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• Abdominal Cramps

The term stomach cramps is nonspecific and is used to refer to a number of


different symptoms or sensations. People often refer to a "stomachache" or
"abdominal cramps" to refer to pain that is perceived anywhere in the
abdominal area. As such, the list of potential causes is extremely varied.
Organs of the abdomen include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver,
gallbladder, and pancreas, and problems or diseases of all of these organs
may be the source of pain. Occasionally, pain may be felt in the abdomen
even though it is arising from organs that are close to, but not within, the
abdominal cavity, such as conditions involving the lower lungs, kidneys,
uterus, or ovaries.

Abdominal pain

Pain in the belly (abdomen) can come from conditions affecting a variety of
organs. The abdomen is an anatomical area that is bounded by the lower
margin of the ribs above, the pelvic bone (pubic ramus) below, and the flanks
on each side. Although abdominal pain can arise from the tissues of the
abdominal wall that surround the abdominal cavity (i.e., skin and abdominal
wall muscles), the term abdominal pain generally is used to describe pain
originating from organs within the abdominal cavity (i.e., beneath the skin and
muscles). These organs include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver,
gallbladder, and pancreas. Occasionally, pain may be felt in the abdomen
even though it is arising from organs that are close to but not within the
abdominal cavity, for example, the lower lungs, the kidneys, and the uterus or
ovaries. This latter type of pain is called "referred" pain because the pain,
though originating outside the abdomen, is being referred to (felt) in the
abdominal area.

Abdominal pain can be acute and sudden in onset, or the pain can be chronic
and longstanding. Abdominal pain may be minor and of no great significance,
or it can reflect a major problem involving one of the organs in the abdomen.
The characteristics of the pain--location, timing, duration, etc. are important in
diagnosing its cause. Persisting abdominal pain should be evaluated by a
physician

Hyperventilation

Hyperventilation refers to overbreathing, in which ventilation exceeds the


metabolic demand, and its related physiological consequences. Excessive
breathing can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, shortness of
breath, a sense of unsteadiness, muscle spasms in the hands and feet, and a
tingling feeling around the mouth and fingertips. All of these symptoms are the
result of abnormally low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood caused by
overbreathing.

The term hyperventilation syndrome (HVS) is sometimes used to describe the


effects of hyperventilation observed in an emergency department setting.
Many acute (sudden onset) cases of hyperventilation arise from panic,
anxiety, and other emotional conditions. Hyperventilation, particularly chronic
hyperventilation (that persists over time), can also be due to a range of
medical conditions.

The opposite of hyperventilation is termed hypoventilation (underventilation).

back pain

There are many causes of pain in the back. Symptoms in the low back can be a result
of problems in the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around
the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs
of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area. Pains in the upper
back can also be a result of disorders of the aorta, chest tumors, and inflammation of
spine.

Ear ache

Pain in the ear can occur because of conditions within the ear, the ear canal,
or affecting the visible portion of the ear (the pinna). Acute middle ear
infection, medically called acute otitis media, is inflammation of the middle ear
and is the most frequent diagnosis in sick children in the U.S. The eustachian
tube is shorter in children than adults which allows easy entry of bacteria and
viruses into the middle ear, resulting in acute otitis media.

Infection of the ear canal (otitis externa) is also called swimmer's ear. Otitis
externa is typically caused by bacterial infection.

Earache can also be caused by pain and inflammation of the outer portion of
the ear (the pinna).

A child with a draining ear should not fly (or swim).

Also spelled "ear ache"

Toothache
The most common cause of a toothache is a dental cavity. The second most common
cause is gum disease. Toothache can be caused by a problem that does not originate
from a tooth or the jaw.

Heartache symptoms

Heartburn is an uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth behind the breastbone


(sternum) but sometimes rising as high as the neck. It usually occurs after meals,
when lying down, or at night while sleeping. Heartburn usually is due to
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the rise of stomach acid back up into the
esophagus. Heartburn has nothing whatsoever to do with the heart though the
discomfort of heartburn may be confused with heart pain and vice versa. Heartburn is
a popular nonmedical term that often is referred to medically as pyrosis.

Acute cough

Cough is a rapid expulsion of air from the lungs typically in order to clear the lung
airways of fluids, mucus, or material. Cough is also called tussis. Cough can be
categorized as acute (less than 3 weeks) or chronic (greater than 3 weeks

Ageusia

The sensations of taste and smell are related, so many disorders of the sense of taste
are associated with a decreased sense of smell. These disorders can range from
obstructions in or damage to the nose to damage to the brain and nervous system in
general. The most common pure taste disorder is a phantom taste sensation; this is the
perception of a "bad taste in the mouth" that does not go away. The decreased ability
to taste certain types of foods is known medically as hypogeusia; the absence of taste
entirely is termed ageusia. Dysgeusia refers to the presence of a metallic, rancid, or
foul taste in the mouth. Taking certain medications can also interfere with the ability
to taste. Some loss of taste sensation also occurs during the normal aging process.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by physical


symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, and feelings of stress. Anxiety
disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million
American adults. In fact, anxiety disorders as a group are the most common
mental illness in America. Children and adolescents can also develop anxiety
disorders.

These disorders fill people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike
the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a
business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are chronic, relentless,
and can grow progressively worse if not treated.

Alopecia

There are many types of alopecia (baldness or hair loss), each with a different cause.
Alopecia may be localized to the front and top of the head as in common male pattern
baldness. It may be patchy as in a condition called alopecia areata. Or it can involve
the entire head as in alopecia capitis totalis. The word "alopecia" comes from the
Greek "alopex" for "fox." Foxes are less furry when afflicted with a skin disease (the
"mange") which causes them to lose their hair. When a fancier word for "baldness"
was sought, the mangy fox supplied it -- "alopecia" or, if you wish, "fox-mange" --
not a very positive image to associate with baldness!

Altered Mental Status

An alteration in mental status refers to general changes in brain function, such as


confusion, amnesia (memory loss), loss of alertness, loss of orientation (not cognizant
of self, time, or place), defects in judgment or thought, poor regulation of emotions,
and disruptions in perception, psychomotor skills, and behavior. While an altered
mental status is obviously characteristic of a number of psychiatric and emotional
conditions, medical conditions and injuries that cause damage to the brain can also
cause mental status changes. Confusion, lethargy, delirium, dementia,
encephalopathy, and organic brain syndrome are all terms that have been used to refer
to conditions hallmarked by mental status changes.

Amnesia
Memory loss, also referred to as amnesia, is an abnormal degree of forgetfulness
and/or inability to recall past events. Depending on the cause, memory loss may have
either a sudden or gradual onset, and memory loss may be permanent or temporary.
Memory loss may be limited to the inability to recall recent events, events from the
distant past, or a combination of both. Although the normal aging process can result in
difficulty in learning and retaining new material, normal aging itself is not a cause of
significant memory loss unless there is accompanying disease that is responsible for
the memory loss.
Amnesia

Anemia is the condition of having less than the normal number of red blood
cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. The oxygen-
carrying capacity of the blood is, therefore, decreased. Persons with anemia
may feel tired and fatigue easily, appear pale, develop palpitations and
become unusually short of breath. Children with chronic anemia are prone to
infections and learning problems.

In general, anemia has four basic categories of causes. One or more of these
causes must be operating to produce anemia:
Hemorrhage -- bleeding
Hemolysis -- excessive destruction of red blood cells
Underproduction of red blood cells
Not enough normal hemoglobin

Women are more likely than men to have anemia because of the loss of blood
each month through menstruation. Iron deficiency anemia is common and in
adults is most often due to chronic blood loss. This can be from menstruation
or from small amounts of repeated bleeding (which can be very subtle) and in
children is due mainly to not enough iron in the diet. Anemia is also often due
to gastrointestinal bleeding caused by medications including, such very
common drugs as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).

Numbness or Tingling Sensation in the Tongue

Numbness or tingling sensations in the tongue, medically known as paresthesia of the


tongue, most commonly occur due to damage to the nervous system. The medical
term for the absence of sensation is anesthesia. Damage to the lingual nerve that
supplies the tongue has been reported as a complication of dental procedures or
surgery such as wisdom tooth extraction, implants, or root canal procedures. Other
conditions that damage the nerves, as well as brain conditions such as stroke, can also
cause numbness and tingling of the tongue. Sometimes, these sensations extend to
involve the lips and/or jaws.

Angioedema

Swelling of the tongue can occur due to inflammation of the tongue (known as
glossitis), the presence of abnormal substances (such as amyloid protein) in the
tongue, the collection of fluid in the tongue as a result of different disease processes,
or tumors that infiltrate the tissues of the tongue. A swollen tongue can also occur as
an allergic reaction to medications or other substances. In this case, the swelling is
due to fluid accumulation in the tissues of the tongue, medically known as
angioedema. A dramatically swollen tongue can lead to breathing problems and may
be a medical emergency. Treatment of allergic reactions that include swollen tongue
can include epinephrine, antihistamines, and/or steroid medications

Ankle pain

The ankle joint is the meeting of the bones of the leg and the foot and is responsible
for the up and down motion of the foot. In popular usage, the ankle is often
considered to be the ankle joint plus the surrounding anatomic region, including the
lower end of the leg and the start of the flat part of the foot. Pain in the ankle can
result from inflammation or injury to any of the structures in this region, including the
bones, joint space, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, or muscles.

Ankle pain

The ankle joint is the meeting of the bones of the leg and the foot and is responsible
for the up and down motion of the foot. In popular usage, the ankle is often
considered to be the ankle joint plus the surrounding anatomic region, including the
lower end of the leg and the start of the flat part of the foot. Pain in the ankle can
result from inflammation or injury to any of the structures in this region, including the
bones, joint space, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, or muscles.

Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet


Swelling of the feet and ankles can occur as a result of conditions involving the local
extremities as well as systemic conditions (diseases and conditions that affect the
entire body). Localized processes such as injuries and infections may lead to a
swollen foot and/or ankle only on the involved side. Swelling of the ankle on one side
is often a result of sprains or strains. Sometimes diseases that affect the entire body,
such as heart disease and kidney or liver failure, can result in excess fluid buildup
(edema) that is often concentrated in the legs and feet, leading to swelling not only of
the ankles but also of the feet and lower legs. This can also occur with obstruction of
the venous system, as may occur with pregnancy and obesity. Diseases of the joints,
such as arthritis, can also affect the joints of the ankle and foot, leading to swelling of
the involved areas. Treatments for swollen ankles and feet depend on the particular
cause, but antiinflammatory medications are often used to manage the pain associated
with strains and sprains.
Anorexia

Loss of appetite, medically referred to as anorexia, can be caused by a variety of


conditions and diseases. Some of the conditions can be temporary and reversible, such
as loss of appetite from the effects of medications. Some of the conditions can be
more serious, such as from the effects of underlying cancer. Any persisting loss of
appetite should be evaluated by a healthcare professional

Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations,
sweating, and feelings of stress. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect
approximately 19 million American adults. In fact, anxiety disorders as a group are the most common
mental illness in America. Children and adolescents can also develop anxiety disorders.

These disorders fill people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike the relatively mild, brief
anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are
chronic, relentless, and can grow progressively worse if not treated.

Aphasia

Difficulty with speech can be the result of problems with the brain or nerves that control the facial
muscles, larynx, and vocal cords necessary for speech. Likewise, muscular diseases and conditions
that affect the jaws, teeth, and mouth can impair speech. Some conditions that affect speech are
present at birth (such as inborn muscular conditions and congenital anatomical abnormalities), while
others are the result of metabolic diseases, infections, tumors, or injury. Abnormalities of the vocal cords
such as inflammation, polyps, cysts, and tumors can affect the pitch and quality of the voice.

A number of different types of speech impediments can occur, and many terms have been used to
qualify speech disorders. Aphasia is the loss of the ability to understand language, whether spoken or
written, and occurs due to disturbances in the areas of the brain that are used in language processing.
Dysarthria refers to a difficulty in pronouncing certain sounds or words that is usually due to a problem
with muscle control. People with dysarthria exhibit slurred speech and may have problems with
swallowing. Spasmodic dysphonia is a condition characterized by difficulty speaking because of
repetitive or continuous spasms (dystonia) of the muscles that control the vocal cords. Apraxia of
speech, also known as verbal apraxia or dyspraxia, is a speech disorder in which a person has trouble
saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently.

Because of the numerous types of speech difficulty that can arise from various disease processes, the
list of conditions that can cause difficulty with speech is very broad.

Aphthae

Sores or localized abnormalities inside the mouth can arise from a number of causes.
Most commonly, mouth sores represent aphthous ulcers, also known as canker sores
or aphthous stomatitis. These shallow, painful ulcerations often occur in susceptible
individuals during times of stress, infection, or changes in immune status. Certain
medications, for example methotrexate, can cause canker sores as well as deficiencies
in some B vitamins (1, 2, 6, and 12), iron, folic acid, and zinc. However, irritation,
injury, or infection of any of the tissues in the oral cavity can also lead to mouth sores.
Sores in the mouth can occur with certain systemic (affecting multiple locations
within the body) diseases such as Crohn's disease, Behcet's syndrome, and systemic
lupus erythematosus (SLE). Rarely, mouth sores are among the initial signs of oral
cancers.

Appetite

A decreased desire to eat is a symptom that is common to numerous medical and


psychological conditions. Almost any illness can lead to a decrease in appetite. When
severe, decreased appetite can lead to unwanted weight loss and malnutrition.
Medically, a decrease in appetite is referred to as anorexia.

Aphasia

such as palpitations, sweating, and feelings of stress. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses
that affect approximately 19 million American adults. In fact, anxiety disorders as a group are the most
common mental illness in America. Children and adolescents can also develop anxiety disorders.

These disorders fill people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike the relatively mild, brief
anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are
chronic, relentless, and can grow progressively worse if not treated.

Difficulty with speech can be the result of problems with the brain or nerves that control the facial
muscles, larynx, and vocal cords necessary for speech. Likewise, muscular diseases and conditions
that affect the jaws, teeth, and mouth can impair speech. Some conditions that affect speech are
present at birth (such as inborn muscular conditions and congenital anatomical abnormalities), while
others are the result of metabolic diseases, infections, tumors, or injury. Abnormalities of the vocal cords
such as inflammation, polyps, cysts, and tumors can affect the pitch and quality of the voice.

A number of different types of speech impediments can occur, and many terms have been used to
qualify speech disorders. Aphasia is the loss of the ability to understand language, whether spoken or
written, and occurs due to disturbances in the areas of the brain that are used in language processing.
Dysarthria refers to a difficulty in pronouncing certain sounds or words that is usually due to a problem
with muscle control. People with dysarthria exhibit slurred speech and may have problems with
swallowing. Spasmodic dysphonia is a condition characterized by difficulty speaking because of
repetitive or continuous spasms (dystonia) of the muscles that control the vocal cords. Apraxia of
speech, also known as verbal apraxia or dyspraxia, is a speech disorder in which a person has trouble
saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently.

Because of the numerous types of speech difficulty that can arise from various disease processes, the
list of conditions that can cause difficulty with speech is very broad.

Arm pain

Pain in the arm can result from a number of factors. Abnormalities of the skin, nerves, bones, joints,
blood vessels, and soft tissues of the arm can all result in pain. Sometimes diseases that affect other
organs in the body, like peripheral vascular disease or arthritis, can be the cause of pain in the arm.
Causes of arm pain range from mild annoyances to severe and potentially life-threatening occurrences,
such as the pain from myocardial infarction and angina pectoris that may radiate (spread) to the arm
area. Treatments for arm pain depend on the underlying cause.

Arm weakness

Pain in the arm can result from a number of factors. Abnormalities of the skin, nerves, bones, joints,
blood vessels, and soft tissues of the arm can all result in pain. Sometimes diseases that affect other
organs in the body, like peripheral vascular disease or arthritis, can be the cause of pain in the arm.
Causes of arm pain range from mild annoyances to severe and potentially life-threatening occurrences,
such as the pain from myocardial infarction and angina pectoris that may radiate (spread) to the arm
area. Treatments for arm pain depend on the underlying cause.

Arthralgia
Arthralgia, Elbow

Joint pain can be caused by injury affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons
surrounding the joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, and bones within
the joint. Pain is also a feature of joint inflammation (arthritis) and infection, and can
be a feature of tumors of the joint. Joint pain is also referred to as arthralgia.

Elbow pain is most often the result of tendinitis, which can affect the inner or outer
elbow. Treatment includes ice, rest, and medication for inflammation. Elbow pain has
many other causes including arthritis and bursitis. Funny bone sensation is irritation
of a nerve at the elbow that causes numbness and tingling of the inner elbow, forearm
as well as little and ring fingers. Bacteria can infect the skin of a scraped (abraded)
elbow to cause pain.

Arthralgia, Knee

Knee pain can be a result of injury or disease of the knee joint. Injury can affect any of the ligaments,
bursae, or tendons surrounding the knee joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, menisci
(plural for meniscus), and bones within the joint. The complexity of the design of the knee joint and the
fact that it is an active weight-bearing joint are factors in making the knee one of the most commonly
injured joints.

Pain can also occur in the knee from diseases or conditions that involve the knee joint, the soft tissues
and bones surrounding the knee, or the nerves that supply sensation to the knee area. In fact, the knee
joint is the most commonly involved joint in rheumatic diseases, immune diseases that affect various
tissues of the body, including the joints to cause arthritis.