic fibrosis is the second most common inherited disorder occurring in childhood in the United States, behind sickle cell anemia. More than 10 million Americans carry the defective cystic fibrosis gene without knowing it.

      Approximately 30,000 people in the United States have CF. About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year.

  • D

    • Deep Venous Thrombus

      Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain, but often occurs without any symptoms.

      Deep vein thrombosis can develop if you're sitting still for a long time, such as when traveling by plane or car, or if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots.

      Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition because a blood clot that has formed in your vein can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism).


    • Depression
    • Diabetes

      What is Diabetes?

      Diabetes is an illness that causes sugar levels in your blood to be high. Another word for blood sugar is glucose. Most of what you eat is changed into glucose during digestion. All the cells in your body need glucose to give you energy!

      Your body makes a hormone called insulin. Insulin works to keep your blood glucose in the normal range by helping it move from your blood into your cells.

      When you have diabetes,

      • your body does not make insulin, or

      • it does not make enough insulin, or

      • the insulin your body makes does not work right

    • Diabetic Foot Ulcers

      Neuropathy can contribute to the formation of a diabetic foot ulcer. If left untreated, diabetic foot ulcers can progress to severe infection or gangrene that might require amputation. In fact, diabetic ulcers are one of the most common causes of foot amputation.
      As such, it is important for patients with diabetes to be fully aware of foot-related problems and the potential for long-term disability. The good news is that through good foot care, and by regulating blood glucose levels, diabetics can decrease the chance of developing diabetic foot ulcers.

    • Diverticular Diseases

      Diverticular disease is a condition that occurs when a person has problems from small pouches, or sacs, that have formed and pushed outward through weak spots in the colon wall. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Multiple pouches are called diverticula.

      The colon is part of the large intestine. The large intestine absorbs water from stool and changes it from a liquid to a solid form. Diverticula are most common in the lower part of the colon, called the sigmoid colon.

      The problems that occur with diverticular disease include diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding. Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula become inflamed, or irritated and swollen, and infected. Diverticular bleeding occurs when a small blood vessel within the wall of a diverticulum bursts.

  • E

    • Emphysema

      Emphysema is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. Emphysema, along with chronic bronchitis, together are referred to as Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, or COPD. Right now COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. The good news is that COPD is often preventable and treatable.

      The more you can learn about emphysema, the better you and your loved ones can manage living with this disease, making the most of every day, and maintaining the quality of life that is important to you.

      There are many resources available to people living with COPD and their loved ones. We have information and tools created by the American Lung Association for your use. And there are resources provided by partners of the American Lung Association. Be sure to check out the other areas of our COPD section.

  • G

    • Glaucoma

      Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. At first, open-angle glaucoma has no symptoms. It causes no pain. Vision stays normal.

      Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision. As glaucoma remains untreated, people may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eye and feel like they are looking through a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead (central) vision may decrease until no vision remains.

      With early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.

    • Gynecologic Cancers

      Gynecologic cancers are the uncontrolled growth and spread of mutated cells within the female reproductive organs, including, but not limited to the cervix, ovaries and uterus.

      Every woman is at risk for developing a type of gynecologic cancer. The American Cancer Society estimated that 98,280 women would be diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer and some 30,440 will die from the disease in 2015.

      Screening and self-examinations conducted regularly can result in the detection of certain types of gynecologic cancers in their earlier stages, when treatment is more likely to be successful and a complete cure is a possibility. Diet, exercise and lifestyle choices play a significant role in the prevention of cancer. Additionally, knowledge of family history can increase the chance of prevention or early diagnosis by determining if someone may have a gene which makes them susceptible to cancer.

  • H

    • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

      Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a disease that comes from contact with infected rodents or their urine, droppings or saliva. HPS first appeared as a "mystery" illness in the Southwestern United States (Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico) in the spring of 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States.. About three-quarters of people with HPS have lived in rural areas.

      The HPS infection cannot be transmitted from one person to another. Transmission can occur in any location infested by infected rodents, especially rats and mice.

    • Headache

      A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the head (occipital), or in the back of the upper neck. Headache, like chest pain or back ache, can have many causes.

      All headaches are considered primary headaches or secondary headaches. Primary headaches are not associated with other diseases. Examples of primary headaches are migraine, tension, and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by or closely associated with other diseases.

    • Heart Attack
    • Heart Disease

      In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to heart attack. You can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.

      Coronary artery disease can cause a heart attack. If you have a heart attack, you are more likely to survive if you know the signs and symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away, and get to a hospital quickly. People who have had a heart attack can also reduce the risk of future heart attacks or strokes by making lifestyle changes and taking medication.

    • Heat Stroke

      Heatstroke is a term referring to the condition when your body overheats, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This serious injury can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher.

      Heatstrokes require emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens if treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.

    • High Blood Pressure
    • Histoplasmosis

      Histoplasmosis is a lung infection caused by inhaling the spores of a fungus. This fungus, called Histoplasma capsulatum, is common in most of the central and eastern United States. The fungus grows in soil, as well as bird and bat droppings, and is spread by breathing in the spores of disturbed soil.

      Occupations and hobbies that carry risks for exposure to the fungus include:

      • Bridge inspector or painter

      • Chimney cleaner

      • Construction worker

      • Demolition worker

      • Farmer

      • Gardener

      • Heating and air-conditioning system installer or service person

      • Microbiology laboratory worker

      • Pest control worker

      • Restorer of historic or abandoned buildings

      • Roofer

      • Spelunker (cave explorer)

    • Human Metapneumovirus

      Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is member of a family of viruses and was first recognized in 2001 in the Netherlands, but it most likely has been causing respiratory illnesses for at least 50 years worldwide. Human metapneumovirus can cause upper and lower respiratory tract infections in people of all ages. Upper respiratory tract infections include colds, while lower respiratory tract infections include pneumonia or bronchitis. Respiratory illnesses from hMPV most often occur in young children or older adults.

      The virus is most likely to spread by direct or close contact with the respiratory secretions (through sneezing and coughing) of people infected with the virus or by contact with objects and surfaces that have the virus on them.

      It is believed most people who develop illness will do so three to five days after being exposed to the virus.

    • Hyperhidrosis

      Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition in which a person sweats excessively and unpredictably. People with hyperhidrosis may sweat even when the temperature is cool or when they are at rest.

      Neurologic, metabolic and other systemic diseases can sometimes cause excessive sweating, but most cases of hyperhidrosis occur in people who are otherwise healthy. Primary or focal hyperhidrosis occurs largely in the palms, feet or armpits and may have a genetic component as it tends to run in families.

      On the other hand, secondary hyperhidrosis may be the result of an underlying medical condition. Conditions that may cause secondary hyperhidrosis include menopause, low blood sugar, thyroid conditions, certain medications, some cancers and infectious diseases.

    • Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

      Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a disease in which your lungs become inflamed when you breathe in certain dusts to which you are allergic. These dusts contain fungus spores from moldy hay or the droppings of birds.

      When you inhale this dust the first time, you won't notice any problem. But after repeated or intense exposure to the dust some people may develop symptoms. The tiny air sacs in the lung become inflamed, their walls fill with white blood cells, and sometimes the sacs fill with fluid. The disease may flare up again because of more exposure to the dusts. Parts of the lung may develop scar tissue and can no longer function normally in breathing.

    • Hypertension
  • I

    • Influenza

      Influenza (flu), also referred to as seasonal flu, is a highly contagious illness caused by the influenza virus. Anyone can get the flu as it is spread easily from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus may belong to one of three different influenza virus families: A, B or C.

      Influenza type A viruses can infect people, as well as birds, pigs, horses, and other animals. Influenza A viruses can be further broken down into different strains. There are two subtypes of influenza A viruses found in and circulating among humans: regular H1N1 and H3N2. These two subtypes are included in the seasonal flu vaccine each year.

      Influenza Type B viruses are usually found only in humans. Influenza B viruses can cause illness among humans, but in general are associated with less severe contagious disease than influenza A viruses.

      Influenza Type C viruses cause mild illness in humans. Influenza C cases occur much less frequently than A and B and are not typically included in the seasonal flu vaccine.
      In addition to seasonal flu, there are two other flu viruses receiving extra attention around the globe today:

      Influenza Virus (H1N1)

      This new flu virus, also known as swine flu, is a subtype of influenza Type A. It has been spreading quickly around the world. It causes illness similar to seasonal flu.

      Avian Flu (H5N1)

      Avian influenza, or bird flu, is also a subtype of influenza Type A viruses. While highly contagious in birds, it does not usually infect humans. Several cases of human infection with bird flu viruses have occurred since 1997, primarily in Asia, parts of Europe, the Near East and Africa. The death rate for these reported cases has been greater than 50 percent. The virus is mainly transmitted to humans by direct contact with infected live, sick or dead poultry. However, it is thought that a few cases of human-to-human spread have occurred.

    • Insomnia

      Insomnia is defined as the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following: - difficulty falling asleep - waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep - waking up too early in the morning - non-refreshing sleep The Institute of Medicine estimates that between 50 and 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems. It is classified as: - transient (short term) - lasting from a single night to a few weeks - intermittent (on and off) - episodes occur from time to time - chronic (constant) - occurs on most nights and lasts a month or more

  • i

    • interstitial lung diseases

      Interstitial lung disease, or ILD, is a common term that includes 130 to 200 chronic lung disorders, which may be:

      • chronic

      • nonmalignant (non-cancerous)

      • noninfectious

      Interstitial lung diseases may also be called interstitial pulmonary fibrosis or pulmonary fibrosis.The symptoms and course of these diseases may vary from person to person, but the common link between the many forms of ILD is that they all begin with an inflammation.

      • bronchiolitis - inflammation that involves the bronchioles (small airways)

      • alveolitis - inflammation that involves the alveoli (air sacs)

      • vasculitis - inflammation that involves the small blood vessels (capillaries)

      Most interstitial lung diseases are diagnosed as pneumoconiosis, a drug-induced disease, or hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The other types are:

      • sarcoidosis

      • idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

      • bronchiolitis obliterans

      • histiocytosis X

      • chronic eosinophilic pneumonia

      • collagen vascular disease

      • granulomatous vasculitis

      • Goodpasture's syndrome

      • pulmonary alveolar proteinosis

  • K

    • Kidney Diseases

      Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fists. They are located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. Inside each kidney about a million tiny structures called nephrons filter blood. They remove waste products and extra water, which become urine. The urine flows through tubes called ureters to your bladder, which stores the urine until you go to the bathroom.

      Most kidney diseases attack the nephrons. This damage may leave kidneys unable to remove wastes. Causes can include genetic problems, injuries, or medicines. You are at greater risk for kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a close family member with kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease damages the nephrons slowly over several years. Other kidney problems include:

      • Cancer

      • Cysts

      • Stones

      • Infections

  • L

    • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

      Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (Lpr) is a condition that occurs in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When acid created in the stomach travels up the esophagus, it is called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).

    • Lice

      Lice are parasitic insects that can be found on people's heads and bodies. They survive by feeding on human blood. Lice found on each area of the body are different from each other. The three types of lice that live on humans are head lice, body lice (also called clothes lice), and pubic lice ("crabs").

      Symptoms of lice may include

      • Intense itching

      • Rash

      • Visible nits (lice eggs) or crawling lice

    • Lung Cancer

      Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both of the lungs. While normal cells reproduce and develop into healthy lung tissue, these abnormal cells reproduce faster and never grow into normal lung tissue. Lumps of cancer cells (tumors) then form and grow. Besides interfering with how the lung functions, cancer cells can spread from the tumor into the bloodstream or lymphatic system where they can spread to other organs.

      There are two major types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Non-small cell lung cancer is much more common and accounts for 85 percent of all lung cancer cases. It usually spreads to different parts of the body more slowly than small cell lung cancer. There are three main types of NSCLC, which are named for the type of cells in which the cancer develops: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. Only 17.3 percent of the people who develop non-small cell lung cancer survive past 5 years.

      Small cell lung cancer, also called “oat cell cancer,” accounts for 14 percent of all lung cancers. This type of lung cancer grows more quickly and is more likely to spread to other organs in the body. It often starts in the bronchi and towards the center of the lungs. Small cell lung cancer is mainly attributable to smoking. Only 6.2 percent of the people who develop small cell lung cancer survive past 5 years. Sometimes lung cancer may have characteristics of both types; this is known as mixed small cell/large cell carcinoma.

    • Lymphangiomatosis

      Lymphangiomatosis is a rare disorder believed to be congenital (something that people are born with) and can affect any of the body's systems except the central nervous system (including the brain). It is a disease of the lymphatic system, which is a network that is linked throughout all areas of the body except the central nervous system.

  • M

    • Malnutrition

      Food provides the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. Not getting enough nutrients in the diet: including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, can lead to malnutrition

    • Menopause

      Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. Menopause affects every woman differently. Some women have no symptoms, but some women have changes in several areas of their lives. It's not always possible to tell if these changes are related to aging, menopause, or both. The physical and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, cause hot flashes, lower your energy or — for some women — trigger anxiety or feelings of sadness and loss.

      To help women better understand menopause, Portneuf Medical Center presents Red Hot Mamas. These monthly seminars are physician-presented and cover a wide range of topics relating to the physical and psychological stresses that can accompany this phase in a woman’s life.

    • Mesothelioma

      Mesothelioma is a form of cancer. It involves the cells that line the lungs, abdominal organs and heart; that lining is called the mesothelium. In the most common form of mesothelioma, malignant tumors grow on the sac that lines the chest cavity and protects the lungs—the pleura. This is known as pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is uncommon. About 2,000-3,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S.

    • Morbid Obesity
    • Myocardial Infarction
  • N

    • Narcolepsy

      What is narcolepsy?

      Narcolepsy is a chronic, neurological sleep disorder with no known cause. It involves the body's central nervous system. Narcolepsy is a genetic disorder, but what causes narcolepsy is not yet known.

      The main characteristic of narcolepsy is excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness, even after adequate nighttime sleep. A person with narcolepsy is likely to become drowsy or to fall asleep at inappropriate times and places, and sleep attacks may occur with or without warning.

      Attacks can occur repeatedly in a single day, drowsiness may persist for prolonged periods of time, and nighttime sleep may be fragmented with frequent awakenings.

    • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

      Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) are a group of cancers that affect the immune system. They begin in the lymph nodes and are made up of malignant (cancerous) lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell imperative to fighting infection and triggering the immune system’s responses.

      Note: Non-Hodgkin lymphomas should not be confused with Hodgkin's disease. While both occur in the lymph system, these are two distinctly different diseases.

      There are B and T lymphocytes cells.

      • B cells develop in the bone marrow and then develop fully in the lymph nodes. They produce proteins called antibodies, which move through the bloodstream and work to eliminate the offensive antigen.
      • T cells develop in the thymus gland and directly attack the cells considered foreign by the B cells.

      Both of these cells are able to remember bacteria from previous infections, and thus respond quicker to future infections. When there are mutations in the genetic make-up of these cells, the cancer is called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    • Nontuberculous Mycobacterium

      Nontuberculous mycobacterium infections are caused by mycobacteria that are found in water and soil. These germs usually do not make people sick. Nontuberculous mycobacteria are part of the broader family of bacteria that includes the germ that causes tuberculosis.

      Doctors do not know why nontuberculous mycobacteria infect some people. They believe that people who get these infections already have some lung damage, an underlying illness, or a problem with their immune systems.

      Nontuberculous mycobacteria infections are not contagious. They are not spread person-to-person.
      The prevalence of nontuberculous mycobacteria has increased, but the reasons are not known.

  • O

    • Obesity

      Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person's weight is greater than what's considered healthy for his or her height.

      Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person. Factors that might tip the balance include your genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods and not being physically active.

      Being obese increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and some cancers. If you are obese, losing even 5 to 10 percent of your weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases.

    • Occupational Lung Diseases

      What are occupational lung diseases?
      Repeated and long-term exposure to certain irritants on the job can lead to an array of lung diseases that may have lasting effects, even after exposure ceases. Certain occupations, because of the nature of their location, work, and environment, are more at risk for occupational lung diseases than others. Contrary to a popular misconception, coal miners are not the only ones at risk for occupational lung diseases. For instance, working in a car garage or textile factory can expose a person to hazardous chemicals, dusts, and fibers that may lead to a lifetime of lung problems if not properly diagnosed and treated.

      Consider these statistics from the American Lung Association:

      • In the U.S., occupational lung diseases are the number one cause of work-related illness in terms of frequency, severity, and preventability.

      • Most occupational lung diseases are caused by repeated, long-term exposure, but even a severe, single exposure to a hazardous agent can damage the lungs.

      • Occupational lung diseases are preventable.

      • Smoking can increase both the severity of an occupational lung disease and the risk of lung cancer.

    • Open Sores or Ulcers

      Conditions and Symptoms

      • Pain

      • Sore or wound that isn’t healing

      • Ulcer

      • History of ulceration

    • Osteomyelitis

      Osteomyelitis is an infection in a bone. Infections can reach a bone by traveling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue. Osteomyelitis can also begin in the bone itself if an injury exposes the bone to germs.

      In children, osteomyelitis most commonly affects the long bones of the legs and upper arm, while adults are more likely to develop osteomyelitis in the bones that make up the spine (vertebrae). People who have diabetes may develop osteomyelitis in their feet if they have foot ulcers.

      Once considered an incurable condition, osteomyelitis can be successfully treated today. Most people require surgery to remove parts of the bone that have died — followed by strong antibiotics, often delivered intravenously, typically for at least six weeks. Source:

    • Osteoradionecrosis

      Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) is a problem with bone healing that can occur in people who received high doses of radiation, particularly to the jaw. This complication can occur after dental surgery or extraction of teeth. High doses of radiation can decrease the bone’s blood supply. If this happens, the bone gets less oxygen than it needs, resulting in the death (necrosis) of bone tissue. The most commonly affected bone is the jawbone (mandible).

  • P

    • Peripheral Arterial Disease

      Peripheral artery disease (also called peripheral arterial disease) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs.

      When you develop peripheral artery disease (PAD), your extremities — usually your legs — don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication).

      Peripheral artery disease is also likely to be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries (atherosclerosis). This condition may be reducing blood flow to your heart and brain, as well as your legs.

      Often, you can successfully treat peripheral artery disease by quitting tobacco, exercising and eating a healthy diet.

    • Pertussis

      Pertussis—called whopping cough—is a respiratory illness caused by bacteria. It is very contagious and is most dangerous for infants and young children. Anyone can get pertussis, but most people in the U.S. are immunized before entering school and receive a booster vaccine during adolescence to prevent them from getting the disease. Most cases in the U.S. now are in adolescents and adults.

      The infection may start out like a common cold—with mild fever and a runny nose—but symptoms get severe after a couple of weeks. People with pertussis get violent coughing fits that last several minutes and typically end with a high-pitched "whoop" sound as they try to take a breath. During the coughing fits, you may have difficulty breathing, you may vomit or choke, and your lips and nails may turn blue from lack of oxygen. You may even lose consciousness briefly.

      Pertussis usually lasts for six weeks. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the illness is diagnosed early in the course of the illness. Cough syrups and drops will not work on pertussis. They will not make your symptoms improve or shorten the length of the illness.

    • Pink Eye
    • Pneumoconiosis

      Pneumoconiosis, also known as Black Lung Disease, is an occupational lung disease caused by inhaling coal dust. There are two types of pneumoconiosis— simple, known as coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) and complicated, known as progressive massive fibrosis (PMF). Pneumoconiosis is a type of interstitial lung disease. In this type of disease: the lung is damaged (in this case, by coal dust); the walls of the air sacs are inflamed; and the lung stiffens from scarring of the tissue between the air sacs.

      There is no known treatment for pneumoconiosis, but doctors treat the symptoms and complications of the disease.

    • Pneumonia

      Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of your lungs. Many small germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can cause pneumonia. Pneumonia is not a single disease. It can have more than 30 different causes. Understanding the cause of pneumonia is important because pneumonia treatment depends on its cause.
      Approximately one-third of the pneumonia cases in the United States each year are caused by respiratory viruses. These viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 5 years.
      The flu virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults. Other viruses that cause pneumonia include respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, herpes simplex virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and more.

    • Postpartum Depression
    • Pressure Ulcer

      A pressure ulcer, also known as a bedsore or decubitus ulcer, is a wound of the skin caused by prolonged, unrelieved pressure to that area. Pressure ulcers occur most frequently around bony prominences such as the tailbone, hips, heels, ankles and elbows.

    • Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia

      What causes Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia?

      Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare birth defect. The cilia in patients with PCD malfunction. Cilia are the tiny hair-like structures whose job it is to move mucus out of respiratory passages. When cilia don't work correctly, the mucus gets trapped and blocks your respiratory tract.

    • Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)

      What is Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)?

      Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) is increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries, and its cause is unknown. These arteries carry blood from your heart to your lungs to pick up oxygen.

    • Prostate Cancer

      The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland in the male reproductive system that wraps around the urethra and produces seminal fluid. Prostate Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in or on the prostate gland. It is the most common cancer to affect men in the U.S., and it’s estimated that one in seven men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. Prostate cancer can develop slowly and some men may live many years without ever having the cancer detected. It is important to get screened regularly so that if you do develop prostate cancer, the appropriate action can be taken. A significant proportion of prostate cancers, if untreated, may have serious consequences.

      Symptoms rarely present themselves in the early stages of prostate cancer. You might consider prostate cancer screening if you are older than 60 or have a family history of prostate cancer. You should discuss the benefits and risks of screening with your doctor.

      The Portneuf Urology Clinic can test and diagnose prostate cancer.

    • Psychosis
    • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)

      PAH is a disease in which the pressure in a patient's pulmonary arteries becomes dangerously high. Pulmonary arteries carry blood that has returned from the body to the lungs, where the blood receives a fresh supply of oxygen. That high blood pressure puts a strain on the heart. PAH is one of five types of pulmonary hypertension (PH). PAH worsens over time and is life-threatening. It is a relatively rare disease, affecting 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 1 million people.

      There are several types of PAH:

      Idiopathic (IPAH)—PAH in which the cause is unknown

      Familial (FPAH)—PAH that runs in families and often is linked to a genetic defect

      Associated (APAH)—the most common type of PAH, which is caused by or occurs at the same time as other medical conditions, including:

      • Collagen vascular disease (or connective tissue disease)--includes autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma or lupus; in autoimmune diseases, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells and tissues

      • Congenital heart and lung disease—heart/lung diseases that develop at or before birth

      • Portal hypertension—a condition usually resulting from liver disease

      • HIV infection

      • Drugs—including appetite suppressants, particularly fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine; cocaine or amphetamines; other drugs

      • Other conditions: thyroid disorders, glycogen storage disease (genetic defect in forming or releasing sugars necessary for the body to function), Gaucher disease (an inherited metabolic disorder), hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (abnormally formed blood vessels resulting in excessive bleeding), hemoglobinopathies (abnormally formed oxygen carrying protein in the red blood cells, caused by a genetic defect), myeloproliferative disorders (overproduction of red or white blood cells) and splenectomy (removal of the spleen)

      Associated with significant venous or capillary involvement—PAH occurring at the same time as abnormal narrowing in the pulmonary veins and/or capillaries and may or may not include arteries; conditions include:

      • Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD): a disease resulting in blockage of the veins in the lungs

      • Pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis: small blood vessels in the lungs grow too much and become tangled, resulting in poor blood flow

      Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn—PAH in newborn's when the heart and blood vessels do not adapt to breathing outside the womb.

    • Pulmonary Embolism

      A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot that develops in a blood vessel elsewhere in the body (most commonly from the leg), travels to an artery in the lung, and forms an occlusion (blockage) of the artery.

      A blood clot (thrombus) that forms in a blood vessel in one area of the body, breaks off, and travels to another area of the body through the bloodstream is called an embolus. An embolus can lodge itself in a blood vessel, blocking the blood supply to a particular organ. This blockage of a blood vessel by an embolus is called an embolism.

      An embolism to the lung may cause serious life-threatening consequences and, potentially, death. Most commonly, a PE is the result of a condition called deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the deep veins of the leg).

      The circulatory system

      The heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins make up the body's circulatory system. Blood is pumped with great force from the heart into the arteries, then into the capillaries (small blood vessels in the tissues) and returns to the heart through the veins. Much of the force of the heartbeat is lost when the blood enters the veins and results in the slowing down of the blood flow through the veins back to the heart. Under certain conditions, decreased blood flow may contribute to clot formation.

    • Pulmonary Fibrosis

      Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease marked by scarring of the tissue inside and between the air sacs in the lungs. When the scar forms, the tissue becomes stiff and thicker. This makes it harder for oxygen to pass through the walls of the air sac into the bloodstream. Once the lung tissue becomes scarred, the damage cannot be reversed.

      Pulmonary fibrosis is one of a family of related diseases called interstitial lung diseases. All of these diseases can result in lung scarring.

    • Pulmonary Vascular Disease

      Pulmonary vascular disease is a category of disorders. All affect the blood circulation in the lungs. They include:

      • pulmonary embolism

      • chronic thromboembolic disease

      • pulmonary arterial hypertension

      • pulmonary veno-occlusive disease

      • arteriovenous malformations

      • pulmonary edema

  • R

    • REM Sleep Disorder

      Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) is a sleep disorder (more specifically a parasomnia) that involves abnormal behaviour during the sleep phase with rapid eye movement (REM sleep). It was first described in 1986.

      The major and arguably only abnormal feature of RBD is loss of muscle atonia (paralysis) during otherwise intact REM sleep. This is the stage of sleep in which most vivid dreaming occurs. The loss of motor inhibition leads to a wide spectrum of behavioural release during sleep. This extends from simple limb twitches to more complex integrated movement, in which sufferers appear to be unconsciously acting out their dreams. These behaviours can be violent in nature and in some cases will result in injury to either the patient or their bed partner.

    • Respiratory Syncytial Virus

      Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a very contagious virus and the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia in children younger than age 1 in the U.S. Almost all children are infected with the virus by their second birthday, but only a small percentage of children develop severe illness.

    • Restless Leg Syndrom (RLS)

      What is restless legs syndrome (RLS)?

      Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences unpleasant sensations in the legs, which are described as:

      • creeping
      • crawling
      • tingling
      • pulling
      • painful

      These sensations usually occur in the calf area, but may be felt anywhere from the thigh to the ankle. One or both legs may be affected. For some people, the sensations are also felt in the arms. People with RLS have an irresistible urge to move the affected limb when the sensations occur.
      Some patients, however, have no definite sensation, except for the need to move. Sleep problems are common with RLS because of the difficulty it causes in getting to sleep.

  • S

    • Sarcoidosis

      Understanding Sarcoidosis

      Sarcoidosis is a disease caused by inflammation. Scientists believe sarcoidosis is an immune system disease brought on by a failure of the body's natural defense system. It is not contagious.

      Sarcoidosis can attack any part of the body—inside or out—but 90 percent of the cases affect the lungs. When sarcoidosis appears in the lungs it is called pulmonary sarcoidosis.

      Sarcoidosis appears as small patches of inflamed cells. It can cause different symptoms depending on where it appears. On the skin, it may look like a scaly rash or red bumps. In the eyes, it can cause soreness. If it affects muscles, it can cause swelling and soreness. In the lungs, it can cause a dry cough, mild chest pain, or shortness of breath.

      How Serious Is Sarcoidosis?
      Nobody can predict how sarcoidosis will affect one person verses another. It is not serious in over half the cases. The disease appears briefly and heals naturally, without treatment. Some people don't even realize they have sarcoidosis. However, another 20-30 percent of people with pulmonary sarcoidosis end up with permanent lung damage. A small percentage of patients may have chronic sarcoidosis, lasting for many years.

      Who Gets Sarcoidosis?
      Anyone can get sarcoidosis. It is most common among African Americans and northern European whites, especially Scandinavians. In the U.S., African Americans have a much higher percentage of sarcoidosis than whites, and it is usually much more serious in African Americans.Sarcoidosis usually affects young adults—people between 20 and 40—but it can affect people older than 60. It is somewhat more common among women than men.

    • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

      Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
      SARS is caused by a group of viruses called the coronaviruses. It was first identified during an outbreak in Asia in 2003.

      How is SARS Spread?
      Scientists believe the main way that SARS spreads is by close person-to-person contact, when someone infected with SARS coughs or sneezes. "Close contact" is:

      • having cared for or lived with someone with SARS

      • Having a high likelihood of direct contact with coughs, sneezes and/or body fluids of someone known to have SARS. For example: kissing or embracing, sharing eating or drinking utensils, talking to someone within 3 feet, physical examination, and any other direct physical contact between people.

      Close contact does not include activities such as walking by a person or briefly sitting across from someone in a waiting room or office.

      The virus also can spread when a person touches a surface or object contaminated with infectious droplets (from a cough or a sneeze) and then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eye(s). Scientists suspect that the virus also might spread more broadly through the air or by other ways that are currently not known.

    • Silicosis

      Silicosis is a chronic lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica dust. Silica is the second most common mineral in the earth's crust. It is a major component of sand, rock, and mineral ores like quartz. People who work in jobs where they can be breathing in these tiny silica bits—like sandblasting, mining, construction and many others—are at risk for silicosis. When people breathe silica dust, they inhale tiny particles of silica that has crystallized. This silica dust can cause fluid buildup and scar tissue in the lungs that cuts down your ability to breathe.

      There are three types of silicosis:

      • Chronic silicosis, the most common type of silicosis, usually occurs after 10 or more years of exposure to crystalline silica at low levels.

      • Accelerated silicosis occurs 5 to 10 years after exposure and is caused by exposure to higher levels of crystalline silica.

      • Acute silicosis can occur after only weeks or months of exposure to very high levels of crystalline silica. Acute silicosis progresses rapidly and can be fatal within months.

    • Sinusitis

      Sinusitis means your sinuses are inflamed. The cause can be an infection or another problem. Your sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones surrounding the nose. They produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If your nose is swollen, this can block the sinuses and cause pain.

      There are several types of sinusitis, including

      • Acute, which lasts up to 4 weeks

      • Subacute, which lasts 4 to 12 weeks

      • Chronic, which lasts more than 12 weeks and can continue for months or even years

      • Recurrent, with several attacks within a year

      • Acute sinusitis often starts as a cold, which then turns into a bacterial infection. Allergies, nasal problems, and certain diseases can also cause acute and chronic sinusitis.

    • Skin Cancer

      Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal, mutated skin cell. These cells reproduce faster than healthy skin cells and may have the ability to spread to other organs in the body.

      Skin cancer is most often diagnosed and treated by your dermatologist.

      There are four main types of skin cancer:

      • Basal cell cancer accounts for roughly 80% of skin cancers diagnosed and usually begins on the areas of skin most commonly exposed to sun like the head and neck. Basal cell cancers are slow growing and, generally do not spread to other parts of the body (metastasize) beyond the original site.
      • Melanoma develops from the cells that produce pigment called melanocytes. It is the most serious type of skin cancer, most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds and can spread rapidly to other areas of the body. Melanoma claims nearly 10,000 people annually in the United States.
      • Squamous cell skin carcinoma commonly appears on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, ears, neck, and lips, but can also appear in scars or chronic skin sores. Squamous cell cancers are more likely to spread into deeper layers of the skin than Basal cell, but metastasis is still relatively low compared to Melanoma.
      • Actinic keratoses (or solar keratosis) forms on skin that has been exposed to sun over many years, often badly damaged already. It is most commonly found in fair-skinned people over 45 years in age due to accumulative effects of the sun. Actenic keratosis can progress to Squamous cell skin carcinoma. so early treatment is important.

      If you or someone you know has concerns or questions about skin cancer including early detection/diagnosis and treatment methods, please contact your local dermatologist for a consultation.

    • Sleep Apnea

      What is Sleep Apnea?

      Sleep apnea is a very common disorder that causes you to stop breathing while you sleep—from a few seconds to minutes. These breathing pauses often occur 5 to 30 times or more per hour. Normal breathing usually starts again, sometimes with a snort or choking sound. If you have sleep apnea, it disrupts your sleep at least three nights a week. You sleep poorly, so you are tired during the day—sometimes so tired that you can't concentrate, work, or drive.

      There are three types of sleep apnea—obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive is the most common form of sleep apnea.

      Obstructive sleep apnea most often happens when your airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. This causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses. When you try to breathe, you might snore loudly from air that squeezes past the blockage.

      Central sleep apnea happens when the part of your brain that controls breathing doesn't send correct signals. This means you make no effort to breathe for brief periods of time.

      Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

    • Spider Veins

      Spider veins are small blue or red vessels that appear near the surface of the skin. These vessels mainly appear on the legs and face. Treatment methods vary based on the type of vein and the presence of venous reflux disease. Diagnosis is based upon an ultrasound scan and visual inspection. Your physician will determine if you are a candidate for treatment with the D940 laser, based upon the severity of the symptoms and the diagnosis.

    • Stroke

      Stroke is an obstruction in blood flow or the rupture of an artery that feeds the brain. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the US and the leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.

      Common stroke symptoms include:

      1. sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg usually on one side of the body;
      2. sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others;
      3. sudden impaired vision in one or both eyes;
      4. sudden loss of balance, coordination or dizziness;
      5. and/or sudden headache with no known cause.

      If you think someone may be having a stroke, act FAST and do this simple test:

      • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
      • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
      • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
      • Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

    • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

      Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant, usually between the ages of one and six months. SIDS is also called "crib death".

    • Suicidal Behavior / Threats
    • Surgical Wounds

      You will have a surgical wound after any type of operation that involves making a cut into your skin, including minor procedures carried out by GPs and other doctors, as well as those done by surgeons. For simplicity, we will refer to surgeons throughout this factsheet.

      The position and size of the cut your surgeon makes will depend on the type of operation and surgery you have. For example, if you have keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery, your surgeon will make small cuts to your skin, which will be closed with stitches, clips or skin glue to bring the skin edges together to heal.

  • T

    • Tendon Pain

      Pain, stiffness and/or inflammation along a tendon (often near a joint) caused by trauma often as a result of a hit, pull or twist on the joint during work or play. Debilitating pain and limited range of motion can inhibit individuals from participating in everyday motions and activities.

      Symptoms of tendon injury may affect the precise area where the injured tendon is located or may radiate out from the joint area.

    • Thyroid Disorders

      The tyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, just above your breastbone. It produces hormones that regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. Some thyroid disorders include:

      Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain important hormones.

      Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate your body's metabolism significantly, causing sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness or irritability.

      Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within your thyroid. The great majority of thyroid nodules aren't serious and don't cause symptoms. Thyroid cancer accounts for only a small percentage of thyroid nodules.

      Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid.

    • Traumatic Wounds

      Traumatic wounds are typically defined as cuts, lacerations or puncture wounds which have caused damage to both the skin and underlying tissues. Acute wounds, cut wounds and penetrating wounds are the three categories that make up traumatic wounds. An acute wound occurs when the skin has been ripped or torn and has a jagged appearance. An acute wound typically contains foreign bodies such as gravel, glass, metal or sand.

      With acute traumatic wounds, it is not uncommon for layers of tissue to be easily visible along the inside of the cut. A traumatic cut wound is the result of something sharp penetrating the skin and the underlying subcutaneous tissues. Penetrating wounds, however, are considered the deepest and most severe of all traumatic wounds, because they often occur as the result of being stabbed or sustaining a gunshot wound.

    • Tuberculosis (TB)

      Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that usually attacks the lungs, but can attack almost any part of the body. Tuberculosis is spread from person to person through the air. When a person with TB in their lungs or throat coughs, laughs, sneezes, sings, or even talks, the germs that cause TB may spread through the air. If another person breathes in these germs there is a chance that they will become infected with tuberculosis.

      It is important to understand that there is a difference between being infected with TB and having TB disease. Someone who is infected with TB has the TB germs, or bacteria, in their body. The body's immune system is protecting them from the germs and they are not sick. This is referred to as latent TB.

      Someone with TB disease is sick and can spread the disease to other people. A person with TB disease needs to see a doctor as soon as possible. This is referred to as active TB.

      What is Multi-drug Resistant TB?

      Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a very dangerous form of tuberculosis. Some TB germs become resistant to the effects of some TB drugs. This happens when TB disease is not properly treated. These resistant germs can then cause TB disease. The TB disease they cause is much harder to treat because the drugs do not kill the germs.

      MDR-TB can be spread to others, just like regular TB. If you have TB, it is important to follow your healthcare provider's instructions for taking your TB medicine so that you will not develop MDR-TB.

  • U

    • UPJ Obstruction

      Ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction is a blockage in the area that connects the renal pelvis (part of the kidney) to one of the tubes (ureters) that move urine to the bladder.

      UPJ obstruction is usually a congenital condition (present from birth). Most are diagnosed on prenatal ultrasound screening.

    • Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction
  • V

    • Varicose Veins

      Varicose veins occur most commonly in the legs when valves fail to operate properly. Blood pools in the legs instead of returning to the heart. If left untreated, this condition can lead to serious problems later in life. Having unsightly veins removed is not merely a cosmetic decision.

      The Idaho Vein Center uses the latest technology to remove varicose veins and spider veins with great success and minimal discomfort. We also offer treatment for leg pain and swelling, arterial disease and other vascular problems.

    • Venous Stasis

      A venous stasis ulcer, also known as a venous insufficiency ulcer, means that there is an impairment or lack of venous blood flow to an area of the skin. These ulcers occur in the lower legs, between the knee and the ankle. The most common place for them to develop is around the ankle.

      In most cases, there is a change in the color of the skin before it actually opens (ulcerates), like a red spot or a black and blue bruising. Due to the lack of circulation, which provides the essential nutrients for the skin to survive, the skin begins to die in this spot and opens (ulcerates.) These wounds are typically shallow (do not get very deep.) They are often irregular in shape and tend to elongate (like a run in stockings.) Left untreated, they do not get better and will get worse.

  • W

    • Whooping cough

      Whooping cough is an infectious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable coughing. The name comes from the noise you make when you take a breath after you cough. You may have choking spells or may cough so hard that you vomit.

      Anyone can get whooping cough, but it is more common in infants and children. It's especially dangerous for infants. The coughing spells can be so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe.

    • Wounds from Vascular Diseases

      Ulcers of the lower extremities, particularly in individuals older than 65 years, are a common cause for visits to the podiatrist, wound care specialist, primary care physician, vascular surgeon, or dermatologist.

      The great majority of vascular ulcers are chronic or recurrent. They cause a considerable amount of morbidity among patients with peripheral vascular disease, including work incapacity. The care of chronic vascular ulcers places a significant burden on the patient and the health care system. Additionally, these nonhealing ulcers place the patient at much higher risk for lower extremity amputation.