Diseases & conditions A-Z List
Diseases & Conditions A-Z List - «A»:
Alcohol and pregnancy
Pregnant women are strongly urged not to drink alcohol during pregnancy.
Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant has been shown to have damaging effects on the developing baby and may even lead to permanent disability and medical problems in the child after birth.
When a pregnant woman ...
Alcohol use and safe drinking
Alcohol use involves drinking beer, wine, or hard liquor.
Alcohol and diet
Alcohol withdrawal state
People have been drinking alcoholic beverages since prehistoric times. The discovery of the distillation process during the 12th century made it possible to m...
Alcohol withdrawal refers to symptoms that may occur when a person who has been drinking too much alcohol every day suddenly stops drinking alcohol.
Alcohol withdrawal usually occurs in adults, but it may occur in teenagers or children as well. It can occur when a person who often uses alcoh...
Alcoholic ketoacidosis is the build up of ketones in the blood. Ketones are a type of acid that form when the body breaks down fat for energy.
The condition is an acute form of metabolic acidosis.
Alcoholic ketoacidosis is caused by excessive alcohol use. It is most often seen in a malnouris...
Alcoholic liver disease
Alcoholic liver disease is damage to the liver and its function due to alcohol abuse.
Alcoholic liver disease usually occurs after years of excessive drinking. The longer the alcohol use and the more ...
Alcoholic neuropathy is damage to the nerves that results from excessive drinking of alcohol.
The cause of alcoholic neuropathy is debated. It probably includes both a direct poisoning of the nerve by the alcohol, and the effect of poor nutrition associated with alcoholism.
In severe cases,...
Alcoholism - resources
The following organizations are good resources for information on alcoholism:
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information - http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/links
Alcoholics Anonymous - www.alcoholics-anonymous.org
Al-Anon/Alateen - www.al-anon.org
See also: Drug dependence - resources
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
Alcoholism (alcohol dependence) and alcohol abuse are two different forms of problem drinking.
Alcoholism occurs when a person shows signs of physical addiction to alcohol (for example, tolerance and withdrawal) and continues to drink, despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social...
Aldolase is a protein (called an enzyme) that helps break down certain sugars into energy. It is found in high amounts in muscle tissue.
A test can be done to measure the amount of aldolase in your blood.
How the Test is Performed
Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or ...
An aldosterone test measures the amount of the hormone aldosterone in blood.
How the Test is Performed
Blood is typically drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an e...
Alkalosis is a condition in which the body fluids have excess base (alkali). This is the opposite of excess acid (acidosis).
The kidneys and lungs maintain the proper balance of chemicals, called acids and bases, in the body. Decreased carbon dioxide (an acid) or increased bicarbonate (a bas...
Alkaptonuria is a rare condition in which a person's urine turns a dark brownish-black color when exposed to air.
See also: Inborn error of metabolism
A defect in the HGD gene causes alkaptonuria.
The gene defect makes the body unable to properly break down certain amino acids (tyrosine and...
An allergen is a substance that can cause an allergic reaction. Allergens are substances that, in some people, the immune system recognizes as "foreign" or "dangerous" but cause no response for most people.
Common allergens include:
Bacteria, viruses, and animal parasites
Allergic conjunctivitis is inflammation of the tissue lining the eyelids (conjunctiva) due to a reaction from allergy-causing substances such as pollen and dander.
See also: Conjunctivitis
When your eyes are exposed to anything to which you are allergic, histamine is released and the blood ...
Allergic reactions are sensitivities to substances, called allergens, that come into contact with the skin, nose, eyes, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract. They can be inhaled into the lungs, swallowed, or injected.
Allergic reactions are common. The immune response that c...