Tag Archives: diseases

25 Potential Causes of a Rash (Part 2)

We were exploring some of the potential underlying medical causes of unexplained rashes in our last post. Here are 15 more conditions that can cause a rash:

  1. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can cause symptoms such as unexplained pain, fever and rash in children. If your child has persistent fevers and skin problems accompanied with swelling or abnormal pain, have him or her checked out soon.
  2. Hookworm infection can cause visible symptoms as well as internal ones. The rash that often accompanies a hookworm infection is a long, spindly line rash that may also have some spots appearing with it.
  3. Sexually transmitted disease – Many different types of STDs can cause different types of rashes and other skin issues such as warts, boils or welts. Some STDs like gonorrhea often cause rashes.
  4. Kawasaki disease causes the blood vessels to become enflamed which can lead to a bright red tongue, a rash on the body (sometimes around the genital area) as well as red lips and swelling of the lymph nodes.
  5. Addison’s disease can cause darkening of the skin and a rash-like appearance.
  6. Mononucleosis can cause a spotty, bright red rash all over the body or on select parts of it.
  7. Measles is a highly infectious virus that can cause a high fever, cough and rash all over the body as well as inside the mouth.
  8. Phenylketonuria is an inherited disorder caused by a build up of amino acids in the blood. It can cause a light red patchy rash, especially on the face. It can also cause such serious symptoms as seizures and delayed mental development if it isn’t treated in a timely manner.
  9. Eczema (dermatitis) causes patches of skin to become inflamed, itchy, dry, red and cracked. This can appear rash-like.
  10. Heat rash is a result of the sweat ducts become blocked and don’t allow the sweat to reach the skin’s surface, causing inflammation. It causes small red bumps to form on the skin which may progress to blisters if the heat rash is severe.
  11. Rubella, also known as the German measles, is a virus that causes a fine red rash to form over the body accompanied by fever and other problematic symptoms.
  12. Scabies is an infestation of tiny mites called sarcoptes scabiei that burrow into the outer layers of the skin, causing skin inflammation and an intensely itchy hive-like rash.
  13. Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition that starts as patches of red bumps which often morph into scaly red skin plaques. These plaques often happen on the elbows, knees, back or trunk but can happen anywhere on the body including the face or genitals.
  14. Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes inflammatory red facial flushing and acne-like bumps.
  15. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a condition caused by a tickborne bacteria that can potentially be fatal to humans. It can cause such symptoms as severe headache, fever, vomiting and a red rash that can span the body.

There we have 25 potential causes of a skin rash! Thanks for visiting DocChat, our board-certified doctors are standing by 24/7/365 if to answer any medical concerns you may have!


Is Another Health Condition Causing Your Headaches?

 While primary headaches don’t have an underlying medical cause, secondary headaches are direct products of other health conditions such as allergies, sinuses, a chronic inflammatory condition or something more pressing.

Are Secondary Headaches Serious?

While primary headaches like migraines can be debilitating, they are not life-threatening. Secondary headaches, however, can be signs of potentially life-threatening health problems in rare cases (such as stroke or cancer). Before you press panic, note that only 10% of the headaches doctors encounter are secondary headaches, and of those, most are due to non-urgent conditions like sinuses or neck problems. Drugs and medications can also be the underlying causes of chronic secondary headaches.

Conditions That Can Cause Secondary Headaches

There are hundreds of medical conditions that may produce headaches, some of which include:

  • Strokea sudden unusual headache accompanied by blurred vision, trouble speaking, mobility problems, face drooping or confusion should never be ignored. A strange, sudden headache along with these symptoms may signal a stroke. Seek emergency medical attention in this instance.
  • Head or neck injury – it isn’t unusual for a person who has sustained a concussion or trauma to the upper body to experience a persistent headache. If you have not been treated for your trauma and are getting a nagging headache, seek medical attention.
  • Sinus problems – one of the least threatening and perhaps most common cause of secondary headaches on our list is sinusitis or rhinitis. These headaches tend to be over one eye, quite severe (sometimes migraine-like), and worsen with pressure. People with chronic sinusitis will likely struggle with chronic headaches unless they find medication that helps better control their sinus condition.
  • Medication (or substance withdrawal)certain medications such as blood pressure medications, pain medications like NSAIDs or opioids or birth control can cause chronic headaches. As can non-medical substances like alcohol, recreational drugs or caffeine. Similarly, withdrawing from any of these substances can also cause headaches temporarily.
  • Structural problem – a structural or muscular problem with the head, neck or upper back can cause headaches as well. Talk to your doctor about physiotherapy or treatment that can help resolve any existing muscular issue, or to ask if surgery can help a structural problem.
  • Psychiatric disorder – many types of mental health conditions can cause chronic headaches such as anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia or insomnia, to name a few. Speak to your doctor or psychologist about any medications or therapy that may help these headaches.
  • Infection – a systemic infection can cause headaches as well. If you experience a new type of headache that is persistent and accompanied by symptoms such as fever, inflammation, nausea or chills it is important to seek medical attention to check for an underlying infection.
  • Cranial mass – a benign or malignant tumor or cyst can cause headaches by increasing intracranial pressure. If your headaches are worsening over time and feel like immense pressure in the skull, seek medical treatment to rule out an intracranial mass as it could be serious.
  • Chronic pain disorder – those with systemic chronic pain disorders such as autoimmune conditions, fibromyalgia or arthritis may be more likely to experience chronic headaches either from the stress of dealing with daily pain or because of higher levels of inflammation. Talk to your doctor (or one of ours) about pain management strategies.

When To See The Doc

If you are getting chronic headaches of any kind, you should talk to a doctor about what may be causing it if it is a secondary headache, as well as treatment that may work for you. It is important to remember that the vast majority of all headaches are non-critical, so try not to stress about your headache until you talk to a doctor about your concerns. He or she will be able to rule out any acute problems and prescribe the necessary treatment. However, if you experience severe, sudden headaches or ones with troubling accompanying symptoms, seek medical treatment right away. Remember, our highly qualified, board certified DocChat physicians are here 24/7 to assist you with any medical concerns, so feel free to sign up today. Thanks for visiting!


Medical Causes of Weight Gain (Part 2)

More often than not, weight gain is caused by non-disease factors such as lifestyle changes, but sometimes it can be a symptom of an underlying medical issue. In Medical Causes of Weight Gain (Part 1) we outlined six underlying medical conditions that can cause unwanted weight gain: depression, Cushing syndrome, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovaries, cirrhosis and acromegaly. Now we’ll take a look at another four illness causes, as well as some non-disease causes of unintentional weight gain.

  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a painful female condition where the body produces too much androgen which can lead to weight gain, serious pelvic pain, extremely painful periods and in some cases infertility.

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidney disease cause a build-up of fluid in the limbs and abdomen which presents as rapid weight gain. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can also cause swelling of the ankles, extreme fatigue, problems urinating (such as blood in the urine) and nausea. CKD can be life threatening so it is important to get these symptoms checked out by a professional.

  1. Lupus

Lupus is a serious systemic (effects the entire body) autoimmune disease which has multiple forms and causes a host of unpleasant and dangerous symptoms. Some of the countless symptoms of lupus include fatigue, swelling, joint and body pain, hair loss and unintentional weight loss or weight gain.

  1. Ovarian Cancer

Many cancers cause weight loss, but ovarian cancer is usually the opposite. Along with sudden unwanted weight gain, ovarian cancer may also cause stomach, vaginal, pelvic pain or discomfort. It can also lead to swelling (such as chronic bloating), constipation and problems urinating, often including blood in the urine. If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for a while, you should contact your doctor or gynecologist for an exam.

Other Reasons For Weight Gain

  • Medications – there are many medications that can lead to weight gain as an unwanted side effect. Some of these include: steroids like prednisone, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-seizure medications, antihistamines, beta blockers and diabetes medications, just to name a few.
  • Menopause – menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s menses. It sometimes takes women by surprise, starting earlier than expected and causing a varied array of symptoms. Menopause often leads to weight gain due to a combination of metabolic and hormonal changes.
  • Aging – Your metabolism starts slowing down as you age, leading to a lower basal metabolic rate (BMR). A low BMR makes it more difficult to burn off calories, leading to excess fat.
  • Lifestyle changes – before you hit the panic button after reading about these diseases, remember that most cases of weight gain are caused by alterations in lifestyle such as decreased exercise and changes in diet in combination with an age-related metabolism relaxation. However, if you are experiencing some of the additional symptoms we looked at in Part 1 and Part 2 along with your weight gain, it may be time to talk to your doctor about running some tests (at least for peace of mind).

There you have it! Some of the potential medical causes of weight gain. Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any questions about some of the conditions or symptoms we’ve outlined or have any other health-related inquiries please don’t hesitate to sign up today for a video consultation with one of our top-tier, board certified DocChat physicians!



5 Less Common Types Of Arthritis

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis encompasses over 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions, affecting nearly 1 in 5 American adults. The three most prevalent types of arthritis that account for most cases are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Some of the less common, but equally as troublesome forms of arthritic conditions are:

         1. Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition that predominantly affects the vertebrae of the spine, sometimes fusing them together creating chronic pain and swelling. The condition usually comes on in early adulthood and is more prevalent among males. It can also affect the hips, ribcage, breastbone, tendons in shoulders or heels, and the eyes. Medical science has discovered that people with the HLA-B27 gene may have a genetic vulnerability to developing the disease. If symptoms are present, doctors often do bloodwork and x-rays to help diagnose the condition.

  1. Palindromic Rheumatism

Palindromic rheumatism (PR) is a rare type of cyclical inflammatory arthritis (symptoms come and go) that often turns into rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Both conditions have many similarities, but RA causes lasting joint damage, whereas PR does not. It is equally as prevalent between males and females, and usually starts in early to mid adulthood. PR consists of periods of symptom-free lulls, and periods of days, weeks or months where 2-3 joints will become inflamed and painful, as well as the surrounding connective tissue. No one laboratory test can diagnose this condition, but may help rule out others. Treatment usually consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) or antimalarials.

  1. Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is usually the result of an infection that changes the body’s ability to defend itself against other infections or environmental factors. It can be a one-time occurrence causing joint inflammation for a period of days or weeks before subsiding organically, or it can become a chronic form of arthritis that may require treatment and managing by a rheumatologist or another arthritis specialist. Reactive arthritis can affect multiple joints, causing significant pain and swelling.

  1. Scleroderma

Scleroderma is another disease that crosses over between an arthritic condition and autoimmune disease. It works by hardening the skin and the organs, which creates many inflammatory and pain problems within the body. Scleroderma affects the skin, connective tissue and organs and can be quite debilitating and pervasive. As with many autoimmune diseases, there is no cure but different medications are available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. Only about 500,000 American people are afflicted by Scleroderma, and while it isn’t technically a genetic disease, it tends to be more prevalent within certain family pools.

There you have a few lesser known arthritic conditions! Keep and eye out for more less known types of arthritis in the future. If you suffer from these diseases or have any questions about arthritis in general feel free to sign up to DocChat today to begin a video consultation with one of our highly qualified physicians! Thanks for visiting, we hope you’ll be back soon.