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
What is Sleep Myoclonus?
The clinical term for a sudden, involuntary muscle contraction at any time is myoclonus (see "Types of Myoclonus" sidebar below). Twitching while sleeping is called sleep myoclonus. It may be so mild that you and your bed partner are unaware it’s happening. But … Read More
When you think about the more than 200 bones that comprise the skeletal framework supporting your body, you probably envision them as sturdy, rigid, and unchanged. Actually, your bones are in a constant state of flux. Cells known as osteoclasts break down weakened portions of the bone, … Read More
Shingles—officially known as herpes zoster—is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin supplied by the nerve. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus, a virus in the herpes family that also causes chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox, some virus particles remain inactive … Read More
Do you use the Bristol Stool Chart? It’s a human-poop evaluation guide developed at the British Royal Infirmary in 1997. It can help you determine if your feces are normal. The Bristol Stool Chart—also called the Bristol Stool Scale—s widely used in clinical settings, especially with patients battling irritable bowel … Read More
Delirium is a medical syndrome—not a disease—in which there is a rapid onset of confusion, altered consciousness, and behavioral changes. Unlike dementia, which shares some of these symptoms, the onset of delirium is usually within hours or days (as opposed to months or years).
Delirium is considered a medical emergency. … Read More
If you’re still confused about all the conflicting messages about joint pain supplements and wondering, 'Does glucosamine work?' you may finally have an answer. Since the large GAIT trial in 2008, we’ve suspected that glucosamine works for people with at least moderate pain due to knee osteoarthritis, especially when it’s … Read More
Do you find yourself experiencing sore muscles more frequently than you should? The condition may be nothing to worry about—or it could be something that needs medical attention. Consider that there are two types of muscle soreness: One is called acute muscle soreness and the other is delayed onset muscle … Read More
Flesh-eating bacteria—also known as necrotizing fasciitis—is a quick-spreading, aggressive infection that can be fatal if not treated promptly. The infection starts below the skin and spreads along the fascia (the flat layers of tissue that separate other tissues, including muscles, fat, and organs), destroying these tissues as … Read More
Gallstones are solid deposits in the gallbladder, a small pear-shaped organ that sits beneath the liver. The gallbladder has a simple function: to store and concentrate bile, a digestive enzyme made by the liver. In the United States, between 1 and 3 percent of adults develop gallstones each year and … Read More