Diseases and Conditions

What is PMR?

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a medical condition characterized by pain, swelling and restricted movement in multiple joints especially the neck, shoulder and hip joints. The exact underlying cause of polymyalgia rheumatica is not known, however, patients with temporal arteritis, a disease characterized by inflammatory changes in the blood vessels also suffer from polymyalgia rheumatic. Usually people above 65 years of age are most commonly affected and it is rare in people less than 50 years of age. The main treatment of polymyalgia rheumatica is dependent upon oral intake of steroids.



What is sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a medical condition characterized by deposition of inflammatory cells in the form of nodules in different body parts namely lungs, lymph nodes, eyes and skin. The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known but it is believed to arise when inflammatory cells of the body start producing antibodies against some unknown foreign substances. Women between the age group of 20 and 40 years are at increased risk of suffering from this disease. There is no cure available for sarcoidosis. However, most patients respond well to treatment even in some the symptoms may go away completely.

What is Paget’s disease of bone?

Paget’s disease of the bone is a disease characterized by an abnormal resorption of bones affecting one or multiple bones. The disease is initiated by an intense wave of bone destructing activity (osteolysis) with resorption of normal bone resulting in irregularly shaped resorption pattern created on the affected bone, which is followed by vigorous bone deposition activity (osteoblastic activity) forming bone after a variable period. The affected bones in Paget’s disease becomes weakened and distorted and may undergo severe complications as the condition progresses.

What is fragile X syndrome?

Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited cause of mental retardation in boys. Apart from mental retardation there are number of characteristic physical feature in fragile X syndrome patients like long face, protruding ears and single crease on the palm. People suffering from fragile X syndrome show poor social interaction as they avoid eye contact with others, avoids people and usually suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder characterized by poor attention span, inability to concentrate to any activities and hyperactivity.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is a type of eating disorder characterized by minimal intake of food, irrational fear of putting on weight and having distorted idea of being fat even if the person is underweight. Although any person from any age group, social or socioeconomic background may suffer from anorexia nervosa, the condition is more common in adolescent females.

Inadequate food intake leads to malnutrition and lack of energy, dizziness, weakness, irregular menstruation and other organic symptoms. Treatment options include restoration of normal body weight by a healthy diet, adequate counseling and medication to treat any associated psychiatric problem, if present.

Diarrhea is a symptom of some underlying disturbance of the gastrointestinal tract (gut), particularly the intestines. There are many diseases that present with diarrhea and on its own, it is difficult to identify the exact cause of diarrhea. Other symptoms need to be taken into consideration or tests may be necessary to identify the cause of the diarrhea.

Although most of us see diarrhea as very frequent or loose and watery stools, there definition in a bit broader. Sometimes in severe cases, diarrhea may be almost “explosive”. The passing of stool can seem “violent”, erupting with force and at times messing the toilet bowl extensively. Understanding some of the causes of explosive diarrhea is important as sometimes even the most harmless causes can present with violent bowel movements that may be concerning to a person.

Tropical sprue (TS) is a common digestive disorder noticed in visitors to or residents of tropical regions. Find out about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

Tropical Sprue Definition

This is a contagious digestive disorder that results in malabsorption in patients. It is primarily restricted to the tropical and subtropical regions.

The disease was described for the first time in 1759 by Dr. William Hillary in Barbados.

Tropical Sprue Meaning

People suffering from TS are not able to absorb food nutrients properly. They are especially found to have problems in absorbing folic acid and vitamin B12. In healthy individuals, small intestines consist of finger-like projections known as villi which provide additional surface area for absorption of nutrients. In TS patients, the villi are flattened, which makes absorption of nutrients difficult. TS also causes inflammation of the small intestinal lining.

Diarrhea is less common than constipation in pregnancy. However, it may occur for the same reasons as diarrhea in non-pregnant women as well as being a consequence of the elevated hormone levels associated with pregnancy. Diarrhea in pregnancy should always be monitored closely by a medical professional as it can lead to complications that may threaten the fetus and jeopardize the pregnancy if it persists beyond two days. The greatest danger in this regard is dehydration, however, with infectious causes there is also the risk associated with fever and a spread of the infection. Sometimes diarrhea occurs early in the first trimester along with nausea and vomiting (‘motion sickness) but should not be considered as a sign of pregnancy. However, diarrhea in later pregnancy may be a sign of impending labor.

Diarrhea is a symptom of underlying gastrointestinal dysfunction. It is defined as the passage of more than 200g or 200ml of stool in three or more bowel movements within a 24 hour period. Typically there is a large volume of watery stool especially in acute diarrhea. Sometimes changes in bowel habit and stool form may not fit into the definition of diarrhea yet it is not normal for the individual. Frequent bowel movements and loose stool are two more commonly used terms to describe  these changes but may be used quite subjectively. Irrespective of the terminology, the changes are due to certain known mechanisms.

The bowels are made up of the small intestine and large intestine which are the longest parts of the digestive tract (alimentary tract or gut). The intestines are important sites of digestion and absorption of nutrients and the formation of waste material that is evacuated from the bowels as feces. Like the rest of the gut, it has a multi-layered wall that is somewhat similar in structure from mouth to anus. Within the bowels are massive populations of bacteria which help with digestion and absorption of nutrients but usually do not harm the bowels.  This naturally-occurring ‘good’ bacteria is known as the normal intestinal flora. The bowels are affected by a number of insults, from infectious to mechanical and chemical, but is usually able to recover once the causative factor is removed.