The Analyst™

Comprehensive diagnosis of your symptoms

Healthy

  Chronic / Hidden Infection  
 
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Signs, symptoms and indicators | Conditions that suggest it | Contributing risk factors | It can lead to... | It could instead be... | Recommendations

 

From gallstones to arthritis to heart disease, many illnesses long presumed to have roots in genes or lifestyle may be caused largely by infectious agents, a growing number of scientists believe. Most of the evidence remains circumstantial. A microbe may be suspiciously present in people who have a disease, for example, and not in those who don't, suggesting causality.

For some conditions, many scientists feel certain that microbes play at least a contributing role where none was suspected previously. The implications of this new theory are enormous, researchers say. Most important, it suggests that vaccines or antibiotics may have an unexpectedly big role to play in the treatment of chronic diseases that today are treated with only modest success through lifestyle changes, such as exercise and improved diet.

"If an infectious agent is responsible for even a portion of these diseases, that could change the outlook for treatment and prevention dramatically," said Barry Bloom, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health.
 

 
 

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Chronic / Hidden Infection:
 
 
Symptoms - General  Minor/major fatigue for over 3 months or major fatigue for over 12 months

Symptoms - Metabolic

  Occasional/frequent unexplained fevers
  Having a slight/having a moderate/having a high fever
 The list of conditions which may have fever as a symptom is long. Hopefully, additional symptoms will help identify the cause. Laboratory testing may be needed to find or confirm the cause. Any of the following conditions may cause fever:

Abscess, Actinymycosis, Acute bacterial prostatitis, Acute Bronchitis, Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, Acute Pancreatitis, Acute rheumatic fever, African Sleeping sickness, Agranulocytosis, Alcoholic liver disease, Alveolar Hydatid Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Anthrax, Arthritis, Ascariasis, Blastomycosis, Boil, Bornholm disease, Brain abscess, Brainerd diarrhea, Breast abscess, Bronchiolitis, Bronchitis, Bronchopulmonary dysplasia, Brucellosis, Bursitis, Campylobacter food poisoning, Cat scratch disease, Cellulitis, Chagas disease, Chemical pneumonia, Chickenpox, Cholangitis, Cholecystitis, Coccidioidomycosis, Congenital syphilis, Crohn's disease, Croup, Cryptococcal Meningitis, Cyclic vomiting syndrome, Cystitis, Cytomegalovirus, Delirium, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Dental abscess, Diabetes Insipidus, Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, Diverticular Disease, Dracunculiasis, Dry socket, Dysentery, East African Trypanosomiasis, Ehrlichiosis, Endocarditis, Endometritis, Enterocolitis, Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Enteroviruses, Epididymitis, Erythema nodosum, Exfoliative dermatitis, Fascioliasis, Favism, Flu, Food poisoning, Fungal meningitis, Gallstones, Gangrene, Gastritis, Gastroenteritis, Gastrointestinal Anthrax, Giardia, Glanders, Glomerulonephritis, Gonorrhea, Headache-free migraine, Hemophilus influenzae B, Hepatitis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, Hepatitis E, Hepatitis X, Hepatoma, Hernia, Histoplasmosis, HIV/AIDS, Interstitial lung disease, Invasive candidiasis, Japanese encephalitis, Kawasaki disease, Kidney Cancer, Kidney stones, Laryngitis, Lassa fever, Legionnaires' disease, Leishmaniasis, Leptospirosis, Leukemia, Listeriosis, Liver abscess, Liver cancer, Lung abscess, Lung cancer, Lupus, Lyme disease, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, Lymphogranuloma venereum, Lymphoma, Malaria, Marburg virus, Meningitis, Meningococcal disease, Middle ear infection, Mononucleosis, Mumps, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Naegleria, Necrotizing fasciitis, Neutropenia, Nocardiosis, Oophoritis, Osteoarthritis, Osteomyelitis, Ovarian cysts, Pancreatitis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Pericarditis, Pernicious anemia, Pharyngitis, Plague, Pneumonic plague, Polio, Polyarteritis nodosa, Polymyalgia rheumatica, Pontiac fever, Porphyria, Primary sclerosing cholangitis, Prostatitis, Psittacosis, Puerperal fever, Pulmonary embolism, Pyelonephritis, Queensland tick typhus, Rabies, Reiter’s syndrome, Relapsing fever, Renal carbuncle, Renal colic, Renal tuberculosis, Respiratory syncytial virus, Rheumatic fever, Rift Valley Fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella food poisoning, Salpingitis, Sandfly fever, Sarcoidosis, Schistosomiasis, Scrub typhus, Shigellosis, Sickle Cell Anemia, Sinusitis, Small Intestine Cancer, Strep throat, Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome, Stroke, Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Superficial thrombophlebitis, Syphilis, Temporal arteritis, Testicular torsion, Tetanus, Tonsilitis, Tooth abscess, Toxic Shock Syndrome, Toxocariasis, Toxoplasmosis, Traveler's diarrhea, Tuberculosis, Typhoid fever, Ulcerative colitis, Urinary stones, Urinary tract infections, Urinary tract infections (child), Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, Viral gastroenteritis, Viral meningitis, Wegener's granulomatosis, Weil's syndrome, West African Trypanosomiasis, West Nile fever, Whitlow, Whooping Cough, Wilms' tumor, Yaws andYersiniosis.
 
 

Conditions that suggest Chronic / Hidden Infection:
 
 
Circulation  Aneurysm / Weakened Arteries
 Results of a small study suggest that an antibiotic may help people with abdominal aortic aneurysms. The condition is usually treatable only with surgery. The drug doxycycline appears to inhibit enzymes that play a role in weakening of the arterial walls. This is a medical problem that might be influenced by an impaired immune system which allows an infection to take hold. If doxycycline seems to help, then it is possible that either chlamydia or mycoplasma are involved. [Annual Meeting Society for Vascular Surgery meeting in Washington, DC June 1999 ]

  Pericarditis
 Mycoplasma pneumonia is a good example of how a stealth pathogen can move out of it's typical environment and into other parts of the body and begin causing other diseases. While residing in the respiratory tract and lungs, Mycoplasma pneumonia remains an important cause of pneumonia and other airway disorders, such as tracheobronchitis, pharyngitis and asthma. When this stealth pathogen hitches a ride to other parts of the body, it is associated with non-pulmonary manifestations, such as blood, skin, joint, central nervous system, liver, pancreas, and cardiovascular syndromes and disorders. This single stealth pathogen has been discovered in the urogenital tract of patients suffering from inflammatory pelvic disease, urethritis, and other urinary tract diseases. It has been discovered in the heart tissues and fluid of patients suffering from cardititis, pericarditis, tachycardia, hemolytic anemia, and other coronary heart diseases.

Environment / Toxicity

  Morgellons Disease
 This data review of Morgellons disease reports that the condition can be characterized as a physical human illness
with an often-related delusional component in adults. All medical histories support that behavioral aberrancies onset only after physical symptoms. The identified abnormalities include both immune deficiency and chronic inflammatory markers that correlate strongly with immune cytokine excess.

The review of 251 current NLM DP references leads us to the possibility that Morgellons disease and DP are grossly truncated labels of the same illness but with the reversal of the cause-effect order. Further, the patients’ data suggest that both illnesses have an infectious origin. [Journal of Medical Case Reports 2009, 3:8243]

Inflammation

  Bursitis
 Both acute and chronic infections, notably staphylococcus, have been known to cause bursitis.

Lab Values

  A High White Count
 Chronic infections with pus formation and some cancers cause severe leukocytosis (50,000 to 120,000), neutrophilia with a left shift, variable numbers of toxic neutrophils, monocytosis, and hyperglobulinemia.

  Low White Count
 A hidden chronic infection - especially a viral infection - can result in a depressed white blood cell count.

Musculo-Skeletal

  Rheumatoid Arthritis

Nervous System

  Trigeminal Neuralgia / Facial Pain
 Jawbone cavitations are cavities or infections within the jawbone. A rather significant aspect of such lesions is that they can not be easily seen on x-rays, although they often have an irregular fuzzy margin.

A published study of 224 biopsied tissue samples from alveolar bone cavities in 135 patient with "trigeminal neuralgia" or "atypical facial neuralgia" demonstrated common features of these lesions: intra-osseous cavity formation; long-standing bone necrosis (tissue death); chronic facial neuralgia (pain). It is obvious that many patients with chronic pain can trace the onset of their pain back subsequent to one or more tooth extractions. Generally, even though the surgical site appears to heal normally, a problem remains in the bone that antibiotics are not able to remedy.

Organ Health

  Prostatitis
 The evidence supporting a viral cause of prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome is weak.

Isolated case reports have suggested Herpes simplex virus (HSV) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) but a study using PCR failed to demonstrate the presence of viral DNA in patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome undergoing radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer.

The reports implicating CMV must be interpreted with caution because in all cases the patients were immunocompromised. For HSV the evidence is weaker still and there is only one reported case and the causative role of the virus was not proven, and there are no reports of successful treatments using antiviral drugs such as aciclovir.

  Enlarged Spleen

Skin-Hair-Nails

  Night Sweats
 A hidden infection, such as an abscess in the liver or spleen, can cause night sweats and fever without many other symptoms.
 
 

Risk factors for Chronic / Hidden Infection:
 
 
Immunity  Weakened Immune System

Infections

  Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Lab Values - Cells

  Having low CD8 count
 A low CD8 population results most probably from a continous and/or balanced immune response to intracellular pathogens.

Lab Values - Chemistries

  Elevated BUN
 An overwhelming infection can cause an elevated BUN.

Nutrients

  EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 3 Requirement
 
 

Chronic / Hidden Infection can lead to:
 
 
Environment / Toxicity  Morgellons Disease
 This data review of Morgellons disease reports that the condition can be characterized as a physical human illness
with an often-related delusional component in adults. All medical histories support that behavioral aberrancies onset only after physical symptoms. The identified abnormalities include both immune deficiency and chronic inflammatory markers that correlate strongly with immune cytokine excess.

The review of 251 current NLM DP references leads us to the possibility that Morgellons disease and DP are grossly truncated labels of the same illness but with the reversal of the cause-effect order. Further, the patients’ data suggest that both illnesses have an infectious origin. [Journal of Medical Case Reports 2009, 3:8243]

Nervous System

  Trigeminal Neuralgia / Facial Pain
 Jawbone cavitations are cavities or infections within the jawbone. A rather significant aspect of such lesions is that they can not be easily seen on x-rays, although they often have an irregular fuzzy margin.

A published study of 224 biopsied tissue samples from alveolar bone cavities in 135 patient with "trigeminal neuralgia" or "atypical facial neuralgia" demonstrated common features of these lesions: intra-osseous cavity formation; long-standing bone necrosis (tissue death); chronic facial neuralgia (pain). It is obvious that many patients with chronic pain can trace the onset of their pain back subsequent to one or more tooth extractions. Generally, even though the surgical site appears to heal normally, a problem remains in the bone that antibiotics are not able to remedy.

Pain

  Low Back Pain / Problems
 Some dentists report treating low back pain patients by removing infected bone in the third molar area. Chronic fatigue and arthritic pain disappear in many patients with these conditions after removing dental infections.
 
 

Chronic / Hidden Infection could instead be:
 
 
Pain  Low Back Pain / Problems
 Some dentists report treating low back pain patients by removing infected bone in the third molar area. Chronic fatigue and arthritic pain disappear in many patients with these conditions after removing dental infections.
 
 

Recommendations for Chronic / Hidden Infection:
 
 
Botanical  Medicinal Mushrooms
  Garlic
 Garlic is another major tool in the treatment of hidden infections. Garlic also has an important blood thinning benefit which helps reduce the localized hypercoagulation which is seen around some organisms. This thickened blood effect helps shield the organism from destruction by the immune system or antibiotics.

  Astragalus Root (Astragalus membrinaceus)
 This popular Chinese herb is excellent for stimulating the immune system, essential for recovering from infective conditions.

  Picrorhiza (Picrorhiza kurroa)
 Picrorhiza is used for fever due to all manner of infections. [Nadkarni KM, Nadkarni AK. Indian Materia Medica. Bombay, Popular Prakashan, 1976, pp.953-5]

Picroliv (a mixture of iridoid glycosides from the rhizomes of picrorhiza) has been shown to have an immuno-stimulating effect in hamsters, helping prevent infections. [Puri A, Saxena RP, Sumati, et al. Immunostimulant activity of Picroliv, the iridoid glycoside fraction of Picrorhiza kurroa, and its protective action against Leishmania donovani infection in hamsters. Planta Med 1992;58: pp.528-32]

  Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum frutescens)
 Cayenne may have some benefit as an antimicrobial to help control infections in general.

  Chinese Thoroughwax (Bupleurum falcatum)
 Bupleurum can be considered when fevers of unexplained origin are occurring.

Dental

  Oral Hygiene / Dental Care
 Dr. Price was a dentist and researcher who traveled the world to study the teeth, bones, and diets of native populations living without the "benefit" of modern food. Around the year 1900, Price had been treating persistent root canal infections and became suspicious that root-canaled teeth always remained infected, in spite of treatments. Then one day, he recommended to a woman, wheelchair bound for six years, to have her root canal tooth extracted, even though it appeared to be fine.

She agreed, so he extracted her tooth and then implanted it under the skin of a rabbit. The rabbit amazingly developed the same crippling arthritis as the woman and died from the infection 10 days later. But the woman, now free of the toxic tooth, immediately recovered from her arthritis and could now walk without even the assistance of a cane.

Price discovered that it's mechanically impossible to sterilize a root-canaled (e.g. root-filled) tooth.

He then went on to show that many chronic degenerative diseases originate from root-filled teeth—the most frequent being heart and circulatory diseases. He actually found 16 different causative bacterial agents for these conditions. But there were also strong correlations between root-filled teeth and diseases of the joints, brain and nervous system. Dr. Price went on to write two groundbreaking books in 1922 detailing his research into the link between dental pathology and chronic illness. Unfortunately, his work was deliberately buried for 70 years, until finally one endodontist named George Meinig recognized the importance of Price's work and sought to expose the truth.

Lab Tests/Rule-Outs

  Digestive Enzymes / (Trial)
 Infectious organisms can hide behind soluble fibrin monomers. This fibrin 'coat' can be broken down with the help of digestive enzymes. Wobenzym is a particular product that has been used for many years to help expose microbes by breaking down this coat. Large doses of enzymes are required. Wobenzym should be taken at no less than 5 tablets twice a day when contolling a chronic infection, and the dose increased when becoming symptomatic.

Mineral

  Colloidal Silver

Oxygen / Oxidative Therapies

  Ozone / Oxidative Therapy

Vitamins

  Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
 Intravenous vitamin C, sometimes along with high oral doses, has been used to resolve both known and unknown infections. Pioneering work was done by Dr. Fred Klenner, MD which has been carried on by others. More doctors are becoming comfortable administering this therapy, though it is usually done in their office / clinic rather than a hospital.
 
 


KEY
Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Acute:  An illness or symptom of sudden onset, which generally has a short duration.

Agranulocytosis:  Condition characterized by a marked decrease in the number of white blood cells called granulocytes.

AIDS:  Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. An immune system deficiency disorder that suddenly alters the body's ability to defend itself. The AIDS virus invades the T4 helper/inducer lymphocytes and multiplies, causing a breakdown in the body's immune system, eventually leading to overwhelming infection and/or cancer, with ultimate death.

Alveolar:  Pertaining to a small hollow space, as in the lung, e.g. pulmonary alveolus.

Anemia:  A condition resulting from an unusually low number of red blood cells or too little hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The most common type is iron-deficiency anemia in which the red blood cells are reduced in size and number, and hemoglobin levels are low. Clinical symptoms include shortness of breath, lethargy and heart palpitations.

Antiviral:  Any of a number of herbs, drugs or agents capable of destroying viruses or inhibiting their growth or multiplication until the body is capable of destroying the virus itself. Most antiviral agents are members of the antimetabolite family.

Arthritis:  Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.

Asthma:  A lung disorder marked by attacks of breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the lungs. The episodes may be triggered by breathing foreign substances (allergens) or pollutants, infection, vigorous exercise, or emotional stress.

Bronchitis:  Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes, frequently accompanied by cough, hypersecretion of mucus, and expectoration of sputum. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by an infectious agent and of short duration. Chronic bronchitis, generally the result of smoking, may also be known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Emphysema.

Bursitis:  The bursa is a fluid-filled pad that allows your muscles to easily slide over other muscles and bones. Bursitis occurs when this pad becomes inflamed. It usually occurs when you overuse or injure a specific joint, but it can also be caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms include pain and inflammation around joints such as the elbow, hip, shoulder, big toe, ankle or knee.

Cancer:  Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Candidiasis:  Infection of the skin or mucous membrane with any species of candida, usually Candida albicans. The infection is usually localized to the skin, nails, mouth, vagina, bronchi, or lungs, but may invade the bloodstream. It is a common inhabitant of the GI tract, only becoming a problem when it multiplies excessively and invades local tissues. Growth is encouraged by a weakened immune system, as in AIDS, or with the prolonged administration of antibiotics. Vaginal symptoms include itching in the genital area, pain when urinating, and a thick odorless vaginal discharge.

Cardiovascular:  Pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.

CAT Scan:  (Computerized Axial Tomography scan). A scanning procedure using X-rays and a computer to detect abnormalities of the body's organs.

CD8:  CD8 cells, also called suppressor and cytotoxic T-cells, play a role in fighting viral infections such as HIV. A T lymphocyte that secretes large amounts of gamma-interferon, a lymphokine involved in the body's defense against viruses. CD8 cells prevent the unnecessary formation of antibodies. A healthy adult usually has between 150 and 1,000 CD8 cells per cubic millimeter. In contrast to CD4 cells, people with HIV often have elevated numbers of CD8 cells, the significance of which is not well understood. Lab reports may also list the T-cell ratio, which is the number of CD4 cells divided by the number of CD8 cells. Since the CD4 count is usually lower and the CD8 count higher than normal, the ratio is usually low in people with HIV. A normal T-cell ratio is usually between 1.5 and 2.5 to 1. The expected response to effective combination anti-HIV treatment is an increase in CD4 count, a decrease in CD8 count, and an increase in the T-cell ratio.

Cellulitis:  Cellulitis is an acute inflammation of the connective tissue beneath the surface of the skin. It is more wide-spread than a localized infection as seen in an ulcer or abscess. It causes the skin tissues in the infected area to become red, hot, painful and swollen.

Chlamydia:  A sexually-transmitted disease that is often without symptoms. Some females experience a white vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese, a burning sensation when urinating, itching, and painful intercourse. A clear watery urethral discharge in the male probably is a chlamydia infection.

Cholangitis:  Bile duct inflammation.

Cholecystitis:  Gallbladder inflammation.

Chronic:  Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:  CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is a disorder of unknown cause that lasts for prolonged periods and causes extreme and debilitating exhaustion as well as a wide range of other symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache and joint pain, often resembling flu and other viral infections. Also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus (CEBV), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), "Yuppy Flu" and other names, it is frequently misdiagnosed as hypochondria, psychosomatic illness, or depression, because routine medical tests do not detect any problems.

Crohn's Disease:  Chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. The most common symptoms are abdominal pain, often in the lower right area, and diarrhea. Rectal bleeding, weight loss, and fever may also occur. Bleeding may be serious and persistent, leading to anemia.

Cystitis:  Inflammation of the urinary bladder.

Cytokines:  Cytokines are chemical messengers that control immune responses. They are secreted by white blood cells, T cells, epithelial cells and some other body cells. There are at least 17 different kinds of interleuken and 3 classes of interferon called alpha, beta and gamma and various subsets. Interleukens and interferons are called “cytokines” and there are two general groupings, Th1 and Th2. Th1 (T-cell Helper type 1) promote cell-mediated immunity (CMI) while Th2 (T-cell Helper type 2) induce humoral immunity (antibodies).

Cytomegalovirus:  (CMV): A member of the herpes virus family which may induce the immune-deficient state or cause active illness, such as pneumonia, in a patient already immune-deficient due to chronic illness, such as cancer or organ transplantation therapy.

Dermatitis:  A general term used to refer to eruptions or rashes on the skin.

Diabetes Insipidus:  Excessive production of urine, usually due to insufficient production of antidiuretic hormone.

Diarrhea:  Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.

Diverticular Disease:  Some people develop small pouches (diverticula) that bulge outward through weak spots in the colon. Diverticulosis is the condition of having these pouches; diverticulitis is an inflammation or infection in these pouches. The conditions diverticulosis and diverticulitis are both referred to as diverticular disease. Diverticulosis may not cause any symptoms but could include mild cramps, bloating and constipation - all of which are common to other conditions such as IBS or ulcers. The most common symptoms of diverticulitis are abdominal pain and tenderness around the left side of the lower abdomen. When infection is the cause, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping and constipation may also occur.

DNA:  Deoxyribonucleic acid, the large molecule that is the main carrier of genetic information in cells. DNA is found mainly in the chromosomes of cells.

Dysentery:  An inflammatory disorder of the lower intestinal tract, usually caused by a bacterial, parasitic, or protozoan infection and resulting in pain, fever, and severe diarrhea, often accompanied by the passage of blood and mucous.

Dysplasia:  Abnormal development of tissue.

Embolism:  Obstruction of a vessel by an abnormal body, usually a detached blood clot.

Enzymes:  Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.

Erythema Nodosum:  Acute inflammation of skin with red nodules.

Gallstone:  (Biliary Calculus): Stone-like objects in either the gallbladder or bile ducts, composed mainly of cholesterol and occasionally mixed with calcium. Most gallstones do not cause problems until they become larger or they begin obstructing bile ducts, at which point gallbladder "attacks" begin to occur. Symptoms usually occur after a fatty meal and at night. The following are the most common ones: steady, severe pain in the middle-upper abdomen or below the ribs on the right; pain in the back between the shoulder blades; pain under the right shoulder; nausea; vomiting; fever; chills; jaundice; abdominal bloating; intolerance of fatty foods; belching or gas; indigestion.

Gastritis:  Inflammation of the stomach lining. White blood cells move into the wall of the stomach as a response to some type of injury; this does not mean that there is an ulcer or cancer - it is simply inflammation, either acute or chronic. Symptoms depend on how acute it is and how long it has been present. In the acute phase, there may be pain in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting. In the chronic phase, the pain may be dull and there may be loss of appetite with a feeling of fullness after only a few bites of food. Very often, there are no symptoms at all. If the pain is severe, there may be an ulcer as well as gastritis.

Gastroenteritis:  Gastrointestinal tract inflammation; characterized by abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting; which may be caused by bacteria, parasites or a virus.

Gastrointestinal:  Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Glomerulonephritis:  Inflammation of glomerulus. The glomerulus is part of a nephron, which in turn is the basic functional (working) unit of a kidney. Millions of nephrons acting together filter the blood to produce urine.

Gonorrhea:  A sexually-transmitted disease that is often without symptoms. If there are symptoms in the female, they include frequent and painful urination, cloudy vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, inflammation of the pelvic area, and abnormal uterine bleeding. If the male has a purulent (pus-like) urethral discharge, he should assume he has gonorrhea until proven otherwise.

Hemolytic Anemia:  Anemia caused by excessive destruction of red blood cells.

Hemorrhage:  Profuse blood flow.

Hepatitis:  Inflammation of the liver usually resulting in jaundice (yellowing of the skin), loss of appetite, stomach discomfort, abnormal liver function, clay-colored stools, and dark urine. May be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, parasitic infestation, alcohol, drugs, toxins or transfusion of incompatible blood. Can be life-threatening. Severe hepatitis may lead to cirrhosis and chronic liver dysfunction.

Hepatitis A:  This form of hepatitis is caused by an RNA virus that is transmitted person-to-person via the fecal-oral route. This may occur through water, food or close personal/sexual contact. Most children and about 50% of adults have few, if any, symptoms. Symptoms, when present, are initially flu-like, with malaise, fatigue, muscle pain and chest pain on the right side lasting 3 to 10 days. This is followed (for 1 to 3 weeks but possibly much longer) by jaundice (slight skin yellowing), anorexia, nausea, fatigue, pale stools, dark urine and liver enlargement, but usually no fever.

Hepatitis B:  A serious viral infection with the potential for long term consequences. It is caused by a DNA virus that has been found in virtually all body secretions and excretions. However, only blood, saliva, semen and vaginal fluids have been shown to be infectious. Transmission occurs through sexual contact, blood-to-blood contact (blood products, needle sharing, etc.), and from infected mother to infant. Virtually all affected infants and children, and many adults, receive a lesser, even symptom-free, infection. Symptoms, when present, tend to be more severe and prolonged than those for Hepatitis A: initially flu-like, with malaise, fatigue, muscle pain and chest pain on the right side. This is followed by jaundice (slight skin yellowing), anorexia, nausea, fatigue, pale stools, dark urine and tender liver enlargement, but usually no fever.

Hepatitis C:  Caused by an RNA flavivirus. Transmission is predominantly through broken skin on contact with infected blood or blood products, especially through needle sharing. Sexual transmission is relatively rare. Symptoms are almost always present, and very similar to those for Hepatitis B: initially flu-like, with malaise, fatigue, muscle pain and chest pain on the right side. This is followed by jaundice (slight skin yellowing), anorexia, nausea, fatigue, pale stools, dark urine and tender liver enlargement, but usually no fever.

Herpes Simplex:  An infection, often recurrent, caused by herpes virus type 1 and 2. It causes cold sores around the lips and mouth, and also causes painful blisters on the genitals and in the pubic area, thighs, and buttocks.

HIV:  Abbreviation for human immunodeficiency virus, a retrovirus associated with onset of advanced immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Immune System:  A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.

Kidney Stone:  A stone (concretion) in the kidney. If the stone is large enough to block the tube (ureter) and stop the flow of urine from the kidney, it must be removed by surgery or other methods. Also called Renal Calculus. Symptoms usually begin with intense waves of pain as a stone moves in the urinary tract. Typically, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen. Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. Later, pain may spread to the groin. The pain may continue if the stone is too large to pass; blood may appear in the urine and there may be the need to urinate more often or a burning sensation during urination. If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, an infection may be present and a doctor should be seen immediately.

Leukemia:  Cancer of the lymph glands and bone marrow resulting in overproduction of white blood cells (related to Hodgkin's disease).

Lymphoma:  Any tumor of the lymphatic tissues.

Migraine:  Not just a headache, but a disorder affecting the whole body, characterized by clearly defined attacks lasting from about 4 to 72 hours, separated by headache-free periods; progresses through five distinct phases. Prodrome: experienced by about 50% of migraineurs and starting up to 24 hours before the headache - changes in mood, sensory perception, food craving, excessive yawning, or speech or memory problems. Aura: experienced by about 15% and starting within an hour before the headache - disruption of vision (flashing lights, shimmering zigzag lines, blind spot) or sensation (numbness or 'pins and needles' around the lips or hand), or difficulty speaking. Headache: usually pulsating and occurring on one side of the head, it may occur on both sides of the head and alternate from side to side. Muscles in the neck and scalp may be tender; there may be nausea and the desire not to eat, move, see or hear. Resolution: the headache disappears and the body returns to normal. Resolution may occur over several hours during sleep or rest; an intense emotional experience or vomiting may also end the headache. Postdrome: After the headache stops, the sufferer feels drained, fatigued and tired. Muscles ache, emotions are volatile and thinking is slow.

Mononucleosis:  An acute, infectious disease caused by the herpes virus, Epstein-Barr virus, with fever and inflamed swelling of the lymph nodes around the neck, under the arms, and in the groin.

Necrosis:  Death of one or more cells, or of a portion of a tissue or organ.

Nervous System:  A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.

Neuralgia:  Pain of severe throbbing or stabbing nature along a nerve.

Ovarian Cysts:  These occur in two forms, namely "functional" and "organic". may not be present but can include pressure or pain in the abdomen, problems with urine flow or pain during sexual intercourse. Rarely, a very large cyst can become twisted and stop its own blood supply, possibly causing nausea, fever or severe abdominal pain. Functional ovarian cysts form part of the normal functioning of the ovary and are always benign. They may be either "follicular cysts", produced by all menstruating women every month and reaching up to 2-3cm in diameter before they rupture at ovulation, or "corpus luteum cysts", which appear after ovulation and may grow to produce "hemorrhagic cysts" if ovulation does not occur or is delayed. Rupture of such a cyst can sometimes cause painful ovulation or bleeding, which is often moderate and resolves by itself. Organic ovarian cysts may be benign or malignant and are not linked to the functioning of the ovary. They occur as either "dermoid cysts", which are benign tumors that may nevertheless recur on either ovary and contain elements derived from the skin (hairs, sebum, teeth), or other organic cysts.

Pancreatitis:  Inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms begin as those of acute pancreatitis: a gradual or sudden severe pain in the center part of the upper abdomen goes through to the back, perhaps becoming worse when eating and building to a persistent pain; nausea and vomiting; fever; jaundice (yellowing of the skin); shock; weight loss; symptoms of diabetes mellitus. Chronic pancreatitis occurs when the symptoms of acute pancreatitis continue to recur.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease:  (PID) A Purulent (pus-like) vaginal discharge with fever and lower abdominal pain.

Pernicious Anemia:  Anemia caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Porphyria:  Any of several usually hereditary abnormalities of porphyrin metabolism characterized by excretion of excess porphyrins in the urine. Porphyrias are relatively rare disorders and can be classified based on the principal site of expression of enzymatic defect in heme synthesis.

Prostate:  The prostate gland in men that surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra and produces a secretion that liquefies coagulated semen.

Prostatectomy:  Removal of the prostate gland.

Pulmonary:  Pertaining to the lungs.

Pyelonephritis:  Inflammation of the renal pelvis.

Spondylitis:  Inflammation of one or more vertebrae.

Stroke:  A sudden loss of brain function caused by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel that supplies the brain, characterized by loss of muscular control, complete or partial loss of sensation or consciousness, dizziness, slurred speech, or other symptoms that vary with the extent and severity of the damage to the brain. The most common manifestation is some degree of paralysis, but small strokes may occur without symptoms. Usually caused by arteriosclerosis, it often results in brain damage.

Syphilis:  A sexually-transmitted disease, with symptoms in the early contagious stages being a sore on the genitalia, a rash, patches of flaking tissue, fever, a sore throat, and sores in the mouth or anus.

Tachycardia:  Excessively rapid heart rate.

Thrombophlebitis:  Venous inflammation with formation of clots. It can occur without any symptoms until the clot reaches the lungs. However, in about half of cases, there are warning symptoms including swelling, pain and warmth in the entire calf, ankle, foot, or thigh (depending on where the involved vein is located).

Tracheobronchitis:  Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the trachea and bronchi.

Trigeminal Neuralgia:  (Tic Douloureux) Pain in the trigeminal nerve, chief sensory nerve of the face and the motor nerve enabling chewing. A disorder of the trigeminal nerve producing bouts of severe, lancinating pain lasting seconds to minutes in the distribution of one or more of its sensory divisions, most often the mandibular and/or maxillary. The cause is uncertain. Recently, at surgery or autopsy, arterial and ( less often) venous loops have been found compressing the trigeminal nerve root at its entry point into the brainstem, which suggests that tic is essentially a compressive neuropathy. Adults usually are affected, especially later in life. The pain is often set off by touching a trigger point or by activity (e.g. chewing or brushing the teeth). Although each bout of intense pain is brief, successive bouts may incapacitate the patient.

Tuberculosis:  Also known as TB, Consumption or "The White Plague", tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, usually affecting the lungs but possibly also the brain, kidneys and bones. Patients may at first be symptom-free or experience a flu-like illness. In the secondary stage, there might be a slight fever, night sweats, weight loss, fatigue and various other symptoms, depending on the part of the body affected. Tuberculosis of the lung is usually associated with a dry cough that eventually leads to a productive cough with blood-stained sputum. There might also be chest pain and shortness of breath.

Ulcerative Colitis:  (Colitis ulcerosa): Ulceration of the colon and rectum, usually long-term and characterized by rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, frequent urgent diarrhea/bowel movements each day, abdominal pain.

Virus:  Any of a vast group of minute structures composed of a protein coat and a core of DNA and/or RNA that reproduces in the cells of the infected host. Capable of infecting all animals and plants, causing devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, and are completely dependent upon the cells of the infected host for the ability to reproduce.

White Blood Cell:  (WBC): A blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin: a blood corpuscle responsible for maintaining the body's immune surveillance system against invasion by foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria. White cells become specifically programmed against foreign invaders and work to inactivate and rid the body of a foreign substance. Also known as a leukocyte.