Browse Conditions A-Z



Acne is a skin complaint that is seen most commonly during adolescence although it can continue into adulthood. Symptoms of acne mainly consist of spots — in other words, pimples or blemishes — that appear usually on the skin of the face and neck, but can also spread to the shoulders, back and chest.

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Addiction refers in this instance to a psychological or physical dependence on a substance or activity, or a compulsion to continually repeat an action, whether or not that action is good for one’s self or for the welfare of others within one’s arena.

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Adolescent behavioural problems

Teenagers often go through a phase of rebellion which is fairly normal, and could even be considered a sign of good mental health. The young person is just passing through a cognitive rite of passage where they are beginning to differentiate themselves as an adult that has own views of their own which may or may not agree with those of their parents.

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Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that involves the fear of experiencing a panic attack in a place or situation from where escape may be difficult or embarrassing.

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AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and is known as an immune system disorder as it is caused by a virus that attacks the immune system. The virus’s name is known as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV for short.

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A person is defined as an alcoholic if their consumption of or desire for alcoholic drinks begins to impact negatively on their health and their wider social sphere. In some cases, the dependence is merely psychological but this can, in turn, lead to a physical addiction to alcohol and “withdrawal symptoms” when the alcohol is not available.

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An allergy refers to a reaction of the immune system to a normal, every day substance which may or may not have the same detrimental effect on others. It is caused by an over activation of white blood cells which leads to an inflammatory response.

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Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting both men and women.

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If you are anaemic, you will have a lower number of red blood cells than is considered normal. Anaemia can also refer to a decrease in the level of haemoglobin in the blood which is the protein that contains iron — thus you will be considered low in iron.

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Anorexia (otherwise known as anorexia nervosa) is an eating disorder. It is caused by a psychiatric condition that is characterised by low body weight and body image distortion. Anorexics try to control their weight by starving themselves or undertaking gruelling exercise regime. They may also use diet pills or diuretic drugs.

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Anxiety or worried concern is a normal and healthy response to being faced with difficult circumstances, and it is an integral part of the ‘fight or flight’ response of the autonomic nervous system. However, sometimes anxiety can be irrational and unnecessarily excessive, and that is when it is called an anxiety disorder and professional help is needed.

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Arthritis is a general term that simply means a painful condition of the joints.

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Asthma is defined as when the airways of the lungs are inflamed and swollen, causing breathlessness, and symptoms include shortness of breath. Asthmatic conditions exist on a spectrum which extends from only rarely experiencing symptoms of asthma due to a trigger or allergen to chronic and marked airflow obstruction at all times.

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Attachment disorder

An attachment disorder can occur when a child fails to form a bond with their parents or guardians, and this can result in mood swings and problem behaviours.

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Attention Deficit Disorder /Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are defined by two types of behavioural problems; inattentiveness, and a combination of hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Common symptoms include a short attention span, restlessness, being easily distracted and constant fidgeting.

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Aura imbalance

The aura is the normally intangible body referred to by psychics and alternative health practitioners that is said to surround and interpenetrate the physical body, the health and wellbeing of which is also thought to be impacted by the state of the aura which is governed by energy centres called chakras. In other words, aura healers believe that if the aura is out of balance, this is because of some disorder in the chakras, and thus that physical, mental and emotional illness will follow.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or syndrome is an increasingly popular term that refers to a broad definition of autism. This includes the classical form of the disorder, as well as closely related disabilities that share many of the core characteristics of autism but may not be as severe or extensive.

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Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases are where the body's own immune system is fighting other cells in the body that might not be diseased, and this can cause inflammation and pain. It may affect many parts of the body, like nerves, muscles and the digestive system.

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