Adult Health Library

    Allergy and Asthma


    Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases

      About Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases
      Arthritis, itself a group of more than 100 different diseases, is one category of rheumatic diseases.

      Anatomy of a Joint
      Joints are the areas where two or more bones meet. Most joints are mobile, allowing the bones to move.

      Ankylosing Spondylitis
      Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. Ankylosing means stiff or rigid, spondyl means spine, and itis refers to inflammation. The disease causes inflammation of the spine and large joints, resulting in stiffness and pain.

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    Bone Disorders

      Anatomy of the Bone
      A typical bone in your body contains 3 types of tissue—a hard outer tissue, a sponge-like inner tissue, and smooth tissue at the ends.

      Avascular Necrosis
      Avascular necrosis develops when blood supply to a bone is cut off. This causes the bone to die and can cause pain and joint problems.

      Benign Bone Tumors
      Detailed information on the most common benign bone tumors, including chondroblastoma, enchondroma, giant cell tumor, and osteochondroma

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    Breast Health

      About Breast Cancer in Men
      Breast cancer in men is rare—less than 1% of all breast cancer occurs in men.

      About Clinical Trials: Information from the National Cancer Institute
      Clinical trials are studies, managed by government agencies, educational institutions, private not-for-profit organizations, or commercial businesses. They develop and evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments and therapies for diseases.

      Anatomy of the Breasts
      Each breast has 15 to 20 sections (lobes), which are arranged like the petals of a daisy. Each lobe has many smaller lobules, which end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk.

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    Cardiovascular Diseases


    Complementary and Alternative Medicine

      Acupuncture
      Acupuncture is the practice of puncturing the skin with needles at certain anatomical points in the body to relieve specific symptoms associated with many diseases.

      Art, Dance, and Music
      Detailed information on art therapy, dance therapy, and music therapy as a form of alternative therapy

      Ayurveda
      Ayurveda is a system of medicine based on the idea that disease is caused by an imbalance or stress in a person's consciousness.

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    Dermatology

      Acne
      Acne affects teens and adults of all ages. It happens when oil secreted by sebaceous glands clogs the hair follicle. Bacteria infect the clogged follicle and cause pimples.

      Acne Scar Removal
      Detailed information on different techniques for acne scar removal, including dermabrasion, chemical peels, collagen injections, laser resurfacing, punch grafts, and autologous fat transfer

      Anatomy of the Skin
      The skin is the body's largest organ. It serves as a protective shield against heat, light, injury, and infection.

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    Diabetes


    Digestive Disorders

      Achalasia
      Achalasia is a disease that makes it hard to eat and drink normally. It affects your esophagus, which is the swallowing tube that connects the back of your throat to your stomach.

      Acute Pancreatitis
      Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. It can be caused by gallstones, alcohol consumption, and certain medications, among other causes.

      Alagille Syndrome
      Alagille syndrome is an inherited condition in which bile builds up in the liver because there are too few bile ducts to drain the bile. This results in liver damage.

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    Endocrinology

      Acromegaly
      When your pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone, abnormal growth occurs. This is called acromegaly. The abnormal growth starts in your hands and feet, as soft tissue begins to swell. This rare disease affects mostly middle-aged adults. It can lead to severe illness and even death if not treated.

      Adrenal Glands
      Detailed information on the adrenal gland, its anatomy and function

      Adrenal Insufficiency (Addison's Disease)
      Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands don’t make enough of the hormone cortisol. You have two adrenal glands. They are located just above the kidneys. They work with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain. Cortisol helps break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in your body. It also controls blood pressure and affects how your immune system works.

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    Environmental Medicine


    Eye Care

      Age-Related Macular Degeneration
      Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects a person’s central vision. AMD is the most common cause of severe loss of eyesight among people ages 60 and older. Only the center of vision is affected with this disease.

      Anatomy of the Eye
      The structures of the eye include the cornea, iris, pupil, macula, retina, and the optic nerve.

      Avoiding Eye Injuries
      Detailed information on eye safety and tips to avoid eye injury

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    Glossary


      Gynecological Health

        Amenorrhea
        Amenorrhea means you haven't had your period for more than 3 cycles. It can be caused by a variety of things including overexercising, being overweight, or due to an ovulation problem.

        Anatomy of Female Pelvic Area
        The female pelvic area contains a number of organs and structures: the endometrium, uterus, ovaries, cervix, vagina, and vulva.

        Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome (Gorlin Syndrome)
        The risk for ovarian cancer and skin cancer is increased with basal cell nevus syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

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      Hematology and Blood Disorders

        Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML): Symptoms
        Detailed information on acute myelogenous leukemia, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

        Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL): Symptoms
        Detailed information on acute lymphocytic leukemia, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

        Alpha Thalassemia
        Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder. It is passed down from one or both parents through their genes. There are two main types of thalassemia: alpha and beta. Different genes are affected for each type. Thalassemia can cause mild or severe anemia.

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      Home Health, Hospice, and Elder Care

        Assistive Equipment for the Home
        Assistive equipment includes shower seats and bathtub mats; walkers, canes, and wheelchairs; and telephones for the hearing-impaired.

        Being a Caregiver
        "Formal" caregivers are paid for their services and have had training and education in providing care. "Informal" caregivers, also called family caregivers, are people who provide care to family or friends, usually without payment.

        Choosing a Provider
        When looking for a home health and hospice care provider, consider quality of care, availability of services, personnel training and expertise, and payer coverage.

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      Infectious Diseases

        AIDS-Related Malignancies
        People who have AIDS are much more likely to get certain types of cancer than people without the disease.

        Bacterial Meningitis
        Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It is characterized by headache, stiff neck, and high fever.

        Chagas Disease
        Chagas disease is caused by a parasite. It is transmitted to people through the feces of insects. It is common in South and Central America and Mexico.

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      Kidney and Urinary System Disorders

        Analgesic Nephropathy
        Taking one or a mix of painkiller medicines daily over a long time may cause chronic kidney problems. This is called analgesic nephropathy. Painkillers that combine 2 or more medicines (such as, aspirin and acetaminophen together) with caffeine or codeine are the most likely to harm the kidneys.

        Anatomy of the Urinary System
        Detailed anatomical description of the urinary system, including simple definitions and labeled, full-color illustrations

        Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
        Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy. It’s when the prostate gland becomes very large and may cause problems passing urine. BPH is not cancer, and is a common part of aging.

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      Liver, Biliary, and Pancreatic Disorders

        Acute Liver Failure
        Acute liver failure is when your liver suddenly begins to lose its ability to function. This often happens right after an overdose of medication or poisoning.

        Acute Pancreatitis
        Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. It can be caused by gallstones, alcohol consumption, and certain medications, among other causes.

        Alcoholic Hepatitis
        Alcoholic hepatitis is liver inflammation and damage cause by drinking too much alcohol over time.

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      Men's Health


      Mental Health Disorders

        Adjustment Disorders
        Adjustment disorders are quite common in children and teens. They are characterized by an excessive reaction to stress.

        Anorexia Nervosa
        Anorexia nervosa (or simply anorexia) is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and food. People who suffer with this behavior problem have a distorted body image and see themselves as overweight even when their weight is dangerously low. 

        Anxiety Disorders
        Detailed information on the most common types of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias

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      Nervous System Disorders

        A Vocabulary for Sleep
        A number of sleep disorders can keep you from catching your zzz’s. To help you understand what could be keeping you from the rest you need, get familiar with the vocabulary of sleep issues.

        Absence Seizures
        Absence seizures are a type of epilepsy that is most common in children. it is characterized by a blank or absent stare.

        Acute Spinal Cord Injury
        Car accidents, falls, and other injuries are a common cause of acute spinal cord injury.

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      Non-Traumatic Emergencies

        Animal Bites and Rabies
        Detailed information on animal bites and rabies, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention

        Appendicitis
        Appendicitis is a medical emergency that happens when your appendix becomes sore, swollen, and diseased.

        Asthma
        Asthma is a long-term disease of the airways of the lung. The airways become sensitive to triggers (allergens and irritants).

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      Oral Health


      Orthopaedic Disorders

        Achilles Tendon Injuries
        Achilles tendon injuries affect the Achilles tendon, a fibrous band of tissue that links the muscles in your calf to your heel. The strength and flexibility of this tendon are important for jumping, running, and walking.

        Arthritis
        Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are common conditions that cause pain, swelling, and limited movement. They affect joints and connective tissues around the body. Millions of people in the U.S. have some form of arthritis.

        Arthroscopy
        Orthopedic surgeons use arthroscopy to diagnose and treat joint problems. An arthroscope is a small, tube shaped instrument that is used to look inside a joint.

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      Otolaryngology

        Acoustic Neuroma
        Acoustic neuroma is a rare noncancerous tumor. It grows slowly from an overproduction of Schwann cells and is also called a vestibular schwannoma. The tumor then presses on the hearing and balance nerves in the inner ear. Schwann cells normally wrap around and support nerve fibers. A large tumor can press on the facial nerve or brain structures.

        Age-Related Hearing Loss (Presbycusis)
        Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is the gradual loss of hearing in both ears. It’s a common problem linked to aging.

        Aphasia
        Aphasia is a language disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. Aphasia leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others.

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      Pathology

        Anatomical Pathology
        Detailed information on several of the different divisions of anatomical pathology, including biopsy, surgical pathology, cytology, and autopsy

        Autopsy
        Detailed information on autopsy, including who performs the procedure and how an autopsy is performed

        Biopsy
        Detailed information on biopsy, including the most common types of biopsy, such as endoscopic biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, excisional biopsy, incisional biopsy, fine needle aspiration biopsy, punch biopsy, shave biopsy, and skin biopsy

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      Pediatrics

        Acne in Children
        Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Hair follicles are the areas around the base or root of each hair. Sebaceous glands are the tiny glands that release oil (sebum) into the hair follicles. The sebum moistens the skin and hair. The sebum and hair get to the skin surface through tiny holes called pores.

        Age-Appropriate Speech and Hearing Milestones
        A hearing problem may be suspected in a child who is not responding to sounds or who is not developing language skills appropriately.

        Age-Appropriate Speech and Language Milestones
        Here are guidelines on speech and language development that may help you decide if your child is experiencing hearing problems.

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      Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

        Amputation
        An amputation is the surgical removal of a all or part of an arm or leg due to injury, infection, or injury.

        Audiologist
        Audiologists measure and evaluate a person's ability to hear sounds. They specialize in the treatment of people with hearing disorders.

        Back and Neck Pain
        Back and neck pain can interfere with your ability to function. Overuse, overweight, and other problems can cause back and neck pain.

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      Plastic Surgery

        Anatomy of the Hand
        Each of your hands has three types of bones: phalanges in your fingers; metacarpals in your mid-hand, and carpals in your wrist.

        Breast Augmentation
        Breast augmentation is a procedure to reshape the breast to make it larger. The procedure can also be done to reconstruct the breast after breast surgery.

        Breast Cancer: Breast Reconstruction After Breast Surgery
        Breast reconstruction surgery involves creating a breast mound that comes as close as possible to the form and appearance of the natural breast.

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      Pregnancy and Childbirth

        Alcohol and Pregnancy
        Alcohol consumption by the mother is a leading cause of preventable birth defects in the fetus. In addition, the risk for miscarriage and stillbirth increases with alcohol consumption.

        Anatomy: Fetus in Utero
        Definitions of terms related to the anatomy of a fetus in utero.

        Back Pain in Pregnancy
        Back pain is common in pregnancy, because of your changing body. Here are ideas on what you can do to cope.

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      Prostate Health

        Anatomy of the Prostate Gland
        The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the neck of a man’s bladder and urethra—the tube that carries urine from the bladder.

        Angiogenesis Inhibitors
        Sometimes called antiangiogenic therapy, this treatment may prevent the growth of cancer by blocking the formation of new blood vessels.

        Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
        Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy. It’s when the prostate gland becomes very large and may cause problems passing urine. BPH is not cancer, and is a common part of aging.

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      Radiology

        Advances in Therapeutic Radiology
        One newer therapy combines radiation and chemotherapy, because in some cases, radiation may improve the effects of chemotherapy, and vice versa. Another therapy uses external beam radiation during surgery to treat cancerous tumors or certain other forms of cancer.

        Brachytherapy
        Brachytherapy is radiation treatment that is given inside the patient, as close to the cancer as possible. The radiation is delivered to the body site with radioactive isotopes inside wires, seeds, or rods. These devices are called implants.

        Diagnostic Radiology

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      Respiratory Disorders

        Acute Bronchitis
        Bronchitis is inflammation of the breathing tubes. These airways are called bronchi. This inflammation causes increased mucus production and other changes. Although there are several different types of bronchitis, the most common are acute and chronic. Bronchitis may also be called a chest cold.

        Anatomy of the Respiratory System
        The respiratory system includes the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and lungs.

        Asthma
        Asthma is a long-term disease of the airways of the lung. The airways become sensitive to triggers (allergens and irritants).

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      Skin Cancer

        Actinic Keratosis
        Detailed information on actinic keratosis, including causes and treatment.

        Anatomy of the Skin
        The skin is the body's largest organ. It serves as a protective shield against heat, light, injury, and infection.

        Causes of Skin Cancer
        Detailed information on causes and risk factors for skin cancer, including heredity and environment

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      Spine, Shoulder, and Pelvis Disorders

        Arthritis
        Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are common conditions that cause pain, swelling, and limited movement. They affect joints and connective tissues around the body. Millions of people in the U.S. have some form of arthritis.

        Cervical Spondylosis
        Cervical spondylosis is a type of arthritis that affects your neck. This condition becomes more common with age, and most people who are older than 60 have it.

        Chronic Pain
        Chronic pain is longstanding pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis.

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      Surgical Care

        After Surgery: Discomforts and Complications
        Detailed information on postoperative discomforts and potential complications, including shock, hemorrhage, wound infection, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary complications, urinary retention, and reaction to anesthesia

        Checklist for Surgery/Consent Forms/Insurance Information
        The decision to have surgery is an important one. Here is a checklist to help you prepare. You'll need to arrange a time for any preoperative lab tests and for an interview with the anesthesiologist. Check with your health plan regarding costs and coverage of the surgery.

        Common Surgeries
        Here are descriptions of the most common surgeries done in the U.S.

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      Travel Medicine

        African Sleeping Sickness
        African sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) is a disease caused by a parasite. It is passed on by the bite of the infected tsetse fly.

        After You Return
        Detailed information on health considerations after returning home from traveling abroad

        Air Travel
        Detailed information on healthy considerations for air travel, including ways to prevent motion sickness and jet lag

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      Women's Health

        Adjustable Gastric Band: What Happens If You Don’t Follow Your New Diet
        Food intolerance means that after surgery you may have problems eating foods that you once ate or that are part of your new diet. This can make it hard to stick to your new diet and keep the pounds off.

        Afferent Loop Syndrome
        Afferent loop syndrome is a complication of certain types of stomach surgery.

        Amenorrhea
        Amenorrhea means you haven't had your period for more than 3 cycles. It can be caused by a variety of things including overexercising, being overweight, or due to an ovulation problem.

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