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    Getting effective treatment depends on identifying the right problem. In a recent study, 88 percent of patients who came to Iraq Medical Center for a second opinion received a new or refined diagnosis.

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    Leukoplakia

    Overview Leukoplakia With leukoplakia (loo-koh-PLAY-key-uh), thickened, white patches form on your gums, the insides of your cheeks, the bottom of your mouth and, sometimes, your tongue. These patches can't be scraped off. Doctors don't know what causes leukoplakia but consider chronic irritation from tobacco — whether smoked, dipped or chewed — to be the main culprit in its development. Most leukoplakia patches are noncancerous (benign), though some show early signs of cancer. Cancers on the bottom of the mouth can occur next to areas of leukoplakia. And white areas mixed in with red areas (speckled leukoplakia) may indicate the potential ....

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    Leukemia

    Overview Leukemia is cancer of the body's blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Many types of leukemia exist. Some forms of leukemia are more common in children. Other forms of leukemia occur mostly in adults. Leukemia usually involves the white blood cells. Your white blood cells are potent infection fighters — they normally grow and divide in an orderly way, as your body needs them. But in people with leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, which don't function properly. Treatment for leukemia can be complex — depending on the type of leukemia and ....

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    Legionnaires’ disease

    Overview Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia — lung inflammation usually caused by infection. Legionnaires' disease is caused by a bacterium known as legionella. You can't catch legionnaires' disease from person-to-person contact. Instead, most people get legionnaires' disease from inhaling the bacteria. Older adults, smokers and people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to legionnaires' disease. The legionella bacterium also causes Pontiac fever, a milder illness resembling the flu. Separately or together, the two illnesses are sometimes called legionellosis. Pontiac fever usually clears on its own, but untreated legionnaires' disease can be fatal. Although prompt treatment with ....

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    Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

    Overview Hip and joint components Legg-Calve-Perthes (LEG-kahl-VAY-PER-tuz) disease is a childhood condition that occurs when blood supply to the ball part (femoral head) of the hip joint is temporarily interrupted and the bone begins to die. This weakened bone gradually breaks apart and can lose its round shape. The body eventually restores blood supply to the ball, and the ball heals. But if the ball is no longer round after it heals, it can cause pain and stiffness. The complete process of bone death, fracture and renewal can take several years. To keep the ball part of the joint as ....

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    Left ventricular hypertrophy

    Overview Left ventricular hypertrophy Left ventricular hypertrophy is enlargement and thickening (hypertrophy) of the walls of your heart's main pumping chamber (left ventricle). Left ventricular hypertrophy can develop in response to some factor — such as high blood pressure or a heart condition — that causes the left ventricle to work harder. As the workload increases, the muscle tissue in the chamber wall thickens, and sometimes the size of the chamber itself also increases. The enlarged heart muscle loses elasticity and eventually may fail to pump with as much force as needed. Left ventricular hypertrophy is more common in people ....

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    Lead poisoning

    Overview Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Adults who work with batteries, do home renovations or work in auto repair shops also might be exposed to lead. ....

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    Lazy eye (amblyopia)

    Overview Lazy eye (amblyopia) is reduced vision in one eye caused by abnormal visual development early in life. The weaker — or lazy — eye often wanders inward or outward. Amblyopia generally develops from birth up to age 7 years. It is the leading cause of decreased vision in one eye among children. Rarely, lazy eye affects both eyes. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term problems with your child's vision. Lazy eye can usually be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, or eye patches. Sometimes surgery is required. Symptoms Signs and symptoms of lazy eye include: An eye ....

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    Latex allergy

    Overview Latex allergy is a reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex, a product made from the rubber tree. If you have a latex allergy, your body mistakes latex for a harmful substance. Latex allergy may cause itchy skin and hives or even anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause throat swelling and severe difficulty breathing. Your doctor can determine if you have a latex allergy or if you're at risk of developing a latex allergy. Understanding latex allergy and knowing common sources of latex can help you prevent allergic reactions. Symptoms If you're allergic to latex, ....

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    Laryngitis

    Overview How speech occurs Vocal cords open and closed Laryngitis is an inflammation of your voice box (larynx) from overuse, irritation or infection. Inside the larynx are your vocal cords — two folds of mucous membrane covering muscle and cartilage. Normally, your vocal cords open and close smoothly, forming sounds through their movement and vibration. But with laryngitis, your vocal cords become inflamed or irritated. This swelling causes distortion of the sounds produced by air passing over them. As a result, your voice sounds hoarse. In some cases of laryngitis, your voice can become almost undetectable. Laryngitis may be short-lived ....

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    Lactose intolerance

    Overview Small intestine People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. As a result, they have diarrhea, gas and bloating after eating or drinking dairy products. The condition, which is also called lactose malabsorption, is usually harmless, but its symptoms can be uncomfortable. A deficiency of lactase — an enzyme produced in your small intestine — is usually responsible for lactose intolerance. Many people have low levels of lactase but are able to digest milk products without problems. If you're actually lactose intolerant, though, your lactase deficiency leads to symptoms after you eat dairy ....

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