Diverticular disease of the colon

Diverticular disease — a condition characterized by protruding pouches on the colon — consists of diverticulosis or diverticulitis. It's thought that a low-fiber diet, obesity, and lack of exercise contribute to the disease.  Of those with diverticulosis, 30% will develop more serious forms of the disease, including diverticulitis (infected and inflamed diverticula) and diverticular bleeding (bleeding from a blood vessel near a diverticulum). Most diverticulitis can be treated with medications and rest, but some cases lead to complications requiring surgery, including perforation of the colon, peritonitis (infection of the abdominal cavity), bowel obstruction, abscess, and fistula (an abnormal connection between the colon and nearby tissue). More »

ED pills and eyes

Sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra) have revolutionized the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).  Even though visual disturbances were listed among the side effects, all three ED pills have been approved for daily use. Most of these vision problems are mild and temporary but one can be serious and permanent. Does daily use of ED pills raise the risk of visual disturbances and other side effects? This study helps answer the question. (Locked) More »

Medical memo: Sleep, heart disease, and prostate cancer

Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and erectile dysfunction. Daytime sleepiness, impaired concentration and judgment, depression and irritability, diminished performance and car crashes are well-known consequences. New research suggests that getting too little sleep could also lead to increased risk of both cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer. (Locked) More »

On call: Baker's cyst

I'm 67. Recently, I noticed a soft swelling behind my left knee. I saw an orthopedist who told me I have a Baker's cyst. He said I don't need any tests or treatments, but I worry that it may interfere with my tennis. Should I ignore it or get treatment? (Locked) More »