Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome/Vulvodynia is a medical term that means "painful vulva." The term can cover a wide variety of vulvar pain syndromes, including various infections and skin disorders.  Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS) is an inflammation of the vestibule, or opening to the vagina and the tissues immediately around the vaginal opening. This condition is also sometimes called "vestibular adenitis".The classic description of VVS involves redness of the vulvar vestibule, especially with small red spots; pain with intercourse or tampon insertion and stinging pain when urinating.

Vulvodynia of neurologic origin  is also called "essential vulvodynia," "pudendal neuralgia" or "dysthetic vulvodynia". The classic description of pudendal neuralgia involves a more or less constant itching or tingling sensation in the vulva, ranging from mild to excruciating pain of the entire vulva. Pudendal neuralgia is probably due to compression or degeneration of the pudendal nerve, one of the main nerves that relays sensation to and from the genitals. This condition can also result from a spinal injury, or a tumor or cyst in the spine. Trauma during childbirth can also cause vulvodynia. In many cases, the exact cause remains unknown.

The National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) - http://www.nva.org/

Vulvar Vestibulitis – – American Academy of Family Physicians – http://www.aafp.org/afp/990315ap/990315d.html

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Vestibular Disorders are related to problems with balance.  Dizziness, vertigo, lightheadedness, motion sickness, etc. and can be caused by visual, inner ear, general sensory and brain dysfunctions. Balance is a state of body equilibrium or stability.

For more information, please see http://www.medicinenet.com/vestibular_balance_disorders/article.htm

Vestibular Disorders – – Vestibular Disorders Association – http://www.vestibular.org/

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Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, Temporomandibular disorder(s) (TMD) or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is the most common cause of facial pain after toothache. In the past, many physicians called this condition TMJ disease or TMJ syndrome.  The term temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is the preferred term according to the American Academy of Orofacial Pain (AAOP) and most other groups who sponsor studies into its origins and treatment. Interestingly, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) puts TMJ and TMD together and refers to them as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) on its Web site. The authors preferentially use the term temporomandibular disorder (TMD) in this article.

Two widely used classification schemes exist. The AAOP classification divides TMD broadly into 2 syndromes: (1) muscle-related TMD (myogenous TMD), sometimes this is called TMD secondary to myofacial pain and dysfunction (MPD), and (2) joint-related (arthrogenous) TMD, that is TMD secondary to true articular disease. The 2 types can be present at the same time, making diagnosis and treatment more challenging.

For more information, please see http://www.emedicine.com/neuro/topic366.htm

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome – – The TMJ Association  – http://www.tmj.org/site/

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Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain important hormones.  This condition is also called Graves

Women, especially those older than 50, are more likely to have hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body. It seldom causes symptoms in the early stages,

but over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary widely, depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency. But in general, any problems you do have tend to develop slowly, often over a number of years.  At first, you may barely notice the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and sluggishness, or you may simply attribute them to getting older. But as your metabolism continues to slow, you may develop more obvious signs and symptoms. Hypothyroidism symptom may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sluggishness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Pale, dry skin
  • A puffy face
  • Hoarse voice
  • An elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Brittle fingernails and hair
  • Heavier than normal menstrual periods
  • Depression

When hypothyroidism isn't treated, signs and symptoms can gradually become more severe. Constant stimulation of your thyroid to release more hormones may lead to an enlarged thyroid (goiter). In addition, you may become more forgetful, your thought processes may slow or you may feel depressed.

For more information, please see http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism

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Sjögren’s Syndrome often is undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome may mimic those of menopause, drug side effects, or medical conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. Because all symptoms are not always present at the same time and because Sjögren’s can involve several body systems, physicians and dentists sometimes treat each symptom individually and do not recognize that a systemic disease is present. The average time from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis is over six years.

Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease in which moisture-producing glands are damaged, significantly decreasing the quantity and quality of saliva and tears. The disease was first dentified by a Swedish physician, Henrik Sjögren, in 1933. Although the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjögren’s also may cause dysfunction of other organs, affecting the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the nervous system. Patients may experience extreme fatigue and joint pain and have a higher risk of lymphoma.

For more information about Sjögren’s syndrome, contact the Sjögren’ Syndrome Foundation at 1-800-475-6473.

Sjogrens – – Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation – http://www.sjogrens.org/

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