A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Cysts: A cyst is a closed, sack-like structure that contains fluid, gas or semi-solid material and is not a normal part of the tissue where it is located. Cysts are common and can occur anywhere in the body, they can be external that is they can form on the skin and they can be formed internally. Cysts on internal organs such as the kidneys or liver may not produce any symptoms or may not be detected by touch. These cysts can only be detected by imaging studies such as X- ray and ultrasound.

Cysts vary in size and they can grow so large that they displace normal organs and tissues.

Cysts can arise through a variety of processes in the body including infections, tumours, chronic inflammatory conditions and genetic (inherited) conditions.  Sometimes you can feel a cyst yourself when you feel an abnormal lump. Cysts in the breasts may be palpable, that is, you can feel them when you examine the area with your fingers. People of any age can get cysts.

Some people confuse cysts with boils or skin abscesses. Boils and abscesses are painful collections of pus that indicate an infection. A cyst may go on to become a boil or abscess.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

Health Issues

UK-based trade group the Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) has written a formal letter of complaint to the BBC about a controversial BBC2 Horizon programme about the food supplements industry.


Consumers are demanding BPA-free products, but the alternatives are no safer. Despite this alarming data, nearly 81% of Americans have detectable levels of BPS in their urine.


Widely promoted as a ‘safe’ and ‘healthy’ alternative way to quit smoking, the adoption of vaping has grown exponentially in recent years.