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Illnesses sending mum to the loo (8)


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'illnesses' is the definition.
(I know this)

'mum to the loo' is the wordplay.
'mum' becomes 'ma' (ma can mean mother).
'to the loo' becomes 'ladies' (I am not sure about this - if you are sure you should believe this answer much more).

'sending' acts as a link.
I am not very happy about this link. It may be part of another bit of the clue.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for maladies that I've seen before include "illnesses" , "Diseases, ailments" , "Complaints" .)

I've seen this clue in The Guardian.
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