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Vaginal discharge serves an important housekeeping function in the female reproductive system. Fluid made by glands inside the vagina and cervix carries away dead cells and bacteria. This keeps the vagina clean and helps prevent infection.

Most of the time, vaginal discharge is perfectly normal. The amount can vary, as can odor and hue (its color can range from clear to a milky white-ish), depending on the time in your menstrual cycle. For example, there will be more discharge if you are ovulating, breastfeeding, or are sexually aroused. The smell may be different if you are pregnant or you haven't been diligent about your personal hygiene.

None of those changes is cause for alarm. However, if the color, smell, or consistency seems significantly unusual, especially if it accompanied by vaginal itching or burning, you could be noticing an infection or other condition.

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Itching or irritation anywhere on the body can cause discomfort. But when it occurs in an area as sensitive as the vagina and vulva (the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening), it can be especially uncomfortable. Most genital itching and irritation isn't a major concern. But because they can be symptoms of an infection, it's always a good idea to call your health care provider.

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Vaginitis, also known as vaginal infection and vulvovaginitis, is an inflammation of the vagina and possible vulva. It can result in discharge, itching and pain, and is often associated with an irritation or infection of the vulva. Infected women may also be asymptomatic.

It is usually due to infection. The three main kinds of vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis (BV), vaginal candidiasis, and trichomoniasis. A woman may have a combination of vaginal infections at one time. Testing for vaginal infections is not a part of routine pelvic exams. If there is discomfort in the vulvovaginal area, women can request their health care providers evaluate for the presence of an infection.
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Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and twisted. The term commonly refers to the veins on the leg, although varicose veins can occur elsewhere. Veins have pairs of leaflet valves to prevent blood from flowing backwards (retrograde flow or venous reflux). Leg muscles pump the veins to return blood to the heart (the skeletal-muscle pump), against the effects of gravity. When veins become varicose, the leaflets of the valves no longer meet properly, and the valves do not work (valvular incompetence). This allows blood to flow backwards and they enlarge even more. Varicose veins are most common in the superficial veins of the legs, which are subject to high pressure when standing. Besides being a cosmetic problem, varicose veins can be painful, especially when standing. Severe long-standing varicose veins can lead to leg swelling, venous eczema, skin thickening (lipodermatosclerosis) and ulceration. Although life-threatening complications are uncommon, varicose veins may be confused with deep vein thrombosis, which may be life-threatening.

Non-surgical treatments include sclerotherapy, elastic stockings, leg elevation and exercise. The traditional surgical treatment has been vein stripping to remove the affected veins. Newer, less invasive treatments which seal the main leaking vein are available. Alternative techniques, such as ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser treatment, are available as well. Because most of the blood in the legs is returned by the deep veins, the superficial veins, which return only about 10% of the total blood of the legs, can usually be removed or ablated without serious harm.

Secondary varicose veins are those developing as collateral pathways, typically after stenosis or occlusion of the deep veins, a common sequel of extensive deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Treatment options are usually support stockings, occasionally sclerotherapy and rarely, limited surgery.

Varicose veins are distinguished from reticular veins (blue veins) and telangiectasias (spider veins), which also involve valvular insufficiency, by the size and location of the veins. Many patients who suffer with varicose veins seek out the assistance of physicians who specialize in vein care or peripheral vascular disease. These physicians include vascular surgeons, phlebologists or interventional radiologists.
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Vertigo is a medical condition where a person feels as if they or the objects around them are moving when they are not. Often it feels like a spinning or swaying movement. This may be associated with nausea, vomiting, sweating, or difficulties walking. It is typically worsened when the head is moved. Vertigo is the most common type of dizziness.

The most common diseases that result in vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière's disease, and labyrinthitis. Less common causes include stroke, brain tumors, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, migraines, trauma, and uneven pressures between the middle ears. Physiologic vertigo may occur following being exposed to motion for a prolonged period such as when on a ship or simply following spinning with the eyes closed. Other causes may include toxin exposures such as to carbon monoxide, alcohol, or aspirin. Vertigo is a problem in a part of the vestibular system. Other causes of dizziness include presyncope, disequilibrium, and non-specific dizziness.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is more likely in someone who gets repeated episodes of vertigo with movement and is otherwise normal between these episodes. The episodes of vertigo should last less than one minute. The Dix-Hallpike test typically produces a period of rapid eye movements known as nystagmus in this condition. In Ménière's disease there is often ringing in the ears, hearing loss, and the attacks of vertigo last more than twenty minutes. In labyrinthitis the onset of vertigo is sudden and the nystagmus occurs without movement. In this condition vertigo can last for days. More severe causes should also be considered. This is especially true if other problems such as weakness, headache, double vision, or numbness occur.

Dizziness affects approximately 20–40% of people at some point in time, while about 7.5–10% have vertigo. About 5% have vertigo in a given year. It becomes more common with age and affects women two to three times more often than men. Vertigo accounts for about 2–3% of emergency department visits in the developed world.
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Vomiting, also known as emesis and throwing up, among other terms, is the involuntary, forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose.

Vomiting can be caused by a wide variety of conditions; it may present as a specific response to ailments like gastritis or poisoning, or as a non-specific sequela of disorders ranging from brain tumors and elevated intracranial pressure to overexposure to ionizing radiation. The feeling that one is about to vomit is called nausea, which often precedes, but does not always lead to, vomiting. Antiemetics are sometimes necessary to suppress nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, where dehydration develops, intravenous fluid may be required. Self induced vomiting can be a component of an eating disorder, such as Bulimia Nervosa, and is itself now an eating disorder on its own, purging disorder.

Vomiting is different from regurgitation, although the two terms are often used interchangeably. Regurgitation is the return of undigested food back up the esophagus to the mouth, without the force and displeasure associated with vomiting. The causes of vomiting and regurgitation are generally different.
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Morning sickness, also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), is a symptom of pregnancy that involves nausea or vomiting. Despite the name, nausea or vomiting can occur at any time during the day. Typically these symptoms occur between the 4th and 16th week of pregnancy. About 10% of women still have symptoms after the 20th week of pregnancy. A severe form of the condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum and results in weight loss.

The cause of morning sickness is unknown but may be related to changing levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin. Some have proposed that it may be useful from an evolutionary point of view. Diagnosis should only occur after other possible causes have been ruled out. Abdominal pain, fever, or headaches are typically not present in morning sickness.

Taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy may decrease the risk. Specific treatment other than a bland diet may not be required for mild cases. If treatment is used the combination of doxylamine and pyridoxine is recommended initially. There is limited evidence that ginger may be useful. For severe cases that have not improved with other measures methylprednisolone may be tried. Tube feeding may be required in women who are losing weight.

Morning sickness affects about 70-80% of all pregnant women to some extent. About 60% of women have vomiting. Hyperemesis gravidarum occurs in about 1.6% of pregnancies. Morning sickness can negatively affect quality of life, result in decreased ability to work while pregnant, and result in health care expenses. Generally mild to moderate cases have no effect on the baby. Most severe cases also have normal outcomes. Some women choose to have an abortion due to the severity of symptoms. Complications such as Wernicke encephalopathy or esophageal rupture may occur but are very rare.
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A vitamin deficiency can cause a disease or syndrome known as an avitaminosis or hypovitaminosis. This usually refers to a long-term deficiency of a vitamin. When caused by inadequate nutrition it can be classed as a primary deficiency, and when due to an underlying disorder such as malabsorption it can be classed as a secondary deficiency. An underlying disorder may be metabolic as in a defect converting tryptophan to niacin. It can also be the result of lifestyle choices including smoking and alcohol consumption.

Examples are vitamin A deficiency, folate deficiency, (scurvy), vitamin D deficiency, vitamin E deficiency, and vitamin K deficiency. In the medical literature, any of these may also be called by names on the pattern of hypovitaminosis or avitaminosis + [letter of vitamin], for example, hypovitaminosis A, hypovitaminosis C, hypovitaminosis D.
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Vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential for healthy bones and teeth. There are two forms of vitamin D that are important for nutrition: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 mainly comes from fortified foods like breakfast cereals, milk, and other dairy items. Vitamin D3 is made by your own body when you are exposed to sunlight. It is also found in some foods, including eggs and fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.

In your bloodstream, vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are changed into a form of vitamin D called 25 hydroxyvitamin D, also known as 25(OH)D. A vitamin D blood test measures the level of 25(OH)D in your blood. Abnormal levels of vitamin D can indicate bone disorders, nutrition problems, organ damage, or other medical conditions.

Other names: 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 25(OH)D

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Vision rehabilitation is the process of treatment and education that helps individuals who are visually disabled attain maximum function, a sense of well being, a personally satisfying level of independence, and optimum quality of life. Function is maximized by evaluation, diagnosis and treatment including, but not limited to, the prescription of optical, non-optical, electronic and/or other treatments. The rehabilitation process includes the development of an individual rehabilitation plan specifying clinical therapy and/or instruction in compensatory approaches.

Vision rehabilitation may be necessitated by any condition, disease, or injury that causes a visual impairment which results in functional limitation or disability. In addition to the evaluation, diagnosis and management of visual impairment by an eye care physician (optometrist or ophthalmologist), vision rehabilitation may include, but is not limited to, optometric, medical, allied health, social, educational and psychological services.

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Vocational rehabilitation services are based on individual needs and defined as any goods or services an individual might need to be employable, such as assistive technology devices and services. For instance, a person who is blind would need screen reading software to access a computer and people with a cognitive or mental disability might need a talking electronic reminder device programmed to prompt them when it is time to perform certain tasks.

Vocational rehabilitation can be provided by private organizations, but is not typically funded under managed care arrangements. Thus, most people apply to state vocational rehabilitation agencies that are funded through federal and state monies. Typically, state agencies have offices in their state's major cities and towns. State VR agencies do not necessarily offer the same services or deliver services in the same way in every state, so individuals seeking services must learn how to access the VR program in their own state. The federal VR component is administered by the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration and authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended in the 1988 reauthorization.Most vocational rehabilitation services are free for eligible applicants; however, applicants may be asked to use other benefits, such as: insurance, Pell grants or other financial aid for training or higher education, to pay part of program costs.

Best practices in vocational rehabilitation include individual choice, person-centered planning, integrated setting, natural supports, rapid placement, and career development. The term integrated setting refers to placing individuals in usual employment situations rather than making placements into sheltered workshops or other segregated settings. Natural supports are the person's already existing support network, including family members, service providers, and friends, who can help the person reach a goal, such as the employment of their choice. Person-centered planning is a technique in which a plan for a person's future is developed by a team consisting of the person and his or her natural supports, and the team develops a practical plan based on the person's wishes and dreams. Each teammember agrees to perform certain tasks identified in the plan to help the person reach goals. Unfortunately, not all VR programs incorporate all of these best practices.

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There are six basic types of nutrients that are considered essential to life: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. These nutrients are needed for your body to function properly, and your diet is the source of them. Vitamins and minerals are considered micronutrients because they are needed in smaller quantities than the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). Micronutrients do not provide calories. When your body does not absorb an adequate amount of any of the micronutrients, diseases can occur. It's important to understand what your nutritional needs are and how to achieve them.Vitamins are broken down into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Leftover amounts are not stored and will leave your body through your urine. For this reason, you must consume them on a continuous basis. The water-soluble vitamins are the B vitamins and vitamin C. Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fat, not water. These vitamins need dietary fat in order to be better absorbed in the small intestines. They are then stored in the liver and fatty tissues (adipose tissues) and can accumulate to toxic levels when consumed in excess quantities. The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K.Recommendations for essential nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes is the general term for a set of reference values used for planning and assessing nutrient intake for healthy people. There are three important types of DRI reference values; Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), Adequate Intakes (AI), and Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL). The RDA is set to meet the nutrient requirements for the average daily intake of nearly all healthy individuals in each age and gender group. When there is insufficient data to set an RDA for a nutrient, an AI is set. AIs meet or exceed the amount needed to maintain an adequate nutritional state in nearly everyone of a specific age and gender group. Some nutrients can cause health problems when consumed in excessive quantities. The UL was set to provide the maximum daily intake that is unlikely to result in adverse health effects. Numerous health conditions, however, can impact your nutritional needs. A registered dietitian or physician can help you better determine your needs based upon your overall health and condition.

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Visual Evoked Potential/ Response (VEP/VER) measures the electrical signal generated at visual cortex in response to visual stimulation. The visual cortex is primarily activated by the central visual field and there is a large presentation of the macula at occipital cortex. VEP depends on integrity of visual pathway including eye, optic nerve, chiasma, optic tract, optic radiation and cerebral cortex. Standard International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV) protocols[1] assess the anterior visual pathway (eye, optic nerve anterior to the optic chiasma). For dysfunctions of posterior visual pathway extended multi-channel protocols are needed.

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