Patient Education

Texas Internal Medicine & Diagnostic Center would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Texas Internal Medicine & Diagnostic Center provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Addiction

An addiction is an uncontrollable dependence on a certain substance or activity. People become addicted to different things for different reasons, but can be affected both physically and psychologically. With addiction, the activity or substance often becomes the major focus of a person's life, leading to the exclusion of other activities, impairing work, social, and family responsibilities, and affecting the individual's health, mood, and self-respect. Addicted individuals may suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem or depression and often feel as if they have no control over their lives or behavior. ...


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Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a tear in the mucous membrane that lines the anus and the anal canal. This condition often leads to pain, itching, burning and bleeding during bowel movements, as well as as to a visible crack in the skin around the anus. Anal fissures are relatively common in young infants, but can occur in patients of all ages. While most anal fissures heal on their own within 4 to 6 weeks, some require surgery. ...


Read More...



Asthma

Asthma is a condition in which the lungs and air passages become inflamed and constricted, interfering with normal breathing. During the first stage of an asthmatic response, inhaled allergens or other irritants cause the airways to constrict. During the second stage, an inflammatory response causes the airways to swell, and fill with thickened, sticky mucus. During an attack, patients have increasing difficulty in breathing, and usually make the wheezing sound typically associated with asthma. Although life-threatening, asthma can usually be well-controlled with medication. ...


Read More...



Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air in and out of the lungs during respiration. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is common, occurring frequently as a complication of a cold or other respiratory infection. Chronic bronchitis, however, is less common and more serious. A person is considered to have the chronic form when the bronchitis lasts longer, up to several months, and occurs more frequently, two or more times a year. Chronic bronchitis may be a precursor of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). ...


Read More...



Cardiovascular Disease

The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood vessels, and the blood that is circulated throughout these vessels. The cardiovascular system is powered by the heart and it is responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, and hormones throughout the body. When there is a breakdown or deficiency in the circulatory system, it is often referred to as cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease includes many different conditions that affect the cardiovascular system. Plaque may build up, narrowing the coronary arteries, and decrease blood flow to the heart. Blood clots may form within blood vessels and block blood flow to the heart or brain. In some cases, cardiovascular disease cannot be prevented. However, it can often be initially treated with healthy life style modifications. ...


Read More...



Celiac Disease

Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue or gluten sensitive enteropathy, is an autoimmune disease affecting both children and adults. It is a chronic digestive disorder that results in adverse reactions to foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten can also be found in non-food products, such as lipstick and envelope glue. All sources of gluten must be avoided by patients with celiac disease. ...


Read More...



Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure performed to examine the inside of the colon and rectum; it is used to determine causes of abdominal pain; rectal bleeding; and changes in bowel activity. It is also used to detect early signs of cancer. Colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years for everyone between the ages of 50 and 75. They may be recommended more frequently, or at a younger age, for people at elevated risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), typically patients with certain medical conditions or with a family history of the disease. Colonoscopies are also performed as follow-ups to other screening tests with positive results, such as a fecal occult blood tests. ...


Read More...



The Common Cold

A common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract. The common cold also affects the nose and throat and may be caused by different viruses. Symptoms of the common cold normally last about one week but may last longer in children, the elderly, and in individuals with other underlying conditions or illnesses. The common cold is one of the main reasons people visit the doctor each year. ...


Read More...



Constipation

Constipation affects almost everyone at some point. A person is considered constipated if he or she has three or fewer bowel movements a week, or has bowel movements that are hard, dry and/or painful. How often a bowel movement typically occurs determines whether a person is considered constipated. ...


Read More...



Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is a buildup of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. This buildup of fat, cholesterol and calcium, known collectively as plaque, can cause a hardening and narrowing of the arteries that restricts blood from reaching the heart. Blood clots can also form and completely block the artery. Coronary artery disease develops gradually, and can eventually lead to a heart attack or heart failure. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. ...


Read More...



Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a disorder that causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The inflammation is usually found in the small intestine (the ileum), but can occur in any area of the GI tract, which stretches from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's is an inflammatory bowel disease, which, like irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, causes swelling of the intestines. ...


Read More...



Diabetes

Diabetes is the inability of the body to create or use insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that enables sugar or glucose to enter cells. Diabetes is a serious, chronic metabolic disorder in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not respond to the insulin being produced. ...


Read More...



Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a condition in which the patient passes loose, watery stool many times a day, often accompanied by a sense of urgency, cramps and stomach upset. Diarrhea can be brought on by bacteria, parasites, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, medication or food intolerances. In most cases, diarrhea is not a long-lasting or serious condition. However, if it lasts for more than 3 days, is accompanied by a fever, severe abdominal pain or bloody stool, medical consultation is necessary. ...


Read More...



Diet and Exercise

Developing a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen are equally important. Many people only consider improving their diet and exercise routine when they want to lose weight. Diet and exercise, however, should not be forgotten once weight loss goals are achieved since they are important health factors even in individuals who are at an optimal weight. ...


Read More...



Ear Infections

Ear infections, also known as otitis media, are one of the most common childhood medical problems. Ear infections are the most frequent cause of doctor visits for children. In fact, three out of four children in the United States will have at least one ear infection by the time they reach the age of three. ...


Read More...



Ear, Nose and Throat Allergies

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) allergies, like other types of allergies, are extremely common. Allergic reactions of all kinds are triggered by an abnormal response of the immune system when it mistakes an innocuous substance for a serious threat. While most allergic symptoms of this type are relatively mild, untreated ear, nose and throat allergies should not be ignored because they may lead to more significant medical problems. ...


Read More...



Flu Vaccination

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious virus that appears seasonally. It spreads from person to person and can cause mild to severe illness. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. For some people, the flu can lead to serious complications, and possibly even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 20 percent of Americans get the flu each year, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually from flu-related complications. Flu season may start as early as October and usually subsides by May. ...


Read More...



Food Allergies

A food allergy is present when the immune system has an abnormal reaction to proteins in a particular food. Food-allergy symptoms, which can be triggered by ingesting even minute amounts of the food, usually happen within minutes but may, occasionally, happen a few hours later. Food allergies can begin in childhood or in adulthood, with some people suddenly having allergic responses to foods that have never caused problems. In other cases, allergies appear after a food is consumed for the first time. Certain food allergies that affect young children may eventually go away. ...


Read More...



Food Intolerance

Food intolerance occurs when an individual has an adverse reaction to certain food or foods. Food intolerance is differentiated from food allergy because the former denotes a sensitivity, the latter a reaction of the immune system. Where a food allergy can be extremely dangerous, at times resulting in a life-threatening anaphylactic response, a food intolerance causes localized problems. Also, while food allergies often come on suddenly, may be increasingly severe, and, once established, can be set off by a very small quantity of the offending food stuff, food sensitivities usually come about gradually and cause milder symptoms. In addition, individuals with food sensitivities are often able to eat small quantities of the food in question without difficulty. ...


Read More...



Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a very common ailment affecting approximately one in six people in the United States each year. Gastroenteritis may be caused by a virus, bacteria, a parasite, or by the ingestion of a drug or chemical toxin. Most forms of gastroenteritis are contagious, transmitted through contaminated water or food, or spread person-to-person. Although usually self-limited and not life-threatening, gastroenteritis can be dangerous to the very young, very old and immunocompromised. ...


Read More...



Migraine Headache

Migraines are chronic headaches that cause intense pain, and throbbing or pulsing sensations in the head. Along with severe head pain, some people also experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The pain and symptoms of a migraine may last from hours to days at a time. Most people experience recurring migraine headaches that may be triggered by stress, anxiety, hormonal changes, certain foods or changes in sleep patterns. Migraines are more common in women than men and they may develop as a result of genetic or environmental factors. Migraines can begin at any age, though most people experience their first migraine during adolescence. ...


Read More...



Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart, are suddenly blocked and cannot supply the heart with blood and oxygen. This blockage causes damage and gradual death of the heart muscle and often requires immediate treatment in order to save the person's life. Also known as a myocardial infarction, heart attacks most often occur as a result of coronary artery disease, a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. ...


Read More...



Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal. In their normal state, these veins provide cushioning during bowel movements. They can, however, swell from lifting, straining, being constipated, passing hard stools and having diarrhea, or from pregnancy. Hemorrhoids are not life-threatening, but they can be painful. If swelling persists, the veins may become permanently stretched (prolapsed). ...


Read More...



High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the pressure of the blood flowing against the artery walls is above the normal range. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the blood flow resistance in the arteries. If the heart pumps more blood than normal, and the arteries are narrower than normal, the result is high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure can cause serious health problems, including heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. There are two types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary. Primary hypertension is high blood pressure that develops gradually over the course of time, and secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that results from an underlying medical condition. ...


Read More...



High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is produced by the liver, the intestines and nearly all tissues in the body. Cholesterol is needed for the production of hormones, vitamin D, and the bile necessary to digest fats in food. Cholesterol also protects cell membranes from changes in temperature. Although a certain amount of cholesterol is needed, too much is unhealthy. An excessive amount of cholesterol can block blood flow in the arteries, which can lead to a stroke. High cholesterol does not have symptoms, but a simple blood test can determine its presence. Cholesterol levels can be controlled or reduced with an active and healthy lifestyle, although, in some cases, medication will be necessary. ...


Read More...



Indigestion

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a collection of chronic or acute symptoms that describes pain and discomfort experienced in the upper abdomen. Indigestion may occur as a result of overeating, eating foods that are high in fat, eating foods that are spicy, and eating too fast. Some of the other causes of indigestion may include the following: ...


Read More...



Influenza

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious viral infection that appears seasonally. It spreads from person to person and can cause mild to severe symptoms. The flu affects the nose, throat and lungs and symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. For some people, the flu can lead to serious complications, and possibly even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 20 percent of Americans gets the flu each year, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually from flu-related complications. Young children, older adults and people with chronic diseases or weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for infection. ...


Read More...



Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that involves difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, sometimes both. Although most people suffer an occasional sleepless night, patients with insomnia have difficulty sleeping on a regular basis. This condition affects approximately 1 in 10 people in the United States and can lead to other troubling symptoms, such as fatigue, low energy level, and a weakened immune system. While insomnia is not normally considered a serious medical disorder, it can make life difficult, or even unmanageable. ...


Read More...



Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS or spastic colon, is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. IBS is not a disease, but a functional disorder. Although, unlike Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, it is not a form of inflammatory bowel disease, it causes very uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing, symptoms that require long-term management. ...


Read More...



Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are uncomfortable symptoms that may or may not be indicative of a serious disorder. Nausea is a feeling of uneasiness in the stomach, usually accompanied by the sensation that one needs to, or is about to, vomit. Vomiting is the emptying, most often involuntarily, but occasionally voluntarily, of the stomach contents through the mouth. ...


Read More...



Obesity

Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess of body fat. Body fat has several important functions in the body, such as storing energy and providing insulation. Excess body fat, however, may interfere with an individual's health and well-being, particularly if a patient becomes morbidly obese. Not only does obesity interfere with everyday activities, it also increases the risk of developing serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Obesity is a serious health issue presently reaching epidemic proportions in society. It results in medical complications and early morbidity for a great many people. Other health conditions caused or exacerbated by obesity may include heart disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and asthma. The good news is that obesity is a treatable ailment and that modern medicine provides more remedies for the condition than previously existed. ...


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Pregnancy Testing

Pregnancy testing is performed to determine whether or not a woman has a fertilized embryo in her uterus. A pregnancy test detects the presence of the hormone human chorionic gonadoptropin (hCG) in the body. This hormone is usually only produced when an egg has successfully been fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall. Levels of hCG rise quickly and within a matter of days after a woman becomes pregnant. There are two types of pregnancy tests that are commonly performed; one uses a sample of urine, and the other, a sample of blood. Both tests measure the levels of hCG in a woman's body. ...


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Routine Physical Exam


A routine physical exam is recommended at least once each year for patients of all ages. This complete medical examination allows the doctor to evaluate the patient's overall health and detect any illnesses or medical conditions in the early stages. Early detection of a disease may result in more effective treatment. An annual physical examination helps individuals to address any health issues and allows the doctor to give recommendations for healthy living and preventative care. ...


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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a disease or infection that is spread from one person to another through sexual contact. Most STDs are caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses that are transmitted through contact with the genitals, skin, mouth, rectum or bodily fluids. Sexually transmitted diseases can cause problems ranging from mild irritation to severe pain. Left untreated, some STDs can cause illness, cancer and infertility, or harm to a fetus. ...


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Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are disturbances in sleep patterns. They involve difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, excessive daytime tiredness, irregular breathing during sleep, or abnormal sleep behaviors. Sleep disorders may develop as a result of changes in the neurotransmitters of the brain, taking certain medications (such as corticosteroids), illness, stress, anxiety, depression, excessive caffeine or alcohol, or drug use. A sleep disorder can interfere with daily activities, and affect overall health and quality of life. When accurately diagnosed, however, most sleep disorders can be effectively treated. ...


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Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat caused by the group A Streptococcus bacteria. This condition is highly contagious and may be spread easily from person to person, especially among family members, in schools and in child care settings. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 years old are commonly affected, however, strep throat can affect people of all ages. Strep throat is commonly treated with antibiotics, but left untreated it may lead to serious complications such as kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever.

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Stroke

A stroke occurs when there is a reduction in the flow of blood to the brain. The lack of blood supply may be the result of a blockage in an artery or a burst blood vessel in the brain. A stroke deprives brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cells to die. A stroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention by a medical professional. Prompt treatment can minimize damage to the brain and prevent further complications. ...


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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is the loss of bladder control. It is a common condition that involves the involuntary loss of urine. It may range in severity from occasionally leaking urine to a sudden urge to urinate that comes on very strongly. Although it is not usually a serious condition, UI can be embarrassing and affect a person's daily life. Urinary incontinence is most common in women, especially during and after pregnancy. It can, however, affect people of all ages. Being overweight or elderly may also increase the risk of urinary incontinence. ...


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Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The urinary tract refers to just the bladder and the urethra, and an infection can develop in either of these areas. These infections occur much more frequently in women than in men and may cause intense pain and discomfort. ...


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Addiction

An addiction is an uncontrollable dependence on a certain substance or activity. People become addicted to different things for different reasons, but can be affected both physically and psychologically. With addiction, the activity or substance often becomes the major focus of a person's life, leading to the exclusion of other activities, impairing work, social, and family responsibilities, and affecting the individual's health, mood, and self-respect. Addicted individuals may suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem or depression and often feel as if they have no control over their lives or behavior. ...


Read More...

Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a tear in the mucous membrane that lines the anus and the anal canal. This condition often leads to pain, itching, burning and bleeding during bowel movements, as well as as to a visible crack in the skin around the anus. Anal fissures are relatively common in young infants, but can occur in patients of all ages. While most anal fissures heal on their own within 4 to 6 weeks, some require surgery. ...


Read More...

Asthma

Asthma is a condition in which the lungs and air passages become inflamed and constricted, interfering with normal breathing. During the first stage of an asthmatic response, inhaled allergens or other irritants cause the airways to constrict. During the second stage, an inflammatory response causes the airways to swell, and fill with thickened, sticky mucus. During an attack, patients have increasing difficulty in breathing, and usually make the wheezing sound typically associated with asthma. Although life-threatening, asthma can usually be well-controlled with medication. ...


Read More...

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air in and out of the lungs during respiration. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is common, occurring frequently as a complication of a cold or other respiratory infection. Chronic bronchitis, however, is less common and more serious. A person is considered to have the chronic form when the bronchitis lasts longer, up to several months, and occurs more frequently, two or more times a year. Chronic bronchitis may be a precursor of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). ...


Read More...

Cardiovascular Disease

The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood vessels, and the blood that is circulated throughout these vessels. The cardiovascular system is powered by the heart and it is responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, and hormones throughout the body. When there is a breakdown or deficiency in the circulatory system, it is often referred to as cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease includes many different conditions that affect the cardiovascular system. Plaque may build up, narrowing the coronary arteries, and decrease blood flow to the heart. Blood clots may form within blood vessels and block blood flow to the heart or brain. In some cases, cardiovascular disease cannot be prevented. However, it can often be initially treated with healthy life style modifications. ...


Read More...

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue or gluten sensitive enteropathy, is an autoimmune disease affecting both children and adults. It is a chronic digestive disorder that results in adverse reactions to foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten can also be found in non-food products, such as lipstick and envelope glue. All sources of gluten must be avoided by patients with celiac disease. ...


Read More...

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure performed to examine the inside of the colon and rectum; it is used to determine causes of abdominal pain; rectal bleeding; and changes in bowel activity. It is also used to detect early signs of cancer. Colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years for everyone between the ages of 50 and 75. They may be recommended more frequently, or at a younger age, for people at elevated risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), typically patients with certain medical conditions or with a family history of the disease. Colonoscopies are also performed as follow-ups to other screening tests with positive results, such as a fecal occult blood tests. ...


Read More...

The Common Cold

A common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract. The common cold also affects the nose and throat and may be caused by different viruses. Symptoms of the common cold normally last about one week but may last longer in children, the elderly, and in individuals with other underlying conditions or illnesses. The common cold is one of the main reasons people visit the doctor each year. ...


Read More...

Constipation

Constipation affects almost everyone at some point. A person is considered constipated if he or she has three or fewer bowel movements a week, or has bowel movements that are hard, dry and/or painful. How often a bowel movement typically occurs determines whether a person is considered constipated. ...


Read More...

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is a buildup of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. This buildup of fat, cholesterol and calcium, known collectively as plaque, can cause a hardening and narrowing of the arteries that restricts blood from reaching the heart. Blood clots can also form and completely block the artery. Coronary artery disease develops gradually, and can eventually lead to a heart attack or heart failure. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. ...


Read More...

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a disorder that causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The inflammation is usually found in the small intestine (the ileum), but can occur in any area of the GI tract, which stretches from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's is an inflammatory bowel disease, which, like irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, causes swelling of the intestines. ...


Read More...

Diabetes

Diabetes is the inability of the body to create or use insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that enables sugar or glucose to enter cells. Diabetes is a serious, chronic metabolic disorder in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not respond to the insulin being produced. ...


Read More...

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a condition in which the patient passes loose, watery stool many times a day, often accompanied by a sense of urgency, cramps and stomach upset. Diarrhea can be brought on by bacteria, parasites, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, medication or food intolerances. In most cases, diarrhea is not a long-lasting or serious condition. However, if it lasts for more than 3 days, is accompanied by a fever, severe abdominal pain or bloody stool, medical consultation is necessary. ...


Read More...

Diet and Exercise

Developing a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen are equally important. Many people only consider improving their diet and exercise routine when they want to lose weight. Diet and exercise, however, should not be forgotten once weight loss goals are achieved since they are important health factors even in individuals who are at an optimal weight. ...


Read More...

Ear Infections

Ear infections, also known as otitis media, are one of the most common childhood medical problems. Ear infections are the most frequent cause of doctor visits for children. In fact, three out of four children in the United States will have at least one ear infection by the time they reach the age of three. ...


Read More...

Ear, Nose and Throat Allergies

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) allergies, like other types of allergies, are extremely common. Allergic reactions of all kinds are triggered by an abnormal response of the immune system when it mistakes an innocuous substance for a serious threat. While most allergic symptoms of this type are relatively mild, untreated ear, nose and throat allergies should not be ignored because they may lead to more significant medical problems. ...


Read More...

Flu Vaccination

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious virus that appears seasonally. It spreads from person to person and can cause mild to severe illness. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. For some people, the flu can lead to serious complications, and possibly even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 20 percent of Americans get the flu each year, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually from flu-related complications. Flu season may start as early as October and usually subsides by May. ...


Read More...

Food Allergies

A food allergy is present when the immune system has an abnormal reaction to proteins in a particular food. Food-allergy symptoms, which can be triggered by ingesting even minute amounts of the food, usually happen within minutes but may, occasionally, happen a few hours later. Food allergies can begin in childhood or in adulthood, with some people suddenly having allergic responses to foods that have never caused problems. In other cases, allergies appear after a food is consumed for the first time. Certain food allergies that affect young children may eventually go away. ...


Read More...

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance occurs when an individual has an adverse reaction to certain food or foods. Food intolerance is differentiated from food allergy because the former denotes a sensitivity, the latter a reaction of the immune system. Where a food allergy can be extremely dangerous, at times resulting in a life-threatening anaphylactic response, a food intolerance causes localized problems. Also, while food allergies often come on suddenly, may be increasingly severe, and, once established, can be set off by a very small quantity of the offending food stuff, food sensitivities usually come about gradually and cause milder symptoms. In addition, individuals with food sensitivities are often able to eat small quantities of the food in question without difficulty. ...


Read More...

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a very common ailment affecting approximately one in six people in the United States each year. Gastroenteritis may be caused by a virus, bacteria, a parasite, or by the ingestion of a drug or chemical toxin. Most forms of gastroenteritis are contagious, transmitted through contaminated water or food, or spread person-to-person. Although usually self-limited and not life-threatening, gastroenteritis can be dangerous to the very young, very old and immunocompromised. ...


Read More...

Migraine Headache

Migraines are chronic headaches that cause intense pain, and throbbing or pulsing sensations in the head. Along with severe head pain, some people also experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The pain and symptoms of a migraine may last from hours to days at a time. Most people experience recurring migraine headaches that may be triggered by stress, anxiety, hormonal changes, certain foods or changes in sleep patterns. Migraines are more common in women than men and they may develop as a result of genetic or environmental factors. Migraines can begin at any age, though most people experience their first migraine during adolescence. ...


Read More...

Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart, are suddenly blocked and cannot supply the heart with blood and oxygen. This blockage causes damage and gradual death of the heart muscle and often requires immediate treatment in order to save the person's life. Also known as a myocardial infarction, heart attacks most often occur as a result of coronary artery disease, a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. ...


Read More...

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal. In their normal state, these veins provide cushioning during bowel movements. They can, however, swell from lifting, straining, being constipated, passing hard stools and having diarrhea, or from pregnancy. Hemorrhoids are not life-threatening, but they can be painful. If swelling persists, the veins may become permanently stretched (prolapsed). ...


Read More...

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the pressure of the blood flowing against the artery walls is above the normal range. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the blood flow resistance in the arteries. If the heart pumps more blood than normal, and the arteries are narrower than normal, the result is high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure can cause serious health problems, including heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. There are two types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary. Primary hypertension is high blood pressure that develops gradually over the course of time, and secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that results from an underlying medical condition. ...


Read More...

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is produced by the liver, the intestines and nearly all tissues in the body. Cholesterol is needed for the production of hormones, vitamin D, and the bile necessary to digest fats in food. Cholesterol also protects cell membranes from changes in temperature. Although a certain amount of cholesterol is needed, too much is unhealthy. An excessive amount of cholesterol can block blood flow in the arteries, which can lead to a stroke. High cholesterol does not have symptoms, but a simple blood test can determine its presence. Cholesterol levels can be controlled or reduced with an active and healthy lifestyle, although, in some cases, medication will be necessary. ...


Read More...

Indigestion

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a collection of chronic or acute symptoms that describes pain and discomfort experienced in the upper abdomen.

Causes of Indigestion

Indigestion may occur as a result of overeating, eating foods that are high in fat, eating foods that are spicy, and eating too fast. Some of the other causes of indigestion may include the following: ...


Read More...

Influenza

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious viral infection that appears seasonally. It spreads from person to person and can cause mild to severe symptoms. The flu affects the nose, throat and lungs and symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. For some people, the flu can lead to serious complications, and possibly even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 20 percent of Americans gets the flu each year, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually from flu-related complications. Young children, older adults and people with chronic diseases or weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for infection. ...


Read More...

Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that involves difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, sometimes both. Although most people suffer an occasional sleepless night, patients with insomnia have difficulty sleeping on a regular basis. This condition affects approximately 1 in 10 people in the United States and can lead to other troubling symptoms, such as fatigue, low energy level, and a weakened immune system. While insomnia is not normally considered a serious medical disorder, it can make life difficult, or even unmanageable. ...


Read More...

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS or spastic colon, is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. IBS is not a disease, but a functional disorder. Although, unlike Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, it is not a form of inflammatory bowel disease, it causes very uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing, symptoms that require long-term management. ...


Read More...

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are uncomfortable symptoms that may or may not be indicative of a serious disorder. Nausea is a feeling of uneasiness in the stomach, usually accompanied by the sensation that one needs to, or is about to, vomit. Vomiting is the emptying, most often involuntarily, but occasionally voluntarily, of the stomach contents through the mouth. ...


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Obesity

Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess of body fat. Body fat has several important functions in the body, such as storing energy and providing insulation. Excess body fat, however, may interfere with an individual's health and well-being, particularly if a patient becomes morbidly obese. Not only does obesity interfere with everyday activities, it also increases the risk of developing serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Obesity is a serious health issue presently reaching epidemic proportions in society. It results in medical complications and early morbidity for a great many people. Other health conditions caused or exacerbated by obesity may include heart disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and asthma. The good news is that obesity is a treatable ailment and that modern medicine provides more remedies for the condition than previously existed. ...


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Pregnancy Testing

Pregnancy testing is performed to determine whether or not a woman has a fertilized embryo in her uterus. A pregnancy test detects the presence of the hormone human chorionic gonadoptropin (hCG) in the body. This hormone is usually only produced when an egg has successfully been fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall. Levels of hCG rise quickly and within a matter of days after a woman becomes pregnant. There are two types of pregnancy tests that are commonly performed; one uses a sample of urine, and the other, a sample of blood. Both tests measure the levels of hCG in a woman's body. ...


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Routine Physical Exam

A routine physical exam is recommended at least once each year for patients of all ages. This complete medical examination allows the doctor to evaluate the patient's overall health and detect any illnesses or medical conditions in the early stages. Early detection of a disease may result in more effective treatment. An annual physical examination helps individuals to address any health issues and allows the doctor to give recommendations for healthy living and preventative care. ...


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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a disease or infection that is spread from one person to another through sexual contact. Most STDs are caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses that are transmitted through contact with the genitals, skin, mouth, rectum or bodily fluids. Sexually transmitted diseases can cause problems ranging from mild irritation to severe pain. Left untreated, some STDs can cause illness, cancer and infertility, or harm to a fetus. ...


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Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are disturbances in sleep patterns. They involve difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, excessive daytime tiredness, irregular breathing during sleep, or abnormal sleep behaviors. Sleep disorders may develop as a result of changes in the neurotransmitters of the brain, taking certain medications (such as corticosteroids), illness, stress, anxiety, depression, excessive caffeine or alcohol, or drug use. A sleep disorder can interfere with daily activities, and affect overall health and quality of life. When accurately diagnosed, however, most sleep disorders can be effectively treated. ...


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Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat caused by the group A Streptococcus bacteria. This condition is highly contagious and may be spread easily from person to person, especially among family members, in schools and in child care settings. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 years old are commonly affected, however, strep throat can affect people of all ages. Strep throat is commonly treated with antibiotics, but left untreated it may lead to serious complications such as kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever.

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Stroke

A stroke occurs when there is a reduction in the flow of blood to the brain. The lack of blood supply may be the result of a blockage in an artery or a burst blood vessel in the brain. A stroke deprives brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cells to die. A stroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention by a medical professional. Prompt treatment can minimize damage to the brain and prevent further complications. ...


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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is the loss of bladder control. It is a common condition that involves the involuntary loss of urine. It may range in severity from occasionally leaking urine to a sudden urge to urinate that comes on very strongly. Although it is not usually a serious condition, UI can be embarrassing and affect a person's daily life. Urinary incontinence is most common in women, especially during and after pregnancy. It can, however, affect people of all ages. Being overweight or elderly may also increase the risk of urinary incontinence. ...


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Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The urinary tract refers to just the bladder and the urethra, and an infection can develop in either of these areas. These infections occur much more frequently in women than in men and may cause intense pain and discomfort. ...


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