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Idiopathic is an adjective used primarily in medicine meaning "a disease or condition the cause of which is not known or that arises spontaneously".[1] From Greek ἴδιος, idios (one's own) + πάθος, pathos (suffering), it means approximately "a disease of its own kind". It is technically a term from nosology, the classification of disease. For some medical conditions, one or more causes are somewhat understood, but in a certain percentage of people with the condition, the cause may not be readily apparent or characterized. In these cases, the origin of the condition is said to be idiopathic.

With some medical conditions, the root cause for a large percentage of all cases has not been established—for example, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis or ankylosing spondylitis; the majority of these cases are deemed idiopathic.[2] With other conditions, idiopathic cases account for only a small percentage (for example, pulmonary fibrosis).[1] Regarding a particular condition or disease, as more root causes are discovered the percentage of cases designated "idiopathic" decreases.

Some congenital conditions are idiopathic, and sometimes the word "congenital" is used synonymously with "idiopathic"; but careful usage prefers to reserve the word "congenital" for conditions to which the literal sense of the word applies (that is, those whose pathophysiology has existed since the neonatal period).

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Also see the following articles on Idiopathic


Featured disease

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of the most dangerous heart attack risk factors: diabetes and prediabetes, abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Affects one in three adults

Affecting about 35 percent of all adults in the United States according to the CDC, metabolic syndrome contributes to weight gain, by causing a state of internal starvation called metabolic starvation. This in turn leads to increases hunger, sugar cravings and increased portions leading to overeating and weight gain.

Cause and effect misunderstood

Since we traditionally thought that the portion control (which in turn was attributed wrongly to poor will power)is the cause of weight gain, rather than the effect of this metabolic starvation, all our traditional ideas about cause and effect of obesity were not only wrong but lead to the “blame the victim” attitude when it comes to obesity.

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WikiMD Resources for Idiopathic

Articles on Idiopathic

Govt. policies / Guidelines
  1. UpToDate on Idiopathic
  2. Most recent articles on Idiopathic
  3. Most cited articles on Idiopathic
  4. Review articles on Idiopathic
  5. Articles on Idiopathic in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ
  1. US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Idiopathic
  2. NICE Guidance on Idiopathic
  3. NHS PRODIGY Guidance
  4. FDA on Idiopathic
  5. CDC on Idiopathic

Media articles Idiopathic

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  5. Risk calculators and risk factors for Idiopathic

Evidence Based Medicine

Healthcare Provider Resources
  1. Cochrane Collaboration on Idiopathic
  2. Bandolier on Idiopathic
  3. TRIP on Idiopathic
  1. Symptoms of Idiopathic
  2. Causes & Risk Factors for Idiopathic
  3. Diagnostic studies for Idiopathic
  4. Treatment of Idiopathic

Clinical Trials

News on Idiopathic
  1. Ongoing Trials on Idiopathic at Clinical
  2. Trial results on Idiopathic
  3. Clinical Trials on Idiopathic at Google
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Definition of Idiopathic

Flickr on Idiopathic
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Pintest on Idiopathic Commentary & #Idiopathic
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