Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD), also known as acid reflux, is a common relapsing condition caused by repeated reflux of the contents of the stomach. Some patients have the reflux symptoms; others have evidence of mucosal damage (oesophagitis) with or without symptoms; a small minority have complications such as bleeding or stricture.
Acne vulgaris, the most common type of acne, is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting hair follicles, and sebaceous glands and ducts. It occurs on the face in 99% of those affected and, less often, on the back and chest (Layton 2010).
Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) is a common, painful, disabling condition that may last for months or years. The most common symptoms are pain, stiffness, and limitation of active and passive shoulder movements (particularly external rotation of the joint). These may be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities (driving, dressing or sleeping are the most common) and may prevent some people from working.
The aftermath of childbirth, or puerperium, covers the six week period following birth, during which time all the changes that have occurred in a woman’s body revert to the non-pregnant state.
Allergic rhinitis (perennial and seasonal, including hay fever) affects between 10-40% of the population worldwide.
Coronary heart disease (also known as ischaemic heart disease, and also occurring as angina pectoris and myocardial infarction) occurs when cholesterol builds up in the coronary arteries and atherosclerotic plaques form. Over time, this causes narrowing and hardening of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. Over 80,000 people die each year from coronary heart disease in the UK; it is the UK’s most predominant fatal disease, accounting for one in five deaths in men, and one in eight in women.
Anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms include worry, disturbed sleep, irritability and poor concentration, and physical symptoms such as sweating, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, dizziness, shortness of breath and trembling.
A cardiac arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. A heart can beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or with an irregular rhythm. Most arrhythmias are harmless, but some can be serious or even life-threatening.
Arthritis (also known as osteoarthritis) involves damage to articular cartilage and other structures in and around joints, including inflammation; the most commonly affected joints are the knee and the hip. About 10% of people aged over 55 in the UK have painful knee osteoarthritis associated with mild to moderate disability.
Fertility treatment, or assisted conception/reproduction, includes a range of techniques from intra-uterine insemination, in vitro fertilisation (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), tubal flushing or laparoscopic ablation of endometrial deposits – depending on the cause of the infertility.