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

How does inflammation increase the risk for heart attacks?

We now understand why inflammation increases heart attack risk. As cholesterol invades the wall of the artery, the immune system treats it like it treats other invaders. Immune system cells infiltrate the artery wall, release inflammation-producing chemicals, and send signals for other cells to remove the cholesterol. Then a fibrous cap forms over the plaque. Inflammation inside the plaque can eventually eat away at that fibrous cap. If the cap ruptures, cholesterol and the inflammatory cells and chemicals suddenly spill into the artery, causing a blood clot to form and block blood flow. More »

Don’t get upset about indigestion

It’s common for indigestion to become more frequent and severe with age, a condition called chronic dyspepsia or recurring indigestion. While most flare-ups can be treated with over-the-counter remedies, people can stop recurring problems by adopting lifestyle measures, such as reducing stress, avoiding excess alcohol, quitting smoking, losing extra weight, and eating smaller meals. (Locked) More »

Vaccination update

As scientists race to find a vaccine to ward off SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, doctors are reminding people to get other scheduled vaccinations. Older adults are advised to get their scheduled shots to protect against flu, shingles, pneumonia, and other infectious diseases. The benefits of vaccines may go beyond immunity to the germs they introduce; vaccines may help keep the immune system stay "fit" and give people a boost when they encounter other bugs. (Locked) More »

What is chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system is over-stimulated all the time. It’s not clear why chronic inflammation develops in the body, but it is linked to many chronic conditions, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. More »

Why do I smell certain odors that aren’t real?

A distorted sense of smell is quite common as people age. Called dysosmia, it can make people smell odors that are not there or be highly sensitive to certain smells. While it’s not bothersome for most, people should see their doctor if the condition becomes persistent. More »

8 things you should know about pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill up with fluid or pus, which makes it harder to breathe. The most common symptoms are cough that may be dry or produce phlegm, fever, chills and fatigue. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and pain in the chest. and shortness of breath. Signs that indicate a more severe infection are shortness of breath, confusion, decreased urination and lightheadedness. In the U.S., pneumonia accounts for 1.3 visits to the Emergency Department, and 50,000 deaths annually.  With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect people around the world, pneumonia has become an even larger health concern. Some people infected with the COVID-19 have no symptoms, while others may experience fever, body ache, dry cough, fatigue, chills, headache, sore throat, loss of appetite, and loss of smell. More »

Why can’t we develop COVID-19 treatments faster?

It will take time to find a medication to treat COVID-19. Doctors must learn how the virus that causes COVID-19 is built, since the virus might have a weak spot that can be attacked. Scientists must also determine how the virus attaches to and then enters into a person’s cells, and how it multiplies once it’s inside the cells—so they can create or find a drug that blocks those steps. Doctors will also have to test a potential treatment on a large number of people to see if it works and causes side effects. (Locked) More »

Aspirin linked to fewer digestive tract cancers

Scientists continue to explore the health benefits vs. risks of aspirin therapy. One new analysis suggests that regularly taking aspirin may protect against several types of digestive tract cancers, such as bowel, stomach, gallbladder, esophageal, pancreatic, and liver cancers. More »