A disease is classed as any change to the normal physiological function of the tissues and organs especially those changes caused by infection, stress or damage.
abscess. Localised collection of pus.
acne. An infection causing an overproduction of grease blocking skin glands.
allergy. A reaction to an external agent (such as pollen or penicillin), often producing a skin inflammation.
Alzheimer's disease. A progressive brain disorder leading to senility.
anaemia. Lack of haemoglobin in the blood.
aneurism. Bulge in the wall of a blood vessel.
angina pectoris. Acute chest pains caused by a lack of blood to the heart muscles.
antibody. Protein produced by the immune sytem that helps fight infection.
acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Disease caused by HIV.
arteriosclerosis. Hardening and thickening of the arterial walls.
arthritis. Painful inflammation of the joints.
asthma. Contraction of the air tubes in the lungs causing breathing problems. Often an allergy.
athletes foot. Fungal infection between the toes.
bronchitis. Infection and inflammation of the lungs.
cancer. Malignant, uncontrolled tumour.
cataract. Opaque film covering the eye.
cerebral palsy. A condition caused by a brain injury, virus or lack of oxygen upto and during birth. Characterised by weakness and loss of control in the muscles.
chlamydia. Infection of the urinary tract caught by airborne or direct contagion.
cholera. Disease caused by contaminated food and water. Symptoms are watery diarrhoea and dehydration. Treated by vaccination.
chorea. Disease of the central nervous system characterised by uncontrolled muscular jerks.
chickenpox (varicella). Airborne virus. Symptoms are a rash of itchy blisters.
cirrhosis. A progressive liver disease that leaves a fibrous, hard scarring.
conjunctivitis. Inflammation of the eye covering (conjunctiva).
convulsion. Involuntary muscular spasm.
coronary thrombosis. Blood clot in the coronary arteries.
coryza (common cold). Disease caused by an airborne virus. Symptoms are runny nose and eyes, headaches. Treated by aspirin, antihistamines.
cramp. Painful involuntary muscle contractions caused by overexertion, heat or cold.
cystitis. Inflammation or infection of the bladder.
dermatitis. Skin inflammation, often an allergy.
diabetes. An insulin deficiency, can be fatal. Insulin regulates blood glucose levels.
diarrhoea. Frequent discharge of liquid faeces.
diphtheria. disease caused by an airborne virus. Symptoms are sore throat and possibly a blocked airway. Treated by vaccination.
Down's syndrome. A chromosome abnormality. Symptoms are flat facial features and some mental retardation.
dysentery. Disease caused by contaminated food and water. Symptoms are profuse diarrhoea containing blood and abdominal pains.
dyslexia. An inability to read.
dyspepsia. Upset stomach, indigestion.
eczema. Inflammation of the skin, often an allergy. Symptoms are itchy, scaly lesions.
embolism. Blockage of an artery by air bubbles or a blood clot.
emphysema. Breathing difficulties caused by swollen alveoli.
encephalitis. Viral infection of the brain.
epilepsy. A brain disorder causing sudden unconsciousness or convulsive fits and attacks.
fever. A reaction to infection, high temperature, fast pulse and dry skin.
frostbite. Tissue damage caused by ice crystals forming within the body.
gangrene. Death and decay of body tissue resulting from poor blood circulation.
gastroenteritis. Disease caused by a contagious virus caught through contaminated food and water. Symptoms are sickness and diarrhoea.
glandular fever. Contagious virus that causes fever, sore throat, tonsils covered in thick mucus.
glaucoma. High pressure fluid in the eye.
gonorrhoea. Contagious bacteria caught through sexual contact. Treated with penicillin.
gout. A form of arthritis that causes inflammation of specific joints especially the big toe.
haemophilia. Hereditary inability to form blood clots.
haemorrhage. Profuse bleeding.
haemorrhoids. Distended veins about the anus.
hay fever. An allergic reaction to pollen.
heart attack. Sudden, severe, abnormal heart activity.
hepatitis A. Disease caught through contaminated food and water. Symptoms are fever, nausea, weakness and jaundice. Treaded by vaccination.
hepatitis B. Disease caught through sexual contact. Symptoms are fever, nausea, weakness and jaundice. Treaded by vaccination.
hernia. A rupture, the protrusion of one part of the body into another area.
herpes simplex. Contagious disease that causes recurring cold sores or genital lesions.
hypertension. High blood pressure.
inflammation. Visible reaction to infection or damage: a rash or swelling.
influenza. Airborne virus. Symptoms are fever, headaches, aching muscles, sore throat and coughing. Treated by vaccination.
ischaemia. A restriction in the blood supply to part of the body.
jaundice. Yellowing of the skin caused by an excess of bile pigments.
Lassa fever. Viral disease from Central West Africa. Symptoms are fever and muscle pain.
legionnaires disease. Disease caught from contaminated water droplets. Symptoms arefever, coughing, chest pains and breathlessness.
leprosy. Contagious disease that causes skin pigmentation, thickening and splitting. Treated by surgery.
leukaemia. A cancer in the bone marrow from which under-developed white blood cells are produced.
malaria. Disease caught by an infected mosquito. Symptoms are intermittent fever. Treated by vaccination.
measles. disease caught by an airborne virus that causes fever, catarrh, blotchy rash. Treated by vaccination.
melanoma. Pigmented skin growth, a mole.
meningitis. Disease caught through airborne or contagious virus and bacteria. Symptoms are flu/mumps for the virus and fever, headaches, stiff neck, vomiting for the bacteria. Treated by immediate anti-biotics.
multiple sclerosis. Chronic degeneration of the nervous system. Symptoms progress from speech disorders and loss of muscular control to paralysis.
mumps. Disease caught through airborne virus. Symptoms are mild fever, swollen parotid glands. Treated by vaccination.
muscular dystrophy. Hereditary, progressive disorder in which the muscles waste away.
neuralgia. Pain that originates within a nerve.
oedema. Excess fluid in the body.
osteoarthritis. Disintegration of the cartilages.
paraplegia. Loss of sensation and movement in the lower limbs.
Parkinson's disease. Chronic degenerative disease of the central nervous system that results in stiff muscles, awkward movement and tremors.
peptic ulcer. Stomach or duodenum ulcer.
pleurisy. Inflamed pleura.
pneumonia. Disease caught through contagious virus and bacteria. Symptoms are inflamed lungs, breathing difficulties.
polio. Disease caught through contaminated virus. Symptoms are flu like or gastroenteritis like symptoms, meningitis, paralysis. Treated by vaccination.
psoriasis. Skin disease. Symptoms are recurring scaly red lesions.
rabies. Disease caught through saliva of infected animals. Symptoms are swallowing spasms, maniac behaviour, paralysis. Treated by vaccination.
rheumatic fever.A fever and painful arthritis that moves from joint to joint. Heart damage may occur which is not noticed until much later in life.
rheumatism. A disorder of the joints or muscles. Symptoms are a painful inflammation or the affected area.
rubella (German measles). Disease caught through airborne or contagious virus. Symptoms are mild fever, blotchy rash, joint swelling. Treated by vaccination.
scarlet fever. Disease caught through airborne virus. Symptoms are fever, sore throat, pinkish blush. Treated by penicillin.
sciatica. Pain in the sciatic nerve (back of the thigh, calf and foot).
schistosomiasis. Disease caught through parasitic flatworm. Symptoms are diarrhoea, enlarged liver and spleen.
sepsis. Any bacterial infection of the tissues.
shingles (herpes zoster). Caught from the varicella virus, it may lie dormant in the nerve roots for many years then appear as a rash of blisters on the area of skin served by the infected nerve. It is very painful, the after effects can last for months.
sleeping sickness. 1. disease caught from the tsetse fly causing fever and sluggishness. 2. epidemic form of encephalitis.
spastic. Cerebral palsy.
spina bifida. ongenital disease where the vertebrae do not close over the meninges. May cause paralysis.
stroke. Interruption of the normal flow of blood to the brain.
syphilis. Disease caught through sexual contact. Symptoms are ulcers, organ infection. Treated by penicillin.
tetanus. Disease caught through spore contamination. Symptoms are muscles spasms, fever, lockjaw. Treated by vaccination.
thrombosis. Partial or full blockage of a vein by a blood clot.
toxaemia. Infection of the blood by bacterial borne toxins.
tuberculosis (consumption). Disease caught through airborne virus. Symptoms are lung infection, fever. Treated by vaccination.
typhoid. Disease caught through contaminated water. Symptoms are fever, rash, diarrhoea, blood loss. Treated by vaccination.
tumour. Local over-production of cells. May be benign (harmless) or malignant (dangerous).
ulcer. Break in the skin or a membrane which is slow to heal.
varicose veins. Swollen or collapsed veins, particularly in the legs.
whooping cough (pertussis). Disease caught through airborne bacteria. Symptoms are chest infection, spasmodic coughing. Treated by vaccination.