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

Blood in the urine: What does it mean for your health?

There are numerous possible causes of hematuria — blood in the urine, including kidney disease, injury, certain cancers, urinary tract infection or prostate disease. Vigourous exercise can also cause hematuria known as "runner's hematuria" or "10,000-meter hematuria." Regardless of the cause, prompt testing is required. (Locked) More »

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 »

Psoriasis: More than skin deep

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by thick, raised red patches that are often covered with flaking, silvery scales. The cause of this skin condition is not known, but may be a combination of heredity and immune system response. It is not curable, but can often be managed with various treatment methods. (Locked) More »

When nerves get damaged

People with peripheral neuropathy may experience pain, numbness, tingling, and other unpleasant sensations. Often the cause cannot be determined, so the condition must be managed by attempting to treat the symptoms, especially if one of them is pain. Unfortunately, conventional painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin may not be very effective. The alternatives are off-label prescriptions of antiseizure medications and tricyclic antidepressants. The antiseizure drug gabapentin (Neurontin) does seem to be effective for some people  and physicians prescribe tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), and nortriptyline (Pamelor). The side effects can be a serious drawback but they may be a reasonable trade-off if there's relief for troubling symptoms, especially pain. Many people with peripheral neuropathy say yoga, acupuncture, and other somewhat unconventional treatments have done wonders. Supporting data are scarce, but these alternative approaches might be worth a try as long as there's little risk of harm. (Locked) More »

Urine color and odor changes

The color and smell of a person's urine can be affected by foods, vitamins, or medications, but there are also medical conditions such as UTI or hematuria can cause changes in urine. More »

Growth hormone, athletic performance, and aging

Growth hormone (GH) is a small protein that is made by the pituitary gland and secreted into the bloodstream. Some men use GH as an anti-aging treatment, even though it is illegal to market it for this purpose. Despite being banned by the International Olympic Committee, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the World Anti-Doping Agency, GH abuse has tainted many sports, including baseball, cycling, and track and field. Studies of test subjects who took growth hormone found a high incidence of side effects such as joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. More »

Tendon trouble in the hands: de Quervain's tenosynovitis and trigger finger

Women are particularly prone to develop two types of tendon problems in their hands. de Quervain's tenosynovitis is inflammation of the tendons that move the thumb, and stenosing tenosynovitis, or trigger finger, is when a digit becomes locked. These painful conditions can develop due to overuse, repetitive movements, or rheumatoid arthritis. (Locked) More »

Allergic rhinitis: Your nose knows

Allergic rhinitis, commonly called hay fever, can be a minor seasonal nuisance or a troubling year-round problem. Most people can find relief by taking an antihistamine and by avoiding the allergens that trigger the irritation. (Locked) More »