Influenza virus – the flu – attacks about eight percent of Americans every year. Flu symptoms range from mild to severe, and in a few cases, flu can be life threatening. Mild flu attacks your nose and throat. More serious flu attacks your lungs and breathing tubes. The best way … Read More
About 100 million Americans live with chronic pain. For them, a condition like arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, migraine headaches, or cancer has caused unrelenting pain that persists day after day, month after month.
Migraine headaches are a common source of chronic pain, affecting 1 in 10 Americans, most of them women. These are not just everyday headaches. Migraine symptoms also include nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, auras, and other visual disturbances. Because doctors still don?t fully understand what causes migraines, they haven?t been able to develop a cure for this condition. Treatments aim to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks and relieve symptoms when they start.
Fibromyalgia is another poorly understood condition. The estimated 5 million Americans who have this condition experience fatigue and pain in particular spots around their body. Other fibromyalgia symptoms include sleep problems, headaches, sensitivity to heat and cold, bowel issues, and memory problems.
Back problems are another source of chronic pain. Sciatica affects the lower back and legs. It starts in the sciatic nerve, which runs down the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs. A herniated disk that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve often triggers sciatica. Spinal stenosis?a narrowing of the spine?can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can be very painful, but medicines, physical therapy, and other treatments usually improve the pain within a few weeks.
Sometimes back pain can be traced to the kidneys, which are located on the back side of the body. Many people mistake kidney pain for back muscle strains. The most common causes of kidney pain are infection, kidney stones, polycystic kidney disease (in which growths called cysts form in the kidneys), bleeding, and kidney cancer. Because kidney pain can signal a more serious condition, it?s important to call the doctor for any constant, dull pain on one side of the back.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin for health. It helps you absorb calcium from your diet that you need for strong bones. Vitamin D is also important for muscle movement and nerve function, and it helps your immune system stay strong to fight disease. [1-3] Some research suggests that having … Read More
Serotonin is an important brain chemical that relays messages in your brain, called a neurotransmitter. [1,2] Serotonin in also a hormone. Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through your body. Although serotonin has effects on your whole body, according to the Endocrine Society, serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes … Read More
Have you ever had the sensation that something’s stuck in the back of your throat and you’re not sure what it could be? You cough a few times and try to clear your throat, but that weird feeling just won’t go away. There’s a possibility it could be a tonsil … Read More
It’s well known that the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test used to screen for prostate cancer is imprecise. Elevations in PSA levels may signal prostate cancer, but they also may be due to nonmalignant prostate conditions. Further complicating the screening process is that several medications and a number of other modifiable … Read More
You had a fall and suffered the tell-tale scrape on your knee. Within a week, it’s filled in with green pus. Don’t worry, there’s no alien at play here. Pus is a sign that your body’s defense system has kicked in. All you need to do is figure out what … Read More
As medical experts learn more about inflammation and how it affects our overall health, its link to a broad array of diseases and medical conditions has also been discovered. Its effect on almost all parts of the body—heart, lungs, bones, joints, skin, brain, and more—means that doctors often recommend a … Read More
The first thing most people think about kidney stones is that passing one can be very painful. A number of factors determine if you are going to have a kidney stone. The size of the stone determines if it will make its way out of the urinary tract. Learn the … Read More
Influenza—better known as the flu, is a nasty viral infection that strikes millions every year, both in the winter and spring. If you have full-blown flu, you will likely feel very unwell and may be confined to bed for a day or three. And you may be looking—like all of … Read More
Aging puts you at risk for more health issues, particularly if you're overweight or obese. One such issue that has become more common as the U.S. obesity rate increases is hiatal hernia pain. Estimates suggest that up to half of adults age 60 and older have this type of hernia. … Read More