Kidney and urinary tract

Urinary incontinence: Common and manageable

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

Nearly half of all women will experience some form of urinary incontinence during their lives. In addition to the discomfort, it can affect a person’s emotional health as well. But the condition can be managed for many women with lifestyle changes behavior therapy, or physical therapy.

Is it safe to take ibuprofen for the aches and pains of exercise?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

A study of endurance athletes who took ibuprofen during marathon running raises questions about the wisdom of ibuprofen during exercise, and in addition that people with kidney disease may want to exercise caution when taking these medications.

Sticking to a low-salt diet when eating out

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

People concerned about sodium intake should be careful when dining out, as many restaurant meals are loaded with salt, and it’s not just the fast-food places that are guilty of this.

Of all the flavors in the world, we choose salty — and that’s not good

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

The average American consumes three times the recommended daily intake of sodium, largely because of salt added to processed and prepared foods. It’s possible to reduce daily sodium intake, but it does require effort and vigilance.

Sepsis: When infection overwhelms

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

The dangers of sepsis are more pronounced for certain parts of the population, and more likely to be caused by certain types of infections, like pneumonia. It’s vital that patients and those close to them be aware of the signs of sepsis and get immediate medical attention if it is suspected.

Kidney stones are on the rise

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

A recently published study has found that the incidence of kidney stones is on the rise. These stones, which are formed when chemicals in the urine crystallize, can cause serious complications in addition to the usual pain and urinary trouble. It’s not clear why they’re becoming more common, but climate change and rising rates of obesity may be to blame.