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Medical Marijuana Conditions Glossary

Below is a glossary of ailments with symptoms and/or side effect that have been treated with medical marijuana.* This text is for informative purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. Always consult your physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.

Acquired Hypothyroidism

A condition where the thyroid gland makes too little or no thyroid hormone. Symptoms and signs may include: coarse and thinning hair, dry skin, brittle nails, a yellowish tint to the skin, slow body movements, cold skin, inability to tolerate cold, feeling tired or weak, memory problems, depression, difficulty concentrating, or constipation Learn more

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Acute Gastritis

Acute gastritis is a condition that exhibits a broad spectrum of symptoms, such as chronic pain, and induces changes in the gases of the stomach. When the inflammation involves the entire stomach, the pain is more severe and is referred to as pangastritis. Normally, physicians will categorize acute gastritis into two categories: erosive and nonerosive. The diagnosis is usually reached after performing an endoscopy and depends on whether the erosion is superficial or deep hemorrhagic egression. At the onset, acute gastritis can present itself through various symptoms, the most common being epigastric pain and discomfort. Other symptoms might include vomiting, bloating, nausea, and belching. Learn more

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Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is literally translated as "fear of the marketplace." In reality, it means a fear of a great many things, largely social settings, which render sufferers of severe agoraphobia unable to leave their living environments. They feel unsafe in situations that involve crowds or that take them away from their safety zones.  A person with agoraphobia suffers anxiety attacks and agoraphobia stems from that anxiety. Essentially, a person with agoraphobia begins to suffer from fear of having anxiety attacks. As more situations begin to cause anxiety, he or she will avoid more and more places and situations until he or she can no longer do these things without suffering fear of panic, which then brings on panic. It ranges in severity from avoidance of certain social situations and panic if those situations arise to a complete inability to function socially. Learn more

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Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse could easily be best described as the "harmful" use of alcohol to an extent where it is considered unhealthy. Alcohol abuse can also be deemed binge drinking, or drinking with the primary intention of becoming extremely intoxicated due to heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. The common misconception between binge drinking and social drinking can overlap at times. Harmful use of alcohol causes either physical or mental damages.  Learn more

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Alcoholism

Alcoholism, or the severe dependency upon alcohol and the inability to stop drinking once one has started, was. in the last thirty years, recognized as a disease. Groups such as Al-Anon formed to help patients deal with alcoholism as it pertained to them as individuals. But in the beginning, quitting alcohol, the drug of choice for the alcoholic, is extremely difficult even with support. There are many physical withdrawal symptoms, including and not limited to, profuse sweating, shaking or tremors, dry mouth or craving for alcohol/thirst for alcohol, and mood swings and/or anxiety. This period, referred to as "drying out", can make the person with alcoholism feel helpless and vulnerable. Some sufferers find themselves stopping and starting treatment several times over before finally succeeding at quitting or the disease takes over and takes their lives. There is no known substitute for alcohol dependency during this time. Smokers have nicotine patches and gum, and people with heroine addiction have their methadone, but those with alcoholism usually have to go it alone unless they have big bucks and can afford some place like the Betty Ford Clinic. There's hope, though, for sufferers of alcoholism, and it's more than just weekly meetings and sponsors and twelve step plans. (Don't get me wrong, those things really work and really help the emotional and psychological parts of a person heal and deal with their disease, but alcoholism is physical too, and the hope I speak of is of this kind.) Alcoholism, or the severe dependency upon alcohol and the inability to stop drinking once one has started, was. in the last thirty years, recognized as a disease. Groups such as Al-Anon formed to help patients deal with alcoholism as it pertained to them as individuals. But in the beginning, quitting alcohol, the drug of choice for the alcoholic, is extremely difficult even with support. There are many physical withdrawal symptoms, including and not limited to, profuse sweating, shaking or tremors, dry mouth or craving for alcohol/thirst for alcohol, and mood swings and/or anxiety. This period, referred to as "drying out", can make the person with alcoholism feel helpless and vulnerable. Some sufferers find themselves stopping and starting treatment several times over before finally succeeding at quitting or the disease takes over and takes their lives. There is no known substitute for alcohol dependency during this time. Smokers have nicotine patches and gum, and people with heroine addiction have their methadone, but those with alcoholism usually have to go it alone unless they have big bucks and can afford some place like the Betty Ford Clinic. There's hope, though, for sufferers of alcoholism, and it's more than just weekly meetings and sponsors and twelve step plans. (Don't get me wrong, those things really work and really help the emotional and psychological parts of a person heal and deal with their disease, but alcoholism is physical too, and the hope I speak of is of this kind.) Learn more

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Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease in which the person's immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing the person's hair to fall out. In many cases, a single bald patch may mark the beginning of the disease, but as time goes on it can lead to more bald patches occuring. In extreme cases, patient's will have no hair whatsoever.  Learn more

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Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive neurologic disease of the brain that leads to the irreversible loss of neurons and dementia. Learn more

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Amphetamine Dependency

Amphetamine dependence is a compulsive disease that revolves around frequent use of amphetamines, methamphetamines or MDMA and ecstasy. The frequent use of any of these drugs can directly result in clinically significant impairment of daily bodily functions and abilities. Amphetamine dependence can be taken by oral supplement, intravenous routes, snorting through the nasal passages and inhaling by use of smoke.  Learn more

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Amyloidosis

Amyloidosis is varieties of conditions that creates normally soluble proteins to become insoluble and are deposited in various spaces in organs or tissues. Due to the improper deposition of these proteins, it disrupts normal body functions. The clumping together of this abnormal proteins are called amyloid deposits. Primary diagnosis of amyloidosis can lead to conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, heart muscle damage, intestinal malabsorption, liver swelling, kidney failure, nephrotic syndrome and nerve problems. In other cases, it may lead to orthostatic hypotension, which causes a drop in blood pressure when an invidual stands up. Please note that primary amyloidosis is extremely rare of a condition.  Learn more

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a serious neurological disease that causes muscle weakness, disability and eventually death. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's disease, after the famous baseball player who died of it in 1941. Learn more

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Angina Pectoris

Angina pectoris, commonly referred to as just "angina", is a chest pain due to ischemia of the heart muscle due to obstruction or spasms of the coronary arteries. Ischemia can be referred to as a restriction in blood supply to certain tissues, which can cause a shortage of both oxygen and glucose, two vital components that are absolutely necessary for cellular metabolism. Ischemia is generally caused by problems with the blood vessels, and can result in damage or dysfunction of bodily tissues. The main cause of angina pectoris is coronary artery disease, which is normally attributed to atherosclerosis of the arteries feeding the heart. Learn more

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Ankylosis

Ankylosis is a condition that is associated with the stiffening of a joint due to the abnormal adhesion and rigidity nature of the bones of the joint. Ankylosis may result in injury or disease depending on the severity of a patient's condition. The rigidity of the bone may be complete or partial and may be due to inflammation of the tendinous and muscular structures that are outside the joint. This can also be responsible because of the tissues of the joint itself; however, it depends on the patient's current state. In extreme cases, patients may have a surgically induced fusion of the joint in order to provide support. Learn more

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Anorexia

Anorexia is the decreased sensation of appetite which may indicate a serious clinical condition. It is a common side effect of many serious diseases such as acute viral hepatitis, AIDS, cancer, congestive heart failure, Chron’s disease, depression and more. Learn more

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Anorexia Nervosa

A mental disorder manifested by extreme fear of becoming obese and an aversion to food, usually occurring in young women and often resulting in life-threatening weight loss, accompanied by a disturbance in body image, hyperactivity, and amenorrhea. Physical symptoms include a low body weight, constipation, thinning hair, dry skin, brittle nails, stopping or never getting a monthly menstrual period, low body temperature, low blood pressure and a slow heartbeat. Learn more

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Anxiety Disorders

A group of disorders involving various manifestations of anxiety, including panic disorder; social anxiety disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); acute stress disorder; and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Symptoms include irritability, feelings of dread, difficulty concentrating, nausea, diarrhea, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and edginess or restlessness. Learn more

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Any chronic medical symptom that limits major life activities

California's medical marijuana law allows the use of medical marijuana for any chronic or persistent medical symptom either: Substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336); and If not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient's safety or physical or mental health.

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Any Chronic Medical Symptom that Limits Major Life Activities

Any condition that impedes on an individuals ability to enjoy and live life without impediment.

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Arachnoiditis

Arachnoiditis is an inflammation of the arachnoid, the protective membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. Although this condition has no consistent symptom patterns, it commonly affects the nerves connecting the lower back and the legs. Arachnoiditis is characterized by chronic pain, tingling, numbness, muscle spasms and uncontrollable twitching. Additionally, the condition often brings about neurological problems and severe "electric shock" like sensations. Learn more

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Arnold-Chiari Malformation

Chiari Malformation, also known as Arnold-Chiari Malformation is a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. Though Chiari Malformation is not a particularly common disease, more improved imaging scans have led to more frequent diagnoses. The condition is characterized by symptoms of headaches, migraines, fatigue, weak muscles in the head and face, dizziness, nausea, impaired coordination, difficulty swallowing and in more extreme cases, paralysis. Learn more

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Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease

Arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerotic heart disease, etc., are closely related in that they involve the hardening of arteries with a fatty plaque buildup. Arteriosclerotic heart disease specifically refers to the hardening of arteries in and around the heart, making it incredibly difficult for the heart to do its job. The person with arteriosclerotic heart disease will, most likely, also have hypertension, or high blood pressure as the heart works with intense strain to push blood through the thickened arteries of the heart. Unmonitored and untreated these patients have a significantly increased risks of heart attack and death of the heart muscle itself in the areas where blood cannot reach because the problem with plaque buildup has become so bad the blood vessels are almost completely, if not completely, closed off. As a person ages, the cholesterol levels in their blood increase, either due to poor diet and lack of exercise or more naturally because of genetics and a predisposed tendency toward higher cholesterol. Sometimes it's a double whammy, and both a predisposition to high cholesterol and poor diet lend a hand in leaving fatty deposits, or plaque, on the walls of blood vessels from the cholesterol that circulates in the system. Annual physicals and blood panel work ups can aid in detecting the presence of high cholesterol and the risks for arteriosclerosis and arteriosclerotic heart disease. From there it has to be a change in the way the patient sees food and lives their lives Learn more

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Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis; the two major types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Common symptoms include: joint pain, joint swelling, reduced ability to move the joint, redness of the skin around a joint, stiffness, especially in the morning, and warmth around a joint. Learn more

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Arthritis (Rheumatoid)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, and can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body. Learn more

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Arthropathy, gout

Arthropathy, more commonly known as gout, sounds like something out of the dark ages or something your great granddad talked about having all the time. It's actually not that uncommon, and yes it is more common in older people because the human body's inability to process toxins and push them out of the body along with other kinds of waste. Gout, for whatever reason, strikes more men than women, although it's not impossible for women to develop the condition too. Simply put, the uric acid, which is typically found in the exiting waste of urine in high concentrations, stays in the body instead of leaving and deposits itself in and around joints in a hard, almost calcified-type crust causing inflammation in between and around the joints it affects. The direct and ending result is inflammation similar to infection, swelling, and pain that may make it hard to move or downright impossible to even get out of bed in the morning. Learn more

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Asthma

Asthma suffers have an unending choice in medication, but with asthma, what really works? There are two types of asthma: restrictive and inflammative. Restrictive asthma feels like the whole chest is tightening and squeezing and can feel similar to a heart attack or panic attack. With restrictive asthma, the bronchioles, or tiny branches, within the lungs start to close off, making it virtually impossible for the patients to get any air into the lungs and thus circulate it to the areas of the body that require oxygen, like the brain. Inflammative can accompany restrictive and usually does when the patient is severely allergic to indoor or outdoor allergans. As the name suggests, the bronchioles become inflamed, swelling to several times their normal size. Just think about having a really bad sinus allergy but in your lungs instead of your nose. Breathing is labored at best, but if restrictive asthma accompanies it, no air can pass through whatsoever, and the asthma patient is literally cut off from breathing. The medicines prescribed for asthma are bronchiodialators, which release the restrictive forces of restrictive asthma, and of course, corticosteroids to ease inflammations of the inflammatory type. Most medications are delivered through an inhaler, but as is the case with small children, some are administered through special machines that vaporize the liquid medicine into gas form for inhaling through a facial mask. There are also a few pill forms of asthma medication available, although generally they are prescribed for lesser complicated asmtha patients and few and far between attacks. The problems with some of these medicines is that the inactive ingredients and sometimes the active ingredients happen to be the same ingredients asthma patients are allergic to! Then the patient has to try out several other options for treatment to avoid a medicine that might contain a particular allergan. What an expensive trial and error process, especially since a serious error could land them in a hospital bed! Asthma suffers have an unending choice in medication, but with asthma, what really works? Learn more

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sometimes referred to as hyperkinetic disorder, is a mental and neurobehavioral disorder that is best characterized by either significant difficulties of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsiveness. In certain cases, it can be a combination of the either of the three. Attention deficit disorder (ADD), affects nearly three to five percent of children and adults in the United States. This is a psychological term that is applied to anyone who meets diagnostic criteria for impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention.  Learn more

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Autism/Aspergers

A mental disorder characterized by severely abnormal development of social interaction and of verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Affected people may adhere to inflexible, nonfunctional rituals or routines. They may become upset with even trivial changes in their environment. They often have a limited range of interests but may become preoccupied with a narrow range of subjects or activities. They appear unable to understand others' feelings and often have poor eye contact with others. Unpredictable mood swings may occur. Many demonstrate stereotypical motor mannerisms such as hand or finger flapping, body rocking, or dipping. Learn more

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Autoimmune Disease

  Autoimmune diseases are any diseases whereby the body suddenly doesn't recognize a part of itself and develops antibodies to fight it, kill it and destroy it. They are strange in their origins; some are neurological and others are genetic mutations wired into the cells of the body's DNA prior to birth and surface at a specific time or when a given set of conditions "unlocks" the directions for the body to turn on an autoimmune defense. Some of the most commonly recognized autoimmune diseases in the nation are multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, lupus, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's disease. In every case, the body picks an organ or series of structures in the body and attacks them like the normal structures or organs are the common cold or strep throat. But it doesn't back down once it's completed the job, and completing the job for each disease is usually devastation or a complete loss of that part of the body. Replacing organs does not stop the disease either. The code in the mutated cells go right back to work to destroy the newly implanted parts. In the case of MS or MD, certain medications can slow or retard the advancement of the disease, but only for a short time, and it's completely irreversible once discovered and diagnosed. Autoimmune diseases are any diseases whereby the body suddenly doesn't recognize a part of itself and develops antibodies to fight it, kill it and destroy it. They are strange in their origins; some are neurological and others are genetic mutations wired into the cells of the body's DNA prior to birth and surface at a specific time or when a given set of conditions "unlocks" the directions for the body to turn on an autoimmune defense. Some of the most commonly recognized autoimmune diseases in the nation are multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, lupus, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's disease. In every case, the body picks an organ or series of structures in the body and attacks them like the normal structures or organs are the common cold or strep throat. But it doesn't back down once it's completed the job, and completing the job for each disease is usually devastation or a complete loss of that part of the body. Replacing organs does not stop the disease either. The code in the mutated cells go right back to work to destroy the newly implanted parts. In the case of MS or MD, certain medications can slow or retard the advancement of the disease, but only for a short time, and it's completely irreversible once discovered and diagnosed.   Learn more

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Back Pain

Pain felt in the upper or lower back, or along the spine, that can be caused by car accidents, muscle strains, sports injuries or a lifetime of bad habits. Learn more

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Back Sprain

  Improper lifting techniques and sudden movements lifting heavy objects you're not used to lifting can mess your back up royally. Throwing your back out such that you have to visit a chiropractor put it back into place is just so completely preventable, and yet so many people do it to themselves every day. What's more, back sprains aren't any fun either; jerking with the back muscles when lifting results in torn ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles. Ouch! Talk about pain you'd only wish on your worst enemy if he really deserved it! While back sprains can heal, they take time, just as any other part of the body would need if sprained. While it's best to follow a doctor's orders on how to care for a sprained back,it's not always best to take the medicine they prescribe to help with the pain. Then, too, you might have a doctor who prescribes nothing but ice, heat and/or rest.  Then it becomes a necessity to take something to ease the discomfort of the sprain while doing what you can to care for the kiddos and wait for extra help to come. Some doctors might tell you to just take an over the counter anti-inflammatory, while others might actually prescribe something a little more intense such as Vicodin or Oxycodone.  These prescribed NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can't be taken on an empty stomach for the nausea and other gastric problems they cause. Sometimes, too, they don't have the level of pain relief the patient needs. If the back sprain causes serious enough pain, the doctor might order a brace and possibly a spinal injection of pain medication, which seriously hurts in itself to receive.  Improper lifting techniques and sudden movements lifting heavy objects you're not used to lifting can mess your back up royally. Throwing your back out such that you have to visit a chiropractor put it back into place is just so completely preventable, and yet so many people do it to themselves every day. What's more, back sprains aren't any fun either; jerking with the back muscles when lifting results in torn ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles. Ouch! Talk about pain you'd only wish on your worst enemy if he really deserved it! While back sprains can heal, they take time, just as any other part of the body would need if sprained. While it's best to follow a doctor's orders on how to care for a sprained back,it's not always best to take the medicine they prescribe to help with the pain. Then, too, you might have a doctor who prescribes nothing but ice, heat and/or rest.  Then it becomes a necessity to take something to ease the discomfort of the sprain while doing what you can to care for the kiddos and wait for extra help to come.Some doctors might tell you to just take an over the counter anti-inflammatory, while others might actually prescribe something a little more intense such as Vicodin or Oxycodone.  These prescribed NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can't be taken on an empty stomach for the nausea and other gastric problems they cause. Sometimes, too, they don't have the level of pain relief the patient needs. If the back sprain causes serious enough pain, the doctor might order a brace and possibly a spinal injection of pain medication, which seriously hurts in itself to receive.    Learn more

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Bell's Palsy

Bell's palsy, the most common cause of facial paralysis,  is a form of temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to one of the two facial nerves. Symptoms may include twitching, weakness, or paralysis, drooping eyelid or corner of the mouth, drooling, dry eye or mouth, impairment of taste, and excessive tearing in the eye. Learn more

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Bipolar Disorder

Mood disorders are the second top-grossing money maker for pharmaceutical companies in the world. In the United States alone only certain types of cancer combined in one category are more numerous that mood disorders. One of every four people this year will be diagnosed with a mood disorder. That's an astounding number, when given the population of the country as a whole. More and more cases of depression are diagnosed every year, and the baby boomers are beginning to develop seasonal affective disorder(or S.A.D.) or sundowner's, where the patient's mood drastically alters the minute the sun hits the horizon or isn't present in the sky due to storms or inclement weather. Learn more

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Brain Tumor, Malignant

  Malignant brain tumors bring life to a screeching halt, or they slow things down so much you feel like you're in a stop motion animation movie. Just hearing the terms exit your neurologist's mouth alters your sense of reality automatically. They're first discovered when a patient has non-stop screaming headaches or migraines, or by accident when a doctor orders a CAT scan or an MMR of the patient's head. As a malignant tumor, it is recognized for it's rapid onset, rapid and increased growth, and just how much of the brain it has taken over and whether or not removal by surgery is even an option, depending on the stage of malignancy. If the tumor is a stage 1 or stage 2 malignancy, there is a good chance that removing it and having the patient run through chemotherapy and/or radiation might save his/her life. A stage 3 malignancy tumor things get a little dicey; the odds are not in the patient's favor and the patient has increased risks of untold and unforeseeable proportions. At stage 4, both patient and doctor have to face the facts that the patient doesn't have very long to live and any treatment options might just be giving the patient false hope. Malignant brain tumors bring life to a screeching halt, or they slow things down so much you feel like you're in a stop motion animation movie. Just hearing the terms exit your neurologist's mouth alters your sense of reality automatically. They're first discovered when a patient has non-stop screaming headaches or migraines, or by accident when a doctor orders a CAT scan or an MMR of the patient's head. As a malignant tumor, it is recognized for it's rapid onset, rapid and increased growth, and just how much of the brain it has taken over and whether or not removal by surgery is even an option, depending on the stage of malignancy. If the tumor is a stage 1 or stage 2 malignancy, there is a good chance that removing it and having the patient run through chemotherapy and/or radiation might save his/her life. A stage 3 malignancy tumor things get a little dicey; the odds are not in the patient's favor and the patient has increased risks of untold and unforeseeable proportions. At stage 4, both patient and doctor have to face the facts that the patient doesn't have very long to live and any treatment options might just be giving the patient false hope.   Learn more

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Bruxism

Bruxism is a condition that is best characterized by an individual grinding their teeth and constantly clenching their jaw. Bruxism is an oral parafunctional, or habitual exercise that is not typically common for that part of the body that occurs in most humans at some time within their lives. In most cases, bruxism is moderate enough to not be considered a major health problem. While this condition may be a diurnal or nocturnal activity, the time to monitor and take into serious consideration would be if bruxism occurs during sleep. This can be recognized as one of the most common sleep disorders among people. Learn more

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Bulimia

Bulimia nervosa, known simply as bulimia, is an eating disorder that typically consists of binging and purging. However, the main characteristic is purging. Binging consists of eating very large meals. Purging is forcefully vomiting the meal back up or using a laxative in an effort to satisfy appetite without gaining weight. It is extremely dangerous in that it prevents the body from acquiring nutrients. It can also damage the stomach, digestive system, reproductive system, esophagus and mouth of the sufferer. Bulimia is caused by a fear of gaining weight. It can also be caused by a wish to lose weight and then to keep weight down. Because it can stem from stress, poor self-image, depression, other mental/emotional disorders and possibly genetics, it is necessary to treat the cause of bulimia as well as the symptoms and consequences. It is not enough to get the sufferer sufficient nutrients to combat negative physical effects. Without treating the cause, bulimia and the underlying emotional symptoms will persist. Medical marijuana is currently used to treat a variety of conditions and symptoms. There is also research going into using medical marijuana for a wider variety of conditions. Marijuana has been shown to treat some of the symptoms of bulimia and some of the underlying causes. However, like other medications, it may not be able to treat the condition as a sole treatment. Oftentimes, therapy and other medical treatments must be used in conjunction with each other to combat this disorder. Learn more

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Cachexia

Cachexia is any general reduction in vitality and strength of body and mind resulting from a debilitating chronic disease. Learn more

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Cancer

General term frequently used to indicate any of various types of malignant neoplasms, most of which invade surrounding tissues, may metastasize to several sites, and are likely to recur after attempted removal and to kill the patient unless adequately treated. There are more than one hundred different types of cancer, and each type has its own set of characteristics. However, some common symptoms include persistent fatigue, pain, unintentional weight loss, fever, changes in bowel movements, and chronic cough. Learn more

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Cancer, Adrenal Cortical

An aggressive cancer that develops in the cortex of the adrenal gland. Although symptoms are unlikely because those diagnosed rarely exhibit symptoms, it is possible to experience fever, abdominal pain, abdominal mass, weight loss, or the sensation of always feeling full. The average age of patients is around 45 to 50, but adrenal cortical cancer can occur at any age; even in children. It also seems to occur more often in females. Learn more

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Cancer, Endometrial

Also known as Uterine Cancer. Endometrial cancer is a cancer that starts in the endometrium or the lining of the uterus. Symptoms include unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, difficult or painful urination, pain during intercourse and pain in the pelvic area. Learn more

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Cancer, Prostate

In order to better understand prostate cancer, it helps to understand what the prostate is, its basic anatomy, and how it functions when healthy. The prostate is a soft, small gland about the size of a walnut. Located in front of the rectum and under the bladder, the prostate is home to the urethra, the tube found in the penis that carries both urine and semen out of the male body.  The tiny seminal vesicles sit just above the prostate and are responsible for secreting over half the substances that make up semen. The nerves that are responsible for the male ability to obtain an erection are attached to the side of the prostate. While the prostate is not an essential part of the male anatomy, it is important for reproduction. Prostate cancer is the result of excessive growth of the cells located within the prostate. Unfortunately, prostate cancer often occurs without early warning signs or symptoms. In some men, urinary symptoms such as the need to urinate frequently or pain with urination, difficulty obtaining an erection or pain with ejaculation, or lower back pain can be symptoms of prostate cancer; however, many men have no symptoms at all. Often, prostate cancer is only detected as the result of a routine examination or screening. Traditional treatment options for prostate cancer may include, surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy or chemotherapy. In order to better understand prostate cancer, it helps to understand what the prostate is, its basic anatomy, and how it functions when healthy. The prostate is a soft, small gland about the size of a walnut. Located in front of the rectum and under the bladder, the prostate is home to the urethra, the tube found in the penis that carries both urine and semen out of the male body. The tiny seminal vesicles sit just above the prostate and are responsible for secreting over half the substances that make up semen. The nerves that are responsible for the male ability to obtain an erection are attached to the side of the prostate. While the prostate is not an essential part of the male anatomy, it is important for reproduction.Prostate cancer is the result of excessive growth of the cells located within the prostate. Unfortunately, prostate cancer often occurs without early warning signs or symptoms. In some men, urinary symptoms such as the need to urinate frequently or pain with urination, difficulty obtaining an erection or pain with ejaculation, or lower back pain can be symptoms of prostate cancer; however, many men have no symptoms at all. Often, prostate cancer is only detected as the result of a routine examination or screening.Traditional treatment options for prostate cancer may include, surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy or chemotherapy. Learn more

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Cancer, Testicular

Testicular cancer is a form of cancer that develops specifically within the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system. Testicular cancer has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers and boasts in excess, a curing rate of 90 percent overall. The curing of this cancer can be brought up to almost 100 percent if it has not spread or metastasized already. Even in regards to the relatively few cases that malignant testicular cancer has spread, modern chemo therapy usually offers a cure rate of at least 80 percent. Testicular lumps cannot always be best deemed a result of testicular cancer, because tumors are not all malignant or cancerous. Learn more

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Cancer, Uterine

Also known as Endometrial Cancer. Cancer that starts in the endometrium or the lining of the uterus. Symptoms include unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, difficult or painful urination, pain during intercourse and pain in the pelvic area. Learn more

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive stress injuries to the soft tissues and bone structure produce intense pain. Tennis elbow is one such injury but more commonly with the increased use in technology and computer keyboards in the workplace, is carpal tunnel syndrome. Nerve damage or pressure on the median nerve that runs through the carpal, or wrist, tunnel, of bones begins with the swelling of the ligaments within the area. Unfortunately, by the time people get to the point where pain is consistent, carpal tunnel syndrome is usually irreversible but still treatable. The options for treatment at that point are few, and not always first choice or pleasant. Surgery, as a last result, produces more pain and then requires an extensive period of time to heal as well as physical therapy to recuperate the functions of the wrist, forearms and fingers to the point where everyday tasks can be done but typing and others can no longer be returned to. Learn more

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Causalgia

Causalgia, also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is a chronic condition which directly affects the nerves and blood vessels of one or more extremities. It is commonly characterized by extremely uncomfortable burning sensations, skin color changes, swelling and profuse sweating.  Learn more

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Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of non-progressive and non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development. Cerebral palsy primarly effects various areas of bodily movement. This condition is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or even after birth up until the age of three years old. Resuts of cerebral palsy are limited movement, poor posture and disturbances of sensation, depth perception and other sight-based perceptual problems. Learn more

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Cervical Disk Disease

Cervical disc disease is a condition that is encountered in most physiatric practice and relates to conditions such as herniated nucleus pulpous, degenerative disc disease and internal disc disruption. This condition is a chronic diagnosis of the spine, which one of the spinal discs in the neck starts to deteriorate over time. This spongy disc located in the top part of the spine deteroriating causes a loss of vertebral body height and places an excess amount of stress on the already weakened disc material. Learn more

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Cervicobrachial Syndrome

Cervicobrachial syndrome is a nonspecific term describing some combination of pain, numbness, weakness, and swelling in the region of the neck and shoulder.

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Chemotherapy

Treatment of disease by means of chemical substances or drugs; usually used in reference to neoplastic disease. The list of side effects is vast, but the most common include nausea and vomiting; hair loss; fatigue; increased chance of bruising and bleeding; anemia; infection; intestinal problems; appetite and weight changes; sore mouth, gums, and throat; nerve and muscle problems; dry and/or discolored skin; kidney and bladder irritation; and sexuality and fertility issues due to effects on reproductive organs. Learn more

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Chemotherapy Induced Anorexia

Chemotherapy-induced anorexia, often refered to as cachexia, is among one of the most debilitating and life-threatening aspects of cancer. This specific condition is responsible for fat and muscle tissue wasting as well as psychological distress occuring. Overall, this condition creates a lower quality of life and arises from a complex interaction between the cancer and the host. Chemotherapy-induced anorexia should be suspected in patients with cancer if an involuntary weight loss of greater than five percent of premorbid weightoccurs within a six-month period. Loss of appetite, cancer-induced anorexia and cachexia are frequent symptoms in palliative care patients. However, therapeutic regimens often prove ineffective and the quality of life of many patients is significantly impaired by these symptoms. Causes and pathophysiology of anorexia and cachexia are complex and must be identified and treated. Learn more

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition of prolonged and severe tiredness or weariness (fatigue) that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other conditions. To be diagnosed with this condition, your tiredness must be severe enough to decrease your ability to participate in ordinary activities by 50%.

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Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (often referred to as CIDP) is an acquired immune-mediated inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nervous system. This particular medical condition is sometimes referred to as chronic relapsing polyneuropathy (abbreviated CRP) or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy because it involves the nerve roots. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy is closely associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome, and is considered the chronic counterpart of that specific acute disease. Symptoms of this particular medical condition are similar to that of progressive inflammatory neuropathy. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy is believed to be due to immune cells (those that normally protect the body from foreign infection), in which these cells begin to incorrectly attack the nerves in the body instead. As a result of this unexpected attack, any of the affected nerves begin to fail in response time or begin to respond in a very weak manner. This delayed or non-existent response can cause numbing, tingling, pain, progressive muscle weakness, loss of deep tendon reflexes (areflexia), fatigue, and abnormal sensations. Learn more

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Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a state in which pain persists beyond the usual course of an acute disease or healing of an injury, or that may or may not be associated with an acute or chronic pathologic process that causes continuous or intermittent pain over months or years. Learn more

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Chronic Pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is best defined as the inflammation of the pancreas, in which the condition does not heal or improve and eventually becomes worse and worse over time. If left completely untreated, chronic pancreatitis could be responsible for causing permanent, long-term damage. This condition typically develops when inflammation and scarring occurs in the general pancreas area. When scarring and inflammation becomes a problem, the pancreas is unable to make the right amount of enzymes to regulate the body. As a result, a patient’s body may be unable to digest fat or other important components of food.  Learn more

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Chronic renal failure

Chronic renal failure, otherwise known as chronic kidney disease, is a condition that results in the progressive loss in renal function of a period of months or years. Often, chronic renal failure is diagnosed as a result of screening of individuals who are known to be at a risk for kidney problems, such as those who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes or those whose blood type is relative with chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease may also be identified when it leads to one of its major recognized complications such as cardiovascular disease, anemia or pericarditis. Learn more

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Cocaine Dependence

Cocaine dependence is physical and mental addiction to the drug cocaine. Cocaine is a stimulant or "upper," giving the user more energy. That may sound like a benefit but the drug is actually quite dangerous. There are three ways to ingest cocaine -- smoking, snorting and injection. All three of these methods produce health risks of their own individually. However, the drug has serious side effects that are universal to all three methods of ingestion. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these dangers include permanent alterations of certain brain functions, psychological changes, headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, heart attack, stroke and death.   Cocaine causes a person to feel increased pleasure, energy and alertness. These effects alone can cause a person to become dependent. They take the drug, enjoy the effect and continue using it. As the addiction takes root, the body's tolerance to the drug increases causing a need for increased doses of cocaine. However, this mental addiction to the high cocaine creates is not the only element of cocaine dependence. There is also a physical side to cocaine addiction that makes it painful to cease taking the drug once addiction has taken hold. Cocaine withdrawal can cause anxiety, paranoia, fatigue and depression. It does not cause physical dependence symptoms such as seizures, vomiting and nausea as with alcohol and heroin. Nonetheless, overcoming cocaine dependence takes perseverance, medical help and mental help.  While the use of recreational marijuana for cocaine dependence is not supported by significant research, there is evidence that synthetic medical marijuana can help alleviate cocaine addiction and possibly eliminate it. Cannabidiol is present in marijuana along with THC. It is responsible for a number of the positive effects medical marijuana has on a number of conditions, addiction being one of them. Learn more

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Colitis

Colitis is simply swelling/inflammation of the colon. It has a number of possible causes, so it is essentially a symptom rather than an illness, though it causes distinct symptoms of its own. It can also be considered an illness if it is chronic and there is no known underlying cause. The causes of colitis include virus, bacteria, food poisoning and certain digestive disorders like Crohn's disease. It can also happen when the colon's blood supply is hindered or cut off completely. The types of colitis are characterized by their cause and result. For example, necrotizing enterocolitis results in parts of the intestine dying. What causes it is unclear.  Treatment of colitis must target the cause of the infection as infection or disease will need different treatment than lack of blood flow. Therefore, it cannot be said that medical marijuana is a treatment for all types of colitis as it is not an antibiotic nor can it restore blood flow after intestinal trauma. However, palliative treatment is sometimes also indicated. This is where medical marijuana can come in handy for patients suffering from colitis. In conjunction with curative, preventative and/or alleviative care, medical marijuana can help reduce pain in those with painful colitis. There is also some evidence that it can relieve the condition itself in some types of colitis. Learn more

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Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis occurs when the eyelid lining swells. The swelling can happen for a number of reasons. These include infection, disease, parasites and allergies. Some sexually transmitted diseases can also cause conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is closely related and often referred to as "pink eye," which is essentially the same symptoms caused by a viral infection in the conjunctiva (eyelid lining).  The symptoms of conjunctivitis range from cosmetic to slightly debilitating. The most telltale symptom is redness in one or both eyes. The eyeball itself may be bloodshot and the edges of the eyelid red and swollen. While sleeping, the affected eye will typically form a crust, making it difficult to open the eye without a warm compress to clean it off of the eyelid and out of the eyelashes. There is usually pain and itching in the affected eye or eyes and it will likely produce more tears than usual. Conjunctivitis can make it feel somewhat like there is sandpaper in the eyelids when blinking and light can cause discomfort. Learn more

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Constipation

Constipation is the inability to pass stool or difficulty having a bowel movement. It is also defined as not passing stool at least three times per week. Millions of people suffer from constipation in the United States every year and it is more likely to affect women. People who are elderly, pregnant or have recently had surgery may also develop constipation.  The symptoms of constipation are typically straightforward. Having to strain to have a bowel movement and not having enough bowel movements is a telltale sign. Other indicators are hard stool, small stool with a remaining sense of a full bowel after passing, stomach pain, bloating and nausea. Untreated constipation or constipation that does not naturally relieve itself can lead to severe complications. These complications include fecal compaction and rectal prolapse, both of which are painful.  The causes of constipation are very numerous and range from lifestyle choices to medication. As mentioned above, certain groups are at higher risk. People who do not exercise enough are also at higher risk for constipation, as are people who do not eat enough fiber. Many medications can cause constipations, include opiate pain relievers. Overuse of medications that help bowel movements can also cause constipation. Underlying medical problems are a common cause of constipation, though poor diet is the most common. Medical conditions that can cause constipation include multiple sclerosis, lupus, diabetes, stroke and irritable bowel syndrome. Learn more

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Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an incurable chronic disease of the intestinal tract. Symptoms include abdominal pain, weight loss, fever, rectal bleeding, skin and eye irritations, and diarrhea. Learn more

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CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II)

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II, also known as Causalgia is often followed by a direct nerve injury. In many cases, this condition occurs after a forceful trauma to an arm or leg. Other major and minor traumas including surgery, heart attacks, infections and even so much as sprained ankles can lead to this condition. Learn more

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Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects secretions of the body. Its primary symptom is a production of mucus that is thicker than mucus in individuals without the disease. The mucus causes potentially fatal problems in the respiratory and digestive systems. Over the course of the disease, the symptoms may fluctuate between severe and easily manageable. The effect of the disease will also differ from sufferer to sufferer.  The most obvious effects of cystic fibrosis are respiratory symptoms. They include a mucus filled cough, congestion, difficulty breathing, pneumonia, sinus infection, sinus pain and poor lung function. Cystic fibrosis can cause symptoms as early as birth. Newborns with cystic fibrosis may not have a bowel movement for the first two days of life. Growth may occur later than expected in children and they may fail to gain appropriate weight for their age. Weight loss or failure to gain weight is related to the digestive symptoms of cystic fibrosis. The backup of mucus makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients in food. The food is essentially digested without nourishing the body. Other digestive symptoms include nausea, lack of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain and pale feces. The body will also secrete increased amounts of salt, leading to salty sweat. Learn more

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Damage to Spinal Cord Nervous Tissue

Spinal cord nervous tissue damage refers to any damage to the nervous tissue, which is the main component of the nervous system—the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Nervous tissue regulates and controls body functions and is made up of neurons, which transmit impulses, and the neuroglialcells, which assist propagation of the nerve impulse as well as provide nutrients to the neuron.

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Darier's Disease

Darier’s disease (also known as Darier-White disease, keratosis follicularis, or dyskeratosis follicularis) is a rare skin disease that produces thick, red to brown wart-like papules on the forehead, scalp, folds of the nose, ears, arms, chest, or back. Learn more

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Degenerative Arthritis

Degenerative arthritis,  also called osteoarthritis, is a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis,  is a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints. Learn more

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Degenerative Arthropathy

Degenerative arthropathy is a degenerative disease of the joints, in which there is metabolic defect in the joint (articular) cartilage. Learn more

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Delirium Tremens

Delirium tremens is most commonly known as a condition that occurs when heavy drinkers stop drinking abruptly or that happens after an alcohol binge. However, delirium tremens is not only associated with alcohol. It can happen to people with infections or head trauma. Nonetheless, it occurs most commonly in individuals who have been drinking daily for a prolonged period. It is a symptom of alcohol withdrawal that is nearly synonymous with alcohol cessation. It is known colloquially as the "shakes" and the "DTs." Please note that delirium tremens is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know is suffering from delirium tremens, seek medical attention immediately.  The symptoms of delirium tremens are more severe than most drug withdrawal symptoms and can lead to death. In fact, alcohol withdrawals are widely considered the most dangerous of addictive substance withdrawals. The most serious complications that occur with delirium tremens are seizures, hallucinations, heart palpitations and vomiting. Other symptoms include delirium, depression, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, fever, pain, tremors, headaches, sweats, increased heavy sleep, nightmares and mood changes. Delirium tremens is an acute illness and does pass after a period of days through which the illness builds before it finally peaks and breaks. It requires hospitalization as there is a high risk of death without treatment. Learn more

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Dermatomyositis

Dermatomyositis is a muscle disease characterized by inflammation and a skin rash, which may appear over the face, knuckles, neck, shoulders, upper chest, and back. It is a type of inflammatory myopathy. Symptoms include: difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness, stiffness, or soreness, purple or violet colored upper eyelids, purple-red skin rash and shortness of breath. Learn more

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Diabetes, Adult Onset

Adult-onset diabetes or diabetes mellitus type 2 is a disorder that affects the body's metabolism. It primarily affects insulin, which the body uses to move glucose to be stored. With adult-onset diabetes, the body does not use or produce insulin properly, so glucose does not get stored in cells the way it should. It stays in the blood producing high levels of blood sugar. The reason why type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes is because the problem occurs gradually, often presenting itself in adulthood.  The causes of adult-onset diabetes are straightforward. A family history of adult-onset diabetes increases one's risk of developing it. Being inactive, overweight and/or eating poorly also increases risk. It most often presents itself when a person is already overweight, so both lifestyle and genetics play a role in adult-onset diabetes.  Symptoms of diabetes differ depending on the disorder's progress and a patient's individual success at controlling it. The first symptoms that may become noticeable are thirstiness, increased frequency of urination and general fatigue. Unfortunately, there may also be an increase in hunger, which is counterproductive for adult-onset diabetes sufferers who are overweight. Sufferers may also experience difficulty getting or maintaining an erection and blurry vision.  Type 2 diabetes becomes very risky as it gets more severe. Heart attack is a possibility for overweight Type 2 diabetes sufferers, as are foot problems. People with adult-onset diabetes can lose sensation in their feet from nerve damage. Subsequent infections can rage out of control before outward symptoms are noticed.  Learn more

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Diabetes, Insulin Dependent

Diabetes that requires a patient to become insulin-dependent is known as Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes. Insulin dependent diabetes is a chronic condition that restricts the pancreas from being able to produce little to no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is absolutely necessary to allow glucose, or sugar, to enter cells within the body to produce energy. Type 2 diabetes is a far more common type of this condition, and occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, or it does not produce enough insulin. Learn more

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Diabetic Neuropathy

A common complication of diabetes, in which nerves are damaged as a result of high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, swallowing difficulty, deep pain in arms and legs, loss of the sense of warm or cold, muscle cramps, numbness, tingling or burning sensation in the extremities, and weakness. Learn more

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Diabetic Peripheral Vascular Disease

Narrowing of the lumen of arteries in the legs, causing a reduction in circulation. Approximately half of people with peripheral artery disease do not experience any symptoms. For patients with symptoms, the most common symptoms are intermittent claudication and rest pain. Learn more

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Diarrhea

Diarrhea is an increase in the frequency of bowel movements or a decrease in the form of stool, characterized by unusually frequent bowel movements and excessive watery evacuations of fecal material. Persistent diarrhea can cause dehydration, can indicate an underlying infection, or it may mean that the body is not able to absorb some nutrients due to a problem in the bowels. Learn more

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Diverticulitis

  Diverticulitis is characterized by small, bulging sacs, referred to as diverticula, found within the lining of the intestines, that become inflamed and/or infected. In most cases, these inflamed pouches are found in the large intestines where the colon is located. Diverticulitis can be an extremely painful condition. The cause of diverticulitis is not known; however, there are theories. Most experts agree that diverticula may appear as a result of a low fiber diet --much like the diet of many Americans who tend to eat a diet laden with processed foods. When a diet lacks fiber to add bulk to the stool, constipation and hard stools are more likely to occur. As a result, the colon is required to work harder to push the stool out. When the colon has to work harder, the individual often has to strain when having a bowel movement. The resulting strain and pressure may be what causes the diverticula pouches to form along weak spots in the colon. When small pieces of feces become trapped within the diverticula pouches, inflammation and/or infection can occur, leading to diverticulitis. The most common symptom of diverticulitis is pain in the lower left side of the belly that may get worse when the patient moves. In addition, a diverticulitis sufferer may experience fever or chills, diarrhea, bloating, gas, constipation, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Diverticulitis is characterized by small, bulging sacs, referred to as diverticula, found within the lining of the intestines, that become inflamed and/or infected. In most cases, these inflamed pouches are found in the large intestines where the colon is located. Diverticulitis can be an extremely painful condition. The cause of diverticulitis is not known; however, there are theories. Most experts agree that diverticula may appear as a result of a low fiber diet --much like the diet of many Americans who tend to eat a diet laden with processed foods. When a diet lacks fiber to add bulk to the stool, constipation and hard stools are more likely to occur. As a result, the colon is required to work harder to push the stool out. When the colon has to work harder, the individual often has to strain when having a bowel movement. The resulting strain and pressure may be what causes the diverticula pouches to form along weak spots in the colon. When small pieces of feces become trapped within the diverticula pouches, inflammation and/or infection can occur, leading to diverticulitis.The most common symptom of diverticulitis is pain in the lower left side of the belly that may get worse when the patient moves. In addition, a diverticulitis sufferer may experience fever or chills, diarrhea, bloating, gas, constipation, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.   Learn more

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Dysthymic Disorder

Dysthymia, otherwise known as neurotic depression, dysthymic disorder and chronic depression, is a mood disorder that consists of the same cognitive and physical problems associated with depression. However, dysthymic disorder is less severe but has longer-lasting symptoms that may persist for up to two years. This is classified as a serious state of chronic depression and is less acute and severe than other major depressive disorders. Those who suffer from this disorder may experience symptoms for many years before it becomes actually diagnosed, if diagnosed at all. Learn more

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Dystonia

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder which causes muscles to spasm and contract involuntarily. Sustained muscle contractions can cause abnormal postures and involuntary repetitive movements. The condition can either be hereditary or can arise from a number of different causes including physical trauma, poisoning, adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs or infections. Learn more

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Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that presents as a scaly rash. There are a number of different causes and the condition can range in severity. The most common cause of eczema is an allergic reaction. It can also co-occur with other allergic reactions, such as hay fever. Another common cause is simply skin irritation. If something rough rubs against the skin of a person who is susceptible to eczema, it may occur. Skin irritants found in common hygiene products can produce the same result. While eczema can appear at any age, infants and small children are particularly likely to have the condition. It tends to disappear or reduce in severity with age. It also tends to run in families. Learn more

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Elevated Intraocular Pressure

Elevated intraocular pressure can be coined a term that is used to describe an intense amount of fluid pressure buildup in the inside of a patient's eye. Typically, this condition is discovered by a procedure that is called tonometry, and is used by many eye care professionals to determine the severity. Elevated intraocular pressure is an important aspect in the evaluation of patients who are at risk from a condition such as glaucoma. This specific condition can vary throughout the night and day in terms of severity and may increase in a patient's eyes if they have glaucomatous eyes.  Learn more

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Emphysema

Emphysema is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is a chronic lung disease. The emphysema form of the disease causes slow destruction of the lungs and often leads to death. There is no cure for it, but the most common known cause is the smoking of tobacco. Secondhand smoke and environmental toxins can also contribute to the disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease takes some time to develop, so symptoms may not appear until it is well progressed. It is important to pay attention to all of the following symptoms so treatment can be obtained. Immediate tobacco cessation is also helpful.  Symptoms of emphysema are frequent respiratory infections, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate and blue or gray coloring beneath the nails. As the disease progresses, shortness of breath can occur even while a person is just sitting. They may also experience weight loss, lowered bone density and eventually such difficulty breathing that end of life care is necessary. There is no way to repair the damage caused by emphysema. The walls of the lung become damaged, thus decreasing the oxygen flow to the rest of the body. Learn more

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Emphysema

Emphysema is a lung condition featuring an abnormal accumulation of air in the lung's many tiny air sacs, a tissue called alveoli. As air continues to collect in these sacs, they become enlarged, and may break, or be damaged and form scar tissue. Learn more

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Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a disorder that occurs solely in women. It happens when the uterine lining, which produces bleeding during menstruation, begins to grow around other internal body parts. The main symptom women with endometriosis have to contend with is pain. The excess and invasive uterine tissue can cause a number of problems that lead to pain but it is also painful in and of itself. It can severely and irredeemably damage organs in the abdomen. It can also cause heavy bleeding and fertility issues.   As endometriosis progresses, it gets more and more painful. The invasive tissue is not sloughed off naturally by the body during menstruation as the lining within the uterus is. Nevertheless, it continues to build up on a monthly cycle as it would inside of the uterus. This causes rampant growth of the tissue in the areas that it has invaded.   Women may not notice endometriosis pain at first because it tends to follow the cycle of menstruation. It can cause periods that are more painful than normal. Pain in the abdomen as menstruation approaches often occurs, as does pain after intercourse. If the invasive tissue has spread to the bowel, it can cause painful bowel movements as well. Pain around the time of menstruation is common in women, so pain related to endometriosis may be passed off as menstrual pain for some time before the pain gets severe enough that a woman seeks treatment. Even then, it can go unnoticed by a doctor who does not suspect endometriosis and does not search for it.   Treatment for endometriosis varies depending on the extent of the damage done by the disease and the symptoms experienced by the sufferer. Anti-inflammatory and pain relievers may be used to curb the pain caused by endometriosis, but it will require long-term use as the disease does not go away on its own. Treatment against the condition itself includes hormones, birth control and surgery. If removing reproductive organs or use of hormones is not an option for the sufferer, pain management is the typical course of treatment. Learn more

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Epidermolysis Bullosa

Epidermolysis bullosa is a group of inherited disorders in which skin blisters develop in response to minor injury. Symptoms may include alopecia (hair loss), blistering around the eyes and nose, or blistering in or around the mouth and throat, causing difficulty in feeding or swallowing.   Learn more

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Epididymitis

Epididymitis occurs when the epididymis becomes swollen. The epididymis is a tube behind the testicle that supplies sperm to the vas deferens before ejaculation occurs. There is one of these tubes attached to each testicle in males. This illness can happen to any male. However, males between 14 and 35 years of age are more likely to experience epididymis swelling.  Epididymitis is caused by infection. The infection can occur due to presence of bacteria or co-occur with sexually transmitted infections. The infection may spread to the testicles as well. What symptoms appear with this illness will depend on what is causing the inflammation of the testicles. Sexually transmitted infections cause symptoms of their own, so individuals with sexually transmitted infection-related epididymitis can expect to experience both the symptoms of the infection and of the epididymitis. Potential symptoms include pain in the scrotum and/or testicles, swelling of the scrotum and/or testicles, fever, chills, pain during intercourse, pain during urination, pain during bowel movements, blood in semen, penile discharge and a lump on the affected testicle. (Symptoms that involve the testicles tend to affect only one testicle -- the one with the swollen epididymis.) Learn more

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Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by loss of consciousness and convulsions. Learn more

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Felty's Syndrome

Felty's syndrome is a rare disorder that involves rheumatoid arthritis, a swollen spleen, decreased white blood cell count and repeated infections. The symptoms that are directly associated with Felty's syndrome are similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis. Patients who suffer from painfully stiff and swollen joints (most commonly in the joints of the hands, feet and arms), are mainly affected by this condition. Felty's syndrome may develop during a period when the symptoms and physical findings associated with rheumatoid arthritis have subsided or are not currently present. There are cases where Felty's syndrome can go without being diagnosed, and in more rare instances, the development of this condition may precede the overall development of the symptoms and physical findings associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Learn more

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Fibromyalgia

A common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety. Learn more

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Fibrous Dysplasia

Fibrous Dysplasia is characterized as a skeletal disorder in which scar-like tissue develops where normal bone once was. Healthy bone is then replaced by this fibrous tissue. This process of bone replacement can lead to chronic pain, fracture and misshapen bones, particularly when it occurs within longer bones including extremeties such as arms and legs. When it occurs within the skull, changes within the facial structure can occur as well as hearing or vision loss.  Learn more

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Friedreich's Ataxia

Friedreich's ataxia, also called hereditary spinal ataxia, is the sclerosis of the posterior and lateral columns of the spinal cord, occurring in children and characterized by ataxia in the lower extremities that spreads to the upper extremities and is followed by paralysis and contractures. Learn more

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Gastritis

Gastritis is a medical condition that occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes swollen or inflamed. Gastritis can also cause the lining of the stomach to erode. Although many people can suffer from acute gastritis, or gastritis that only lasts for a short period of time, others suffer from long-term, or chronic, gastritis. Gastritis is often caused by long term use of over the counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. Long-term, and/or excessive use, or abuse, of alcohol can also lead to gastritis. A bacterial infection of the stomach known as Helicobacter pylori is also a common cause of gastritis. Less common causes of gastritis include bile reflux, autoimmune disorders such as pernicious anemia, cocaine use, viral infection, stress and consuming caustic or poisonous substances. Sufferers of gastritis often experience pain in the upper abdomen, a loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting as well as recurrent upset stomach, indigestion and a burning or gnawing sensation in the stomach between meals. When the lining of the stomach is eroding as a result of the gastritis, the patient may also experience black stools as well as vomiting blood or a black substance that looks like coffee grounds. Conventional treatment for gastritis starts with removing any substance that contributes to the condition such as over the counter drugs or alcohol. Antacids, proton pump inhibitors and H2 antagonists such as Tagamet or Zantac are also common treatment options. If bacteria is the cause, a regimen of antibiotics may also be used. Gastritis is a medical condition that occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes swollen or inflamed. Gastritis can also cause the lining of the stomach to erode. Although many people can suffer from acute gastritis, or gastritis that only lasts for a short period of time, others suffer from long-term, or chronic, gastritis.Gastritis is often caused by long term use of over the counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. Long-term, and/or excessive use, or abuse, of alcohol can also lead to gastritis. A bacterial infection of the stomach known as Helicobacter pylori is also a common cause of gastritis. Less common causes of gastritis include bile reflux, autoimmune disorders such as pernicious anemia, cocaine use, viral infection, stress and consuming caustic or poisonous substances.  When the lining of the stomach is eroding as a result of the gastritis, the patient may also experience black stools as well as vomiting blood or a black substance that looks like coffee grounds. Conventional treatment for gastritis starts with removing any substance that contributes to the condition such as over the counter drugs or alcohol. Antacids, proton pump inhibitors and H2 antagonists such as Tagamet or Zantac are also common treatment options. If bacteria is the cause, a regimen of antibiotics may also be used. Learn more

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Genital Herpes

An inflammatory skin disease in the genital area caused by herpes simplex virus or varicella-zoster virus; an eruption of groups of deep-seated vesicles on erythematous bases. Symptoms include small red bumps, blisters (vesicles) or open sores (ulcers) in the genital, anal or nearby area; and pain or itching around the genital area, buttocks or inner thighs. Learn more

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Glaucoma

A disease of the eye characterized by increased intraocular pressure, excavation, and atrophy of the optic nerve; produces defects in the field of vision and eventual blindness. Symptoms include gradual loss of peripheral vision, tunnel vision in the advanced stages, severe eye pain, nausea and vomiting, sudden onset of visual disturbance, blurred vision, halos around lights and reddening of the eye. Learn more

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Glioblastoma Multiforme

The highest grade glioma (grade 4) tumor and the most malignant form of astrocytomas. General symptoms of this type of tumor are the same as for brain tumors, which include abnormal pulse, recurring headaches, difficulty walking or speaking, dizziness, eyesight problems, seizures and vomiting. Learn more

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Graves Disease

  Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that results in hypothyroidism, or over production of thyroid hormones in the body. Among all the possible reasons for hyperactivity within the thyroid, Graves Disease is the most common cause. Although not genetically inherited, a family history of the disease does appear to be a risk factor in developing the disease. Graves Disease can affect both males and females at any age; however, it is most common among women between the ages of 20 and 40. The thyroid gland is an important component of the endocrine system. Located just below the voice box in the front of the neck, the thyroid gland is responsible for releasing the hormones tyroxine (T4) and thriiodothyronine (T3). These hormones, in turn, control body metabolism which is responsible for regulating weight, mood, and both mental and physical energy levels. Because the thyroid has such an overall effect on the body, symptoms of Graves Disease can be varied, but may include fatigue, anxiety and difficulty concentrating as well as eye irritation, double vision and even protruding eyeballs. Increased appetite, insomnia, restlessness and muscle weakness are also signs of Graves Disease as are weight loss, menstrual irregularities in women, and breast enlargement in men. Conventional treatment methods for someone who suffers from Graves Disease are aimed at stopping the over production of thyroid hormone and reducing, or blocking, the negative effects of the hormone on the body. Radioactive iodine therapy is commonly prescribed. The thyroid needs iodine in order to produce hormones. By ingesting radioactive iodine, the thyroid absorbs the radioactive iodine which eventually destroys the overactive thyroid cells. Anti-thyroid medications work in a similar fashion by interfering with the thyroid’s ability to use iodine, thereby preventing it from producing hormones. Beta blocker may also be used to help block the effects of the hormone on the body. In serious cases, surgery may be warranted to remove the thyroid. Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that results in hypothyroidism, or over production of thyroid hormones in the body. Among all the possible reasons for hyperactivity within the thyroid, Graves Disease is the most common cause. Although not genetically inherited, a family history of the disease does appear to be a risk factor in developing the disease. Graves Disease can affect both males and females at any age; however, it is most common among women between the ages of 20 and 40. The thyroid gland is an important component of the endocrine system. Located just below the voice box in the front of the neck, the thyroid gland is responsible for releasing the hormones tyroxine (T4) and thriiodothyronine (T3). These hormones, in turn, control body metabolism which is responsible for regulating weight, mood, and both mental and physical energy levels. Because the thyroid has such an overall effect on the body, symptoms of Graves Disease can be varied, but may include fatigue, anxiety and difficulty concentrating as well as eye irritation, double vision and even protruding eyeballs. Increased appetite, insomnia, restlessness and muscle weakness are also signs of Graves Disease as are weight loss, menstrual irregularities in women, and breast enlargement in men. Conventional treatment methods for someone who suffers from Graves Disease are aimed at stopping the over production of thyroid hormone and reducing, or blocking, the negative effects of the hormone on the body. Radioactive iodine therapy is commonly prescribed. The thyroid needs iodine in order to produce hormones. By ingesting radioactive iodine, the thyroid absorbs the radioactive iodine which eventually destroys the overactive thyroid cells. Anti-thyroid medications work in a similar fashion by interfering with the thyroid’s ability to use iodine, thereby preventing it from producing hormones. Beta blocker may also be used to help block the effects of the hormone on the body. In serious cases, surgery may be warranted to remove the thyroid.   Learn more

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Headaches, Cluster

Cluster headaches are a severely painful condition that characteristically occurs in cycles, which is why it is known as cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are known for being one of the most painful, if not the most painful, and debilitating forms of headache. The underlying cause of these headaches is not known. However, it is known that they are not life threatening, despite the intense pain and suffering caused by them. The pain is so awful that the condition has earned the sobriquet "suicide headaches."  Cluster headaches are characterized by pain on one side of the head that affects the eye on that side. There may be a burning or stabbing pain behind, in or around the eye. Sufferers say that the affected eye feels like it is being stabbed or pushed out of their heads. The eye will usually produce excessive tears during the attack. Other eye symptoms include redness, swelling, drooping eyelid and constricted pupils. The sufferer will display specific behavior caused by the pain. This behavior includes pacing, restlessness and refusal to lie down, as it increases the pain. Sufferers may have a runny nose and appear pale as well.  The cycle or "cluster" of these headaches differ from suffer to sufferer. They will occur with a predictable frequency throughout clusters, typically once or twice daily. They often occur at the same time everyday for sufferers. Lending another nickname to the condition -- "alarm clock headaches" -- is the fact that they tend to happen at night after a person has fallen asleep. During the attack, the headache will last from a few minutes to several hours. This will continue daily for weeks or even months before remission begins. During remission, the sufferer will have no cluster headaches at all. This relief will last a few months and sometimes even years before another cluster begins. Some people suffer long clusters that last a year or more. Learn more

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Headaches, Migraine

A neurological syndrome characterized by altered body perceptions, severe headaches and nausea. Learn more

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Headaches, Tension

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. The International Headache Society divides tension headaches into two categories - episodic and chronic. Episodic tension headache suffers have 15 or fewer headache days per month while chronic tension headache suffers typically suffer from headaches more than 15 days per month. Although most people suffer from a tension headache occasionally, a small percentage of the population suffers from episodic or chronic tension headaches. Tension headaches are not the same as migraine headaches. Tension headaches are generally characterized by mild to moderate pain that feels like a tight band, or intense pressure, throughout the head, neck or face muscles. A tension headache often feels as though the muscles in your head are tightening or contracting. Despite the fact that tension headaches are one of the most commonly diagnosed medical conditions, the exact pathology, or cause, of tension headaches remains elusive. Traditional treatment for tension headache suffers often includes over the counter or prescription pain relief medication, anti-depressant medication, anti-anxiety medication, isolating and removing any known triggers, life-style changes, and relaxing to reduce tension and stress when possible. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. The International Headache Society divides tension headaches into two categories - episodic and chronic. Episodic tension headache suffers have 15 or fewer headache days per month while chronic tension headache suffers typically suffer from headaches more than 15 days per month. Although most people suffer from a tension headache occasionally, a small percentage of the population suffers from episodic or chronic tension headaches. Tension headaches are not the same as migraine headaches. Tension headaches are generally characterized by mild to moderate pain that feels like a tight band, or intense pressure, throughout the head, neck or face muscles. A tension headache often feels as though the muscles in your head are tightening or contracting. Despite the fact that tension headaches are one of the most commonly diagnosed medical conditions, the exact pathology, or cause, of tension headaches remains elusive. Learn more

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Hemophilia A

Hemophilia A is the most common type of Hemophilia and is also often referred to as “classic” Hemophilia or factor VIII deficiency. The largely inherited bleeding disorder is caused by a lack of blood clotting factor VIII. The disease is caused by an inherited X-linked recessive trait, with the defective gene being located on the X chromosome. The vast majority of people who suffer from Hemophilia A are males. The reason for this is that females have two X chromosomes while males only have one. If a female is born with a defective factor VIII chromosome on one gene, she typically has the other X chromosome available to make sufficient factor VIII. Males, however, do not have a “spare” X chromosome. As a result, if a male is born with a defective factor VIII chromosome, he has no way to make sufficient factor VIII and, therefore, has Hemophilia A. Approximately one in 5,000 males born in the United States has Hemophilia A. Hemophilia A can be considered mild, moderate or severe depending on the amount of clotting factor found in the blood of the individual. Excessive bleeding, such as nose bleeds, blood in stools, and prolonged or spontaneous bleeding, is the predominant symptom of Hemophilia A. Bleeding into the joints, which causes pain and swelling is also a common symptom of the disease as is bruising. As a result of the bleeding into the joints, Hemophilia A sufferers also commonly live with chronic pain from the joint damage. Hemophilia A is the most common type of Hemophilia and is also often referred to as “classic” Hemophilia or factor VIII deficiency. The largely inherited bleeding disorder is caused by a lack of blood clotting factor VIII. The disease is caused by an inherited X-linked recessive trait, with the defective gene being located on the X chromosome. The vast majority of people who suffer from Hemophilia A are males. The reason for this is that females have two X chromosomes while males only have one. If a female is born with a defective factor VIII chromosome on one gene, she typically has the other X chromosome available to make sufficient factor VIII. Males, however, do not have a “spare” X chromosome. As a result, if a male is born with a defective factor VIII chromosome, he has no way to make sufficient factor VIII and, therefore, has Hemophilia A. Approximately one in 5,000 males born in the United States has Hemophilia A. Hemophilia A can be considered mild, moderate or severe depending on the amount of clotting factor found in the blood of the individual. Excessive bleeding, such as nose bleeds, blood in stools, and prolonged or spontaneous bleeding, is the predominant symptom of Hemophilia A. Bleeding into the joints, which causes pain and swelling is also a common symptom of the disease as is bruising. As a result of the bleeding into the joints, Hemophilia A sufferers also commonly live with chronic pain from the joint damage. Learn more

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Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Henoch-Schonlein purpura, also known as anaphylactoid purpura or purpura rheumatica, is a disease of the skin and other organs that is most commonly diagnosed among children. In regards to the skin, the disease can cause palpable purpura or small hemorrhages, and can also bring joint and abdominal pain. In terms of kidney involvement, there may be a loss of small amount of protein and blood in the urine, however this commonly goes unnoticed. Learn more

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Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is an often chronic infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which can result in cirrhosis of the liver. Hepatitus C is responsible for most of the liver transplants conducted each year. Learn more

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Hereditary Spinal Ataxia

Hereditary spinal ataxia is sclerosis of the posterior and lateral colums of the spinal cord. This condition occurs in children mostly and is best characterized by ataxia in the lower extremities, which eventually begins to spread to the upper extremities. After it spreads to the upper extremities, it is follow by paralysis and contractures within the body. Hereditary spinal ataxia is also called Friedreich's ataxia. Learn more

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HIV/AIDS

AIDS is a chronic, life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Learn more

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Hospice Patients

In terms of modern usage, hospice is a nursing home for the care of the dying or the incurably ill. Hospice offers a type of care and philosophy of care that directly focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms they experience. These symptoms that hospice patients experience could be physical, emotional or even psychosocial in nature. Hospice care focuses on bringing comfort, self-respect and tranquility to people who are in their final years and stages of life. Learn more

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Huntington's Disease

Huntington’s Disease is an inherited disorder that causes a genetic defect on chromosome four. If afflicted with Huntington’s disease, a part of the person’s DNA, known as a CAG repeat, will repeat anywhere from 36 to 120 times, instead of the intended repeat of between 10 and 28 times. Huntington’s disease typically does not show signs or symptoms until the person reaches middle age, in the 40s or 50s; however, it is possible for symptoms to occur earlier or later in life. Because Huntington’s disease is hereditary, the abnormal gene repeat sequence tends to increase with each successive generation. The more abnormal repeats found on the gene, the higher the likelihood that the disease will present symptoms earlier in life. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Huntington’s disease, nor a known method for stopping the natural progression of the disease. Traditional treatment is aimed at reducing the impact of the symptoms and allowing the patient to be as comfortable and productive as possible for as long as possible. Dopamine blockers, anti-depressants, anti-seizure or anti-anxiety drugs are used to help control the jerky movements and reduce stress and anxiety often associated with the disease. Huntington’s Disease is an inherited disorder that causes a genetic defect on chromosome four. If afflicted with Huntington’s disease, a part of the person’s DNA, known as a CAG repeat, will repeat anywhere from 36 to 120 times, instead of the intended repeat of between 10 and 28 times. Huntington’s disease typically does not show signs or symptoms until the person reaches middle age, in the 40s or 50s; however, it is possible for symptoms to occur earlier or later in life. Because Huntington’s disease is hereditary, the abnormal gene repeat sequence tends to increase with each successive generation. The more abnormal repeats found on the gene, the higher the likelihood that the disease will present symptoms earlier in life. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Huntington’s disease, nor a known method for stopping the natural progression of the disease. Traditional treatment is aimed at reducing the impact of the symptoms and allowing the patient to be as comfortable and productive as possible for as long as possible. Dopamine blockers, anti-depressants, anti-seizure or anti-anxiety drugs are used to help control the jerky movements and reduce stress and anxiety often associated with the disease. Learn more

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Hydromyelia

Hydromyelia, also known as Syringomyelia, is a condition characterized by the abnormal widening of the central canal of the spinal cord. This widening works to create a cavity in which cerebrospinal fluid can build up, creating abnormal increased pressure on the spinal cord and damaging nerve cells and their connections. Several symptoms which tend to occur over time include leg stiffness, stiffness of the arms and hands and sensory loss in the neck and arms. Learn more

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Hypertension

  Hypertension, more commonly known by its street name of high blood pressure, is a medical condition whereby the heart is working harder to push blood through the body, either on the return of blood to the heart or the letting go of blood from the heart. Hypertension is caught when a person goes into the doctor's office for a routine check up or an illness and the blood pressure cuff reveals a number the doctor and attending nurses just aren't comfortable with. Otherwise it can present itself as shortness of breath going up a flight of stairs, a feeling that the heart is pounding right out of the chest even after minimal exertion, and even profuse sweating. The doctor will run tests for verification, and once verified will sit down with the patient to discuss a course of action and treatment Hypertension has innumerable causes; primarily age and obesity are the two most frequent causes of this disorder. However, some people can be very young and very thin and still have hypertension. In these cases it's due to a congenital defect of the heart, present from birth, that causes them to have hypertension. Hypertension, more commonly known by its street name of high blood pressure, is a medical condition whereby the heart is working harder to push blood through the body, either on the return of blood to the heart or the letting go of blood from the heart. Hypertension is caught when a person goes into the doctor's office for a routine check up or an illness and the blood pressure cuff reveals a number the doctor and attending nurses just aren't comfortable with. Otherwise it can present itself as shortness of breath going up a flight of stairs, a feeling that the heart is pounding right out of the chest even after minimal exertion, and even profuse sweating. The doctor will run tests for verification, and once verified will sit down with the patient to discuss a course of action and treatment Hypertension has innumerable causes; primarily age and obesity are the two most frequent causes of this disorder. However, some people can be very young and very thin and still have hypertension. In these cases it's due to a congenital defect of the heart, present from birth, that causes them to have hypertension.   Learn more

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Hypertension

Hypertension is the medical term used to describe high blood pressure. Most of the time, there are no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur include: chest pain, confusion, ear noise or buzzing, irregular heartbeat, nosebleed, tiredness or vision changes.

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Hyperventilation

Hyperventilation or "overbreathing" is rapid or very deep breathing that results in lowered carbon dioxide levels in the body. As a person breathes, he or she pushes out carbon dioxide. Deeper breaths mean more carbon dioxide coming out. Rapid breathing does the same thing, but by pushing it out faster, not by pushing out more at once. Sometimes a person will have difficulty breathing while breathing rapidly or deeply. They may feel unable to take shallower breaths or to slow their breathing. They may also be gasping for air. In these cases, it is possible for carbon dioxide levels to rise instead of fall. Symptoms of hyperventilation include the aforementioned breathing changes and changes in carbon dioxide levels. This brings on other symptoms such as lightheadedness, tingling, muscle spasms, dry mouth, disorientation and chest pain. This is caused by the body's reactions to the change in carbon dioxide levels such as constricting blood vessels. Hyperventilation has several different causes. The most common of these causes is anxiety and panic. Many anxiety sufferers, though not all, suffer from hyperventilation. It may even be the primary or sole physical symptom of their anxiety attacks.  Other conditions that can cause hyperventilation are bleeding, lung disease, heart disease, certain medications, diabetes complications and pregnancy. Hyperventilation or "overbreathing" is rapid or very deep breathing that results in lowered carbon dioxide levels in the body. As a person breathes, he or she pushes out carbon dioxide. Deeper breaths mean more carbon dioxide coming out. Rapid breathing does the same thing, but by pushing it out faster, not by pushing out more at once. Sometimes a person will have difficulty breathing while breathing rapidly or deeply. They may feel unable to take shallower breaths or to slow their breathing. They may also be gasping for air. In these cases, it is possible for carbon dioxide levels to rise instead of fall. Symptoms of hyperventilation include the aforementioned breathing changes and changes in carbon dioxide levels. This brings on other symptoms such as lightheadedness, tingling, muscle spasms, dry mouth, disorientation and chest pain. This is caused by the body's reactions to the change in carbon dioxide levels such as constricting blood vessels. Hyperventilation has several different causes. The most common of these causes is anxiety and panic. Many anxiety sufferers, though not all, suffer from hyperventilation. It may even be the primary or sole physical symptom of their anxiety attacks.  Other conditions that can cause hyperventilation are bleeding, lung disease, heart disease, certain medications, diabetes complications and pregnancy. Learn more

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Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is an abnormally diminished content of glucose levels in the bloodstream. The term hypoglycemia literally means "low sugar blood". This condition can produce a variety of symptoms and effects but the principal problems of this condition arise from an inadequate supply of glucose to the brain. An inadequate supply of glucose to the brain can result in an impairment of regular functions. Effects can range from mild dysphoria or lead to a more serious concern such as seizures, unconsciousness and sometimes permanent brain damage or death. Learn more

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Hyrdocephalus

Hydrocephalus (also known as "water on the brain"), is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. This may cause increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and progressive enlargement of the head, convulsion, tunnel vision, and mental disability. Hydrocephalus can also cause death in extreme cases, but not all cases tend to be extremely severe. Although this condition does occur in older adults, it is more common in infants and younger children. Cerebrospinal fluid normally flows through the ventricles and bathes the brain and spinal column. Too much cerebrospinal fluid associated with hydrocephalus can damage brain tissues and cause a large spectrum of impairments in brain function. These are impairments that tend to last throughout the course of the patient’s condition/diagnosis.  Learn more

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Impotence

Impotence is best defined as a psychological condition where a male erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings (psychological reason) rather than physical impossibility. This condition could be considered somewhat less frequent but often can be treated accordingly. In psychological impotence, there is a notably strong response to placebo treatment. Erectile dysfunction is tied closely as it is to ideas of physical well-being, but can most definitely have severe psychological consequences. Learn more

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Inflammatory autoimmune-mediated arthritis

Inflammatory auto-immune mediated arthritis is associated with any immune-mediated inflammatory disease. This can consist of any group of conditions or diseases that lack a definitive etiology, or causation of the disease. This condition is best characterized by common inflammatory pathways leading to inflammatory. This may or may not be a result from a dysregulation of the normal condition. Learn more

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease, informally known to many simply as I.B.D., is a group of inflammatory-based conditions that directly affect the areas of the colon and small intestine. The major types of inflammatory bowel disease are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Inflammatory bowel diseases are considered autoimmune diseases, in which the bodies own immune system attacks elements of the digestive system and causes a great disruption. Learn more

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Insomnia

Insomnia, also referred to as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which an individual has the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep as long as is desired. While the term insomnia is used to describe a disorder that is demonstrated by polysomnographic evidence of disturbed sleep, it is often best defined as a positive response to either one of two questions. Either a patient has difficulty sleeping or they have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Learn more

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Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)

Intermittent explosive disorder is a behavioral-based condition that is best characterized by extreme expressions of anger and rage, often getting to the point of uncontrollable emotions. The uncontrollable rage associated with this condition is disproportionate to the situation at hand usually, a common side effect of this condition. This condition is currently recognized as an impulse control disorder, or a class of psychiatric disorders that are characterized by impulsivity. This is best explained as a failure to resist a temptation, urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others for that matter. Learn more

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Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (also known simply as painful bladder syndrome) is and debilitating condition in which patients tend to experience bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain. Typically, patients who have been diagnosed with condition suffer from symptoms that are ranging from mild discomfort to severe and debilitating pain. A change in symptoms may intensity as the bladder fills with urine or as it empties. Specifically speaking about women, their symptoms often get worse during menstruation. They may sometimes even experience pain during vaginal intercourse. With interstitial cystitis, these signals that tell your body it's time to go to the bathroom get mixed up, in turn patients then feel the need to urinate more often and with smaller volumes of urine than most people. It should be noted that interstitial cystitis most often affects women and can have a long-lasting impact on a patient's quality of life. Although there's no treatment that reliably eliminates interstitial cystitis, alternative medications such as medical marijuana and other therapies may offer relief. Learn more

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Intractable Pain

Persistent pain which does not respond to at least 3 dosages of parenteral analgesics given over a 12-24 hr period; pain that does not respond to appropriate doses of opioid analgesics. Learn more

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Intractable Vomitting

Intractable vomiting is a condition that is best described as the repeated vomiting that is resistant to any medical treatment. Individuals can develop this condition for a number of reasons and treatment is focused on providing supportive care to keep the patient a comfortable as possible until the case can eventually be resolved. There are many risks associated with intractable vomiting, including dehydration and the possibility of causing a hiatal hernia. This is where the stomach slips through the diaphragm and into the upper chest cavity. Learn more

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Lipomatosis

Familial Multiple Lipomatosis, or Lipomatosis for short, is a heredity condition that causes groups of fat cells to grow in the subcutaneous tissue of your body, resulting in many fatty lumps just below the skin’s surface, referred to as a “limpoma“. Although these lipomas may grow deeper in the body or in the organs, they are most commonly found on your torso, upper arms, shoulders or neck but can also appear on the head, buttocks or other body areas. The deeper limpomas, when present, can be found in your throat, chest, stomach, intestines or in other organs within your body. Limpomas can vary significantly in size as well as other characteristics such as whether or not they are surrounded by connective tissue and whether or not they are attached to nearby skin or muscles. Although the limpomas that make up Lipomatosis are benign, they can be painful and can directly affect a sufferers self-esteem due to their appearance. Symptoms of Lipomatosis can vary widely depending on where the limpomas are located, their size and other individual characteristics. Visible symptoms include the presence of one or more lumps that are soft, round, movable or painful underneath your skin. Blood or the presence of small lumps of tissue in your stool may also be an indication of Lipomatosis. Voice changes, choking or trouble swallowing as well as trouble breathing, snoring or tiring easily are also symptoms of Lipomatosis. Conventional treatment for Lipomatosis is aimed at reducing or removing the lipomas. Steroid injections may work to reduce the lipomas; however, liposuction or surgical removal of the lipomas is often required. Familial Multiple Lipomatosis, or Lipomatosis for short, is a heredity condition that causes groups of fat cells to grow in the subcutaneous tissue of your body, resulting in many fatty lumps just below the skin’s surface, referred to as a “limpoma“. Although these lipomas may grow deeper in the body or in the organs, they are most commonly found on your torso, upper arms, shoulders or neck but can also appear on the head, buttocks or other body areas. The deeper limpomas, when present, can be found in your throat, chest, stomach, intestines or in other organs within your body. Limpomas can vary significantly in size as well as other characteristics such as whether or not they are surrounded by connective tissue and whether or not they are attached to nearby skin or muscles. Although the limpomas that make up Lipomatosis are benign, they can be painful and can directly affect a sufferers self-esteem due to their appearance. Symptoms of Lipomatosis can vary widely depending on where the limpomas are located, their size and other individual characteristics. Visible symptoms include the presence of one or more lumps that are soft, round, movable or painful underneath your skin. Blood or the presence of small lumps of tissue in your stool may also be an indication of Lipomatosis. Voice changes, choking or trouble swallowing as well as trouble breathing, snoring or tiring easily are also symptoms of Lipomatosis. Conventional treatment for Lipomatosis is aimed at reducing or removing the lipomas. Steroid injections may work to reduce the lipomas; however, liposuction or surgical removal of the lipomas is often required. Learn more

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Lou Gehrig's Disease

Lou Gehrig's Disease is the commonly used name for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a serious neurological disease that causes muscle weakness, disability and eventually death. Learn more

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Lupus

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when a patient’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Any inflammation caused by this particular medical condition can affect many different body systems such as those including a patient’s joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. While Lupus can be a difficult condition to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments, the most distinctive sign of lupus is a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks. Typically, this occurs in many patients but not all cases of lupus patients. Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While currently there is no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms. Learn more

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Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, scientifically recognized as lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease that is caused by at least three species of bacteria that belongs to the genus borrelia. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu strict is the main cause of Lyme disease in North America, where as two other forms cause most European-based cases. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere and is transmitted to humans by the bite of the infected tick. Learn more

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Lymphoma

  Lymphoma is the name given to a broad group of blood cancers that develop within the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system actually performs a number of important roles within the human body. As part of the circulatory system, the lymphatic system helps to deliver nutrients, hormones and oxygen from the blood to the cells that make up the tissues of the body. The lymphatic system also acts as an important aid to the body’s immune system by filtering waste and destroying pathogens, and then returning lymph to the circulatory system. Finally, when operating properly, the lymphatic system removes threats to the body such as pathogens and cancer cells. Lymphoma is sub-divided into two general categories -- non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the more common of the two and is characterized by cancerous tumors that develop from lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is marked by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells which are large, cancerous cells found in lymphoma tissues. Surgical removal of the tumor may be required. As with most types of cancer, radiation and/or chemotherapy are common treatment options following surgery. Radiation therapy works by using high dose x-rays aimed at any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy works by using medications that kill the cancerous cells or prevent them from dividing. The cause of lymphoma is unknown. The symptoms of lymphoma can vary depending on the specific area of the body affected by the disease. The most common symptom is swelling of the lymph nodes located in the groin, underarms, or neck. Although the lymph nodes swell, the swelling is not usually associated with any pain. Other symptoms may include an unexplained fever, weight loss, itchy skin, extreme fatigue, a persistent cough or shortness of breath, red patches on the skin, and pain in the back or abdomen. Lymphoma is the name given to a broad group of blood cancers that develop within the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system actually performs a number of important roles within the human body. As part of the circulatory system, the lymphatic system helps to deliver nutrients, hormones and oxygen from the blood to the cells that make up the tissues of the body. The lymphatic system also acts as an important aid to the body’s immune system by filtering waste and destroying pathogens, and then returning lymph to the circulatory system. Finally, when operating properly, the lymphatic system removes threats to the body such as pathogens and cancer cells. Lymphoma is sub-divided into two general categories -- non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the more common of the two and is characterized by cancerous tumors that develop from lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is marked by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells which are large, cancerous cells found in lymphoma tissues. Surgical removal of the tumor may be required. As with most types of cancer, radiation and/or chemotherapy are common treatment options following surgery. Radiation therapy works by using high dose x-rays aimed at any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy works by using medications that kill the cancerous cells or prevent them from dividing.The cause of lymphoma is unknown. The symptoms of lymphoma can vary depending on the specific area of the body affected by the disease. The most common symptom is swelling of the lymph nodes located in the groin, underarms, or neck. Although the lymph nodes swell, the swelling is not usually associated with any pain. Other symptoms may include an unexplained fever, weight loss, itchy skin, extreme fatigue, a persistent cough or shortness of breath, red patches on the skin, and pain in the back or abdomen.   Learn more

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Major Depression

Major depression, also known as clinical depression, is a form of depression that is strong enough to alter one's daily life and last for at least several weeks but can last significantly longer. The exact cause of major depression is unknown and that may be because there are numerous causes. Doctors have noticed that there are certain lifestyle, nature and nurture factors that may play a role in developing major depression. These include a family propensity toward the disorder, substance abuse, prolonged illness, traumatic events and abuse. However, a person who has experienced none of these can still develop major depression.  The symptoms of major depression are the same as any other kinds of depression, though it is more prolonged and severe than other types of depression. These symptoms are feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss, anger, frustration and lack of enjoyment. Physical symptoms are weight loss or weight gain, sleeping changes and fatigue. People who suffer from major depression may think about committing suicide or even plan/attempt it. That and how much it can interfere with life are the reasons why major depression requires treatment from mental health and medical professionals. Medical marijuana has been shown to have a range of benefits for users, though patients do not respond in a uniform manner. Like all mental health disorders, major depression may require the use and cessation of several different medications before doctors find the one that works right for each individual patient. Medical marijuana is one of these medications and can show different results for different patients. However, unlike other depression medications, there are no risks of overdose and the effects take place almost immediately. Learn more

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Malignant Melanoma

Malignant melanoma is a neoplasm of melanocytes or a neoplasm of the cells that develop from melanocytes. Although this condition was once considered an uncommon occurrence, the annual incidence of this condition occurring and being diagnosed, has increased drastically over the past few decades. Usually, the definitive treatment for early-state melanoma is surgery, while medical marijuana is generally reserved for adjuvant treatment of advanced stages of melanoma. Melanocytes produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color change of the skin with this condition. These cells predominantly occur in the skin, but are found in other parts of the body as well. Learn more

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Mania

Mania is best described as a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal or other energy levels. In a certain sense of the term mania, it is the opposite of depression. Mania is a criterion for certain psychiatric diagnoses. In addition to mood disorders similar to mania, the individual who suffers from this condition may exhibit manic behavior because of either intoxication due to alcohol, drugs or most notably any form of stimulants. Mania is often associated with bipolar disorder, as episodes of mania may alternate with episodes of major depression. It is vital that mania be predicted in the early stages of development because otherwise the patient will become reluctant to comply with any form of treatments. Learn more

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Melorheostosis

  Melorheostosis is a rare, non-hereditary bone disease that is caused my a mutation of the LEMD3 gene. While the disease is benign, it is also progressive, meaning the disease will get worse over time. Characterized by hyperostosis, or thickening of the cortical bone, Melorheostosis is typically apparent very early on, often within a few days of birth. Melorheostosis affects both females and males with 50 percent of the sufferers showing symptoms before age 20. The name, derived from the Greek melos "limb" and rhein "to flow, comes from the fact that when viewed on X-rays, the lesions that plague the bones tend to look like wax dripping down a candle. Both the bone and the soft tissue, including muscles, ligaments and tendons are affected when someone has Melorheostosis. Sadly, Melorheostosis typically results in severe functional limitations, extreme pain, soft tissue contractures and deformities of the limbs, hands and feet. The disease most commonly affects the legs, feet, arms and hands. It may affect both sides or only one side.  Common symptoms of Melorheostosis include irregular bone growth, limbs that are uneven, swelling or fusion in the joints, range of motion limitations, hyper-pigmentation of the skin, cold sensitivity and vascular abnormalities. In addition, soft tissue abnormalities are often present such as tendon and ligament shortening, muscles that are abnormal or missing altogether, calcification, and contractures that result in joints that are malformed or immobilized. Melorheostosis is a rare, non-hereditary bone disease that is caused my a mutation of the LEMD3 gene. While the disease is benign, it is also progressive, meaning the disease will get worse over time. Characterized by hyperostosis, or thickening of the cortical bone, Melorheostosis is typically apparent very early on, often within a few days of birth. Melorheostosis affects both females and males with 50 percent of the sufferers showing symptoms before age 20. The name, derived from the Greek melos "limb" and rhein "to flow, comes from the fact that when viewed on X-rays, the lesions that plague the bones tend to look like wax dripping down a candle. Both the bone and the soft tissue, including muscles, ligaments and tendons are affected when someone has Melorheostosis. Sadly, Melorheostosis typically results in severe functional limitations, extreme pain, soft tissue contractures and deformities of the limbs, hands and feet. The disease most commonly affects the legs, feet, arms and hands. It may affect both sides or only one side.  Common symptoms of Melorheostosis include irregular bone growth, limbs that are uneven, swelling or fusion in the joints, range of motion limitations, hyper-pigmentation of the skin, cold sensitivity and vascular abnormalities. In addition, soft tissue abnormalities are often present such as tendon and ligament shortening, muscles that are abnormal or missing altogether, calcification, and contractures that result in joints that are malformed or immobilized. Learn more

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Meniere's Disease

Meniere's disease is a disease of the inner ear that is characterized by episodes of dizziness, tinnitus and progressive hearing loss.

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Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is a blanket term for symptoms that arise due to a number of different motions or simulated motions. Common types of motion sickness include airsickness, carsickness and seasickness. In some cases, the symptoms arise when a person feels motion, but cannot see it, such as with airsickness. In other cases, the motion is visual but not physical. This is the case with space sickness. There is even a type of motion sickness that occurs when motion is felt and seen but one is disproportionate to the other. In other words, the movement may be seen as slight and felt as exaggerated. The tell tale signs of motion sickness are nausea and vomiting, though dizziness, sweating and other symptoms may occur. Motion sickness is caused by sensations from the vestibular system, a part of the inner ear. In fact, without the vestibular system, motion sickness would not occur, as evidenced by creatures that do not possess a vestibular system. It has been postulated that the body triggers the response to vomit as a defense mechanism. A good analogy for why this is helpful is what happens with excessive alcohol intake. The poison the body perceives creates a spinning sensation, triggering motion sickness. This causes the drunken person to vomit, thus expelling the alcohol. In a way, motion sickness could be the body perceiving toxins that are not there. Learn more

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Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS)

One of a series of inherited metabolic disorders affecting a type of complex carbohydrate called a mucopolysaccharide that is deposited in body tissues because the person lacks the specific enzyme needed to metabolize it. Physical symptoms generally include coarse or rough facial features, dwarfism, skeletal irregularities, thickened skin, enlarged organs such as liver or spleen, hernias, excessive body hair growth, short and often claw-like hands, progressive joint stiffness, carpal tunnel syndrome, recurring respiratory infection, obstructive airway disease, diseased heart valves and obstructive sleep apnea.

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is an autoimmune disease, whereby the body's own immune system, which normally targets and destroys substances foreign to the body such as bacteria, mistakenly attacks normal tissues such as the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system). Symptoms include: tingling, numbness, loss of balance, weakness in one or more limbs, blurred or double vision, slurred speech, sudden onset of paralysis, lack of coordination, and problems with thinking and processing information. Learn more

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Muscle Spasms

In terms of medicine, a muscle spasm is most appropriately defined as a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle, muscle group or hollow organ such as the heart, or even a similarly sudden contraction of an orifice. A muscle spasm commonly refers to a muscle cramp that is often accompanied by a sudden burst of pain. Muscle spasms are usually harmless and ceases after a few minutes, however in certain circumstances it can be far more concerning. Learn more

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Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy encompasses an entire group of more than 30 inherited disorders, all of which cause the loss of skeletal muscle tissue and accompanying muscle weakness. Unfortunately, all of the disorders that make up the muscular dystrophy, or MD, group are known to degenerate, or get worse over time. As a result, keeping the patient comfortable and as pain-free as possible is often one of the most prominent treatment goals.  Muscular Dystrophy Common Groups Treated with Marijuana Among the common members of the group of MD disorders are Becker muscular dystrophy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, Facioscapulohumerol muscular dystrophy, Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, Myotonia congenita, and Myotonic muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy encompasses an entire group of more than 30 inherited disorders, all of which cause the loss of skeletal muscle tissue and accompanying muscle weakness. Learn more

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Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune and neuromuscular disease that is responsible for fluctuating muscle weakness and overall fatigue. Muscle weakness is caused by the body's many circulating antibodies that block acetylcholine receptors at the postsynaptic neuromuscular junction, inhibiting the excitatory effects of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine on nicotinic receptors at neuromuscular junctions. This particular condition is caused by a breakdown in the normal communication between nerves and muscles. Muscle weakness caused by myasthenia gravis worsens as the affected muscle is used repeatedly. Because symptoms usually improve with rest, your muscle weakness may come and go. However, myasthenia gravis symptoms tend to progress over time, usually reaching their worst within a few years after the onset of the disease. Learn more

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Myeloid Leukemia

Myeloid leukemia, specifically recognizing acute myeloid leukemia, is a cancer of te myeloid line of blood cells and is best characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow of an individual. This process directly interferes with the production of normal blood cells in the body. Acute myeloid leukemia is the most common acute leukemia that affects adults and its rate of incidence increases as one becomes older. Although this condition is considered to be a relatively rare disease, it accounts for approximately 1.2% of cancer deaths in the United States. As the populations age increases, the incidence of this condition becoming diagnosed is going to skyrocket. Learn more

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Nail-Patella Syndrome

Nail-patella syndrome, also known as "hood syndrome" is a genetic disorder that usually results in very small, poorly developed nails and kneecaps. This condition can also affect many other areas of the body such as the elbows, chest and the hips. The name "nail-patella" syndrome can be very misleading due to the fact that the syndrome often affects many other areas of the body, even the production of certain proteins within the body. This condition is inherited via autosomal dominancy and is linked to aberrancy on human chromosome 9's q arm. This autosomal dominancy means that only a single copy, instead of both, is sufficient for the disorder to be expressed in the offspring. This means the chance of developing the disorder from an affected heterozygous parent is 50/50. Learn more

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Neurofibromatosis

Neurofibromatosis (otherwise known as NF) is a medical condition that refers to a number of various inherited conditions which are clinically and genetically distinct in nature. Each of these inherited conditions carry a high risk of tumor formation, particularly in the region of the brain. As an autosomal dominant disorder, only one copy of the affected gene is needed for Neurofibromatosis to develop. If only one parent has neurofibromatosis, his or her children will have a fifty-fit chance of developing the condition as well within their lifetime. However, it should be noted that it is rarely the case that one person has the mutated gene twice, which would imply a one-hundred chance of their children developing Neurofibromatosis. There are currently three varying types of Neurofibromatosis: Neurofibromatosis Type I: Which the nerve tissue grows tumors (neurofibromas) that may be benign and may cause serious damage by compressing nerves and other tissues. Neurofibromatosis Type II: Which bilateral acoustic neuromas (tumors of the vestibulocochlear nerve or cranial nerve 8 (CN VIII) also known as schwannoma) develop, often leading to hearing loss. Schwannomatosis: Which painful schwannomas develop on cranial, spinal and peripheral nerves. Learn more

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Nightmares

It’s rare to find someone who has never experienced a nightmare. Unfortunately, some people are plagued by them. Although children are more likely to suffer from nightmares, estimates are that up to eight percent of the adult population also suffers from recurrent nightmares. What sets a nightmare apart from a simple dream is the level of anxiety and/or fear the dream causes. While an ordinary dream may not necessarily have a happy theme to it, a nightmare causes the dreamer to fear that he or she is in imminent harm. Common nightmare themes include being chased, injured, lost or threatened; however, nightmares are highly personal and may have anything as a theme as long as it causes terror in the dreamer. Where other dreams tend to be vague, hence the term “dreamlike”, a nightmare is generally extremely vivid and causes the dreamer to feel as though it is real. In most cases, a nightmare is so realistic, and the threat of harm feels so feel, that the dreamer is jolted awake from a deep sleep as a result and may need a few minutes, or longer, to calm down and realize it was a dream. The majority of dreams take place during the phase of sleep known as rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep. Most people experience numerous periods of REM sleep during the night with the duration of each REM period increasing throughout the night. As a result, nightmares are more likely to occur later in the night or toward the morning.   Nightmares can be caused, or triggered, by a number of factors. Certain medications, such as anti-depressants or narcotic based pain relievers are known to be associated with nightmares as are some blood pressure medications. Sleep deprivation or insomnia has also been linked to nightmares. Certain psychological disorders can also lead to nightmares such as post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, anxiety and depression. Conventional treatment for nightmares includes cognitive behavior therapy and the use of medications such as Topamax, Minipress, Serzone, Desyrel, and Neurontin or Gabarone. It’s rare to find someone who has never experienced a nightmare. Unfortunately, some people are plagued by them. Although children are more likely to suffer from nightmares, estimates are that up to eight percent of the adult population also suffers from recurrent nightmares. What sets a nightmare apart from a simple dream is the level of anxiety and/or fear the dream causes. While an ordinary dream may not necessarily have a happy theme to it, a nightmare causes the dreamer to fear that he or she is in imminent harm. Common nightmare themes include being chased, injured, lost or threatened; however, nightmares are highly personal and may have anything as a theme as long as it causes terror in the dreamer. Where other dreams tend to be vague, hence the term “dreamlike”, a nightmare is generally extremely vivid and causes the dreamer to feel as though it is real. In most cases, a nightmare is so realistic, and the threat of harm feels so feel, that the dreamer is jolted awake from a deep sleep as a result and may need a few minutes, or longer, to calm down and realize it was a dream. The majority of dreams take place during the phase of sleep known as rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep. Most people experience numerous periods of REM sleep during the night with the duration of each REM period increasing throughout the night. As a result, nightmares are more likely to occur later in the night or toward the morning. Nightmares can be caused, or triggered, by a number of factors. Certain medications, such as anti-depressants or narcotic based pain relievers are known to be associated with nightmares as are some blood pressure medications. Sleep deprivation or insomnia has also been linked to nightmares. Certain psychological disorders can also lead to nightmares such as post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, anxiety and depression. Conventional treatment for nightmares includes cognitive behavior therapy and the use of medications such as Topamax, Minipress, Serzone, Desyrel, and Neurontin or Gabarone. Learn more

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Obesity

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has began to accumulate to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on a patient's health. Obesity can lead to a reduced life expectancy and an increased amount of health complications. Individuals who are considered obese have a body mass index that exceeds 30 kg/m squared. Body mass index is a measurement that is obtained by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by the square of a person's height in meters. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type two diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer and osteoarthritis. Learn more

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is one of the many disorders that falls within the general category of anxiety disorders. Characterized by repeated and unwanted thoughts, feelings, fears, images or sensations that cannot be controlled, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can be disabling to a sufferer. The thoughts, feelings, ideas, fears, images or sensations can center around almost anything or anyone and make up the “obsessive” half of the disorder. The obsession then leads to an uncontrollable and urgent need to act on the obsession which creates the compulsive half of the disorder. Typically, the compulsion leads to a routine or to repeating the same act or ritual over and over again in a vain attempt to prevent the obsession from returning. A common example of an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder cycle is the fear of germs which leads someone to repeatedly wash their hands over and over again hundreds of times a day. Although we all are aware of germs and the need to wash our hands, an OCD sufferer will begin to feel severe anxiety if not able to do so at the exact moment that the obsession strikes, and in the precise manner that the compulsion dictates that it be accomplished. The cycle repeats again which leads to severe anxiety for anyone suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Learn more

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Opiate Dependence

Opiates are a class of drugs that are intended to be used to treat moderate to severe pain. Among the many common forms of opiate based pain killers are drugs such as OxyContin Fentanyl, Dilaudid, Lorcet, Lortab, and Stadol as well as morphine, codeine and heroin. Because opiate based medications are powerful pain killers, they are frequently abused. Abuse of these drugs can then lead to dependence or addiction. Intentional abuse, however, is not the only path to dependence or addiction. Often, an individual may become dependent or addicted to opiates as a result of a long-term illness or injury for which opiate based pain medications have been legally prescribed. Although the terms “addiction” and “dependence” are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing from a clinical standpoint. Sources may not agree on precisely how to define the two terms, but they all agree that they are not the same thing. Most experts focus on a person’s compulsive use of a drug, and the negative and dangerous consequences of the use, when defining addiction. Dependence, on the other hand, tends to be defined more by the physical need for a drug and the withdrawal symptoms associated with not having the drug. As such, a person can be dependent, yet not addicted and vice versa. While many people who suffer from an opiate dependence have arrived at the point as a result of a recreational drug habit, there are a significant number of people who have become dependent on opiates as a result of the use of legally prescribed opiates. Opiate tolerance is common among long-term users. What this means is that a patient who needs to control pain may initially be given a relatively low dose opiate. Over time, the patient will develop a tolerance to the medication and will need more of the same medication in order to achieve the same pain relief. This, understandably, leads to consuming higher and higher doses of opiates which may lead to dependence. Symptoms of an opiate dependence focus on what happens when a person does not have access to the medication. When the drug is withheld, an individual with an opiate dependence will experience withdrawal symptoms including, pain, cramps and tremors as well as vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms may also include tachycardia, restless leg syndrome and various flu-like symptoms. Traditional treatment for opiate dependence depends to a large extent on the cause or progression of the dependence. If the patient has been using opiates illicitly, then methadone, or other drug-replacement options, along with psychological counseling may be required. For patients who became dependent as a result of the need to control legitimate pain, treatment options are more complicated as the patient continues to need pain relief. Opiates are a class of drugs that are intended to be used to treat moderate to severe pain. Among the many common forms of opiate based pain killers are drugs such as OxyContin Fentanyl, Dilaudid, Lorcet, Lortab, and Stadol as well as morphine, codeine and heroin. Because opiate based medications are powerful pain killers, they are frequently abused. Abuse of these drugs can then lead to dependence or addiction. Intentional abuse, however, is not the only path to dependence or addiction. Often, an individual may become dependent or addicted to opiates as a result of a long-term illness or injury for which opiate based pain medications have been legally prescribed. Although the terms “addiction” and “dependence” are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing from a clinical standpoint. Sources may not agree on precisely how to define the two terms, but they all agree that they are not the same thing. Most experts focus on a person’s compulsive use of a drug, and the negative and dangerous consequences of the use, when defining addiction. Dependence, on the other hand, tends to be defined more by the physical need for a drug and the withdrawal symptoms associated with not having the drug. As such, a person can be dependent, yet not addicted and vice versa. While many people who suffer from an opiate dependence have arrived at the point as a result of a recreational drug habit, there are a significant number of people who have become dependent on opiates as a result of the use of legally prescribed opiates. Opiate tolerance is common among long-term users. What this means is that a patient who needs to control pain may initially be given a relatively low dose opiate. Over time, the patient will develop a tolerance to the medication and will need more of the same medication in order to achieve the samvicee pain relief. This, understandably, leads to consuming higher and higher doses of opiates which may lead to dependence.Symptoms of an opiate dependence focus on what happens when a person does not have access to the medication. When the drug is withheld, an individual with an opiate dependence will experience withdrawal symptoms including, pain, cramps and tremors as well as vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms may also include tachycardia, restless leg syndrome and various flu-like symptoms. Traditional treatment for opiate dependence depends to a large extent on the cause or progression of the dependence. If the patient has been using opiates illicitly, then methadone, or other drug-replacement options, along with psychological counseling may be required. For patients who became dependent as a result of the need to control legitimate pain, treatment options are more complicated as the patient continues to need pain relief. Learn more

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis,  is a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis,  is a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints. Learn more

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Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is one of many anxiety disorders that affects millions of Americans. Panic disorder tends to strike in early adulthood. Characterized by frequent attacks of intense, unfounded fear and anxiety, panic disorder can cause the sufferer to experience rapid heartbeat, dizziness, nausea and the inability to breathe normally. A severe attack may even leave the sufferer feeling as though he or she is going to die or is going crazy. Panic disorder can seriously interfere with both the quality and enjoyment of life for most sufferers. An extreme suffer can even become homebound and feel unable to lead a normal life due to the frequency and severity of attacks. Although the cause of panic disorder is unknown, genetics are believed to play a part. Panic disorder is typically diagnosed during the young adult years, although it can present itself as late as the 30s or 40s or as early as pre-adolescence. Women are twice as likely to suffer from panic disorder as men. A panic attack can come on suddenly, with no apparent precipitator. An attack can even happen while sleeping or relaxing. Attacks typically last for 10 to 20 minutes, although they can continue for up to an hour or more. During a panic attack, the suffer may feel that he or she is in a fearful or dangerous situation without a solution or escape. Unfounded fear may cause the suffer to feel that he or she is having a heart attack. Along with a rapid heartbeat, a panic attack may include shortness of breath, shaking, sweating, nausea, hot or cold flashes and numbness or tingling sensations throughout the body. Although anyone can experience a single panic attack, repeated attacks along with anticipatory anxiety and/or phobic avoidance of anything that has caused a previous attack leads to the diagnosis of panic disorder. Learn more

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Parkinson's Disease

  Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease of the brain. Because Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, Parkinson’s tends to slowly worsen over time. In a healthy brain, brain cells produce a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for relaying messages within the brain that control movement in the human body. When these cells are damaged, the signs of Parkinson’s Disease begin to show. Typically, the signs of Parkinson’s appear slowly, as a subtle tremor in just one hand, for example. Although most people associate Parkinson’s Disease with jerking or shaking movements, the disease can also produce a freezing of parts of the body. For instance, a person suffering from Parkinson’s may appear to have no facial expression or may appear to have an abnormally stiff gait when he walks. Noticeable symptoms of the disease general do not appear until around the age of 50, or later. Along with shaking, tremors or “freezing” symptoms, a person suffering from Parkinson’s Disease may also suffer from other symptoms including constipation, difficulty swallowing, blinking, drooling and muscle aches and pains. A number of movement problems are also associated with the disease, as are rigid or stiff muscles, low blood pressure, stooped position, and slowed, or monotone speech. Along with the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, the disease also may cause anxiety, depression, and memory loss, as well as confusion, stress and tension. There is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease at this time. Conventional treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms and making the patient as comfortable as possible. Medication is used to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain as well as to treat the movement problems associated with the disease. Antidepressants are also commonly prescribed. Brain surgery to implant an electrode deep within the brain where movement is controlled is also an option for advanced Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease of the brain. Because Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, Parkinson’s tends to slowly worsen over time. In a healthy brain, brain cells produce a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for relaying messages within the brain that control movement in the human body. When these cells are damaged, the signs of Parkinson’s Disease begin to show. Typically, the signs of Parkinson’s appear slowly, as a subtle tremor in just one hand, for example. Although most people associate Parkinson’s Disease with jerking or shaking movements, the disease can also produce a freezing of parts of the body. For instance, a person suffering from Parkinson’s may appear to have no facial expression or may appear to have an abnormally stiff gait when he walks. Noticeable symptoms of the disease general do not appear until around the age of 50, or later. Along with shaking, tremors or “freezing” symptoms, a person suffering from Parkinson’s Disease may also suffer from other symptoms including constipation, difficulty swallowing, blinking, drooling and muscle aches and pains. A number of movement problems are also associated with the disease, as are rigid or stiff muscles, low blood pressure, stooped position, and slowed, or monotone speech. Along with the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, the disease also may cause anxiety, depression, and memory loss, as well as confusion, stress and tension. There is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease at this time. Conventional treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms and making the patient as comfortable as possible. Medication is used to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain as well as to treat the movement problems associated with the disease. Antidepressants are also commonly prescribed. Brain surgery to implant an electrode deep within the brain where movement is controlled is also an option for advanced Parkinson’s Disease. Learn more

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Peripheral Neuropathy

Your peripheral nervous system is the system by which all information from the brain is transmitted through the spinal cord to various parts of your body. This incredibly complicated communications network is also responsible for sending sensory signals back through your spinal cord to your brain. For example, if your hands are cold, the signal is sent by the peripheral nervous system through your spinal cord to your brain. Likewise, if you step on a nail, the pain signal is sent from your foot through the peripheral nervous system to your brain. When this delicate system is damaged, it is referred to as Peripheral Neuropathy, or nerve damage in common terminology. People who suffer from mild Peripheral Neuropathy can have symptoms such as tingling, sensitivity to touch, and numbness, as well a prickling sensation or muscle weakness. Those who have more serious Peripheral Neuropathy can have symptoms such as an excruciating burning pain, paralysis, muscle wasting, and organ or gland dysfunction. Along with pain related symptoms, a Peripheral Neuropathy sufferer may become unable to digest food easily, maintain safe levels of blood pressure or sweat normally as well as may experience a change in sexual function. In the most extreme cases, breathing may become difficult or organ failure may occur. There are over 100 forms of Peripheral Neuropathy. Some forms appear rapidly and then seem to diminish in severity while others come on slowly with symptoms that worsen with time. Although physical trauma is the most common cause of Peripheral Neuropathy, it can also be inherited. Other, less common causes, include tumors, toxins, autoimmune responses, nutritional deficiencies, alcoholism, and vascular and metabolic disorders. Conventional treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy varies depending on the cause and severity of the condition. Underlying causes, such as a herniated disc that is causing pressure on a nerve, must be treated first. Injections of steroids and/or anesthetics may also be used. For many Peripheral Neuropathy sufferers, there is no cure. Treatment, therefore, is aimed at reducing the pain associated with the condition. Anti-seizure medications along with anti-depressants work for some; however, many Peripheral Neuropathy patients require varying degrees of opiate based pain medications to control the pain associated with the condition. Your peripheral nervous system is the system by which all information from the brain is transmitted through the spinal cord to various parts of your body. This incredibly complicated communications network is also responsible for sending sensory signals back through your spinal cord to your brain. For example, if your hands are cold, the signal is sent by the peripheral nervous system through your spinal cord to your brain. Likewise, if you step on a nail, the pain signal is sent from your foot through the peripheral nervous system to your brain. When this delicate system is damaged, it is referred to as Peripheral Neuropathy, or nerve damage in common terminology.People who suffer from mild Peripheral Neuropathy can have symptoms such as tingling, sensitivity to touch, and numbness, as well a prickling sensation or muscle weakness. Those who have more serious Peripheral Neuropathy can have symptoms such as an excruciating burning pain, paralysis, muscle wasting, and organ or gland dysfunction. Along with pain related symptoms, a Peripheral Neuropathy sufferer may become unable to digest food easily, maintain safe levels of blood pressure or sweat normally as well as may experience a change in sexual function. In the most extreme cases, breathing may become difficult or organ failure may occur. There are over 100 forms of Peripheral Neuropathy. Some forms appear rapidly and then seem to diminish in severity while others come on slowly with symptoms that worsen with time. Although physical trauma is the most common cause of Peripheral Neuropathy, it can also be inherited. Other, less common causes, include tumors, toxins, autoimmune responses, nutritional deficiencies, alcoholism, and vascular and metabolic disorders. Conventional treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy varies depending on the cause and severity of the condition. Underlying causes, such as a herniated disc that is causing pressure on a nerve, must be treated first. Injections of steroids and/or anesthetics may also be used. For many Peripheral Neuropathy sufferers, there is no cure. Treatment, therefore, is aimed at reducing the pain associated with the condition. Anti-seizure medications along with anti-depressants work for some; however, many Peripheral Neuropathy patients require varying degrees of opiate based pain medications to control the pain associated with the condition. Learn more

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Peritoneal Pain

Peritoneal pain, otherwise known as a generalized condition of peritonitis, is an inflammation of the peritoneum, or the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs. Peritonitis may be localized or generalized and may result from spread of infection or from a non-infectious process. Infections associated with peritonitis are usually due to the rupture of a hollow organ and may occur due to abdominal trauma or appendicitis. Learn more

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Persistent Insomnia

Persistent or chronic insomnia is a sleep disorder that presents as trouble sleeping for several nights in a row. It can occur every night or most nights for weeks, months or even years at a time, though it must occur for at least one month to be considered persistent. While the insomnia is occurring, it must affect sleep in one or more of these ways to be considered insomnia. It can be difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, difficulty falling back asleep after early waking or any combination of these symptoms. Chronic insomnia can interfere with a person' daily life. It also has consequences in some sufferers, especially if the sleep interruption is severe or results in prolonged sleep deprivation. These effects include general weakness, hallucinations, slow motion perception, double vision, difficulty concentrating, aching muscles, nausea and various symptoms often related to mental and emotional disorders. According to Loughborough University's Professor James Horne, sleep is necessary for the body's automatic functions. Significant lack of sleep can affect those functions, though the most severe symptoms come with the most sleep deprivation. Learn more

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Porphyria

  Porphyria is not one simple disorder, but refers to a group of at least eight separate disorders. Although each disorder within the classification of porphyria carries with it its own set of unique characteristics, the one common characteristic shared by all disorders within the classification of porphyria is that they all result from the build-up of chemicals known as porphyrins or porphyrin precursors. The human body produces these chemicals naturally; however, the accumulation of porphyrins or porphyrin precursors is not normal. Porphyria is a rare disorder, afflicting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States with all the forms of porphyria combined. The cause of porphyria is typically genetic in nature and due to a mutated gene. Symptoms of porphyria can vary widely, depending on which of the various porphyrias the patient is afflicted with. Along with a variance of symptoms based on which type of porphyria the patient suffers from, there are also two general types of the disorder: acute and cutaneous. Symptoms are generally related to the nervous system, skin or both. The acute form tends to show nervous system symptoms more prominently than skin-related symptoms and rarely attacks females before puberty or after menopause. The cutaneous form favors skin-related symptoms and typically starts to show symptoms in infancy or childhood. Acute porphyria symptoms may include severe abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting and diarrhea as well as anxiety and insomnia. Muscle pain, tingling or weakness as well as seizures, confusion and hallucinations are also common symptoms. The cutaneous form often shows symptoms such as painful red skin, itching, swelling of the skin and blisters. Red urine is a symptom of both forms of porphyria. There is no known cure for porphyria. Conventional treatment is aimed at managing the symptoms of the disorder. Ceasing any medications that may have triggered the symptoms as well as treating any underlying infections that may have triggered an outbreak is necessary. Medications may also be given that help reduce the levels of porphyrins in the body. After that, treatment generally tries to manage the pain and anxiety associated with porphyria. Porphyria is not one simple disorder, but refers to a group of at least eight separate disorders. Although each disorder within the classification of porphyria carries with it its own set of unique characteristics, the one common characteristic shared by all disorders within the classification of porphyria is that they all result from the build-up of chemicals known as porphyrins or porphyrin precursors. The human body produces these chemicals naturally; however, the accumulation of porphyrins or porphyrin precursors is not normal. Porphyria is a rare disorder, afflicting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States with all the forms of porphyria combined. The cause of porphyria is typically genetic in nature and due to a mutated gene. Symptoms of porphyria can vary widely, depending on which of the various porphyrias the patient is afflicted with. Along with a variance of symptoms based on which type of porphyria the patient suffers from, there are also two general types of the disorder: acute and cutaneous. Symptoms are generally related to the nervous system, skin or both. The acute form tends to show nervous system symptoms more prominently than skin-related symptoms and rarely attacks females before puberty or after menopause. The cutaneous form favors skin-related symptoms and typically starts to show symptoms in infancy or childhood. Acute porphyria symptoms may include severe abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting and diarrhea as well as anxiety and insomnia. Muscle pain, tingling or weakness as well as seizures, confusion and hallucinations are also common symptoms. The cutaneous form often shows symptoms such as painful red skin, itching, swelling of the skin and blisters. Red urine is a symptom of both forms of porphyria. There is no known cure for porphyria. Conventional treatment is aimed at managing the symptoms of the disorder. Ceasing any medications that may have triggered the symptoms as well as treating any underlying infections that may have triggered an outbreak is necessary. Medications may also be given that help reduce the levels of porphyrins in the body. After that, treatment generally tries to manage the pain and anxiety associated with porphyria. Learn more

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Post Concussion Syndrome

Post-Concussion Syndrome, also referred to as postconcussive syndrome or PCS is characterized by a list of symptoms that can last for weeks, months, or even up to a year or more following a concussion. The condition may first be diagnosed when symptoms resulting from a concussion last beyond three months. Post-Concussion Syndrome symptoms include headaches and migraines, cognitive difficulties concentrating and emotional and behavioral issues such as irratibility.  Learn more

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Post Polio Syndrome (PPS)

Prior to the 1950s, Polio was one of the most feared diseases in America, crippling at many as 35,000 people a year at its height. Luckily, a Polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s which dramatically decreased the incidence of Polio around the world and all but obliterated the disease in the United States. Post-Polio Syndrome, however, continues to affect people who were exposed to the virus decades ago. Polio is spread through direct contact with an infected person, through bodily fluids such as phlegm, or through contact with infected feces. Once exposed to Polio, some people experience severe symptoms such as eventual paralysis; however, the majority of people who are exposed to Polio suffer an initial acute attack of symptoms but then appear to recover completely. Unfortunately, the symptoms of Polio can reoccur years, or even many decades after an initial exposure. The re-emergence of symptoms is referred to as Post-Polio Syndrome. The symptoms of Post-Polio Syndrome tend to emerge slowly and then retreat for a period of time. Common symptoms may include a progressive weakening and pain in muscles and joints, exhaustion and a general feeling of fatigue, sleep apnea or other breathing related sleep problems, breathing and swallowing problems, muscle atrophy and decreased tolerance to cold temperatures. Joint degeneration may take place as well as scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. Estimates are that as many as 50 percent of Polio survivors eventually experience Post-Polio Syndrome. There appears to be a correlation between the severity of the original Polio attack and the severity of the symptoms experienced by a Post-Polio Syndrome Sufferer. In other words, if the original Polio attack produced severe symptoms, then symptoms relating to Post-Polio Syndrome are likely to be more severe as well. There is no known cure or course of treatment that can stop the progressive deterioration caused by Post-Polio Syndrome. Conventional treatment for Post-Polio Syndrome is typically aimed at increasing the quality of life and decreasing the pain level for one suffering from the condition. Often, a combination of physical, speech and occupational therapies are combined with sleep apnea treatments and pain medications to relieve pain. Prior to the 1950s, Polio was one of the most feared diseases in America, crippling at many as 35,000 people a year at its height. Luckily, a Polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s which dramatically decreased the incidence of Polio around the world and all but obliterated the disease in the United States. Post-Polio Syndrome, however, continues to affect people who were exposed to the virus decades ago. Polio is spread through direct contact with an infected person, through bodily fluids such as phlegm, or through contact with infected feces. Once exposed to Polio, some people experience severe symptoms such as eventual paralysis; however, the majority of people who are exposed to Polio suffer an initial acute attack of symptoms but then appear to recover completely. Unfortunately, the symptoms of Polio can reoccur years, or even many decades after an initial exposure. The re-emergence of symptoms is referred to as Post-Polio Syndrome.The symptoms of Post-Polio Syndrome tend to emerge slowly and then retreat for a period of time. Common symptoms may include a progressive weakening and pain in muscles and joints, exhaustion and a general feeling of fatigue, sleep apnea or other breathing related sleep problems, breathing and swallowing problems, muscle atrophy and decreased tolerance to cold temperatures. Joint degeneration may take place as well as scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. Estimates are that as many as 50 percent of Polio survivors eventually experience Post-Polio Syndrome. There appears to be a correlation between the severity of the original Polio attack and the severity of the symptoms experienced by a Post-Polio Syndrome Sufferer. In other words, if the original Polio attack produced severe symptoms, then symptoms relating to Post-Polio Syndrome are likely to be more severe as well. There is no known cure or course of treatment that can stop the progressive deterioration caused by Post-Polio Syndrome. Conventional treatment for Post-Polio Syndrome is typically aimed at increasing the quality of life and decreasing the pain level for one suffering from the condition. Often, a combination of physical, speech and occupational therapies are combined with sleep apnea treatments and pain medications to relieve pain. Learn more

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Post-traumatic arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis develops after an injury such as a break or a dislocation, or after certain surgeries. Post-traumatic arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis or osteonecrosis. Learn more

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event which results in psychological trauma. Symptoms include: recurrent re-experiencing of the trauma, sleep problems, irritability, anger, poor concentration, blackouts, and a phobia of places, people, and experiences that remind the sufferer of the trauma. Learn more

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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome or "PMS" is a female malady that occurs in the days or weeks leading up to menstruation. The symptoms may also occur during the beginning of menstruation. The symptoms generally show up roughly 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her period. However, experiences differ between women. The cause of premenstrual syndrome is unknown, though hormones are suspected, given that hormone changes occur during this phase of the menstrual cycle. Women who suffer PMS likely have different hormonal changes than women who do not. The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome are often physical, behavioral and mental/emotional. Physical symptoms include headaches, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, cravings, altered sex drive, insomnia, sleeping too much, lowered coordination, fatigue and pain -- similar to period cramps. Mental symptoms include depression, anxiety, confusion and negative thoughts/feelings. Behavioral symptoms include mood swings and fits of hostility or anger. The severity of these symptoms differs between women with premenstrual syndrome and tend to get more severe as the women near menopause. Learn more

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Prostatitis

The male prostate gland is a walnut sized gland located just below the bladder. The function of the prostate gland is to produce seminal fluid which is then used to nourish and transport sperm. Prostatitis is the inflammation or swelling of the prostate gland. Sometimes, Prostatits includes a bacterial infection; however, an infection is not always present. Prostatitis is not associated with Prostate Cancer nor does it raise the risk of eventually being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. When a corresponding bacterial infection is not present, the cause of Prostatitis is typically unknown. Prostatitis can come on rapidly, particularly when a bacterial infection is the cause, or can appear slowly. Difficulty urinating or pain during urination are the most common symptoms of Prostatis. Other symptoms may include pain in the genital, groin or pelvic area, or general flu-like symptoms. Prostatitis is divided into three categories -- acute bacterial, chronic bacterial, and chronic non-bacterial. Acute Bacterial Prostatitis strikes quickly and represents with chills, fever, severe pain and an increased need to urinate. This form is caused by a sudden bacterial infection that results in the inflammation of the prostate. It can lead to a bladder infection, absesses in the prostrate and even hospitalization. This type of Prostatitis typically treated with intravenous antibiotics ad pain relievers to control the pain associated with the condition. Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis is generally the result of recurrent urinary tract infections. When a man suffers repeated urinary tract infections, the infections can eventually enter the prostrate gland and lead to Prostratitis. The symptoms of the chronic version are similar to that of the acute version; however, they may not be as severe and will tend to come and go. The chronic version is also treated with antibiotics and pain medications. The most common form of Prostratitis is the Chronic Non-Bacterial variety. In this form, the symptoms are typically the same as for the bacterial related form; however, the cause is unknown and, therefore, antibiotics are not used since no infection is present. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed to reduce the inflammation caused by any of the Prostrititis forms. The male prostate gland is a walnut sized gland located just below the bladder. The function of the prostate gland is to produce seminal fluid which is then used to nourish and transport sperm. Prostatitis is the inflammation or swelling of the prostate gland. Sometimes, Prostatits includes a bacterial infection; however, an infection is not always present. Prostatitis is not associated with Prostate Cancer nor does it raise the risk of eventually being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. When a corresponding bacterial infection is not present, the cause of Prostatitis is typically unknown. Prostatitis can come on rapidly, particularly when a bacterial infection is the cause, or can appear slowly. Difficulty urinating or pain during urination are the most common symptoms of Prostatis. Other symptoms may include pain in the genital, groin or pelvic area, or general flu-like symptoms. Prostatitis is divided into three categories -- acute bacterial, chronic bacterial, and chronic non-bacterial. Acute Bacterial Prostatitis strikes quickly and represents with chills, fever, severe pain and an increased need to urinate. This form is caused by a sudden bacterial infection that results in the inflammation of the prostate. It can lead to a bladder infection, absesses in the prostrate and even hospitalization. This type of Prostatitis typically treated with intravenous antibiotics ad pain relievers to control the pain associated with the condition. Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis is generally the result of recurrent urinary tract infections. When a man suffers repeated urinary tract infections, the infections can eventually enter the prostrate gland and lead to Prostratitis. The symptoms of the chronic version are similar to that of the acute version; however, they may not be as severe and will tend to come and go. The chronic version is also treated with antibiotics and pain medications. The most common form of Prostratitis is the Chronic Non-Bacterial variety. In this form, the symptoms are typically the same as for the bacterial related form; however, the cause is unknown and, therefore, antibiotics are not used since no infection is present. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed to reduce the inflammation caused by any of the Prostrititis forms. Learn more

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Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that affects an individual’s epidermis or skin. This condition is typically a lifelong condition that does not become resolved over time. There is currently no cure to psoriasis, but various different types of treatment options can help control or mildly lessen the symptoms. This condition occurs when the immune system mistakes a normal skin cell for a pathogen, and sends out faulty signals that may cause overproduction of new skin cells. Psoriasis is not a contagious condition. The most common form of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, is commonly seen as red and white hues of scaly patches of skin that appear on the top layer of the skin. Learn more

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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Human lungs are actually large organs that are designed to move oxygen and carbon dioxide between the air we breath and our lungs. Your body requires oxygen to keep a wide variety of cells throughout the body healthy and functioning properly. When human cells are starved of oxygen, they eventually die. Conversely, the lungs also help your body eliminate carbon dioxide from your body. If carbon dioxide builds up within your blood stream, you will suffer from headaches, drowsiness, and eventually lapse into a coma and die. Pulmonary Fibrosis is a progressive disease that, over a period of time, causes the tissue inside the lungs to become thickened, scarred, stiff and damaged. The medical term used to describe the scar tissue is fibrosis. Although there are other diseases or conditions that can cause fibrosis within the lungs, when there is no other known cause it is called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, or IPF. As the Pulmonary Fibrosis progresses, the thickening and scarring of the lung tissue gets worse, making it difficult for the lungs to transfer oxygen into the blood stream. When this happens, the cells within your body begin to suffer from oxygen starvation. The rate of progression of the disease varies widely among sufferers. For some, the disease progresses rapidly while in others it may take years to cause serious symptoms. Symptoms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis include chest pain, dry cough, aching joints or muscles, fatigue, weight loss and a shortness of breath during activities. The damage caused by Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis cannot be repaired and there is no known cure for the disease. Conventional treatment for IPF is aimed at reducing the effect of symptoms, making the patient more comfortable, and slowing the progression of the disease. Common treatment options include steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs, oxygen therapy, counseling, and lung transplant in some cases. Learn more

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Quadriplegia

Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is a form of bodily paralysis that is caused by an illness or a sustained injury to a part of the body that results in partial or total loss of the use of the limbs and torso. The loss that occurs is usually sensory and motor, which means that both sensation and control are lost. The main cause for quadriplegia is by any occurred trauma to the brain or the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries are secondary to an injury to the cervical spine. The injury that is sustained, which is recognized as a lesion, causes victims to lose partial or total function of all four limbs (meaning the arms and the legs). Learn more

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Radiation Therapy

Treatment with x-rays or radionuclides. The most common side effects are tiredness, skin reactions (such as a rash or redness, permanent pigmentation, and scarring) in the treated area, loss of appetite, inflammation of tissues and organs, diarrhea and a decreased number of white blood cells. Learn more

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Raynaud's Disease

Raynaud's disease is a rare disorder of the blood vessels, which usually develops in the fingers and toes. This condition causes blood vessels to narrow when you are cold or feeling stressed. When this occurs within the affected area, blood cannot get to the surface of the skin and the affected areas turn white and blue as if there was no blood flow whatsoever. When the blood flow eventually returns, the skin turns red and throbs or tingles, similar to a feeling of coagulation. In severe cases of Raynaud's disease, the loss of blood flow can cause sores or death of tissues. Learn more

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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, also known as complex regional pain syndrome, is a clinical chronic systemic disease which can be characterized by symptoms of swelling, severe pain and changes within the skin. The pain experienced from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is attributed to excessive responses of portions of the sympathetic nervous system.  Learn more

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Reiter's Syndrome

Reiter’s Syndrome falls within a group of disorders that all cause joint inflammation and are collectively known as “reactive arthritis“. The disorders are referred to as reactive arthritis because they generally develop after an infection in another area of the body. Common precursor infections that may develop into Reiter’s Syndrome include Salmonella, Yersinia, Chlamydia, Shingella and Campylobacter. Exposure to one of these infections does not always result in reactive arthritis; however, exposure does increase the likelihood that you will develop a reactive arthritis such as Reiter’s Syndrome. Although the joints in the lower part of the body are the most commonly affected by Reiter’s Syndrome, both the urinary tract and the membrane that lines the eyelid may also become inflamed. Additional symptoms of Reiter’s Syndrome include a fever, weight loss, lower back pain, pain in your heels or Achilles tendon, and a general soreness, aching and pain in your joints. If the eye is infected, it may become red, burn and you may see discharge. Skin lesions on the hands as well as small ulcers may appear in the mouth or on the male penis. Urinary problems may also appear such as hesitancy or incontinence, pain with urination, or redness and swelling in the genital area. Interestingly, although Reiter’s Syndrome is often caused by exposure to a bacterial infection, antibiotics have not been found to be effective in treating the condition. Instead, conventional treatment typically focuses on reducing the inflammation and swelling associated with the condition and relieving the pain caused by the inflammation and swelling. In some cases, surgery may be necessary when joints have been severely damaged. Reiter’s Syndrome falls within a group of disorders that all cause joint inflammation and are collectively known as “reactive arthritis“. The disorders are referred to as reactive arthritis because they generally develop after an infection in another area of the body. Common precursor infections that may develop into Reiter’s Syndrome include Salmonella, Yersinia, Chlamydia, Shingella and Campylobacter. Exposure to one of these infections does not always result in reactive arthritis; however, exposure does increase the likelihood that you will develop a reactive arthritis such as Reiter’s Syndrome. Although the joints in the lower part of the body are the most commonly affected by Reiter’s Syndrome, both the urinary tract and the membrane that lines the eyelid may also become inflamed. Additional symptoms of Reiter’s Syndrome include a fever, weight loss, lower back pain, pain in your heels or Achilles tendon, and a general soreness, aching and pain in your joints. If the eye is infected, it may become red, burn and you may see discharge. Skin lesions on the hands as well as small ulcers may appear in the mouth or on the male penis. Urinary problems may also appear such as hesitancy or incontinence, pain with urination, or redness and swelling in the genital area. Interestingly, although Reiter’s Syndrome is often caused by exposure to a bacterial infection, antibiotics have not been found to be effective in treating the condition. Instead, conventional treatment typically focuses on reducing the inflammation and swelling associated with the condition and relieving the pain caused by the inflammation and swelling. In some cases, surgery may be necessary when joints have been severely damaged. Learn more

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Residual Limb Pain

The term residual limb pain typically refers to the part of the body that remains after an amputation has been performed. If you are a patient who have had a lower extremity amputation above the knee, the part of your thigh that remains after the amputation is called the residual limb. The rehabilitation process after an amputation involves proper care of your residual limb. Patients must always ensure that the surgical incision heals properly and is always tended to in the most appropriate manner. Phantom limb pain is a complex and confusing phenomenon that may occur after you have had an amputation. Learn more

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Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Wittmaack-Ekbom's syndrome, is a condition that is characterized by an irresistible urge to move one's body to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, and can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body. Learn more

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, and can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, and can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body. Learn more

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Rosacea

Rosacea is best defined as a chronic inflammatory-based skin condition that primarily tends to affect adults. This condition causes redness in a patient's face and is capable of producing small, red, pus-filled bumps or pustules. If left untreated, rosacea tends to be a very progressive condition that eventually will become worse over time. Learn more

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RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1)

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is characterized by symptoms of severe burning pain, tissue swelling, excessive sweating, extreme sensitivity to touch, and pathological changes in skin and bone. Type I RSD, also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome typically refers to cases in which the nerve injury and damage cannot be detected immediately.  Learn more

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Schizoaffective Disorder

An illness manifested by an enduring major depressive, manic, or mixed episode along with delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and behavior, and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. In the absence of a major depressive, manic, or mixed episode, there must be delusions or hallucinations for several weeks.

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Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that presents with a number of sometimes confusing symptoms. The characteristics that define schizophrenia, while often accompanied by many other issues, are emotional disturbances and disturbances in thought processes.  It can lead to withdrawing oneself from others, lack of employability, homelessness and hospitalization. The cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but is currently thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The potential symptoms of schizophrenia are many. The breakdown of thought processes can manifest as difficulty concentrating, trouble expressing thoughts/feelings and distraction. Emotional disturbances can present as overreactions, irritability, lack of emotion, intense anger and unresponsiveness. Other symptoms are delusions, such as false beliefs and paranoia based in false beliefs. Auditory and visual hallucinations are common as well. Paranoia is a very common symptom. It can manifest as just about anyone or anything is "out to get" the individual and/or family members. The individual may withdraw socially and professionally, largely because their thoughts are disturbing and they feel safer alone. Anxiety can be brought on by these others symptoms. The treatment of schizophrenia with medical marijuana is very controversial. Like other psychological medications, medical marijuana can actually trigger or worsen symptoms of schizophrenia. This is a well-documented risk on both sides of the argument. However, like other conditions, schizophrenia may be treated with marijuana in some individuals. It must be said that medical marijuana should only be chosen as a treatment method if there is sufficient evidence that a patient will cooperate with doctors during treatment. This way, the treatment can be stopped if negative side effects are seen. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that presents with a number of sometimes confusing symptoms. The characteristics that define schizophrenia, while often accompanied by many other issues, are emotional disturbances and disturbances in thought processes.  It can lead to withdrawing oneself from others, lack of employability, homelessness and hospitalization. The cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but is currently thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The potential symptoms of schizophrenia are many. The breakdown of thought processes can manifest as difficulty concentrating, trouble expressing thoughts/feelings and distraction. Emotional disturbances can present as overreactions, irritability, lack of emotion, intense anger and unresponsiveness. Other symptoms are delusions, such as false beliefs and paranoia based in false beliefs. Auditory and visual hallucinations are common as well. Paranoia is a very common symptom. It can manifest as just about anyone or anything is "out to get" the individual and/or family members. The individual may withdraw socially and professionally, largely because their thoughts are disturbing and they feel safer alone. Anxiety can be brought on by these others symptoms. The treatment of schizophrenia with medical marijuana is very controversial. Like other psychological medications, medical marijuana can actually trigger or worsen symptoms of schizophrenia. This is a well-documented risk on both sides of the argument. However, like other conditions, schizophrenia may be treated with marijuana in some individuals. It must be said that medical marijuana should only be chosen as a treatment method if there is sufficient evidence that a patient will cooperate with doctors during treatment. This way, the treatment can be stopped if negative side effects are seen. Learn more

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Scoliosis

The human spine is a complex and unique structure that serves a number of important functions within the body. One important function of the spine is that it protects the body from the force of gravity, effectively allowing humans to walk upright by supporting the body. A normal, healthy, human spine is essentially straight when viewed from the back. Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes the spine to become curved from side to side. If viewed from the back, a person who suffers from scoliosis will have a spine that looks more like a “C’ or an “S” instead of a straight line. Scoliosis can be congenital in nature, meaning is was caused by a defect present at the time of birth. Scoliosis can also be classified as neuromuscular when caused as a secondary symptom of another condition such as spina bifida, or idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Although a normal human spine can sometimes have a slight curve, any curve over ten degrees may be classified as scoliosis. Unless the curve is caused as a secondary symptom of another condition, scoliosis typically presents itself in the early teen years. Once a person has passed through puberty, small curves tend to stop progressing while significant curves tend to worsen from that point on. Symptoms of scoliosis include uneven leg length or musculature on one side of the spine, a prominent rib or shoulder blade, and slow nerve action. Traditional treatment for scoliosis depends largely on the severity of the condition. Smaller curves may call for observation as well as physical, occupational and chiropractic therapy while more severe curves often require bracing or surgery. The human spine is a complex and unique structure that serves a number of important functions within the body. One important function of the spine is that it protects the body from the force of gravity, effectively allowing humans to walk upright by supporting the body. A normal, healthy, human spine is essentially straight when viewed from the back. Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes the spine to become curved from side to side. If viewed from the back, a person who suffers from scoliosis will have a spine that looks more like a “C’ or an “S” instead of a straight line. Scoliosis can be congenital in nature, meaning is was caused by a defect present at the time of birth. Scoliosis can also be classified as neuromuscular when caused as a secondary symptom of another condition such as spina bifida, or idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Although a normal human spine can sometimes have a slight curve, any curve over ten degrees may be classified as scoliosis. Unless the curve is caused as a secondary symptom of another condition, scoliosis typically presents itself in the early teen years. Once a person has passed through puberty, small curves tend to stop progressing while significant curves tend to worsen from that point on. Symptoms of scoliosis include uneven leg length or musculature on one side of the spine, a prominent rib or shoulder blade, and slow nerve action.Traditional treatment for scoliosis depends largely on the severity of the condition. Smaller curves may call for observation as well as physical, occupational and chiropractic therapy while more severe curves often require bracing or surgery. Learn more

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Sedative Dependence

The psychological or physical dependence on sedative medication. Symptoms include tachycardia, tachypnoea, hypertension, sweating, nausea, restlessness and insomnia.

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Seizures

Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain function that cause changes in attention or behavior, which are caused by abnormally excited electrical signals in the brain. The severity of symptoms can vary greatly, from staring spells to violent convulsions and loss of consciousness. Learn more

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Senile Dementia

The loss, usually progressive, of cognitive and intellectual functions, without impairment of perception or consciousness; caused by a variety of disorders, (structural or degenerative) but most commonly associated with structural brain disease. Characterized by disorientation, impaired memory, judgment, and intellect, and a shallow labile affect.

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Severe Nausea

Nausea is essentially a feeling that one has to vomit. It can come on from a sensation of dizziness or be discomfort in the throat, chest or stomach that either makes one want to vomit or is a warning from the body that one has to vomit. It can present in different severities from a slight, passing feeling to an overwhelming sensation that leads to vomiting. It has many causes and can be alleviated with medication. The causes of severe nausea are many. There is motion sickness, stomach illness, AIDS, chemotherapy, infections, numerous medications, anxiety, panic attacks and much more. In some cases, the nausea is a sensation that can be overpowered and often should be, such as with anxiety attacks. In other cases, it is the body's way of expelling something unhealthy, such as food poisoning. Vomiting is the body's natural defense mechanism against what it deems as poison, so it is sometimes best not to fight it. In fact, oftentimes, vomiting is induced by medical professionals. In cases where severe nausea it is not necessary to therapeutic vomiting and interferes with life, a medication known as an antiemetic can help. Medical marijuana is a known antiemetic. It is recognized in the health community and even in the U.S. federal government as a useful took against nausea and vomiting associated with specific illnesses. Unfortunately, it is only available to those who have these illnesses under federal law. However, several states have passed their own laws that state medical marijuana can be prescribed for the relief of severe nausea in many other illnesses. Nausea is essentially a feeling that one has to vomit. It can come on from a sensation of dizziness or be discomfort in the throat, chest or stomach that either makes one want to vomit or is a warning from the body that one has to vomit. It can present in different severities from a slight, passing feeling to an overwhelming sensation that leads to vomiting. It has many causes and can be alleviated with medication. The causes of severe nausea are many. There is motion sickness, stomach illness, AIDS, chemotherapy, infections, numerous medications, anxiety, panic attacks and much more. In some cases, the nausea is a sensation that can be overpowered and often should be, such as with anxiety attacks. In other cases, it is the body's way of expelling something unhealthy, such as food poisoning. Vomiting is the body's natural defense mechanism against what it deems as poison, so it is sometimes best not to fight it. In fact, oftentimes, vomiting is induced by medical professionals. In cases where severe nausea it is not necessary to therapeutic vomiting and interferes with life, a medication known as an antiemetic can help. Medical marijuana is a known antiemetic. It is recognized in the health community and even in the U.S. federal government as a useful took against nausea and vomiting associated with specific illnesses. Unfortunately, it is only available to those who have these illnesses under federal law. However, several states have passed their own laws that state medical marijuana can be prescribed for the relief of severe nausea in many other illnesses. Learn more

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Severe Pain

Severe pain is an unpleasant feeling that is often caused by a very intense or damaging stimulus. Severe pain is caused by unpleasant conditions such as a specific disease or varying type of cancer. Pain can motivate a patient to withdraw from any damaging situations in order to protect a damaged body part while it heals. Most pain resolves promptly once the pain stimulus is removed and the body has healed.   In the United States alone, severe pain is one of the most common reasons for physician consultation. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions and is responsible for significantly being able to interfere with a person's quality of life and general functioning. Learn more

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Severe Vomiting

Severe vomiting is characterized by severe episodes or severe cyclic episodes of nausea and vomiting that can last for hours or even days on end. This condition is capable of alternating within intervals that contain no symptoms sometimes. Sometimes severe vomiting can be directly related to what is known as CVC, or cyclic vomiting syndrome.   Cyclic vomiting syndrome was originally thought to be a pediatric disease, although it remains evident that this condition can occur within all age groups. Episodes of severe vomiting are considered similar to each previous one, meaning that each episode will tend to start at the same time of each day and will also last the same length of time. Typically these symptoms occur with the same level of intensity as well. In certain scenarios, vomiting episodes may be so severe that a patient has to stay in bed for days and cannot attend school or work. Learn more

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Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

A painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox. The first symptom is usually one-sided pain, tingling, or burning. The pain and burning may be severe and is usually present before any rash appears. Additional symptoms may include: abdominal pain, chills, difficulty moving some of the muscles in the face, headache, hearing loss, joint pain, loss of eye motion and swollen glands.

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Sinusitis

Sinusitis is inflammation in the sinuses. It happens when the body responds to an infection. The infection may be fungal, viral or bacterial. It may also occur in response to allergies or to injuries to the sinuses or nose. It can happen to any person at any age and is a common side effect of infection. It can also become a chronic condition that occurs often in one person. This is usually due to sinus malfunction or chronic illness that can cause sinusitis such as severe allergies and cystic fibrosis.  The symptoms of sinusitis are pretty straightforward and make it relatively easy to diagnose. Symptoms that are similar to a cold include coughing, sneezing and runny nose. Sinusitis can also cause severe headaches as the pressure builds up in the sinuses. Other symptoms include loss of sense of smell, malaise, sore throat and fever. Very rarely a sinus infection can cause a skin infection, meningitis, bone infection or abscess.  Treatment for sinusitis will depend on its severity. In some cases, it can be treated at home. In others, it will require prescription medications, particularly antibiotics. Home treatment includes sinus flushing, steam breathing, warm compresses applied to the sinuses, use of a humidifier and drinking plenty of water. If this does not relieve the condition, antibiotics to rid the body of infection are often indicated. Home treatments can continue along with use of prescription medications, though over-the-counter medications should be okayed with a physician to ensure they do interact with prescription medications.  When antibiotics are necessary, they are the only medications that can remove the infection from the body. However, other medications can be taken to help relieve the discomfort of a sinus infection, including medical marijuana. Medical marijuana can help relieve almost all of the symptoms of sinusitis, though expelling mucus and reducing its build up is better left to other medications unless or until future research indicates marijuana is an appropriate medication for such. Learn more

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Sjoren's Syndrome

Sjogren's syndrome is a medical disorder that directly affects a patient's immune system and is identified by its two most common symptoms — dry eyes and extremely dry mouth. Sjogren's syndrome often accompanies and works in unison with other immune-system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. With this particular condition, the body's mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands of your eyes and mouth are usually affected first — resulting in decreased production of tears and saliva (responsible for both the dry eyes and dry mouth side effects). Although a patient can develop Sjogren's syndrome at any given age, most patients who suffer from this condition are older than forty years of age at the time of their diagnosis. It should be noted that Sjogren's syndrome is much more common in women than in men, and the treatment of this syndrome focuses on directly on relieving symptoms, which often subside with time. Some patients who suffer from Sjogren's syndrome have also experienced symptoms such as joint pain, swelling and stiffness, swollen salivary glands — particularly the set located behind your jaw and in front of your ears, skin rashes or dry skin, vaginal dryness, persistent dry cough and a prolonged sense of fatigue. Learn more

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Skeletal Muscular Spasticity

Muscle spasticity is a neurological condition/symptom that presents as increased muscle tone, muscle stiffness and inability to stretch the affected muscles. It primarily inhibits skeletal muscle. It is most commonly seen in disorders like multiple sclerosis, which causes lesions that affect the nervous system. Medical marijuana is fast becoming a breakthrough medicine in treating muscle spasticity. There are a limited number of treatments and none of them provides complete relief for all sufferers. While the mechanisms behind skeletal muscular spasticity are not completely understood, we do know that it can occur with spinal injury, head injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other conditions that damage the brain and/or other parts of the nervous system. It can cause muscle spasms, pain, difficulty moving, loss of bodily functions and severe disability. Research is showing that it changes the muscle itself. Once this is well understood, we may understand treatment with medical marijuana and how it works to fight skeletal muscular spasticity better. Muscle spasticity is a neurological condition/symptom that presents as increased muscle tone, muscle stiffness and inability to stretch the affected muscles. It primarily inhibits skeletal muscle. It is most commonly seen in disorders like multiple sclerosis, which causes lesions that affect the nervous system. Medical marijuana is fast becoming a breakthrough medicine in treating muscle spasticity. There are a limited number of treatments and none of them provides complete relief for all sufferers. While the mechanisms behind skeletal muscular spasticity are not completely understood, we do know that it can occur with spinal injury, head injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other conditions that damage the brain and/or other parts of the nervous system. It can cause muscle spasms, pain, difficulty moving, loss of bodily functions and severe disability. Research is showing that it changes the muscle itself. Once this is well understood, we may understand treatment with medical marijuana and how it works to fight skeletal muscular spasticity better. Learn more

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Sleep Apnea

Medical marijuana is gaining attention as a treatment for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. It can help individuals with chronic pain find relief and rest. A study conducted on individuals with PTSD showed that medical marijuana can decrease the number of nightmares a person with PTSD experiences. There is centuries worth of anecdotal evidence and research that shows medical marijuana can help with insomnia. In short, marijuana is showing a great deal of promise in sleep medicine. Sleep apnea sufferers are at increased risk of several dangerous conditions. Therefore, new and effective medications can be life altering for sufferers. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that affects breathing. It is characterized by breathing pauses while sleeping. The sufferer will stop breathing at least once during the night, though he or she may stop breathing dozens of times in a single hour. Breathing may resume after just a few seconds. However, a sleep apnea sufferer can stop breathing for several minutes at a time. When the person begins breathing again, a snore or snorting noise typically signals that the person is breathing again. Sleep apnea itself is usually harmless, despite being alarming to those sleeping with sufferers. However, the complications can interfere with every day life and overall health. When a person stops breathing, his or her sleep is interrupted. There may be no waking period, but sleep becomes lighter regardless. This leads to sleep that is not restful and tiredness during waking hours. It can also affect heart conditions such as heart failure and arrhythmia or make one more likely to have them. Medical marijuana is gaining attention as a treatment for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. It can help individuals with chronic pain find relief and rest. A study conducted on individuals with PTSD showed that medical marijuana can decrease the number of nightmares a person with PTSD experiences. There is centuries worth of anecdotal evidence and research that shows medical marijuana can help with insomnia. In short, marijuana is showing a great deal of promise in sleep medicine. Sleep apnea sufferers are at increased risk of several dangerous conditions. Therefore, new and effective medications can be life altering for sufferers. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that affects breathing. It is characterized by breathing pauses while sleeping. The sufferer will stop breathing at least once during the night, though he or she may stop breathing dozens of times in a single hour. Breathing may resume after just a few seconds. However, a sleep apnea sufferer can stop breathing for several minutes at a time. When the person begins breathing again, a snore or snorting noise typically signals that the person is breathing again. Sleep apnea itself is usually harmless, despite being alarming to those sleeping with sufferers. However, the complications can interfere with every day life and overall health. When a person stops breathing, his or her sleep is interrupted. There may be no waking period, but sleep becomes lighter regardless. This leads to sleep that is not restful and tiredness during waking hours. It can also affect heart conditions such as heart failure and arrhythmia or make one more likely to have them. Learn more

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Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are conditions that cause a person to have difficulty sleeping. They can consist of any kind of sleep disturbance from sleeping too much to sleeping too little. They can also involve symptoms that occur during sleeping that do not necessarily affect the amount of sleep a person is getting. Bruxism is an example of that. It causes a person to grind their teeth while they sleep, but does not typically disturb their sleep.  Numerous types of sleep disorders and conditions affect sleep. One of the most common sleep disorders is insomnia, which is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. There are also night terrors, which cause a person to wake up in distress spontaneously. Circadian rhythm disorders cause a person to sleep at times considered odd and that may interfere with work. For example, a person may sleep from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Narcolepsy causes a person to fall asleep spontaneously at any time. Sleepwalkers get out of bed and engage in waking activities whilst still asleep. Learn more

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Spasticity

Medical marijuana research is indicating that use of medical marijuana can decrease spasticity. Spasticity is stiffness in a muscle or an increase in muscle tone that is considered abnormal. It typically takes place when nerve damage inhibits the ability to control muscles. It most often associated with multiple sclerosis. However, it can also take place wtih cerebral palsy, ALS, stroke, when a spinal cord is damaged and a number of other injuries and disorders. Medical marijuana can decrease the instances of spasticity and alleviate the symptoms associated with it in certain sufferers.  Muscle spasticity presents as exaggerated reflexes, spasms, advanced muscle tone and fixed joints. Individuals who suffer from muscle spasticity may feel a little sore or can have extreme uncontrollable movements. Severe spasticity can make it difficult to perform day-to-day activities, which is why treatments like medical marijuana are important. A person with spasticity can also injure his or herself in various ways, such as falling down. Even without injury, this condition can be very painful. Research into treatment of spasticity with medical marijuana indicates that it can not only treat pain from muscle spasticity but it can also decrease the symptoms/incidences of spasticity. Current treatments include medications and physical therapy. However, they offer limited relief. Furthermore, in many cases, there is no cure. Medical marijuana cannot provide that much-needed cure. It can offer relief to individuals who will have to live with these symptoms for the rest of their lives. Learn more

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Spinal Cord Injury

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Spinal Stenosis

Medical marijuana is a treatment for a number of different conditions and symptoms, many of them nerve-related. Spinal stenosis is a spinal disease that typically occurs due to degeneration of the spinal disks. It can also take place due to injury, tumors and other diseases. The symptoms of this disease are often nerve-related. Medical marijuana can help with some of these, thus making a sufferer more comfortable. However, it cannot cure the disease, as it cannot repair the spine.  Spinal stenosis is narrowing in one of two key positions of the spine. It can occur in the spinal column, which causes pressure on the spinal cord. It can also occur in the spaces where the nerves of the spine go out from the spinal column. This can cause pressure on the nerves wherever it occurs on the spine. There are three types of spinal stenosis. Cervical spinal stenosis happens around the neck. Thoracic spinal stenosis is found in the middle of the back. Lumbar spinal stenosis takes place in the lower back. The symptoms of spinal stenosis will likely affect one side of a sufferer's body. He or she might feel pain and/or numbness in the legs, arms, neck and shoulders. There may also be weakness in these limbs. Difficulty maintaining balance and difficulty controlling waste expulsion are also potential symptoms of spinal stenosis. These symptoms are associated with the nerve pressure or damage caused by spinal narrowing. It can gradually get worse over time. Learn more

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Spinocerebellar Ataxia

This condition is a degenerative, progressive, genetic disease which affects both the brain and spinal cord, causing difficulty with coordination. Spinocerebellar Ataxia or SCA comprises the largest group of hereditary, neurodegenerative disorder. Over 60 different types of SCA have been identified as there is no one test to determine the type of SCA present within a patient.  Learn more

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Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS)

Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS) is a rare congenital neurological and skin disorder that belongs to a group of disorders collectively known as the phakomatoses. It consists of congenital hamartomatous malformations that may affect the eye, skin, and CNS at different times.

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Stuttering

Stuttering is a speech disorder that can manifest in several ways. Stuttering can be repetition of a single syllable. It can be prolonged pronunciation of a syllable or stuttering can involve repetition or prolonging of entire words. This makes speaking difficult for sufferers. It can also make it difficult to understand what a stuttering person is saying. Over time, it can sound and appear as if words are being forced out of individuals who stutter. It can make sufferers frustrated with speaking and it can become worse in tense situations. Stuttering often appears in childhood and can continue into adult years.  There are a few known causes of stuttering. In some rare cases, it is caused by overwhelming emotions. In other cases, it is caused by brain injuries both traumatic and related to medical conditions. However, it appears that the most common stuttering, which occurs in early childhood and either disappears or persists, is genetic. Three genes were linked to stuttering in 2010. There is also some emotional involvement in stuttering, as individuals who stutter clearly have more difficulty in socially stressful situations. This is likely a result of the stutter however and not the cause.  According to the overwhelming amount of testimonial available, medical marijuana can decrease instances of stuttering. There are very few, if any, medications for the treatment of stuttering where the risks outweigh the benefits. Medical marijuana has far fewer and less severe side effects than most other medications offered for the treatment of stuttering. Nonetheless, speech therapy remains the preferred treatment for stuttering, particularly in individuals who have not yet tried treatment. Medication is typically only indicated in individuals who do not respond to other non-medicinal treatments. Furthermore, as stuttering tends to effect children more than adults, drug treatment is far less likely in stuttering than in many other conditions. Learn more

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Syringomyelia

Syringomyelia is a neurological disorder where the patient develops a fluid-filled cavity, also known as a syrinx which often becomes lodged in the neck region. Over time, the cyst may enlarge, causing chronic pain, weakness and stiffness throughout the body. With the expansion of the cyst, the nerves which directly stimulate the patient's legs, arms, back and shoulders are affected, and in turn, compromised.  Learn more

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Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a neurological movement disorder that causes repetitive and involuntary movements of the lower face and limbs, and often has symptoms similar to Parkinson's Disease and Tourette's Syndrome.  TD is a serious side effect caused by certain medications (including Haloperidol, Fluphenazine, Trifluoperazin, Cinnarizine, Flunarizine, Metoclopramide and Reglan) and can become permanent even after stopping the use of such medications. Learn more

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Tarlov Cysts

Tarlov Cysts, also known as perineurial cysts are sacs filled with cerebrospinal-fluid located along the spinal cord. These cysts most commonly affect nerve roots toward the lower end of the spine. The cysts are found incidentally through MRI tests conducted for other purposes. Though some cases of Tarlov Cysts can be asymptomatic, the cysts can expand, putting severe pressure on the affected nerve root. There are four classifications and categories that Tarlov Cysts are placed in, depending on the severity of the experienced symptoms Learn more

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Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ is one of numerous conditions that medical marijuana is now being used for as treatment. This disorder affects the temporomandibular joint, which is found where the mandible connects to the temporal bone of the skull. There is actually more than one disorder that is referred to using this term. They all involve problems with the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joints or the joints themselves. They can affect one or both sides of the face. Symptoms and complications of temporomandibular joint disorder include pain in the jaw, mouth, neck, face, ears and/or head. Pain in any or all of these areas can be treated with medical marijuana. Another symptom and cause is bruxism. Bruxism is grinding of the teeth and can be protected against with a mouth guard. The joint may pop when opened or be difficult to open. It can also be difficult to chew. The decreased mobility of the jaw may be caused by muscle spasticity, which can also be treated with medical marijuana, as evidenced by the research into treatment of multiple sclerosis with medical marijuana. Before treating temporomandibular joint disorder with medical marijuana, a sufferer must have a physical examination to see if an obvious cause is present that can be corrected. In rare cases, surgery is necessary to correct the problem. Medical marijuana can help with the pain and other symptoms, but it cannot replace joint or tendon surgery. In other cases, a dentist may be able to help by correcting the sufferer's bite and/or making a mouth guard for help with clenching. In other cases, there is no known cause and long-term treatment with pain relievers or muscle relaxants can be dangerous. Medical marijuana is a safer alternative in that lethal overdose is impossible and side effects can be more tolerable. Learn more

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Tenosynovitis

Medical marijuana has long been known as a pain reliever, anti-emetic, sleep aid and hunger inducing medication. Other uses such as bronchodilation are currently becoming more evident through research and anecdotal evidence. Among these potential uses for medical marijuana that new research is beginning to support is inflammation. Medical marijuana is being used to treat inflammatory conditions like tenosynovitis with some success in areas where medical marijuana is legal on a state level. As mentioned above, tenosynovitis is an inflammatory condition. It affects the lining outside of tendons. This can happen to any tendon in the human body. Because tendons connect the bone to the muscle that means anywhere there is bone and muscle. However, it tends to affect the joints, particularly those of the feet, wrists and hands. The condition can be caused by injuring the tendon lining or by infection. It causes pain and swelling when caused by injury. Tenosynovitis caused by infection will also present with signs of infection such as fever and redness where the swelling occurs. Of the relatively few symptoms of tenosynovitis, medical marijuana can treat pain and likely treat inflammation. There is a wealth of evidence for the former, but mostly pre-clinical and anecdotal evidence for the latter. Nevertheless, medical marijuana is prescribed for tenosynovitis in some areas and continues to be of help to sufferers who respond well to medical marijuana. Learn more

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Terminal Illness

Terminal illness is, by definition, an illness that is going to result in death. By the time an illness is deemed terminal, it is incurable and not treatable with any hope of successfully prolonging life. Treatments for terminal illness are typically geared toward quality of life and comfort. Because many illnesses can become terminal and many more are terminal by nature, there are numerous and varied symptoms associated with terminal illness that may require treatment. As such, countless care and medicine options may assist in end of life treatment. Some of the most common symptoms that caregivers seek to alleviate in patients with terminal illness are pain, depression, digestive discomfort, excretive discomfort, nausea and loss of appetite. While treating these symptoms will not cure terminal illness, it can make patients feel more comfortable. Though dosages are still kept within safe limits to avoid overdosing terminal patients, there is typically no holding back of medication at this point, due to the nature of terminal illness. Therefore, controversial treatment with medical marijuana tends to be more common in terminal illnesses and in patients undergoing chemotherapy.  Medical marijuana has been shown to help with nearly all of the common symptoms that appear in terminal illness. There is evidence that it works with chronic pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and possibly even depression, as it can affect a patient's mood. It can also help terminally ill patients sleep. Learn more

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Thyroiditis

Thyroiditis is simply inflammation of the thyroid. It has several different causes and forms. As a result, there are also a number of different treatments and expectations for thyroiditis. It could resolve easily and without complication or the opposite. The thyroid is located at the front of the neck, but thyroiditis symptoms may not be limited to this area. That is because the thyroid is part of the endocrine system. When caused by another thyroid condition or when serious, thyroiditis can affect the body in various ways. Thyroiditis can be caused by infections and viral illnesses. It can also be found in people with immune and autoimmune disorders. Certain women may experience thyroiditis after giving birth. Some medications are also known to cause thyroiditis. There are instances when there is no detectable underlying cause for thyroiditis. Anyone can develop this condition without warning. Thyroiditis may result in hypothyroidism, even long after the inflammation is cleared up, sometimes years after. In some cases, thyroiditis does not present with pain. In other cases, there is pain and noticeable swelling around the thyroid gland. The gland may swell and/or hurt on one or both sides. In painful cases, the pain can radiate up to the mouth and ears. Other symptoms include excessive sweating, difficulty swallowing, tachycardia, fatigue, bradycardia, dry skin, cold skin, lack of appetite, constipation and low grade fever. Treatment of thyroiditis typically means combating the inflammation and the thyroid malfunctions that can arise. This means hormone therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. Fevers, heart rate changes and pain may also be treated. Sometimes surgery is indicated, but that is not the norm. Medical marijuana research indicates that it can treat inflammation, lack of appetite and pain. There is some risk involving patients with rapid heart rates, as marijuana can increase one's heart rate. Only a doctor can decide what type of medical marijuana is the safest for an individual thyroiditis sufferer. The cause, symptoms and complications will have to be investigated before treatment is decided upon. Thyroiditis is simply inflammation of the thyroid. It has several different causes and forms. As a result, there are also a number of different treatments and expectations for thyroiditis. It could resolve easily and without complication or the opposite. The thyroid is located at the front of the neck, but thyroiditis symptoms may not be limited to this area. That is because the thyroid is part of the endocrine system. When caused by another thyroid condition or when serious, thyroiditis can affect the body in various ways. Thyroiditis can be caused by infections and viral illnesses. It can also be found in people with immune and autoimmune disorders. Certain women may experience thyroiditis after giving birth. Some medications are also known to cause thyroiditis. There are instances when there is no detectable underlying cause for thyroiditis. Anyone can develop this condition without warning. Thyroiditis may result in hypothyroidism, even long after the inflammation is cleared up, sometimes years after.   In some cases, thyroiditis does not present with pain. In other cases, there is pain and noticeable swelling around the thyroid gland. The gland may swell and/or hurt on one or both sides. In painful cases, the pain can radiate up to the mouth and ears. Other symptoms include excessive sweating, difficulty swallowing, tachycardia, fatigue, bradycardia, dry skin, cold skin, lack of appetite, constipation and low grade fever. Treatment of thyroiditis typically means combating the inflammation and the thyroid malfunctions that can arise. This means hormone therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. Fevers, heart rate changes and pain may also be treated. Sometimes surgery is indicated, but that is not the norm. Medical marijuana research indicates that it can treat inflammation, lack of appetite and pain. There is some risk involving patients with rapid heart rates, as marijuana can increase one's heart rate. Only a doctor can decide what type of medical marijuana is the safest for an individual thyroiditis sufferer. The cause, symptoms and complications will have to be investigated before treatment is decided upon. Learn more

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Tic Douloureux

Tic Douloureux or trigeminal neuralgia is a nerve disorder that affects the face. It is a stand-alone condition (idiopathic tic douloureux) and can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as multiple sclerosis. The symptoms of tic douloureux originate in the trigeminal nerve. Pressure on that nerve can cause the symptoms as well as damage. People who are older are more likely to develop tic douloureux but there is no age group in which it cannot appear. However, it is easier to find the cause of trigeminal neuralgia in sufferers who are under 40 years of age. There is only one symptom of tic douloureux and that is an electric shock like pain in the face. Any part of the face can be affected, including the eyes. However, it most often affects one side of the face. Tic douloureux can be brought about by audio or physical stimulation. Simple acts such as brushing teeth, shaving, washing the face and kissing can cause pain in tic douloureux sufferers. In some people, it is brief and only occurs occasionally. In others, the pain can be near constant and painful to the point of debilitation.   Treatment of tic douloureux can include some medications and surgery. In cases where surgery is necessary to relieve the pressure, medical marijuana can help with pain. However, it cannot render surgery unnecessary. Surgery may also be indicated in tic douloureux pain that is resistant to treatment. Nonetheless, medical marijuana is useful as a treatment for neuralgia such as tic douloureux. It can also have several bonus effects in patients with multiple sclerosis who have tic douloureux and other neurological symptoms. Learn more

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Tietze's Syndrome

Tietze's syndrome is painful inflammation of the cartilage between the breastbone and the ribs or the collarbone. It can occur in more than one joint and often presents with similar symptoms as heart attack. The condition is named after the man who discovered -- Alexander Tietze -- and is often confused with costochondritis, which is a similar condition. The two components of Tietze's syndrome that require treatment are the inflammation and the pain. Recent research suggests that medical marijuana can aid in the treatment of both.  Tietze's syndrome often clears up within three months of appearance. However, it can also be chronic. It is a relatively harmless condition, though the pain and belief in the presence of heart attack symptoms can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. The condition itself causes swelling in the affected joints and notable pain. The pain may become worse when breathing and may radiate. The cause of Tietze's syndrome is not always discernible, but it is often caused by injury or overuse of the joints. There are no known complications of Tietze's syndrome. In other words, it cannot lead to further illness, even in chronic sufferers.  Whether medical marijuana is a viable treatment for Tietze's syndrome sufferers will depend on the patients' experiences. The condition will likely clear up on its own without any treatment. The pain can also be debilitating, which will require a pain reliever such as medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is also a safe alternative for chronic pain, as it does not have the same potentially life-threatening side effects as opiates. The inflammation causing the pain in Tietze's syndrome may also be reduced by use of medical marijuana. Learn more

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Tinnitus

Tinnitus is simply described as ringing in the ears. However, tinnitus has multiple levels of severity and can cause other complications. Furthermore, there are several causes of tinnitus. The symptoms of tinnitus include ringing, whooshing, roaring, hissing, chirping, buzzing or roaring in the ears. This can occur with a sensation of other sounds being cancelled out. The sounds are not actually occurring outside of the body but are still perceived by the sufferer of tinnitus.  Tinnitus can be chronic or it can occur only a few times over a lifetime. It can also happen in one ear or in both ears. In some cases, it is a slight sound, causing little discomfort. In other cases, it feels very loud and interferes with normal hearing. Many people experience tinnitus over the course of their lifetimes with no debilitating or long-term complications. Others are disabled by it. Ludwig van Beethoven is a prime example of a person with debilitating tinnitus. Tinnitus can be a symptom of something minor or it can be a symptom of a severe condition such as hearing loss, thyroid conditions, brain tumors and heart disease. Given the various conditions that can cause tinnitus, there are numerous ways that medical marijuana can help. It can aid in chemotherapy in individuals who have brain tumors causing tinnitus and medical marijuana can help treat thyroid conditions. These are just a few examples of how medical marijuana can get to the root cause of tinnitus. It also appears to treat the symptom itself in some patients. Of course, it will often depend on the cause and potential for other treatment. In some cases, medical instruments like hearing aids and noise generators are the preferred treatment. Learn more

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Tobacco Dependence

While it sounds counterintuitive, medical marijuana can treat tobacco dependence in some cigarette addicts. Both are inhaled substances, though medical marijuana can be ingested by other means. However, they contain different active substances. Medical marijuana contains THC and/or other cannabinoids. Tobacco typically contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Medical marijuana is shown to be mildly addictive though it is not inextricably linked to heart disease and lung cancer like tobacco. Tobacco dependence is behavioral. The addiction to nicotine in the tobacco is physical. This hits users with a double dose of addiction. They become addicted to the act of smoking and they become physically addicted to the nicotine.  Attempts to stop smoking often cause agitation, headaches, coughing, sore throat, sleeping problems, increased appetite and compelling urges to smoke. It is said that quitting is different for every smoker. Some can give it up without any aids. Others need counseling and/or medication to kick the habit. Several of these medications have severe side effects. A recent stop smoking aid known as Chantix was increasing suicidal thoughts and behaviors in users. Fatal or potentially fatal side effects are not an issue with medical marijuana. Learn more

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Tourette's Syndrome

Medical marijuana has potential to be a treatment for a slew of neurological disorders. Tourette's syndrome happens to be a neurological disorder, one that adversely affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the United States alone. Mild Tourette's syndrome affects many more than that. Estimates put the rate of mild to barely noticeable Tourette's at roughly one in every hundred people. The neurological symptoms of this condition vary greatly. However, they are all involuntary movements and sounds that may be calmed by medical marijuana. The symptoms of Tourette's typically appear between the ages of three and nine and are at least three times more common in males. All of the symptoms are known as tics or vocalizations, though they differ even among the individual types. Tics can range from simple involuntary blinking or shrugging to twisting. In complex tics, several movements can occur at the same time. For example, an individual with Tourette's syndrome might blink while jumping. Vocalizations range from grunting to swearing. These symptoms can interfere with a person's life. Tics can even cause self-harm. The mechanisms for treatment of Tourette's with medical marijuana are not as well understood as that for other conditions. That is likely because there is very little research in this area and Tourette's syndrome is a complex neurological disorder that has some psychiatric components, such as obsessions and compulsions. Nonetheless, the research that does exist shows some improvement of tics in users of medical marijuana. Furthermore, the testimonies of individuals with Tourette's syndrome who use medical marijuana are generally positive. Learn more

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Traumatic Brain Injury

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Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is also known as compulsive hair pulling, which essentially sums up the disorder. Medical marijuana may be prescribed for this and other compulsive behaviors, though trichotillomania is more specific than other compulsive disorders for which medical marijuana is prescribed such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Trichotillomania affects only the sufferer. These individuals will compulsively pull at their own hair until they experience unnatural hair loss.  Individuals with trichotillomania typically present with symptoms before they turn 17. The chances of it occurring in girls are quadruple that of boys. Outward symptoms noticeable by others include bald patches, patches of stubbly hair and obvious pulling or twisting of the hair. The hair loss can appear with any hair on the body, including eyelashes and eyebrows. Sufferers will deny that they are doing it. However, they often feel driven to pull their hair out due to stress and feel release of that stress upon pulling. They may also have symptoms of depression, anxiety and other forms of self-mutilation.  Treating trichotillomania with medical marijuana is not treating the hair loss or even the hair pulling itself, though treatment affects the behavior. It is treating the underlying cause of the compulsions and the hair pulling, which is typically anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. In many cases, indeed most cases, trichotillomania will go away within a year, even in very young children. However, it can also stay around for years or a lifetime. Therefore, medications to alleviate the symptoms can be necessary to preserve quality of life. Clearly, the loss of hair does nothing to assuage the negative feelings that lead to hair pulling. Learn more

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Viral Hepatitis

Viral hepatitis kills hundreds of thousands and possibly even more than one million people each year. It is a dangerous condition that can require long-term treatment. Recent research into medical marijuana is showing that it can improve quality of life in sufferers and aid existing treatments that prevent deadly progression of the condition. Viral hepatitis can hide well, though one of the most common symptoms is jaundice. Treatment is very important once liver inflammation reaches that stage.  Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by several viruses. Five viruses specifically cause hepatitis. These are hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. However, the hepatitis viruses are not the only viruses that can cause this condition. There are other viruses that can cause hepatitis that are not "hepatitis" viruses. The various types of viral hepatitis can cause different symptoms. Furthermore, they can co-occur creating numerous complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 4.4 million people in the United States have chronic viral hepatitis and most of them do not know it. Roughly 80,000 people contract it each year.  Treatment of any hepatitis infection will depend on the virus or viruses causing the symptoms. Some hepatitis viruses, such as hepatitis A, will make sufferers sick but do not result in chronic infections and symptoms. Other hepatitis viruses, such as hepatitis B, are potentially deadly and can require aggressive treatment. Medical marijuana can be used to treat symptoms in some viruses and it can be used to relieve side effects of antiviral treatment used to treat some of the hepatitis causing viruses. Learn more

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Wasting Syndrome

Wasting Syndrome is the progressive involuntary weight loss seen in patients with debilitating medical conidtions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis ,and more.  Symptoms include profound involuntary weight loss of greater than 10% of baseline body weight, chronic diarrhea, chronic weakness and fever. Learn more

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Whiplash

Whiplash is a painful condition caused by rapid extension and flexion of the neck. In other words, it is pain caused by the head jerking forward and back very quickly. Medical marijuana is a term that applies to a range of medications including the marijuana plant and drugs that are derived directly or synthetically from the marijuana plant. Most of these medications can treat pain, which is the primary symptom of whiplash.  Whiplash is essentially a sprain of the neck. It can cause head, neck, shoulder and back pain. It may also cause other symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, loss of memory, depression, dizziness and parasthesia. The most common cause of whiplash is car accidents. When the force of an accident causes the head to snap backward and forward, the sprain in the neck tissue known as whiplash occurs. However, any action that causes the head to move in such a way can cause whiplash. Learn more

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Wittmaack-Ekbom's Syndrome

Wittmaack-Ekbom's Syndrome, known colloquially as restless legs syndrome or RLS, is a condition that presents as unsettling feelings in the arms, torso, phantom limbs or legs, though it most often affects the legs. The sensations of Wittmaack-Ekbom's Syndrome differ from patient to patient. They are most often described as itching, crawling and painful. They manifest before or during sleep. Walking often helps and sufferers will often move their legs around during sleep in an unconscious effort to obtain relief. The cause of Wittmaack-Ekbom's Syndrome is currently unknown. However, researchers have shown particular interest in the nervous system and in anemia.  The symptoms of Wittmaack-Ekbom's Syndrome include wanting to walk, relief when walking, the aforementioned sensations, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and feeling tired during the day. The symptoms often go away for a period of time and then come back, so sufferers will typically have days, weeks or even months of relief. Wittmaack-Ekbom's Syndrome may become more likely with age. However, sufferers often say the condition simply got worse as they aged but had been present since early adulthood.  Wittmaack-Ekbom's Syndrome can sometimes be treated with medical marijuana. Cases where anemia is causing the restless leg symptoms will require different treatment as medical marijuana cannot treat anemia. However, even in such cases, medical marijuana may be able to help with difficulty falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep. With an estimated 10 million RLS patients in the United States alone, this treatment is important for both Wittmaack-Ekbom's Syndrome and the resulting lack of sleep that most sufferers experience. Learn more

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Writers' Cramp

Writer's cramp goes by many names; scrivener's palsy, mogigraphia and hand dystonia are a few others. It is essentially cramping or spasming in the hands, forearms or fingers. While writer's cramp gets its name from individuals who write, as the condition can affect them, it can occur with any repetitive fine motor tasks. It is also so-named because it makes it difficult or impossible to write. Musicians, typists, writers and other professionals and hobbyists who use their hands often to complete tasks that require repetitive movement of the hands and/or fingers can fall victim to it. It slowly inhibits and sometimes destroys the ability to complete these tasks.  Writer's cramp may at first seem muscular or linked to damage of the hands, forearms and/or fingers from repetitive motion. However, it is actually a neurological disorder that is rooted in the brain. Scientists are still trying to root out the exact malfunction that takes place in writer's cramp and have noted differences in the brains of individuals with the disorder. Obvious physical symptoms include cramps, aching, spasms and uncontrollable extension of the affected areas. The disorder is not present at all times. It appears when an individual with writer's cramp tries to complete a specific tasks or tasks, particularly writing. Medical marijuana is considered a legally supported condition for use of medical marijuana in several states. As with other neurological disorders, patients with writer's cramp who use marijuana may percieve relief from their condition.. However, the precise mechanisms of the effect are little known. The endocannabinoid system that facilitates most of the known medical uses for marijuana is still somewhat mysterious. Furthermore, exactly where and how the cannabinoids in marijuana react with the endocannabinoid system to relieve certain conditions is largely unknown. Such is the case with writer's cramp. However, there are endocannabinoid receptors throughout the brain, so it is known that medical marijuana can affect neurological processes, thus making this perceived relief medically possible. Learn more

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*Please note that not all ailments listed below are approcved by each state as a medically sound reason to receive a medical marijauna recommendation. For detailed information about each state's qualification standarts, please select your state under Qualifying for Marijuana.