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Temporal Lobe Seizure
Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)
Tendinitis
Tension Headache
Tetanus
Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid Nodules
Tinea Corporis
Tinnitus
Tonsillitis
Tourette Syndrome
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
Transient Ischemic Attack
Traveler’s Diarrhea
Trichomoniasis
Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigger Finger
Tuberculosis (TD)

Temporal Lobe Seizure
Other names: Psychomotor seizure, TLE

Temporal lobe seizures are periods of unconsciousness and involuntary movement that result from abnormal electrical activity in the temporal lobe portion of the brain. They may occur only once in a person’s life or may be recurring.

Temporal lobe seizures can occur at any age and may be caused by a number of factors, including injury, brain tumors or even a high fever. Symptoms may include:

  • Funny feelings in the abdomen
  • Hallucinations
  • Déjà vu or the sensation of a recalled memory
  • Uncontrolled muscle movement
  • Abnormal head or mouth movements
  • Numbness

Diagnosis is based on symptoms and the results of diagnostic tests, such as an EEG, CT scan and spinal tap. Treatment varies based on the severity of the condition. First-aid may be administered to prevent the person from injuring herself or others and to prevent an airway obstruction. Prescription medications also may be ordered to prevent future seizures.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Temporomandibular disorders are conditions that involve the temporomandibular joint, which includes the muscles used in chewing. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 10 million Americans have symptoms of TMD.

Normally, the temporomandibular joint is used during chewing, swallowing and speech. Some believe that strenuous exercise and stressful situations may cause TMD. Most discomfort is caused by bruxism, which is clenching or grinding teeth. Symptoms, which may affect one or both sides of the jaw, include:

  • Pain in the cheek
  • Difficulty opening or closing the jaw
  • A clicking sound coming from the jaw
  • Headaches
  • Earache without infection

TMD is diagnosed based on symptoms, patient history and X-rays. As many as 50 treatments are available to treat TMD, and the treatment recommended may vary. In many cases, the condition can be improved by resting the joint, taking a non-aspirin pain reliever and practicing stress management techniques.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Tendinitis
A tendon attaches your muscles to your bones. When a tendon becomes inflamed or irritated, it causes tendinitis. Tendinitis is characterized by pain, tenderness, stiffness, swelling and/or discomfort in a joint. Tendinitis is most often caused by a sports-related injury or physical labor. Tendinitis occurs mainly in the elbow, knees and shoulder – but can affect any joint. Tendinitis is also caused by the aging process, which causes joints to weaken due to wear and tear over a lifetime of activity. When tendonitis affects specific areas, it is often called something else. For example, tendonitis of the elbow and surrounding forearm is called tennis elbow and tendonitis at the heel is called Achilles tendinitis. Tendinitis is common in athletes who repeat a particular motion as part of a sport, such as tennis.

Tendinitis may be treated at home, with the help of a sports medicine specialist or physical therapist or with guidance from your healthcare provider, if necessary. Mainly, rest and avoidance of the activity that produced the injury are the first steps in treatment for tendinitis. Ice may also help to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with tendinitis.

Physical therapy is often a useful choice to treat tendinitis because it can relax the joints and build up movement that will eventually allow a patient to get back to normal activity levels. If tendinitis is severe, a provider may prescribe corticosteroids to help with inflammation. Otherwise, rest, ice, elevation and avoidance are the keys to treating tendinitis.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Tension Headache
A tension headache is felt behind the eyes, across the forehead or over the top of the head – and has been described as “tight” and “gripping” among other terms. The headache may interfere with the patient’s ability to concentrate or to sleep.

A tension headache is characterized by pain that is constant and dull in both sides of the head. Tight muscles in the head, neck and scalp due to stress, depression, anxiety, changes in temperature, sleeping position or poor posture may cause a tension headache.

The tension headache differs from the migraine, which is a more severe, throbbing and localized pain. Headaches are often a symptom of other conditions, but tension headaches occur on their own as the consequences of tension build up in the head, neck and face. Sometimes, a healthcare provider may order a diagnostic test, such as a CT scan, to rule out the possibility of a more serious condition causing the headache.

A tension headache may be treated with pain relief medication, stress management and relaxation techniques, the avoidance of headache-inducing situations and positions, and additional therapy. Because tension headaches are often related to outside stresses, anxiety or depression, it is sometimes helpful to identify the cause and seek the necessary therapy.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Tetanus
Other name: Lockjaw

Tetanus is a disease caused by a poison that is produced by bacteria. The bacteria enter the body through an injury or wound and produce the poison that affects the central nervous system. This poison can ultimately lead to death. The best way to prevent tetanus is to keep your tetanus vaccination up to date.

Tetanus causes nerves and muscles to spasm and become rigid or tense. Once tetanus has been contracted, symptoms may develop in one to three weeks. Symptoms include:

  • Stiffness in the jaw and neck
  • Pain and tingling at the site of the infection
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Irritability
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing

Diagnosis of tetanus is based on the symptoms and the physical examination. Treatment usually includes antibiotics and tetanus immune globulin. In some cases, sedatives will also be prescribed. Those being treated for tetanus also need careful monitoring to ensure they don’t stop breathing or go into heart failure.

In the past, an estimated 40 percent of those diagnosed with tetanus died, but today only about 5 tetanus-related deaths occur in the US each year. Even after treatment, those diagnosed with tetanus should receive regular immunizations to prevent it from developing in the future.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that forms in the thyroid gland, which is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. This gland generates hormones that control the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and metabolism.

Thyroid cancer is extremely rare. Few cases of thyroid cancer are serious, and the ones that are tend to be slow-growing and not fatal.

Risk factors, which are not causes of the disease but are common factors among those who have been diagnosed with it, include being exposed to radiation, having a family history of thyroid cancer and being 40 years of age or older. Symptoms include:

  • A lump in the side of the neck
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in the throat or neck

A diagnosis of thyroid cancer is made based on the results of a biopsy.

Treatment for thyroid cancer varies based on factors such as how far the disease has progressed and the overall health of the patient. Treatment may include surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid, radioactive iodine, hormone treatment, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Thyroid Nodules
Thyroid nodules are lumps that occur within normal thyroid glands. The nodules tend to be located along the edge of the thyroid gland so they can be felt by feeling of one’s neck.

Most thyroid nodules are not cancerous, and some are actually fluid-filled cysts rather than thyroid tissue. Thyroid nodules occur more frequently among women than men, but the incidence of cancerous nodules is greater among men.

Most thyroid nodules cause no symptoms, but are usually found by patients who notice the lump in a mirror or feel it in their neck. Physicians sometimes find nodules during a routine exam.

Diagnosis of a thyroid nodule usually includes a fine needle aspiration biopsy to determine if a nodule is cancerous. At times, an ultrasound, blood tests and thyroid function tests may also be required.

Some healthcare providers may recommend treatment with a thyroid hormone medication to reduce the size of the nodule. Other providers are reluctant to recommend this medication, since some nodules shrink on their own without medication, and the medication may also cause osteoporosis or heart disease. Cancerous nodules are most often surgically removed.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Tinea Corporis
Other names: Ringworm of the body, tinea circinata, tinea of the body, fungal infection of the body

Tinea corporis is a common fungal infection of the skin. Small, red spots that grow into large rings on the arms, chest and legs are characteristic of this condition.

Tinea corporis is contagious and is passed by direct contact with those affected or by contact with contaminated items such as bedding, clothing, showers, combs and pool surfaces. Household pets infected with the fungus also may spread it. Symptoms include:

  • Itching of the affected area
  • Rash

Diagnosis is primarily based on the appearance of the skin. A KOH test or skin lesion biopsy may also be ordered by a healthcare provider to verify the diagnosis.

Treatment requires keeping skin clean and dry and using over-the-counter antifungal creams. In severe cases, a provider may prescribe oral antifungal medications. Tinea corporis usually responds well to treatment and is cured in four to six weeks. It is often important to continue treatment for a week after the symptoms are gone to treat any remaining fungus that may not be apparent to the eye. While over-the-counter medication may be sufficient for treating tinea corporis, you may want to see your healthcare provider to ensure that the symptoms are not being caused by a more serious condition.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Tinnitus
Other name: Ringing in the ear

Tinnitus refers to the ringing in the ear that millions of Americans experience every day. Sometimes, this ringing in the ear goes largely unnoticed and is a “normal” part of a patient’s day. At other times, tinnitus can seriously interfere with a patient’s ability to concentrate or live comfortably. Tinnitus is generally a natural part of the aging process—a symptom of hearing loss that happens as the ear matures and nerve cells weaken and die. Tinnitus is also commonly caused by acoustic trauma, or exposure for a period of time to loud sounds that damage nerve cells.

Tinnitus can be a symptom of a variety of diseases and conditions, particularly different types of hearing loss, as well as otosclerosis, hypertension and Menière’s disease. Tinnitus can also be caused by problems with the jaw, particularly temporomandibular disorder. Tinnitus may also be caused by something as minor as slight earwax buildup or as a side effect of medications, specifically many types of antibiotics.

Most of the time, tinnitus will not interfere with your life and is not a sign of a more serious health condition, unless paired with other symptoms. You should talk with your healthcare provider if the ringing becomes increasingly persistent, if you experience vertigo or dizziness along with the tinnitus, if your hearing is impaired, or if the ringing becomes more severe and does not subside after two weeks.

You may be able to treat minor cases of tinnitus at home by avoiding loud noises, meditating, cutting back on smoking and other stimulants, limiting use of certain medications, exercising or carefully cleaning the ear.

If tinnitus is associated with hearing loss, your provider can help you deal with the symptoms by prescribing a hearing aid, or by providing you with a masker, which is used at night to drown out the ringing with subtle, relaxing drones that help induce sleep. Unfortunately, if time doesn’t heal tinnitus caused by acoustic trauma, or if tinnitus is age-related, it cannot be cured.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis is an infection or inflammation of the tonsils. Tonsils are the lymph nodes located at the back of your mouth, which keep bacteria and other foreign substances from entering the body through swallowing and breathing. If you are sick and your immune system is slightly weakened, or if your tonsils become overloaded with bacteria or virus, they may become infected themselves. A bacterial or viral infection will cause tonsillitis, and may be part of pharyngitis. Symptoms of tonsillitis include:

  • Swollen tonsils
  • Red tonsils
  • White areas on tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Tender jaw and throat
  • Bad breath
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Loss of voice
  • Voice change

Tonsillitis is usually diagnosed upon physical examination and by looking at infected tonsils. A tonsil culture can help identify the cause of the infection. Tonsillitis may be part of an infection of the throat, such as strep throat. Many bacterial infections such as strep can be treated with antibiotics. If antibiotics are prescribed, you should be sure the cause is bacterial before you take the medication. When a virus causes tonsillitis, rest and drinking plenty of fluids are recommended. Gargling with salt water is an oft-recommended home remedy that helps soothe and heal infected tonsils. Throat lozenges are also recommended for the pain. If tonsillitis becomes chronic or problematic, especially in younger children, your healthcare provider might recommend a tonsillectomy. Be aware that the procedure becomes more complicated as you get older.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Tourette Syndrome
Tourette syndrome is an inherited disorder that causes repeated, involuntary body movements called tics and uncontrollable vocal sounds, which may come and go over the years.

The cause of Tourette syndrome is unknown, and many of those with the disorder also have other conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. People who suffer from Tourette syndrome may try to control their tics, but often this is not possible. Tics seem to worsen in stressful situations and improve when a person is relaxed or absorbed in activity. Symptoms of Tourette syndrome, which usually appear before the age of 18, include:

  • Eye blinking
  • Nose twitching
  • Head jerking
  • Neck stretching
  • Foot tapping
  • Body twisting and bending
  • Throat clearing
  • Coughing
  • Sniffing
  • Barking, yelping, grunting or shouting

Tourette syndrome is generally diagnosed by reviewing symptoms and family history and an MRI, EEG or CT scan may be ordered. Certain blood tests may be conducted to rule out other possible causes. The medical rule of thumb is that tics must be present for at least a year to be diagnosed as Tourette syndrome.

Since most of those diagnosed with Tourette syndrome lead normal, productive lives, treatment is not usually required. Medications are available to relieve some symptoms when severe or tics when they are frequent. Many people find that the disorder improves as they get older.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
Toxic shock syndrome is a fairly rare but potentially life-threatening condition that most often affects women of childbearing age. TSS is caused when toxic substances produced by specific bacteria enter the bloodstream.

TSS was primarily associated with tampon use in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, TSS is not as prevalent because most tampons are now made from natural fibers. Still, more than half of the cases diagnosed today are related to tampon use. To avoid contracting TSS, change tampons regularly. Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Rash
  • Low blood pressure
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart failure

Diagnosis of TSS usually includes blood tests and a pelvic exam to rule out sexually transmitted diseases. Treatment of TSS includes the prompt removal of a tampon, if one is being used, and cleansing the vagina with antiseptic to remove the bacteria producing the toxin. Antibiotics and other medications may be prescribed. Your physician may also recommended IV fluids and hospitalization so that you may be carefully monitored.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Transient Ischemic Attack
Other names: Warning stroke, mini-stroke

A transient ischemic attack occurs when blood flow to the brain is briefly interrupted. Recognizing and treating TIAs helps reduce the risk of a stroke.

Most strokes are not preceded by TIAs, but about one-third of those who have TIAs will have a stroke within five years. Many strokes can be prevented by addressing factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, heart disease, diabetes, heavy alcohol use and carotid artery disease. With proper medical attention and lifestyle changes these factors can be reduced or eliminated. Most TIAs only last one to five minutes and do not cause injury to the brain. Symptoms, which are similar to a stroke but do not last as long, include:

  • Numbness on one side of face or body
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking or comprehending
  • Problems with balance and coordination

Diagnosis includes a review of one’s medical history, a physical exam, and a CT scan or MRI. A carotid ultrasound, which is a procedure used to examine blood flow, may also be recommended.

Treatment may vary based on the cause of the TIA. Initially, your physician will probably prescribe medication for this condition. Those who do not respond to medication may require surgery.

Determining the difference between the symptoms of a TIA and actual stroke is impossible, so it is best to seek emergency medical care within an hour to determine if a TIA or stroke occurred.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Traveler’s Diarrhea
Other names: Montezuma’s revenge, Tut’s tummy

Traveler’s diarrhea is a common affliction that affects travelers to certain countries that have different sanitation and climate conditions from those to which they are accustomed. The most high-risk areas for traveler’s diarrhea include Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Traveler’s diarrhea usually occurs during a trip to a foreign country, although it may occur shortly after a return home. Traveler’s diarrhea is caused by consumption of water or food contaminated with feces or other bacteria, particularly E. coli, as well as viruses and parasites.

Traveler’s diarrhea is characterized by these symptoms:

  • Loose stools
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Fever (sometimes)
  • Dehydration
  • Malais

Traveler’s diarrhea usually will clear up without treatment after approximately one week, but it may last up to a month. Treatment involves mainly “waiting it out” with self-care measures and the possibility of taking antimotility medications, which can provide gastrointestinal relief. If you have a fever or bloody diarrhea, you should see a healthcare professional for further testing, which can be difficult in foreign countries.

Prevention is highly recommended for travelers to any foreign countries where there may be a chance of contracting traveler’s diarrhea. Preventive measures include:

  • Avoid all tap water for everything—including brushing your teeth and ice
  • Boil all tap water if you must use it
  • Drink pasteurized milk
  • Avoid raw fruits and vegetables, raw or rare meats, shellfish
  • Do not buy food from street vendors
  • Wash hands constantly
  • Make sure all dishes and utensils are clean

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis is the most common curable sexually transmitted disease in young, sexually active women – an estimated 5 million new cases are diagnosed each year. It usually affects women, but men can be carriers without exhibiting any symptoms.

Trichomoniasis is spread through penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva contact with an infected person. Symptoms tend to appear in women within 28 days of being infected. Symptoms, which often are not present, include:

  • A smelly, yellow vaginal discharge
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Redness

Diagnosis includes a physical examination and diagnostic tests. A physician may find small red sores on the vaginal wall when conducting a pelvic exam.

Trichomoniasis may be cured with prescription medications, but both partners should be treated to prevent further infection and spread of the disease.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Trigeminal Neuralgia
Other name: Tic douloureux

Trigeminal neuralgia is a rare neurological disorder that causes pain in areas of the face where branches of the fifth cranial nerve, also called the trigeminal nerve, are located. This condition is not fatal but is widely considered one of the most painful disorders known. Something as simple as even a breeze can cause agonizing pain among those who suffer from TN.

Another form of TN is called atypical TN, which may cause less severe but constant pain in the face. Both forms of TN usually only affect one side of the face during any given episode. Pain may last for days, weeks or months and then not recur for extended periods of time. Onset of TN symptoms may occur at any age, but usually occur after the age of 50. Symptoms include:

  • Intense pain in the lips, eyes, scalp, forehead and jaw
  • Stabbing or shock-like sensation

TN may be caused by pressure on the blood vessel on the root of the trigeminal nerve, plaque that results due to MS, pressure of a tumor on the trigeminal nerve, damage caused by dental work or surgery. Any number of activities, such as eating, shaving, applying makeup or even talking, may trigger an attack of TN.

Treatment usually includes the use of anti-convulsant and anti-depressant drugs. In cases where drug therapy is ineffective, relief may be provided by some neurosurgical procedures as well as alternative treatments such as acupuncture and hypnosis.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Trigger Finger
Other name: Stenosing tenosynovitis

Trigger finger is the swelling and inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm to the finger bones and that control the bending and extending motion of the fingers. With trigger finger, the tendons become so irritated and inflamed that the finger remains bent in a trigger-pulling position. Trigger finger is common in patients who have rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes. Trigger finger may also affect the thumb. Trigger finger may be caused by a repetitive use of the finger, such as that performed by musicians, typists or industrial workers.

Trigger finger can be easily diagnosed by simply examining the finger and hand. Treatment will reduce irritation and inflammation through rest, pain relief medication, a splint for support and avoidance of any aggravating activities. For more severe cases of trigger finger, a steroid injection may help the healing process. The condition becomes more severe in patients who have had rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes and may require surgery.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)

Tuberculosis (TB)
Other name: Consumption

Tuberculosis is a potentially fatal disease that primarily affects the lungs. It can be treated, cured and prevented, if those at risk take certain medication. More than 8 million new cases are diagnosed worldwide each year.

Those at a high risk of contracting TB include the elderly, certain ethnic groups, those infected by the HIV, alcoholics and IV drug users. TB also can affect other parts of the body, such as the bones, kidneys, spine, brain, the abdominal cavity and joints.

Tuberculosis is spread when a TB patient exhales, coughs or sneezes and droplets containing the bacteria are released into the air and inhaled by others. However, unlike other infections, TB is not transmitted by contact with a patient’s clothing, dishes or bed linens. Symptoms of TB may include:

  • Cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Diagnosis of TB is based on a TB skin test and other diagnostic tests such as a chest X-ray, a test of a sputum sample and a urine test. TB is usually treated with prescription medications. Hospitalization is rarely necessary. Most of those diagnosed with TB today make a full recovery if the disease is diagnosed early and treated with appropriate medications for six months.

Please note that this material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. Consult your healthcare professional for advice relating to a medical problem or condition. (return to top)