Diseases & Conditions

The human body is a remarkable structure. It's designed to efficiently manage the wear and tear of everyday life and fend off all sorts of threats. Most of us are healthy for most of our lives. But we're also susceptible to hundreds of injuries, diseases, and conditions. Some are quite common, others are extremely rare. Here are some of the most common conditions that affect humans.


Diseases & Conditions Articles

Are the new migraine medications working?

Three new medications—erenumab (Aimovig), fremanezumab (Ajovy), and galcanezumab (Emgality)—appear to be helping people with frequent, debilitating migraine headaches. Studies suggest that people taking the new drugs experience about 50% fewer migraine headache days per month, compared with people who aren’t taking the medications. However, clinical trials for the new medications have included relatively few older adults, so it’s not known if older adults might react differently to the medications than younger people. Doctors urge older adults to start out taking the lowest dose possible. (Locked) More »

Preventing seasonal maladies

Older adults are especially susceptible to winter illnesses. This is partly because of a weakened immune system. Common winter illnesses include the common cold, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza, and stomach bugs. To ward off winter illness, one should get the proper vaccines, wash hands before eating or touching the face, carry hand sanitizer, avoid close contact with people who’re under the weather, and stay away from shared food like potlucks and buffets. (Locked) More »

Is shingles contagious?

Someone who has shingles can give other people chickenpox if they haven’t been exposed to the virus in the past and haven’t been vaccinated against it. (Locked) More »

New thinking on peripheral neuropathy

Doctors are learning that neuropathy can cause many more problems than just numbness and tingling in the feet and hands. Neuropathy of the autonomic nerves to the heart or blood vessels can cause low blood pressure, perceived as chronic fatigue and faintness or dizziness. Damage to nerve fibers serving the gastrointestinal tract may cause bloating, nausea, digestion problems, constipation, or diarrhea. These are often labeled irritable bowel syndrome. Autonomic neuropathy less often affects the bladder and sexual function. (Locked) More »

Be alert to an increasingly common threat: tick-borne illnesses

Ticks are an increasingly common source of illness, especially in the summer months. While these illnesses used to be common only in certain areas of the country, today more people across the United States are at risk. These conditions typically produce nonspecific symptoms, such as fever, headache, and joint pain, and are treated using antibiotics. More »

Fatty liver disease: An often-silent condition linked to heart disease

As many as one in four Americans has a potentially dangerous accumulation of fat in the liver. Known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, it is closely linked to obesity and diabetes and may boost heart disease risk. The milder form of the disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL), can progress to a more serious condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in which the liver cells are inflamed and injured. The plant-focused Mediterranean diet, which helps prevent heart disease, may slow the progression of fatty liver disease. Other key lifestyle changes include weight loss and regular aerobic exercise. (Locked) More »

Poor sense of smell may predict risk of death in older adults

Shorter term studies have suggested a link between loss of smell among older adults and risk of death. A new report confirms that the association between loss of smell and earlier death persists over more than a decade and identifies the leading causes: cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. More »