Symptom Hot, red, angry looking patch on the skin
Symptom Hot, red, angry looking patch on the skin
Most likely cause Alcoholic flush
Or could be Cellulitis
Not a quick way of ridding yourself of cellulite but a nasty bacterial infection that gets under the skin and makes it look like orange peel (the French call it peau d'orange). It usually starts with a wound or a cut but often there is no obvious cause. Treatment is with penicillin.
Symptom Fatigue with intermittent high fever
Most likely cause Over-demanding boss in over-heated office
Or could be Cytomegalovirus
Literally, a mighty big virus, related to the herpes virus. It causes an illness indistinguishable from glandular fever - fatigue, loss of appetite, fever and general malaise. There is no treatment but recovery normally occurs within a few weeks.
Symptom Runny nose, sore throat, wheezing and breathing difficulties
Most likely cause Common cold
Or could be Respiratory syncytial virus
Difficult to distinguish from colds and flu, this is a lung infection that targets the young, though it can also affect adults, and is a major cause of pneumonia in infants and children. Also similar to Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) which has appeared again in China this winter. There are outbreaks every winter and it can be fatal in infants. Treatment is with the antiviral drug ribavirin in severe cases.
Symptom Dry eyes, dry mouth and swollen joints
Most likely cause Serious night on the tiles
Or could be Sjögren's Syndrome
These three Symptoms suggest Sjögren's syndrome, an auto-immune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis, but rarer. Dryness of the eyes can damage the cornea and lack of saliva can make swallowing difficult. There is no cure but Symptoms can be relieved with artificial tear drops and chewing gum.
Symptom Pain in the lower abdomen, irregular periods, difficulty getting pregnant
Most likely cause Long hours, poor diet, no sex
Or could be Endometriosis
This is the spread of tissue normally found only in the womb lining (endometrium) to elsewhere in the abdomen. The tissue can become attached to ovaries or other organs, interfering with their functioning. It can cause infertility or affect the bladder or bowel. Treatment is with drugs to suppress the growth of the tissue or surgery to remove it.
Symptom Rapid breathing, tingling round lips, anxiety
Most likely cause Being about to snatch a first kiss
Or could be Respiratory alkalosis
Deep breathing is good for you - but not for too long or too rapidly, when it is known as hyperventilation. This results in expelling too much carbon dioxide from the bloodstream, giving you feelings of anxiety and a tingling face. If it worsens, your muscles can go into spasm and you can become detached from reality. Usually the only treatment needed is to slow down the rate of breathing, raising the carbon dioxide level which in turn reduces the anxiety. Breathing into a paper bag can help.
Symptom Racing heart
Most likely cause See above
Or could be Supra-ventricular disorder
The Tony Blair syndrome - a heart beating 150 times a minute (twice the normal rate) which has nothing to do with the stress of the job (No 10 insists). SVT is something that happens - and then may never happen again. The problem is that cardiologists don't all mean the same thing by it - so it may also be a Symptom of underlying heart disease.
Symptom Getting up in the wee small hours
Most likely cause Those three bottles you had with dinner
Or could be Nocturia
A condition which tends to increase in frequency with advancing years. In men, the need to pee in the middle of the night is often caused by a swelling prostate gland. This is usually nothing to worry about but can signal prostate cancer. The best treatment is to learn to ignore the disruption and get back to sleep as quickly as possible. But in severe cases drug treatment to shrink the prostate or, ultimately, surgery to remove it may be called for.
Symptom Vomiting, nausea, abdominal tenderness
Most likely cause Effects of last night's takeaway
Or could be Non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis.
Not the sort of hepatitis linked with contaminated water, sex or drugs, but one that is attracting growing attention from liver specialists. Caused by too much fat, it is growing because of the increase in obesity. Can result in cirrhosis - the first cases of liver cirrhosis in children have been recorded linked with obesity. The only treatment is the time-honoured approach to overeating - diet and exercise.
Symptom Obsession with your appearance
Most likely cause Ordinary human pride
Or could be Body dysmorphic disorder
Concern with one's body which goes beyond normal narcissism makes you a candidate for the psychiatrist's couch, unless the cosmetic surgeons get you first. The obsession may focus on the shape of the nose, the size of the buttocks or the state of the complexion. It affects male bodybuilders, among others, who may cheat with breast implants to improve their pecs. *Reuse content