Diseases & conditions A-Z List
Diseases & Conditions A-Z List - «A»:
Aging changes in the kidneys
The kidneys filter the blood and help remove waste and extra fluid from the body. The kidneys also play an important role in controlling the body's chemical balance. As with other organs, kidney function may be slightly reduced with aging.
The kidneys are part of the urinary system, which...
Aging changes in the lungs
The lungs have two primary functions: to acquire oxygen from the air, which is required for life, and to remove carbon dioxide from the body. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of many of the chemical reactions that sustain life.
During breathing, air enters and exits the lungs. It flows in through incr...
Aging changes in the male reproductive system
Aging changes in the male reproductive system may include changes in testicular tissue, sperm production, and erectile function. These changes usually occur gradually.
Unlike women, men do not experience a major, rapid (over several months) change in fertility as they age (like menopaus...
Aging changes in the nervous system
As people age, their brain and nervous system go through natural changes. The brain and spinal cord lose nerve cells and weight. Nerve cells may begin to transmit messages more slowly than in the past. Waste products can collect in the brain tissue as nerve cells break down, causing abnormal structu...
Aging changes in the senses
Aging changes in the senses are perceptual changes related to growing older.
When you age, the way your senses (taste, smell, touch, vision, and hearing) are able to give you information about the world changes. Your senses become less acute, and you may have trouble distinguishing deta...
Aging changes in vital signs
The vital signs include:
Heart rate (pulse)
Normal body temperature does not change significantly with aging. However, as you get older, it becomes more difficult for the body to control its temperature. Loss of subcutaneous fat make...
Aging spots - should you be concerned
Aging spots, also called liver spots, are very common and are usually nothing to worry about.
Always let your doctor know if you have any new or unusual spots. Skin cancers may have many different appearances. Spots or sores related to skin cancers can be small, shiny, or waxy, scaly and rough, firm...
Agitation is an unpleasant state of extreme arousal (stirred up or excited), increased tension, and irritability.
Agitation can come on suddenly or over time. It can last for just a few minutes, or for weeks and even months. Pain, stress, and fever can all increase agitation.
Agranulocytosis means a failure of the bone marrow to make enough white blood cells (neutrophils). Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells.
Agranulocytosis is one cause of a person not having enough of a specific type of white blood cells, called neutrophils o...
Aicardi syndrome is a rare inherited (genetic) disorder in which the structure that connects the two sides of the brain (corpus callosum) is partly or completely missing.
The cause of Aicardi syndrome is unknown at this time. In some cases, experts believe it may be a result of a gene defect...
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the final stage of HIV disease, which causes severe damage to the immune system.
Important facts about the spread of AIDS include:
AIDS is the sixth leading cause of death among people ages 25 - 44 in the United States, down from number one in 1...
AIDS - resources
The following organizations are good resources for information on AIDS:
AIDS.gov -- www.aids.gov
Gay Men's Health Crisis - www.gmhc.org
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov
Resources - AIDS...
Albinism is a defect of melanin production that results in little or no color (pigment) in the skin, hair, and eyes.
Albinism occurs when one of several genetic defects makes the body unable to produce or distribute melanin, a natural substance that gives color to your hair, skin, and iris o...
Albumin - serum
Albumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood.
How the Test is Performed
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture. The blood sample is placed in a machine called a cen...
Alcohol and diet
Alcohol comes from fermenting starches and sugars. Alcohol has about 7 calories per gram. These are considered "empty" calories because alcohol contains no beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
Alcohol has about 7 calories per gram. These are considered "empty" calories beca...