Medical Glossary for Diseases and Complications: (D)

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Dandruff

Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. Shedding of dead skin cells is normal and is rarely serious. However, some people experience unusual amount of dandruff chronically or due to trigger agents. This can result in irritation and redness of scalp. There is no true cure to dandruff. However, most cases of dandruff can be easily treated with shampoos.


DASHDiet for Hypertension

The abbreviated term DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. As the name itself suggests, it is a form of diet that is beneficial to treat or prevent hypertension (high blood pressure). The DASH diet is also helpful in the prevention of other conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Moreover, it is also great for people who want to lose weight as it helps you eat more nutritious food that is high in protein, fibre, calcium, potassium and magnesium and at the same time low in calorie intake. The DASH Diet The diet plan given below if followed regularly will not only help you maintain good health but also keep several life-threatening diseases such as hypertension at bay. Sodium intake lower than 1500 mg (2 or 3 teaspoons of salt) per day. More of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy. Moderate intake of fish, poultry, nuts and whole grains. Less amounts of sweets, red meat and fats. Alcohol intake should be limited to a maximum of two drinks in men and one drink in women per day.


Dealing With Diarrhoea During Pregnancy

Diarrhoea is common during pregnancy, especially during the early stages. Most of the cases of diarrhoea during pregnancy do not harm the baby, but dehydrates the mother-to-be affecting the blood flow to the foetus. However, the foetus may be at risk in diarrhoea caused due to infections, particularly during the second and third trimesters. Diarrhoea caused due to change in diet often subsides on its own. However, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Drinking plenty of water, ginger tea, or water with a spoon of honey is also helpful in preventing dehydration. Anti-diarrhoeal medications can be taken as prescribed by your doctor. Avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks, fried fatty foods, spices, red meat, chocolates and candies during this time. Include soups, carrot, potato and yogurt in your diet. In severe conditions like blood in stools, fever, severe vomiting, severe stomach pain and cramping, increased heart rate or decreased urine production, consult a doctor immediately.


Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when the amount of water that a person consumes is less than that lost from the body through water vapor in breath, sweat, urine and stools. If severe dehydration is not treated timely, it can lead to serious complications such as seizures, permanent brain damage, death. Prevent dehydration by drinking lots of fluids every day, even if you are well and avoid exercising and exposure to sun during summer.


Diabetes

Diabetes refers to a group of diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. If you have diabetes it means you have too much glucose in your blood which can lead to serious health problems. Diabetes is caused either due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin(Type 1 diabetes) or the body cells not responding properly to the insulin produced(Type 2 diabetes). Prevention and treatment involve a healthy diet, physical exercise, maintaining a normal body weight, and avoiding use of tobacco.


Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs in people who have diabetes. It causes progressive damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious sight-threatening complication of diabetes. Over time, diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these tiny blood vessels leak blood and other fluids. This causes the retinal tissue to swell, resulting in cloudy or blurred vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.


Diet and Constipation

Constipation is a condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened faeces. Include the following foods in your diet to manage constipation: Whole grains found in brown rice, cereals and breads Vegetables such as beans, carrots, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, peas, squash, etc. Fruits like papaya, figs, apricots, peaches, prunes, pineapple, pears, etc. Flaxseeds Raisins, oatmeal and legumes Fibre supplements after consulting with your doctor.


Disequilibrium

Disequilibrium is a type of dizziness that occurs commonly in the elderly; it is a condition in which a person feels unsteady while walking, as if he or she will fall. Causes for disequilibrium include problems in the inner ear, vision problems, nerve damage in the legs, muscle weakness, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease or side effects of some medications. Regular physical and intellectual activities, healthy diet containing vitamin D, calcium and proteins will help in managing Disequilibrium.


Dizziness

Dizziness is a term used to describe a range of feelings such as faint, woozy, unsteady or weak. Dizziness that creates the false sense that you and your surroundings are moving is called Vertigo. About 50% of the cases reporting dizziness are due to Vertigo. Other types of dizziness are Disequilibrium (sensation of being off balance) and Presyncope (lightheadedness). Treatment for dizziness depends on the cause and patient specific symptoms.


Dysuria

In urology, painful urination is referred to as Dysuria. Difficulty in urination is also sometimes associated with the word dysuria. Dysuria is typically described as a burning or stinging sensation. The most common cause of dysuria is urinary tract infection. Other causes include STD, bladder stones, bladder tumours and virtually any condition of the prostate. Doctors generally prescribe an antibiotic for treatment of dysuria based on the patient’s condition.