Category: H

Hysteria

Hysteria

Few topics in the world of psychoanalysis are as controversial as hysteria. There is no current consensus on whether or not hysteria exists today or whether or not it ever existed at any time at all. Explaining exactly what hysteria is and what it means has challenged and baffled many generations of physicians. As an [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy means the surgical removal of the uterus, or womb. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; published in 2000), about 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually, making it the second most common operation among women of reproductive age (cesarean section is first). Approximately 20 million U.S. women have [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Hypochondriasis

Hypochondriasis

Hypochondriasis is a psychiatric illness in which individuals experience anxiety about misinterpreted physical symptoms that they fear or believe indicate the presence of an undiagnosed medical disease. For example, a mark on the skin may be interpreted as cancer or a sign of AIDS, or sweating may be interpreted as a heart condition. This anxiety [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Hypertension

Hypertension

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is defined as a blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher when measured with a blood pressure cuff or being on medication for high blood pressure. The systolic pressure is the upper number of the reading, while the diastolic pressure is the lower number of the reading. Hypertension is a [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Human papillomavirus

Human papillomavirus

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection may be the most common viral sexually transmitted disease (STD) in this country. As many as 30 million Americans are infected with Human papillomavirus, and each year, an additional 1 million people become infected. More than 80 distinct types of Human papillomavirus have been identified; at least 20 of them can [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Hospice

Hospice

Hospice is the organized provision of care for the dying. Medically, the hospice approach focuses on pain medications in order to ensure comfort, rather than on invasive life-sustaining technologies such as respirators, resuscitation, and artificial nutrition and hydration. Hospice typically provides team support for the dying, including medical and nursing care, psychological counseling, and clinical [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Menopause is the cessation of menstrual periods. Women usually experience menopause at the age of 42-58, with the average age being 50-51 years. Menopause may occur slightly earlier in women who smoke or have a family history of early menopause. Otherwise, the age of menopause is unrelated to the age of the first menstrual period, [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Homosexuality

Homosexuality

Homosexuality is conceptualized in modern times as a sexual orientation. Individuals who are oriented toward romantic and sexual relations with members of the same sex are identified as homosexual, whereas those who are oriented toward the opposite sex are labeled heterosexual. These natural variations in human behavior can be found in all cultures throughout recorded [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Homicide

Homicide

Homicide is the most extreme act of violence. Although all homicides involve death at the hands of another, homicide is in actuality a diverse group of events. Homicides can occur between strangers, acquaintances, and intimate partners; they involve a wide array of physical forces and weapons and they include many types of motivations and precipitating [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Homeopathy

Homeopathy

Homeopathy (pronounced home-eeOP-a-thee, from Greek homeo “similar” and pathos “disease”) is a form of alternative medicine that uses extremely dilute preparations of natural substances to treat disease, by harnessing the body’s own healing energy and restoring balance in the patient’s vital force. Homeopathy originated in Europe and the United States in the late 1700s and [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Homelessness

Homelessness

At any given night in the United States, approximately 600,000 people are without shelter while more than 2 million may have been homeless in any given year. Estimates put the number in the United States who have experienced homelessness and its health consequences at least once at about 12 million people. Most counts and studies [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Herpes Simplex Virus

Herpes Simplex Virus

Herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-I) and herpes simplex virus type II (HSV-II) are closely related viruses that cause two distinct clinical syndromes, with some overlap in the roles of the two viruses in each syndrome. Infection with HSV-I causes oral lesions (“cold sores,” although not all cold sores are due to HSV-I) and is [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Heroin

Heroin

Revered by Sumerians, Egyptians, Greeks, and other ancient civilizations for its ability to ease pain, the opium poppy has yielded a number of chemical compounds that have revolutionized the control of pain as well as contributed to problems of addiction in modern societies. Morphine, one of the most powerful pain relievers known, was isolated from [...]

September 14, 2011 More
Hermaphroditism

Hermaphroditism

The term hermaphrodite derives from Greek mythology. Hermaphroditus was the son of Aphrodite and Hermes, endowed with the beauty of both deities. One day, he was walking by a lake when the nymph Samalcis instantly fell in love with him. She pleaded for his love, which he soundly rejected. When he later disrobed and jumped [...]

September 13, 2011 More
Hepatitis

Hepatitis

The word hepatitis is derived from the Greek word for liver and is defined as inflammation of the substance of the liver. Although hepatitis is usually thought of as caused by a viral infection, it might be a result of any number of injuries, including medications, alcohol, genetic diseases, or many other causes in addition [...]

September 13, 2011 More
Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids, or enlarged veins in the anal area, represent one of the most common problems for which people seek medical advice. The actual incidence is unknown, but 10-25% of the adult population is thought to be affected. There appears to be a peak in middle age with a decline in the incidence after the age [...]

September 13, 2011 More
Heartburn

Heartburn

Heartburn is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which affects more than 60 million American adults at least once a month. About 25 million adults suffer daily from heartburn. Twenty-five percent of pregnant women experience daily heartburn. It is typically described as a burning sensation in the chest and throat. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is [...]

September 13, 2011 More
Health Maintenance Organizations

Health Maintenance Organizations

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) is an allencompassing term that refers to organizations that integrate the financing and delivery of health services, based on a prepaid, fixed fee per enrollee. This is different from the traditional fee-for-service (FFS) system in which a provider is reimbursed for a given service rendered to the patient. The prepaid aspect [...]

September 13, 2011 More
Health Insurance

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a key factor facilitating access to health care services. Individuals without health insurance are often denied care, especially if the condition for which a patient is seeking care does not require any immediate attention and/or intervention. Uninsured and underinsured individuals tend to delay care and forego maintenance and/or routine health services to [...]

September 13, 2011 More
Healers

Healers

Why are women more numerous and important as healers in some medical systems and men in others? Do women healers have special attributes that differ from those of male healers? Decades ago, I. M. Lewis offered the now classic thesis that women are healers where there are “cults of affliction,” covert protest movements with rituals [...]

September 13, 2011 More