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Diseases & Conditions Archive

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Health disparities and headache treatment

Published February 15, 2022
Migraines are a common neurologic condition, but it’s estimated that in the US only about a quarter of adults with migraine are able to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Part of the reason for this is likely due to disparities in health care, and researchers found evidence of disparities related to race, socioeconomic status, insurance coverage, and geography.

Can ALS be caused by traumatic brain injury?

Published February 2, 2022

Though decades of research have suggested risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a specific cause remains unknown. New research studied professional football players and found that they had a much higher risk of developing ALS than men in the general population, though the study was only observational.

Zinc gets a lukewarm response for fighting colds

Published February 1, 2022
A recent analysis found evidence mixed on whether zinc can help prevent or treat a cold. However, there appears to be no significant harm from taking over-the-counter zinc products in safe amounts per the label’s instructions.

Do older adults benefit from blood pressure treatment?

Published February 1, 2022
A study published online Aug. 26, 2021, by The Lancet found that blood pressure treatment protects against heart attacks, strokes, and other major cardiovascular disease problems in people up to age 85 and possibly older. For people younger than 75, the study confirmed that people taking blood pressure medicines had 10% to 20% fewer cardiovascular disease problems. For people 75 to 84, there still was a 10% reduction. For people older than 85, the results were mixed, but there still appeared to be a benefit from blood pressure treatment.

Tics and TikTok: Can social media trigger illness?

Published January 18, 2022

For hundreds of years there have been documented instances of groups of people developing similar, medically inexplicable, and sometimes bizarre symptoms, such as paralysis, involuntary tics, or uncontrollable laughter. Known as sociogenic illness, a recent example appears to be fueled by social media postings—meaning physical proximity is no longer a factor.

Progress toward over-the-counter hearing aids

Published January 1, 2022
In October 2021, the FDA proposed rules to create a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids that would require special regulations and FDA approval. Approval of the rules is expected sometime in 2022.

What is "walking pneumonia"?

Published January 1, 2022
Walking pneumonia means a person with pneumonia is highly likely to get well at home and not develop complications. Still, walking pneumonia is considered a significant infection and requires prompt and appropriate treatment. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics and rest.

The dos and don’ts of managing diverticular disease

Published January 1, 2022
People who have diverticular disease have tiny pouches (diverticula) in the lining of the colon that can bleed or perforate and develop infection (called diverticulitis). People with diverticular disease should eat a healthy diet rich in fiber, drink lots of water, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke, avoid straining in the bathroom, and report bleeding or pain to a doctor. However, it’s not necessary to avoid eating nuts, seeds, or popcorn, which were once believed to lodge in diverticula and cause problems. That old advice turned out to be wrong.

The heel problem that threatens your mobility

Published January 1, 2022
Thick, dead skin patches (calluses) on the heels sometimes become cracked. The condition, known as cracked heels, makes it hard to walk and increases the risk for infection, since cracks open the door for bacteria to enter the body. If infected, cracked heels can turn into foot wounds that become hard to heal, especially in people with diabetes or peripheral artery disease who have poor circulation in their legs and feet.

Tinnitus: Ringing or humming in your ears? Sound therapy is one option

Published December 8, 2021

Millions of people have tinnitus, a condition where a person hears a sound inside the head that does not come from any external source. There are many possible causes and no cure, but there are ways to ease the symptoms, one of which is sound therapy, which uses external sound to alter a person’s perception of or reaction to tinnitus.

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