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

Gum disease and the connection to heart disease

For me, it's been one of the more surprising observations in recent years:  study after study has shown that people who have poor oral health (such as gum disease or tooth loss) have higher rates of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack or stroke than people with good oral health. A number of theories have been proposed, including: More »

Whooping cough

Whooping cough is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called "Bordetalla pertussis."  Because these bacteria release chemicals that cause inflammation and swelling of the upper respiratory system, severe cough is a hallmark of the condition. Whooping cough is highly contagious and spreads from person to person by coughing or sneezing among people in close quarters.  To make matters worse, an infected (and contagious) person can spread the disease without knowing they have it. More »

Can the flu increase my heart attack risk?

A new study found that a person’s risk of heart attack is six times more likely to occur within the week following an influenza diagnosis. However, getting a flu vaccination can reduce the risk of illness and death from heart disease. (Locked) More »

Why am I losing weight?

Unexplained weight loss should be investigated. It may be caused by an overactive thyroid, cancer, or a chronic infection. More »

Is stress making your allergy symptoms worse?

Feeling stressed can affect allergies. One effect is psychological. Since stress amplifies the emotional reaction to any symptoms, it can also affect how bothered one feels about allergy symptoms. The other effect of stress on allergies is physical. Stress can make the allergic response worse. It’s unclear exactly why, but it may be because stress hormones can ramp up the already exaggerated immune system response to allergies. Therefore, stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, may help relieve allergy symptoms. More »

Should I be worried about a pancreatic cyst?

Many cysts of the pancreas are discovered by accident during a CT scan performed for other reasons. Although most cysts are noncancerous, some show features that are worrisome and need further evaluation. (Locked) More »

Is that dry skin really something more serious?

Sometimes it’s hard to discern if dry skin is a sign of a more serious condition. Common conditions include eczema and contact dermatitis, which both include dry, cracked, itchy skin. Psoriasis causes thick, raised, red or silvery patches of scaly skin on the elbows, knees, scalp, and trunk. A concerted effort to moisturize the skin throughout the day may be all it takes to get rid of itching and dryness and build up the skin’s moisture barrier. When moisturizing alone isn’t enough, a trip to the dermatologist may be in order. (Locked) More »