Asthma
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  Asthma



Asthma

    Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems. People with asthma have acute episodes or when the air passages in their lungs get narrower, and breathing becomes more difficult. Sometimes episodes of asthma are triggered by allergens, although infection, exercise, cold air and other factors are also important triggers.

RELATED TERMS
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Asthma
Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems. People with asthma have acute episodes or when the air passages in their lungs get narrower, and breathing becomes more difficult. Sometimes episodes of asthma are triggered by allergens, although infection, exercise, cold air and other factors are also important triggers.

Chronic
Ongoing or recurring. Chronic medical conditions include diabetes, epilepsy, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Disease
Illness or sickness often characterized by typical patient problems (symptoms) and physical findings (signs). Disruption sequence: The events that occur when a fetus that is developing normally is subjected to a destructive agent such as the rubella (German measles) virus.

Breathing
The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through the mouth or nose due to muscle contraction, and then exhaled due to muscle relaxation.

Acute
1. Of short course. 2. Severe, but of a short duration. Not chronic.

Lungs
The main respiratory organs in the chest where blood is oxygenated.

Allergens
Antigen-type substances that produce immediate hypersensitivity (HYPERSENSITIVITY, IMMEDIATE).

Infection


Exercise
Physical activity which is usually regular and done with the intention of improving or maintaining PHYSICAL FITNESS or HEALTH. Contrast with EXERTION which is concerned largely with the physiologic and metabolic response to energy expenditure.

Cold
An upper respiratory infection.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Asthenia
Weakness. Lack of energy and strength. Loss of strength. The word asthenia is not much used in medicine today, although it is a prominent part of myasthenia, a loss of muscle strength, as in myasthenia gravis.

Asthenic
1. Weak. Lacking in strength. 2. Having a slender light body. Ectomorphic. See also: Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome .

Asthma susceptibility gene
One of the genes that predisposes a person to asthma. A new gene family that plays a major role in asthma susceptibility has been identified. This gene family located at chromosome 5q23-35 is called Tim or Tapr. It controls the development of airway hyperreactivity (and the T cell production of interleukin 4 and 13). TIM-1 is also the receptor of the hepatitis A virus. This may explain the fact that hepatitis A virus infection decreases the chance asthma will develop.

Asthma, exercise-induced
"Asthma that is ""triggered"" by vigorous physical activity. Exercise-induced asthma tends particularly to affect children and young adults (because of their high level of physical activity) but can occur at any age. Exercise-induced asthma is initiated by the process of respiratory heat exchange (the fall in airway temperature during rapid breathing followed by rapid reheating with lowered ventilation). The more heat transferred, the cooler the airways become, the more rapidly they rewarm, and the more the bronchi are narrowed. Exercise-induced asthma is common. People with chronic asthma can develop symptoms whenever they are exposed to a ""trigger"" of the asthma, such as a virus, pollen, dust, or cigarette smoke. About 80 to 90 percent of people who have chronic asthma have exercise-induced asthma. And about 35 to 40 percent of people with seasonal allergies also have exercise-induced asthma and symptoms worsen during the spring and fall. "

Asthmatic
1. Pertaining to asthma as, for example, asthmatic bronchitis. 2. A person with asthma.



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Asthma

Anemia
Anemia is a condition in which a deficiency in the size or number of erythrocytes (red blood cells) or the amount of hemoglobin they contain limits the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the blood and the tissue cells. Most anemias are caused by a lack of nutrients required for normal erythrocyte synthesis, principally iron, vitamin B-12, and folic acid. Others result from a variety of conditions, such as hemorrhage, genetic abnormalities, chronic disease states or drug toxicity.

Artery
A blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body.

Arrhythmia
An abnormal heart rhythm, or heartbeat. The rhythm can be too fast, too slow, or irregular (beating at an off-beat rhythm). Some arrhythmias aren't a problem, but more serious arrhythmias can mean the heart is working less effectively, and may cause symptoms of palpitations, weakness, dizziness, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

Asbestosis
Disease caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers. It usually strikes workers in the textile, cement and insulating industries. Asbestos fibers are microscopic and virtually indestructible. When they are inhaled into the lung, the lung's defense cells try to destroy the asbestos fibers, but the body's defense mechanisms cannot break down asbestos. The result is that the asbestos fibers remain in the lungs and cause scarring and the inflammation continues for decades. This thickening and scarring prevents oxygen and carbon dioxide from traveling between the tiny air sacs of the lungs and into the blood stream, so breathing becomes much less efficient.

Adenosine triphosphate
The primary fuel used by cells to generate the biochemical reactions essential for life.

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