Symptoms and Definitions {A-H}

Abnormal Periods - Women can have various kinds of problems with their periods, including pain, heavy bleeding, and skipped periods. Amenorrhea - the lack of a menstrual period. This term is used to describe the absence of a period in young women who haven't started menstruating by age 16, or the absence of a period in women who used to have a regular period. Causes of amenorrhea include pregnancy, breastfeeding, and extreme weight loss caused by serious illness, eating disorders, excessive exercising, or stress. Hormonal problems (involving the pituitary, thyroid, ovary, or adrenal glands) or problems with the reproductive organs may be involved. Dysmenorrhea - painful periods, including severe menstrual cramps. In younger women, there is often no known disease or condition associated with the pain. A hormone called prostaglandin is responsible for the symptoms. Some pain medicines available over the counter, such as ibuprofen, can help with these symptoms. Sometimes a disease or condition, such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis, causes the pain.   Painful periods, or dysmenorrhea  are not usually serious. However, sometimes painful periods can be caused by an infection or by ovarian cysts. Treatment depends on what cause the problem and how severe it is. Abnormal uterine bleeding-vaginal bleeding that is different from normal menstrual periods. It includes very heavy bleeding or unusually long periods (also called menorrhagia), periods too close together, and bleeding between periods. In adolescents and women approaching menopause, hormone imbalance problems often cause menorrhagia along with irregular cycles. Sometimes this is called dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB). Other causes of abnormal bleeding include uterine fibroids and polyps. Treatment for abnormal bleeding depends on the cause.

Adrenal Fatigue - When our adrenal glands are overactive it can lead to chronic high blood pressure, anxiety, mood swings, depression, insomnia,  destructive personality changes and other mental instabilities. Extended over activity of the adrenals, can lead to adrenal weakness and inadequate adrenal function. This state of weakened adrenal responsiveness may result in Adrenal Fatigue.  Adrenal fatigue occurs when adrenals are depleted.  Often times this goes unnoticed by our healthcare practitioner.  When people are under enormous and prolonged stress they will experience adrenal fatigue. This unhealthy clinical presentation indicates that the body's hormones are out of balance.

Anxiety - Daily life comes with many problems some of which can make people worry and fear. But if those feelings persist and mess up your every day, you might be one of the many people who are victims of anxiety. Anxiety refers to a complex combination of negative emotions that includes extreme fear, apprehension, extreme worry, and is often accompanied by physical sensations such as palpitations, chest pain and/or shortness of breath. Also, anxiety disturbs mood, thoughts, behavior and physiological activity. Anxiety can happen to anyone of any age; in fact, it afflicts almost 19 million Americans. If anxiety is not given the right attention, it can be troublesome. Because many factors can interfere with a person’s emotional health, we should learn everything about anxiety, to be aware of how to face it.

Decreased Libido - Sexual problems can be influenced by a wide variety of factors. There are two main components-biological and psychological-and usually they interact. Biological problems usually involve such things as HORMONAL IMBALANCES, infections (like yeast infections), or diseases (like diabetes or multiple sclerosis) that have potential side effects like pain during sex or excessive dryness. There are certain times in a woman's life when she is more prone to sexual problems because of hormonal changes. For example, some women experience a range of sexual responses after childbirth and during MENOPAUSE. Some commonly prescribed medications, like certain antidepressants, can lead to sexual side effects. There is also the psychological aspect. This can include such things as the many conflicting cultural messages one learns about sexuality Gender messages are especially influential, impacting how a woman views her sexual self, including body image, roles, power, and her view of her partner. From birth throughout her life every woman is developing a unique "sexual story" influenced by culture, gender, family of origin, and personal experiences. The "story" takes on the beliefs and meanings that she attributes to her sexuality Couples must negotiate their personal "sexual stories" as they develop their own style of sexual communication and activity This should be an ongoing process, since everyday life problems may get in the way of intimacy and sexuality. Job worries, pressures of juggling work and family, substance abuse, depression, and financial worries can all influence how you feel sexually In our fast paced world, having a lot on your mind, as most people do, can get in the way even when you want to focus on being intimate. Over time psychological troubles can create biological problems and vice versa. It all starts to blur together so you can't really pinpoint where it all started. You just know you want help.

Depression - When some one experiences a significant change in mood for an extended period of time associated with loss of interest in usual activities, has sleeping and eating disorders, and withdraws from family and friends, she/he is in Depression. Depression can happen to anyone of any age. It afflicts about twenty million Americans each year. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression. The main cause for depression is hormonal imbalance. Estrogen hormones have a definite effect on your mental state since they regulate the levels of serotonin, which is the brain chemical that manipulates mood. If your serotonin happens to drop, so will your mood; and if it rises, your mood will too. Therefore, depression appears when your serotonin drops due to an estrogen level declination. Testosterone deficiency has also been implicated in depression.

Endometriosis - The pain is usually cyclic, as apposed to chronic.  Cyclic pain occurs in conjunction with a woman's menstrual cycle, usually 1-2 weeks before and during her period.  Chronic pain occurs all the time. The condition occurs when endometrial cells (the cells lining the inside of the uterus), develop outside their normal location.  Endometrial cells respond the hormone changes that occur with each cycle.  They grow under the influence of estrogen in the first half of the menstrual cycle, and are maintained by progesterone during the second half of the menstrual cycle.  If conception does not occur, the level of progesterone decreases and the endometial cells lining the uterus shed, leading to a period. 

Erectile Disfunction (ED) - sometimes called ""impotence,"" is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.
It might be helpful to know that many men, especially as they age, have problems with impotence (erectile disfunction) or loss of libido (reduced or lost interest in sex). Some men also have problems with ejaculation, while others actually have a condition with which their testicles fail to make the normal amount of testosterone. About nine percent of American men are thought to have impotence, and it is more common as men age. Many things can cause impotence, including having atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and other emotional illnesses, pelvic surgery, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, stroke, some types of epilepsy, and alcoholism. Some men who take medicines for heart disease or drugs that can affect the central nervous system, such as hormonal medicines or heroin and cocaine, are at-risk for impotence. Loss of libido (reduced or lost interest in sex) also can occur at different points in a man's life. It can happen for many reasons, including stress, illness, medications, emotional problems, and reduced levels of male sex hormones. Also, uneven sexual desire, at times, between you and your partner is normal and inevitable in long-term relationships. It is how you handle these challenges that makes the difference. The good news is, your ED or Impotence can be cured Naturally, without harmful synthetic drugs. "

Fibroids - are solid growths within the uterus. Single or multiple fibroids may be present and may vary in size from less than 1cm to greater than 12 cm. Fortunately, fibroids are usually benign, that is non cancerous. Unfortunately, they are very common and are the number one cause of hysterectomies in America. Fibroids affect women during their reproductive years and touch the lives of at least 50% of women women over 35 years of age. What causes Uterine Fibroids? The cause of fibroids is not known. We do know however, that their growth is influenced by hormones and blood supply. With a decrease in the production of estrogen at menopause, fibroids stop growing and shrink, leading to the disappearance of symptoms related to their size and/or location.

Fibromyalgia - indicates pain in fibrous tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other sites on the body. The neck, shoulders, thorax, low back, and thighs are the most common areas affected. Fibromylagia occurs mainly in women aged 30 to 50. Some clinicians believe that fibromyalgia may be induced or intensified by physical or mental stress, poor sleep, trauma, exposure to damp or cold, and occasionally by a systemic and usually rheumatic disorder. People often report a traumatic event that triggered the initial symptoms, such as severe infectious illness such as lyme disease, emotional or physical stress, an accident, or a history of childhood physical abuse.

Hair Loss (Alopecia) - means that a person is losing more hair than usually. Each hair grows about three inches per year and has a life span of about six years. Then that hair falls and another one grows in its place. Hair loss becomes a reality when the amount of hair that falls outnumbers the amount that are being produced. Hair loss or thinning is believed to be a men's issue only, but women also experience some degree of hair loss or thinning in their lifetime.About two-thirds of women will be severely affected. Fortunately, hair loss in women seldom result in complete baldness. Most women suffer hair thinning, which is a loss of hair density but seldom experience complete loss of hair. Women suffer emotionally when they encounter  excessive loss of hair or hair thinning. 

Hirsutism (from Latin hirsutus = shaggy, hairy) - is excessive and increased hair growth on female humans in locations where the occurrence of terminal hair normally is minimal or absent. The common clinical use of the term refers to women with excess growth of hair in a male pattern.  For example, a beard, mustache, or chest hair.  In these women, the hairiness implies the presence of abnormal androgen action, which may represent a serious or, more likely, a nonserious medical problem. Regardless of the cause, hirsutism can produce mental trauma and emotional anguish. Even mild cases of hirsutism may be viewed by the patient and others as a presumptive loss of femininity. In more severe cases, hirsutism can be a serious problem. Hirsutism affects approximately 10% of women in the United States.

Hormone Imbalance - Hormones play a crucial role in the body's metabolic functions of both men and women.  Hormone Imbalance begins when a woman's Ovaries or Adrenals start making less estrogen, progesterone, or Testosterone. During the reproductive years, these hormones regulate the monthly cycles of ovulation and menstruation. In your late 30s, the amount of progesterone your body produces diminishes, and the remaining eggs from your ovaries are less likely to be fertilized. Eventually your menstrual periods stop, and you can no longer become pregnant. For men, a similar decrease in Testosterone production leads to Erectile Disfunction and other symtoms of hormone imbalance illnesses. Decrease, or increase of production of Thyroid Hormones, also leads to hormone imbalance illness.

Hot Flashes - are mostly caused by the hormonal changes of menopause, but can also be influenced by lifestyle, medications and surgery. A diminished level of hormones, mainly estrogen, has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for controlling your appetite, sleep cycles, sex hormones, and body temperature. Somehow it appears that the drop in estrogen confuses the hypothalamus—our body's ""thermostat""—and makes it read ""increased body heat." The brain responds to this report by ordering  the heart, blood vessels, and nervous system to 'cool down the body.' The message is transmitted by the nervous system's chemical messengers, epinephrine, and related compounds: norepinephrine, prostaglandin, serotonin. The message is delivered instantly. Your heart pumps faster, the blood vessels in your skin dilate to circulate more blood to radiate off the heat, and your sweat glands release sweat to cool you off even more.

Symptoms and Definitions {I-Z}