Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Allergy and Immunology

  • Diseases affecting the lungs—such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)—share many of the same medicines. These medicines are often delivered through a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). Using an MDI: Delivers most of a measured dose of medicine directly to your lungs...

  • Take care of your supplies so that you can test your blood sugar safely and get the most accurate blood sugar results. These results will be used to evaluate your treatment for diabetes. Meters. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer about how to care for the meter. All meters can be damaged by...

  • To prevent stings from bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets: Avoid flowering plants, gardens, and trees with ripe fruit, where bees spend their time. Do not use perfumes, scented soaps, or suntan lotion. Do not wear bright colors, flowered...

  • Learn how to prepare and easily give yourself a single dose of insulin.

  • Learn what's going on in the lungs that can make it hard to breathe when you have asthma.

  • Learn how testing your blood sugar can help you stay in your target range.

  • Seasonal allergies are not fun. But you can learn how to manage them and feel better.

  • Learn why you need to keep using your corticosteroid inhaler and how to make it easier to use.

  • Help your child with diabetes make smart food and drink choices at school.

  • Here are 5 ways to help kids with diabetes choose healthy foods and drinks.

  • Find out how to support your teen who has diabetes.

  • Learn about asthma tests for children.

  • Learn about spirometry tests for children.

  • Covers how you and your family can be better prepared for changes PTSD can bring to your life. Looks at family support and talking with your kids. Discusses triggers that suddenly remind you of your traumatic event. Includes coping with holidays.

  • Covers commons allergies, including food, medicine, insect stings, and animals. Covers seasonal allergies like hay fever. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Follow your body's hunger and fullness signals. Smart snacking can help you keep your blood sugar levels stable, especially if you are taking medicine for diabetes. Try these tips: Enjoy eating the right portion. Try using a smaller plate, bowl, or glass while you slowly eat your snack...

  • Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help keep your muscles strong and reduce joint pain and stiffness. And it can help you reach and stay at a healthy weight. But you want to make sure that you don't hurt your joints when you exercise. Before you get started, ask your doctor what kind of activity would...

  • The pain and stiffness from arthritis may make it hard for you to do your daily tasks. For instance, if you have problems with your hands or fingers, you may find it hard to type or to open and close a door. If you have problems with your hips or knees, it may be hard to go up and down stairs or get in and out of a...

  • Provides links to info about allergies. Includes allergic rhinitis and food allergies. Also looks at controlling indoor allergens and whether you should have allergy shots.

  • Provides links to information about the immune system. Includes info about immunizations, HIV and autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

  • Provides links to how-to information about asthma. Includes info on asthma in teens and adults, using an asthma action plan, and using inhalers.

  • If you have diabetes, talk with your health professional (if you haven't already) about how often you need to test your blood sugar level. Use this form to record the times that you should test and when to call your health professional for blood...

  • How does alcohol affect diabetes? When you have diabetes, you need to be careful with alcohol. If you take medicine for diabetes, drinking alcohol may cause low blood sugar. Too much alcohol can also affect your ability to know when your blood sugar is low and to treat it. Drinking alcohol can make you feel...

  • You can use a dilute bleach bath to help heal your atopic dermatitis rash if you have skin infections caused by staph ( Staphylococcus aureus). The treatment is a little bit like soaking in swimming pool water. Doctors have been prescribing bleach baths for more than 20 years. Bleach baths are an easy, inexpensive...

  • Eating low-glycemic foods is one tool to help keep your diabetes under control. The glycemic index is a rating system for foods that contain carbohydrate. It helps you know how quickly a food with carbohydrate raises blood sugar, so you can focus on eating foods that raise blood sugar slowly. Foods that raise...

  • Insulin is used for people who have type 1 diabetes. It's also used if you have type 2 diabetes and other medicines are not controlling your blood sugar. If you have gestational diabetes, you may need to take insulin if diet and exercise have not helped to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. With...

  • Learn how carbohydrate foods raise your blood sugar.

  • Learn how insulin works and why diabetes causes high blood sugar.

  • When you test your blood sugar, you learn your blood sugar level at that time. But you can't tell what's happening to your blood sugar the rest of the time—especially overnight. A continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, can do that for you. A CGM has...

  • Babies and small children need early treatment for asthma symptoms to prevent severe breathing problems. They may have more serious problems than adults because their bronchial tubes are smaller. Although it may appear that occasional treatment with medicines for children who have mild asthma is enough, one review...

  • Sjögren's syndrome is a disease that causes dry eyes and dry mouth. It can also affect your skin, lungs, and vagina and your energy level. The following steps and treatments can be very helpful in relieving your symptoms and improving the quality of your life. Getting plenty of rest, eating well, and doing mild...

  • Managing diabetes is all about setting a healthy routine of medicine, eating, exercise, and sleep. But when you work night shifts or have changing work shifts, it can seem like there's nothing at all routine about your life. It's definitely more of a chore to manage diabetes under such conditions, but it can be done...

  • A colonoscopy is a test that lets a doctor look inside your colon. The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube called a colonoscope to look for small growths (called polyps), cancer, and other problems like bleeding. During the test, the doctor can take...

  • What is sarcoidosis? Sarcoidosis (say "sar-koy-DOH-sus") is a rare disease that creates tiny lumps of cells throughout the body. These lumps, called granulomas, are too small to see or feel. They can form anywhere on the inside or outside of the body and can cause permanent scar tissue. They often form in the lungs...

  • Learn the correct way to use a spacer with your inhaler.

  • Learn how following an asthma action plan can help you take control of your asthma.

  • Hear how others with asthma have learned to control their symptoms.

  • Learn common myths about inhaled steroids, which are some of the best medicines for controlling asthma.

  • Learn how to avoid common asthma triggers to better control your symptoms.

  • Learn the signs of infection with diabetes so that small skin problems don't become serious.

  • Learn the best way to test blood sugar. Knowing your blood sugar levels helps you manage your diabetes.

  • Learn how to prepare and give yourself a mixed dose of insulin.

  • Most people who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) are women in their child-bearing years. Questions about whether MS affects getting pregnant or about labor and delivery are common. Here are some answers: Most couples in which one partner has MS are able to have children without MS affecting the...

  • Learn how to give yourself an epinephrine shot for a severe allergic reaction.

  • Learn how to give a child an epinephrine shot to treat a severe allergic reaction.

  • Learn what to expect during bowel resection surgery.

  • Learn how a colostomy is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • It's true—diabetes raises your risk of heart disease. That means your risks of heart attack and stroke are higher when you have diabetes. Diabetes is plenty to keep up with as it is. That explains why dealing with both heart risk and diabetes can seem like too much all at once. But it's also true that good...

  • What is a low-fiber diet? A low-fiber diet contains foods that don't create much waste (stool). This diet slows down your bowels and gives them a chance to rest. Fiber is the part of plants that your body can't digest. It gives bulk to your diet and helps you feel full. It also helps you have regular bowel...

  • Learn some common headache triggers so you can plan to avoid the ones that affect you.

  • Learn how to use a finger-stick test to see how food or activity can change your blood sugar.

  • Learn about the A1c test and how to make a plan to meet your safe target blood sugar level.

  • Learn why your controller medicines are so important.

  • Learn how to get past those things that make you want to smoke by replacing them with healthier things.

  • Learn why checking your feet daily when you have diabetes is important and how to do it.

  • Learn the simple steps to give yourself an insulin shot in the arm using a syringe.

  • Learn how to give a glucagon shot to a person who is having a low-blood-sugar emergency.

  • Learn the correct way to use an inhaler that doesn't have a spacer.

  • Learn how to use a mask spacer to give a child an inhaled asthma medicine.

  • Learn the right way to use a dry powder inhaler to help control your asthma.

  • Learn how to use a peak flow meter to check how well your lungs are working.

  • Learn how activity can help reduce joint pain and how to exercise safely when you have arthritis.

  • Learn how to wash so you won't spread the rash.

  • Asthma is more than a day-to-day problem that makes your life difficult. Over time it damages your airways and lungs. That damage can lead to serious health problems. So it's important to keep your asthma under control with medicine. What are the types of asthma medicine? Daily controller medicine prevents asthma...

  • Learn how following an asthma action plan can help you control your child's asthma.

  • Learn why a long-acting bronchodilator might be added to your child's asthma medicine.

  • Learn how to tell when your child is using a rescue inhaler too often.

  • Learn ways to prevent a return trip to the emergency room for your child with asthma.

  • Learn ways to encourage your young child to take asthma medicine with a nebulizer.

  • Learn how to help your child deal with asthma and asthma treatments.

  • Learn how expressing your negative feelings about asthma will help you feel better.

  • Learn how your child should use an inhaler without a spacer.

  • Learn how your child should use an inhaler with a spacer.

  • Learn how to use a nebulizer, with a face mask, on your child.

  • Learn what you can do to have a healthy pregnancy and baby when you have diabetes.

  • Learn what other women with diabetes have done to prepare for pregnancy.

  • Hear how other people learned to do a better job managing their diabetes.

  • Learn how to prepare for surgery when you have diabetes.

  • Learn what you can do at home to slow down kidney damage.

  • Learn why having diabetes raises your risk for heart disease and what you can do about it.

  • Checking the feet and keeping them clean and soft can help prevent cracks and infection in the skin. This is especially important for people who have diabetes. Keeping toenails trimmed—and polished if that's what the person likes—also helps the person feel well-groomed. If the person you care for has diabetes or...

  • For a lot of people, diabetes leads to serious health problems. These life-changing conditions bring with them new medical decisions and plans. Medical decisions are very personal. Different people handle them in different ways. "In the past year, I've learned I have kidney disease from my diabetes...

  • Your name: __________________ Date: _______________________ You can make the most of your office visit by having this form with you when you talk with your doctor. What to bring to every appointment Your blood sugar log. A list of all your...

  • Helping or caring for an older adult with diabetes can feel like a lot to take on. There's the challenge of caregiving—because what seems best for someone isn't always what that person wants to do. You may worry about invading your loved one's privacy or free will. There's also the stress of learning how to manage...

  • Learn how testing helps you make the connection between blood sugar levels and daily activities.

  • Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped glands throughout the body. They are part of the lymph system, which carries fluid (lymph fluid), nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. The lymph system is an important part of...

  • Guides you through decision to have allergy-shot immunotherapy to treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and allergic asthma. Explains how allergy shots work. Covers who should not have them. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • As someone with asthma, you know how important it is to monitor your condition. Your doctor may want you to know how well your lungs are "working." Is their ability to move air in and out staying the same, or is it getting better or worse? When you monitor your asthma, you can control it. When you control your asthma...

  • Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease of the respiratory system. It causes inflammation in tubes that carry air to the lungs (bronchial tubes). The inflammation makes your bronchial tubes likely to overreact to certain triggers. An overreaction can lead to decreased lung function, sudden difficulty breathing, and...

  • Because you have diabetes, you need to wash your feet carefully each day. Post this list of proper foot-washing steps in your bathroom. Use warm (not hot) water. Check the water temperature with your wrists, not your feet. Wash all areas of your...

  • If your feet require specially designed shoes, ask your insurance plan about covering the cost of the shoes. Medicare will cover foot exams and special (orthotic) shoes or shoe inserts. Some medical supply shops specialize in designing custom-fitted...

  • Discusses preventing high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) problems in a person with diabetes. Explains emergencies in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Discusses treating infections early, being prepared, and drinking plenty of liquids.

  • Try the following home treatment if your hands get cold easily and become pale, cool, and painful: Wear gloves to protect your hands from the cold. Wave your arms in a circular motion to force blood out into your hands. Blow warm air onto cold...

  • Guides through decision to take medicine for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate. Lists common medicine choices. Discusses how to manage your symptoms at home. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Triggers of migraine headaches are different for each person. Triggers include changes in daily routine, foods, hormones, medicines, lights, odors, or other things in the environment. The most common migraine triggers are: Stress (either during a...

  • Foods containing carbohydrate are grouped into the following categories. The carbohydrate content is listed in grams (g). If you eat a larger portion, count it as more than one serving. One serving of carbohydrate has 15 grams of carbohydrate. Of course, not all foods contain exactly 15 grams of carbohydrate...

  • Discusses arthroplasty, joint replacement surgery for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Covers why it is done. Also covers how well it works and the risks.

  • Discusses arthroscopic surgery, used to treat joint pain for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Covers how well it works and the risks.

  • Discusses synovectomy, surgery done to remove inflamed joint tissue resulting from rheumatoid arthritis. Covers why it's done and what to expect after surgery, including a need for physical therapy. Also covers how well it works and risks.

  • There are several surgeries to correct joint problems in the hand caused by rheumatoid arthritis, including: Carpal tunnel release, which involves releasing or cutting a ligament in the wrist to relieve pressure on a nerve that runs through the...

  • The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) worked together to develop the 2010 Rheumatoid Arthritis Classification Criteria for rheumatoid arthritis. The goal is to identify possible...

  • Rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects the joints but can also affect the whole body, causing what are called systemic symptoms. These systemic symptoms occur especially in people who have severe disease. Problems associated with rheumatoid arthritis can develop in the: Eyes. Inflammation of the...

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are different types of arthritis. They share some similar characteristics, but each has different symptoms and requires different treatment. So an accurate diagnosis is important. Osteoarthritis is the most...

  • Because you have diabetes, you will need to be especially careful to protect your feet from injury. Wear shoes all the time. If you do not want to wear shoes indoors, wear slippers with hard soles and good support. Keep your shoes next to your...

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs in people with diabetes when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. If your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), you may have symptoms, such as feeling tired, weak, or shaky. If your blood sugar drops...

  • Covers using an asthma action plan for asthma attacks. Explains green, yellow, and red zones in an action plan. Covers what medicines to take in each zone. Reviews what to do if an attack becomes an emergency.

  • What is Sjögren's syndrome? Sjögren's syndrome (say "SHOH-grins") is a disease in which the immune system attacks the glands that make moisture for the body, such as tears and saliva. The damage keeps the glands from working the way they should and makes your eyes and mouth dry. The disease may also cause other...

  • Discusses dealing with negative feelings that can interfere with your ability to follow your diet for diabetes. Provides ways to deal with negative feelings about your diet. Includes links to more info on type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

  • Use this form to think about any negative feelings you have about diabetes. My feeling is (for example, resentment):_____________________ I have this feeling because I think (for example, I resent the fact that I have diabetes and should eat less of some foods that I like): _______________________________________...

  • When you have diabetes, your feet need extra care and attention. Diabetes can damage the nerve endings and blood vessels in your feet, making you less likely to notice when your feet are injured. Diabetes can also interfere with your body's ability to fight infection. If you develop a minor foot injury, it could become...

  • When rheumatoid arthritis affects the neck joints, particularly those located at the top of the spine, complications can occur. Bones and joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis may dislocate and press on the spinal cord or on the nerve roots....

  • This information is for people who may need to give a person with diabetes an injection of glucagon during a low blood sugar emergency. Giving a glucagon injection is similar to giving insulin. If possible, practice giving your partner or child an insulin injection at least once a month so you will be more ready if...

  • Explains using plate format as easy way to plan meals. Looks at how it helps keep your blood sugar level from going way up and down. Covers how it can be used with other meal-planning methods. Discusses how it helps you eat healthy foods.

  • Federal laws protect children with diabetes from discrimination in schools and child care settings. Schools and child care centers must provide reasonable help for the special needs of children with diabetes while disrupting the usual routine as little as possible. Also, children should be allowed to take part in all...

  • Many common activities or events can trigger the urge to smoke. Knowing how to deal with them can help you deal with these triggers: Finishing a meal. Get up from the table immediately. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash or brush your teeth. Or start a pleasurable activity. Try a walk or a new hobby...

  • Use this form to record a low blood sugar level problem. Fill out a record each time this happens. Take the completed form(s) to the doctor. If you (or your child with diabetes) is having low blood sugar problems, the diabetes medicine dose may need...

  • Describes monitoring blood sugar levels in those with diabetes. Covers list of supplies needed, including blood sugar meter, testing strips, and lancet. Gives step-by-step instructions. Links to info on type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

  • When you have diabetes, you need to examine your feet every day. Look at all areas of your feet, including your toes. Use a handheld mirror or a magnifying mirror attached to the bathroom wall near the baseboard to inspect your feet. If you can't see well, have someone else use this checklist to examine your feet for...

  • People often think that following a diet for diabetes means giving up foods they like and having to eat foods they don't like. If you think a diet for diabetes means you can't eat any of the foods you like, try this: Write down what foods are good for you, which are bad for you, which foods you like, and which foods you...

  • Children with diabetes should participate in their treatment to the extent that is fitting for their age and experience with the disease. Toddlers and preschool-aged children usually aren't able to do tasks for diabetes care such as giving insulin...

  • Scleroderma is a rare disease in which a person's immune system begins to destroy normal, healthy tissues. (This is called an autoimmune disease.) As a result, connective tissue of the skin, lungs, and internal organs—especially the esophagus,...

  • Keeping your blood sugar in a target range reduces your risk of problems such as diabetic eye disease ( retinopathy), kidney disease ( nephropathy), and nerve disease ( neuropathy). Some people can work toward lower numbers, and some people may need higher goals. For example, some children and adolescents with...

  • If you drink cow's milk or eat dairy products that contain cow's milk while breastfeeding, the milk protein and sugars are passed on to your baby. Protein and sugars from cow's milk are also ingredients in most formulas. Some babies are sensitive to...

  • Fructose and sorbitol are two sugars that often are added to processed foods and medicines to make them taste sweet. Fructose can be found in soda pop and many fruit juice drinks. Sorbitol is found in diet products, chewing gum, candy, frozen ice...

  • Latex is natural rubber, a product made primarily from the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. Some people develop allergic reactions after repeated contact with latex, especially latex gloves. Allergy to latex is an increasing health problem. Latex...

  • Insulin is used to treat people who have diabetes. Each type of insulin acts over a specific amount of time. The amount of time can be affected by exercise, diet, illness, some medicines, stress, the dose, how you take it, or where you inject it. The table below is a general guide. Your results may be different...

  • A nebulizer is a device used to deliver liquid medicine in the form of a fine mist (aerosol). It is sometimes used for asthma because: The medicine can be given over a longer period of time. It may be easier to use for small children or for people...

  • Vocal cord dysfunction is the uncontrolled closing of the vocal cords when you breathe in. The symptoms can seem to be the same as those of asthma and may occur alone or along with asthma. If you have asthma and vocal cord dysfunction, it may be...

  • Peak expiratory flow (PEF) measures how much air you or your child can breathe out using the greatest effort. It is used in the monitoring and treatment of asthma to determine how well your lungs are functioning. Your peak flow drops when the tubes...

  • Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease that may last throughout your life—you must treat it long term. But following a management plan can be difficult over a long period of time. Here are some reasons you may not follow your management plan....

  • Wheezing is a whistling noise that occurs when the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs, narrow because of inflammation or mucus buildup. Wheezing is often present in asthma. During an asthma attack, the bronchial tubes become smaller. At...

  • An MRI scan is the best way to locate multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions (also called plaques) in the brain or spinal cord. An MRI scan is abnormal in more than 95% of people recently diagnosed with MS. But abnormal MRI results do not always...

  • Insulin can become damaged and ineffective if it is not stored properly. Unopened insulin that is packaged in small glass bottles (vials) should be stored in the refrigerator. Liquid insulin that is packaged in small cartridges (containing several doses) is more stable. These cartridges are used in...

  • Some medicines for conditions other than diabetes can raise your blood sugar level. This is a concern when you have diabetes. Make sure every doctor you see knows about all of the medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you take. This means...

  • An asthma action plan is based on zones defined by your symptoms, your peak flow, or both. It tells you what to do if you or your child has a sudden increase in asthma symptoms (asthma attack). The green zone of the asthma action plan is where a...

  • Diabetes is a disease in which the body either does not produce or is unable to use the hormone insulin properly. The pancreas produces insulin, which helps the body use sugar (glucose) from foods. If the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, or if the body cannot use the insulin properly, blood sugar levels rise and...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure to read...

  • A hip problem can be hard to deal with, both for the child who has the problem and to the parent or caregiver. A child who has a hip problem may feel pain in the hip, groin, thigh, or knee. A child in pain may limp or be unable or unwilling to...

  • Hip pain can make it hard to walk, go up and down stairs, squat, or sleep on the side that hurts. A clicking or snapping feeling or sound around your hip joint (snapping hip) may bother you or cause you to worry. But if your hip is not painful, in many cases the click or snap is nothing to worry about. Home treatment...

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises can help a child who has juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) control pain and stiffness and maintain mobility. A physical therapist can help figure out how much exercise is appropriate for each child. Stretching exercises are those in which the joints are moved through...

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, also called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Looks at treatment with NSAIDs, physical therapy, and possibly shots of steroid medicine. Includes tips for helping your child cope with JIA.

  • The most common triggers for tension headaches are physical and emotional stress. Sometimes stress is caused by conditions such as anxiety and depression. If you think you may have anxiety or depression, talk with your doctor. If you treat these...

  • The following criteria are used to distinguish lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) from other autoimmune and rheumatic diseases. A person with 4 of these 11 conditions can be classified as having lupus. These conditions may be present all...

  • Explains what allergy-shot immunotherapy is, why it is done, and what allergies it can help. Covers how it is done, how well it works, and what to expect after treatment. Covers risk factors.

  • Some people who have lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) develop complications with internal organs, such as the kidney, heart or lungs. Most people with lupus are able to continue their usual daily activities. You may find that you need to...

  • About 1 out of 3 people with lupus produce an antibody that attacks certain blood-clotting factors, which can cause the blood to clot easily. A person who has this antibody and has had blood clots is said to have antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. This can lead to mild or severe blood-clotting complications, including...

  • Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) doesn't typically affect a woman's ability to conceive. But if you are having a lupus flare or are taking corticosteroid medicines, you may have irregular menstrual cycles, making it difficult to plan a...

  • Antibody tests are a set of blood tests that check for specific antibodies to help clarify the diagnosis of lupus. They include: Anti-dsDNA (antibodies to DNA). Antinuclear antibody (ANA) Anti-RNP. Anti-Smith (Sm). Anti-SS-A (also called Ro)....

  • A complement test uses a blood sample to detect a group of proteins that help the body attack foreign substances. When there are a lot of foreign substances in the body, such as bacteria or viruses, a low level of complement means the body is trying...

  • To date, no diet is known to cure, prevent, or relieve lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) symptoms. But poor nutrition makes it harder for your body to battle chronic illness. To make sure that you have a healthful, balanced diet, your...

  • Accelerated, or rush, immunotherapy is done very quickly to increase your tolerance to an allergen. There are different schedules for the shots that try to achieve a maintenance dose more quickly than standard immunotherapy. For example, a rush...

  • Many over-the-counter medicines are available to control symptoms of allergies, including allergic rhinitis. These medicines work well but can have side effects. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. It is usually best to take only single-ingredient allergy or cold preparations...

  • Discusses lupus, an autoimmune disorder. Focuses on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Covers symptoms and how it is diagnosed. Covers treatment with medicines like corticosteroids, NSAIDs, and antimalarials. Discusses the importance of good self-care.

  • You can safely exercise when you have diabetes. Here are some tips. Talk to your doctor about how and when to exercise. You may need to have a medical exam and tests (such as a treadmill test) before you begin. Also, some types of exercise can be...

  • Travel can make it hard to keep your blood sugar within your target range because of changes in time zones, meal schedules, and types of foods available. Whenever you need to see a doctor away from home, let him or her know you have diabetes. And...

  • The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program has classified asthma as: Intermittent. Mild persistent. Moderate persistent. Severe persistent. These classifications are based on severity, which is determined by symptoms and lung function tests. You should be assigned to the most...

  • Exercise challenge and inhalation challenge tests are sometimes used to diagnose asthma and workplace asthma (occupational asthma). In an exercise challenge test, spirometry is done before and after you exercise on a treadmill or an exercise...

  • Asthma is a challenging condition. It can affect all areas of your child's life. Many children with asthma miss school days. When this happens, have your child call a friend to ask about the work he or she missed. Doing this both keeps your child's...

  • An asthma action plan is based on zones defined by your symptoms or your peak flow, or both. It tells you what to do if you have a sudden increase in your asthma symptoms (asthma attack). The yellow zone may mean that you are having an asthma attack...

  • An asthma trigger is a factor that can lead to sudden difficulty breathing or other symptoms of asthma (asthma attack). Some triggers are substances a person may be allergic to (allergens). Allergens cause the body's natural defenses (immune system)...

  • An asthma action plan is based on zones defined by your symptoms, your peak flow, or both. It tells you what to do if you have a sudden increase in your asthma symptoms (asthma attack). You are in the red zone of your asthma action plan if you have...

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the abnormal backflow, or reflux, of stomach juices into the esophagus, the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach. GERD is found in many people who have asthma. Having asthma increases the chances...

  • Occupational asthma is the most common form of work-related lung disease in many countries. When a person develops asthma as an adult, occupational exposure is a likely cause. Occupational asthma develops when a person is exposed to a particular...

  • An asthma attack (also called an acute asthma episode, flare-up, or exacerbation) is a sudden increase in the symptoms of asthma, including: Rapid, shallow, and difficult breathing. Feeling that you cannot take a deep breath (chest tightness)....

  • It is important to know the symptoms of difficulty breathing in asthma. If you or your child is having trouble breathing, follow your asthma action plan. You are having mild difficulty breathing if: Your breathing is slightly faster than normal....

  • An asthma attack is a short period when breathing becomes difficult, sometimes along with chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing. When this happens during or after exercise, it is known as exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm....

  • The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) have developed guidelines for getting asthma under control. They list the goals of asthma treatment as:...

  • Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease that may last throughout your life—you must treat it long term. Taking medicines and following a management plan can be difficult over a long period of time. Taking daily medicines is often one of the...

  • It can be difficult to know whether your child is having a mild, moderate, or severe asthma attack. The following chart may help you. Talk with a doctor if you are unable to tell how severe your child's symptoms are. Factor Mild attack Moderate...

  • Diagnosis and treatment of asthma can be a challenge if you are age 65 or older. You might have another medical condition that masks your asthma. Or you may be more likely to have side effects from asthma medicines or be at risk for reactions from...

  • Exposure to cockroaches may increase asthma symptoms. Cockroaches leave behind particles from their feces, eggs, and shells that can cause an allergic reaction. Cockroaches are a problem in many homes, especially in the southern part of the United States. Here are some steps you can take to remove cockroaches from your...

  • Educating yourself and your family about asthma is essential for you and your child to have control of the disease. If you understand asthma, you will have an easier time following the different aspects of treatment, such as avoiding substances that cause symptoms (triggers) and knowing what to do during an asthma...

  • Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy treatment in which small doses of substances to which you are allergic ( allergens) are injected under your skin. Over time, your body may become less responsive to the allergens, which means you may have fewer symptoms. Allergy shots are given after careful skin testing for...

  • What is lactose intolerance? Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is not the same thing as a food allergy to milk. When lactose moves through the large intestine (colon) without being properly digested, it can cause...

  • What is Kawasaki disease? Kawasaki disease is a rare childhood illness that affects the blood vessels. The symptoms can be severe for several days and can look scary to parents. But then most children return to normal activities. Kawasaki disease can harm the coronary arteries, which carry blood to the heart...

  • What is Raynaud's phenomenon? Raynaud's (say "ray-NOHZ") phenomenon occurs when the blood vessels in the hands and feet overreact to cold temperatures. The blood vessels are extra sensitive and become more narrow than normal, making the hands and feet feel very cold and numb for a short time. You may also hear this...

  • Cognitive impairment problems can be caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) and may include difficulty with: Memory, especially short-term memory. Problem solving. Keeping attention on a mental task, such as a math calculation. Finding the right words to...

  • Finding out that you have multiple sclerosis (MS) can be frightening. Even if you know a lot about MS, it is hard to predict how the disease will affect you. Some questions you might ask include the following: Will I have to use a wheelchair? MS affects how nerves in your brain and spinal cord communicate...

  • Exercise is an important part of home treatment for people who have multiple sclerosis (MS). It has benefits in both early and advanced stages of the disease. Regular exercise can help you: Maintain muscle strength and improve coordination. Maintain...

  • There is no cure for multiple sclerosis (MS). So far, the only treatments proved to affect the course of the disease are disease-modifying medicines, such as interferon beta. Other types of treatment should not replace these medicines if you are a candidate for treatment with them. Some people who have MS report...

  • If you have trouble moving around or if you become tired easily because of multiple sclerosis (MS), it may help to make some changes in your home. For instance, it might be helpful to: Change the location of furniture so that you can hold on to...

  • A person with multiple sclerosis (MS) may have difficulty emptying the bladder completely, because the muscle that helps to retain urine cannot relax (a form of spasticity). Sometimes urination can be stimulated by pressing or tapping the bladder...

  • Before conducting a neurological examination for multiple sclerosis (MS), the doctor will collect information about your symptoms. The kinds of symptoms, as well as how and when they occur, are important in evaluating whether you might have MS. Even symptoms that you might have had several years ago can be important...

  • An evoked potential test measures the time it takes for nerves to respond to stimulation. The size of the response is also measured. Nerves from different areas of the body may be tested. Types of responses are: Visual evoked response or potential (VER or VEP). This response occurs when the eyes are stimulated...

  • Covers the four courses of MS: relapsing-remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive, and progressive relapse. Discusses early and advanced symptoms. Also covers complications. Discusses diagnosis and treatment. Includes info on pregnancy and MS.

  • Phototherapy is the supervised use of ultraviolet (UV) light to treat skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis. Ultraviolet B (UVB), ultraviolet A (UVA), or a combination of UVB and UVA may be used during therapy. During phototherapy, you stand in a booth that contains light tubes that give off UV light. Goggles...

  • Covers long-lasting skin problem which is also known as eczema or atopic eczema. Looks at symptoms like dry skin, itching, and a red, raised rash. Covers treatments including using moisturizing creams and medicines. Offers prevention tips.

  • Discusses test to measure blood sugar (glucose) levels in those who have diabetes. Covers why and how it is done. Looks at what might affect the test. Covers risks.

  • Discusses surgical treatment of digestive system problems by removing diseased or damaged part of the colon (bowel resection). Includes laparoscopic surgery. Covers what to expect after surgery. Discusses risks.

  • Covers causes and symptoms of asthma in teens and adults. Includes info on avoiding triggers and treating attacks. Looks at treatment with controller medicine. Covers delivery systems that include metered-dose and dry powder inhalers and nebulizers.

  • Sudden heart failure happens when your heart suddenly cannot pump as much blood as your body needs. Certain things, called triggers, can cause sudden heart failure. These triggers make it harder for your heart to pump well. But if you know what the...

  • Discusses allergic rhinitis. Covers common immediate and chronic symptoms. Looks at what increases risk. Covers treatment options. Offers prevention and treatment tips.

  • Pollen, molds, dust mites, or animal dander cause most allergic rhinitis and trigger asthma attacks in some people. Plants make pollen. The pollens that can cause allergies are usually from trees, grasses, or weeds. These pollens are small, light,...

  • Covers type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Describes how pancreas regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels. Includes info on hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Discusses treatments, including insulin.

  • If high blood sugar levels have damaged nerves that go to your skin, you may sweat less, and your skin may become dry and cracked. Damaged skin becomes infected more easily when you have diabetes. To prevent skin problems and allow for early...

  • People with diabetes have a greater risk for gum (periodontal) disease when blood sugar is high. And gum disease can cause higher blood sugar levels, which makes it hard to fight infection, including infections in the mouth. To help prevent dental...

  • The teen years may be the most difficult time for a young person with diabetes and his or her parents. The normal cycle of rapid growth spurts and periods of slow growth along with the normal teenager behaviors of going to bed late, sleeping late,...

  • Some people with diabetes use their insulin syringes and lancets more than once to save money. But makers of syringes and lancets do not recommend using them more than once. Talk with your doctor before reusing these items. Some people who have...

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) increases the risk of colon cancer. The amount of increased risk depends on the type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease of the colon), how much of the intestine is involved, and how...

  • Surgery for Crohn's disease usually is needed if ongoing symptoms do not respond to medicine or if side effects of medicine cause other serious problems. Surgery may be needed when you have: Bowel blockage (obstruction). Abscesses or tears...

  • The following nutritional treatments may be used for inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease). Enteral nutrition is a fluid given through a tube that is inserted into the nose, down the throat, and into the stomach. This...

  • This surgery is done to treat ulcerative colitis. The doctor removes all of the large intestine (colon) and the diseased lining of the rectum. This surgery is also called an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). In an ileoanal procedure, the lining of the rectum is removed, and the lower end of the small intestine (the...

  • In proctocolectomy, the large intestine and rectum are removed, leaving the lower end of the small intestine (the ileum). The doctor sews the anus closed and makes a small opening called a stoma in the skin of the lower abdomen. The surgical procedure to create the stoma (or any other artificial opening) is called an...

  • Gives info on heart problem that leads to heart failure. Includes symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment with medicines, lifestyle changes, and surgery. Also info on causes like amyloidosis, hemochromatosis, and sarcoidosis. Includes info on tests.

  • Many people who have psoriasis have nail changes. This can involve: Pitting on the surface of the nail. Defects in the nail, such as ridges or crumbling nails. Yellowish color to the toenails (and sometimes fingernails). Thickening of the...

  • Phototherapy is the use of ultraviolet (UV) light to slow the rapid growth of new skin cells. This is helpful in treating psoriasis, which causes skin cells to grow too rapidly. There are two types of ultraviolet (UV) light therapy: Ultraviolet B (UVB) Exposure times start at 30 to 60 seconds when therapy begins...

  • Includes info on psoriasis, a chronic skin disorder. Covers causes and symptoms, including scaly patches on the knees, elbows, and scalp. Includes info on what increases your risk. Covers treatment with creams and oral medicines. Offers home treatment tips.

  • In endoscopic sinus surgery, an endoscope is inserted into the nose, providing the doctor with an inside view of the sinuses. Surgical instruments are inserted alongside the endoscope. This allows the doctor to remove small amounts of bone or other material blocking the sinus openings and remove growths (polyps) of the...

  • Briefly discusses surgery to treat chronic sinusitis. Covers how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Lists risks.

  • For this test, the sinus cavity is punctured with a needle, and a sample of the sinus contents is obtained. A culture and sensitivity test is often done on the sample to identify the bacteria, virus, or fungus causing the infection and to determine which medicine will be most effective in treating it. Cells taken from...

  • What is Addison's disease? Addison's disease develops when the adrenal glands, which are above the kidneys, are not able to make enough of the hormones cortisol and, sometimes, aldosterone. Your body needs both of these hormones to work as it should. Cortisol helps the body cope with extreme physical stress from...

  • What is Guillain-Barré syndrome? Guillain-Barré syndrome (say "ghee-YAN bah-RAY") is a problem with your nervous system. It causes muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, and numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, face, and other parts of your body. This rare condition can cause paralysis and lead to death. But...

  • The oil (urushiol) that causes the rash from poison ivy, oak, or sumac can be spread to skin from: Sporting equipment, such as fishing rods, balls, baseball bats and gloves, and hockey sticks. Lawn and garden tools, such as lawn mower handles,...

  • If you have contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac, immediately wash areas of the skin that may have touched the plant. Sometimes the resulting rash (contact dermatitis) can be completely avoided by washing the affected areas with plenty of water...

  • A rash caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac may itch and produce blisters. If you get a mild rash, you can take care of it at home. Here are some tips to help with itching: Apply a cool, wet cloth for 15 to 30 minutes several times a day. Take short,...

  • Discusses rash (also called contact dermatitis) caused by touching poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Covers risks. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Covers medicines to relieve symptoms.

  • Covers blood test that checks the amount of sugar (glucose) bound to hemoglobin. Explains that test is done to check how well you are managing your diabetes. Covers how it is done and discusses results.

  • Covers causes and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Looks at treatment with medicine, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Discusses things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms and help control the disease. Includes importance of regular checkups.

  • Inflammatory eye disease (uveitis) can develop as a complication in children who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Children and adults who have JIA can develop cataracts, glaucoma, corneal degeneration (band keratopathy), or vision loss. The...

  • Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) must do regular range-of-motion exercises to prevent contractures and to maintain joint range and flexibility. If your child is 4 years old or younger, an adult will need to move the child's joints...

  • If your child has severe joint damage from juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), your child's doctors may recommend a total joint replacement. As you and the doctors work through this decision together, consider the following: Your child's age. Consider how old your child is. His or her bones may still...

  • Discusses possible causes of swollen glands and other lumps under the skin. Covers bacterial and viral infections, noncancerous growths, hernias, aneurysms, and swelling caused by cancer. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Bites and stings from insects (bees, wasps, yellow jackets) and spiders usually cause pain, swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the sting or bite. In some people, especially children, the redness and swelling may be worse and last up to a...

  • Discusses common skin rashes that affect those 11 and younger. Covers chickenpox, diaper rash, prickly heat, and contact dermatitis. Offers home treatment tips for fever and itching. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Lists common causes of skin rashes in those 12 and older. Covers allergies, chronic skin problems like eczema, or contact with poisonous plants like poison oak. Covers home treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses ways to avoid indoor allergy triggers. Covers common indoor allergens such as dust mites and pet dander. Covers reasons to avoid them. Offers cleaning tips to reduce allergens in the home.

  • Allergic rhinitis causes symptoms of sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose. But you can control these symptoms with medicine and by avoiding the things that cause them ( allergens). If you are allergic to outdoor allergens, such as pollen and mold, you don't have to give up an outdoor life. You just need to know when...

  • Dust builds up throughout your home. The dust may contain substances that trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing or coughing, or another allergic reaction, such as the rash of atopic dermatitis or stuffy nose of allergic rhinitis. These substances are called allergens. Dust mites are another example of an allergen...

  • All warm-blooded pets, such as cats, dogs, birds, and rodents, have dead skin cells (animal dander) and make urine or stool. These can all trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing or coughing, or another allergic reaction, such as the rash of...

  • Mold can get into a building through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets and can be carried indoors. Mold will grow in places that...

  • Explains allergies to insect stings. Covers symptoms. Discusses local and systemic reactions. Covers diagnosis and treatment options. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Guides through decision to take shots for insect sting allergies. Describes different types of allergic reactions. Includes how allergy shots work. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Explains what immunotherapy is and why it is done. Lists specific allergies treated by immunotherapy. Covers how it is done, how well it works, and what to expect after treatment. Covers things that increase risk.

  • Experts can classify allergic rhinitis by how often a person has it and how severe it is. Allergic rhinitis is: Intermittent if you have symptoms fewer than 4 days a week or fewer than 4 weeks a year. Persistent if you have symptoms 4 or more days a week and 4 or more weeks a year. Mild if your...

  • Oral antihistamines are available without a prescription. Common types such as diphenhydramine (for example, Benadryl), chlorpheniramine (for example, Chlor-Trimeton), and loratadine (for example, Claritin) are used to treat allergy symptoms and itching. Look for generic or store brands, which often cost less than name...

  • What is video capsule endoscopy? Video capsule endoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to examine your small intestine for sources of bleeding. It may be especially helpful for diagnosing Crohn's disease. How is it done? For this procedure, you swallow a capsule that is less than an inch long (about 23...

  • Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. If your child has had a severe allergic reaction in the past, you know how frightening it can be. Symptoms of breathing problems, itching, nausea or vomiting, and swelling can come on quickly and become life-threatening. Giving your child an epinephrine shot can slow down or...

  • Covers control of asthma with asthma action plan. Includes working with doctor on a plan and medicines for symptoms and attacks. Includes use of controller medicine and peak flow meter. Reviews avoiding triggers and keeping asthma diary.

  • Covers following an eating plan for inflammatory bowel disease. Helps you learn more about how to eat so you can manage your symptoms but still get the nutrition you need. Looks at common problem foods.

  • Guides through decision to have surgery to treat chronic sinusitis. Discusses endoscopic and traditional surgery. Explains who is a good candidate for surgery. Lists reasons for and against surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses causes and symptoms of food allergies. Covers what increases risk. Discusses treatment options, including medicine choices. Offers home care and prevention tips. Covers when to call a doctor.

  • Explains what a drug allergy is. Offers a list of symptoms. Covers medicines that can cause an allergic reaction. Discusses how allergies are diagnosed and treated. Provides home treatment options. Covers when to call a doctor.

  • What is penicillin allergy? A penicillin allergy is an allergic reaction that occurs when your body's immune system overreacts to penicillin antibiotics. What are the symptoms of penicillin allergy? Common allergic reactions to penicillin include rashes, hives, itchy eyes, and swollen lips, tongue, or...

  • Guides you through decision to take medicines to treat MS (called disease-modifying therapy). Covers medicine choices. Covers side effects. Lists reasons for and against taking medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • To be diagnosed with diabetes, you must meet one of the following criteria: Have symptoms of diabetes (increased thirst, increased urination, and unexplained weight loss) and a blood sugar level equal to or greater than 200 milligrams per...

  • Guides you through ways to reduce the severity of a headache and prevent it from coming back. Looks at combining stress management with medicines. Includes things you can do every day to help prevent headaches.

  • The puss caterpillar, or woolly slug, is the most poisonous caterpillar in the United States. Its poison is hidden in hollow spines among its hairs. This hairy caterpillar is found in the southern states, ranging west through most of Texas and north to Maryland and Missouri. It feeds on shade trees such as elm, oak, and...

  • Covers symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica, which include muscle pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. Covers how this condition is treated.

  • Antiphospholipid syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease that has been closely linked to some cases of recurrent miscarriage. This syndrome increases blood clotting. It can cause dangerous blood clots (thrombosis) and problems with blood flow. For some women, the only sign of this condition is an early miscarriage. Or...

  • Covers good skin care as an essential part of controlling the itch and rash of atopic dermatitis. Looks at what atopic dermatitis is. Explains why skin care is important. Gives tips on keeping your skin hydrated and avoiding irritants.

  • Certain antihistamines such as dimenhydrinate or doxylamine, taken as your doctor advises, may relieve morning sickness. Doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs) is available over-the-counter. If one of these antihistamines alone does not relieve your morning sickness, you can try taking it with vitamin B6. Talk to your doctor...

  • What is a peanut allergy? A peanut allergy is a reaction that occurs when your body mistakenly identifies peanuts as harmful substances. When you eat peanuts or food containing peanuts, your immune system —the body's natural defense system that fights infections and diseases—overreacts and can cause a serious, even...

  • Assistive devices and orthotics are tools that help you hold objects, open and close things, transfer weight while shifting positions, or walk. It is important to find a balance between use and rest of a painful (arthritic) joint. When exercise is not enough to control pain, assistive devices and orthotics may help to...

  • Covers skin, scalp, and nail care for psoriasis. Includes info on why care is important. Offers tips on products that may help and those to avoid. Covers moisturizing skin and how to protect skin, scalp, and nails.

  • Seasonal allergies occur at the same time of the year every year, if you continue to live in the same part of the country. Hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) is the most common seasonal allergy. What are the symptoms of seasonal allergies? Symptoms of seasonal allergies include: Itchy, watery eyes...

  • Multiple sclerosis, often called MS, affects the central nervous system—the brain and spinal cord. It can cause problems with muscle control and strength, vision, balance, feeling, and thinking. Rehabilitation programs often help. They include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive...

  • Generally, multiple sclerosis (MS) follows one of four courses: Relapsing-remitting, where you have alternating periods of active disease when symptoms flare up and periods when symptoms fade. This cycle can occur for many years. The disease does not advance during the remissions. Secondary progressive, where you...

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects different people in different ways. For people who have only mild symptoms from time to time, the disease may not have much impact on their everyday lives. People with more severe MS have frequently recurring or ongoing symptoms and may become disabled within a few years. Most people...

  • Covers giving yourself an epinephrine shot to slow down or stop an allergic reaction. Says why you need an epinephrine shot and how to give yourself a shot.

  • Splenectomy is surgery to remove the spleen. The spleen gets rid of old and damaged red blood cells. Red blood cells may be damaged by a health condition, such as thalassemia or sickle cell disease. When the blood cells pass through the spleen, they are often destroyed. This can leave the body with too few red blood...

  • The severity of asthma can vary, and asthma often requires changes in your treatment to control it. To ensure that you are getting the proper treatment, you have to continuously monitor and evaluate the disease and communicate with your doctor. Symptoms Know the symptoms of poorly controlled asthma—wheezing, cough...

  • Discusses causes and symptoms of asthma in children. Looks at treatment with medicine such as inhaled corticosteroid and albuterol. Discusses avoiding triggers and treating attacks. Covers using nebulizers, metered-dose with spacer and dry powder inhalers.

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for ulcerative colitis. Explains symptoms, long-term risks involved with the disease. Discusses common surgery options. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Teaches counting carbs to help you maintain control of your blood sugar level when you have diabetes. Explains why carb counting is important, allowing you to adjust the amount of insulin you take. Includes links to more info on type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

  • Discusses Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. Covers symptoms, which include diarrhea and abdominal pain. Discusses treatment with medicines, including corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and biologics. Also covers treatment with surgery.

  • Discusses ulcerative colitis, a common type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the colon and rectum. Covers symptoms and what happens as the disease progresses. Offers home treatment tips. Discusses treatment with medicine and surgery.

  • The severity of ulcerative colitis is determined by certain criteria. Ulcerative colitis can be classified as mild, moderate, severe, or fulminant (very severe), which may guide treatment choices. People who have mild ulcerative colitis may have: Fewer than four bowel movements (stools) a day. No...

  • Complications of ulcerative colitis can include: Arthritis, in 5 to 20 out of 100 people. Some people develop colitis-related arthritis, which may resemble rheumatoid arthritis. In people who have ulcerative colitis, inflammation limited to the lower joints of the spine (sacroiliitis) is more common than ankylosing...

  • Sometimes symptoms of Crohn's disease can develop outside the digestive tract in other parts of the body (systemic symptoms), including the eyes, liver, blood, and bones. These systemic symptoms suggest that the immune system is involved in Crohn's disease. Systemic symptoms can include: Joint problems, which occur in...

  • Caring for your ostomy is an important part of maintaining your quality of life. You will need to: Empty your pouch as needed. Replace your pouching system as needed (usually every 3 to 7 days). This may include measuring your stoma (the exposed section of intestine) and cutting the barrier to size. Care for your...

  • Omalizumab (Xolair) is a medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in people age 12 and older who have moderate or severe persistent asthma. This medicine costs a lot more than any of the standard treatments for asthma. The medicine works by blocking immunoglobulin E (IgE) from attaching...

  • When you use inhaled asthma medicine, you usually use a device that delivers the medicine directly to your lungs. Different types of delivery systems are available. And one type may be more suitable for certain people, age groups, or medicine than another. The following table describes how asthma medicines may be...

  • Medicines for quick relief of the narrowed bronchial tubes caused by asthma include short-acting beta2-agonists. These medicines relieve sudden increases of symptoms ( asthma attacks) quickly. But overuse may be harmful. Overuse of short-acting beta2-agonists has been associated with worsening asthma and increased risk...

  • An asthma diary helps you keep track of how well you are managing your asthma. If you have symptoms or an asthma attack, record the trigger (if possible), the symptoms, and what kind of medicine you used for relief and how well it worked. Also note if you had to contact your doctor or seek emergency care. This can help...

  • Week of ________________________ If I use a peak flow meter: My personal best peak expiratory flow (PEF) is ________ . My PEF for green zone is ___________ liters per second (80% to 100% of my personal best*). My PEF for yellow zone is ___________ liters per second (50% to less than 80% of my personal best*). My...

  • Covers helping a child with asthma use a metered-dose inhaler with mask spacer. Explains that a metered dose inhaler delivers a measured dose of medicine directly to the lungs. Includes pictures on how to use metered-dose inhaler with mask spacer.

  • Covers questions about asthma during pregnancy and labor. Looks at treatment with medicines including inhaled albuterol, budesonide, salmeterol, and formoterol. Includes treatment of allergies. Covers safety of steroids for pregnant mother and baby.

  • An asthma action plan is a written plan that tells you how to treat your asthma on a daily basis. The plan also helps you deal with sudden increases in your or your child's asthma symptoms ( asthma attacks). You need to treat the inflammation in your lungs to minimize the long-term effects of asthma. The plan tells you...

  • Understanding asthma can help you control your symptoms and reduce your risk of asthma attacks. The following statements summarize what you should know about asthma. If you do not know, or are not sure, about any of them, talk to your doctor. The more you understand about asthma, the better you will be able to follow...

  • Asthma is the most common long-lasting (chronic) disease of childhood. It usually develops before age 5. Many children who have allergies get asthma, but not all. And not every child with asthma has allergies. In most cases of persistent asthma, the first symptoms (such as wheezing) start in the first years of life...

  • Covers creating and following a plan to help manage symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Discusses early treatment with exercise and medicine to limit joint damage. Includes tips for coping with chronic joint pain, fatigue, and stiffness.

  • Exercise can reduce pain and improve function in people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Also, exercise may help prevent the buildup of scar tissue, which can lead to weakness and stiffness. Exercise for arthritis takes three forms: stretching, strengthening, and conditioning. Stretching involves moving...

  • Most children who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) will have some pain and discomfort from the disease. The pain of JIA is related to the type and severity of the disease, the child's pain threshold, and emotional and psychological factors. Pain limits a child's ability to function. With care and good...

  • Cholesterol (or lipid) problems are common in diabetes. These problems are usually related to obesity and insulin resistance. They can also be related to lack of insulin in your body. Triglyceride blood levels are usually elevated. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) blood level is usually low...

  • High blood sugar from diabetes can affect the body's immune system, impairing the ability of white blood cells to come to the site of an infection, stay in the infected area, and kill microorganisms. Because of the buildup of plaque in blood vessels associated with diabetes, areas of infection may receive a poor blood...

  • A1c is a test that shows the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. People who have diabetes usually have this test to see whether their blood sugar levels have been staying within a target range. This test is also used to...

  • The table below summarizes many of the tests that can be done to identify complications from diabetes, including those tests done during a physical exam. The physical exam evaluates your overall health. The doctor pays special attention to your...

  • In general, people with diabetes either have a total lack of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or they have too little insulin or cannot use insulin effectively (type 2 diabetes). Type 1 diabetes (formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes), accounts for 5 to 10 out of 100 people who have diabetes. In type 1...

  • Sometimes complications develop even when risk factors such as blood sugar level and blood pressure have been controlled. But following your treatment to control your blood sugar levels is still an important part of your treatment. The most common serious complications from diabetes are coronary artery disease (CAD)...

  • Over time, high blood sugar levels from diabetes lead to damage of the retina, the layer on the back of the eye that captures images and sends them as nerve signals to the brain. Whether diabetic retinopathy develops depends in part on how high blood sugar levels have been and how long they have been above a target...

  • Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease that currently has no cure. Your child needs to take insulin injections. This can be a scary process for adults, not to mention for a child. If your child is very young, you will need to give these injections. When your child is older, he or she can take on some of the...

  • Many things work together to cause foot problems in people who have diabetes, especially poor circulation and nerve disease (neuropathy). Neuropathy significantly dulls awareness of your feet, making you more susceptible to extensive injury-related damage. Also, diabetes can impair your ability to heal by both damaging...

  • When a food comes in a package, take a look at the Nutrition Facts label and ingredient list on the package. Start with the "% Daily Value" column on the food label. A food is considered low in a specific nutrient (such as fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, or sodium) if it has 5% or less of the daily value. A food is...

  • With planning and thoughtful choices, you can follow your meal plan for diabetes when you eat away from home, such as at a party or a restaurant. Here are some tips: Plan ahead At restaurants, check for online menus that include nutrition information before you go, or ask for this information when you arrive. Most...

  • If you are a woman with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who is planning to become pregnant, meet with your doctor. Your doctor will want to talk to you about your A1c goal, your medicine for diabetes, your weight, and getting enough folic acid. Your doctor will want to make sure that you are up to date with immunizations. And...

  • Even though you have diabetes, you can have the same success with breastfeeding as any other woman. Breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical specialist organizations, because it benefits the mother and the infant. Make sure your diabetes care team and other members of the...

  • New challenges emerge when your child with diabetes begins school. Starting a good communication system with key people at the school can help make this transition a smooth one. It's helpful to schedule a conference with school personnel—principal,...

  • You may find it difficult to stay motivated to manage your diabetes appropriately. The following suggestions may help. Set goals and provide positive reinforcement Praise and reward yourself for the things you do right. Use nonfood rewards, such as clothing, sports equipment, books, a golf trip, or a movie night...

  • What happens when you are sick When you are sick, your body reacts by releasing hormones to fight infection. But these hormones raise blood sugar levels and at the same time make it more difficult for insulin to lower blood sugar. When you have diabetes, even a minor illness can lead to dangerously high blood sugar...

  • Teaches counting carbs to help you and your child plan meals to manage diabetes and control blood sugar. Explains why carb counting is important. Includes links to more info on counting carbs if you use insulin and on type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

  • If your child doesn't want to feel the insulin needle, your child's doctor can prescribe an indwelling subcutaneous cannula. A small needle is used to insert a soft tube into a place where you give your child an insulin shot, such as the belly. The needle is taken out, but the soft tube (cannula) stays in your child's...

  • Describes monitoring blood sugar levels in children with diabetes. Covers list of supplies needed, including blood sugar meter, testing strips, and lancet. Gives step-by-step instructions. Links to info on type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

  • Discusses high blood sugar (also called hyperglycemia) in children with diabetes. Covers symptoms. Offers tips on preventing high blood sugar emergencies. Covers when to seek emergency care.

  • Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, occurs when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood of a person with diabetes drops below what the body needs to function normally. Taking too much insulin, not eating enough food or skipping meals, or exercising more than usual can cause blood sugar levels to drop rapidly. If...

  • Foot problems in people with diabetes are usually treated by keeping blood sugar levels in a target blood sugar range and by using medicine, surgery, and other types of treatment. When foot problems develop, those problems need prompt treatment so that serious complications don't develop. Even problems that seem...

  • Covers type 1 diabetes in children. Includes info on managing diabetes. Discusses using glucose monitors for blood glucose testing. Includes links to info on dealing with diabetes in school. Includes info on hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

  • Young children with type 1 diabetes aren't able to recognize when their blood sugar level is high or low and then tell an adult. And sometimes it's even hard for a parent to tell the difference. Some signs that may indicate high or low blood sugar in a very young child include: Irritability, anger, or crying...

  • Blood vessel and nerve damage linked with diabetes can lead to serious infections that are extremely hard to treat. Often the first place you have a problem is your feet. When you lose the ability to feel your toes and feet, you are more likely to injure them without knowing it. Even a minor injury, such as a small cut...

  • Camps for children who have diabetes provide an opportunity for the child to meet and share experiences with other children who have the disease. These camps support the child in assuming responsibility for his or her disease and gaining independence in diabetes care. It's also a fun outdoor experience that may include...

  • Crohn's disease may cause sores, or ulcers, that tunnel through the intestine and into the surrounding tissue, often around the anus and rectum. These abnormal tunnels, called fistulas, are a common complication of Crohn's disease. They may get infected. Crohn's disease can also cause anal fissures. These are narrow...

  • Covers using an inhaler to get needed medicine into lungs quickly. Describes dry powder inhalers, how they work, and why to use them. Includes pictures on how to use a dry powder inhaler.

  • Talk to your doctor if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and are planning to get pregnant. To make sure that both you and your baby stay healthy, you may need to fine-tune your diabetes care before you get pregnant. If you have diabetes and want to get pregnant, the most important thing you can do is to get your...

  • A diabetes care plan will help your child's teachers and other school staff know when and how to manage your child's diabetes. For example, if your child needs to eat shortly after taking insulin or to have a snack in class, then a teacher or other adult can make sure that this happens. At the same time, the teacher...

  • My name:__________________ Doctor's name: ___________________ Doctor's phone: _______________ Controller medicine How much? How often? Other instructions Quick-relief medicine How much? How often? Other instructions...

  • Children who take insulin are at risk of hypoglycemia during and after exercise. But with good planning and awareness, a child can exercise and participate in sports safely. Good planning means checking blood sugars before, during, and after exercise. Then, you can keep a record of how exercise affects your child's...

  • Guides you through decision to get an insulin pump to manage type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Discusses who makes a good candidate for an insulin pump. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • More and more people with diabetes are using insulin pumps instead of daily shots to manage their disease. The pumps give them more freedom to eat, sleep, and exercise when they want. A pump can be an important tool in preventing problems like very low blood sugar. But using an insulin pump takes some getting used to...

  • Guides you through the decision to take antibiotics to treat sinusitis. Explains causes of sinusitis and how well antibiotics work. Lists risks. Discusses other treatment for sinus infection. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

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