Obesity

This is a term given to people who are more than 20% over their ideal body weight. What to look for weighing 20 percent more than your ideal body weight. Simply put, if you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Some people will tend to burn far more calories…

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

This is a disorder in which the person needs to follow certain set patterns or routines that may be complicated or tiresome. What to look for You may have obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviour or both. For obsession: involuntary and persistent thoughts that appear to be senseless, such as an overwhelming fear of…

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Oral Cancer

What to look for... A whitish or red patch of tissue instead of the normal pink flesh in the oral cavity may signal a potential pre-cancerous condition. If left untreated, the discoloured patch may grow and become painful. The symptoms of oral cancer may include: - a persistent painful lump inside the mouth…

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Osteoporosis

This is a crippling disease affecting both men and women caused by a lack of calcium. What to look for The condition may cause no symptoms at all or alternatively these may occur:- backache. a gradual loss of height and a stooped back. fractures and breaks occur easily. loss of bone in the jaw.…

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Ovarian Cancer

As with most cancers, ovarian cancer rarely produces symptoms in its earliest stages, however, these warning signs eventually develop - vague digestive disturbances, such as mild indigestion, bloating, feeling of fullness, or loss of appetite. diarrhoea, constipation, or increased urination. pain or swelling in the abdomen, or pain in the lower back. vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods…

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Ovary Problems

These can be infection, cysts, lumps or cancer of the ovaries. What to look for feeling of fullness or pressure on one side of the abdomen. abdominal pain during intercourse. sharp abdominal pain. irregular vaginal bleeding or absent menstrual periods. increase in facial or body hair. irregularities in bowel movements or urination. Many small benign…

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Pain Chronic

Pain that tends to last longer than 6 months can be termed chronic. What to look for The condition may include weakness, numbness, tingling, or other sensations, along with sleeping difficulties, a lack of energy, and depression. Some common forms of chronic pain are: this type of pain can include headaches, muscle, back or…

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Pancreatic Cancer

What to look for Like most cancers, pancreatic cancer usually produces no symptoms until it is advanced. Symptoms that may arise are - weight loss with abdominal pain - these are the common signs. gradually worsening abdominal pain diarrhoea, constipation, gas pains, bloating, or belching. nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite. jaundice sudden onset of diabetes.…

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Pancreatic Problems

These are inflammation and disorders of the pancreas What to look for For acute pancreatitis: severe pain in the stomach region 12 - 24 hours after digestion of a large meal. fever. nausea or vomiting. clammy skin. abdominal tenderness. fast pulse. For chronic pancreatitis the above symptoms plus: foul, bulky stools. The pancreas…

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Panic Attacks

These are times of immense anxiety and/or stress, with or without triggers which can occur again and again. What to look for If you have four or more of the following, you are having a panic attack: restlessness shortness of breath palpitations. sweating. shaking. a feeling of choking. chest pain or discomfort. nausea.…

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Parkinson’s Disease

This disease is characterised by a premature ageing of certain brain cells which are responsible for our movement. It mostly affects the elderly. What to look for the disease takes hold slowly, beginning with a sense of weakness and a slight tremor of the head or hands, then gradually progressing to more generalised…

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

This describes an infection in a woman's pelvic region. What to look for With acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): severe pain in the lower abdomen vaginal discharge fever With chronic PID: recurrent pain in the lower abdomen, backache irregular periods pain during intercourse. infertility. heavy, unpleasant-smelling vaginal discharge. If not treated promptly PID…

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Phlebitis

This is any condition where there is inflammation of a vein. It can refer to superficial veins in the legs or deep veins in the muscles of the leg or pelvis. What to look for For superficial phlebitis: a hard, red vein visible in your leg; it may be warm and tender. fever…

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Phobias

A Phobia is an intense dread of a certain situation or an object. What to look for Phobias are anxiety disorders. Three main types of phobias exist: Specific phobias - a fear of an individual object or situation Social phobia - fear of social situations in which you may be scrutinised Agoraphobia - fear of being away…

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Pinched Nerve

What to look for tenderness, tingling, or numbness in one part of your body, often a limb. pins and needles, burning, or tearing pain where a nerve is being irritated Most of us have experienced the numbness of a limb when we realise we have been lying on it the wrong way. The…

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Plantar Warts

These are Warts on the soles of the feet. What to look for bumpy growths on the soles of the feet shaped like a pyramid with the point on the surface or above it. pinpoint bleeding from warts when they are scratched. pain in the soles of the feet when standing or walking.…

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Pleurisy

Describes the inflammation of the pleura (the membrane of the lungs). What to look for Pleurisy: pain in the chest Pleural Effusion: shortness of breath. a dry cough. You will find it very difficult and painful to breathe if you have this condition and if you do not have it treated immediately, could…

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Pneumonia

This is the inflammation of the substance of the lungs. What to look for cough - either with phlegm or without it. fever (with pain on coughing or taking a deep breath occasionally) Loss of appetite and weight In children, laboured and rapid breathing, sudden onset of fever, cough, wheezing, and bluish skin are…

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Postnasal Drip

This is excess mucus that has lodged itself in the throat instead of disappearing through the nasal passages and out the nose. What to look for a flow of mucus that runs down the back of your throat, different consistencies and often associated with a sore throat, a cough and. sniffing, snorting, or…

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Can be described as a person's reaction to a traumatic event. What to look for Someone who has experienced severe trauma ( eg: war, combat, natural disaster, physical or sexual abuse or witnessed violence, such as murder or physical abuse), may display one or more of these symptoms: repeated flashbacks or recurrent dreams…

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Premenstrual Syndrome

This refers to a range of symptoms occurring in the lead up to their menstrual period. What to look for One or more of these symptoms may appear about a week before your period: food cravings. bloating and fluid retention. breast swelling and pain. acne. weight gain. headaches, backaches. urinary disorders. moodiness, anxiety, crying. insomnia.…

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Prostate Cancer

As with most cancers, early prostate cancer does not cause noticeable symptoms. If the cancer causes the prostate to swell or if the cancer spreads you will notice - a frequent need to urinate. difficulty starting or stopping the urinary stream and a burning sensation when urinating or ejaculating. a weak or interrupted…

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Prostate Problems

These include problems occurring in the prostate such as cancer, prostatitis or enlargement of the prostate. What to look for For an enlarged prostate:     difficulties in urination (including a weak or intermittent stream, getting up frequently at night, straining, dribbling, or inability to empty the bladder). For acute prostatitis: frequent, difficult…

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Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition whereby areas are covered in pink or red coloured patches with white scales. What to look for deep pink, raised patches of skin with white scales appearing anywhere on the body except the face. pitting and thickening of the fingernails and toenails. The skin cells multiply much faster…

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