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Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the arteries have persistently elevated blood pressure. Every time the human heart beats, it pumps blood to the whole body through the arteries. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing up against the blood vessel walls. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart has to pump. Hypertension can lead to damaged organs, as well as several illnesses, such as renal failure (kidney failure), aneurysm, heart failure, stroke, or heart attack. Contact Healthstar Research on availability and to inquire about future hypertension clinical studies and/or trials.
Almost everyone knows someone who has diabetes. An estimated 23.6 million people in the United States—7.8 percent of the population—have diabetes, a serious, lifelong condition. Of those, 17.9 million have been diagnosed, and 5.7 million have not yet been diagnosed. In 2007, about 1.6 million people ages 20 or older were diagnosed with diabetes. Contact Healthstar Research on availability and to inquire about future diabetes clinical studies and/or trials.
Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health or physical fitness, is a reduction of the total body mass. This is due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon and other connective tissue. It can occur unintentionally due to an underlying disease, or can arise from a conscious effort to improve an actual or perceived overweight or obese state. Contact Healthstar Research on availability and to inquire about future weight loss clinical studies and/or trials.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for over one quarter of all deaths every year. Some medical products intended to treat cardiovascular disease and other diseases have significant and potentially dangerous side effects related to their effects on the heart. Moreover, cardiac safety concerns are a leading cause for the recall of marketed drugs and abandonment of drug development programs for any indication. Contact Healthstar Research on availability, and to inquire about future cardiovascular safety clinical studies and/or trials.
What Causes a Sprain?
Many things can cause a sprain. Falling, twisting, or getting hit can force a joint out of its normal position. This can cause ligaments around the joint to stretch or tear. Sprains can occur if people:
– Fall and land on an arm
– Fall on the side of their foot
– Twist a knee.
Where Do Sprains Usually Occur?
Sprains happen most often in the ankle. Sometimes when people fall and land on their hand, they sprain their wrist. A sprain to the thumb is common in skiing and other sports. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sprains?
The usual signs and symptoms of a sprain are:
– Not being able to move or use the joint.
Sometimes people feel a pop or tear when the injury happens. A sprain can be mild, moderate, or severe.
What Is a Strain?
A strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon (tissue that connects muscle to bone). In a strain, a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn.
What Causes Strains?
A strain is caused by twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon. Strains can happen suddenly or develop over days or weeks. A sudden (acute) strain is caused by:
– A recent injury
– Lifting heavy objects the wrong way
– Overstressing the muscles.
Chronic strains are usually caused by moving the muscles and tendons the same way over and over.
Contact Healthstar Research on availability and to inquire about future sprain/strain clinical studies and/or trials.
Bursitis and tendinitis are both common conditions that cause swelling around muscles and bones. They occur most often in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, or ankle.
A bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between a bone and other moving body parts such as muscles, tendons, or skin. Bursae are found throughout the body. Bursitis occurs when a bursa becomes swollen.
A tendon is a flexible band of tissue that connects muscles to bones. Tendons can be small, like those found in the hand or ankle, or large, like the Achilles tendon in the heel. Tendons help create movement by making the muscles push or pull the bones in different ways. Tendinitis is the severe swelling of a tendon.
Contact Healthstar Research on availability and to inquire about future Bursitis/Tendonitis clinical studies and/or trials.
Constipation is a condition of the digestive system. The sufferer has hard feces that are difficult to expel. In most cases, this occurs because the colon has absorbed too much of the water from the food that is in the colon. The slower the food moves through your digestive tract, the more water the colon will absorb from food. Consequently, the feces become dry and hard. Defecation (emptying the bowels) can become very painful, and in some serious cases there may be symptoms of bowel obstruction. When the constipation is very severe; when the constipation prevents the passage of feces and gas, it is called obstipation.
What causes constipation?
Constipation happens when the colon absorbs too much water, or if the muscles in the colon are contracting slowly or poorly so that the stool moves too slowly and loses more water.
Here are the most common causes of constipation:
– The sufferer’s diet is lacking in adequate quantities of fiber
It is well known that people whose diets include a good quantity of fiber are significantly less likely to suffer from constipation. Foods low in fiber are high fat foods, such as cheese, meats, and eggs. If you consume them, make sure you are also eating enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – which are rich in fiber.
There are two main types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble dissolves in water, while insoluble doesn’t. Fiber cannot be digested. However, soluble fiber is transformed as it passes through the digestive tract, where it is fermented by bacteria. Soluble fiber absorbs water, and becomes gelatinous as it does so. Insoluble fiber passes through the gut without changing its form.
Quite simply, fiber promotes bowel movements and prevents constipation. Studies have indicated, however, that fiber is not that useful in dealing with constipation, it is better at preventing it.
Contact Healthstar Research on availability and to inquire about future constipation clinical studies and/or trials.
A Soft tissue injury (STI) is the damage of muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body. Common soft tissue injuries usually occur from a sprain, strain, a one off blow resulting in a contusion or overuse of a particular part of the body. Soft tissue injuries can result in pain, swelling, bruising and loss of function
A vertebral compression fracture occurs when the bones of the spine become broken due to trauma. Usually the trauma necessary to break the bones of the spine is quite large. In certain circumstances, however, such as in elderly people and in people with cancer, these same bones can break with little or no force. The vertebrae most commonly broken are those in the lower back.
Sexual dysfunction includes desire, arousal, orgasmic and sex pain disorders (dyspareunia and vaginismus). Primary care physicians must assume a proactive role in the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. Long-term medical diseases, minor ailments, medications and psychosocial difficulties, including prior physical or sexual abuse, are etiologic factors.
Gynecologic maladies and cancers (including breast cancer) are also frequent sources of sexual dysfunction. Patient education and reassurance, with early diagnosis and intervention, are essential for effective treatment.
Patient history and physical examination techniques, normal sexual responses and the factors that influence these responses, and the application of medical and gynecologic treatments to sexual issues are discussed. Basic treatment strategies, which may be successfully provided by primary care physicians for most sexual dysfunctions, are outlined. Referral can be reserved for patients who do not respond to therapy.
Acne vulgaris (cystic acne or simply acne) is a common human skin disease, characterized by areas of skin with seborrhea (scaly red skin), comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), papules (pinheads), pustules (pimples), nodules (large papules) and possibly scarring. Acne affects mostly skin with the densest population of sebaceous follicles; these areas include the face, the upper part of the chest, and the back. Severe acne is inflammatory, but acne can also manifest in noninflammatory forms. The lesions are caused by changes in pilosebaceous units, skin structures consisting of a hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland, changes that require androgen stimulation.
Acne occurs most commonly during adolescence, and often continues into adulthood. In adolescence, acne is usually caused by an increase in testosterone, which accrues during puberty, regardless of sex. For most people, acne diminishes over time and tends to disappear — or at the very least decreases — by age 25. There is, however, no way to predict how long it will take to disappear entirely, and some individuals will carry this condition well into their thirties, forties, and beyond.
Some of the large nodules were previously called “cysts” and the term nodulocystic has been used to describe severe cases of inflammatory acne. The “cysts,” or boils that accompany cystic acne, can appear on the buttocks, groin, and armpit area, and anywhere else where sweat collects in hair follicles and perspiration ducts. Cystic acne affects deeper skin tissue than does common acne.
Aside from scarring, its main effects are psychological, such as reduced self-esteem and in very extreme cases, depression or suicide. Acne usually appears during adolescence, when people already tend to be most socially insecure. Early and aggressive treatment is therefore advocated by some to lessen the overall long-term impact to individuals.
Bowel obstruction (or intestinal obstruction) is a mechanical or functional obstruction of the intestines, preventing the normal transit of the products of digestion. It can occur at any level distal to the duodenum of the small intestine and is a medical emergency. The condition is often treated conservatively over a period of 2-5 days with the patient’s progress regularly monitored by an assigned physician. Surgical procedures are performed on occasion however in life-threatening cases, such as when the root cause is a fully lodged foreign object or malignant tumor.
Insufficient lubrication or vaginal dryness in women can cause dyspareunia, which is a type of sexual pain disorder. While vaginal dryness is considered an indicator for sexual arousal disorder, male circumcision exacerbates female vaginal dryness during intercourse. Vaginal dryness may also result from insufficient excitement and stimulation or from hormonal changes caused by menopause (potentially causing atrophic vaginitis), pregnancy, or breast-feeding. Irritation from contraceptive creams and foams can also cause dryness, as can fear and anxiety about sexual intimacy.
Certain medications, including some over-the-counter antihistamines, as well as life events such as pregnancy, lactation, menopause, aging or diseases such as diabetes, will inhibit lubrication. Medicines with anticholinergic or sympathomimetic effects will dry out the mucosal or “wet” tissues of the vagina. Such medicines include many common drugs for allergic, cardiovascular, psychiatric, and other medical conditions. Oral contraceptives may also increase or decrease vaginal lubrication.
Older women produce less vaginal lubrication and reduced estrogen levels may be associated with increased vaginal dryness.
A peptic ulcer, also known as PUD or peptic ulcer disease, is the most common ulcer of an area of the gastrointestinal tract that is usually acidic and thus extremely painful. It is defined as mucosal erosions equal to or greater than 0.5 cm. As many as 70–90% of such ulcers are associated with Helicobacter pylori, a spiral-shaped bacterium that lives in the acidic environment of the stomach; however, only 40% of those cases go to a doctor. Ulcers can also be caused or worsened by drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs.
Four times as many peptic ulcers arise in the duodenum—the first part of the small intestine, just after the stomach—as in the stomach itself. About 4% of gastric ulcers are caused by a malignant tumor, so multiple biopsies are needed to exclude cancer. Duodenal ulcers are generally benign.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual performance.
A penile erection is the hydraulic effect of blood entering and being retained in sponge-like bodies within the penis. The process is often initiated as a result of sexual arousal, when signals are transmitted from the brain to nerves in the penis. Erectile dysfunction is indicated when an erection is difficult to produce. There are various circulatory causes, including alteration of the voltage-gated potassium channel, as in arsenic poisoning from drinking water. The most important organic causes are cardiovascular disease and diabetes, neurological problems (for example, trauma from prostatectomy surgery), hormonal insufficiencies (hypogonadism) and drug side effects.
Psychological impotence is where erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings (psychological reasons) rather than physical impossibility; this is somewhat less frequent but often can be helped. Notably in psychological impotence, there is a strong response to placebo treatment. Erectile dysfunction, tied closely as it is about ideas of physical well being, can have severe psychological consequences.
Anemia is a decrease in number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin deficiency.
Because hemoglobin (found inside RBCs) normally carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs. Since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences.
Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. The several kinds of anemia are produced by a variety of underlying causes. It can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra, to mention a few. The three main classes include excessive blood loss (acutely such as a hemorrhage or chronically through low-volume loss), excessive blood cell destruction (hemolysis) or deficient red blood cell production (ineffective hematopoiesis).
Migraine is a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms.
Typically the headache is unilateral (affecting one half of the head) and pulsating in nature, lasting from 2 to 72 hours. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to light), phonophobia (increased sensitivity to sound) and the pain is generally aggravated by physical activity. Up to one-third of people with migraine headaches perceive an aura: a transient visual, sensory, language, or motor disturbance which signals that the headache will soon occur.
Hypercholesterolemia is the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is a form of “hyperlipidemia” (elevated levels of lipids in the blood) and “hyperlipoproteinemia” (elevated levels of lipoproteins in the blood).
Cholesterol is a sterol, a sort of fat; see the diagrammatic structure at the right. It is one of three major classes of lipids which all animal cells utilize to construct their membranes and is thus manufactured by all animal cells. Plant cells do not manufacture cholesterol. It is also the precursor of the steroid hormones, bile acids and vitamin D.
Clostridium difficile, also known as “CDF/cdf”, or “C. diff”, is a species of Gram-positive bacteria of the genus Clostridium that causes severe diarrhea and other intestinal disease when competing bacteria in the gut flora have been wiped out by antibiotics.
Clostridia are anaerobic, spore-forming rods (bacilli). C. difficile is the most serious cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) and can lead to pseudomembranous colitis, a severe inflammation of the colon, often resulting from eradication of the normal gut flora by antibiotics.
In a very small percentage of the adult population, C. difficile bacteria naturally reside in the gut. Other people accidentally ingest spores of the bacteria while they are patients in a hospital, nursing home, or similar facility. When the bacteria are in a colon in which the normal gut flora has been expelled (usually after a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as clindamycin has been used), the gut becomes overrun with C. difficile. This overpopulation is harmful because the bacteria release toxins that can cause bloating and diarrhea, with abdominal pain, which may become severe. C. difficile infections are the most common cause of pseudomembranous colitis, and in rare cases this can progress to toxic megacolon, which can be life-threatening.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks flexible (synovial) joints. The process involves an inflammatory response of the capsule around the joints (synovium) secondary to swelling (hyperplasia) of synovial cells, excess synovial fluid, and the development of fibrous tissue (pannus) in the synovium. The pathology of the disease process often leads to the destruction of articular cartilage and ankylosis (fusion) of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also produce diffuse inflammation in the lungs, membrane around the heart (pericardium), the membranes of the lung (pleura), and white of the eye (sclera), and also nodular lesions, most common in subcutaneous tissue. Although the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, autoimmunity plays a pivotal role in both its chronicity and progression, and RA is considered a systemic autoimmune disease.
About 1% of the world’s population is afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis, women three times more often than men. Onset is most frequent between the ages of 40 and 50, but people of any age can be affected. In addition, individuals with the HLA-DR1 or HLA-DR4 serotypes have an increased risk for developing the disorder. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which can lead to substantial loss of functioning and mobility if not adequately treated. It is a clinical diagnosis made on the basis of symptoms, physical exam, radiographs (X-rays) and labs, although the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) publish classification criteria for the purpose of research. Diagnosis and long-term management are typically performed by a rheumatologist, an expert in joint, muscle and bone diseases.
Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion. A variety of causes—hereditary, developmental, metabolic, and mechanical—may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, bone may be exposed and damaged. As a result of decreased movement secondary to pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax.