Chronic Health Conditions

Allergies Asthma

Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction

Brittle Bone Disease Cancer

Celiac Disease

Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease Crohn's Disease

Chronic Back Pain

Chronic Fatigue Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Pain

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Cystic Fibrosis

Diabetes

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Endometriosis

Fibromyalgia

HIV/AIDS Hypoglycemia

Ichthyosis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Lyme Disease

Marfan Syndrome

POTS Spina Bifida

Tremors

Ulcerative Colitis
Asthma (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.

Cancer (American Cancer Society)

Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is (Medline)

Breast Cancer (American Cancer Society)

Breast cancer affects one in eight women during their lives. Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any cancer except lung cancer. No one knows why some women get breast cancer, but there are a number of risk factors including age, genes, personal factors, obesity and many others. Men can have breast cancer, too, but the number of cases is small (Medline).

Prostate Cancer (American Cancer Society)

The prostate is the gland below a man's bladder that produces fluid for semen. Prostate cancer is common among older men. It is rare in men younger than 40. Risk factors for developing prostate cancer include being over 65 years of age, family history, and being African-American (Medline).

Skin Cancer (American Cancer Society)

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is more dangerous but less common. Risk factors include spending a lot of time in the sun (and sunburn), having light-colored skin, hair and eyes, having a family member with skin cancer, being over the age of 50 (Medline).

Colon/Rectal Cancer (American Cancer Society)

The colon and rectum are part of the large intestine. Colorectal cancer occurs when tumors form in the lining of the large intestine. It is common in both men and women. The risk of developing colorectal cancer rises after age 50. You're also more likely to get it if you have colorectal polyps, a family history of colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, eat a diet high in fat, or smoke (Medline).

Lung Cancer (American Cancer Society)

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. It is a leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers. The more cigarettes you smoke per day and the earlier you started smoking, the greater your risk of lung cancer. High levels of pollution, radiation and asbestos exposure may also increase risk (Medline).

Leukemia (American Cancer Society)

Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. White blood cells help your body fight infection. Your blood cells form in your bone marrow. In leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These cells crowd out the healthy blood cells, making it hard for blood to do its work (Medline).

Lymphoma (American Cancer Society)

Lymphoma is a cancer of a part of the immune system called the lymph system. There are many types of lymphoma. One type is Hodgkin disease. The rest are called non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas begin when a type of white blood cell, called a T cell or B cell, becomes abnormal. The cell divides again and again, making more and more abnormal cells. These abnormal cells can spread to almost any other part of the body. Most of the time, doctors don't know why a person gets non-Hodgkin lymphoma. You are at increased risk if you have a weakened immune system or have certain types of infections (Medline).

Diabetes (Medline)

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy.

Type 1

With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth. Type 1 diabetes happens most often in children and young adults but can appear at any age. 

Type 2

With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth. You have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes if you are older, obese, have a family history of diabetes, or do not exercise. Having prediabetes also increases your risk. 

Prediabetes

Prediabetes means you have blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Too much glucose in your blood can damage your body over time. If you have prediabetes, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Hypoglycemia (NIDDK)

Hypoglycemia means low blood glucose, or blood sugar. Your body needs glucose to have enough energy. After you eat, your blood absorbs glucose. If you eat more sugar than your body needs, your muscles, and liver store the extra. When your blood sugar begins to fall, a hormone tells your liver to release glucose. In most people, this raises blood sugar. If it doesn't, you have hypoglycemia, and your blood sugar can be dangerously low (Medline)

Chronic Kidney Disease (davita.com)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means that your kidneys are damaged and can't filter blood as they should. This damage can cause wastes to build up in your body. It can also cause other problems that can harm your health. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD (Medline).

Chronic Fatigue (Medline)

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder that causes extreme fatigue. This fatigue is not the kind of tired feeling that goes away after you rest. Instead, it lasts a long time and limits your ability to do ordinary daily activities. The main symptom of CFS is severe fatigue that lasts for 6 months or more.

Chronic Back Pain (NINDS)

Chronic back pain is defined as pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain persists despite medical and surgical treatment.

Chronic Pain (NINDS)

Pain is a feeling set off in the nervous system. Acute pain lets you know that you may be injured or have a problem you need to take care of. Chronic pain is different. The pain signals go on for weeks, months, or even years. The original cause may have been an injury or infection. There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer. But in some cases there is no clear cause (Medline).

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) (NINDS)

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is one of a group of disorders that have orthostatic intolerance as their primary symptom. Orthostatic intolerance describes a condition in which an excessively reduced volume of blood returns to the heart after an individual stands up from a lying down position. The primary symptom of orthostatic intolerance is lightheadedness or fainting. In POTS, the lightheadedness or fainting is also accompanied by a rapid increase in heartbeat of more than 30 beats per minute, or a heart rate that exceeds 120 beats per minute, within 10 minutes of rising. The faintness or lightheadedness of POTS are relieved by lying down again.

Brittle Bone Disease (NIAMS)

Brittle Bone Disease or Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disorder in which bones break easily. Sometimes the bones break for no known reason. OI can also cause weak muscles, brittle teeth, a curved spine, and hearing loss. OI is caused by one of several genes that aren't working properly. When these genes don't work, it affects how you make collagen, a protein that helps make bones strong. OI can range from mild to severe, and symptoms vary from person to person. A person may have just a few or as many as several hundred fractures in a lifetime (Medline).

Marfan Syndrome (NIAMS)

Marfan syndrome is a disorder that affects connective tissue. Connective tissues are proteins that support skin, bones, blood vessels, and other organs. One of these proteins is fibrillin. A problem with the fibrillin gene causes Marfan syndrome. Marfan syndrome can be mild to severe, and the symptoms can vary. People with Marfan syndrome are often very tall, thin, and loose jointed. Most people with Marfan syndrome have heart and blood vessel problems, such as a weakness in the aorta or heart valves that leak. They may also have problems with their bones, eyes, skin, nervous system, and lungs (Medline). 

Tremors (NINDS)

Tremors are unintentional trembling or shaking movements in one or more parts of your body. Most tremors occur in the hands. You can also have arm, head, face, vocal cord, trunk, and leg tremors. Tremors are most common in middle-aged and older people, but anyone can have them. The cause of tremors is a problem in the parts of the brain that control muscles in the body or in specific parts of the body, such as the hands. They commonly occur in otherwise healthy people but may occur in conjunction with other disorders (Medline).

Allergies (Medline)

An allergy is a reaction by your immune system to something that does not bother most other people. People who have allergies often are sensitive to more than one thing. Normally, your immune system fights germs. It is your body's defense system. In most allergic reactions, however, it is responding to a false alarm. Genes and the environment probably both play a role.

Environmental (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

People with allergic rhinitis or asthma aggravated by pollen have symptoms only for the period or season when the pollen grains to which they are allergic are in the air. For example, in most parts of the United States, grass pollen is present during the spring. Allergic rhinitis caused by pollen, also called "seasonal allergic rhinitis," affects approximately 7 percent of adults and 9 percent of children in the United States. However, not all seasonal symptoms are due to pollen. Rhinovirus, the cause of the common cold, causes runny noses and triggers asthma attacks in the fall and spring .

Food (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your body's immune system. In adults, the foods that most often trigger allergic reactions include fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts, such as walnuts. Problem foods for children can include eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. The allergic reaction may be mild. In rare cases it can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis (Medline).

Celiac Disease (NIDDK)

Celiac disease is an immune disease in which people can't eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine. If you have celiac disease and eat foods with gluten, your immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is found mainly in foods but may also be in other products like medicines, vitamins and supplements, lip balm, and even the glue on stamps and envelopes (Medline).

Crohn’s Disease (NIDDK)

Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the digestive system. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's can affect any area from the mouth to the anus. It often affects the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum (Medline).

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (NIDDK)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, and a change in bowel habits. Some people with the disorder have constipation. Some have diarrhea. Others go back and forth between the two. Although IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort, it does not harm the intestines. IBS is common. It affects about twice as many women as men and is most often found in people younger than 45 years (Medline).

Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction (NINDS)

Your autonomic nervous system is the part of your nervous system that controls involuntary actions, such as the beating of your heart and the widening or narrowing of your blood vessels. When something goes wrong in this system, it can cause serious problems, including blood pressure problems, heart problems, trouble with breathing and swallowing, and erectile dysfunction in men. Problems can affect either part of the system, as in complex regional pain syndromes, or all of the system. Some types are temporary, but many worsen over time. When they affect your breathing or heart function, these disorders can be life-threatening (Medline).

Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease (NINDS)

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a group of genetic nerve disorders. It is named after the three doctors who first identified it. In the United States, CMT affects about 1 in 2,500 people. CMT affects your peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves carry movement and sensation signals between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body. Symptoms usually start around the teen years. Foot problems such as high arches or hammertoes can be early symptoms. As CMT progresses, your lower legs may weaken. Later, your hands may also become weak (Medline).

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Medline)

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of disorders that affect the connective tissues that support the skin, bones, blood vessels, and many other organs and tissues. Defects in connective tissues cause the signs and symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which vary from mildly loose joints to life-threatening complications.

Endometriosis (NICHD)

Endometriosis is a problem affecting a woman's uterus - the place where a baby grows when she's pregnant. Endometriosis is when the kind of tissue that normally lines the uterus grows somewhere else. It can grow on the ovaries, behind the uterus or on the bowels or bladder. Rarely, it grows in other parts of the body. This "misplaced" tissue can cause pain, infertility, and very heavy periods. The pain is usually in the abdomen, lower back or pelvic areas. Some women have no symptoms at all. Having trouble getting pregnant may be the first sign (Medline).

Fibromyalgia (NIAMS)

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia have "tender points" on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them (Medline).

Ichthyosis (NIAMS)

Ichthyosis is a family of disorders characterized by dry or scaly and thickened skin. Ichthyosis may be either inherited or acquired. Inherited ichthyosis is usually apparent during the first year of life, often at birth, and continues to affect a person throughout life. Acquired ichthyosis may occur as the result of medical problems including hormonal, inflammatory, or malignant disorders.

Lyme Disease (NIAID)

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. The first symptom is usually a rash, which may look like a bull's eye. As the infection spreads, you may have a fever, a headache, muscle and joint aches, a stiff neck, and fatigue (Medline).

Spina Bifida (NICHD)

Spina bifida is a neural tube defect - a type of birth defect of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. It happens if the spinal column of the fetus doesn't close completely during the first month of pregnancy. This can damage the nerves and spinal cord. Screening tests during pregnancy can check for spina bifida. Sometimes it is discovered only after the baby is born. The symptoms of spina bifida vary from person to person. Most people with spina bifida are of normal intelligence. Some people need assistive devices such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs. They may have learning difficulties, urinary and bowel problems, or hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain (Medline). 

Ulcerative Colitis (NIDDK)

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. UC can happen at any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It tends to run in families. The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and blood or pus in diarrhea (Medline).

Cystic Fibrosis (NHLBI)

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease of the mucus and sweat glands. It affects mostly your lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses, and sex organs. CF causes your mucus to be thick and sticky. The mucus clogs the lungs, causing breathing problems and making it easy for bacteria to grow. This can lead to repeated lung infections and lung damage.The symptoms and severity of CF can vary. Some people have serious problems from birth. Others have a milder version of the disease that doesn't show up until they are teens or young adults. Sometimes you will have few symptoms, but later you may have more symptoms (Medline).

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (NINDS)

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition. It causes intense pain, usually in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. It may happen after an injury, either to a nerve or to tissue in the affected area. Rest and time may only make it worse (Medline). 

HIV/AIDS (aidsinfo.nih.gov)

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body's immune system cells. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV. HIV most often spreads through unprotected sex with an infected person. It may also spread by sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person. Women can give it to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth (Medline).

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