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

Breaking up with your favorite foods

Eating certain foods sometimes triggers indigestion or heartburn symptoms, particularly as people age. For example, consuming foods with certain natural sugars such as lactose may lead to cramping, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Eating peppers, tomato sauces, and many other foods can worsen heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When one must remove trigger foods from the diet, there are alternatives that can also be satisfying, such as lactose-free dairy products. When removing a food isn’t possible, some tricks—such as adding a dollop of sour cream—can help reduce the heat in spicy dishes. (Locked) More »

FDA approves new migraine medication

The FDA approved a new treatment, called lasmiditan (Reyvow), to treat migraine headaches. The pill is designed to relieve pain from migraines with or without an aura in adults. It is not designed to prevent migraines. More »

Groin strain vs. hernia pain: How to tell the difference

It can be hard to tell the difference between a groin strain (muscle or tendon tear) and an inguinal hernia (fat or intestine poking through a hole in the abdominal wall in the groin). Both conditions can cause a dull ache or burning pain in the groin. However, a groin strain usually gets better on its own; an inguinal hernia does not, and only gets bigger over time. With hernias a lump can often be felt under the skin; not so with groin strains. Treatment ranges from rest and ice (for a groin strain) to surgery (for a hernia). (Locked) More »

Harnessing CRISPR to stop viruses

As reported online Oct. 2, 2019, by Molecular Cell, a Harvard team was able to use the gene editing tool CRISPR to kill certain viruses, including the influenza virus, in a laboratory dish. More »

Blood Testing

Blood tests enable doctors to assess your health by analyzing cells, chemicals, proteins and other substances in your blood. Some tests are recommended regularly to see if blood levels of certain cells or chemicals fall within a normal range. Others are done to help diagnose health conditions, such as allergies, anemia, and diabetes. There are two typical methods for taking a blood sample. One, called venipuncture, involves drawing a vial of blood from a vein, usually on the inner surface of your arm near your elbow. The other, called a finger stick, is done by pricking your finger with a sharp blade to obtain a small amount of blood from a capillary. The method used depends on how much blood is needed for the test you are having. Blood tests can be used to screen for a wide variety of diseases and disorders. They are also used to determine how well treatment is working for many different conditions. The kinds of problems for which doctors order blood tests include: (Locked) More »

Carotid Ultrasound (Carotid Doppler)

Ultrasound uses sound waves instead of radiation to generate snapshots or moving pictures of structures inside the body. This imaging technique works in a manner similar to radar and sonar, developed in World War II to detect airplanes, missiles, and submarines that were otherwise invisible. After coating a small area of your skin with a lubricant to reduce friction, a radiologist or ultrasound technician places an ultrasound transducer, which looks like a microphone, on your skin and may rub it back and forth to get the right view. The transducer sends sound waves into your body and picks up the echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off internal organs and tissue. A computer transforms these echoes into an image that is displayed on a monitor. Doppler ultrasound is a variation of this technique that not only shows internal structures but also examines the flow of blood through blood vessels. Using the Doppler effect—the change in the frequency of sound or light waves as they bounce off a moving object—this kind of ultrasound produces an image of blood in motion. A Carotid ultrasound shows the amount of blood flow in the carotid arteries, the major blood vessels to the brain located on either side of your neck. With this imaging technique, your doctor can see if there is any narrowing of your carotid arteries because of cholesterol deposits or some other problem. This test is often used to evaluate people who have had a stroke or who might be at high risk for one because of reduced blood flow in the carotid arteries. (Locked) More »

Now hear this: Don’t ignore sudden hearing loss

Everyone’s hearing naturally declines with age, and people often have one ear that hears better than the other. But if hearing loss appears suddenly in one ear for no apparent reason, that can be a sign of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, or SHL, a kind of nerve deafness, that can lead to permanent hearing loss if not treated promptly. More »