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.

Family Medicine

  • Guides through decision to treat abnormal uterine bleeding. Explains symptoms that doctor would look for before recommending treatment. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Covers symptoms and possible causes of abdominal pain, such as peptic ulcer disease, indigestion, appendicitis, or stomach flu. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Discusses hyperthyroidism and what happens to the body's metabolism if the thyroid gland is overactive. Explains how Graves' disease usually causes an overactive thyroid. Describes symptoms. Covers exams and tests to diagnose it. Provides info on treatment.

  • An intrauterine transfusion provides blood to an Rh-positive fetus when fetal red blood cells are being destroyed by Rh antibodies. A blood transfusion is given to replace fetal red blood cells that are being destroyed by the Rh-sensitized mother's immune system. This treatment is meant to keep the fetus healthy until...

  • Children and teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not misbehave to spite their parents or other adults. Problems develop because ADHD often causes children and teens to react impulsively and makes it difficult for them to...

  • Discusses autism, an autism spectrum disorder (once known as a pervasive developmental disorder). Looks at signs of autism, including problems talking or repetitive behaviors. Covers behavioral and physical exams used to diagnose autism. Covers treatment options.

  • What is amblyopia? Amblyopia is a childhood problem that happens when one eye is weaker than the other. The brain chooses to take in images from the stronger eye and ignore images from the weaker eye. This means that your child uses the strong eye more than the weak eye. If the weak eye doesn't have to work, it isn't...

  • Sex and sexuality communicate a great deal: affection, love, esteem, warmth, sharing, and bonding. These gifts are as much the right of older adults as they are of those who are much younger. Three aspects of sexuality are covered in this topic: the changes that come with aging, suggestions on how to adjust to these...

  • Discusses nonsurgical procedure, called catheter ablation, for atrial fibrillation if medicine is not effective or not tolerated. Also discusses implanting a pacemaker. Looks at why procedure is done, how well it works, and possible risks.

  • Discusses procedure that uses electric current to reset heart's rhythm to its regular pattern. Covers its use to stop atrial fibrillation. Discusses what to expect after treatment, how well it works, and risks.

  • Written tests called rating scales are used to check for symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). These tests can help measure and compare a child's behavior with that of other children the same age. It is best to complete one...

  • Radioactive iodine is a medicine that you take one time. After you swallow it, it is taken up by your thyroid gland. Depending on the dosage used, the radioactivity in the iodine destroys most or all of the tissue in your thyroid gland, but it does not harm any other parts of your body. While radiation can cause...

  • What is cleft palate? Cleft palate is a treatable birth defect. It happens when the roof of the baby's mouth (palate) doesn't develop normally during pregnancy, leaving an opening (cleft) in the palate that may go through to the nasal cavity. A cleft can form on any part of the palate, including the front part of the...

  • Infant formula is a nutritional product that is made from processed cow's milk or soybean products. Special processing makes cow's-milk formula more digestible and less likely to cause an allergic reaction than regular cow's milk. Vitamins and...

  • What are birthmarks? A birthmark is a colored mark on or under a newborn baby's skin. Some birthmarks show up soon after a baby is born. Most birthmarks are obvious at birth. Some kinds of birthmarks fade or go away as a child gets older. Others stay the same or get bigger, darker, or thicker. There are many...

  • The child who is being evaluated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be evaluated for other disorders associated with the condition, such as learning or behavior disorders. The child may be asked questions (verbal tests) or may...

  • Discusses atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Covers causes, including high blood pressure and CAD. Discusses what increases your risk. Covers treatment with medicines, cardioversion, and catheter ablation.

  • Many medicines can cause changes in how we feel. Some can cause symptoms of depression. These include: Blood pressure medicines, such as clonidine (Catapres). Barbiturates. Some examples are pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital, and secobarbital...

  • 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...

  • Tony has done well with getting his cholesterol under control. And he's had a notable failure. But as Tony tells it, "I've learned as much from the failure as I have from the success. Maybe more." About 2 years ago, Tony's doctor told him that he had a high risk for heart attack and that his cholesterol was high. This...

  • Raising children is a big job. It can be overwhelming to think about all the things your child needs to learn to stay safe and healthy. In addition to teaching children good eating and activity habits, you can also teach them some basic health and safety habits. Remember that your child learns habits by watching...

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all people, starting at age 12, be screened for depression. Screening for depression helps find depression early. And early treatment may help you get better faster. Depression is a disease....

  • What is deep vein thrombosis? Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot (thrombus) in a deep vein, usually in the legs. Clots can form in superficial veins and in deep veins. Blood clots with inflammation in superficial veins (called superficial thrombophlebitis or phlebitis) rarely cause serious problems. But clots...

  • The best thing parents can do to help prevent drug and alcohol use by their children is to get involved before a problem begins. Starting when your child is age 5 or 6, talk with him or her about how these substances are harmful to kids....

  • Try home treatment for blisters: A small, unbroken blister about the size of a pea, even a blood blister, will usually heal on its own. Use a loose bandage to protect it. Avoid the activity that caused the blister. If a small blister is on a...

  • Guides you through decision to have cardioversion for atrial fibrillation. Discusses electrical cardioversion and rate control drugs. Lists benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The following are some obvious signs that a person may be smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or using other substances. This is not a complete list of signs to look for. If you suspect a particular drug or drugs, get more information on signs of...

  • Guides you through the decision to have infertility testing. Talks about causes of infertility. Lists risks and benefits of infertility testing. Explains how you might use test results. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through decision to treat fluid buildup in the middle ear. Discusses risks and benefits of treatment such as ear tubes, antibiotics, and adenoid surgery. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Support groups provide encouragement when you have decided to quit smoking. Support groups can: Increase your chances of success. Keep you motivated. Allow you to express your feelings with others who understand. Give you hope and the confidence to...

  • Radiation therapy is used to destroy cancer cells. This procedure may require 15 to 30 visits to a facility with special equipment. Radiation therapy may be used in combination with other types of therapy to treat aggressive or recurrent skin cancer.

  • Discusses chronic kidney disease (also called chronic renal failure), which means your kidneys don't work the way they should. Discusses dialysis. Covers treating diabetes and high blood pressure, which cause most cases of chronic kidney disease.

  • What is blepharitis? Blepharitis (say "bleh-fuh-RY-tus") is a skin problem that affects the eyelids and lashes. It may be caused by bacteria or by other skin conditions such as dandruff, skin allergies, or eczema. If you have blepharitis, you're also more likely to get styes. What are the symptoms? If you have...

  • To help a child between 8 and 14 months old stop biting: Make clear rules about biting. Tell the child, "We never bite people. We bite food like apples and cookies." If the child bites, say "Biting hurts." If you are bitten, exaggerate your response...

  • Guides you through the decision to have warts or plantar warts removed. Discusses types of treatments and their benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause constipation. Examples include: Antacids. Antidepressants. Some blood pressure medicines. Cold medicines (antihistamines). Calcium and iron supplements. Opioid pain medicines. If you think...

  • The habit of smoking is very strong: you puff on a cigarette hundreds of times each and every day—and for many years. When people who have smoked for a long time stop, they find it strange to have nothing in their hands or mouths. They have become so accustomed to handling cigarettes that their hands seek cigarettes...

  • 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...

  • Review the symptoms of low blood sugar if you have diabetes or some other health condition that can cause low blood sugar. Symptoms of low blood sugar include sweating, blurred vision, and confusion. Know the early symptoms. You may not always have the same symptoms. Share treatment instructions with your partner...

  • The following warning signs may be present in adults who have a high risk for suicide: Depression or other mental health condition, such as severe anxiety, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), or schizophrenia Depression followed by sudden cheerfulness and contentment, which may mean the...

  • Your doctor may ask you to keep a record of your child's temper tantrums before you bring your child in for a physical exam. It's a good idea to include the following information. How often does your child have tantrums? What usually leads up to...

  • Occasionally a problem elsewhere in the body can cause pain in the arm or elbow. These may include: A neck problem, such as a pinched nerve in the neck. A shoulder problem, such as arthritis in the shoulder. A wrist problem, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. A heart problem, such as angina...

  • Curettage is the process of scraping skin with a spoon-shaped instrument (curette) to remove skin tissue. Electrosurgery is the burning of skin tissue with an electric current that runs through a metal instrument or needle. Electrosurgery may be done after curettage to control bleeding and destroy any remaining cancer...

  • Most lung cancer is caused by smoking. After you quit, your risk for lung cancer drops gradually. By 10 years, your risk will be about half of what it would have been if you had continued to smoke. This risk continues to decline as the number of years of not smoking increases. Two other lung diseases related to smoking...

  • A nicotine patch looks like an oversized adhesive bandage. The outer part of the patch sticks to your skin, while the inner portion presses against and slowly releases nicotine into your skin. See a picture of how to use these patches to help you quit smoking or stop using smokeless tobacco. Nicotine patches are...

  • You may have these symptoms when your blood sugar has dropped below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). When you have had diabetes for many years, you may not always develop symptoms of mild low blood sugar. Some young children with diabetes cannot...

  • Headache clinics can evaluate and treat cluster headaches. If your headaches become more severe and medicines aren't working, your doctor may refer you to a headache clinic for more intensive treatment. When you are looking for the right clinic, ask a few questions about the services provided—such as what types of...

  • Complications that can develop from grieving include depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and physical illness. If you or someone you know experiences any of the following problems, contact a doctor or mental health professional for counseling, medicine, or both. Depression Depression is...

  • The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet can help you lower your blood pressure. It includes eating fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or nonfat dairy foods. For more information on the DASH diet, see: High Blood Pressure: Using the DASH...

  • Symptoms of severe anxiety and panic linked with social anxiety disorder include: Fast heart rate and fast breathing. Sweating. Nausea. Trembling and feeling weak in the knees. Being unable to move or run away. Symptoms of panic include: Feelings of...

  • Belly-breathing fills your lungs fully, slows your breathing rate, and helps you relax. Place one hand on your belly just below the ribs and the other hand on your chest. You can do this while standing, but it may be more comfortable while you are...

  • Abdominal fullness or bloating occurs when excess gas builds up in the digestive tract. Common causes of gas include: Swallowed air. If swallowed air is not burped up, it passes through the digestive tract and is released through the anus as gas...

  • Guides you through decision to use antithyroid medicine or radioactive iodine to treat hyperthyroidism. List benefits for and against each of the treatments. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses decompressive laminectomy, the most common type of surgery to treat lumbar spinal stenosis. Looks at how surgery may reduce pressure on nerve roots to relieve pain. Covers risks.

  • 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...

  • Tai chi and qi gong (say "chee goong") are traditional Chinese movement exercises. They are based on two ideas: Energy, called qi or chi, flows through the body along "energy pathways" called meridians. If the flow of chi is blocked or unbalanced at...

  • Having bradycardia (say "bray-dee-KAR-dee-uh") means that your heart beats very slowly. For most people, a heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, it is slower than...

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

  • Learn how being active builds a strong core and keeps your back healthy.

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to...

  • Topic guides reader through decision to get an ICD for heart rhythm problems. Provides general overview of what ICDs are and what heart rhythm problems can be helped with ICDs. Lists benefits and possible complications of getting an ICD.

  • Water keeps every part of your body working properly. It helps your body flush wastes and stay at the right temperature. It can help prevent kidney stones and constipation. You lose water throughout the day—through your breath, sweat, urine, and...

  • Just keep moving, even if it's only a few steps. That's what Robert learned is a key to helping his low back pain. "I discovered that what you have to do is this: You do as much as you can." Robert has been suffering with low back pain for more than 15 years. There have been several times when his back went out and he...

  • Getting back to work with low back pain depends on what your day is usually like. But there are some basics that apply to everyone. Moving keeps your back muscles strong, which can help your back. And avoiding activity for more than a day or two can...

  • Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that turn liquid nicotine into a vapor that you inhale. These cigarettes are often called e-cigarettes. Many of them are made to look like real cigarettes. Some have a light at the end that glows...

  • Resilience is an "inner strength" that helps you bounce back after stressful situations. When you are resilient, you may recover more quickly from setbacks or difficult changes, including illness. Developing resilience begins with simple actions or...

  • Fasting means choosing to go without food, drink, or both for a period of time. It can mean going without any food or going without certain types of food. There are different kinds of fasting. Medical fasting. You may be asked to fast for a...

  • Learning disabilities make it hard for your child to learn in certain areas. Your child may have trouble with listening, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, or doing math. One example of a learning disability is dyslexia. A child with dyslexia has...

  • Learn how negative and positive thoughts affect the way you experience pain.

  • Learn how to safely get up after a fall and what to do if you need to call for help.

  • Learn what to expect during hip replacement surgery and how it can ease the pain of arthritis.

  • Learn how temporary ear tubes help treat ear infections.

  • Learn how to prepare for your colonoscopy and what to expect during the procedure.

  • Learn how to fix some common tripping hazards around your home.

  • Learn how to change your outlook on life by focusing on helpful thoughts.

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

  • Learn how to build a healthy meal using the plate method to help manage your diabetes.

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

  • Learn about activity and exercise to help reduce low back pain.

  • Learn which medicines could make your heart failure worse.

  • Learn easy ways to help prevent the return of low back pain.

  • Learn why sodium is bad for heart failure and get tips for low-sodium meals.

  • This topic is about high blood pressure that some women get while they are pregnant. For information about preeclampsia, a more serious kind of high blood pressure, see the topic Preeclampsia. It's normal for blood pressure to go up and down...

  • What are energy and sports drinks? If you listen to the advertising, you might think energy and sports drinks do it all. More energy. Improved performance. Better concentration. But do they? And what's the difference between energy drinks and sports drinks? Energy drinks People use energy drinks because...

  • Learn tips for managing the stress of caregiving and how getting support can help.

  • Learn to keep track of your symptoms to help manage your heart failure.

  • Learn how to reduce stress by tensing and relaxing your muscles.

  • Learn three ways to get mucus out of your lungs so you can breathe easier.

  • If you check your blood pressure, you may wonder when an abnormal reading means you should call your doctor. This information can help you understand what your blood pressure numbers mean and when you need to call for help. What do blood pressure numbers mean? Your blood pressure consists of two numbers...

  • Men who have low testosterone do not make enough of the male hormone called testosterone. This hormone allows men to produce sperm and to develop and keep normal physical male traits. Low testosterone is also called testosterone deficiency or...

  • Hear how four people kept their friends and sense of self when they quit smoking.

  • Long-acting opioid pain relievers are medicines used to relieve moderate to severe long-term pain. They are also called extended-release opioids. Opioids relieve pain by changing the way your body feels pain. They don't cure a health problem, but they help you manage the pain. If you take a lot of short-acting...

  • Compare the pros and cons of having surgery for spinal stenosis.

  • Growth and development milestones help you see how your child is doing compared with other children the same age. The milestones tell you what you should expect from your child in five areas: Physical growth Thinking and reasoning (cognitive...

  • See how family and friends helped three people cope with depression.

  • Learn how to take small steps toward long-term self-care for heart failure.

  • Learn how to prevent blood clots in leg veins when you must sit or lie down for long periods of time.

  • Learn why taking a statin pill is such an important part of your treatment.

  • Learn how you can stay as active and healthy as possible with COPD.

  • Learn some of the many immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting smoking.

  • Learn how to have a healthy, active lifestyle with atrial fibrillation.

  • Learn how to easily check your symptoms daily so you can stay healthy.

  • Pressure injuries are described in four stages. Stage 1 sores are not open wounds. The skin may be painful, but it has no breaks or tears. The skin appears reddened and does not blanch (lose color briefly when you press your finger on it then remove your finger). In a dark-skinned person, the area...

  • Find what motivates you to add a little activity to your life and benefit your heart.

  • Learn to cope with your feelings after finding out you have cancer.

  • Get tips on how to care for yourself at home after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

  • Practice recognizing and replacing thoughts that cause anxiety.

  • Hear how one woman found the support she needed to make heart-healthy choices.

  • You've had success with weight loss, but now you're stuck. Get help thinking about what's in your way.

  • Learn what a stroke is and what problems it can cause.

  • Learn to track how well you are managing your pain.

  • Learn some common signs of a problem with prescription medicine misuse.

  • Get help making a plan to change your drinking habits.

  • Learn about gestational diabetes and what you can do to have a healthy pregnancy.

  • Your calf muscle is actually two muscles, the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. These muscles can be injured if they get overstretched. Injury to a calf muscle can range from a strain or pull that you can treat at home to a more serious...

  • Learn what knee osteoarthritis is and what may cause it.

  • When are weight-loss medicines prescribed? Losing weight can be hard work. Maybe you are wondering if taking medicines could help make it easier for you. Prescription weight-loss medicines may help some people who haven't been able to lose weight with diet and exercise. But they don't help everyone. Doctors only...

  • Learn what kangaroo care is, how to do it, why it's important, and how it benefits both your baby and you.

  • It's important that you know how to treat your COPD. This is true for everyday care and for when your symptoms get worse. It's also very important that your family, friends, and caregivers know what to do. If you can't care for yourself in an emergency, others need to know how they can help you. Fill out this action...

  • People who have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia are sometimes easily confused. They may forget where they are, what day it is, and other common facts. Sundowning is a term to describe increased confusion that occurs in late afternoon and at...

  • Dementia is a loss of mental skills that affects daily life. It can cause problems with memory and with how well a person can think, plan, and communicate. Usually dementia gets worse over time. How long this takes is different for each person. Some...

  • Covers surgery to replace the ball, but not the socket, of the hip joint. Looks at why it is done and how well it works. Discusses what to expect after surgery and living with a hip replacement.

  • A yeast infection is usually caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. This kind of yeast naturally lives on your skin. When too much yeast grows, it is called a yeast skin infection. Yeast skin infections tend to happen in skin-to-skin areas....

  • Milk oversupply happens when a mother makes more milk than her baby uses. It is sometimes called overabundant milk supply or hyperlactation. Many things influence how much milk you produce. The two most important things are how often you breastfeed...

  • What are head lice? Head lice are tiny insects that live close to the scalp where they lay and attach their eggs. Every year, millions of children get head lice. They are common because they can spread anytime a child's head comes into contact with another child's head or hair. For example, lice can...

  • What is a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury? A PCL injury is a sprain or tear of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). The PCL is a band of tissue that crosses inside the center of the knee joint. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg. The PCL keeps your knee stable when it moves forward...

  • Learn what type 2 diabetes is and what it means for you and your life.

  • Find out how exercise helps you control your blood sugar and helps you feel better in other ways too.

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

  • Learn what an anticoagulant (blood thinner) shot is, and see how to give yourself an injection.

  • Learn about your treatment options for substance use disorder.

  • Learn what's happening to your body during drug withdrawal.

  • Anemia means that you do not have enough red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to your body's tissues. If your tissues and organs do not get enough oxygen, they cannot work as well as they should. Anemia is common in people...

  • Learn about sinusitis and how you can care for yourself at home.

  • You can help prevent the flu by getting a flu vaccine every year, as soon as it is available. The vaccine prevents most cases of the flu. But even when the vaccine doesn't prevent the flu, it can make symptoms less severe and reduce the chance of...

  • Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries of your lungs. This may also be called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). These arteries carry blood from the heart to the lungs, where the blood picks up oxygen. The walls of the...

  • Screening tests help your doctor look for a problem before you have symptoms. Lung cancer screening is a way to find some lung cancers early, when a cure is more likely and when cancer is more treatable. If your doctor recommends lung cancer screening, you'll have a low-dose CT scan of your chest once a year. A special...

  • Learn how you can work with your doctor and care team to manage pain while in the hospital.

  • Learn what steps you and your family can take to help you live well with this disease.

  • Prescribed an opioid? Get the facts so you can safely manage your pain.

  • What is nonallergic rhinitis? Rhinitis is inflammation and swelling in the nose. It is often triggered by an allergy. Nonallergic rhinitis is the term used for rhinitis that has no known cause. It may also be called vasomotor rhinitis. What causes rhinitis? Triggers that can cause inflammation and...

  • Take a minute to learn about a sore throat and what you can do to feel better.

  • Take a minute to learn about a urinary tract infection and what you can do to feel better.

  • Take a minute to learn about acne and what you can do about it.

  • Take a minute to learn about constipation and what you can do to feel better.

  • Take a minute to learn about diarrhea and what you can do to feel better.

  • Take a minute to find out about an insect bite or sting and what you can do to feel better.

  • Take a minute to find out what it means when you have a fever.

  • Take a minute to find out what a vaginal yeast infection is and how to treat it.

  • How does protein help with wound healing? Your body needs protein to help build and repair muscle, skin, and other body tissues. Protein also helps fight infection, balance body fluids, and carry oxygen through your body. When you have a wound that's healing, think of food as medicine. Eat a balanced diet with enough...

  • Learn how to do infant CPR in 3 minutes—just in case.

  • It's important to take care of your body when you are pregnant. This includes your teeth and gums. A healthy mouth and good dental habits are an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Regular brushing and flossing can help keep your teeth and gums...

  • Opioids are strong pain medicines. Examples include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid. Opioid use disorder means using these drugs in a way that keeps you from living the life you want....

  • Opioids are strong pain medicines. Examples include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid. Taking too much of an opioid can cause death. An overdose is an emergency. Naloxone is a medicine used to...

  • Like tampons or pads, menstrual cups are a way to manage menstrual bleeding. You insert a menstrual cup in your vagina to collect menstrual flow. And then you remove it from your vagina to empty it. The cups are usually made of rubber or silicone....

  • What is gender dysphoria? Gender identity is your inner sense of being male, female, both, neither, or some other gender. For transgender people, their gender identity does not match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Sometimes gender identity is outside the two most common categories of male or female. People...

  • Adults with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities are more vulnerable than other adults because they are not as independent. They may have a hard time making decisions. Or they may have problems controlling their behavior. Along with older adults, these vulnerable adults have a higher risk of being abused by...

  • Giving medicine to a child can be tricky. Some liquid medicines taste or smell bad. Or they may have a strange texture. And when a child doesn't feel well, he or she can act grumpy or more stubborn than usual. But you can take steps to avoid power...

  • Find out what to do if your baby has jaundice.

  • Learn what it means for you and your baby when you're pregnant and have high blood pressure.

  • If you've had surgery on your back or belly, an injury to your trunk, or pain in your back, then you know that bending and twisting can cause more pain or injury. Movements that would normally be easy and automatic may be hard or unsafe until you...

  • Many women experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods sometime in their lives. Vaginal bleeding is considered to be abnormal if it occurs: When you are not expecting your menstrual period. When your menstrual flow is lighter or heavier than what is normal for you. At a time in life when it is...

  • Many families enjoy using TV, computers, game systems, smartphones, and tablets. They help us to be informed and entertained, do our work and schoolwork, and stay in touch with friends, family, and the wider world. But it's important to manage your family's use of digital media. Too much screen time can increase the...

  • Getting into a car can be hard when you have mobility problems. Learn how to get in and out safely and what tools might make it easier.

  • What is withdrawal? If you drink alcohol regularly and then cut down on how much you drink or suddenly stop drinking, you may go through some physical and emotional problems. That's because the alcohol is clearing out of your system. This is called withdrawal. Clearing the alcohol from your body is called...

  • Discover how your antidepressant can make life better and how to make it easier to take.

  • Rediscover how metformin helps and how to make it easier to take.

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

  • Naloxone can stop an opioid overdose. Here's how to give it—just in case.

  • Learn how to keep your child as safe as possible in a car seat—in the next 3 minutes.

  • Learn how to make sure your new baby sleeps as safely as possible.

  • Two techniques can help you manage your energy when you have myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). They are: Staying within your energy envelope. Pacing yourself. These techniques can give you better control over your symptoms so that you can be as active as possible. They may also lead to...

  • Let others, including your health care team, support you so you can grieve in your own way, when you're ready.

  • Gender identity is your inner sense of being male, female, both, neither, or some other gender. For transgender people, their gender identity does not match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Sometimes gender identity is outside the two most common categories of male or female. People who feel this way may use...

  • Learn how to give an injection under the skin.

  • Learn how to safely turn a person in bed.

  • Learn how to safely help a person get in and out of a car.

  • Find out what it means to be a kid with type 2 diabetes.

  • 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.

  • Find out what type 2 diabetes in children means.

  • Learn how to calm a baby with neonatal abstinence syndrome and when it's time to call the doctor.

  • Learn how electroconvulsive therapy is done and what the benefits are.

  • Learn what an upper GI endoscopy for children is used for and how it's done.

  • Learn what an upper GI endoscopy is used for and how it's done.

  • Here's help with giving your child eyedrops or eye ointment.

  • Here's help with using eyedrops or an eye ointment.

  • Here's help with giving your child a nasal spray or drops.

  • Here's help with giving your child eardrops.

  • Here's help with applying a topical cream for your child.

  • Here's help with how to insert your child's suppository.

  • Here's help with getting your child to take medicine.

  • You know your child best, so learn how to assess your child's pain while in the hospital and to speak up.

  • You're part of the team that keeps your child safe in the hospital. Here's how to prevent a fall.

  • Learn why it's important to prepare for the times when your baby won't stop crying.

  • Learn a safe way to swaddle your new baby.

  • Learn 6 tips for surviving the first few weeks and months with a new baby in your home.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your child has a minor burn.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your child has a mild sunburn.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your baby or child has mild dehydration.

  • Learn what to expect and what you'll need to know if your premature baby is in the NICU.

  • Find out when to call your doctor or get emergency help when your newborn is sick.

  • Find out what to expect when your baby has surgery to repair pyloric stenosis.

  • Find out what you can do at home to care for your child after a pyloric stenosis repair.

  • Learn how to safely bathe your newborn.

  • Learn about asthma tests for children.

  • Learn about spirometry tests for children.

  • Find out what to expect when your child has a tonsillectomy.

  • Find out what you can do at home to care for your child after a tonsillectomy.

  • Find out what cochlear implant surgery is and how to prepare for it.

  • Learn more about how to use opioid medicines safely—if your child is prescribed one.

  • Learn what a strep test is and how it's done.

  • Find out what you can do at home to care for your child after a cochlear implant.

  • Learn how to encourage resilience so your child can better handle life's challenges.

  • Learn how to safely dress your newborn.

  • Learn 4 ways to encourage self-discipline in your child.

  • Learn what cardiac catheterization for PDA is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after a cardiac catheterization for PDA.

  • Learn what an EP study and ablation are and how to prepare your child for each one.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after an EP study and ablation.

  • Learn 4 ways to encourage self-discipline in your teen.

  • Find out how to make chores a positive part of your child's routine.

  • Learn what blood pressure is, what it means when it's high, and how high blood pressure may be treated.

  • Find out what endometriosis is and how to work with your doctor to find relief.

  • Find out what to expect and how to prepare for a thyroidectomy.

  • Find out how you'll feel after a thyroidectomy and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • This article covers the basics of COVID-19, including common symptoms, treatment, the course of the disease, and how to care for yourself.

  • Find out how you'll feel after a catheter ablation and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Find out how you'll feel after coronary angioplasty and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Learn strategies to help yourself stop emotional eating.

  • Find out what to expect and how to prepare for surgery to remove one or more of the parathyroid glands.

  • Find out how you'll feel after a parathyroidectomy and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Learn how to connect with others and find support to achieve your goals.

  • Learn about calories in alcohol, and decide how alcohol fits into your weight management plan.

  • Learn ways to deal with cravings when you're trying to quit.

  • Learn healthy ways to get through a process.

  • Learn how to use mindfulness to cope with illness, pain, or stress.

  • Celebrate your successes with non-food rewards.

  • Learn what to think about and plan for when you're getting ready to quit smoking.

  • Get ideas for increasing social connection and reducing feelings of loneliness.

  • Learn how to move ahead with your plan to quit smoking after having a smoking relapse.

  • Learn tips for coping better with stress and finding balance in your life.

  • Learn how changing the way you think about stress can influence how you feel.

  • Learn how and what to track to help meet your goals.

  • Learn about ways to track eating and activity to support weight-loss goals.

  • Learn to plan in advance for how you'll avoid emotional eating in the moment.

  • This article helps you prepare for responding to stress before stress hits.

  • Learn five tips to help you keep a healthy lifestyle change going.

  • Find out what COVID-19 is, how it's spread, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself and others.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself if you have COVID-19 and find out ways to prevent spreading it to others.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and find out ways to prevent spreading it to others.

  • Learn what social distancing means and why it's important to keep your distance.

  • Discover things you can do to while keeping a social distance.

  • Learn the 5 steps to hand-washing.

  • The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus. It is an illness that was first found in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has since spread worldwide. The virus can cause fever, cough, and trouble breathing. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and make it hard to breathe without help. It can cause...

  • During the coronavirus outbreak, learn what to do if you do if you feel sick.

  • You're probably spending a lot of time in your home these days. And that's one place where you have some control. Here are some tips that can help keep you and your home safe from COVID-19. Practice prevention. Wash your hands well and often. Scrub with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you go out...

  • It's normal to feel worried during times of stress. Many people struggle with anxiety in the best of times. Here are some steps you can take to manage anxiety and lower your stress. Get the facts. Go to trusted sources. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at cdc.gov...

  • Social distancing means putting space between yourself and other people. The recommended distance is 6 feet, or about 2 meters. This also means staying away from any place where people may gather, such as parks or other public gathering places. Social distancing is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19...

  • Many parents are asking, "What are the best ways to protect my child from the virus?" Here are the most powerful steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. Wash hands well and often. Everyone in your household needs to do this. Wash your hands well with soap and water for at least 20...

  • Social distancing is the best way to help keep COVID-19 from spreading. Here are some things you can do while you're putting space between yourself and other people. Be active outside. Fresh air and exercise are good for you. But stay informed about what's best for your community. Keep a 6-foot (or...

  • Find out if you could be at higher risk for COVID-19 and learn how to stay safe.

  • The need to stay at home and limit contact with others is important right now, but it can be lonely and isolating. Loneliness can take a toll on both our mental and physical health. Try these tips to stay connected and positive.

  • There are things you can do to protect your health and the health of your baby. If you're pregnant Pregnancy causes changes in the body that may raise the risk for some infections. Pregnant women are more likely to get seriously ill from respiratory infections, like the flu. So it's important to try to avoid...

  • Learn five things you can expect when bringing a new baby home.

  • Learn how to find solutions to a problem related to how you manage diabetes.

  • Learn what carbohydrates are and how to count them to help manage your diabetes.

  • COVID-19 causes a mild illness in many people who have it. But certain things may increase your risk for more serious illness. These include: Age. The risk increases with age. Older adults are at highest risk. Smoking. Obesity. Living in a long-term care facility. Having ongoing serious...

  • This is a very stressful time. You may be worried about getting COVID-19 or afraid that someone you care about will get it. If you've lost your job, you may be anxious about your finances. On top of that, you're probably stuck at home. Cabin fever can set in. You may feel trapped, bored, and irritable. Cabin fever...

  • Learn five ways to prepare for breastfeeding.

  • Learn how lung surgery is done and what you can do to prepare.

  • Learn how you'll feel after lung surgery and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but serious condition. It causes inflammation, which can affect the heart, lungs, brain, and other organs. A child usually has a fever for 24 hours or longer, plus other symptoms. These can vary, but...

  • Learn how to care for yourself and safely recover after a vasectomy.

  • Learn about a vasectomy, how it's done, and how to prepare for the surgery.

  • Learn how your thoughts affect what you feel and do.

  • Learn how to wear a cloth face cover or a mask to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

  • Learn about the risk levels for getting infected or infecting others with COVID-19 during different activities.

  • Learn some tips to help reduce loneliness and increase connection.

  • Learn the difference between symptoms of the flu and COVID-19.

  • Learn tips for eating healthy when you're home all the time.

  • This topic helps readers assess whether they may have a drinking problem.

  • Learn strategies to help manage the impact of news and social media use in your everyday life.

  • Learn ways to help older adults stay socially connected.

  • Find ways to stay connected when you can't be together.

  • Learn about strategies for how to cope during stressful times.

  • Learn some things you can try to help you become more optimistic.

  • Find out how adding a little movement to your life may help your mental wellness.

  • Learn about ways to show care and compassion to yourself.

  • Learn about simple ways to practice mindfulness.

  • Learn ways to exercise at home during the pandemic.

  • This article helps you learn how to handle stress in your relationship.

  • Learn strategies to help yourself manage the impact of news and social media use in your everyday life.

  • Learn some ways to manage family stress.

  • This article helps parents learn how to lower stress during the pandemic.

  • Learn how to overcome barriers to wearing a mask.

  • Learn how to create a healthy work-from-home schedule.

  • Learn how to plan for long-term financial stability.

  • Learn some tips for helping to manage money problems.

  • Learn how to manage your money to reduce your financial stress.

  • This article helps readers understand when a home pulse oximeter is helpful for people who have COVID-19 and how to use it.

  • Covers three types of counseling used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Looks at cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and a newer therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

  • Covers treatments other than cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressants for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Looks at group therapy, brief psychodynamic psychotherapy, and family therapy.

  • Looks at the problem of using alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Covers when alcohol or drug use becomes a problem. Includes a test to see if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs and steps for getting help.

  • With post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), your symptoms can be overwhelming. You may be thinking about harming yourself, or even thinking about suicide. Sometimes people with PTSD also have depression, panic attacks, severe anxiety, or a substance use problem. This may put you at a higher risk for suicide. You...

  • After a traumatic event, you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may not feel close to people, or you may feel on edge. Your friends and family may tell you that you don't seem the same. You may feel angry. Anger is a normal...

  • 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 how mental health problems can affect your relationships. Looks at the stigma of mental health problems. Offers ways to help others understand. Covers how to get help. Includes links to info on specific disorders like depression, OCD, or PTSD.

  • Covers panic attack, an intense fear that comes on suddenly. Looks at physical symptoms such as chest pain, pounding heartbeat, and sweating. Includes getting treatment with cognitive-behavioral therapy or medicine.

  • Treatment helps you quit alcohol or drugs, but your recovery doesn't end there. After you're done with treatment, it's important to focus on quitting for good. After treatment, you may choose to continue with counseling or group therapy. These meetings can help you stay committed to an alcohol- or drug-free...

  • If you have a substance use disorder, your doctor may suggest treatment at an inpatient or outpatient facility. At inpatient facilities, you stay overnight. At outpatient facilities, you come only during the day. How long you stay varies among programs. How are inpatient and outpatient treatment similar...

  • In residential treatment, you live in an alcohol-free and drug-free setting while recovering from substance use disorder. How long you stay varies. You may stay for a number of months or more. Residential treatment may be a good option if you have a...

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a doctor's prescription. This doesn't mean that OTC medicines are harmless. Like prescription medicines, OTCs can be very dangerous for children if not taken the right way. Be sure to read the package instructions on these medicines carefully. Talk to...

  • Discusses causes, symptoms, medicines, home treatment, triggers, and prevention tips for children's migraine and tension headaches.

  • Looks at adjustable gastric banding surgery (also called gastric banding), a type of weight-loss surgery used to treat obesity. Explains what it is and why it is done. Looks at how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Also covers risks.

  • During pregnancy, everything you eat, drink, or take into your body affects you and your growing baby ( fetus). Pregnant women often need to make changes to have a healthy pregnancy, such as eating better or exercising. But one of the most important things you can do when you are pregnant is to avoid alcohol and drugs...

  • Discusses how you can get better sleep. Covers reasons for sleep problems, such as stress, depression, or insomnia. Offers sleep tips such as avoid caffeine and don't exercise in late afternoon. Does not cover sleep apnea or sleep disorders.

  • Guides you through ways to relieve stress. Covers tips to relax your muscle groups such as hands, arms, head, neck, and upper and lower body. Looks at roll breathing to relieve stress. Includes slideshow of roll breathing.

  • Covers how you can help a family member who has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Includes dealing with anger or violent behavior. Looks at how to communicate better. Covers how to take care of yourself and how to get support from others.

  • Some people who drink alcohol, use illegal drugs, or misuse prescription or nonprescription medicines may develop substance use disorder. This means that a person uses these substances even though it causes harm to themselves or others. Substance use disorder can range from mild to severe. The more signs of this...

  • 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.

  • Anger signals your body to prepare for a fight. This reaction is commonly classified as "fight or flight." When you get angry, adrenaline and other hormones are released into the bloodstream. Then your blood pressure goes up, your heart beats faster, and you breathe faster. Many people mistakenly believe that anger...

  • Discusses what to do for animal or human bites. Covers puncture wounds, cuts, scrapes, and crushing injuries. Covers bites by adults and kids, dogs and cats, and wild animals. Covers home treatment. Includes tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Feeling worried or nervous is a normal part of everyday life. Everyone frets or feels anxious from time to time. Mild to moderate anxiety can help you focus your attention, energy, and motivation. If anxiety is severe, you may have feelings of...

  • Most women have painful cramps from their period from time to time. The good news is that you can usually relieve cramps with over-the-counter medicine and home treatment. Pain medicine and home treatment can help ease cramps. Stay ahead of the pain. Take over-the-counter pain medicine, such as ibuprofen (Advil, for...

  • Minor arm injuries are common. Symptoms often develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or an injury. Arm injuries are often caused by: Sports or hobbies. Work-related tasks. Work or projects around the home. Your child may injure his or her arm during sports or play or from accidental falls. The chance of...

  • Covers problems like swelling or arm pain caused by overuse, arthritis, and hormone changes. Links to info on bursitis and osteoarthritis. Includes tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Guides through decision to have your child have a tonsillectomy for tonsillitis. Includes common reasons to have a tonsillectomy. Describes how this surgery is done. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses overactive bladder, a kind of urge incontinence. Explains what overactive bladder is. Looks at causes and symptoms. Covers how it is diagnosed. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Discusses importance of tracking weight for those with heart failure. Offers links to info on watching fluid intake, activity and exercise, and eating less salt. Covers how to check your weight when you have heart failure.

  • Guides you through decision to have bypass surgery. Explains when bypass surgery might be needed. Covers other treatment options. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Alan is something of a miracle man. At the age of 32, he had a massive heart attack. But more than 40 years, 4 bypass surgeries, 30 angioplasties, and a combined pacemaker/defibrillator later, he's still thriving. He learned how to cope with heart disease the hard way. Alan had always been healthy and athletic. Except...

  • A heart-healthy eating plan is full of foods that can lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. This plan can help you stay at a healthy weight and manage cholesterol and blood pressure. It is part of a heart-healthy lifestyle that...

  • There are lots of things you can do to lower your risk for coronary artery disease. But some diets and dietary supplements do not lower risk. It's not clear if vitamins, minerals, and multivitamins can lower risk. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to lower your risk of heart disease. By eating heart-healthy...

  • Guides you through the decision to have a coronary calcium scan. Explains why a coronary calcium scan is done and what it can show. Lists treatments that might come after a coronary calcium scan. Lists risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Discusses using time management to help reduce stress. Covers prioritizing tasks, controlling procrastination, and managing commitments. Offers interactive tool to help test what you've learned. Provides links to more info on stress management.

  • The holidays can be a joyful time, offering a chance to reconnect with friends and family. But they can also be stressful. You may feel pressure to buy and give gifts. Maybe you are worried about money. The holidays can also be hectic. There never seems to be enough time to get things done. Think about the kinds of...

  • Caring for a family member or friend who has a disability or a chronic illness can be rewarding. But it's also demanding. One of the keys to being a successful caregiver is to manage stress by seeking support and taking care of yourself. Managing stress is especially important for a caregiver, because stress can weaken...

  • Most people who have stable angina can control their symptoms by taking medicines as prescribed and nitroglycerin when needed. Staying active is also important. Before you get started, ask your doctor what kind of activities would be good for you. But if prescription medicines and activity don't help you manage your...

  • In addition to meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises, you might try these other ways to relieve stress. Mindfulness-based stress reduction can calm your mind and body to help you cope with illness, pain, and stress....

  • 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...

  • Taking charge of your type 2 diabetes means controlling your blood sugar. But to control your blood sugar, you have to test it, says Rhonda O'Brien, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator in Boise, Idaho. O'Brien coaches and guides people with diabetes so that they can manage their day-to-day care. A...

  • Gloria hasn't always been an active person. Until she retired a few years ago, she didn't have time, she says. Her job at the local college as an administrative assistant kept her busy. And after work, she just didn't have enough energy—or interest—to do any exercise. After she retired, there were other things to keep...

  • Two years ago, when his doctor told him he had type 2 diabetes, Andy wasn't surprised or even that worried. His blood sugar had been creeping up for the past few years. His doctor had even warned him to make some changes—to lose some weight and get more active. But he felt okay. If he was sick, he couldn't tell. "I just...

  • Jerry has a message for everyone who is diagnosed with prediabetes. "Take it seriously," he says. "Of all the chronic diseases you can have, this one is really influenced by the choices you make." That wasn't how Jerry felt when he first learned he had prediabetes. His doctor told him to lose weight and get more...

  • Linda works full time, has three young children, and has zero time for the gym. So when she learned that she had prediabetes, she had to find creative ways to fit activity into her day. "My trick is to not call it 'exercise.' Instead, I just look for ways to add small workouts to my day," she says. For example, after...

  • Every year, thousands of older adults fall and hurt themselves. Falls are one of the main causes of injury and disability in people age 65 and older. Those who fall once are 2 to 3 times more likely to fall again. Hip fractures are especially serious, and most of them are caused by falling. Falls are often caused by...

  • What is smokeless tobacco? Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms, such as snuff, chewing tobacco, and snus . Snuff is finely ground tobacco sold in cans or pouches. Most of the time, snuff is used by putting a "pinch" or "dip" between the lower lip or cheek and the gum. Chewing tobacco is...

  • As people age, they lose muscle strength, which can make them more likely to fall. Also, their reflexes slow down. This makes it harder for them to regain their balance if they start to fall. Learn some strength and balance exercises, and take the time to do them each day. This can help you stay active and...

  • Most people will have a minor back problem at one time or another. Our body movements usually do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury. Back problems and injuries often occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home...

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you wear disposable gloves when cleaning up diarrhea or other body fluids. You may wear reusable rubber gloves if you wash and disinfect them after each use. If you don't have gloves, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you...

  • Discusses causes of blisters, including injury and infection. Offers symptom checklist to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • After being away from sports since his college days, Steve decided it was time to get back in shape and back into the game. Squash (an indoor racquet sport) and weight training topped his list of activities to enjoy again. And he did for a while—until arthritis turned his enjoyment into pain. First signs of pain...

  • Bev isn't letting the pain of arthritis in her hands and back keep her from doing her favorite activity—gardening. Nor does she let it keep her from doing anything else in her life. She has found ways to help reduce the pain that allow her to still enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like seeing the season's first...

  • 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...

  • When you find out that you have osteoarthritis, you may be scared and worried about how it may change your life, work, and relationships. It's hard to know how fast your arthritis may progress. Your symptoms may come and go, stay the same, or get worse over time. Some days you may feel fine and be able to do the things...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is for women who have vulvodynia, a type of vulvar pain with no known cause. If your doctor has told you that the pain in your vulva is caused by something else, like an infection or a skin problem, see the topic Female Genital Problems and Injuries. What is vulvodynia...

  • Guides through decision to have shoulder replacement surgery. Discusses what happens in shoulder replacement and what to expect after surgery. Also covers other treatments that you might try to manage osteoarthritis. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Breast lumps or changes are a common health worry for most women. Women may have many kinds of breast lumps and other breast changes throughout their lives, including changes that occur with menstrual periods, pregnancy, and aging. Most breast lumps and breast changes are normal. Breast changes in young girls Breast...

  • Most burns are minor injuries that occur at home or work. It is common to get a minor burn from hot water, a curling iron, or touching a hot stove. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for healing and to prevent other problems, such as infection. There are many types of burns. Heat burns...

  • DTaP vaccine can prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and Pertussis. Diphtheria and pertussis spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds. DIPHTHERIA (D) can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, or death. TETANUS (T) causes painful stiffening of the muscles...

  • Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is spread from person to person through contact with the feces (stool) of people who are infected, which can easily happen if someone does not wash his or her hands properly. You can also get hepatitis A from food, water, or object…

  • Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a liver disease that can cause mild illness lasting a few weeks, or it can lead to a serious, long illness. Acute hepatitis B infection is a short-term illness that can lead to fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, jaundice...

  • Hib vaccine can prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease. Haemophilus influenzae type b can cause many different kinds of infections. These infections usually affect children under 5 years of age, but can also affect adults with certain medical conditions...

  • Influenza vaccine can prevent influenza (flu). Flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women...

  • Influenza vaccine can prevent influenza (flu). Flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women...

  • MMR vaccine can prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. MEASLES (M) can cause fever, cough, runny nose,and red, watery eyes, commonly followed by a rash that covers the whole body. It can lead to seizures (often associated with fever), ear infections, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Rarely, measles can cause brain damage or death...

  • Meningococcal ACWY vaccine can help protect against meningococcal disease caused by serogroups A, C, W, and Y. A different meningococcal vaccine is available that can help protect against serogroup B. Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)...

  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) can prevent pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria. These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. Pneumococcal bacteria are one of the...

  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) can prevent pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria. These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. Pneumococcal bacteria are one of the most…

  • Polio vaccine can prevent polio. Polio (or poliomyelitis) is a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by poliovirus, which can infect a person's spinal cord, leading to paralysis. Most people infected with poliovirus have no symptoms, and many recover without complications...

  • Td vaccine can prevent tetanus and diphtheria. Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds. Diphtheria spreads from person to person. TETANUS (T) causes painful stiffening of the muscles. Tetanus can lead to serious health problems, including being unable to open the mouth, having trouble swallowing...

  • Tdap vaccine can prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Diphtheria and pertussis spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds. TETANUS (T) causes painful stiffening of the muscles. Tetanus can lead to serious health problems, including being unable to open the mouth...

  • Varicella vaccine can prevent chickenpox. Chickenpox can cause an itchy rash that usually lasts about a week. It can also cause fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, and headache. It can lead to skin infections, pneumonia, inflammation of the blood vessels, and swelling of the brain and/or spinal...

  • Rotavirus vaccine can prevent rotavirus disease. Rotavirus causes diarrhea, mostly in babies and young children. The diarrhea can be severe, and lead to dehydration. Vomiting and fever are also common in babies with rotavirus. Rotavirus vaccine Rotavirus vaccine is administered by putting drops in the child's mouth...

  • Live zoster (shingles) vaccine can prevent shingles. Shingles (also called herpes zoster, or just zoster) is a painful skin rash, usually with blisters. In addition to the rash, shingles can cause fever, headache, chills, or upset stomach. More rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems...

  • Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine can prevent Japanese encephalitis. Japanese encephalitis occurs mainly in many parts of Asia and the Western Pacific, particularly in rural areas. It is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It does not spread from person to person. Risk is very low for most travelers.

  • MMRV vaccine can prevent measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. MEASLES (M) can cause fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, commonly followed by a rash that covers the whole body. It can lead to seizures (often associated with fever), ear infections, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Rarely, measles...

  • The vaccines included on this statement are likely to be given at the same time during infancy and early childhood. There are separate Vaccine Information Statements for other vaccines that are also routinely recommended for young children (measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, rotavirus, influenza, and hepatitis A).

  • HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccine can prevent infection with some types of human papillomavirus. HPV infections can cause certain types of cancers including: cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women, penile cancer in men, and anal cancers in both men and women HPV vaccine prevents infection...

  • Meningococcal B vaccine can help protect against meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B. A different meningococcal vaccine is available that can help protect against serogroups A, C, W, and Y. Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain...

  • Recombinant zoster (shingles) vaccine can prevent shingles. Shingles (also called herpes zoster, or just zoster) is a painful skin rash, usually with blisters. In addition to the rash, shingles can cause fever, headache, chills, or upset stomach. More rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia...

  • 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.

  • Includes links to info on back and neck pain. Also includes links to info on drugs used to treat back and neck pain, and guides to help you decide among treatment options.

  • If you have COPD, you know how scary it can be to feel short of breath. Whether you just found out that you have COPD or you've been living with it for a while, you will find helpful information here. Our topics will teach you about the disease and give you some tips on breathing easier. Get the information you need...

  • Education on type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Includes info on juvenile diabetes and prediabetes. Discusses symptoms and treatment. Also looks at how to manage blood sugar levels, diet, and medicines, including insulin.

  • Provides links to info about types of headaches and treatment. Covers tension and migraine headaches. Covers avoiding migraine triggers. Includes info to guide you through decision to take or not take medicines to prevent migraines.

  • Includes info on follicle-stimulating hormone test, pelvic inflammatory disease, and semen analysis. Also has links to info on hysterectomy, vaginal yeast infections, and enlarged prostate.

  • Has info on female and male genital problems, birth control, and STI testing. Also links to topics on exposure to STIs and sexuality/physical changes with aging.

  • Provides links to information about drug and alcohol misuse. Includes info on substance misuse in teens and adults and resources for cutting back or stopping drug and alcohol use.

  • Provides links to info on healthy living. Topics discuss healthy weight and weight loss. Discusses balancing how much you eat with how much you exercise. Covers whether your weight increases health risks. Includes info on nutrition.

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

  • Provides links to info for parents. Includes information on healthy eating, protecting your child from infections, immunizations, choosing child care, healthy habits for kids, helping your child avoid drugs, and helping your child with stress.

  • Provides links to info about quitting smoking. Includes links for getting support, helping others quit, using medicines, cravings and withdrawal, and the effect smoking has on a smoker's lifespan.

  • Links to information on colds and flu. Covers at-home treatment for cold and flu symptoms, the flu vaccine, prevention of colds and flu, and medicines for the flu.

  • Provides links to information about high blood pressure. Describes what blood pressure is, high blood pressure's effect on health, and how high blood pressure is treated. Has links to lifestyle changes and medications used to treat high blood pressure.

  • Pain can be caused by many things, such as an injury, a surgery, or a health problem like low back pain or cancer. Long-term pain that isn't controlled can make it harder to enjoy life. But there are ways you can learn to manage pain. And managing pain can have a lot of benefits, like being able to do more activities or...

  • Discusses pinkeye (conjunctivitis). Covers symptoms like red eyes and itching or burning feeling. Explains possible causes. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses constipation in those 11 and younger. Covers normal patterns of bowel movements. Covers hard stools and if and when children should be given laxatives. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Describes constipation in those 12 and older. Covers symptoms, including few bowel movements, straining, and passing hard stools. Discusses treatment, including diet and use of laxatives. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Briefly discusses causes of coughs, including common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, GERD, COPD, choking, or chemicals in the air. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Briefly discusses causes of coughs in children, including common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, allergies, choking, or chemicals in the air. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Discusses chronic pain caused by problems other than cancer. Covers symptoms and how chronic pain is diagnosed. Covers conditions that can be treated, like neck pain, low back pain, and arthritis. Info on treatment with medicine and lifestyle changes.

  • Crying lets others know when a young child is hungry, wet, tired, too warm, too cold, lonely, or in pain. If your child is crying, try to identify the type of cry. It helps to go through a mental checklist of what might be wrong—but remember that there may be nothing bothering your child—and to make sure your child is...

  • Discusses possible causes of chest pain, which include angina, heart attack, pneumothorax, or chest wall pain. Covers heart attack symptoms. Includes interactive tool to decide when to seek care. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Cuts are open wounds through the skin. Normally the skin is under slight, constant tension as it covers the body. A cut is a forceful injury to the skin. Many people accidentally cut themselves with household or work items, yard tools, or when...

  • Discusses surgery to replace a diseased kidney with a healthy one. Explains what a living donor is. Covers what to expect after surgery. Looks at risks. Links to picture of kidney transplant. Links to more in-depth info on organ transplant.

  • 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...

  • What is pain? Pain is your body's way of warning you that something is wrong. If you step on a sharp object or put your hand on a hot stove, the pain lets you know right away that you are hurt and need to protect yourself. You may have pain from an injury, after surgery, or from a health problem like cancer...

  • What is low blood pressure? Low blood pressure means that your blood pressure is lower than normal. Another name for low blood pressure is hypotension (say "hy-poh-TEN-shun"). In most healthy adults, low blood pressure does not cause problems or symptoms. In fact, it may be normal for you. For example, people who...

  • 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...

  • Children of all ages need plenty of sleep to grow and develop. School-age children may have trouble learning and developing socially if they don't get enough sleep. Children's sleep problems can cause stress for parents, who may worry about their children. Parents also may be awake much of the night trying to get a...

  • 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...

  • Guides through decision on when to start having mammograms. Discusses the benefits and risks of having a mammogram and the risk for getting breast cancer. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • A dilated eye exam lets your eye doctor see the back of your eye (retina). It's usually done as part of a regular eye exam. Your doctor will use eyedrops to widen (dilate) your pupils. This makes it easier to see the back of the eye. Your doctor may...

  • Sexual orientation means how you are attracted romantically and sexually to other people. There are different kinds of sexual orientation. For example, a person may be: Heterosexual—attracted only or almost only to the other binary (male/female) gender. "Binary" is the idea that there are only two genders, male...

  • Many people believe things that aren't true about gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. Here are some questions people sometimes have. Question: Can gay, lesbian, and bisexual people change their sexual orientation? Can they get some kind of treatment? Answer: Like heterosexuals, gay...

  • Gender identity is your inner sense of being male, female, both, neither, or some other gender. For transgender people, their gender identity does not match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Sometimes gender identity is outside the two most common categories of male or female. People who feel this way may use...

  • Backpacks are handy for carrying books—and lots of other things. But if they're not used right, they can strain muscles and even cause back pain. Backpack safety is important for everyone. It's especially important for children, who can be hurt by regularly carrying too much weight or by not wearing their backpacks...

  • Many medicines and drugs can affect the rate and rhythm of the heart. A few examples are: Asthma medicines. Decongestants and cold medicines. Illegal drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines. Some heart and blood pressure medicines. Some medicines for depression and anxiety. Thyroid medicine. Illegal drugs, such as...

  • Caring for just one newborn is a big job. Raising more than one baby means even less sleep, more work, and less time for yourself. On some days, you may feel frustrated that you can't keep up with work at home. Do not wait for stress to become a...

  • Talk to your doctor about when a cholesterol test is right for you. Doctors use different guidelines to decide when a person should have a cholesterol test. Your doctor might suggest a test based on your age or your risk factors for heart disease....

  • Like all children, those with disabilities need to be as active as possible. But children with disabilities are less likely to be physically active than other children. An inactive lifestyle for these children can lead to other problems, including:...

  • A pain diary may help you and your doctor find out what makes your pain better or worse. Use the diary and pain scale below to keep track of when you have pain, how bad it is, and what you are doing to treat it. This figure has been reproduced with...

  • Topic guides you through the decision to get the shingles vaccine. Explains your chances of getting shingles and how well the vaccine works. Lists risks and benefits of getting the vaccine. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Inner strength, often called "resilience," is the ability to cope with the stressful situations that life throws at us. Building inner strength begins with simple actions or thoughts that your child practices, such as planning for what to do next and learning to accept change. Inner strength can help a child face...

  • Linda's best friend had just had a heart attack. Linda, 56, and Terri, 52, work together in the records section of their city's police department. They had also been working on getting healthier together. They both had high cholesterol and were overweight. They both smoked. But they'd been going to aerobics class and...

  • When Joe turned 60 last year, he decided he was overdue for a good, old-fashioned physical. He had always been blessed with good health, but he knew that at his age he should be having regular checkups, especially since he was overweight. His doctor gave him a full exam and found no serious health problems. She also...

  • Childhood isn't all fun and games. Even young children can feel worried and stressed. Stress can come from outside, such as family, friends, and school. It can also come from children themselves. Just like adults, children may expect too much of themselves and then feel stressed when they feel that they have failed.

  • Habits are hard to break. That's why the sooner in life we build good, healthy habits, the easier it is to keep them and stay as healthy as possible. And when good habits are in place, it's easier to resist bad ones. The most important thing to...

  • 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...

  • Most pregnant women have healthy babies—and that includes women who are obese. But being very heavy does increase the chance of problems. Babies born to mothers who are obese have a higher risk of: Birth defects, such as a heart defect or neural...

  • Childhood is the best time to learn the healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Healthy eating can help your child feel good, stay at or reach a healthy weight, and have lots of energy for school and play. In fact, healthy eating can help your whole family live better. Return to topic: Healthy Eating for Children...

  • Physical activity is essential for lifelong health and well-being. A child can't be healthy if he or she isn't playing actively or exercising most days of the week. One of the very best things you can do for your children's health is to help make physical activity a habit—something that will be a natural part of their...

  • High cholesterol is treated with heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicine. These can lower your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. You and your doctor may decide to first try treating your high cholesterol without medicine. Changing some of your habits may be all you need to do to...

  • "Overweight" and "at risk of overweight" are terms sometimes used when referring to children who weigh more than expected. Doctors use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts or the body mass index (BMI) to measure a child's weight in relation to his or her height. To find out your child's BMI...

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of upper and middle back pain. Looks at treatment with rest, pain medicine, and surgery. Includes steps to prevent back pain from returning, such as practicing good posture and getting regular exercise.

  • 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...

  • Take weight-loss medicine, along with trying to eat healthy foods and being active. Try to lose weight without weight-loss medicines by eating healthy foods and being active. Being very overweight makes you more likely to have serious health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Weight-loss...

  • Guides you through decision to have tests when you have IBS symptoms. Covers kinds of tests that may be done and what tests results might mean. Lists reasons for and against tests. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Experts on digestive diseases developed these criteria, known as the Rome III criteria, to help doctors determine whether symptoms are caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). You meet the Rome III criteria for IBS if your symptoms began at least 6...

  • What is the Mediterranean diet? The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating rather than a formal diet plan. It features foods eaten in Greece, Spain, southern Italy and France, and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating foods like fish, fruits, vegetables...

  • If you decide to join a weight-loss program, here are some questions to ask before you join: Does the program provide counseling? A good program teaches you how to permanently change your eating and exercise habits with group or one-on-one support. Is the staff qualified? All program staff...

  • A normal heart rate for a healthy adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Heart rates of more than 100 beats per minute (tachycardia) can be caused by: Exercise or stress. This fast heart rate usually returns to normal range (60 to 100 beats...

  • It was a week to forget. Cathy was working hard and training a new employee. She was enduring long meetings. She and her husband had just moved into a new house. And they were set for a trip to Italy in 2 weeks. "I had too much to do and too little time," Cathy says. "That means stress. And when I start stressing, my...

  • Sometimes Patty doesn't know whether to laugh or cry when one of her three kids runs at her for a flying hug. She loves the affection, but picking up her kids all the time is one reason the 33-year-old third-grade teacher has back pain. She tries to smile and gently remind her kids to hug mommy with their feet on the...

  • Ravi thought he was coping well with his back pain. He had gotten used to having pain most days since he hurt his back in college while playing rugby. He figured some amount of pain would always be part of his life. But over a couple of months, Ravi stopped going out with friends after work. He didn't go on bike rides...

  • Dieting is hard. But avoiding "empty" calories helps you reach a healthy weight without feeling like you're dieting. Your body needs a certain amount of energy each day. Energy comes from food in the form of calories. Calories let you function and keep doing your daily activities. But after your body meets its needs...

  • Gratitude is saying "thank you." But it's more than a thank-you to a friend for a favor or gift. Gratitude is saying thanks for everything that is important to you and good in your life. You are thankful for a gift, but you're also thankful to watch...

  • MBSR is a program that helps you learn to calm your mind and body to help you cope with illness, pain, and stress. MBSR teaches "mindfulness," which is a focus only on things happening in the present moment. Mindfulness is not a time to "zone out"...

  • Social connections are the relationships you have with the people around you. They may be close, like family, friends, and coworkers, or more distant, like people you know casually. They can be as close as next door or so far away that you only...

  • You can make it through your depression. Hear from people who have recovered from depression.

  • Learn how depression medicines can help and why it may take time to find the right medicine for you.

  • Learn how working with the right counselor can help treat depression.

  • Learn about acupuncture and massage for low back pain.

  • Learn how your back is like a bridge and the three things that can fix most back problems.

  • Learn how to make healthy changes that can help delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

  • Learn how to use heat and ice to treat pain from arthritis.

  • Learn how carbohydrate foods raise your blood sugar.

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

  • Guides you through the decision to use epidural corticosteroid shots to relieve back pain. Explains risks and benefits of epidural steroid shots. Compares steroid shots with other treatment for back pain.

  • Describes early heartbeats that happen when the ventricles beat too soon. Describes symptoms and when to call a doctor. Explains that in most cases the early heartbeats are not serious and go away on their own.

  • When your back hurts all or most of the time, it can affect more than just your body. There's an emotional side to chronic pain. You may need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. You need support. Support groups—where you meet or talk to...

  • As soon as you start to think about leaving, you need to take extra care to stay safe. For example, if you printed out this information, it may be better off in the hands of a trusted friend than at home. The more prepared and supported you are, the safer leaving can be. Here are some tips that may be helpful. Keep in...

  • After you leave a violent relationship, you may have to take extra steps to stay safe. For example, if you printed out this information, it may be better off in the hands of a trusted friend than at home. Here are some tips that may increase your safety. Keep in mind that this information is not official legal advice...

  • Topic guides reader through decision to get a pacemaker for heart rate problems. Provides general overview of what pacemakers are and what heart problems can be helped with pacemakers. Lists benefits and possible complications of getting a pacemaker.

  • 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...

  • Venous insufficiency is a problem with the flow of blood from the veins of the legs back to the heart. It's also called chronic venous insufficiency or chronic venous stasis. Veins have valves that keep the blood moving in one direction—toward the...

  • In the past, opioids were used only for short periods for short-term pain or for cancer pain. Many experts now also use them for longer periods to treat chronic pain. You can take these drugs, which are sometimes called narcotics or opiates, to...

  • Jack remembers it well—and not in a good way. "I'll never forget the first time I had back pain. I couldn't move. I had to crawl to the car and push and pull myself into the seat. The drive to the doctor's was hard. The pain was unreal." When Jack got to his doctor's office, he had questions. "What can you do? Will I...

  • What is low back pain all about? Dr. Robert Keller, an orthopedic surgeon, shares his thoughts about the basics. Dr. Keller, many people have low back pain. When someone sees you about low back pain, what do you tell that person? Dr. Keller: This really depends on the cause. If it appears the pain is...

  • Is housework bad for you? Ask Lorna what she thinks. You'll get a lesson in how to tackle those chores—and how not to. "I never had back problems, and then one Saturday I bent over to scoop out the cat box," she recalls. "When I tried to straighten up, I could hardly do it." Lorna didn't have a severe episode. She...

  • Healthy, satisfying sex is very important for relationships. And the fear of having sex because of back pain can be a big problem. If your sex life has suffered because of back pain, take heart. Many people have faced this problem. And there are steps you can take to deal with it. 5 tips for a better sex life...

  • It's a sad fact: You have back pain and you also have housework to do, children to take care of, and errands to run. When you can't find someone else to do a chore for you, keep in mind these important rules: Bend forward carefully. When you must bend forward to empty the dishwasher, pick up clothes, make the bed...

  • If pain is starting to get you down, let people know when you need a helping hand. Get family members or friends to help out with physical tasks you can't do right now. Here are some ideas to get you started: Divide up household chores. You take the...

  • 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...

  • Use these tips when your back aches. Keep moving If you can, walk for 10 to 20 minutes at a time every 2 to 3 hours. Walk on level surfaces, not on hills or stairs. Walk quickly if you can, and swing your arms as you walk. Lying down for too long can make back pain worse. Sitting can make it worse too...

  • When you have low back pain, try these steps to help you move from sitting to standing: If you are in a chair with arms, scoot forward until you are on the edge of the seat. Bring your feet in toward the chair. Then stand up. Use the arms of the...

  • If you've decided to change a habit—whether it's quitting smoking, lowering your blood pressure, becoming more active, or doing something else to improve your health—congratulations! Making that decision is the first step toward making a change. 1. Have your own reason Your reason for wanting to change a...

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in children and teens are less common than in adults. But they do occur, especially in teens. An injury that hasn't been treated (or one in which the treatment didn't work) can lead to future knee problems....

  • Medicines may stop a cluster headache after it starts and prevent more headaches from occurring. Finding the right medicine can take some time. You may need a combination of medicines to effectively treat your cluster headaches. Treatments most...

  • What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)? Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in a leg. A DVT is dangerous because the clot can break loose, travel through the bloodstream, and block blood flow to the lungs ( pulmonary embolism). Without treatment, this can be deadly. Why does...

  • Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots. Although they are called blood thinners, they don't really thin the blood. They slow down the time it takes for a blood clot to form. You have to be careful when you take blood thinner medicines. They can raise the risk of serious bleeding. But you can do...

  • Moles are skin growths made up of cells that produce color (pigment). A mole can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. Most people get a few moles during their first 20 years of life. They are usually brown in color but can be blue, black, or flesh-colored. Most moles are harmless and don't cause pain or...

  • You can help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy by taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle. These healthy habits include not smoking, eating right, exercising regularly, staying at a healthy weight, and getting the screening tests you need. A heart-healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, not just for...

  • What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a disease that affects your bones. It means you have bones that are thin and brittle, with lots of holes inside them like a sponge. This makes them easy to break. Osteoporosis can lead to broken bones (fractures) in the hip, spine, and wrist. What causes osteoporosis...

  • 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...

  • What is optimism? Optimism is a hopeful, positive outlook on the future, yourself, and the world around you. It is a key part of resilience, the inner strength that helps you get through tough times. By definition, optimism helps you see, feel, and think positively. But it has extra benefits you might not know...

  • What exactly is a negative thought? Suppose a coworker or a grocery store clerk suddenly gave you a mean look. How would you react? Would you just let it slide off you, like water off a duck? Or would you take it personally and feel bad about yourself, or even get angry about it? If you turn small things into big...

  • What is swimmer's itch? Swimmer's itch is a rash caused by an allergic reaction to the larvae of certain parasites. The parasites can get under your skin when you swim in freshwater (such as lakes and ponds) and sometimes salt water. But you can't get swimmer's itch from swimming pools that are treated with chlorine...

  • 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...

  • Radiation is energy that travels as a wave or particle. Some types of radiation, called ionizing radiation, can be harmful. Radioactivity is ionizing radiation that is given off by substances, such as uranium, as they decay. About half of the...

  • Several medicines can help you stop smoking. You can take medicine to reduce your craving for nicotine. You also can use nicotine replacement products to reduce cravings and give you smaller and smaller amounts of nicotine. Your doctor can help you...

  • Sophie's favorite class, drama, comes right at the end of the day—just when her friends are ready to sneak out of school. Auditions for the school play are being held today, and she really wants to try out. But her friends are telling her to cut class and go to the city with them. She wants to be in the play, but she...

  • What is postpartum? During the first weeks after giving birth, your body begins to heal and adjust to not being pregnant. This is called postpartum (or the postpartum period). Your body goes through many changes as you recover. These changes are different for every woman. The first weeks after childbirth also are a...

  • Guides you through the decision to take warfarin or a different anticoagulant (apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, or rivaroxaban) to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants.

  • What is medical marijuana, and is it legal? Marijuana is a drug that is made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Medical marijuana is the use of this drug to help treat symptoms like pain, muscle stiffness ( spasticity), nausea, and lack of appetite. It may be used by people who...

  • Learn how to use your inner strengths to get through tough times and overcome challenges.

  • If you have injuries, health problems, or other reasons that may make it easy for you to fall at home, it is a good idea to learn how to get up safely after a fall. Learning how to get up correctly can help you avoid making an injury worse. Also,...

  • You are not alone in feeling down. Hear from others who have depression.

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

  • Hear from others who have repeated bouts of depression.

  • 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.

  • Guides through the decision to be screened for sexually transmitted infections. Explains STIs and discusses causes and lifestyles that put you at higher risk for getting infected. Covers benefits and risks of testing. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through the decision to be screened for an HIV infection. Explains HIV and discusses causes and lifestyles that put you at higher risk for getting infected. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn how a heart-healthy lifestyle can lower your risk for heart disease.

  • Learn how keeping your mood healthy can also help keep your heart healthy.

  • Learn how to avoid the things that make your COPD symptoms worse.

  • Learn how COPD affects your lungs and makes it hard to breathe.

  • Learn how to deal with common side effects of depression medicines.

  • Learn why it's important to work with your doctor when stopping depression medicines.

  • 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 prevent falls by taking care of yourself, preparing your home, and following a few safety tips.

  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body's natural defense system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. Both the virus and the infection it causes are called HIV....

  • Learn what bypass surgery does for your heart and what will happen during surgery.

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

  • Learn how angioplasty opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries to improve blood flow.

  • Discusses how to live with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), a device that helps control heart rhythm. Gives safety guidelines and tips for travel, exercise, and managing anxiety.

  • Learn what to expect during knee replacement surgery and how it can ease the pain of arthritis.

  • 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 how the Epley maneuver can help you get rid of your vertigo.

  • Learn simple head movements to help with vertigo and balance problems.

  • This questionnaire—called the GAD-7 screening tool—can help you find out if you might have an anxiety disorder that needs treatment. It calculates how many common symptoms you have and—based on your answers—suggests where you might be on a scale, from mild to severe anxiety. GAD-7 stands for "generalized anxiety...

  • What is an MCL injury? An MCL injury is a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament. The MCL is a band of tissue on the inside of your knee. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg. The MCL keeps the knee from bending inward. You can hurt your MCL during activities that involve bending...

  • How is it that two people of the same age, gender, and height can eat the same foods and be equally active, but one gains weight while the other loses it? One piece of the puzzle is metabolism. How well your body burns energy to keep up basic functions like heartbeat, breathing, and thinking is called your basal...

  • Learn simple ways to keep your back healthy.

  • Learn how to sit and lift correctly to keep your back healthy.

  • Learn why X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may not find the cause of your low back pain.

  • "I always considered myself quite good at handling stress, but cancer was a whole different story. It's the kind of stress nothing can prepare you for. My doctor suggested I see a counselor to learn some stress management skills. I wasn't sure at first, but I'm glad I stuck with it because these skills have really...

  • "In my head, I felt I was cured. After I recovered from my breast cancer surgery, that's how I thought of myself. So when my doctor told me last month that my cancer had come back, my world came crashing down, hard."—Kelly, 42 "When my doctor told me that my cancer had spread, I felt ready to give up then and there...

  • "When you hear the word 'cancer,' the worry begins. Am I going to survive this? How is it going to affect my family? I couldn't seem to focus on anything except cancer, and I felt like I'd lost control of my own thoughts. A friend suggested starting a journal, and I found that writing out my thoughts allowed me to let...

  • "When I heard the word 'cancer,' I couldn't believe it. Part of me was terrified, but another part was in denial. How could this happen to me? I just didn't want to deal with having cancer, didn't want to put my family through all of it. It took a...

  • Learn to relax by using a deep-breathing exercise called roll breathing.

  • Learn how the DASH eating plan can help lower your blood pressure.

  • Learn how medicine can help lower your blood pressure.

  • 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...

  • A cancer diagnosis changes your life, but it also affects the people who care about you. You're already dealing with your own distress about having cancer. And it can be hard to talk about it when you know people who care about you will be upset by the news. You may wonder: "How can I tell my children?"...

  • Can you "reverse" type 2 diabetes? Can you cure it? Diabetes can go into remission. When diabetes is in remission, you have no signs or symptoms of it. But your risk of relapse is higher than normal. That's why you make the same daily healthy choices that you do for active type 2 diabetes. Is there a cure...

  • Learn about the different ways doctors and midwives handle pregnancies and deliver babies.

  • Learn how to get your baby to latch on and what to do if you're having pain or problems.

  • Learn how to get your first few weeks of pregnancy off to a good start.

  • Learn tips for dealing with morning sickness, no matter what time of day you have it.

  • The shape of a newborn's head may be affected by how the baby was positioned in the uterus, by the birth process, or by the baby's sleep position. Positional plagiocephaly (say "play-jee-oh-SEF-uh-lee") means that a baby's head is flat in the back...

  • Salicylic acid is available as a paint, cream, plaster, tape, or patch that you put on the wart. Be sure to read and follow the instructions that come with the medicine, or follow your doctor's instructions. Salicylic acid may take weeks to months...

  • Learn what causes most falls and what you can do to stay safe.

  • Learn how getting an eye exam may help you stay safe and independent.

  • Learn how to do a simple exercise to strengthen your core and prevent falls.

  • Learn how some medicines can make you dizzy or drowsy and how you can stay safe.

  • Learn how to do two exercises to improve your strength and balance.

  • Learn to spot hazards in your home by using a home safety checklist.

  • Learn how taking medicine at the first sign of a migraine can help manage headache pain.

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

  • Learn how keeping a headache diary can help you find what's causing your pain.

  • Learn why taking headache pain medicine too often may be causing even more headaches.

  • Learn how your mind and body respond to stress, and find out some things you can do to help care for yourself.

  • Learn a deep-breathing exercise to reduce your stress.

  • 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 how depression medicines work to help you feel better.

  • Learn how depression medicines balance chemicals in your brain to help you feel better.

  • Learn how your thoughts can contribute to weight gain.

  • Learn how reframing your thoughts about managing your weight can make a healthy difference.

  • Learn how replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts can help you reach a healthy weight.

  • Learn how to take your mind to a calming beach where stress melts away.

  • Learn how plaque in blood vessels can become a problem and cause a heart attack.

  • Learn how beta-blocker medicine helps your heart heal after a heart attack.

  • Get a clear, simple explanation of what happens during a heart attack.

  • Get some tips on saving money on medicine for depression.

  • Find out just how common depression is and why treatment matters.

  • Discover some lifestyle changes that can help with sleeplessness.

  • Learn why good sleep matters to your health.

  • Get a brief introduction to the ways depression can be treated.

  • See how a person started reframing their thoughts so they could feel better about themselves and their life.

  • Learn how it may take a few attempts before you quit smoking for good.

  • Learn about products and medicines that can take the edge off nicotine cravings.

  • Learn why nicotine makes it hard to quit smoking and how it can be overcome.

  • Learn why it matters that your reason for quitting comes from inside you.

  • Learn why your controller medicines are so important.

  • Guides you through the decision to take insulin for type 2 diabetes. Provides info on when insulin may be needed to control blood sugar levels. Covers benefits and risks of insulin. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses the decision about when to start dialysis. Includes what kidney failure is, the treatment for it, and reasons why you might or might not want to start dialysis. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

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

  • Learn tips, including ideas for self-care and other support, to build resilience to help with challenging times.

  • Learn how to train your brain to work for you, not against you.

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

  • Learn how to connect with family, friends, and others for support with health issues.

  • Learn how medicine can double or triple your chances of stopping smoking.

  • Imagine your life without cigarettes.

  • Learn seven ways that can help you lower your risk for a heart attack.

  • Vital signs include heart rate, respiration (breathing rate), blood pressure, and temperature. Knowing the ranges for vital signs for your child can help you notice problems early or relieve concerns you may have about how your child is doing. The...

  • What does "high-risk" mean? High-risk means that a medicine can cause serious health problems or accidents. High-risk doesn't always mean "do not use." It can mean "use with care" when a medicine is more likely to help you than harm you. If you take a medicine that may make you feel confused, drowsy, or dizzy...

  • You may be surprised at the number of diapers your newborn goes through every day. Many newborns have at least 1 or 2 bowel movements a day. By the end of the first week, your baby may have as many as 5 to 10 a day. Your baby may pass a stool after...

  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) uses a special type of pacemaker called a biventricular pacemaker (say "by-ven-TRICK-yuh-ler") to treat heart failure. This pacemaker sends electrical pulses to make the ventricles pump at the same time. A biventricular pacemaker is implanted in the chest, and it connects to...

  • Osgood-Schlatter disease is a knee problem that causes pain and swelling in the shinbone (tibia) just below the kneecap (patella). This is the spot where the patellar tendon attaches to a bony mound in the knee called the tibial tubercle. Older...

  • Learn the right way to lift objects to protect your back.

  • Learn tips for getting a good night's sleep.

  • Learn how good nutrition can give you energy and help you stay healthy.

  • Learn how to safely use oxygen in your home.

  • Learn why you need a written plan to know when heart failure symptoms are an emergency.

  • Learn why your daily care plan is so important for managing your heart failure.

  • Learn an easy way to give yourself a back massage using a tennis ball.

  • Get ideas about tools and changes to your home that can simplify your daily life.

  • Learn when and how to use ice and heat to relieve low back pain.

  • Learn how to protect your back and relieve pain during pregnancy.

  • Learn how to avoid things that could make your heart failure worse.

  • Understand how daily weight checks help you avoid heart failure emergencies.

  • Learn how exercise is good for your heart and how to be active and safe.

  • Living with pain can be hard, especially if it's long-term—or chronic—pain. Chronic pain is pain that lasts for 3 months or longer. It can make you sleep poorly, feel tired and irritable, and have a hard time being active or working. It may strain your relationships with loved ones too, making it hard to be the kind of...

  • After you've had a heart attack, you may be worried that you could have another one. That's easy to understand. But the good news is that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of having another heart attack. Taking medicine, doing cardiac rehabilitation, and making healthy lifestyle changes can help...

  • Learn tips for limiting fluids to prevent fluid buildup.

  • During a hospital stay, you may have a higher-than-normal risk of falling. You might get medicines that make you dizzy and more likely to fall. You may get weak and confused because of illness, surgery, or treatments, and you may have a hard time...

  • Sex is part of a healthy life. And it can be safe for people who have heart problems. But some of these people may worry about having sex. Or they may have problems having sex or enjoying sex. If you are having sexual problems, talk with your...

  • Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) is a complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or deep vein blood clot. After a while, this blood clot (usually in your leg), can damage the vein. Damage to the vein can lead to more pressure in the veins. The...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic covers heavy menstrual bleeding, including information about symptoms, tests, and home treatment. For more information, see the topics Normal Menstrual Cycle, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, Uterine Fibroids, and Endometriosis. What are heavy menstrual periods? If you bleed...

  • Learn some exercises for your lungs to make it easier to breathe.

  • Try a few gentle and safe exercises to build your strength.

  • Follow along to learn progressive muscle relaxation to reduce stress.

  • Learn two simple yoga poses that can help reduce stress.

  • Learn how to eat to keep your blood sugar in your target range during pregnancy.

  • 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 medicines and a healthy lifestyle help protect you from another heart attack.

  • Learn how to start eating foods that are good for your heart.

  • Learn how regular exercise can help your heart get stronger and healthier.

  • Learn why it's important to know your risk for heart disease if you're a woman.

  • Hear a story about how heart attacks may feel different than you expect.

  • Learn what catheter ablation is and how it is done to treat atrial fibrillation.

  • Find out what atrial fibrillation is and how it's treated.

  • Learn tips for creating a good sleep routine for your newborn.

  • Learn about the benefits of exercise during pregnancy and how to do it safely.

  • Learn easy ways to protect your back when you get in and out of bed and while you sleep.

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

  • Learn some tried-and-true ways to comfort a crying baby.

  • Learn how often your baby needs breast milk or formula.

  • Learn what to expect in the first few days when changing your baby's diapers.

  • Learn how to care for your newborn's umbilical cord stump.

  • When you spend time around an animal—whether it's a pet, a farm animal, or a wild animal—there's a chance you can pick up an infection. An infection you get from an animal is called a zoonosis (say "zoh-uh-NOH-sus"). Some infections can seem mild,...

  • What are kissing bugs? Kissing bugs are wingless insects that are about 0.75 in. (1.9 cm) long. Kissing bugs are dark brown or black with red or orange spots along the edge of their bodies. They are also called assassin bugs or cone-nosed bugs. Like mosquitoes, kissing bugs feed on blood from animals or people...

  • Being active is an important part of growing up healthy, in body and in mind. But active kids can get hurt, especially when they don't know their safety basics. As a parent, you can't protect your child from every injury. But you can help your child keep safety in mind. How can you help your child get ready...

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

  • Learn how to use a rubber bulb to remove mucus from a baby's nose.

  • Learn how to treat minor burns and prevent infection, and when to see a doctor.

  • Learn how to use home treatment to stop a cough from croup.

  • Learn simple steps you can use to stop a nosebleed.

  • Learn how to care for your stitches to help them heal properly.

  • Learn how to care for your cut or scrape so it will heal and won't get infected.

  • Learn how to care for your blister so it will heal and won't get infected.

  • Learn ways to ease the discomfort of pinkeye and keep the infection from spreading.

  • Learn how to keep your child with epilepsy safer at home, outdoors, and at school.

  • Learn steps you can take at home to reduce pain and swelling after a sprain or strain.

  • Learn how to take care of your cast or splint at home.

  • Learn how to use a compression wrap for a sprained ankle to help control swelling.

  • See how three women found ways to fit heart-healthy habits into their busy lives.

  • Learn about catheter ablation for supraventricular tachycardia and how this procedure is done.

  • Learn how to do the bird dog exercise to increase strength and stability in your shoulder, core, and hips.

  • Learn how to do the bridging exercise to increase strength and stability in your core and your legs.

  • Laser surgery uses a wavelength of light that is focused in a narrow beam. This high-intensity light is used to shrink or destroy skin cancers or pre-cancers (actinic keratosis). With lasers, there is usually less bleeding, swelling, and scarring. Healing is quicker, and you are less likely to get an infection. Several...

  • 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 to use lighting and contrast to make your home safer.

  • See how beta-blocker medicines work in your body and can help prevent another heart attack.

  • 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 how other people quit smoking by using nicotine replacement and other medicines.

  • Find out the important things that happen for you and others when you get the flu vaccine.

  • Practice talking to your smoking friends about your decision to quit.

  • Learn how taking COPD medicines correctly helps prevent flare-ups and trips to the hospital.

  • Hear what others thought about as they decided whether to have herniated disc surgery.

  • Compare pros and cons, including risks and benefits, of having herniated disc surgery.

  • Learn how surgery can repair a herniated disc and how long it takes to recover.

  • Learn how home treatment of back and leg pain from a herniated disc can help you avoid surgery.

  • Hear why some people choose medicine and why others try to change their habits first.

  • Compare the pros and cons of taking a statin to lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Learn how high cholesterol raises your risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Learn about making healthy changes that can help lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Birth control—without it, pregnancy can happen. That's why you need birth control you can count on. There are lots of good options for birth control. Your best choices are those that you find easy to use—so you never go without it. And of course, no matter what kind of birth control you use, you always need a plan for...

  • 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 how high blood pressure that isn't treated can cause serious health problems.

  • Compare the pros and cons of taking medicine for your high blood pressure.

  • Learn how healthy lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to take blood pressure pills.

  • Learn why you probably don't need an antibiotic when you have acute bronchitis.

  • Learn why antibiotics shouldn't be prescribed to children who have a cold or flu.

  • Learn how immunizations protect your child, your family, and your community.

  • Learn how immunizations protect your child, your family, and your community.

  • Hear what others thought about when deciding whether to have back surgery.

  • Learn how surgery for spinal stenosis pain is done and how long it takes to recover.

  • Learn how home treatment and physical therapy can help you avoid surgery.

  • Guides you through the decision to have catheter ablation for the heart rhythm problem supraventricular tachycardia. Lists benefits and risks of catheter ablation and medical therapy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Ages 11 through 14 are often called early adolescence. These years are an exciting time of varied and rapid changes. Your child grows taller and stronger and also starts to feel and think in more mature ways. You may feel amazed as you watch your...

  • Learn how a high BMI and waist size affect your health.

  • Learn more about leaking urine and why you should talk to your doctor about it.

  • Learn how to do exercises that can help prevent urine leakage.

  • Ages 15 to 18 are an exciting time of life. But these years can be challenging for teens and their parents. Emotions can change quickly as teens learn to deal with school, their friends, and adult expectations. Teen self-esteem is affected by...

  • When people use a tanning bed or booth or a sunlamp to get a tan, it's called indoor tanning. Indoor tanning uses artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) light, rather than sunlight, to tan the skin. People may feel that a tan makes...

  • Learn to check your mood for warning signs that depression may be coming back.

  • Learn about physical symptoms that may be linked to depression.

  • See how depression can affect relationships and why treatment matters.

  • Learn how tracking your mood can help you manage depression.

  • Learn why getting a chlamydia test is important.

  • Learn why taking your osteoporosis medicine is so important.

  • 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.

  • See how a diagnosis of heart disease inspired others to care for their heart.

  • Learn how heart disease affects you and how to help prevent a heart attack.

  • 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 how to make an action plan to help manage diabetes.

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

  • Learn how others accept taking heart medicines as part of daily life.

  • Picture an exercise plan you would enjoy, and commit to taking small steps to get there.

  • See how to get back to taking care of your heart.

  • See why your doctor prescribed low-dose aspirin for your heart.

  • Learn how to find what is getting in the way of taking your statin pill every day.

  • Learn from another person with heart failure about the importance of taking your ACE inhibitor/ARB.

  • Guides through decision to get the HPV vaccine. Explains the vaccination process. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn how to use a nebulizer correctly.

  • Learn what many people tell themselves about a cough that won't go away.

  • Learn what can cause a DVT, why it's so dangerous, and what the symptoms are.

  • Find out why you're at risk for falling in the hospital and how to prevent a fall.

  • Learn how clot-busting medicines are used for emergencies like stroke and heart attack.

  • Learn why it's important to take blood-thinning medicine after your stroke.

  • Guides through decision whether to start kidney dialysis for kidney failure. Covers key factors in decision. Covers benefits and risks. Offers interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through breast cancer screening choices if you have dense breasts. Discusses the benefits and risks of choosing more testing after a mammogram, such as ultrasound or MRI. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn how to help prevent dangerous blood clots after your surgery.

  • What are dense breasts? Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. The tissue inside your breasts can be different types too. Some breast tissue is fatty. Other breast tissue is dense. " Dense" means it's made of thick, fibrous tissue and milk glands. You can learn how dense your breasts are from your mammogram...

  • Learn how to start tracking the sodium in all the foods and drinks you have each day.

  • Learn about help you'll get to manage your heart failure at home.

  • Learn how to reach out to friends and loved ones for support.

  • Find motivation to quit by comparing what you tell yourself about smoking and what the facts are.

  • Commit to taking small steps to stay active with COPD.

  • Learn how continuing to smoke will affect your COPD symptoms.

  • Hear how one man with COPD finally quit after many years of smoking.

  • What is aggression? Everyone gets angry sometimes, even small children. But some children and teens have so much trouble controlling their anger that they shove, hit, or make fun of other people. This causes them trouble at home and at school. They often have a hard time making friends. And their aggression makes...

  • Almost everyone wants to change or improve some part of his or her life. For some people, it's eating better or getting more exercise. For others, it might be quitting smoking or drinking less. But whatever the change, you have to be ready to make it. And the reality is that only you know when you're ready for a change...

  • Maybe you're fine with the way your life's going right now. Or maybe the timing is wrong, and you need to wait to plan for a change. Either way, there might be something here that interests you. Don't change anything This may not be the time to make a change in your life. Instead, maybe it can be a time to...

  • Changing anything big in your life can be stressful. It can seem like a lot to do. This can be especially true when the change involves tobacco, a drug, alcohol, or changing how you eat. For some people, knowing that something has to change happens...

  • Deciding to make a change that matters is a big step. Maybe you're feeling hopeful, excited, and ready for the change. You could be feeling nervous about changing. Or maybe you're worried that you'll let down yourself and others if you're not able...

  • So, you're ready to make a change that matters to you. You've planned for this change. You have your larger plan and smaller steps defined. Let's get started. As you start, it may help to know that you don't have to do it all at once. Taking one step at a time helps you stay focused. It makes it easier to manage...

  • Thinking about change, planning for change, and making your change happen all take work. Keeping a change going can be just as hard. It takes time to make it your new "normal." And you can expect to have a few tough times. To make this change part...

  • Cooking dinner, putting away laundry, or even just walking across your living room can be exhausting when you have COPD, heart failure, or another long-term (chronic) condition. You may feel at times as though you've lost your ability to live your...

  • Learn how to assess the things that led to a slip-up and get back on track with quitting.

  • Nipple shields are devices to help with certain breastfeeding problems. A nipple shield looks like a little hat with a brim. The crown of the hat fits over the nipple, and the brim lies over the areola. Most nipple shields are made of a soft, thin,...

  • Learn how cardiac rehab works and how it can help you get stronger and feel better.

  • Learn why making a plan for getting help when you leave the hospital will help you heal.

  • Learn how and why an angiogram is done.

  • Learn how you'll feel after an angiogram and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Learn how the pneumococcal vaccine protects you from serious infections.

  • Learn how ACL surgery is usually done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn how knee arthroscopy is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn what mindfulness is and how it can help reduce stress.

  • Practice mindfulness to help reduce stress.

  • Learn how to practice mindfulness even when your thoughts and daily life get in the way.

  • Learn how two people practice mindfulness to help them cope with stress or a health problem.

  • Learn how too little sleep affects your health, and how getting enough can undo these effects.

  • Learn how to reduce technology use before bed for better sleep.

  • Take steps to reduce your technology use before bed.

  • A nebulizer is a tool that delivers liquid medicine as a fine mist. You breathe in the medicine through a mouthpiece or face mask. This sends the medicine directly to your airways and lungs. Depending on your needs, you can get a small, portable...

  • Learn how to manage your symptoms and live better with a-fib.

  • Learn how an ICD works and how it can help your heart.

  • See what you can expect and how to prepare for getting a pacemaker.

  • Learn how to be sure when changes in your symptoms mean you should get help.

  • Learn how checking your symptoms every day helps you manage your heart failure.

  • Learn how to adjust to life with a pacemaker and have an active, healthy life.

  • Get motivated to quit by thinking about the example you are setting for your child.

  • Learn how breathing secondhand smoke can affect your child's health.

  • Guides you through the decision to use the medicine metformin, lifestyle changes, or both to prevent type 2 diabetes. Provides specifics about metformin and goals for lifestyle changes. Lists benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Relieve pressure on the skin Relieving and spreading out pressure is the most important part of both preventing and treating pressure injuries. Putting pressure on one spot for long periods of time decreases blood flow to that area. This damages or...

  • Using a breast pump is a good way to provide the benefits of breastfeeding when you have to be away from your baby. Pumping will help keep up your milk supply and prevent discomfort and breast engorgement. You can also use a breast pump to slowly...

  • Teaching your child by example isn't about being a perfect parent. True, it's about showing, or modeling, healthy choices and good behavior. But it's also about showing your child how to handle mistakes and recover from bad choices. How can you be a good role model for your child? First, take a minute to...

  • Learn how to make a plan that helps you use medicines safely.

  • Older adults and people with long-term diseases often need to take a lot of pills. That can cause problems. If you take more than one medicine that works the same way, you could get too high a dose. Sometimes medicines work against each other . So it's really important to ask every doctor you visit to look at...

  • Learn how to make meals that are low in salt.

  • Make your own plan for reaching a healthy weight.

  • What makes you want to reach a healthy weight?

  • Screening tests help your doctor look for a problem before you have symptoms. This increases your chances of finding the problem early, when it's more treatable. Studies don't show that routine screening for lung cancer is right for most people. But it may help those who have the highest risk for lung cancer—people...

  • Learn what sleep studies are and why they're done.

  • Hear how other people stay motivated to manage their diabetes.

  • Guides you through decision to treat low-risk basal cell skin cancer with surgery or medicated creams. Explains types of surgery and types of creams used. Covers benefits and risks of both. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn about an epidural for labor: what it is, how it's done, and its safety and side effects.

  • Learn about the range of emotions you may experience when you have cancer.

  • Learn ways to cope with your feelings when dealing with cancer.

  • Learn to check in with yourself and to be aware of your feelings when you have cancer.

  • Learn ways to cope with the stress of having cancer.

  • Learn the pros and cons of having a hip replacement.

  • Learn the pros and cons of having a knee replacement.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have hip replacement surgery.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have knee replacement surgery.

  • Learn when having an angiogram is helpful and when it may not be needed.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have a coronary angiogram.

  • Learn about surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.

  • Learn about shoulder replacement surgery.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after rotator cuff surgery.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after shoulder replacement surgery.

  • Learn what a hysterectomy is and how it's done.

  • Learn how and why endometrial ablation is done.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after you have gastric sleeve surgery.

  • Learn how Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn what you can do at home to help yourself get better from pneumonia.

  • Compare the pros and cons of having a hysterectomy for abnormal uterine bleeding.

  • Hear what other women thought about as they decided whether to have this surgery.

  • Learn how to find hope when facing advanced cancer.

  • Learn how you can get the support you need when dealing with cancer.

  • Learn how meeting your spiritual needs can help you cope with cancer.

  • Compare the pros and cons of having weight-loss surgery.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have weight-loss surgery.

  • Learn how hormone therapy is used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding.

  • Learn how laparoscopic gastric banding surgery is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn how gastric sleeve surgery is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after laparoscopic gastric banding surgery.

  • Learn how long it might take to start doing everyday activities again after a knee replacement.

  • Learn to track how well you are managing your anxiety.

  • Learn what body image is and how to feel better about the way you look.

  • See how other teens have gotten more active and had fun too.

  • Hear how one teen got motivated to take charge of his weight and eating habits.

  • Learn how prediabetes motivated one woman to change her habits.

  • Learn how anxiety is different from stress and how it can affect your life.

  • Learn about different treatment options for anxiety and how they can help.

  • See how treatment can help reduce anxiety.

  • Hear how cardiac rehab helped others have less fear and be more sure about how to live with a heart problem.

  • Learn seated exercises you can do at work or at home that can help you relieve stress and strain.

  • Learn how your work area affects your health and safety and how to set it up.

  • Get tips on how to set up and use your computer in a way that prevents aches and pains.

  • Learn what movements may help cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Get tips to help prevent it and manage symptoms.

  • Learn stretches that can help you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and manage your symptoms.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have a procedure to help prevent a stroke.

  • Why is bathing your loved one important? Bathing keeps the skin healthy and can help prevent infections. It's a good time to check the skin to look for sores or rashes. Bathing also helps your loved one feel fresh and clean. The amount of help your loved one needs when bathing depends on how well he or she can...

  • A keloid (say "KEE-loyd") is a scar that grows bigger and wider than the original injury. Keloids most commonly grow on the breastbone, shoulder, upper chest and back, earlobes, and face. Keloids do not become cancer. But they can be bothersome or painful enough that you seek treatment. Keloids often grow back after...

  • The upsetting situation Stop: My discouraging thought Ask: Is that a helpful thought? Choose: My new, encouraging thought Example My diet isn't going well right now. I can't lose weight. Why should I even try? Who says I can't lose weight? How am I going to lose weight if I keep thinking like this? I...

  • Hear what motivated other people to make changes to keep their heart healthy.

  • Learn how using a home blood pressure monitor can give you better control of your health.

  • Covers possible causes of abdominal pain in children 11 and younger, including stomach flu, urinary tract infection, constipation, and appendicitis. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Learn what raises your risk for having a heart attack or stroke and how you can lower your risk.

  • Learn three proven strategies to help reach a healthy weight.

  • Learn what your cholesterol numbers mean for your health.

  • Get inspired to make some healthy changes to the way you eat.

  • Why is sleep important to your child? A good night's sleep helps your child to grow, to form memories, and to learn. Sleep helps your child stay alert and focused at school and play. Children who don't get enough sleep over time can have behavior problems and trouble learning. They may become moody, sad, or...

  • What is spirituality? Across cultures and religions, people tend to their spiritual wellness in countless ways. In the most basic sense, spirituality is about connecting with what's meaningful to you in a way that lightens or enriches your spirit. While there are many ways to describe it, most experts agree that...

  • Get help thinking about ways to stay positive and hopeful after a stroke.

  • Some over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can raise your blood pressure or keep your blood pressure medicine from working the way it should. So if you have high blood pressure or other heart or blood vessel problems, you need to be careful with OTC...

  • A shower helps the person you're caring for feel clean and fresh. It's also a good time to check the skin for sores or rashes. It's a good idea for the person to have a shower at least once a week, if possible. On other days, he or she may just want a bath at the sink. The person may need only a little...

  • Germs and infection can spread easily in the home. This may happen when items around the house become soiled or when you come into contact with body fluids, such as blood or urine. A person's cough or sneeze can spread germs too. Washing your hands often can help you keep germs and infection from spreading...

  • Keeping clothes and bed linens clean can take time, but it's worth the effort. It can help the person you're caring for stay healthy and feel clean. Clothes and bed linens become soiled when they come into contact with things like urine, stool, or vomit. Washing soiled clothes and linens right away can help...

  • A sink bath, or basin bath, helps the person you're caring for to stay clean and fresh in between showers. It can be a good choice when your loved one is too tired for a shower or can't move around or walk much. The person may want a sink bath every day or a few times a week. His or her hair may not need to...

  • What are combination pills? Combination pills are used to prevent pregnancy. Most people call them "the pill." Combination pills release a regular dose of two hormones, estrogen and progestin. They prevent pregnancy in a few ways. They thicken the mucus in the cervix. This makes it hard for sperm to travel into...

  • What is a birth control implant? The implant is used to prevent pregnancy. It's a thin rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin (subdermal) on the inside of your arm. The implant releases the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy. Progestin prevents pregnancy in these ways: It thickens the...

  • As we get older, our skin gets more thin and dry, so it is easier to damage. The chance of skin damage is higher for people who can't move much and who spend most of their time in bed or in a wheelchair. The skin can develop rashes and sores, especially pressure injuries. These sores are caused by constant...

  • What is the shot? The shot is used to prevent pregnancy. You get the shot in your upper arm or rear end (buttocks). The shot gives you a dose of the hormone progestin. The shot is often called by its brand name, Depo-Provera. Progestin prevents pregnancy in these ways: It thickens the mucus in the cervix. This...

  • What are mini-pills? Mini-pills are used to prevent pregnancy. They release a regular dose of a hormone called progestin. They are different from regular combination birth control pills. Those contain progestin and another hormone called estrogen. Progestin prevents pregnancy in a few ways. It thickens the mucus...

  • What is the patch? The patch is used to prevent pregnancy. It looks like a bandage and is put on the skin of your belly, rear end (buttocks), upper arm, or upper body (but not on a breast). The patch releases a regular dose of the hormones estrogen and progestin. These hormones prevent pregnancy in three ways...

  • What is the ring? The ring is used to prevent pregnancy. It's a soft plastic ring that you put into your vagina. It's also called the vaginal ring. The ring releases a regular dose of the hormones estrogen and progestin. These hormones prevent pregnancy in three ways. They thicken the mucus in the cervix. This...

  • Lying in one position for a long time can cause pressure injuries. You can help avoid pressure injuries by helping your loved one turn and change position in bed. This is also helpful when you need to do things like change sheets, help with a bedpan, give a back rub, or change a bandage. When helping someone move in...

  • The groin area needs careful cleaning to prevent rashes and infections. Rashes are most likely to form in moist areas where skin touches skin, such as the folds of the groin, under the breasts, and on the stomach. For a larger-sized person, other areas of concern are the folds on the neck, arms, inner elbows, legs...

  • Hear how atrial fibrillation affected three people's lives and how each one found a way to manage it.

  • Learn about chronic pain and what you can do to feel better.

  • Learn about other ways to manage pain, in addition to medicine.

  • Hear how others found strength and support to manage their pain.

  • Learn to reduce your pain by changing negative thoughts.

  • Here's information to help you work with your doctor so you can take prescribed opioids safely.

  • Learn how medicines can help you manage chronic pain.

  • Think about what you've tried for back pain and what you might consider now.

  • 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...

  • POTS is a fast heart rate (tachycardia) that starts after you stand up. This can suddenly happen as long as 10 minutes after you stand. With POTS, the body does not control blood pressure or heart rate as it should after you stand up. So for a brief...

  • Get tips on how to stay safe in the sun.

  • Learn what tests are used to check for colon cancer (colorectal cancer) and what the results may mean.

  • Learn what is checked during an HIV test, who might need one, and what the results may mean.

  • What is high blood pressure? Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of the arteries as it moves through the body. High blood pressure happens when the blood is pushing too hard. Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension. Blood pressure readings include two numbers...

  • Learn about transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and what the risks are when you have one.

  • Learn how to check your skin for possible signs of skin cancer.

  • Get tips to prepare for and manage hair loss from chemotherapy.

  • A nicotine test measures the level of nicotine—or the chemicals it produces—in your body. It's usually done by testing a sample of your blood or urine. The test is used to see if you smoke or use other forms of tobacco. All forms of tobacco have...

  • Learn about the different types of treatment that can help with prescription medicine misuse.

  • Learn the simple steps that can help you reach a goal of quitting medicine misuse.

  • Learn about the importance of finding support for recovery.

  • Learn how to renew your commitment to stopping medicine misuse after a slip-up.

  • Learn the signs of possible risky use of alcohol and think about the role alcohol plays in your life.

  • Hear how others found the motivation to change their relationship to alcohol.

  • Learn more about the different treatment options that can help you change your alcohol habits.

  • Use what you learn from a slip-up to help prevent a relapse and strengthen your plan to change your habits.

  • Learn how to plan ahead for coping with stress and symptoms at home.

  • Learn how to check on how you're feeling during or after PTSD treatment.

  • Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • 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...

  • Learn about the treatment options for PTSD.

  • Hear how others decided to get treatment and how it helped them.

  • Night sweats are heavy sweating during sleep.This kind of sweating is different than the occasional sweating people have from sleeping deeply, being in a warm room, or having too many blankets. Night sweats are often so heavy that your clothing and...

  • A dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from the lining of the uterus (endometrium). During a D&C, the vagina is spread open. Then the cervix is opened gently so that tissue can be removed, usually with a scraping or suction...

  • After getting approval from several expert groups, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following immunization schedule for children. You can view it online at: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html

  • After getting approval from several expert groups, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following immunization schedule for children. You can view it online at: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html.

  • Learn what causes gestational diabetes and how you will be tested for it.

  • Learn how keeping the healthy habits you used to manage gestational diabetes can protect your child in the future.

  • Learn what you can do to prevent getting type 2 diabetes after you have gestational diabetes.

  • See how other women who had gestational diabetes found ways to be active.

  • Learn why you need to test your blood sugar when you have gestational diabetes.

  • Learn why you may need to take medicine when you have gestational diabetes.

  • Arthritis hurts. And it can make it harder to move your joints. When you don't move your joints as much, your ligaments, tendons, and muscles can shorten and get weaker. But knee shots, or injections, can help you cope with the pain and be more...

  • Complementary medicine includes many treatments you can use along with standard medical treatment. A lot of people use some form of complementary medicine to treat osteoarthritis. Some of these treatments may help you move more easily and deal with the stress and pain of arthritis. But in some cases, not much is...

  • Painful knee arthritis can keep you from being as active as you need to be. You may not walk as much. You may avoid going up and down stairs. But when you don't move that knee as much, the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around it can shorten and...

  • Learn what a tubal ligation is and how it's done.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself at home after a tubal ligation.

  • Everyone knows that sleep is important. Without it, you don't have the energy to get through your day. But sleep problems that go on for a long time can affect your health. How does sleep affect your health? Most adults do best when they get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. Sleep gives your brain a...

  • Guides people who are at high risk for lung cancer through the decision on whether to have an annual low-dose CT screening. Discusses the benefits and risks of having screening and the risk for getting lung cancer. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Learn how osteoarthritis usually begins, and listen to stories of how it can progress differently in different people.

  • Learn about different treatments for knee arthritis other than surgery.

  • Learn about the pros and cons of having knee replacement surgery.

  • Learn how cartilage is replaced by implants in knee replacement surgery.

  • Learn about recovering from knee replacement surgery, and listen to stories about different recovery experiences.

  • Learn about the different treatment options for knee arthritis, and hear stories of what others have tried.

  • Scoliosis is a problem with the curve in your spine. Many people have some curve in their spine. But a few people have spines that make a large curve from side to side in the shape of the letter "S" or the letter "C." If this curve is severe, it can...

  • 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...

  • What is weight-loss surgery? Weight loss surgery helps people lose weight. There are two types of surgeries. They can be restrictive or a combination of restrictive and malabsorptive. Restrictive: This type of surgery makes the stomach smaller. It limits the amount of food the stomach can hold...

  • 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.

  • Learn about ear infections and how you can care for your child at home.

  • Helping or caring for a loved one with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can feel like a lot to take on. There's the challenge of caregiving, because what seems best for someone isn't always what the person wants to do. There's also the...

  • Drug withdrawal in newborns (also called neonatal abstinence syndrome) is a set of problems that may affect a child if the mother used certain drugs while she was pregnant. These drugs may include prescription medicines or illegal drugs. Some...

  • The flu and the common cold are both types of upper respiratory infections (URIs). Both are caused by viruses. But the flu is not the same as the common cold. Flu symptoms are usually much worse than a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly and...

  • The Medicare yearly wellness visit is your time to talk and plan with your doctor about your health. It's about preventing health problems and disability. And it's about making sure you get the medical care you need. Together, you and your doctor...

  • Spondylosis is age-related change of the bones (vertebrae) and discs of the spine. These changes are often called degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. These changes don't always cause symptoms. But they are a common cause of spine problems...

  • Growing pains are leg pains that can hurt enough to wake your child at night. Although they can be very painful, they are not serious. They will not cause any long-lasting problems. Growing pains can start as early as the toddler years, or they can...

  • What is a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury? An LCL injury is a sprain or tear to the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). The LCL is a band of tissue on the outside of your knee. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg and helps keep the knee from bending outward. You can hurt your LCL...

  • What are body lice? Body lice are tiny insects that can make a temporary home in the seams of your clothing or bedding (sheets, pillows, and blankets). They'remost often spread by contact with a person who has body lice or with that person's clothes, bedding, or towels. Body lice are usually found only...

  • What are pubic lice? Pubic lice are tiny insects that usually live in your pubic area. Sometimes they're also found on facial hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, armpits, chest hair, and the scalp. They're different than the kind of lice that you can get on your head. Pubic lice are also called "crabs" because they look like...

  • Menopause is the point in a woman's life when she has not had her period for 1 year. Menopause is a natural part of growing older. You don't need treatment for it unless your symptoms bother you. But it's a good idea to learn all you can about menopause. Knowing what to expect can help you stay as healthy as...

  • Learn what wound debridement surgery is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after wound debridement surgery.

  • Learn what skin graft surgery is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after a skin graft.

  • Teach your teen the important life skill of being responsible with money.

  • Use these tips to teach your child about money.

  • Help your teen learn to deal with conflict at school or on social media.

  • Help your teen balance gaming time with other activities.

  • Learn to help your teen build healthy boundaries and habits around phone use.

  • Try these tips for loving discipline, which can help your toddler learn how to behave.

  • Use this form to describe the severity of your heart failure symptoms and whether they get worse. Also, record any new symptoms that develop. Take this form with you when you visit your doctor. Describe severity of symptoms and when they started...

  • Use this form to record the sodium content of the foods you eat or drink each day. This record will help you see whether you are getting too much sodium in your diet. Use the Nutrition Facts on food labels to help find how much sodium you eat. You can tell when your body retains fluid by weighing yourself often. Sodium...

  • The loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to remove genital warts by heating the margin of the area to be removed, which separates the wart from the skin. LEEP is done in a doctor's office, clinic, or hospital on an outpatient basis. A local anesthetic is injected...

  • Experts believe that one-third to one-half of all cancers can be prevented. That's because there are certain things about our lifestyles—our daily habits—that can make us more likely to get cancer. Here are some steps you can take today to help...

  • Alcohol can be a safe and enjoyable part of life. If you choose to drink alcohol, the key is to keep your drinking at low to moderate levels. People who drink too much are hurting their health. Heavy drinking can cause all kinds of problems, from stomach and sexual problems to stroke and liver disease. It can also...

  • Guides through the decision to have surgery for plantar fasciitis to relieve foot and heel pain. Covers alternative treatments, including stretching exercises and orthotics. Discusses risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Unexplained shoulder pain that does not change when you move your neck, shoulder, or arm or that occurs with symptoms elsewhere in your body (such as in your abdomen or chest) may be referred shoulder pain. Referred pain means that a problem exists...

  • Guides you through the decision to have surgery for a herniated disc in the low back. Describes the types of surgery available, as well as nonsurgical treatment. Lists the benefits and risks of both types of treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • 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 the decision to have your child take medicine for ADHD. Lists benefits and risks of medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • 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.

  • Screening tests for colorectal (colon) cancer Screening tests for colorectal cancer look for signs of cancer before you have symptoms. Screening tests for colorectal cancer include: Stool tests that can be done at home. They include: FIT (fecal immunochemical test). This test checks for signs of blood...

  • Heart failure means that your heart muscle doesn't pump as much blood as your body needs. Because your heart cannot pump well, your heart and your body try to make up for it. This is called compensation. Your body has a remarkable ability to compensate for heart failure. The body may do such a good job that many...

  • Explains how to take medicine for congestive heart failure. Suggests schedules, lists, and pill containers to remember when to take medicines. Covers need-to-know names of medicines and side effects. Also how to handle missed doses, need to avoid certain medicines.

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is for women who want to learn about or have been diagnosed with abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB). Abnormal uterine bleeding has several causes. If you don't know what kind of bleeding you have, see the topic Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding. What is abnormal uterine bleeding? Abnormal...

  • Tells how to limit sodium (salt) for better health. Gives tips on low-sodium diet and reading food labels. Includes tips for cooking with less sodium.

  • Discusses need to watch fluid intake with congestive heart failure. Gives tips on spacing fluids throughout day and how to easily keep track of fluid intake. Also mentions diuretic medicines to remove excess fluid from body.

  • Tells how to prevent sudden heart failure. Covers symptoms and lists triggers that lead to congestive heart failure: too much salt, too much exercise, and taking medicines wrong. Encourages staying with diet, medicine, and exercise plan.

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • Guides people not already diagnosed with coronary artery disease through decision to take statin medicine to lower risk of heart attack or stroke. Covers cholesterol and other risk factors. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a form of ringworm. Ringworm is not a worm at all. It is a fungal infection of the outer layers of skin, hair, or nails. Fungi (plural of fungus) are present everywhere in our environment. Ringworm of the skin appears as...

  • Defines flatfoot, its causes, and who is affected by the condition. Lists symptoms and discusses treatment options. Offers pictures of exercises that may help.

  • In isolated systolic high blood pressure (isolated systolic hypertension, or ISH), systolic blood pressure is elevated, but diastolic blood pressure is normal. This type of high blood pressure is more common in older adults, especially older women....

  • Briefly covers symptoms and diagnosis of a broken toe. Discusses treatment options, which include home care and surgery.

  • To prevent foot blisters that are caused by poorly fitting shoes or socks: Wear shoes and socks that fit properly. You should be able to wiggle your toes in your shoes while you are sitting and when you are standing.The inner seams of your shoes...

  • Guides through decision to have a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test for osteoporosis. Explains DXA test. Includes risk factors for osteoporosis you can and cannot change. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through decision to have knee surgery for an ACL injury. Compares surgery to rest, exercise, and rehabilitation as treatment for an ACL injury. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to have surgery for rotator cuff disorders. Lists risks and benefits of surgery. Talks about other treatment. Explains rehabilitation for rotator cuff surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides you through decision to put a relative who has Alzheimer's or other dementia in long-term care. Lists reasons for and against. Covers types of long-term facilities available. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to have infertility treatment. Explains what infertility is and what may cause it. Discusses various types of infertility treatments. Covers benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through the decision to have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for low back pain. Discusses the problems an MRI can find and why it may not show the source of pain. 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...

  • Guides through the decision to have colposcopy if a Pap test shows minor cell changes. Covers other choices such as watchful waiting and HPV testing. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Home remedies may relieve itching. To relieve itching Avoid further contact with whatever you suspect is causing the itching. Keep the itchy area cool and wet. Apply a washcloth that has been soaked in ice water, or get in a cool tub or shower. But remember that repeated wetting and drying will...

  • 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...

  • Pregnancy does not seem to increase the progression of abnormal cervical cell changes. The presence of abnormal cervical cell changes or HPV does not affect the outcome of the pregnancy. Close monitoring is needed so that you and your health...

  • Thrombolytics are medicines that rapidly dissolve a blood clot. They are used when a blood clot causes an emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. These clot-busting medicines help blood to flow normally again. Thrombolytics are used as soon as...

  • Discusses complete physical exam of a woman's pelvic organs by a health professional. Includes info on exam of vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries. Explains how exam is done. Discusses speculum, stirrups, Pap test, and reproductive health problems.

  • 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...

  • Try the following comfort measures if your baby is hospitalized: Stay with your child, or visit often. Hold or touch your child. Talk to your child, and be involved in his or her care. This will help your child get well, and it will make you feel...

  • 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...

  • Excision is the removal of a skin cancer along with some of the healthy skin tissue around it (margin). For this procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. After the cancerous area is removed, the incision is closed with stitches. If the incision is large, sometimes a skin graft or flap is required...

  • Mohs micrographic surgery involves removing a skin cancer one layer at a time and examining these layers under a microscope immediately after they are removed. This procedure allows for a close examination of each layer of skin to detect cancer cells. It also allows a minimal amount of tissue to be removed while making...

  • Crying is a child's first way of communicating. Parents and caregivers become better over time at identifying their child's cry. Along with crying, a child may not act normally when something is wrong with him or her. Infection, illness, injury or...

  • Some changes in your feet and ankles are normal during pregnancy. These symptoms occur from normal hormonal changes and increased body weight and usually go away after delivery. Many women see a change in shoe size during pregnancy and that may not...

  • Suicide rates increase with age and are highest among white men age 65 and older. Divorced and widowed men in this age group have the highest suicide rates, and their most common method of suicide is firearms. The following warning signs may be present in older adults who have a high risk for suicide...

  • You may be able to tell when someone is paranoid. The person may accuse others of trying to harm him or her or may look around fearfully. The person may talk about protecting himself or herself from attack. Here are ways to help the person who is...

  • Here are ways to help your family member take the medicines: Talk about medicines in a way that is meaningful to the person. For example, point out the reasons to take medication. Say, "Your medicines help quiet the voices you hear," or "Your...

  • Your first menstrual period is called menarche (say "MEN-ar-kee"). It usually starts sometime between ages 11 and 14. But it can happen as early as age 9 or as late as 15. If you are a teenage girl, see your doctor if you have not started having periods by age 15. Menarche is a sign you are growing up and becoming a...

  • Although communicating with your adolescent or teen can be challenging, it is important to continually make the effort. This is especially important when your child acts out with problem behaviors or seems troubled in some way. When attempting to...

  • Tells how to exercise to improve health with congestive heart failure. Includes need for doctor's okay and exercise plan. Includes tips on physical activity like stretching, walking, swimming, lifting weights, yoga, and tai chi.

  • Marijuana, also called cannabis, is a drug that is made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It is often smoked in pipes or hand-rolled cigarettes. But it can also be vaporized, applied to the skin, cooked in food,...

  • Guides you through decision to take medicine for nail fungal infection. Explains fungal infections and why treatment might be needed. Lists other treatments. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • 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.

  • A chemical peel is a treatment to improve the look of the skin. A chemical is applied to the skin and allowed to soak in. Over the next 1 to 14 days, depending on how deep the chemical soaks into the skin, the skin peels off. This process destroys parts of the skin in a controlled way so that new skin can grow in its...

  • Guided imagery is a program of directed thoughts and suggestions that guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. You can use an instructor, tapes, or scripts to help you through this process. Guided imagery is based on the concept that...

  • Many people have hair or scalp problems. Hair may thin or fall out, break off, or grow slowly. Dandruff or an itching or peeling scalp may cause embarrassment and discomfort. Hair and scalp problems can be upsetting, but they usually are not caused...

  • Almost all foods contain sodium, or salt, naturally or as an ingredient. But you don't always know it's there, or how much is there. Here are some tips to help you find sodium. Know what "low sodium'' means Labels on foods often claim that the food is "low-sodium" or something similar. Learn what these...

  • Guides you through decision to use medicine or surgery to treat GERD. Covers medicines like antacids and esomeprazole (Nexium). Discusses laparoscopic surgery. Looks at pros and cons of each. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to...

  • Thyroid storm (thyroid crisis) is a potentially life-threatening condition for people who have hyperthyroidism. Thyroid storm happens when your thyroid gland suddenly releases large amounts of thyroid hormone in a short period of time. If you have...

  • 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...

  • Keeping a headache diary may help you understand what types of headaches you get and what treatment works best for you. You also may be able to find out what your headache triggers are, such as certain foods, stress, sleep problems, or physical activity. Take your headache diary to your doctor. Together you can look at...

  • A good quit-smoking program can help a person quit smoking by providing support and encouragement. Programs are available for you to attend in-person, by telephone, or online (on the Internet). Look for a program that is led by someone who has had training in helping people quit smoking. Better in-person smoking...

  • Listen to your body to tell you when you're hungry or full. Hunger is a normal sensation that makes you want to eat. Your body tells your brain that your stomach is empty. This makes your stomach growl and gives you hunger pangs. Hunger makes some people feel lightheaded or grouchy. Everyone is different...

  • 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...

  • Guides you through the decision to have imaging tests to evaluate your headaches. Looks at the types of imaging tests used, including CT scan and MRI. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • 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...

  • Some babies bite during teething, because they feel discomfort or pain. The most common symptoms of teething include: Swelling, tenderness, or discomfort in the gums at the site of the erupting tooth. Increased saliva, which can cause drooling....

  • Guides you through choosing a test to check for colorectal cancer. Looks at symptoms of colorectal cancer. Covers stool tests, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and virtual colonoscopy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • 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...

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. Some medicines for diabetes can cause low blood sugar. Even mild low blood sugar can affect the way you think and respond to things around you. And mild low blood sugar can quickly...

  • 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...

  • Hidradenitis suppurativa (say "hih-drad-uh-NY-tus sup-yur-uh-TY-vuh") is a skin condition that causes lumps on the skin that look like pimples or boils. It can come and go for many years. Doctors don't know exactly how this skin problem starts. But...

  • 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.

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition that develops when cells in the body are unable to get the sugar (glucose) they need for energy because there is not enough insulin. When the sugar cannot get into the cells, it stays in...

  • Use this form to record a high 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 high blood sugar problems, the diabetes medicine dose may need to be adjusted or the medicine may need to be changed. Date...

  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is most often seen in people who have diabetes that isn't well controlled. The symptoms of high blood sugar can be mild, moderate, or severe. If your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than your target range...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause sleep problems. A few examples of these medicines are: Antidepressants. Cold medicines. Steroid medicines. Nonprescription diet aids. Other substances Other substances that may cause sleep problems include: Alcohol. At first, drinking alcohol may cause...

  • Discusses basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, two types of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Covers causes and what increases your risk. Discusses early detection. Covers treatment choices, including chemotherapy and surgery. Offers prevention tips.

  • Guides through decision of when to do something about your child's bed-wetting. Includes common reasons and home treatment options for bed-wetting. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through decision to take isotretinoin for severe acne. Looks at the benefits and risks of this medicine. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to see a doctor for acne. Covers symptoms like pimples and blackheads. Looks at treating with medicines like benzoyl peroxide (nonprescription) and isotretinoin (prescription). Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through the decision to have a carotid endarterectomy or carotid artery stenting to prevent stroke if you have not already had a stroke or TIA. Lists pros and cons. Explains risks. Looks at other treatments. Has interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Children who are 15 months to 3 years old may bite other people out of frustration or when they want power or control over another person. Some ways you can help prevent a child this age from biting include: Helping the child put words to his or her...

  • You may be able to relieve heel pain by stretching tight calf muscles. See a picture of a calf stretch exercise. Stand about 1 ft (30 cm) from a wall and place the palms of both hands against the wall at chest level. Step back with one foot, keeping that leg straight at the knee, and both feet flat on the...

  • Prayer is part of the world's oldest faith traditions and cultures. For many people around the world, prayer has a place in their daily lives. It is how they connect with God, a higher power, inner strength, or spiritual energy. Prayer can be a...

  • What is traveler's diarrhea? Traveler's diarrhea is a common medical problem for people traveling from developed, industrialized countries to developing areas of the world. High-risk areas for traveler's diarrhea include developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Low-risk areas...

  • Losing weight safely means balancing protein, fat, and carbohydrate with every meal and snack. You'll feel fuller longer as your body takes its time digesting the food. There is no perfect method for weight loss, but it helps to have a guide. Reduce...

  • Emotional eating means that you eat for reasons other than hunger. You may eat because you're sad, depressed, stressed, or lonely. Or you may use food as a reward. Food can be soothing and distract you from what's really bothering you. If you are an...

  • Keep a journal to record your eating patterns. It might look like this: Time Food/Amount Hunger (1–10)* Place Feelings *The 1 to 10 scale goes from least full to most full. So "1" means you're extremely hungry or starving, and "10" means you're so...

  • It is important to remove the stinger as quickly as possible after a sting. Even a delay of a second or two in removing the stinger is likely to increase the amount of venom you receive. In less than 20 seconds after a sting, 90% of the venom is...

  • How much hair loss is common? Everyone loses some hair every day. Losing up to 100 hairs a day is normal. But if hair loss runs in your family, you could lose a lot more hair. With this kind of hair loss, you may end up with bald spots if you are a man. If you are a woman, you may find that the hair on the top of your...

  • You may have started smoking to fit in with your friends. Maybe your parents smoke or your brother chews. Whatever the reason you began using tobacco, there are lots more reasons to stop: Smoking is much more addictive than you may believe. You may...

  • If you are a woman who smokes and you are thinking about getting pregnant or are pregnant, now is a good time to quit smoking. Women who smoke may have a harder time getting pregnant. Women who smoke are more likely to have the following...

  • Nicotine replacement therapies are helpful for people who quit smoking. They are available in several forms, such as patches, gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, and inhalers. All forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) work equally well. But talk with your doctor about what products might be best for you and what...

  • You chew nicotine gum as a way to help yourself quit using tobacco. The gum contains nicotine and feels and looks like chewing gum. When you chew the gum, the nicotine begins to slowly release into your mouth. Then you hold the gum in your mouth between your cheek and gums. Cigarette smoke passes nicotine almost...

  • Your heart normally beats in a regular rhythm and rate that is just right for the work your body is doing at any moment. The usual resting heart rate for adults is between 50 to 100 beats per minute. Children have naturally higher normal heart rates...

  • 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): _______________________________________...

  • While most people with schizophrenia are not violent, violence is one of the reasons someone who has schizophrenia may need hospitalization. It is a way to protect the person or those around him or her until the delusions or hallucinations often...

  • If emergency care is not needed, the following steps will protect the wound and protect you from another person's blood. Before you try to stop the bleeding: Wash your hands well with soap and water, if available. Put on medical gloves, if available, before applying pressure to the wound. If gloves are...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Guides through decision to have a PSA test to check for prostate cancer. Includes what PSA results tell you and what they do not. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • What are infertility tests? Infertility tests are done to help find out why a woman cannot become pregnant. The tests help find whether the problem is with the man, the woman, or both. Tests usually include a physical exam, semen analysis, blood tests, and special procedures. Should I be tested? Before you have...

  • Guides through decision to use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medicine for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Lists home remedies to try for PMS before SSRI. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Foot odor is common when you wear shoes that don't "breathe." Usually, if you take off your shoes, wash your feet, and put on clean socks, the odor goes away. Occasionally the problem continues despite your efforts to get rid of the odor. Persistent...

  • As children learn to deal with frustration, fear, and anger, breath-holding spells become less frequent. Parents may be able to prevent some spells by seeing that their child gets plenty of rest and that he or she feels secure. Some ways to help...

  • Time-out is a technique used to teach young children how to control their behavior. Time-out is an opportunity for the child to calm down or regain control of his or her behavior. If your child has trouble sharing a toy, you may even decide to put...

  • What is child care? Child care is short-term care by someone other than a parent. There are two basic types of child care: individual and group. Individual providers care for only your child or children. The provider may be a family member or friend, a nanny, an au pair, or a babysitter...

  • Worry and anxiety can develop after a major loss. Anxiety is a general feeling of tenseness or uneasiness. You may feel generally anxious (called free-floating anxiety). Anxiety can cause physical symptoms, such as an upset stomach or a headache. Anxiety can also cause you to act in ways that are unusual for you, such...

  • It is common to feel some kind of guilt or regret after losing a loved one, an opportunity, or a valued way of life. If you find yourself feeling guilty about a past action or inaction, set aside time to think about your feelings and work through...

  • After a major loss, you may feel insecure and unsure about yourself. Maintaining relationships may be a struggle at this time. You may have a difficult time making decisions, paying attention to what others are saying, or taking care of your personal responsibilities. Later, you may not remember some of the events...

  • Most pregnant women have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), especially heartburn, at some point. These symptoms may start at any time during a pregnancy. And they often get worse throughout the pregnancy. Heartburn is common when you are pregnant. That's because hormones cause the digestive system to...

  • Emotional development Consider your child's age and emotional development so that you can explain loss and death in a way that he or she will understand. Children younger than 2 years of age cannot express in words what is going on in their lives. You can reassure the child by holding and cuddling him...

  • A major loss can make you question your beliefs. Sadness, anger, guilt, hopelessness—all these emotions can make you question everything you once believed about life, death, and suffering. Some people are able to find comfort, courage, and hope from their beliefs. But if you're like a lot of people, you just feel...

  • Tips to prevent foot cramps include the following: Take a warm bath and do some stretching exercises before you go to bed if cramps wake you at night. Avoid pointing your toes while you stretch. Try not to sleep with your toes pointed. Keep your...

  • Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention to help you feel calm and give you a clear awareness about your life. Eastern philosophies have recognized the health benefits of meditation for thousands of years. Meditation is now widely...

  • Before taking your child to a doctor for breath-holding spells, write down what typically happens. These descriptions will help you to give your child's doctor accurate information to make an initial diagnosis. Try to observe and record what happens...

  • Cryosurgery is the process of destroying a skin cancer (lesion) by freezing it with liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the lesion using a cotton applicator stick or an aerosol spray. The skin may first be numbed with a local anesthetic. The liquid nitrogen is applied or sprayed onto the cancer and the...

  • Covers surgery to replace ends of both bones in a damaged joint to create new joint surfaces. Includes slideshow on hip replacement. Looks at why it is done and how well it works. Discusses what to expect after surgery and living with a hip replacement.

  • 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...

  • You can gently encourage someone who smokes to quit. Think of your comments about smoking as only one event that moves that person toward quitting. Start any discussion of quitting in a gentle way. Let the person know why you want him or her to...

  • If you smoke, your chance of dying from a heart attack is 2 to 3 times greater than that of a person who does not smoke. About 1 out of 4 heart attacks is believed to be directly related to smoking. Smoking is a much more important risk factor for a...

  • 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...

  • Cigars and pipe tobacco are not as addictive or as harmful as cigarettes. But they still carry their own health risks. Consider that: People who smoke cigars daily are up to 4 times more likely to develop lung cancer than people who do not smoke....

  • Smokeless tobacco products include chewing tobacco and snuff. These products are less harmful than smoking cigarettes. But they are just as addictive as cigarettes and do have serious health risks. Smokeless tobacco causes the following health...

  • A nicotine inhaler looks like a cigarette. It has a cartridge that contains nicotine. You inhale, and nicotine vapor is absorbed into your mouth and throat area. You don't absorb the nicotine into your lungs like you do with a cigarette. As a result, you don't get the same "hit" of nicotine as with...

  • If you are at risk for low blood sugar levels because of diabetes or some other health condition, you need to keep with you at all times some type of food that can quickly raise your blood sugar level. Eating quick-sugar food puts glucose into your bloodstream in about 5 minutes. Glucose or sucrose is the best choice...

  • 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...

  • When you quit smoking, you'll reap many physical benefits. Your taste buds will come back to life. Your sense of smell will improve. Your voice may improve as irritation of the voice box (larynx) from cigarette smoke is reduced. Your teeth will become whiter (less yellow). Your hair and breath will no longer smell...

  • If you are having ongoing sleep problems, consider whether you may be under a lot of stress. Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but an increase in stress can cause physical and emotional problems. Symptoms of stress include: Problems sleeping or a change in your sleep pattern. Headache, stiff neck, or nagging...

  • Some unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking result from picking a time when it is harder to quit. If your life is hectic, you may feel there will never be a good time to quit. In that case, pick a time to quit, and do what you can to make your life...

  • Hair transplant surgery involves moving scalp hair and hair follicles from an area with a lot of hair to an area with thinning hair or baldness. This technique can produce a natural look on the forehead, and a natural, dense look on the top of the head. The follicles and hair are removed from one part of the head with...

  • Ask yourself some questions to see whether you smoke to relieve tension, irritability, and stress or to improve your mood. Does smoking a cigarette automatically come to mind when you are frustrated, angry, or sad? Does smoking a cigarette calm you when you are upset? Do you smoke more cigarettes when you are under...

  • 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...

  • Sadness and yearning for a loved one, an object, or a way of life you have lost are the most common and expected feelings that occur after any loss. Probably the best thing you can do to cope with your sadness and yearning is to talk about how you...

  • Active listening is a dynamic process that includes: Paying attention to what another person is saying. Thinking about what the person has just said. Responding in a way that lets the person know that you understood what he or she was trying to say. Hearing is different from listening...

  • Hyperactivity refers to inappropriate or excessive activity for a person's age or situation. Hyperactivity is not always a continuous behavior, as is often assumed. A person who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with hyperactivity...

  • Impulsivity Impulsivity refers to acting without thinking first. Impulsivity in a person who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly likely to continue into adulthood. People with symptoms of impulsivity often: Are impatient...

  • What is molluscum contagiosum? Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection that causes small pearly or flesh-colored bumps. The bumps may be clear, and the center often is indented. The infection is caused by a virus. The virus is easily spread but is not harmful. What are the symptoms? The bumps are round with a...

  • Your waist size can be an important measure of health. Waist circumference Waist circumference is an indirect indicator of intra-abdominal fat tissue, often called visceral fat. A large waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and...

  • 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...

  • Grief counseling is short term and focuses on working through the grieving process related to a major loss. Grief counseling is also called bereavement counseling. The term "bereavement" usually is used only when referring to the loss of a person through death. Grief counseling typically has four components...

  • The loss of someone special translates into many separate losses in a person's life. Multiple losses occur when a person loses: A partner. Loss of a partner usually also means the loss of a constant companion. Loss of a partner can also cause financial hardship, and sometimes a loss of standing or...

  • Know what is normal for your teen's age group. As teens grow and develop, they change the way they think about and express grief. Although each teen is different, there are some expected changes in thinking that occur during the early, middle, and late teenage years. Listen and watch for opportunities. If you listen...

  • Virtual reality therapy is the use of computer-produced situations to make you believe and feel as though you are actually in a different place and situation. You may wear a helmet or goggles that contain a small video screen through which you see computer-produced images. When you move your head, the images on the...

  • Smoking may be a big part of your social life. Do you automatically smoke when you are around someone who is smoking? Do certain people, places, or things seem to make you want to smoke? Do your friends smoke? Friends care about one another, support...

  • Covers counting carbohydrates for people with type 2 diabetes who do not take insulin. Explains carb counting to manage blood sugar levels. Also explains how to count them.

  • There is no definite point in time or a list of symptoms that define unresolved grief. Unresolved grief lasts longer than usual for a person's social circle or cultural background. It may also be used to describe grief that does not go away or...

  • 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...

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an active type of counseling. Sessions usually are held once a week for as long as you need to master new skills. Individual sessions last 1 hour, and group sessions may be longer. During cognitive-behavioral therapy for eating disorders, you learn: About your illness, its symptoms...

  • Exercise is about more than keeping in shape. It also can help with your emotional and mental health. Exercise can help you improve your self-esteem, keep your mind off problems, and give you a sense of control. In general, people who are fit have...

  • 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...

  • Tracking your smoking can be helpful both while you prepare to quit and after you quit. Use it to record information about your smoking behavior, such as: Your list of reasons to quit. Your smoking triggers, which are those times, places, and...

  • Reduced smoking is a conscious change in the amount you smoke. It can prepare you to quit smoking at a later date, even if the quit date doesn't come for a long time. Reduced smoking has some limitations, and it should not be a goal itself, because...

  • Little Leaguer's elbow occurs in young baseball players who throw the ball too hard or too often (for example, more than 80 times twice a week). The growing part of the elbow, called the growth center (physis), widens and enlarges a part of the...

  • Bursitis is an inflammation of small sacs of fluid (bursae) that help joints move smoothly. Olecranon bursitis, which affects the olecranon bursa at the back of the elbow, is sometimes called Popeye elbow. This is because the bump that develops at...

  • Describes ketogenic diet and why it is used. Covers what to expect after treatment with diet as well as how well diet works. Lists risk factors and provides consideration points when using this treatment. Describes other special diets.

  • Home remedies may help to relieve the pain of an insect bite. While they haven't been proven scientifically, many people report relief. You can try one or more and see whether they help you. Apply calamine lotion, underarm deodorant, or witch hazel...

  • 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...

  • Thyroid hormones help regulate the way the body uses energy. You need thyroid hormone replacement when you do not have enough thyroid hormones in your blood (hypothyroidism). Depending on the cause of your hypothyroidism, you may need to take...

  • Night eating syndrome is a condition in which people eat large amounts of food after the evening meal, often waking up during the night to eat. People with this condition may delay their first meal of the day for many hours. Experts still do not...

  • Gas, burping, or bloating is common after you swallow air, eat foods that cause gas, or drink carbonated beverages. This is normal and usually can be helped by making some simple changes. The amount of gas that different foods cause varies from person to person. Examples of gas-producing foods are: Peas, lentils, and...

  • Discusses how to deal with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) when you have gestational diabetes (diabetes that developed during pregnancy). Covers symptoms and complications of hypoglycemia. Offers tips on preventing and managing low blood sugar emergencies.

  • 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...

  • Guides you through the decision to use hormone therapy (HT) for menopause symptoms. Explains what menopause is and what to expect. Lists risks and benefits of HT and other treatments to try. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • You may choose to wait until your child is a toddler (ages 1 to 2 years) or older to wean him or her from the breast. You may feel that your toddler isn't ready for weaning until later or that you both aren't ready. You may want to initiate it or just let your child stop breastfeeding on his or her own (self-wean)...

  • Sometimes a mother wants to stop breastfeeding, but her baby shows signs of wanting to continue. If possible, continue breastfeeding a while longer. If this is not possible, the following suggestions may help you: Offer breast milk pumped from your...

  • Some babies grow attached to the bottle and do not want to give it up. Here are some common behaviors and suggestions on how to deal with them. Your baby always wants to have a bottle in his or her mouth. Do not let your baby crawl, walk around, or...

  • Many of the tips for weaning babies from bottle-feeding can be used for toddlers (ages 1 to 2). Here are some suggestions unique to toddlers: Do not allow a toddler to carry the bottle around. This can help prevent injuries if your toddler falls and...

  • Guides you through treatment choices for lumbar spinal stenosis. Covers tests used to diagnose and guide treatment. Discusses treatment with medicines, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, or surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The reaction that you have to a jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war sting depends on many things. The potency of the venom changes with the type of jellyfish and also is stronger during some seasons than in others. Other things that affect the...

  • Older adults often have many major losses within a short period of time. For example, an older adult who loses a partner may suffer many losses, including financial security, his or her best friend, and social contacts. The natural aging process brings many losses, such as loss of independence and physical strength...

  • 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...

  • Smoking can gradually and permanently damage blood vessels throughout the body, including those that carry blood to the penis. This can make it difficult to get or maintain an erection (impotence). Quitting smoking may help prevent new damage from...

  • If you are like most smokers, you know that smoking is not good for you. But what you may not know is that the smoke from your cigarettes (secondhand smoke) also puts your loved ones' health at risk. Because of secondhand smoke, spouses and children...

  • If your child has epilepsy, there are many ways to lower his or her risk of injury and avoid embarrassment sometimes caused by seizures: Use waterproof pads on cribs and beds, and use padded side rails on your older child's bed. But don't use sleep...

  • Use the following measures to reduce the chance of flea bites: Treat animals for fleas. Do not let pets sleep on your bed. Vacuum rugs daily. You may need to exterminate the house or kennel area if infested with fleas. You may need to contact a...

  • To avoid bites from spiders: Wear gloves if working in an area where spiders are likely to live. Avoid wood or rock piles and dark areas where spiders live. Look for spiders in low-lying webs in garages, in barbecue grills, around swimming pools,...

  • Discusses reasons to have or not have surgery or a procedure for varicose veins. Includes info on sclerotherapy, laser treatment, microphlebectomy, and radiofrequency closure. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Covers surgery to replace the ends of bones in a damaged joint. Includes slideshow on knee replacement. Looks at why surgery is done, risks, and how well it works. Discusses what to expect after surgery and living with a knee replacement.

  • A menstrual diary is a helpful tool for better understanding your premenstrual symptoms and then deciding how to treat them. Regardless of whether you have full-blown, diagnosable premenstrual syndrome (PMS), your menstrual diary can help you plan ahead for, prevent, and better cope with your premenstrual symptoms. You...

  • Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys lose their ability to function. To treat kidney failure effectively, it is important to know whether kidney disease has developed suddenly (acute) or over the long term (chronic). Many conditions, diseases, and...

  • There are several types of slow heart rates ( bradycardias or bradyarrhythmias). Each type carries a specific risk of complications and treatment options. Some of the types are described here. Sinus bradycardia When a person has sinus bradycardia, the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute. This slow...

  • Feeding a baby who has cleft palate can be a challenge. Your baby may have a problem making a tight seal between his or her mouth and the nipple. But with a little preparation, you can successfully feed your baby with breast milk or formula. A...

  • Guides through decision to have your child have surgery for scoliosis. Discusses curves of the spine and when surgery is normally the best choice for treatment. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about spinal stenosis of the lower back, also known as the lumbar area. If you need information on spinal stenosis of the neck, see the topic Cervical Spinal Stenosis. What is lumbar spinal stenosis? Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back...

  • Grief is a normal and healthy reaction that occurs when you lose someone or something important. Although it is possible to delay or postpone grieving, it is not possible to avoid grieving altogether. Grief will subside over time. However, the grieving process does not happen in a step-by-step or orderly fashion. Give...

  • Children see loss and death in different ways as they grow and develop. Tailor your help according to your child's age and emotional development. How you learned to deal with loss will affect how you help your child. Think about what helped you when you lost something as a child. Don't try to keep grieving a private...

  • 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...

  • Discusses healthy weight and why it is important. Covers the main steps to reaching healthy weight. Discusses difficulties of losing weight. Covers nutrition, lifestyle changes, and physical activity. Offers tips for preparing for changes.

  • 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...

  • Red yeast rice is a product that is made by fermenting red rice with a certain type of yeast. Red yeast rice is also known as Cholestin, Hypocol, Xuezhikang, or Zhitai. Red yeast rice supplements are not the same as red yeast rice that is sold in Chinese grocery stores. Red yeast rice has been used in alternative...

  • 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...

  • The uroflowmetry test measures the rate of urine flow during urination. Results are usually given in milliliters per second (mL/sec). This test is sometimes used to evaluate the impact benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has on urine flow or to...

  • Constipation occurs when stools become hard and are difficult to pass. A child may cry because he or she is constipated. A crying episode usually occurs while the child is trying to pass a stool and normally will stop when the stool is passed. Some parents are overly concerned about how often their child has a bowel...

  • Many caregivers use infant massage to relax and promote the emotional bond with their baby. It can help relax your baby, prevent crying, and soothe and comfort your crying baby. Many hospitals and child care centers provide classes on infant...

  • 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...

  • Infantile spasms (West syndrome) are muscle spasms that affect a child's head, torso, and limbs. Infantile spasms usually begin before the age of 6 months. Most children with infantile spasms have below-average intelligence. More than half have...

  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe form of childhood epilepsy that causes frequent seizures. Several types of seizures are usually present at the same time, including atonic or tonic seizures. These seizures can cause injury. Lennox-Gastaut...

  • A rubber (aspirating) bulb can be used to remove mucus from a baby's nose or mouth when a cold or allergies make it hard for the baby to eat or sleep. It is best to use the rubber bulb to clean the baby's nose before feedings and before the baby...

  • Tape occlusion is an inexpensive method of wart removal that involves covering the wart with tape. It is often called the "duct tape" method. Cut a piece of duct tape as close to the size of the wart as possible. Leave the tape in place for 6 days....

  • A vaginal yeast infection is thought to be recurrent when: You have had four or more infections within 1 year. The infections have caused symptoms. The infections are not related to the use of antibiotics. If you have a recurrent vaginal yeast...

  • Everyone gets angry from time to time. Anger and arguments are normal parts of healthy relationships. But anger that leads to threats, hitting, or hurting someone is not normal or healthy. This is a form of abuse. Physical, verbal, or sexual abuse is not okay in any relationship. When it occurs between spouses or...

  • Discusses diarrhea in those 11 and younger. Covers causes such as infection or inflammatory bowel disease. Offers home treatment tips. Discusses signs of dehydration. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses diarrhea in older children and adults. Covers causes and symptoms such as abdominal pain and black or bloody stools. Offers home treatment tips. Discusses signs of dehydration. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Diaper rash (diaper dermatitis) is a skin problem caused by the skin staying wet, rubbing from the diaper, and contact with chemicals in the urine and stool. The skin may look red, raw, scalded, or burned. While a diaper rash is uncomfortable, generally it is not a serious problem. Diaper rash is the most common skin...

  • Dizziness is a word that is often used to describe two different feelings. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel dizzy," because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the list of possible problems. Lightheadedness is a feeling that you are about to faint or "pass out."...

  • Covers when feelings of sadness or anxiety may indicate need for treatment for depression. Offers tips to help with depression. Explains emergency symptoms, like talk about suicide. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Ear pain in children may be a sign of an infection in the space behind the eardrum ( middle ear). Ear infections (otitis media) most commonly occur when cold symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose and a cough, have been present for a few days. An...

  • Ear problems may be caused by many different health problems. In children, ear pain is more likely to be a symptom of an inflammation, infection, or fluid buildup in the external or middle ear. But ear pain at any age may be a symptom of: Infection of the middle ear ( acute otitis media). Inflammation or infection of...

  • Earwax is a naturally produced substance that protects the ear canal. It is a mixture of skin, sweat, hair, and debris (such as shampoo and dirt) held together with a fluid secreted by glands inside the ear canal (ceruminous glands). The ear canals are self-cleaning. Earwax helps filter dust, keeps the ears clean, 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...

  • 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...

  • Covers common causes of elbow injuries. Discusses injuries caused by sudden injury and those caused by overuse. Discusses treatment options. Offers interactive tool to help you decide when to see a doctor. Covers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Looks at conditions, such as gout, pinched nerve, bursitis, tennis elbow, and golfer's elbow, that may cause elbow problems. Offers interactive tool to help you decide when to see the doctor. Covers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • It's common for a speck of dirt to get blown into your eye, for soap to wash into your eye, or for you to accidentally bump your eye. For these types of minor eye injuries, home treatment is usually all that is needed. See a picture of the eye. Some...

  • Many people have minor eye problems, such as eyestrain, irritated eyes, or itchy, scaly eyelids (blepharitis). These problems may be ongoing (chronic) but usually aren't serious. Home treatment can relieve the symptoms of many minor eye problems....

  • At one time or another, everyone has had a minor facial injury that caused pain, swelling, or bruising. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for mild bumps or bruises. Causes of facial injuries Facial injuries most commonly occur during: Sports or recreational activities, such as ice hockey, basketball...

  • Facial problems can be caused by a minor problem or a serious condition. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, or facial weakness or numbness. You may feel these symptoms in your teeth, jaw, tongue, ear, sinuses, eyes, salivary glands, blood vessels,...

  • Discusses fever seizures (also called fever convulsions) caused by a rapid rise in body temperature in a short period of time. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to seek care.

  • Discusses fevers in children age 11 and younger. Includes info on temperatures considered normal, mild fever, or high fever. Offers home treatment tips to reduce fever. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses fevers in those age 12 and older. Includes info on temperatures considered normal, mild fever, or high fever. Covers causes of fever and offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to see a doctor.

  • Discusses common toe, foot, and ankle injuries. Covers home treatment and basic foot care. Offers injury prevention tips.

  • Gas (flatus), burping, and bloating are all normal conditions. Gas is made in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. Gas and burping may sometimes be embarrassing. Bloating, which is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, can make you uncomfortable. Although many people think that they pass...

  • Discusses groin problems and injuries. Looks at acute injuries, hernias, rashes, and other groin problems in children. Covers signs and symptoms. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Covers emergencies such as severe pain and signs of shock.

  • Details types of injuries to the fingers, hands, and wrists. Discusses possible emergency situations. Includes worksheet to help you decide when to seek care. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Covers finger, hand, and wrist problems caused by medical conditions and overuse. Offers symptom check list. Includes worksheet to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Looks at common causes of minor and serious head injuries. Discusses possible head injury emergencies. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Provides overview of head injuries in those age 3 and younger. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to see doctor. Discusses emergency symptoms and when to seek care. Offers prevention tips.

  • Provides info on common types of headaches and their causes. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Covers when a headache is an emergency.

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

  • A hip injury and 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...

  • 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...

  • Covers heartburn and when symptoms may be caused by a more serious problem like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Discusses emergencies. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses heat-related illnesses. Looks at heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash, and dehydration. Covers signs and symptoms. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Covers emergency first aid treatment.

  • Covers types of coronary bypass surgeries, also called CABG. Includes minimally invasive surgeries. Links to slideshow of CABG. Looks at when surgery is done. Describes how surgery is done, recovery time, and risks.

  • Discusses laparoscopy to diagnose and remove mild to moderate endometriosis. Covers why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Includes how well laparoscopic surgery works and possible risks. Discusses infertility.

  • Covers procedure, which is also called percutaneous coronary intervention, to widen narrow coronary arteries for stable angina and heart attack. Links to a slideshow of angioplasty. Describes use of stent and balloon to open artery. Explains why it's done and when it's not done. Includes how well it works, risks, and...

  • Most medical professionals recommend letting a baby eat on demand. But during the first few days of breastfeeding, be sure to awaken your baby for feedings about every 2 hours. This will help to get your milk supply going. To make the transition...

  • Discusses endometriosis, a problem where a type of tissue grows outside the uterus. Covers symptoms like pelvic pain, severe menstrual cramps, infertility, and painful sex. Discusses hysterectomy and laparoscopy.

  • Most infants lose up to 10% of their birth weight in the first week. A baby's weight decreases from the normal loss of fluid, urine, and stool. Babies also get few calories from early breastfeeding patterns. Their bodies have special fat stores for...

  • Pain during breastfeeding is a sign of a problem and should not be ignored. Although sore or tender nipples are common during the first few days of breastfeeding, it should improve. Normal soreness or pain usually occurs for about a minute when the baby first latches on to the breast. Pain that is severe or continuous...

  • What is fifth disease? Fifth disease is a very common childhood illness. Adults can get it too. It is sometimes called slapped-cheek disease because of the rash that some people get on the face. You spread the disease by coughing and sneezing. Fifth disease is usually a mild illness that lasts a few weeks. It...

  • Cryotherapy (cryosurgery) destroys genital warts by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. A doctor applies liquid nitrogen to and around the warts. First, the tissue is frozen with liquid nitrogen. Then, the tissue is allowed to thaw. The tissue is frozen again, if needed. The time of application varies by the doctor...

  • A laser can be used to destroy genital warts. Laser surgery may be done in a doctor's office or clinic, a hospital, or an outpatient surgery center. Local or general anesthetic may be used depending on the number of warts to be removed or the size of the area to be treated. For women, abnormal cervical cell changes...

  • Your doctor may take a sample, or biopsy, of abnormal tissue. The majority of warts do not require a biopsy. But a biopsy may be taken if genital warts cannot be easily identified with a physical exam or during a gynecology exam with a lighted magnifying instrument ( colposcopy). A microscopic exam on the biopsied...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is also called genital warts. Looks at treatment with medicines, lasers, surgery, or freezing. Covers prevention and shots of HPV vaccine.

  • What are rotator cuff disorders? The rotator cuff is a group of tough, flexible fibers ( tendons) and muscles in the shoulder. Rotator cuff disorders occur when tissues in the shoulder get irritated or damaged. Rotator cuff disorders include: Inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis) or of a bursa (...

  • Briefly describes the causes of dry skin. Covers home treatment options. Includes info to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers prevention tips.

  • You sometimes may notice that your milk does not flow easily, or let down, when you attempt to breastfeed or use a breast pump. Emotional stress, fatigue, anxiety, smoking, pain, or being cold are common causes of poor let-down. With poor let-down, you may not experience the tingling and leaking of milk that usually...

  • Tremor is an involuntary shaking movement that is repeated over and over. Although it may affect any part of the body, tremor most often affects the hands and head. Your voice may also shake. Sometimes the feet or torso may also shake. Essential...

  • If you have seizures that alter your awareness, consciousness, or muscle control, you may not have the legal right to drive. Laws vary from state to state, but in many cases you have to be seizure-free for at least 6 months to 1 year before you can...

  • Psychological issues may play a role in erection problems (erectile dysfunction). These issues may include depression, anxiety disorder, or another mental disorder. Men with these types of problems may benefit from therapy. Psychological treatment...

  • Sex therapy may be helpful for some men who have erection problems (erectile dysfunction). Sex therapy doesn't involve having sex with or in front of the sex therapist. Also, isn't long-term or open-ended therapy. It usually involves working with a...

  • Looking at events in your life, your relationships, and your feelings can often help you figure out things that may contribute to erection problems (erectile dysfunction). Review the following events and concerns. Did your erection problems begin at this time? If so, this may be a factor. Talk to your partner or others...

  • Talking with your partner may help your erection problems (erectile dysfunction). Couples often assume that they each know what the other person likes when it comes to sex. Sometimes they are wrong. Don't assume. Tell your partner what you do and...

  • Sensual exercises may help with erection problems (erectile dysfunction). Doing these with your partner may help you relax and focus more on the pleasurable touching of lovemaking than on the erection itself. Focusing too much on having an erection...

  • A vacuum device, which is sometimes used to treat erection problems (erectile dysfunction), is a tube made of plastic that fits around the penis. You coat the base of the penis with lubricant and insert the penis into the tube. Air is pumped out of the tube, which creates a vacuum. The vacuum helps blood flow into the...

  • Penile implants to treat erection problems (erectile dysfunction) are either semirigid (noninflatable) or inflatable cylinders that replace the spongy tissue (corpora cavernosum) inside the penis that fills with blood during an erection. The implants come in a variety of diameters and lengths. Noninflatable (or...

  • What are erection problems? A man has erection problems if he cannot get or keep an erection that is firm enough for him to have sex. Erection problems are also called erectile dysfunction or impotence. Most men have erection problems every now and then. This is normal. These problems can occur at any age. But they...

  • If you have preeclampsia or chronic kidney disease, your health professional may instruct you to check the protein content in your urine at home. Increased protein is a sign that your kidneys are being damaged. To test your urine on a daily basis,...

  • Includes causes and symptoms of heart disease. Looks at cholesterol, hypertension, and risk of heart attack. Covers diet, physical activity, and treatment with medicines, angioplasty, and bypass surgery. Includes how to help prevent heart disease.

  • Compression stockings help relieve the symptoms of varicose veins. They improve circulation and are a mainstay of treatment for varicose veins that are causing symptoms. (Mild varicose veins that are not causing symptoms don't need treatment.)...

  • Self-care, or home treatment, is recommended for most people with varicose veins. Home treatment can relieve symptoms and slow down the progress of varicose veins. For many people, home treatment is the only treatment they need. Exercise can help...

  • If you are considering a procedure or surgery for varicose veins, weigh the following before proceeding: How much do the exam and treatment cost, and how many treatments does the doctor think you will need? The cost of treatment can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on how many...

  • Discusses sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins. Includes info on spider veins. Looks at how well sclerotherapy works and what to expect after treatment. Discusses risks.

  • Vein ligation and stripping is a minor surgery. It is used to remove a damaged vein and prevent complications of vein damage. If several valves in a vein and the vein itself are heavily damaged, the vein (or the diseased part of the vein) is removed (stripped). An incision is made below the vein, a flexible instrument...

  • Discusses causes and symptoms of twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin called varicose veins. Covers treatment with self-care, sclerotherapy, endovenous laser, and radiofrequency. Includes vein surgery called ligation and stripping.

  • Discusses open surgery and endoscopic surgery to help relieve foot and heel pain from plantar fasciitis. Describes how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Covers how well it works and the risks.

  • Covers plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain. Discusses causes, including flat feet or tight Achilles tendon. Covers treatment to relieve pain and improve strength and flexibility. Discusses what increases your risk and offers prevention tips.

  • Physical activity is one of the best things you can do to help prevent a heart attack and stroke. Being active is one part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, not smoking, and staying at a healthy weight are other ways you can be...

  • Eating fish, at least 2 servings each week, is part of a heart-healthy diet. Fish oil supplements can lower triglycerides. But doctors do not agree about whether these supplements can help protect your heart. Fish and fish oil supplements do not...

  • Covers the kinds of cholesterol. Explains that cholesterol is one of many risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Covers treatment to lower risk of heart attack and stroke that includes healthy habits and statins.

  • 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...

  • There are two main types of migraine headache: Migraine without aura (common migraine). Most people with migraines have common migraines. This type of migraine causes a throbbing pain on one side of the head. The pain is moderate to severe and gets worse with normal physical activity. You also may have...

  • Discusses possible causes and symptoms of migraine headaches. Covers common warning signs like the aura, nausea, and light sensitivity. Discusses tests used to diagnose migraines. Offers home treatment advice and discusses treatment with medicine.

  • Discusses disorder of intestines that causes symptoms such as belly pain, cramping or bloating, and diarrhea or constipation. Covers treatment by avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, getting regular exercise, and managing stress. Includes medicines.

  • 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.

  • What is lead poisoning? Lead poisoning occurs when you absorb too much lead by breathing or swallowing a substance with lead in it, such as paint, dust, water, or food. Lead can damage almost every organ system. In children, too much lead in the body can cause lasting problems with growth and development. These...

  • 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...

  • Although most cases of influenza (flu) get better without causing other problems, complications sometimes develop. Possible complications of flu include: Pneumonia, which is an inflammation of the lungs. Primary influenza viral pneumonia develops...

  • All children Use the guidelines below to schedule routine vision checks and eye exams with your pediatrician or family doctor. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommend that all children have an eye exam during the newborn period and again at all routine...

  • Use the guidelines below to schedule routine vision checks and eye exams with an ophthalmologist or optometrist. If you know that you are not at risk for eye disease and you don't have signs of vision problems, have a complete eye exam to check for eye disease and vision problems: Every 5 to 10 years if you...

  • Many people choose not to have the influenza vaccine because of myths they believe about the disease or the vaccine. Myth: Influenza is a minor illness. Truth: Influenza and its complications caused from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year from 1976 to...

  • Discusses symptoms of the flu, which is caused by the influenza virus. Covers how it's spread and when people who have the flu are contagious. Discusses prevention, including getting the influenza vaccine. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Immunization against the hepatitis A virus (HAV) is recommended for anyone traveling to any country or area except: Australia. Canada. Japan. New Zealand. The United States. Western Europe and the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, and Finland). Talk to your doctor...

  • What is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury? An anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injury is a tear in one of the knee ligaments that joins the upper leg bone with the lower leg bone. The ACL keeps the knee stable. Injuries range from mild, such as a small tear, to severe, such as when the ligament tears...

  • A regular exercise program is an important part of anyone's lifestyle. If you have osteoarthritis, check with your health professional before beginning or continuing any exercise so that you can determine whether it is safe and effective for...

  • Capsaicin (Zostrix), available without a prescription, is a pain reliever that comes in a cream that you apply directly to your skin (topical analgesic). It has been found to relieve joint pain from osteoarthritis in some people when rubbed into the...

  • If osteoarthritis in the joints of the hands or feet is so severe that function is impossible (rare with osteoarthritis), surgery may allow some pain-free motion. In the hands, the goal is enough pain-free motion to allow the person to do basic...

  • For moderate to severe pain from osteoarthritis, try applying heat and cold to the affected joints. Experiment with these heat and cold techniques until you find what helps you most. Apply heat 2 or 3 times a day for 20 to 30 minutes, using a...

  • If you have osteoarthritis and your joints hurt when you do an activity, try other ways of doing it that do not cause pain. If you get tired when you do a task for long periods of time, break the task down into several smaller tasks, and rest between them. Avoid extended periods of standing, and try not to kneel or...

  • Covers surgery (osteotomy) to remove a wedge of bone near a damaged joint. Looks at why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Covers physical therapy. Includes info on how well it works and the risks of surgery.

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of osteoarthritis. Covers possible treatments with over-the-counter pain medicines and prescription medicines. Includes info on home treatment for joint pain, including using heat or ice, staying at a healthy weight, and exercise.

  • The CAGE questionnaire is used to test for alcohol use disorder in adults. It is not used to diagnose the disease but only to show whether a problem might exist. The CAGE questionnaire consists of four questions that relate to your use of alcohol: Have you ever felt that you ought to C ut down on your...

  • The physical signs of alcohol use disorder can be vague in the early stages of the disease. Some early symptoms include: Blackouts, which cause you to not remember what happened when you were drinking. Blackouts are not the same as passing out....

  • Talk to your doctor before you take any prescription or nonprescription medicine while breastfeeding. That's because some medicines can affect your breast milk. But many medicines are safe to use when you breastfeed. These include certain pain...

  • Women who have had breast implants or surgery to remove cysts or benign (noncancerous) lumps usually are able to breastfeed. Women who have had surgery to make their breasts smaller (breast reduction) may have trouble breastfeeding if the milk ducts...

  • If you are breastfeeding, many substances that you eat, drink, inhale, or inject end up in your breast milk and may harm your baby. Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco may reduce your milk production and inhibit the let-down reflex. It also may...

  • When visiting a treatment center to see whether the program offered there meets your and your family member's needs, ask the following questions. Are the counselors certified chemical dependency counselors (CDC)? Counselors who are certified have...

  • Some aspects of breastfeeding may come naturally. But learning some breastfeeding skills and techniques can help you be more successful. Before your baby is born, take classes, read books, and watch videos that demonstrate breastfeeding techniques....

  • Breastfeeding in the proper position will help your baby latch on and breastfeed correctly and make your experience more enjoyable. Also, when you are in a comfortable and relaxed position, let-down occurs more easily. You are more likely to drain...

  • Most mothers can produce enough milk to breastfeed two or more babies. If you have twins or triplets, breastfeeding becomes more physically and emotionally challenging. But with support and guidance, you can be successful. Breastfeeding fosters the...

  • Relactation is the attempt to start producing breast milk at a time when your body normally would not. A woman may try relactation when she: Adopts a baby and has breastfed before. Stopped breastfeeding her baby and now has changed her mind and...

  • A cesarean delivery may delay the start of breastfeeding. You may be sleepy from medicine or in pain from the surgery. Try breastfeeding your baby as soon as you are able. Ask whether your baby can be brought into the recovery room to be held and...

  • You usually can continue breastfeeding your child if you become pregnant. If you breastfeed while you are pregnant, be aware of the following issues: Breastfeeding during pregnancy is not recommended if you are at risk for preterm labor....

  • You can continue to breastfeed after you return to work. But it is important to think ahead about practical issues, such as where to store your pumped milk. Some issues to consider include: Employer support. Before your child is born, talk to your employer about your breastfeeding plans. Point out the...

  • If you are breastfeeding, your doctor may suggest that you eat more calories each day than otherwise recommended for a person of your height and weight. Be sure to ask your doctor about how much and what to eat if you: Are very active. Begin to lose weight rapidly. Are breastfeeding more than one...

  • Rest and sleep are important to breastfeeding women for keeping up their energy and their milk production. Avoid or limit caffeine, especially in the hours before bedtime. Caffeine can keep you awake. Use the evening hours for settling down. Avoid...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about alcohol use disorder in adults. For information about alcohol problems in teens or children, see the topic Teen Alcohol and Drug Use. What is alcohol use disorder? Alcohol use disorder means having unhealthy or dangerous drinking habits, such as drinking every day or...

  • Weight-bearing exercises, started in your youth and continued throughout your life, can help prevent osteoporosis. These exercises, such as walking, jogging, climbing, dancing, or lifting weights, help you build strong bones as a young person. And...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of osteoporosis in women. Looks at treatment with medicine. Includes steps to slow bone loss with exercise, eating healthy foods, and quitting smoking. Covers protecting yourself from falling to prevent broken bones.

  • Keep the following in mind as you start an exercise program or try to lose weight while you are breastfeeding. Exercise Being active helps promote weight loss, improves your energy level, and can help you relieve stress. Follow these tips when you start an exercise program while you are breastfeeding...

  • Breastfeeding can be used as a method of birth control, called the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). But three conditions must be met to ensure its effectiveness: Your baby must be 6 months of age or younger. After your baby is 6 months old, you are much more likely to become pregnant and need to use another...

  • Childbirth and breastfeeding may affect your sexual desire. Exhaustion, breast soreness, your baby's demands, and recovery from childbirth may reduce your interest in intimacy with your partner. But you may feel more comfortable having sex after the...

  • It is important to have breastfeeding support from your doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who care for you and your baby. Fortunately, most people involved in health care are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. Before having your baby,...

  • The levonorgestrel (LNg) intrauterine device (IUD) releases small amounts of levonorgestrel, a form of progesterone, into the uterus each day. This type of IUD reduces cramping and heavy menstrual bleeding. And it is a highly effective method of...

  • Insulin resistance refers to the inability of the body tissues to respond properly to insulin. Insulin lets sugar (glucose) enter body cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin also helps muscles, fat, and liver cells store sugar to be released...

  • 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...

  • A person's medical history and a physical exam are important parts of the evaluation when the person has symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. The doctor will ask questions during a medical history to assess a person's past and current...

  • Information on type 2 diabetes. Describes how insulin is made and used by the body. Describes symptoms and how type 2 is treated. Provides info on blood sugar (glucose) levels. Discusses obesity's role in type 2 diabetes. Discusses exercise and diet.

  • A health professional may evaluate the day-to-day functioning of a person who has Alzheimer's disease by asking questions and observing the person. This often is done informally during the medical history and physical exam. Sometimes the health professional may use a more formal functional status exam to evaluate a...

  • Most people who develop Alzheimer's disease do not have a history of the disease in their families. But if you do have a family history of Alzheimer's disease (one or more members of a family have had the disease), then your risk of getting it is...

  • You can help protect the person in your care by making the home safe. Pad sharp corners on furniture and countertops. Keep objects that are often used within easy reach. Install handrails around the toilet and in the shower. Use a tub mat to prevent slipping. Use a shower chair or bath bench when...

  • A person who is aware of losing some mental and functional abilities may be depressed or frightened and may feel like a burden to those who take care of him or her. Helping the person stay active and involved may make it easier for both of you. Take...

  • People who have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia are sometimes easily confused and may forget where they are, what day it is, and other common facts. The following tips will help avoid confusion. Use familiar objects, such as a favorite chair...

  • Getting a person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia to eat enough may be a challenge in some cases. Some of these tips may help you. If the person resists using a spoon or fork, don't force the issue. Some people may have vision or motor...

  • Communicating with a person who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can be very challenging. Changing your approach to the way you communicate may be helpful. First, make sure the person does not have a hearing or vision problem. Sometimes a...

  • Many people with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can become agitated or upset easily. It may be helpful to: Keep distractions to a minimum. Keep noise levels low and voices quiet. Develop simple daily routines for bathing, dressing, eating,...

  • Loss of bladder and bowel control (incontinence) can sometimes result from Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Several strategies may help you deal with this problem: Encourage the person to use the bathroom on a regular schedule, such as every...

  • Wandering can pose a major problem for the caregiver and can be dangerous for a person who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. Get a medical ID bracelet for the person so that you can be contacted if he or she wanders away. Try to figure...

  • What is Rh sensitization during pregnancy? If you are Rh-negative, your red blood cells do not have a marker called Rh factor on them. Rh-positive blood does have this marker. If your blood mixes with Rh-positive blood, your immune system will react to the Rh factor by making antibodies to destroy it. This immune...

  • Taking care of a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can be a difficult, stressful, and tiring job. It affects the caregiver's health and ability to rest and can be a source of stress and conflict for the entire household. The...

  • A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or another dementia often raises some important legal and financial issues for the future. The person with dementia should be involved in these decisions as long as he or she is able and willing to be involved....

  • One of the most difficult problems to deal with as a caregiver is the sometimes strange or disruptive behaviors that people with dementia develop. They may wander, do certain things repeatedly, or insist on unusual routines or activities. Some...

  • The decision to try medicine to treat behavior problems in Alzheimer's disease is different for each person. The decision weighs the risks and benefits of these medicines. Your doctor can help you decide. Medicines for behavior problems linked to dementia do not work very well for most people and may have serious risks...

  • Discusses a form of mental decline (also called dementia). Looks at possible causes. Covers symptoms like memory loss or changes in mood or behavior. Covers treatment with medicines to help with memory and thinking problems. Offers tips for caregivers.

  • An indirect Coombs test can be used to determine whether there are antibodies to the Rh factor in the mother's blood. In this case: A normal (negative) result means that the mother has not developed antibodies against the fetus's blood. A negative...

  • What is thrush? Thrush is a yeast infection that causes white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. Thrush is most common in babies and older adults, but it can occur at any age. Thrush in babies is usually not serious. What causes thrush? You get thrush when a yeast called Candida, normally found on the body...

  • Covers symptoms of PMS such as bloating, muscle aches, and mood swings. Discusses possible causes and what increases your risk. Covers treatment with lifestyle changes, antidepressants, or birth control pills. Covers surgery for severe form (PMDD).

  • A diaphragm is a birth control device that blocks sperm from fertilizing an egg. It is made of rubber and shaped like a dome. It fits inside a woman's vagina and covers the cervix (the opening of the uterus); a firm, flexible rim keeps it in place....

  • What is trichomoniasis? Trichomoniasis is an infection with a tiny parasite spread by sexual contact ( sexually transmitted infection (STI)). It is sometimes called a Trichomonas infection or trich (say "trick"). Both men and women can get a trich infection, but it is more commonly detected in women. Trich in pregnant...

  • Fetal blood sampling (FBS) is the collecting of fetal blood directly from the umbilical cord or fetus. The fetal blood is tested for signs of anemia and other blood problems. FBS is also known as cordocentesis or percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling. FBS is usually used when a Doppler ultrasound and/or a...

  • It's important to keep your son's penis clean whether he has been circumcised or not. Keeping your young son's penis clean may help prevent infections and other problems. As your son gets older, teach him how to wash and care for his penis. Cleaning a natural penis Do not force the foreskin back over...

  • A doctor diagnoses mild, or subclinical, hypothyroidism through a medical history and physical exam. If your doctor suspects that you have subclinical hypothyroidism, you will have lab tests to confirm the diagnosis. Subclinical hypothyroidism is...

  • Ear tubes are plastic and shaped like a hollow spool. Doctors suggest tubes for children who have repeat ear infections or when fluid stays behind the eardrum. A specialist ( otolaryngologist) places the tubes through a small surgical opening made in the eardrum (myringotomy or tympanostomy). The child is unconscious...

  • Covers hypothyroidism, which happens when the thyroid doesn't make enough thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) hormones. Includes causes like thyroiditis. Covers tests for TSH, T4, and T3. Also includes info on treatment with medicine such as levothyroxine.

  • What is cleft lip? Cleft lip is a treatable birth defect. It happens when the tissues of the upper jaw and nose don't join as expected during fetal development. This causes a split (cleft) in the lip. A cleft lip may be complete or incomplete. With either type, it may involve one or both sides of the upper lip...

  • What is chlamydia? Chlamydia (say "kluh-MID-ee-uh") is an infection spread through sexual contact. This infection infects the urethra in men. In women, it infects the urethra and the cervix and can spread to the reproductive organs. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Chlamydia does...

  • Graves' ophthalmopathy, also called thyroid eye disease, is an autoimmune disease that can occur in people with Graves' disease. In Graves' ophthalmopathy the tissues and muscles behind the eyes become swollen. The eyeballs may stick out farther...

  • 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...

  • Jaundice is a yellow tint to a newborn's skin and the white part of the eyes. It is a sign that there's too much bilirubin in the baby's blood. The word for having too much bilirubin in the blood is hyperbilirubinemia (say...

  • When you have COPD, especially if you have chronic bronchitis, you may sometimes have sudden attacks where your breathing and coughing symptoms suddenly get worse and stay that way. These attacks are called COPD exacerbations, or flare-ups. With treatment, many people recover and return to the same level of...

  • What is grief? Grief is a natural response to the loss of someone or something very important to you. The loss may cause sadness and may cause you to think of very little else besides the loss. The words sorrow and heartache are often used to describe feelings of grief. Anticipatory grief is grief that strikes in...

  • Social skills training helps the child or adult who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) be less aggressive and impulsive, manage anger, and behave in a more socially acceptable way. Techniques include: Coaching. Role-playing....

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) weakens the structure of the lung and may also damage the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lung. When these air sacs break down, larger airspaces known as bullae are formed. Bullae sometimes can become so...

  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is a protein normally found in the lungs and the bloodstream. It helps protect the lungs from the damage caused by inflammation that can lead to emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People whose...

  • Some of the misconceptions about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include the following: Myths and facts about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Myth Fact There is no such medical condition as ADHD. ADHD is a medical disorder, not a condition of the child's will. A child...

  • For many people, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) gets in the way of sex. Being out of breath makes things difficult. Just thinking about it can make you want to avoid sex. But it doesn't have to be like that. To start, think through...

  • Discusses attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which in the past was called attention deficit disorder (ADD). Covers symptoms including inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Discusses treatment with medicines like Ritalin, and behavior therapy.

  • What is tinea versicolor? Tinea versicolor (say "TIH-nee-uh VER-sih-kuh-ler") is a fungal infection that causes many small, flat spots on the skin. The spots can be flaky or mildly itchy. The many small spots may blend into large patchy areas, usually on the oily parts of the upper body like the chest and back. The...

  • Children with Down syndrome can learn to eat by themselves with your help and encouragement. Eating independently is a developmental milestone that involves the use of small muscles (fine motor skills), large muscles (gross motor skills), and...

  • As your child with Down syndrome enters puberty, grooming and hygiene become increasingly important. Your child may need to learn new habits to stay well groomed. Cleanliness is very important for proper socialization and acceptance by peers. Stress...

  • Children with Down syndrome have reduced muscle tone, which can delay development of their motor skills. Children with delays may roll over, sit up, pull up, stand, and walk later than other children their age. Encourage motor skill development...

  • Covers iron deficiency anemia. Explains role of iron in making hemoglobin, part of red blood cells. Covers causes and symptoms. Includes info on tests used to diagnose anemia. Discusses foods that may help prevent anemia. Covers treatment with medicines.

  • Children with Down syndrome usually have delayed speech and language development. Typically, these children have a much harder time learning to talk (expressive language) than with understanding what they hear (receptive language). On average,...

  • What is Down syndrome? Down syndrome is a set of physical and mental traits caused by a gene problem that happens before birth. Children who have Down syndrome tend to have certain features, such as a flat face and a short neck. They also have some degree of intellectual disability. This varies from person to person...

  • Most people recover from mononucleosis (mono) without any complications. But there are many possible complications of mono. These include: An enlarged spleen, which occurs in up to 75 out of 100 people who have mono. Red spots or rash,...

  • Radioactive iodine, given in a capsule or liquid form, is absorbed and concentrated by the thyroid gland. The treatment destroys thyroid tissue but does not harm other tissue in the body. See a picture of the thyroid gland. While radiation can cause thyroid cancer, treatment of hyperthyroidism with radioactive iodine...

  • Discusses mononucleosis (also called mono or the kissing disease) caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Covers symptoms including high fever, severe sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes (swollen glands), tonsils, and spleen. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • What is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of mental illness that causes repeated unwanted thoughts. To get rid of the thoughts, a person with OCD may also do the same tasks over and over. For example, you may fear that everything you touch has germs on it. So to ease...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. Includes info on bright light therapy and dawn simulation treatment. Discusses the use of melatonin, antidepressants, and counseling.

  • What is shaken baby syndrome? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your...

  • Spina bifida is a type of birth defect called a neural tube defect. It occurs when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) don't form properly around part of the baby's spinal cord. Spina bifida can be mild or severe. The mild form is the most common. It...

  • What are temper tantrums? If you have a young child, you probably know what temper tantrums are. Experts define them as sudden, unplanned displays of anger or other emotions. During a tantrum, children often whine, cry, or scream. They may also swing their arms and legs wildly or hold their breath. Anyone can have...

  • Is thumb-sucking normal? Thumb-sucking is normal in babies and young children. Most babies and toddlers suck their thumbs. They may also suck on their fingers, hands, or items such as pacifiers. Little by little, most children stop on their own at age 3 to 6 years. Why do babies suck their thumbs? Babies have a...

  • When should I start toilet training my child? Your child must be both physically and emotionally ready for toilet training. Most children are ready to start when they are between 22 and 30 months of age, but every child is different. Toilet training usually becomes a long and frustrating process if you try to start it...

  • What is folliculitis? Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles. Each hair on your body grows out of a tiny pouch called a follicle. You can have folliculitis on any part of your body that has hair. But it is most common on the beard area, arms, back, buttocks, and legs. What causes...

  • Discusses itchy skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into your skin and lay eggs. Covers rare crusted (Norwegian) scabies. Looks at treatment with prescription pills, creams, or lotions.

  • Having a sick child can be very tiring. Taking care of yourself is an important part of helping your child recover. Here are some things to try: Share the responsibility of care with your partner, relatives, or other support persons. Remember to...

  • What is respiratory syncytial virus infection? Respiratory syncytial virus infection, usually called RSV, is a lot like a bad cold. It causes the same symptoms. And like a cold, it is very common and very contagious. Most children have had it at least once by age 2. RSV is usually not something to worry about. But it...

  • What is social anxiety disorder? People with social anxiety disorder (or social phobia) are extremely anxious about what they will say or do in front of other people. This includes public speaking and day-to-day social situations. But it is more than just being shy or nervous before public speaking. The fear can begin...

  • 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...

  • Looks at surgery for ovarian cysts. Explains why surgery is done and how well it works. Discusses what to expect after surgery. Covers risk and points to consider when facing surgery for ovarian cysts. Includes questions for your doctor.

  • Discusses ways to relieve pain from menstrual cramps that usually start before or at the beginning of your period. Includes steps you can take such as applying heat on your belly or getting regular exercise. Covers over-the-counter medicines that can help.

  • What is Bell's palsy? Bell's palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop. The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This...

  • Chronic lung disease in an infant means that damaged tissue in the newborn's lungs is causing breathing and health problems. The lungs trap air or collapse, fill with fluid, and produce extra mucus. Most babies who have chronic lung disease survive....

  • What is craniosynostosis? Craniosynostosis (say "kray-nee-oh-sih-noh-STOH-sus") is a problem with the skull that causes a baby's head to be oddly shaped. In rare cases it causes pressure on the baby's brain, which can cause damage. It is also called craniostenosis. A baby's skull is not just one bowl-shaped...

  • 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 pyloric stenosis? Pyloric stenosis is a problem with a baby's stomach that causes forceful vomiting. It happens when the baby's pylorus, which connects the stomach and the small intestine, swells and thickens. This can keep food from moving into the intestine. A baby may get pyloric stenosis anytime between...

  • 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...

  • Looks at how and why ovarian cysts form. Covers mild and severe symptoms. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Discusses surgical removal of fibroids from uterus. Covers hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, and laparotomy. Looks at what to expect after surgery and how well it works. Explains possible risks. Discusses hysterectomy, infertility, and miscarriage.

  • Complications from ear infections are rare, but they can arise. Some problems that can occur include: Trouble hearing. Hearing problems are usually mild to moderate and are usually temporary. Long-lasting hearing loss is rare. But some children may...

  • Discusses Tay-Sachs disease, a genetic disorder in which little or no hex A enzyme is produced by the body. Discusses screening. Covers symptoms to watch for in babies and young children. Covers late-onset Tay-Sachs disease.

  • Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a problem that is present at birth. It happens when the tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth (lingual frenulum) is too short. This can limit the movement of the tongue. See a picture of tongue-tie....

  • What is Hirschsprung's disease? Hirschsprung's disease is a birth defect that affects the nerve cells in the large intestine. These nerve cells control the muscles that normally push food and waste through the large intestine. In babies who have Hirschsprung's disease, the muscles in the wall of the large intestine...

  • Discusses uterine fibroids (also called fibroid tumors, leiomyomas, or myomas), which are lumps that grow on your uterus. Covers treatment with myomectomy, hysterectomy, and uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).

  • Tympanocentesis is the removal of fluid from behind the eardrum. The doctor uses a special needle with a tube attached to collect the sample of fluid. A culture and sensitivity test is usually done on the sample of fluid. Before the test, your child may get medicine to help him or her relax. Or a doctor or nurse may...

  • Tympanometry tests the movement of the eardrum when an ear infection or other middle ear problem is suspected. A doctor places the tip of a handheld tool into the child's ear. The tool changes the air pressure inside the ear and produces a clear tone. Then the tool measures how the eardrum responds to the pressure and...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Looks at how treatment can help and steps you can take. Discusses most effective treatments—counseling and antidepressant medicines. Includes stories from others in their own words.

  • Is this topic for you? This topic covers infections of the middle ear, commonly called ear infections. For information on outer ear infections, see the topic Ear Canal Problems (Swimmer's Ear). For information on inner ear infections, see the topic Labyrinthitis. What is a middle ear infection? The middle ear is the...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of cluster headaches. Covers medicines and treatment that either help reduce frequency or severity of headaches or stop a headache after it has started.

  • Fitz-Hugh–Curtis syndrome occurs when pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) causes inflammation of the capsule covering the liver and the area around it. It causes pain in the upper right belly. This syndrome happens when bacteria enter the abdominal...

  • What is gonorrhea? Gonorrhea is an infection spread through sexual contact. In men, it most often infects the urethra. In women, it usually infects the urethra, cervix, or both. It also can infect the rectum, anus, throat, and pelvic organs. In rare cases, it can infect the eyes. Gonorrhea does not cause problems if...

  • 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...

  • Covers safer sex practices like abstinence, using condoms, watching for symptoms of STIs, and limiting number of sex partners you have. Includes list of questions to ask someone before having sex.

  • What is a male condom? Condoms can protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and they can be used to prevent pregnancy. A male condom is placed over a man's erect penis before sex. Condoms are also called "rubbers," "sheaths," or "skins." Condoms are made of latex (rubber), polyurethane, or...

  • It is important to think about the emotional well-being of the person with HIV you care for. Because every person's emotional needs are different, no single approach is best for everybody. Encourage the person to become involved in medical decisions...

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment to increase a person's blood oxygen level, which can prevent tissue death, promote healing, and help fight infection. This treatment involves a person being in an enclosed chamber while 100% oxygen is pumped in at high pressure. The purpose of oxygen therapy for the...

  • What is carbon monoxide poisoning? Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when you breathe too much carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a gas produced by burning any type of fuel—gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal. What makes this gas so dangerous is that when you breathe it, it replaces the oxygen in your blood...

  • What is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)? Sometimes a baby who seems healthy dies during sleep. This is called sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. In most cases, a parent or caregiver places the baby down to sleep and returns later to find the baby has died. It's no one's fault. SIDS can happen even when...

  • Vaginal intercourse can be continued as usual if your pregnancy is uncomplicated. Discuss any concerns or questions with your doctor. Sex during the first trimester will not cause any problems, such as a miscarriage. The fetus will not be harmed...

  • Even though you're not pregnant yet, you might already be thinking about which room to turn into the baby's room and how to decorate it. And you might be making lists of all the baby clothes and supplies that you'll need. But it's also a good time to take some steps to help yourself have a happy pregnancy and a healthy...

  • What is syphilis? Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. If it's not treated by a doctor, it can get worse over time and cause serious health problems. The infection can be active at times and not active at other times. When the infection is active, you...

  • Neurosyphilis refers to the infection of the brain and spinal cord by the syphilis bacteria. This can lead to destruction in many areas of the nervous system, causing loss of function of a person's arms or legs, loss of vision, and altered mental...

  • You can take measures to make your life easier in the days and weeks after childbirth (postpartum period). Accept help, seek help You may be exhausted from the delivery and from being up at night with your baby. Don't expect that you'll be able to keep the house spotless and do all the household...

  • Congenital syphilis occurs when a mother's syphilis goes untreated during pregnancy and is passed to the baby through the placenta. A baby can also become infected with syphilis during labor or delivery. The risk of infecting the baby is greatest...

  • If you have chronic pain, such as with fibromyalgia or complex regional pain syndrome, you may have a hard time sleeping or you may wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed. Some experts believe poor sleep can make pain worse. Getting a good night's...

  • Nondrug methods of relieving pain may be helpful for people who have fibromyalgia. These can include: Applying heating pads or taking warm baths or showers. Gentle massage of painful muscles. Regular exercise to help strengthen muscles, which will...

  • Discusses gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy). Discusses symptoms and how it's diagnosed. Covers treatment with healthy food choices, exercise, medicine and insulin to control blood sugar levels.

  • What is congenital hydrocephalus? Congenital hydrocephalus is a buildup of excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain at birth. The extra fluid can increase pressure in the baby's brain, causing brain damage and mental and physical problems. This condition is rare. Finding the condition early and treating it...

  • The different types of acne include: Newborn acne. About 20% of newborns develop mild acne. This may be because certain hormones are passed to them through the placenta by their mothers just before delivery. Or newborns may get acne because the stress of birth may cause the baby's body to release...

  • Benzoyl peroxide is a medicine you use to treat acne. It comes in different strengths in lotions, gels, soaps, and liquids. How does benzoyl peroxide treat acne? Benzoyl peroxide unclogs skin pores. It also helps stop bacteria from growing and...

  • Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid, mandelic acid, and glycolic acid (for example, Alpha Hydrox) are often used in products to treat acne. These products work by drying up whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples and causing the top layer of your...

  • Salicylic acid is an active ingredient in some nonprescription acne treatments. When you apply it to your skin, it dries up whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. It also causes the top layer of your skin to peel. Products that contain salicylic acid...

  • Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to treat severe acne or acne that is likely to leave scars. Antibiotics improve the look of your skin by killing bacteria that cause acne. This means you'll have fewer pimples and redness. Less acne means less...

  • Discusses acne, a skin problem. Lists symptoms, including pimples. Covers causes such as puberty, medicines, and conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome. Covers acne treatment for mild, moderate, and severe forms. Offers prevention tips.

  • You may wish to consider adoption as an alternative to treatment for infertility. Learning more about the tests, exams, success rates, and costs of infertility treatment may help you decide. Adoption provides people with an opportunity to raise and...

  • The basal body temperature (BBT) is a person's at-rest temperature. Women can track their BBT to find out when they are ovulating. With this time line, a woman can learn when she is most and least likely to become pregnant. When are you most likely to become pregnant? About 2 weeks before your period you...

  • Reproductive research and treatment raise many ethical and legal concerns. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has issued a number of statements about these issues. You can review these statements on its website at...

  • Looking for a cause of infertility can be a brief process or can become a financially, emotionally, and physically demanding succession of tests and procedures. Before you start infertility testing, take some time together to talk about how far each...

  • Infertility treatment has great potential for squandering some of your most precious resources—money, time, and peace of mind. Before you start infertility treatment, decide how much money, time, and emotional energy you can afford to spend on...

  • It can be hard to find out the cause of ovulation problems. Possible causes may include: Hormone imbalances. Most women with ovulation problems have hormone imbalances. An example of a condition that causes a hormone imbalance is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Other ovulation problems can start in the...

  • When considering whether to try medicine or hormone treatment for infertility, ask: Whether there are any possible long-term risks related to the proposed treatment. Whether you need to change your sexual activities during treatment. Your doctor may...

  • When thinking about an assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure, ask your doctor: For a step-by-step description of the procedure. Ask about any fertility medicines, daily blood testing, and egg harvesting. ART treatment is physically and...

  • Infertility is a major life crisis for many couples. It may affect self-esteem, body image, sexual identity, life goals, and sexual relations. When faced with the possibility or diagnosis of infertility, you may experience a broad range of emotions, including: Initial disbelief and denial followed by anger...

  • Problems with the fallopian tubes are a leading cause of infertility in women. Tubal blockage may be caused by: Past infection. This is most often a sexually transmitted infection. Sometimes it can be linked with a ruptured appendix. Tubal ligation...

  • Problems with a woman's uterus and/or cervix may be caused by many things. Causes include: Abnormalities of the uterus. These may have been present from birth. A past surgery or procedure, such as a cervical cone biopsy or a dilation and curettage...

  • An insemination procedure uses a thin, flexible tube (catheter) to put sperm into the woman's reproductive tract. For some couples with infertility problems, insemination can improve the chances of pregnancy. Donor sperm are used if the male partner...

  • Some infertile couples are affected by conditions that prevent the sperm and egg from traveling through a fallopian tube. (This is where fertilization and the first stage of cell division take place.) The following are assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures that are rarely used but may improve the chances of...

  • Looks at infertility. Includes info on various tests used for women and men to find out why a woman can't get pregnant. Covers treatments for men and women, including medicine to help a woman ovulate and procedures to increase a man's sperm count.

  • The Epley and Semont maneuvers are exercises used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). They are done with the assistance of a doctor or physical therapist. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed. When your head is firmly moved into different positions, the calcium crystal...

  • The Brandt-Daroff exercise is one of several exercises intended to speed up the compensation process and end the symptoms of vertigo. It often is prescribed for people who have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and sometimes for labyrinthitis. These exercises will not cure these conditions. But over time they...

  • Women with chronic high blood pressure require special medical care before, during, and after their pregnancies. Some blood pressure medicines are not recommended for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor if you take blood...

  • The test for Tay-Sachs disease measures the amount of an enzyme called hexosaminidase A (hex A) in the blood. Hex A breaks down fatty substances in the brain and nerves. Tay-Sachs is an inherited disease in which the body can't break down fatty substances as it should, so the fatty substances collect in the nerve cells...

  • Scratching chickenpox blisters can lead to skin infections, not to mention scarring. In rare cases, infected chickenpox lesions can lead to toxic shock syndrome. To keep children from scratching chickenpox blisters: Clean and closely trim your...

  • Discusses vaccine-preventable illness that causes itchy rash and red spots or blisters (pox) all over the body. Covers home treatment, including resting and taking medicines to reduce fever, itching. Includes info on shingles.

  • To help prevent or treat a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), you can try gentle jaw exercises. You can also try techniques that help you relax your jaw muscles. Try a gentle exercise to restore normal range of motion, improve flexibility, and...

  • If you have a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), you can try ice or heat to relieve your pain. Put either an ice pack or a warm, moist cloth on your jaw for 15 minutes several times a day. You can try switching back and forth between moist heat and cold. Gently open and close your mouth while you use the ice pack or...

  • Changing body mechanics can help you prevent or treat a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Maintain good posture. Slumping your shoulders or staying in positions in which your upper body is thrust forward (many people do this to relieve back pain)...

  • Moisture alarms are the most successful single treatment for bed-wetting. They work best for older children who can hear the alarm and wake themselves. If attempts to use a reward system (motivational therapy), drink most fluids in the...

  • You may be depressed if you have at least five of these symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, and one of the symptoms is either sadness or loss of interest. You feel sad or hopeless. You lose interest in or stop getting pleasure from most daily activities. You lose or gain a lot of weight because of changes in how hungry...

  • Swimmer's ear (otitis externa) is a painful inflammation and infection of the ear canal. It occurs when the protective film that covers the ear canal (lipid layer) is removed. This causes the ear canal to look red and swollen. The ear canal may be narrower than normal and is tender when the outside of the ear is gently...

  • Discusses swelling symptoms caused by collection of body fluid, tissue growth, or abnormal movement or position of tissue. Includes swelling caused by disease, allergic reaction, and circulation problems. Covers legs, feet, hands, and other body areas.

  • Electrocautery removes genital warts on the penis, vulva, or around the anus by burning them with a low-voltage electrified probe. Electrocautery is usually done in a doctor's office or a clinic. The injection of a numbing medicine ( local anesthetic) is usually used for pain control. Medicine that causes...

  • Visible genital warts on the penis or vagina or around the anus are removed by excision, which means cutting the warts off with a surgical knife (scalpel). Warts on the cervix may be removed by laser or loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP). The procedure is usually done in a doctor's office or clinic or an outpatient...

  • Motivational therapy for bed-wetting uses praise, encouragement, and rewards to help a child gain bladder control. It's about telling children that they have control of their bodies and encouraging them to take steps that bring about more and more...

  • Repeated hand and wrist movements, especially if they are done in awkward positions such as with the wrist bent forward or back, can cause swelling or thickening of tissues within the carpal tunnel. The swelling makes the carpal tunnel smaller and...

  • Try to avoid hand and wrist movements that can cause pain and other symptoms. Keep your wrists straight or only slightly bent. Avoid activities that bend or twist the wrists for long periods of time. Take frequent breaks from typing or other...

  • Provides info on hysterectomy, a surgical treatment for endometriosis, fibroids, or uterine cancer. Describes types of surgery such as vaginal, abdominal, supracervical hysterectomies, and LAVH. Covers risks. Discusses physical and emotional recovery.

  • What is bed-wetting? Bed-wetting is urination during sleep. Children learn bladder control at different ages. Children younger than 4 often wet their beds or clothes, because they can't yet control their bladder. But by age 5 or 6 most children can stay dry through the night. Bed-wetting is defined as a child age 5 or...

  • Discusses natural family planning or periodic abstinence as a form of birth control. Covers using one of six basic methods to either get pregnant or avoid getting pregnant. Covers how each method works and what could affect the method.

  • Secondary high blood pressure is high blood pressure that is caused by another disease or condition. It can also be caused by certain medicines. If your doctor can treat the cause of the high blood pressure, it might lower your blood pressure....

  • 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.

  • The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in your back are cushioned by round, flat discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. If they become damaged, they may bulge abnormally or...

  • Discectomy is surgery to remove lumbar (low back) herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord. It tends to be done as microdiscectomy, which uses a special microscope to view the disc and nerves. This larger view allows the surgeon to use a smaller cut (incision). And this causes less...

  • Keep a daily diary of all liquids taken in and all urine released, whether voluntary or involuntary. Your health professional may also call this a voiding log, bladder record, frequency-volume chart, incontinence chart, or voiding diary. The diary...

  • Kegel exercises make your pelvic floor muscles stronger. These muscles control your urine flow and help hold your pelvic organs in place. Doctors often prescribe Kegels for: Stress incontinence. This means leaking urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze, jog, or lift something heavy. Urge...

  • A bladder stress test simulates the accidental release of urine ( urinary incontinence) that may occur when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or exercise. A Bonney test is done as part of the bladder stress test, after the doctor verifies that urine is lost with coughing. It is similar to the bladder stress test except the...

  • Urodynamic tests for urinary incontinence are measurements taken to evaluate your bladder's function and efficiency. The actual tests done vary from person to person. Some urodynamic tests are relatively simple and can be done in a doctor's office. Other tests require expensive and sophisticated instruments to measure...

  • Retropubic suspension surgery is used to treat urinary incontinence by lifting the sagging bladder neck and urethra that have dropped abnormally low in the pelvic area. Retropubic suspension is abdominal surgery, where access to the bladder and urethra is gained by making an incision in the abdominal (belly) wall. This...

  • Several types of behavioral methods are used for treating urinary incontinence: bladder training, habit training, biofeedback, and pelvic muscle exercises. People who have incontinence due to physical or mental limitations ( functional incontinence) can try timed voiding and prompted voiding. Bladder training...

  • Electrical stimulation is used to treat urinary incontinence by sending a mild electric current to nerves in the lower back or the pelvic muscles that are involved in urination. You may be able to provide electrical stimulation therapy at home using a unit with a vaginal or anal electrode. Timing and duration of...

  • Absorbent products are items that absorb urine, such as adult diapers, plastic-coated underwear, pads, or panty liners that attach to underwear. Most commercially available items are disposable (such as Depend or Poise). Some absorbent cloths can be washed and reused. Drip collectors that fit over the penis are also...

  • Discusses urinary incontinence in women. Looks at types of incontinence, including stress and urge incontinence. Covers causes and symptoms. Discusses treatment with medicine or surgery. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • If you have symptoms of preterm labor, your doctor or nurse-midwife may examine you by feeling your cervix. If your contractions continue over a period of hours, you may be examined periodically to see whether your cervix is opening (dilating) or...

  • An ear exam is a thorough check of the ears. It is done to screen for ear problems, such as hearing loss, ear pain, discharge, lumps, or objects in the ear. An ear exam can find problems in the ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear. These problems may include infection, too much earwax, or an object like a bean or a bead...

  • Exercise helps lower high blood pressure, which is an important risk factor for stroke. Exercise can help you control other things that put you at risk, such as obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. It is important to exercise regularly. Do...

  • It is common for a person who has had a stroke to feel sad and become depressed about the disabilities caused by the stroke. Sometimes the injury to the brain from the stroke can cause depression. Depression is a serious condition that needs...

  • Some people who have a stroke suffer loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) after the stroke. But this is usually temporary. And it can have many causes, including infection, constipation, and the effects of medicines. If you have problems...

  • If you have a family member who has had a stroke, you may be concerned about how the stroke is going to affect your family's lifestyle. You may be concerned about finances and changes in family roles and responsibilities. Here are some ways to help...

  • Discusses carotid endarterectomy surgery to remove plaque buildup in the carotid arteries to prevent stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Includes info on how surgery can help prevent future strokes. Looks at long-term aspirin treatment.

  • Follow instructions from your physical therapist or other health professional for stretching and strengthening exercises. Stretching exercises are controlled stretches that prevent tennis elbow stiffness and tendon shortening. Gently bend, straighten, and rotate your wrist. If you have increasing...

  • Surgery for tennis elbow may involve: Cutting (releasing) the tendon. Removing inflamed tissue from the tendon. Repairing (reattaching) tendon tears if it is possible to do so without overtightening the tendon. Surgery may be done using arthroscopy, traditional open surgery, or a combination of the two techniques...

  • Covers symptoms of tennis elbow, including pain around the elbow. Covers activities that increase risk, like gardening, swimming, or golf. Looks at treatment options, including surgery. Offers prevention tips, including photos of exercises that may help.

  • Covers surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Discusses why it may be done such as for a bulging disc, to relieve pain, or help prevent serious nerve damage. Looks at how well it works and risks.

  • Discusses herniated disc, which is also called a slipped or ruptured disc. Covers symptoms like back pain, numbness, and weakness. Looks at sciatica and bulging disc. Discusses nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. 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 transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a mini-stroke. Covers causes, including blood clot as a result of atherosclerosis. Looks at treatment with medicines, surgery, and lifestyle changes. Discusses prevention steps.

  • A stool test is one of many tests used to look for colorectal cancer. These tests may find cancer early, when treatment works better. Colorectal cancer affects the large intestine ( colon) and the rectum. Stool tests include: Fecal immunochemical test and stool DNA (FIT-DNA). Fecal occult blood test...

  • Discusses vasovasostomy, a procedure to reconnect the vas deferens tubes that were cut during a vasectomy. Covers what to expect after surgery and how well it works. Also covers risks.

  • During in vitro fertilization (IVF), eggs and sperm are brought together in a laboratory glass dish to allow the sperm to fertilize an egg. With IVF, you can use any combination of your own eggs and sperm and donor eggs and sperm. After IVF, one or more fertilized eggs are placed in the uterus. Ovulation...

  • Using a home blood pressure monitor lets you keep track of your blood pressure at home. Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries as it moves through your body. Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers. The first number shows how hard the blood pushes...

  • The transition to postmenopause is a normal part of the aging process. It is also a time of physical changes. You can expect some emotional responses to these changes, both positive and negative. Menopause does not create serious emotional issues for most women. Many women celebrate a sense of freedom from birth...

  • Discusses test kits you can get without a prescription to use at home to check for urinary tract infections (UTIs). Looks at how test is done and how to prepare. Discusses possible results.

  • A hot flash is a sudden sensation of intense body heat, often with profuse sweating and reddening of the head, neck, and chest. These symptoms can occur with mild to severe heart palpitations, anxiety, irritability and, rarely, panic. Hot flashes are the most common symptom of a woman's changing estrogen levels around...

  • Many women reach postmenopause without noticing a change in their sexuality. You may find that the freedom from birth control and menstrual periods increases your sexual interest and pleasure. Some women have vaginal dryness around the time of menopause. If sexual intercourse is painful because of vaginal dryness...

  • Discusses procedure to destroy (ablate) the uterine lining, or endometrium. Explains that it is done to control heavy, prolonged uterine bleeding. Looks at how well it works and risks.

  • Discusses what happens in the body during menopause or perimenopause. Describes physical and emotional symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. Discusses treatment with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Also covers hormone therapy.

  • Discusses cardiac rehabilitation (rehab), which helps you feel better and reduce risk of future heart problems with exercise and lifestyle changes. Looks at rehab for people who have heart conditions such as heart attack, heart surgery, or heart failure.

  • A cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program can help you make lifestyle changes. In cardiac rehabilitation (rehab), a team of health professionals provides education and support to help you make new, healthy habits. Quitting smoking is the best thing...

  • Exercise is an important part of a cardiac rehabilitation program. Combining exercise with other lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet and stopping smoking, reduces the risk of future heart problems. Riding a stationary bike, walking on...

  • Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) may start while you are in the hospital. The hospital program is one part, or phase, of your cardiac rehab. This phase emphasizes exercise and education. The parts of a hospital program include: A customized exercise program, based on your medical history, clinical condition, and...

  • Your cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) might include an exercise program that you do at home. You might start this program after you go home from the hospital. The home program is one part, or phase, of your cardiac rehab. The goals of a home program are to: Make a smooth transition from hospital to home. Take care of...

  • Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) typically includes an outpatient program. This program is one part, or phase, of your cardiac rehab. The goal is to lower your risk of future heart problems. You will take part in a supervised exercise program. You will receive information and tools to make lifestyle changes, such as...

  • Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) includes a phase that helps you keep the healthy behaviors and habits that you learned in rehab. This phase, or program, is often referred to as the maintenance part of rehab, because it can help you maintain healthy lifestyle changes. Your goals are to: Learn lifestyle changes to lower...

  • Tests for erection problems can help find out why a man can't have or maintain an erection. This problem is called erectile dysfunction, or impotence. It's a common male problem. Most erection problems are caused by a mix of blood vessel, nerve, or psychological issues. To find the cause, your doctor will first ask...

  • Testicular exam and testicular self-exam are two ways to find lumps or other problems in the testicles. The two testicles, or testes, are the male sex organs. They are located in the scrotum, a pouch below the penis. The testicles make sperm and the male hormone testosterone. Each testicle is about the size and...

  • A vaginal self-examination is a way for a woman to look at her vulva and vagina. A vaginal self-examination may help you better understand your body, the changes that take place during the menstrual cycle, and any problems that may need medical attention. The best time to do a vaginal self-examination is between your...

  • Covers birth control methods, including the pill, skin patch, Depo-Provera shot, condoms, cervical cap, and diaphragm. Provides questions to help you decide the right birth control method for you. Covers emergency contraception (the morning-after pill).

  • A bacterial infection may develop following infection with viral influenza. Signs of a bacterial infection include: Feeling short of breath. A fever that doesn't go away. A cough that lingers more than 7 to 10 days after other symptoms have...

  • Emotional growth is a process of developing feelings and learning how to handle them appropriately. Sadness, fear, anger, and happiness are our most common feelings. Every child has emotional needs. Meeting those needs is one of the most important...

  • A growth chart is a graph used to track a child's growth and development over time. At each of your child's well-child visits, the doctor will measure: Length (height). A baby's length is measured while lying down, from the top of the head to the...

  • Babies' nails can be different lengths at birth and grow at different rates. As you bathe your baby, check the length of his or her nails. Trim the nails if they extend beyond his or her fingertips, to prevent scratching. A baby's nails can be...

  • Body piercing is very popular with both men and women. Many areas of the body are used for piercing. Most people who have piercings do not develop any problems. The ears are the most common piercing site. Most of the time, an earlobe piercing heals...

  • How do babies grow and develop in the first year? Babies change more in the first year of life than at any other time. From 1 to 12 months of age, most babies grow and develop in these main areas: Physical development. A baby's growth is dramatic during this first year. Babies grow taller, and their...

  • Includes info on diverticulitis, a condition in which pouches form in the colon and get inflamed or infected. Discusses symptoms and possible complications. Covers treatment with changes to your diet, medicine, or surgery. Offers prevention tips.

  • For healthy bowels, avoid constipation. You can: Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fiber. Drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. Get...

  • 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.

  • Avoid unplanned eating and drinking Having regular low-calorie snacks throughout the day along with regular smaller meals is a good way to manage your hunger. Plan snacks as part of your overall calories for the day, and avoid eating unplanned calories. Do not sample the food while cooking. When...

  • Physical activity increases the amount of energy (calories) you burn. Most weight-loss programs incorporate an exercise program—such as jogging or biking. And you can also use more energy by changing some of your routine activities, such as washing...

  • Looks at sleeve gastrectomy, a type of weight-loss surgery for obesity. Explains what it is and why it is done. Looks at how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Also covers risks.

  • Discusses gastric bypass surgery to treat obesity. Discusses why and when it is done. Covers laparoscopic and open Roux-en-Y surgery. Discusses risks during and after surgery.

  • Covers causes of obesity. Discusses health risks such as hypertension related to having excess body fat. Focuses on lifestyle changes you can make, like weight loss through healthy eating and exercise. Includes creating a long-term plan with your doctor.

  • Discusses problems with how a baby's heart forms. Also looks at problems found when a person is an adult. Includes info on patent ductus arteriosus, aortic valve stenosis, and coarctation of the aorta. Covers treatment with medicine and surgery.

  • Other tests for lung infections, such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis, may include: Blood tests or cultures. Blood tests may help tell whether antibodies to a specific organism that can cause pneumonia are present or whether specific viruses, such as influenza (flu) or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)...

  • Common problems may develop with artificial nails, such as: Bacterial infection. You may dislodge an artificial nail from the nail bed by bumping it or catching it. Infection can develop in the gap that forms between the two nails, especially if the...

  • Caring for a child with a congenital heart defect can be challenging. The following tips may help you care for your child so that he or she is as healthy and comfortable as possible. These tips may also help you cope with the difficulties that parents often experience. Caring for your child in the hospital...

  • A heart catheterization is a procedure used for both diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects. As a test, this procedure allows doctors to see how blood flows through the heart chambers and arteries. As a treatment, the doctor can use special tools to fix a heart defect during this procedure. How is it...

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD combines different treatments to: Help you lead a more active life. Help reduce your symptoms. Improve your quality of life. Encourage your active participation in your treatment. Help keep you out of the doctor's office and out of the hospital...

  • In lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS), a large area of damaged lung is removed to allow the remaining lung tissue to expand when you breathe in. This surgery is done only for people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or with...

  • Children who are depressed may have the same symptoms as adults. But adults may believe that these symptoms are normal in children. Some signs that may alert adults that children are depressed include: Being irritable and crying for no reason you...

  • Briefly discusses St. John's wort, an herbal dietary supplement used to treat mild to moderate depression. Covers possible side effects and safety issues.

  • You can slow the onset of osteoporosis or reduce its impact if you form habits that build and strengthen your bones. It is best if you start healthy habits early in life, but it's never too late. Habits that build and strengthen bones include:...

  • Discusses benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Distinguishes between dizziness and a feeling of spinning (vertigo). Covers how it is diagnosed. Discusses treatment with head exercises (Epley and Semont maneuvers) and medicines.

  • Herpes tests are done to find the herpes simplex virus (HSV). An HSV infection can cause small, painful sores that look like blisters on the skin or the tissue lining ( mucous membranes) of the throat, nose, mouth, urethra, rectum, and vagina. A herpes infection may cause only a single outbreak of sores, but in many...

  • These are some things you can do to help your 1- to 2-year-old learn words and say simple sentences: Tell your child what you are doing. Say, "I am changing your diaper" and "I'm washing your face" when interacting with your child. Always speak...

  • What is speech and language development? Speech and language are the skills we use to communicate with others. We form these skills during the first years of life. By age 6, most children learn the basics. Try to talk and read to your child often to boost these skills. What is the difference between speech and...

  • What are labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis? Labyrinthitis (say "lab-uh-rin-THY-tus") is a problem inside the inner ear. It happens when the labyrinth, a part of the inner ear that helps control your balance, gets swollen and inflamed. Vestibular neuritis is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve. The nerve is...

  • People who have eating disorders are often very self-critical. Learning to be easier on yourself is essential. Pace yourself if you are feeling weak. Everything you do may take more time and effort. Do not expect to do all the things you want to do...

  • People who have an eating disorder often become preoccupied with negative thoughts about themselves. It is often hard for them to think healthy or balanced thoughts. Although it is impossible to stop all negative thoughts, you can reduce these...

  • Sometimes people who have anorexia find it difficult to trust the family, friends, health professionals, and other caring people who are trying to help them. There are many reasons for this, ranging from anxiety about losing control and gaining...

  • People who have anorexia often have difficulty at mealtimes. If mealtime is a stressful time for you, try something different. During meals: Try to eat slowly and gradually. Do not allow yourself to get overwhelmed by the idea of eating a meal. Talk...

  • What is binge eating disorder? Binge eating means eating larger amounts of food than most people would in a similar situation, in a short period of time. A person with this eating disorder binge eats regularly for several months. When you binge eat, you may feel like you can't control your eating, and you may you feel...

  • Guides you through the decision to have an angiogram. Explains why the test is done and what it can show. Discusses why you might or might not want to have the test. Lists risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through decision to have prostate surgery for BPH. Lists benefits and risks of surgery. Discusses taking medicine to treat your enlarged prostate instead. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is a fungal nail infection? A fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus attacks a fingernail, a toenail, or the skin under the nail, called the nail bed. Fungi (plural of fungus) can attack your nails through small cuts in the skin around your nail or through the opening between your nail and nail bed. If you...

  • Nonsurgical (chemical) nail removal is a painless procedure for a fungal nail infection. This technique removes only the diseased and damaged nail, not the healthy part of the nail. It is done in a clinic or your doctor's office. Either the entire nail (avulsion) or part of the nail (debridement) can be removed. This...

  • Surgical nail removal can be done for severe or returning fungal nail infections. The entire nail (avulsion) or only part of the nail (debridement) can be removed. Surgical nail removal can be done in a clinic or your doctor's office. Your doctor will give you an injection in the finger or toe to prevent pain. He or...

  • Between 1948 and 1971, millions of women took a drug called diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriage. Daughters born to women who took DES while pregnant have a slightly higher risk of developing: Abnormal cervical cells that cause an...

  • What is screening for cervical cancer? Cervical cancer screening tests can help your doctor find and treat abnormal cell changes on your cervix before they develop into cervical cancer. These tests may be done as part of a pelvic exam. What screening tests are used? Tests include: A Pap test...

  • Discusses genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 or HSV-2). Covers symptoms and treatment, including care during pregnancy. Covers what increases your risk and offers prevention tips.

  • 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.

  • What is an abnormal Pap test? When your doctor says that your Pap test, or Pap smear, was abnormal, it means that the test found some cells on your cervix that do not look normal. A Pap test may be done as part of a woman's routine physical exam, because it's the best way to prevent cervical cancer. But having an...

  • A cone biopsy is an extensive form of a cervical biopsy. It is called a cone biopsy because a cone-shaped wedge of tissue is removed from the cervix and examined under a microscope. A cone biopsy removes abnormal tissue that is high in the cervical canal. A small amount of normal tissue around the cone-shaped wedge of...

  • Cryotherapy destroys abnormal tissue on the cervix by freezing it. Cryotherapy destroys some normal tissue along with the abnormal tissue. During cryotherapy, liquid carbon dioxide (CO2), which is very cold, circulates through a probe placed next to the abnormal tissue. This freezes the tissue for 2 to 3 minutes. It may...

  • A carbon dioxide (CO2) laser beam is used to: Destroy (vaporize) abnormal cervical tissue that can be seen through a magnifying viewing instrument (colposcope). Remove abnormal tissue high in the cervical canal that cannot be seen through the colposcope. The CO2 laser can be used to do a cone biopsy. To learn more...

  • The loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a way to remove abnormal tissue from the cervix. It is done using a fine wire loop that has a low-voltage electrical current. LEEP may be done after colposcopy and cervical biopsy have confirmed an abnormal Pap test result. In some cases, LEEP may be done instead of...

  • Your doctor or physical therapist will design a physical rehabilitation (rehab) program for you that takes into consideration your normal level of activity, physical fitness, and extent of your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A rehab program should include: Flexibility exercises. Strengthening exercises...

  • Surgery for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries involves reconstructing or repairing the ACL. ACL reconstruction surgery uses a graft to replace the ligament. The most common grafts are autografts using part of your own body, such as the tendon of the kneecap (patellar tendon) or one of the hamstring tendons...

  • Discusses causes and symptoms of athlete's foot. Lists behaviors that increase risk. Covers when to see doctor. Covers treatment options, including medicine choices. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Some people have problems digesting milk protein or milk sugar ( lactose intolerance). But these problems are very rare in babies. Until your doctor can evaluate your baby, it is usually not advisable to switch formula or stop breastfeeding as a means to remedy suspected food digestion problems. A vast majority of...

  • Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening suicide, get help right away. Health professionals should try to find out whether the person: Has the means (weapons or medicines) available to do self-harm or to harm another person. Has set a time and place to attempt suicide...

  • What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlarged prostate gland. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. As the prostate gets bigger, it may squeeze or partly block the urethra. This often causes problems with...

  • A heart transplant is a procedure in which a surgeon removes a diseased heart and replaces it with a donor heart. During a heart transplant, a mechanical pump circulates blood through the body while the surgeon removes the diseased heart and replaces it with a healthy heart from a recently deceased donor. The surgeon...

  • Discusses causes and symptoms like sadness and feelings of helplessness. Covers related illnesses like bipolar disorder and SAD. Looks at treatment with medicines, counseling, and lifestyle choices. Discusses suicidal thoughts and when to call a doctor.

  • Do not use unapproved, unproven, or potentially dangerous substances or methods as treatment for your baby who has colic. Gripe water. Varying ingredients are used in blends labeled as gripe water. In some batches, alcohol is a main ingredient....

  • The exact cause of colic is not known. But some breastfeeding mothers have noticed that certain foods seem to cause colic in their babies. It is possible that some foods may affect breast milk and contribute to intestinal gas or other digestive...

  • The challenges of caring for a young baby intensify if your baby is very fussy or cries a lot. Relationships can become strained between parents and baby; between parents; and between parents and other family members, especially other caregivers. Older brothers and sisters may feel resentful, ignored, helpless, or...

  • What is colic? All babies cry, but sometimes a baby will cry for hours at a time, no matter what you do. This extreme type of crying in a baby between 3 weeks and 3 months of age is called colic. Although it is upsetting for parents and caregivers, colic is normal for some babies. Doctors usually diagnose colic...

  • 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...

  • What are breath-holding spells? Breath-holding spells are brief periods when young children stop breathing for up to 1 minute. These spells often cause a child to pass out (lose consciousness). Breath-holding spells usually occur when a young child is angry, frustrated, in pain, or afraid. But the spell is a reflex...

  • What is croup? Croup is a common respiratory problem in young children. It tends to occur in the fall and winter. Its main symptom is a harsh, barking cough. Croup causes swelling and narrowing in the voice box, windpipe, and breathing tubes that lead to the lungs. This can make it hard for your child to breathe...

  • What are cold sores? Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. Often the first sign of a cold sore is a spot that tingles, burns, or itches. A blister usually forms within 24 hours. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The...

  • Describes acute bronchitis, which is short-term inflammation of the tubes carrying air to the lungs. Explains difference between bronchitis and pneumonia. Includes causes and symptoms like cough. Covers treatment options.

  • Discusses causes and symptoms of COPD. Looks at chronic bronchitis and emphysema, two diseases that are usually a part of COPD. Covers quitting smoking. Includes treatment with bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids. Offers home treatment tips.

  • What is myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)? Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) (say "my-AL-jik en-seh-fuh-loh-my-uh-LY-tus") is a disease that makes you feel so ill that you can't do your normal daily activities. Sleeping problems occur along with...

  • You may find it helpful to change your schedule to take advantage of times when you have more energy and feel less tired. Keep a diary for a week or so, and record the times of day when you have energy and when you are tired. If there is a pattern to how your energy levels change during the day, try to...

  • People who have chronic health problems, such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), often benefit from support groups. These groups can be a good source of information and tips for managing your illness and a chance to share your frustrations and problems with others who are in a similar...

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

  • Tests for bacterial vaginosis take samples of fluid from the vagina. The samples are looked at under a microscope to see if they show signs of infection. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a change in the balance of bacteria in the vagina. Normally, there are a lot of "good" bacteria and some "bad" bacteria in the...

  • 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.

  • What is bursitis? Bursitis is a painful swelling of a small sac of fluid called a bursa. Bursae (plural of bursa) cushion and lubricate areas where tendons, ligaments, skin, muscles, or bones rub against each other. People who repeat the same movement over and over or who put continued pressure on a joint in their...

  • 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...

  • Overfeeding a baby often causes the baby discomfort because he or she can't digest all of the breast milk or formula properly. When fed too much, a baby may also swallow air, which can produce gas, increase discomfort in the belly, and lead to...

  • 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...

  • Chlamydia tests use a sample of body fluid or urine to see whether chlamydia bacteria ( Chlamydia trachomatis) are present and causing an infection. Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. Tests used to find a chlamydia infection include...

  • The following is a classification for heart failure devised by the New York Heart Association (NYHA). It is important to be familiar with this classification, because it may be referred to during the course of your care. Class I People whose...

  • If you are under a doctor's care for heart failure, the following tips may help you deal with fluid buildup that causes difficulty with breathing. Note: If your symptoms are severe enough to require these measures and you have not been diagnosed with heart failure, call your doctor first. Also, call your doctor...

  • If you have heart failure, it is important that you do as much as possible to avoid catching colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections. Although these may be relatively minor illnesses in healthy people, they are more dangerous if you have heart failure, and you are at higher risk for dangerous complications...

  • If you have preeclampsia, you will need regular exams to assess whether your condition is becoming more severe. Your exams may include: Measurement of your blood pressure while lying down on your left side, standing up, or sitting in a chair....

  • What kinds of development occur in your baby's first month? Babies are called newborns during their first month of life. Although your newborn sleeps a lot, powerful changes are occurring in the five major areas of development. Physical development. Watching your baby grow in size is part of the fun...

  • Some diuretics can cause low levels of potassium. A delicate balance of potassium is needed to properly transmit electrical impulses in the heart. A low potassium level can disrupt the normal electrical impulses in the heart and lead to irregular...

  • A pocket of pus that forms during an infection of a fallopian tube and ovary is called a tubo-ovarian abscess. Tubo-ovarian abscesses can develop in women who have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). A tubo-ovarian abscess is usually diagnosed by...

  • What is pelvic inflammatory disease? Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is an infection of a woman's reproductive organs. Treating PID right away is important, because PID can cause scar tissue in the pelvic organs and lead to infertility. It can also cause other problems, such as pelvic pain and tubal (ectopic)...

  • What is intussusception? Intussusception means that one part of the intestine has folded into itself, like a telescope. This can happen anywhere along the intestinal tract. It usually happens between the lower part of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. The part of the intestine that...

  • Looks at reasons babies and children might bite. Offers tips for changing biting behavior, including offering teething rings to teething babies.

  • What is necrotizing enterocolitis? Necrotizing enterocolitis is infection and inflammation of the intestine. It is most common in babies who are born early (premature). Many newborns who have it go on to live healthy lives. But if the infection becomes severe, it can cause severe damage to the intestine, which can be...

  • Describes heart failure (congestive heart failure). Discusses common causes like hypertension and coronary artery disease. Has info on symptoms. Covers diagnostic tests and treatments. Discusses heart failure classification system and stages of CHF.

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare genetic disorder in which the body cannot break down an amino acid called phenylalanine (say "fehn-uhl-AL-uh-neen"), which is a part of protein. This substance is found in breast milk, many types of baby formula, and...

  • Children of all ages are exposed to ideas about thinness by parents, peers, and other sources. Starting in grade school, children may become more aware of body image as they compare themselves to others. Adolescents often become extremely concerned...

  • There are many ways that adults can help children and teens develop a healthy approach to food and exercise. Avoid punishing or rewarding your children with food. Be a good role model for healthy eating and exercising. Be a good role model by having...

  • In some people who have long-lasting pain, biochemical changes are triggered in the body, causing a different type of chronic pain (neuropathic pain) that doctors currently find difficult to diagnose and treat. Pain signals are somehow triggered by...

  • What is anorexia nervosa? Anorexia nervosa (say "an-uh-RECK-see-uh nur-VOH-suh") is a type of eating disorder. People who have anorexia have an intense fear of gaining weight. They severely limit the amount of food they eat and can become dangerously thin. Anorexia affects both the body and the mind. It may start as...

  • The nerves that carry messages to and from your legs come from your low back. By checking your muscle strength, your reflexes, and your sensation (feeling), your doctor can tell whether there is pressure on a nerve root coming from your spinal column. He or she can often also tell which nerve root is involved. Muscle...

  • As a part of the physical exam for eating disorders, a doctor may order certain tests to see whether your body is generally healthy. These may include blood or urine tests to check: Electrolyte levels. Electrolytes are minerals, such as potassium,...

  • Slouching puts stress on your lower back. Slumping or slouching on its own may not cause low back pain. But after the back has been strained or injured, bad posture can make pain worse. When you sit, keep your shoulders back and down, chin back,...

  • Bed rest of more than a couple of days can actually make your low back pain worse and lead to other problems such as stiff joints and muscle weakness. If you do use bed rest for a short time, remember the following guidelines. Sitting up in bed puts...

  • There is some evidence that heat will help decrease low back pain. There is little proof that cold will help. But some people do find that heat or cold help them. Follow these suggestions if you would like to try heat or cold for low back pain. Heat to relieve low back pain Apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes...

  • Certain needs, fears, family dynamics, and ways of communicating, thinking, and feeling put a person at greater risk of developing an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. Some of these include: A need for attention. A need to...

  • Eating disorders occur most often in industrialized cultures where there is an emphasis on thinness, especially if thinness is linked to success. Magazines, television, and other media have created an unrealistic image of the perfect, successful...

  • Stress is what you feel when you have too much to handle. You may have too much work to do, or you may be having trouble with children or a spouse. If stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can affect your health. Where do you hold your stress? We all "hold" stress in different ways. Some people hold stress in...

  • When a loved one has an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating and is in treatment, it is important that you show support. You can show personal support by: Showing and stating your love. Avoiding the temptation to control the...

  • Sleep patterns naturally change as you get older. Compared to younger people, older adults: Sleep fewer hours and take longer to fall asleep. Sleep less deeply and wake up more often during the night. Have more trouble adjusting to changes in...

  • Sleep stages are divided into non–rapid eye movement (non-REM) and rapid eye movement (REM). Non–rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep has 3 stages: Stage N1 occurs right after you fall asleep and is very short (usually less than 10 minutes). It involves...

  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are surgeries to remove the tonsils or adenoids. They are: Used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. Rarely used to treat snoring in adults. Not used to treat snoring in children. The surgeries almost always require a stay in the hospital.

  • Gonorrhea tests tell if a person has this disease. They look for the bacterium, or germ, that causes gonorrhea. Testing is done on body fluid or urine samples. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection. That means it is spread through sexual contact. It does not always cause symptoms. Tests used to find a...

  • A human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test detects HIV antibodies or antigens, or the genetic material ( DNA or RNA) of HIV in the blood or another type of sample. This can show if an HIV infection is present (HIV-positive). HIV infects white blood cells called CD4+ cells. They are part of the body's immune system that...

  • What is bulimia nervosa? Bulimia (say "boo-LEE-mee-uh") is a type of eating disorder. People with bulimia will eat a larger amount of food than most people would in a similar situation, in a short period of time (binge). Then, in order to prevent weight gain, they will do something to get rid of the food (purge). They...

  • Pinworms are a type of parasite that lives in the digestive system of humans. They are common throughout the world. Adult pinworms are about 0.5 in. (12.7 mm) long and look like little white threads. Pinworm eggs are so tiny, you'd need a microscope...

  • Breast lumps are common, especially in women ages 30 to 50. A number of conditions can result in a lump or lumps in your breast. Most of these conditions are harmless or of minor concern. Generalized breast lumpiness usually feels like lots of...

  • What is gynecomastia? Gynecomastia is overdevelopment of the male breast. In response to too much estrogen (a female hormone) or too little testosterone (a male hormone), the glandular tissue of the breast swells and forms a breast bud (enlarged breast). Gynecomastia can occur in babies, teen boys, and older men...

  • Covers monospot test (heterophil test) and EBV antibody test, blood tests used to diagnose mononucleosis (mono), which is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Covers how it is done and risks. Also includes info on what test results might mean.

  • What are fibrocystic breast changes? Many women have breasts that feel lumpy, thick, and tender, especially right before their periods. These symptoms are called fibrocystic breast changes. They may also be called cyclic breast changes, because they come and go with your menstrual cycle. Fibrocystic breast...

  • Discusses common vaginal infection. Covers symptoms like vaginal discharge and odor. Covers possible complications, including miscarriage, premature birth, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Looks at treatment with antibiotics. Offers prevention tips.

  • If someone you know has a panic attack, he or she may become very anxious and not think clearly. You can help the person by doing the following: Stay with the person and keep calm. Offer medicine if the person usually takes it during an attack. Move...

  • What are panic attacks and panic disorder? A panic attack is a sudden, intense fear or anxiety that may make you short of breath or dizzy or make your heart pound. You may feel out of control. Some people believe that they are having a heart attack or are about to die. An attack usually lasts from 5 to 20 minutes...

  • Explains surgery to take out tonsils because of strep throat infections or tonsillitis. Gives info on what to expect after surgery, such as sore throat. Explains how child may feel and act after surgery. Also includes info on risks.

  • Explains rapid strep test to test for bacteria that cause strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis). Explains when test is done and what results mean.

  • Discusses strep throat, an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria. Covers symptoms like sore throat and fever. Includes info on rapid strep test and throat culture. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery (tonsillectomy).

  • The following tips may make it easier to deal with your benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms. Practice "double voiding" by urinating as much as possible, relaxing for a few moments, and then urinating again. Try to relax before you urinate....

  • Comprehensive rehabilitation (rehab) programs offer a variety of treatments for low back pain. They may use physical therapy, pain management with medicine and mental skills, and other medical treatments. These programs teach people how to care for...

  • Discusses teething and what to expect during teething. Covers symptoms and common concerns. Offers home treatment suggestions and tips for keeping your child's teeth healthy. Explains when to call the doctor.

  • Several factors determine whether you have a complicated urinary tract infection. You have symptoms, such as: A high temperature, greater than 101 F (38.3 C). Ongoing nausea, vomiting, and chills. Your condition getting worse in spite of doctor-directed home treatment. You have other risks, such as...

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in older women and men. Factors that make older adults more likely to develop UTIs include: An immune system that isn't as strong as when the person was younger. A reduced ability to control urination and...

  • For years, people have used cranberry juice to prevent and help cure urinary tract infections (UTIs). There is limited proof that this is worth trying. Pure cranberry juice, cranberry extract, or cranberry supplements may help prevent repeated UTIs...

  • Covers a surgical procedure that joins, or fuses, two or more vertebrae to treat low back pain. Looks at why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Includes how well it works and possible risks.

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of low back pain. Looks at treatment with rest, over-the-counter pain medicine, and heating pads. Includes steps to prevent low back pain from returning, such as practicing good posture and getting regular exercise.

  • Discusses urinary tract infection in teens and adults. Covers symptoms and how problems might be diagnosed with urinalysis or a urine culture. Looks at treatment with antibiotics. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • 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...

  • Syphilis tests tell if a person has this disease. They look for antibodies to the bacterium, or germ, that causes syphilis. Some tests look for the syphilis germ itself. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection. That means it is spread through sexual contact: vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Testing is done on...

  • 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.

  • During transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), an instrument is inserted up the urethra to remove the section of the prostate that is blocking urine flow. TURP usually requires a stay in the hospital. It is done using a general or spinal anesthetic.

  • A vaginal wet mount (sometimes called a vaginal smear) is a test to find the cause of vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina and the area around the vagina (vulva). Vaginitis is often caused by an infection. But it may also be caused by a reaction to vaginal products such as soap, bath oils, spermicidal jelly, or...

  • An endoscopic sinus exam allows the doctor to see all the structures inside the nose and the sinuses. Before inserting the endoscope, the passages inside the nose are opened up with a decongestant medicine and numbed with an anesthetic. The endoscope is guided up through a nostril and into the sinus opening, but it...

  • 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...

  • Discusses infection caused by overgrowth of Candida albicans, a type of yeast that normally lives in the vagina. Covers symptoms like itching or soreness in vagina or burning when you urinate or have sex. Looks at treatment with medicines like Monistat.

  • Cryotherapy involves freezing a wart using a very cold substance (usually liquid nitrogen). Cryotherapy is a standard treatment for warts and can be done in a doctor's office. The liquid nitrogen application usually takes less than a minute. Your doctor may trim the wart with a small knife before applying liquid...

  • Laser surgery uses an intense beam of light, or laser, to burn and destroy the wart tissue. It is usually done in a doctor's office or clinic. Local or general anesthetic may be used, depending on the number of warts to be removed or the size of the area to be treated.

  • Surgery may be used to treat a rotator cuff disorder if the injury is very bad or if nonsurgical treatment has failed to improve shoulder strength and movement sufficiently. Subacromial smoothing involves shaving bone or removing growths on the upper point of the shoulder blade ( acromion). It removes damaged tendon and...

  • Surgery may be used to treat a torn rotator cuff if the injury is very severe or if nonsurgical treatment has failed to improve shoulder strength and movement sufficiently. Surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff tendon usually involves: Removing loose fragments of tendon, bursa, and other debris from the space in the...

  • Discusses traditional surgery to remove an enlarged prostate. Covers what to expect after surgery and risks. Links to info on TURP.

  • Brace (orthotic) treatment for scoliosis is used to prevent spinal curve progression and to maintain a more normal appearance of the back. The goal of brace treatment is to prevent the curve from getting worse. Bracing does not correct a curve. There may be some initial straightening of the spine and the appearance of...

  • In spinal fusion for scoliosis, rods, hooks, wires, or screws are attached to the curved part of the backbone and the spine is straightened. Small pieces of bone, called grafts, are then put over the spine. Bone for grafts is often taken from the person's pelvic bone. The grafts will grow together with the spinal...

  • Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) may be done to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The surgeon uses an instrument inserted into the urethra that generates an electric current or laser beam to make incisions in the prostate where the prostate meets the bladder. Cutting muscle in this area relaxes the...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of high blood pressure. Explains systolic and diastolic pressure numbers. Looks at treatment and prevention steps. Includes risks of untreated high blood pressure such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

  • Discusses pneumonia, a lung infection caused by bacteria. Covers mild symptoms of walking pneumonia and more severe symptoms of other types of pneumonia. Discusses tests used to diagnose pneumonia. Includes info on treatment using antibiotics.

  • An ambulatory blood pressure monitor is a small device that you wear throughout the day, usually for 24 or 48 hours. The device takes your blood pressure automatically while you do your normal daily activities. The device periodically inflates and...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic has information about warts on any part of the body except the genitals. For information about warts on the genitals, see the topic Genital Warts. What are warts, and what causes them? A wart is a skin growth caused by some types of the virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV)...

  • Explains ringworm causes, symptoms, and progression. Covers how it is diagnosed and treated. Includes information on medicines. Covers behaviors that increase risk of ringworm. Offers prevention and home treatment tips.

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about ringworm of the scalp or beard. To learn more about other fungal infections, see the topics: Athlete's Foot. Diaper Rash. Fungal Nail Infections. Ringworm of the Skin. What is ringworm of the scalp or beard? Ringworm is an infection on your skin, hair, or nails...

  • Whooping cough (pertussis) is a disease that causes very severe coughing that may last for months. During bursts of violent coughing, you may make a noise that sounds like a "whoop" when you try to take a breath. You can cough so hard that you hurt...

  • Saltwater washes (saline lavage or irrigation) help keep the nasal passages open by washing out thick or dried mucus. They can also help improve the function of cilia that help clear the sinuses. This can help prevent the spread of infection to the other sinuses and reduce postnasal drip. It also can make the nose feel...

  • Medicines available without a prescription may help relieve pain and promote sinus drainage. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. You can: Try a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve facial...

  • Discusses sinusitis, which is infection or inflammation of the lining of the sinus cavities. Covers acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Looks at causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery.

  • Includes information on gout, a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the body. Info on symptoms, including swelling and pain that is often in the big toe. Covers how a diet high in purines can raise uric acid levels. Discusses diagnosis and treatment.

  • Several myths about when a woman can or cannot become pregnant persist, particularly among younger people. Myth Truth You can't get pregnant the first time you have vaginal intercourse. Getting pregnant has nothing to do with how many times you have...

  • Impingement occurs when inflammation, bone spurs, or fluid buildup causes a rotator cuff tendon to be squeezed and rub against a bone. Every time you raise your arm above your head, the upper tendon in the rotator cuff (supraspinatus tendon) and the...

  • Debridement involves removing loose fragments of tendon, thickened bursa, and other debris from around the shoulder joint. By clearing damaged tissue from the region of the shoulder joint, it helps the doctor to see the extent of the injury and...

  • Doctors use X-ray images of a person's spine to measure spinal curvature. A curve or angle of the spine is measured in degrees and describes how severe the curve is. (The angle is determined by the intersection of lines projected from the top and...

  • The cosmetic aspects of scoliosis and the braces used to treat it may greatly affect a child or teen. Teenagers may find wearing a brace devastating to their self-image. Most braces should be worn for 20 hours a day or more, usually for several...

  • What is scoliosis? Scoliosis is a problem with the curve in the spine. Many people have some curve in their spine. But a few people have spines that make a large curve from side to side in the shape of the letter "S" or the letter "C." If this curve is severe, it can cause pain and make breathing difficult. The good...

  • Discusses vasectomy, a permanent method of birth control for men. Covers how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Discusses how well it works and risks. Also provides info on reconnecting the vas deferens (vasectomy reversal).

  • Briefly discusses surgery to remove the prostate gland through the urethra. Covers why it is done and how well it works. Lists risks.

  • Tubal ligation, often referred to as "having your tubes tied," is a surgical procedure in which a woman's fallopian tubes are blocked, tied, or cut. Tubal implants, such as Essure, are small metal springs that are placed in each fallopian tube in a nonsurgical procedure (no cutting is involved). Over time, scar tissue...

  • Covers the various types of prostatitis, including acute bacterial, inflammatory, noninflammatory, and chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Covers symptoms for each type. Discusses treatment for each type. Covers lifestyle changes, medicines, and surgery.

  • What is Reye syndrome? Reye syndrome is a rare but serious disease that most often affects children ages 6 to 12 years old. It can cause brain swelling and liver damage. It may be related to using aspirin to treat viral infections. Reye syndrome can lead to brain damage, liver damage, and death. But if the...

  • Birth control methods have high rates of effectiveness if they are used consistently. Follow your health professional's instructions on what to do if you miss or skip your birth control pills. Some general guidelines are listed here. Combination (estrogen plus progestin) birth control pills Always read...

  • It is not unusual for women who are taking hormone pills for birth control to have very light periods or no bleeding at all. If you have not missed any pills, skip 1 period, yet have no other signs of early pregnancy, it is very unlikely that you are pregnant. Signs of early pregnancy include fatigue, breast...

  • 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,...

  • A tubal ligation is considered a permanent method of birth control. The fallopian tubes are cut or blocked, which prevents pregnancy by blocking the egg's path to the sperm and uterus. Laparoscopy makes it possible to see and do the surgery through small incisions in the abdomen. For a laparoscopic tubal...

  • 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.

  • Discusses shingles, a condition caused by the virus that causes chickenpox (herpes zoster). Discusses who is most likely to get it. Describes how shingles rash causes pain and the treatment for it. Includes info on the shingles vaccine.

  • Before having an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted, you will probably have: A pregnancy test, especially if you have not been using an effective method of birth control, have been sexually active in the past month, and are not having your menstrual period at the time of the procedure. Testing for sexually...

  • Vaginal yeast infections are a common problem during pregnancy. They may be caused by high estrogen levels. These infections aren't a risk to the pregnancy. But they can cause uncomfortable symptoms. If you are pregnant and have vaginal infection...

  • Quitting smoking is probably the most important step you can take to decrease your chance of coronary artery disease (CAD) and a heart attack. Smoking raises your risk of getting CAD and dying early from CAD. Carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other...

  • People with one or more close relatives who have or had early coronary artery disease (CAD) are at an increased risk for CAD. For men, early CAD is being diagnosed before age 55. For women, early CAD is being diagnosed before 65. A...

  • There is a link between depression and coronary artery disease. People with heart disease are more likely to get depression. And if a person has both depression and heart disease, they may not stay as healthy as possible. They are less likely to...

  • This test measures the amount of lead in a person's blood. Lead is a poisonous (toxic) metal that can damage the brain and other parts of the body. A lead test may be done on blood drawn from the vein, a finger (finger stick), or the heel (heel stick). A person can be exposed to lead: By eating or drinking...

  • What is angina? Angina (say "ANN-juh-nuh" or "ann-JY-nuh") is a symptom of heart disease. Angina happens when there is not enough blood flow to the heart muscle. This is often a result of narrowed blood vessels, usually caused by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Angina can be dangerous. So it is...

  • There is a strong association between being overweight and the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). Being overweight increases your chances of having risk factors for CAD. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Losing...

  • 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.

  • As part of a healthy diet, eat at least two servings of fish each week. Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best. These fish include salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines. Fish is an important part of a heart-healthy...

  • Low to moderate alcohol use (no more than 2 drinks a day for men, 1 drink a day for women) might lower the risk of coronary artery disease. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. But if you do not drink alcohol, do not start drinking to try to lower your risk of heart disease. You have many other options that can...

  • Discusses using nitroglycerin to treat angina, a type of chest pain. Covers how to take the drug. Provides info on side effects and interactions with other drugs. Covers how to store nitroglycerin. Includes info on when to call for emergency help.

  • Covers causes and symptoms of spondyloarthropathies, a family of long-term (chronic) diseases of joints. Looks at specific symptoms of each type. Discusses treatment with mild exercise, over-the-counter medicines, and other options.

  • What is breastfeeding? Breastfeeding is feeding a baby milk from the mother's breasts. You can feed your baby right at your breast. You can also pump your breasts and put the milk in a bottle to feed your baby. Doctors advise breastfeeding for 1 year or longer. But your baby benefits from any amount of breastfeeding...

  • Many people take nonprescription antacids for mild or occasional heartburn. Antacids are substances that neutralize some of the stomach acid. Some antacids have a foaming agent (alginate) that floats on top of the stomach's contents. This may reduce the amount of acid that comes in contact with your esophagus...

  • You can make changes to your eating habits to help relieve your symptoms of heartburn. Here are some things to try: It's best to eat several small meals instead of two or three large meals. After you eat, wait 2 to 3 hours before you lie down....

  • During fundoplication surgery, the upper curve of the stomach (the fundus) is wrapped around the esophagus and sewn into place so that the lower portion of the esophagus passes through a small tunnel of stomach muscle. This surgery strengthens the valve between the esophagus and stomach ( lower esophageal sphincter)...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic discusses using a bottle to feed formula to your baby. To learn about using a bottle to feed breast milk to your baby or to learn about breastfeeding, see the topic Breastfeeding. When is bottle-feeding with formula the best choice for your baby? If you are having a hard time...

  • What is weaning? Weaning is the term used to describe the process of switching a baby from: Breastfeeding to bottle-feeding. Breast- or bottle-feeding to a cup. Breast- or bottle-feeding to solid foods. Your baby will go through one or more of these weaning processes. All types of weaning usually work best when...

  • What is mastitis? Mastitis is a breast inflammation usually caused by infection. It can happen to any woman, although mastitis is most common during the first 6 months of breastfeeding. It can leave a new mother feeling very tired and run-down. Add the illness to the demands of taking care of a newborn, and many women...

  • Discusses gastroesophageal reflux disease. Covers main symptom of heartburn, caused by stomach acid and juices flowing from the stomach back into the esophagus. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery. Offers tips on lifestyle changes to help manage GERD.

  • Insect and spider bites often cause minor swelling, redness, pain, and itching. These mild reactions are common. They may last from a few hours to a few days. Home treatment is often all that's needed to relieve the symptoms of a mild reaction to common stinging or biting spiders and insects, such as fleas, flies, and...

  • Walking on a beach or swimming in the ocean can be fun and relaxing. But just like any other activities, accidents can happen. This topic will help you determine the next steps to take if you have a jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war sting, seabather's eruption, or a coral scrape. Stings Jellyfish and Portuguese...

  • Looks at sudden injuries like meniscus tears or torn ligaments that cause knee pain. Covers injuries like bursitis and tendinitis caused by overuse. Includes tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Helps you check symptoms of leg injuries caused during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, and work or projects around home. Includes bruises, swelling, sprains, pulled muscles, and broken bones. Discusses treatment and prevention.

  • Helps you check symptoms of leg problems not caused by injury. Covers symptoms like pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, tingling, weakness, and lumps and bumps under the skin. Includes pictures of bones of lower leg, thigh, and muscles and tendons.

  • 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.

  • Male genital problems and injuries can occur fairly easily since the scrotum and penis are not protected by bones. Genital problems and injuries most commonly occur during: Sports or recreational activities, such as mountain biking, soccer, or baseball. Work-related tasks, such as exposure to irritating chemicals...

  • Most women have painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) from time to time. Menstrual cramps are one of the most common reasons for women to seek medical attention. The pain from menstrual cramps can range from mild to severe and can involve the...

  • Covers how your thoughts can affect your mental and physical health. Offers tips on positive thinking, including having positive expectations.

  • Most women have between 11 and 13 menstrual periods each year. You may be different: You may have more or fewer. Missed or irregular periods must be looked at in terms of what is normal for you. Menstrual periods are often irregular during the first...

  • It is not unusual to have a problem with your mouth from time to time. A mouth problem can involve your gums, lips, tongue, or inner cheeks, the roof of your mouth (soft and hard palates), under your tongue, your neck, or your teeth. Your mouth may...

  • Minor fingernail and toenail problems are common. At one time or another, almost everyone has caught a nail on something, causing it to rip, or has smashed a finger in a door, leaving blood under the nail. These kinds of injuries can be quite painful but are usually not serious. You can often relieve pain and prevent...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Pruritus is an itchy feeling that makes you want to scratch your skin. It may occur without a rash or skin lesions. Pruritus sometimes feels like pain because the signals for itching and pain travel along the same nerve pathways. Scratching may cause breaks in the skin, bleeding, and infection. If your skin feels itchy...

  • Depression is different from normal sadness. Depression is not simply feeling sad. Depression is a disorder with specific symptoms that can be diagnosed and treated. For every 10 patients diagnosed with cancer, about 2 patients become depressed. The numbers of men and women affected are about the same. A person...

  • Getting enough sleep is needed for both physical and mental health. Sleep is an important part of physical and mental health. While we sleep, the brain and body do a number of important jobs that help us stay in good health and function at our best. Getting the sleep we need: Improves our ability to learn, remember, and...

  • Hot flashes and night sweats are common in cancer patients and survivors. A hot flash is a sudden warm feeling over your face, neck, and chest that may cause you to sweat and your face to turn red. Sweating is your body's way of lowering body temperature by causing heat loss through your skin. Hot flashes combined...

  • People cope with the loss of a loved one in different ways. Most people who experience grief will cope well. Others will have severe grief and may need treatment. There are many things that can affect the grief process of someone who has lost a loved one to cancer. They include: The personality of the person who is...

  • Cancer-related post-traumatic stress (PTS) is a lot like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but not as severe. Patients have a range of normal reactions when they hear they have cancer. These include: Repeated frightening thoughts. Being distracted or overexcited. Trouble sleeping. Feeling detached from oneself or...

  • Cancer, cancer treatment, or diagnostic tests may cause you pain. Pain is one of the most common symptoms in cancer patients. Pain can be caused by cancer, cancer treatment, or a combination of factors. Tumors, surgery, intravenous chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, supportive care therapies such as...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes. Each lobe has many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and...

  • Screening is looking for signs of disease, such as breast cancer, before a person has symptoms. The goal of screening tests is to find cancer at an early stage when it can be treated and may be cured. Sometimes a screening test finds cancer that is very small or very slow growing. These cancers are unlikely to cause...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the skin. The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but the two main...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Religious and spiritual values are important to patients coping with cancer. Studies have shown that religious and spiritual values are important to Americans. Most American adults say that they believe in God and that their religious beliefs affect how they live their lives. However, people have different ideas about...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Cancer screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. Screening tests can help find cancer at an early stage, before symptoms appear. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat or cure. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer may have grown and spread. This can make the...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant grown in many parts of the world. It makes a resin (thick substance) that contains compounds called cannabinoids (see Question 1). By federal law, possessing Cannabis is illegal in the United States outside of approved research settings. However, a growing number of states...

  • Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the skin. The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but the two main...

  • Most people will have a minor neck problem at one time or another. Our body movements usually do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury. Neck problems and injuries most commonly occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related...

  • Most nosebleeds are not usually serious and can be stopped with home treatment. Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose (anterior epistaxis) and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat. Many things may make a nosebleed more likely. Changes in the environment. For...

  • Improper posture may put too much stress on your back and neck. The key to good back posture is to keep the right amount of curve in your lower back. A healthy back has three natural front-to-back curves that give the spine an "S" shape. Too much...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause a rash. A few common examples are: Antibiotics. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve). Pain medicines, such as codeine. Seizure medicines. If a rash occurs after your child has begun a new medicine: Stop giving the medicine to your...

  • Problems that can develop when you have your tongue, inner cheek, uvula, or lip pierced include: Pain. Bleeding. Infection at the site of the piercing. Infections, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Speech problems. Chewing and swallowing...

  • Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. The motion commonly is described as a feeling of spinning or whirling, but it also can include sensations of falling or tilting. Vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting. It may be hard to walk or stand, and you may lose your...

  • Use one of the following resources if you are or know of a parent or caregiver having trouble controlling angry feelings. Actions done in moments of anger can be harmful and abusive. Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. This service from the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services...

  • Many chronic illnesses can cause belly (abdominal) pain. These illnesses include sickle cell disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and cystic fibrosis. Sudden (acute) illnesses, such as strep throat and influenza (flu), can cause belly pain when the glands in the belly become swollen or inflamed. These...

  • Each body piercing site has its own normal healing time. Common sites usually heal within the time frames listed below. Healing depends on many things. It can depend on how big the piercing is and how thick the tissue is at the site. Your own...

  • When a child is in pain, his or her parents usually know it. But pain can be hard for a child to describe. An older child may be able to describe the pain as sharp or cramping or tell whether the pain comes and goes (intermittent). A child between...

  • Chili pepper burns are caused by an irritating substance found in the skin of the pepper. This burn can feel like a sunburn, a throbbing and prickling feeling, or a very intense, hot pain. The best treatment is to wash the area with soap and water...

  • Immediately run cold water over the hot tar or hot plastic to cool the tar or plastic and stop the burning. Do not attempt to peel the tar or plastic off after it has cooled. This may remove skin that is stuck to the tar or plastic. To remove tar or...

  • Try home treatment if you think you have an infection in the skin around your nail. Soak your foot or hand 2 to 3 times each day in a solution of 1 tsp (5 g) of salt dissolved in 4 cups (1 L) warm water. After soaking, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a bandage. Do not try to...

  • A hangnail is the strip of skin that separates from the side of the cuticle. Simple home treatment can help prevent problems with hangnails. Do not pull at or bite off a hangnail. This may cause the skin to rip. Clip off the hangnail neatly with...

  • Home treatment may help repair weak, brittle, or splitting nails: Wear disposable plastic gloves or rubber gloves with cotton liners to protect your hands from water or chemicals. Apply moisturizing lotion directly to your nail. Apply a moisturizer...

  • A painful sore or ulcer inside your mouth may make it hard to eat and drink. Be sure to let your doctor know you are having mouth sores. You may need to have your medicines adjusted. And try some of the following home treatment measures to help ease...

  • Treatment is available for all sexually transmitted infections (STIs), no matter what the cause, to relieve symptoms, even if a cure is not possible. Some, but not all, STIs are treated with antibiotics. Some of the most common STIs— chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis—are caused by bacteria and are treated and...

  • Signs of sexual abuse may not be apparent without an examination of the genital area. These signs include: Bruises, scars, chafing, or bite marks in the genital area. Discharge or bleeding from the vagina. Rectal or genital bleeding. Anal tears or dilation. Symptoms of a sexually transmitted...

  • Short-term, mild reactions to immunizations are common. Immunizations that may cause a fever include: Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DTaP) or diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT). Babies can have a fever of up to 104 F (40 C) within 2 to 3 hours of getting the DTaP or DPT shot. Children may be fussy...

  • 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...

  • Small children sometimes cry to release tension when they are overtired or overstimulated. This happens when they have been held by a lot of people in a short amount of time or exposed to lots of noise, bright lights, loud voices, or music. You can...

  • A baby may be uncomfortable after feedings if he or she has swallowed air during the feeding. Burping helps get rid of air that the baby has swallowed. Burp a breastfeeding baby when you switch breasts during feeding. Burp a baby who is bottle-feeding after each 1 fl oz (30 mL) to 2 fl oz (60 mL) of fluid...

  • Fire ants are wingless insects that belong to the same family of insects as bees and wasps. Fire ants are found in the southeastern and south-central United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. They tend to attack and sting in great numbers. A...

  • Good posture and the way you move your body can help prevent tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. If your headaches seem to be related to tension in this area, be aware of your posture and position during daily activities. This...

  • Symptoms of a nonpoisonous spider bite may last from a few hours to a few days and are usually mild. Symptoms usually occur at the site of the bite and may include: Swelling. Redness. Pain. Itching. Home treatment is often all that is needed to...

  • Feed your baby whenever he or she seems hungry (on-demand). During the first few days or weeks, breastfeedings tend to occur every 1 to 3 hours around the clock. And formula-feedings tend to occur every 3 to 4 hours around the clock. You may have to wake your sleepy newborn to feed in the first few days after birth...

  • You may help cut down on your salt (sodium) intake by using a salt substitute. To make your own salt substitute, mix the following ingredients together and put them in a shaker: 0.5 tsp ( 2.5 g) cayenne pepper 0.5 tsp ( 2.5 g) garlic powder 1 tsp ( 5 g) each: Basil Onion powder Black...

  • When your child is not feeling well, he or she may not want anything to drink. This may happen if your child has a fever or diarrhea or is vomiting. It is important that your child drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration. Not drinking enough fluid can cause constipation. When the weather gets hot or when your child is...

  • A sponge bath may be given if: Your child's fever is 104 F (40 C) or higher and Acetaminophen or ibuprofen has not lowered the temperature and Your child is very uncomfortable. Give your child an appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen before giving him or her a sponge bath. Wait 30...

  • Assess changes in your child's behavior that might mean a hearing loss. Compare present behavior with past behavior. Does your child: Listen to speech? Turn to you when you speak? Smile when spoken to? Seem to recognize your voice? Quiet his or her crying when you speak? Startle or cry at noises? Awaken to loud...

  • Assess changes in your child's behavior that might mean a hearing loss. Compare past behavior with present behavior. Does your child: Listen when spoken to? Turn or look up when you call his or her name? Respond to requests like "come here" or "want more?" Recognize words for common items like cup, shoe, or juice?

  • Assess changes in your child's behavior that might mean a hearing loss. Compare present behavior with past behavior. Also, pay attention to the quality of your child's speech. Children must be able to hear well for normal speech and language to develop. Does your child: Listen to simple stories, songs, or rhymes...

  • Assess changes in your child's behavior that might indicate a hearing loss. Compare present behavior with past behavior. Does your child: Follow two requests, such as "Get the ball and put it on the table?" Continue to notice sounds, such as a telephone ringing, television sounds, or knocking at the door?

  • Objects (foreign bodies) inserted into the ear usually do not cause significant damage. But objects that are inserted forcefully can damage the ear canal or penetrate the eardrum. Problems with objects in the ear most commonly occur in children younger than age 5 and in people who have problems with thinking and...

  • Young children are more likely than older children or adults to put small objects—such as beads, dried beans, popcorn, plastic toy pieces, foam rubber, or small batteries—up their noses. If the child doesn't tell you about it, your first clue may be a bad-smelling green or yellow discharge or blood (epistaxis) from one...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • If your doctor thinks you might have a heart rhythm problem, he or she may ask you to keep a diary of symptoms. This information can help your doctor find out what type of rhythm problem you have. And if you have a rhythm problem, a symptom diary...

  • Vagal maneuvers are used to try to slow an episode of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). These simple maneuvers stimulate the vagus nerve, sometimes resulting in slowed conduction of electrical impulses through the atrioventricular (AV) node of the...

  • Electrical cardioversion is a procedure in which a brief electric shock is given to the heart to reset the heart rhythm back to its normal, regular pattern ( normal sinus rhythm). The shock is given through patches applied to the outside of the chest wall. In some situations an external defibrillator, which has paddles...

  • Covers procedure to destroy (ablate) tiny areas of heart muscle causing fast heart rate. Includes radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation. Covers use for supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT), Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, and ventricular tachycardia.

  • What is supraventricular tachycardia? Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) means that from time to time your heart beats very fast for a reason other than exercise, high fever, or stress. For most people who have SVT, the heart still works normally to pump blood through the body. Types of SVT include: Atrioventricular...

  • Provides questions to help you learn why you use tobacco. Discusses the benefits of quitting and offers strategies for quitting. Explains nicotine dependence and offers link to info on nicotine replacement therapy.

  • Rectal problems are common. Almost everyone will experience some rectal itching, pain, or bleeding at some time during his or her life. These problems are often minor and may go away on their own or with home treatment. Rectal itching Rectal itching (pruritus) is usually not a sign of a serious disease. At first, the...

  • What happens when you are stressed? Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight...

  • 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 respiratory problems that older children and adults can have. Covers viral and bacterial infections, allergies, and asthma. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Covers causes and symptoms of tension headaches. Looks at managing headaches with over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Includes stress reduction and getting sleep and exercise. Includes getting treatment for depression or anxiety.

  • Discusses hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in people who don't have diabetes. Explains blood sugar (glucose) in the body. Describes symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe hypoglycemia. Covers treatment for sudden episodes and emergency situations.

  • Amblyopia is a vision problem that occurs in a child when one eye is not used enough for the visual system in the brain to develop properly. This leads to poor vision in the affected eye. Treatment corrects amblyopia by training the brain to use the...

  • 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...

  • There are many things you can do to make living with low vision easier and safer. Low-vision rehabilitation specialists can give you detailed information and training on doing your household tasks and other activities that can be more challenging...

  • 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.

  • You can reduce your or your child's chances of being stung and having a subsequent allergic reaction by preventing or avoiding exposure to the stinging insects. Be cautious when you are outdoors, especially in areas where stinging insects may be...

  • The backup, or reflux, of stomach acids and juices into the esophagus that occurs with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can wear away (erode) the lining of the esophagus and cause sores, called ulcers. GERD is caused when stomach acid and juices reflux into the esophagus. This happens when the valve between...

  • 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...

  • Complications of strep throat are rare but can occur, especially if strep throat is not properly treated with antibiotics. Complications can be related either to the strep infection or to the body's immune response to the infection. Although rare,...

  • Covers symptoms of seizures caused by epilepsy, other health problems, or medicine. Explains why seizures, or convulsions, occur. Covers home treatment. Includes interactive tool the help you decide when to see a doctor.

  • Minor shoulder problems, such as sore muscles and aches and pains, are common. Shoulder problems develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or an injury. They can also be caused by the natural process of aging. Your shoulder joints move every time you move your arms. To better understand shoulder problems and...

  • Aspirin (such as Bayer or Bufferin) relieves pain and reduces fever and inflammation. Warning: Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 unless your doctor tells you to do so because of the risk of Reye syndrome. Be sure to follow the nonprescription medicine precautions. Aspirin is a nonsteroidal...

  • The signs of drug use depend on the drug and the person using the drug. Behaviors that may be signs of drug use include: Changes in sleeping or eating habits, less attention to dressing and grooming, or less interest in sex. Up and down moods, a...

  • Infant and child car seats save lives. By law, children must be buckled up in a car seat that is made for their weight, height, and age. Go to www.iihs.org/topics/child-safety#restraint-use to check your state's laws. A child who is not in a car seat can be seriously injured or killed during a crash or an abrupt...

  • It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a doctor. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that...

  • Your skin type affects how easily you sunburn. Sun protection measures should be used to prevent sunburn. Skin types and sunburn Skin type Skin color when not exposed to sun How skin reacts to sun I White or freckled skin You sunburn very easily and are not likely to tan. II White You...

  • Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to relieve pain and reduce fever and inflammation. Be sure to follow these medicine precautions: Your child's over-the-counter medicine will have a "Drug Facts" label. On the label, you'll find directions for...

  • Diarrhea is described as an increase in the frequency of bowel movements or a decrease in the consistency of stools that causes the discharge of watery, loose stools. The severity of diarrhea is determined by the size and number of stools passed within a period of time. Severe diarrhea means having more...

  • The following tips may help you stand and walk using good posture: Keep your ear, shoulder, hip, and ankle in a line. Avoid locking your knees while standing. Try placing one foot on a low stool if you must stand in one position for a long time. Switch feet every few minutes. Keep your lower back in the neutral...

  • What to watch for after a head injury A minor head injury is sometimes hard to distinguish from a more serious injury to the brain even when there is no visible bleeding or injury on the outside of the skull. Check for the following changes immediately after a head injury: A significant change in the child's level...

  • Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) with no cause is defined as at least 3 separate episodes of abdominal pain that occur in a 3-month period. These episodes are often severe, and the child is not able to do his or her normal activities. It may affect up to 30% of children between the ages of 4 and 12. Symptoms of RAP are...

  • Discusses heat rash (prickly heat). Looks at causes and symptoms of heat rash in babies. Covers signs of infection. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Appropriate jewelry for body piercing sites Is removable. If you have your mouth pierced and you use oral jewelry, make sure it can be removed. For example, you should be able to unscrew the ball on one end of a barbell-shaped device to make the device easy to insert and take out. Allows for full cleaning of the...

  • As children grow and develop, the safety of the home needs to be continually checked. Accidental injuries are one of the leading causes of death in children younger than age 5. The following questions can help you determine how your child's skills can affect his or her safety in the home: How quickly and how far can...

  • You can quickly estimate the size of a burn by using the "rule of nines." This method divides the body's surface area into percentages. Estimating burn size in adults See a picture of the "rule of nines" for adults. The front and back of the head and neck equal 9% of the body's surface area. The front and back of...

  • Note: If a chemical has been swallowed that may be a poison or may cause burning in the throat and esophagus, call your local Poison Control Center or the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) immediately for information on treatment. When you call the Poison Control Center, have the chemical container with...

  • The seriousness of a burn is determined by: The depth of the burn (first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree). First-degree burns are burns of the first layer of skin Second-degree burns. There are two types of second-degree burns: Superficial partial-thickness burns injure the first and second layers of skin...

  • What causes a detached nail? It can be very painful to tear or rip your nail from the nail bed. A nail may separate from the nail bed (detach) for many reasons, including: Injuries. Separation caused by injury is common in people who have long fingernails. The nail may pry away from the nail bed when it is hit or...

  • Color changes occur in nails for many reasons. A black nail may be caused by an injury. Bleeding or bruising under an injured nail will cause a black or purplish appearance. You may need to have the blood drained from under the nail. The black appearance will most often go away as the injury heals, but this may...

  • There are many reasons for changes in the shape and texture of the nails. Some changes, such as the minor pitting or the formation of ridges, occur with normal aging. Other changes in the shape and texture of nails include the following: Tube-shaped nails that curve inward (pincer nails) occur more...

  • The first steps to take when a person is in contact with an electrical source are: Have someone call or other emergency services. Do not touch the "electrified person" with your hands. Unplug the appliance or turn off the main power switch. Try to remove the person from the electrical...

  • Mouth sores may make eating and talking painful. The most common mouth sores are cold sores and canker sores. In severe cases of canker sores, a doctor may prescribe a medicine to ease inflammation and pain. Other possible causes of mouth sores include: Impetigo. Symptoms may include oozing...

  • When is bad breath most likely to occur? Everybody has bad breath from time to time, especially first thing in the morning. You also may have bad breath when you are hungry, when you are dieting, or after eating foods with a strong odor, such as garlic, onions, or pastrami. What causes bad breath? Many things can...

  • A blackout means not being able to remember what happened when you were drinking or using drugs. Blackouts are not the same as passing out. Passing out occurs when you lose consciousness. You don't pass out when you have a drug or alcohol blackout. In a blackout, you lose short-term memories. A blackout is a type of...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to...

  • How can I prevent tetanus? You can help prevent tetanus by having all of the suggested tetanus shots ( immunizations). There are three different types of tetanus shots. Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP). This vaccine is given in a series of five shots starting at age 2 months and ending at...

  • Cuts may slice off several layers of skin. As long as some of the layers of skin are still in place, new skin will form in the bottom of the wound and along the wound edges. The wound will heal from the bottom up. When a cut or scrape removes all of the layers of skin (a full-thickness avulsion injury), fat and...

  • Minor cuts on the head often bleed heavily because the face and scalp have many blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. Although this amount of bleeding may be alarming, many times the injury is not severe and the bleeding will stop with treatment you can do at home. But it is important to know the difference...

  • Most back injuries are caused by lifting or twisting and are not serious. Minor injuries can also result from overuse of the muscles and ligaments in the back. Back pain caused by a minor injury will usually go away by itself within 1 to 4 weeks. Moderate back injuries may result from tripping or falling short...

  • Comforting techniques often will calm a crying child if the crying isn't caused by pain. These techniques may help comfort a baby with colic, because colic isn't caused by pain. But if the crying doesn't seem normal or your baby seems sick, call...

  • Many insects, such as the following, cause mild reactions: Bedbugs. Kissing bugs. Chiggers. Fleas. Flies. Mites. Mosquitoes. Nonpoisonous spiders. Ticks. Scabies. Lice. For more information on lice, see the topic Body Lice, Head Lice, or Pubic Lice. Some insects are more likely than others to cause...

  • If you participate in endurance sports, you may miss periods or stop menstruating. This is called secondary amenorrhea, and it occurs because your ovaries are not producing enough estrogen. It is believed that stress and low body fat contribute to amenorrhea. This is more likely to happen if you are younger and if your...

  • Many times mild groin pain is caused by a minor injury that you may not have even noticed. Home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your pain. Most of the time when a serious problem is causing groin pain, you will have other...

  • A bite injury may need to be closed by a health professional, may require antibiotic medicines, or both. The decision to close a wound with stitches, staples, or skin adhesive depends on: The type of biting animal. The size and location of the bite. The time that has passed since the bite occurred...

  • Hydrocortisone cream, gel, or ointment is available without a prescription. It is commonly used to treat skin inflammation and itching. Precautions Carefully read and follow all label directions on the medicine bottle or box. Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells...

  • Rashes in the groin or genital area are usually caused by irritation of the skin from many sources, such as clothes rubbing against the skin. Rashes that occur without other symptoms are usually minor and often go away with home treatment. Contact dermatitis A common cause of a rash is contact with a substance that...

  • What is a female condom? Condoms can protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and they can be used to prevent pregnancy. The female condom is a tube of soft plastic (polyurethane) that has a closed end. Each end has a ring or rim. The ring at the closed end is inserted deep into the woman's vagina...

  • If a child has repeat ear infections (three or more ear infections in a 6-month period or four in 1 year), you may want to consider treatment to prevent future infections. One option used a lot in the past is long-term oral antibiotic treatment. There is debate within the medical community about using antibiotics on a...

  • When reviewing the following guidelines, take into account how heavy your normal menstrual flow is. Abnormal vaginal bleeding varies depending on what is normal for a particular woman. Severe vaginal bleeding means that you are soaking 1 or 2 pads or tampons in 1 or 2 hours, unless that is normal for you...

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding with fever may be caused by an infection in the pelvic organs. During your period, bacteria can travel up the vagina into the uterus and fallopian tubes and cause an infection. This is more common during menstruation but can occur at any time during your menstrual cycle. Symptoms of pelvic...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription drugs can cause weakness and fatigue. A few examples are: Antianxiety medicines. Antidepressants. High blood pressure medicines. Statin medicines for high cholesterol. If you think a prescription or nonprescription medicine may be causing your weakness or fatigue, call your...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can make you feel lightheaded or affect your balance. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Blood pressure medicines. Medicines used to treat depression or anxiety. Pain medicines. Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). If you think a prescription or...

  • The following exercises will help strengthen the muscles in your neck as well as relieve existing neck pain. You don't need to do every exercise. Do the ones that help you the most. Stop any exercise that increases pain. Do each exercise slowly. Talk to your doctor before doing any of these exercises. Side and...

  • The possibility of a spinal injury must be considered anytime an accident involves the head, face, neck, or back. Permanent paralysis may be avoided if the injured person is kept from moving (immobilized) and is transported correctly. Do not move the person if you think he or she may have a spinal injury...

  • Almost all babies spit up, especially newborns. Spitting up happens less often after the muscles of the esophagus, the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach, become more coordinated. This process can take as little as 6 months or as long as 1 year. When spitting up becomes a problem If your baby...

  • Blunt abdominal injuries, such as from a fall or a blow to the stomach, can cause severe bruising of the abdominal wall and bleeding from or rupture of the internal organs. These types of injuries are often caused by falls from a significant height. They can also be caused by car, bike, sledding, or skiing accidents in...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause belly pain or cramping. A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Antibiotics. Antidiarrheals. Laxatives. Iron supplements. Your health professional may be able to prescribe other medicines if you are...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause heartburn. A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Antibiotics. Steroids, such as prednisone. Some heart medicines. Caffeine and alcohol also can cause heartburn. If you think that your heartburn may...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines and supplements can cause headaches. A few examples are: Medicines that contain hormones, such as birth control pills and hormone therapy for menopause. Medicines for erection problems. Caffeine (because of caffeine withdrawal). Some heart and blood pressure...

  • 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...

  • A productive cough helps clear mucus (sputum) and foreign material from the airways. Mucus may be made in the lungs because of bronchitis, pneumonia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Colds and allergies may produce mucus that drains down the back of the throat ( postnasal drainage). Home treatment may...

  • Dry coughs that continue after other cold symptoms clear or that occur without other symptoms may be caused by a variety of health problems. Some people start coughing when they breathe very dry, heated air. This can be caused by environmental irritation or allergies. This type of cough may be more noticeable when you...

  • Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat. These nosebleeds typically are not serious, and you can generally treat them yourself at home. A less common but more serious type of nosebleed starts in the back of the nose and...

  • Nosebleeds that recur often are commonly caused by bleeding from the front of the nose (anterior epistaxis). Common causes of this type of nosebleed are: Blowing or picking the nose. Structural problems in the nose, either present from birth (congenital) or caused by an injury. Low humidity. Minor health problems...

  • Most people lose as much as 1 qt (1 L) to 2 qt (2 L) of fluid during 1 hour of exercise. When you are not drinking enough fluids, your muscles get tired quickly, and you may have leg cramps while walking or running. If you are an athlete, you can lose as much as 3 qt (3 L) of fluid an hour during an intense workout...

  • Many nonprescription and prescription medicines can cause nausea or vomiting. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Antidepressants. Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Opioid pain medicines. Vitamins and mineral supplements, such...

  • Most injuries are not caused by abuse. But bruises are often the first sign of possible abuse. Suspect physical abuse of a child or vulnerable adult when: Any injury cannot be explained or does not match the explanation. Repeated injuries occur. Explanations change for how the injury happened. You may be able to...

  • Some minor pain, bruising, and swelling are common following a blow to the eye. A black eye may show up after 1 or 2 days. A few specks or a small amount of blood on the white part of the eye often appear after a blow to the eye. Use home treatment to help relieve your symptoms. A direct blow to the eye can damage the...

  • Signs of an eye infection may include: Pain in the eye. A feeling that something is in the eye (foreign body sensation). Increased sensitivity to light ( photophobia). Yellow, green, bloody, or watery discharge from the eye. Increasing redness of the eye or eyelids. A gray or white sore on the colored part of the...

  • Warmth may relieve pain, relax muscle spasms, increase circulation, and help heal a wound or other problems that affect the eye. For an eye problem, use either of the following methods: Dry warmth. Place a protective layer of fabric between a warm compress and the skin. Heating pads and hot water...

  • Some people are constipated for weeks, months, or years, and others have bouts of constipation that come and go over long periods of time. Chronic constipation may have many causes, including: Diet, especially if you do not include enough fruits, vegetables, and fiber in your diet each day. Medicines, such as...

  • What is a laxative? A laxative is a substance that helps you have a bowel movement. Laxatives are used to relieve and prevent constipation, which occurs when it is difficult to have a bowel movement. What types of laxatives are there? There are four types of products for preventing or treating...

  • A cough that is more noticeable when your child is lying down is usually caused by mucus running down the back of the throat (postnasal drip) from an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, sinusitis, or allergy. A child usually has a runny or stuffy nose, may be irritable, and may have a fever. Home treatment is...

  • If your child has a barking cough: Hold your child in a calming manner. Keep your child quiet, if possible. Crying can make breathing more difficult. Try rocking or distracting your child with a book or game. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Don't use a hot vaporizer. Use only water in the humidifier...

  • Disc batteries (also called button cell batteries) are found in toys, watches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, and some remote-controlled devices. These batteries are small, usually less than 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across, and can be easily inserted into the nose. A disc battery in the nose must be removed...

  • Eyelid problems may be caused by irritation or infection. Common symptoms are redness, swelling, itching, and excess tearing; some drainage may also be present. Common symptoms of a stye (hordeolum) include swelling and tenderness or a tender red lump on the eyelid with occasional discharge from the lump. A chalazion...

  • Parents are often the first to notice vision problems in a young child. A vision exam may be needed if your child: Is clumsy (beyond normal toddler clumsiness) and fails to notice new things around him or her. Squints when the light is not bright or...

  • Some insect and spider bites or stings can cause flu-like symptoms to develop within hours of a bite or sting. Or symptoms may be delayed up to 3 weeks. Flu-like symptoms include: Fever. Shaking chills. Muscle or joint aches. Headache. Swollen glands. A vague feeling of illness (malaise). Flu-like symptoms may...

  • Good body mechanics means practicing good posture throughout the day. Use good body mechanics all the time, not just when you have back pain. Keep your back in the neutral position—not too curved and not too flat. When you must stay in one position for long periods of time, take regular breaks to stretch and restore...

  • The inability to move a part of your body (paralysis) as a result of a tick bite is a rare problem. Tick paralysis can be caused by several different types of ticks in North America. The symptoms of tick paralysis are caused by the venom secreted from the female tick during feeding. Symptoms usually start 4 to 7 days...

  • Many of the diseases ticks pass to humans can cause flu-like symptoms, including: Fever. Headache. Muscle aches (myalgia). A general feeling of illness (malaise). Nausea and vomiting. Diseases ticks may pass to humans include: Lyme disease. Symptoms usually start 1 to 4 weeks after the tick bite, with up to 90%...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause diarrhea. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Antidepressants. Antacids. Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid). Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Many antibiotics cause diarrhea. Usually the diarrhea...

  • Skin cancer can be cured if found and treated early. Your doctor may check your skin during your annual exam. Or your doctor may suggest a skin exam more often, especially if you have: Familial atypical mole and melanoma (FAM-M) syndrome. This is an inherited tendency to develop melanoma. Examine your skin every...

  • Discusses common skin changes and possible causes. Includes info on skin cancer. Includes home treatment tips for adults and children.

  • Discusses various sleep problems of those 12 and older. Covers insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome. Offers tips to improve sleep. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Poisonous snake or lizard bite A bite from a poisonous (venomous) snake or lizard requires emergency care. If you have been bitten by a snake or lizard that you know or think might be poisonous, call or other emergency services immediately. Do not wait for symptoms to develop. If you are not sure what type of...

  • Sunlight can help our mental outlook and help us feel healthier. For people who have arthritis, the sun's warmth can help relieve some of their physical pain. Many people also think that a suntan makes a person look young and healthy. But sunlight can be harmful to the skin, causing immediate problems as well as...

  • Looks at symptoms of sore throat caused by virus and bacteria infections and irritants. Covers common cold, mononucleosis (mono), strep throat, and flu. Covers symptoms such as swollen glands and pain. Discusses antibiotics and home treatment medicines.

  • Lists common sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV, HPV (genital warts), syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Covers safer sex. Offers prevention tips.

  • Many parents of a thumb-sucking infant question whether they should substitute a pacifier for the thumb. So far, research does not show that one is preferable over the other. Also, although parents can encourage a child to suck a pacifier rather than a thumb, they can't control which the child will prefer. The...

  • Many people choose to exercise with fitness machines such as treadmills, stair-climbers, stationary bicycles, and cross-country skiing machines. These all offer aerobic conditioning and may also strengthen muscles. Fitness machines can be great for exercising when the weather is bad or days are short. You may also like...

  • Daytime accidental wetting is much less common than bed-wetting. But about 1 out of 4 children who wet the bed at night also wet during the day. Knowing the cause of the wetting will help you and your child's doctor decide on the best treatment. Daytime accidental wetting is more likely than bed-wetting to develop...

  • Many studies have shown that placing a baby younger than 1 year old to sleep on his or her back is the most important thing parents can do to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Since 1992, the number of babies who sleep on their back has gone up (due mostly to the national "Back to Sleep" campaign)...

  • Discusses normal growth and development of children ages 2 to 5. Covers physical growth, language skills, toilet training, and eating and sleeping habits. Also discusses how kids think and manage their feelings. Includes info on routine medical visits.

  • The body responds to stress with muscle tension, which can cause pain or discomfort. In turn, tense muscles relay to the body that it's stressed, which keeps the stress–muscle-tension cycle going. Progressive muscle relaxation helps break this cycle by reducing muscle tension and general mental anxiety. Progressive...

  • You can handle stress better when you are as healthy as possible, so eating nutritiously is a good defense against stress. The tips below focus on using nutrition to reduce the symptoms of stress. For more information about eating right, see the topic Healthy Eating. Avoid or limit caffeine. Coffee, tea...

  • You may not know what is causing your stress , exactly how your body responds to stress, or how you cope with stress. To find out, keep a record to track the times you feel stressed. Write down: What may have triggered the stress. Guess, if you aren't sure. How you felt and behaved in response to the stressful...

  • The signs of stress can be physical or mental. Some people call this "storing" stress in the body (physical) or in the mind (mental). Common physical symptoms of stress include: Rapid heartbeat. Headache. Stiff neck and/or tight shoulders. Backache. Rapid breathing. Sweating and sweaty palms. Upset stomach...

  • When your beliefs conflict with the way you are living your life, stress may result. It may be helpful to examine your belief systems so you can better manage your stress. World view Your world view is your basic beliefs about human nature, how the world works, and what life is about. Your views about religion make...

  • We all find ways of coping with stress. Some coping strategies are not as helpful as others. For example, negative coping responses often make your stress worse, because they wear you down over time or are temporary distractions. On the other hand, positive coping responses keep you in the present moment and give you...

  • The methods described here help you relax, relieve stress, and feel better. Imagery for releasing muscle tension Close your eyes and imagine one of the following: Wax softening and melting. A tight, twisted rope slowly unwinding. Tension swirling out of your body and down the drain. You holding a remote control...

  • Covers major sources of job stress that can lead to burnout. Includes stressors such as lack of control or job insecurity. Looks at reducing stress by talking with your supervisor, managing time, unplugging from the office, and knowing when to quit.

  • If you plan to breastfeed and use a breast pump at times, research your equipment options while you are pregnant. When evaluating the different types of breast pumps, think about how often you will need to use the pump. Think about: How often you will need other caregivers to feed your baby. Whether you will return...

  • A number of things influence how much milk you produce (your milk supply). The two most important things are how often you breastfeed and how well your breast is emptied. The hormone that regulates milk production ( prolactin) is stimulated by breastfeeding. So the more frequently you feed your baby and empty your...

  • You can be reassured that your baby is eating enough and is well nourished when he or she: Shows an eager desire and wakes up frequently to breastfeed. Rhythmically sucks and swallows milk. The fronts of your baby's ears will move slightly, and you...

  • Preschool-age children develop a sense of independence by practicing skills and doing things for themselves, such as getting dressed or brushing their teeth. Children who are not allowed to perform tasks on their own get the message that they are...

  • Parents who are dependable, consistent, respectful, and responsive to their children help them to develop a sense of security. These qualities are especially important for parents of preschool children, because children at this age are gaining a basic sense of trust in themselves and in the significant people in their...

  • Preschool children are driven to explore their world. This curiosity is the basis for learning, now and throughout their lives. Children at play are little scientists. They answer for themselves basic questions about how the world works, whether...

  • By age 3, most children benefit from some form of regular social contact, such as nursery school or play groups. Playing with other children even 1 day a week provides opportunities to practice and develop important social, emotional, and language...

  • Newborns and toddlers Speech and language lessons start in the uterus, where your unborn baby hears and responds to familiar voices. After birth, your newborn learns language by listening to the basic and distinct sounds (phonemes), such as the "tr" and "cl" sounds in the English language. Reading to your newborn...

  • Gaining self-control is one of the biggest challenges that children face between the ages of 2 and 5. Children need guidance, clear limits, and patient parents during this time of behavioral and emotional struggles. They also need interaction with...

  • Birth control methods Method How it prevents pregnancy Hormonal Prevents ovulation Thickens mucus at the cervix so sperm cannot pass through Changes the environment of the uterus and fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization and to prevent implantation if fertilization occurs Intrauterine device...

  • 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.

  • What is fainting? Fainting is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness. When people faint, or pass out, they usually fall down. After they are lying down, most people will recover quickly. The term doctors use for fainting is syncope (say "SING-kuh-pee"). Fainting one time is usually nothing to worry about. But it is a...

  • Discusses changing your diet to help protect your kidneys when you have kidney disease. Gives general ideas about how to follow the diet your doctor or dietitian recommends. Covers restricting salt (sodium), protein, phosphorus, and potassium.

  • What is emergency contraception? Emergency contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy if: You had sex without using birth control. Your birth control method failed. Maybe you forgot to take your pill or get your shot, the condom broke or came off, or your diaphragm slipped. You were sexually...

  • What is gastroesophageal reflux? Gastroesophageal reflux happens when food and stomach acid flow from the stomach back into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. In adults, reflux is often called heartburn or acid reflux. Reflux is common in babies and...

  • Name: ________________________ Target blood pressure: __________ Date Time (a.m.) Blood pressure Time (p.m.) Blood pressure Comments Sample: 8/6 8:15 138/87 6:20 142/92 Stressful day at work

  • Discusses foods to improve heart health. Looks at basic rules of a heart healthy eating, including eating more fruits and vegetables. Lists specific foods that are considered good for your heart.

  • 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.

  • If you need oxygen at home, it is important to learn how to use and take care of your equipment. This information will help you get the most from your oxygen treatment. If you have low blood oxygen levels, breathing extra oxygen can help you feel better and lead to a longer, more active life. You can travel even...

  • Guides through decision to take antiviral medicine for the flu. Explains the two types of antiviral medicines for the flu and who should take them. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to get a flu vaccine. Provides info on the flu vaccine. Explains who should and should not get a flu vaccine. Covers benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Provides guidelines to reduce problems and get the most benefit from taking antidepressants. Covers what you need to know about antidepressants, side effects, and risks. Covers how to take medicine wisely.

  • Discusses dealing with side effects of antidepressants. Links to more info on medicines, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants. Explains reasons to take medicine. Includes a warning to watch for serious side effects.

  • Discusses pacemakers to control heart rhythm. Gives information on safety guidelines and tips for exercise and travel.

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for adults 18 and older for high blood pressure. Tests and programs for high blood pressure vary widely in reliability. Results from automated blood pressure testing, such as you might do at a grocery store or pharmacy, may not be accurate. Any...

  • Screening for prostate cancer—checking for signs of the disease when there are no symptoms—is done with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. In the United States, about 12 out of 100 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime during their lifetime. But most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer don't...

  • Children Doctors weigh children at routine checkups. They plot measurements on a growth chart to see how your child compares physically to other children of the same age. Doctors update the chart at each routine exam to document your child's growth pattern. "Overweight" and "obese" are terms sometimes used when...

  • Children Some hearing problems can delay your child's speech and language development. Early screening for hearing loss can help prevent many learning, social, and emotional problems that can be related to speech and language development. Call your doctor if at any time you suspect your child has a hearing problem...

  • If you or your doctor thinks you may be at risk for osteoporosis, you may have a screening test to check your bone thickness. A screening test may be advisable if you have: A fracture in a minor injury that may have been caused by osteoporosis. Another medical condition that is known to cause bone...

  • All cases of tuberculosis (TB) are reported to the local or state health department, because the disease can spread to others and cause outbreaks. Major health authorities keep track of TB outbreaks and encourage early testing for people who are at risk for the disease. The CDC recommends TB testing for people who...

  • Programs to screen for lead poisoning focus on finding children or adults who are likely to be exposed to lead. These programs, developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), advise local and state agencies to determine which geographic areas are the most likely to be at risk for lead exposure...

  • Ticks are small spiderlike animals (arachnids) that bite to fasten themselves onto the skin and feed on blood. Ticks live in the fur and feathers of many birds and animals. Tick bites occur most often during early spring to late summer and in areas where there are many wild animals and birds. Most ticks don't carry...

  • Here are some ways you can help comfort your child who has a respiratory illness (such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection or a cold): Ask your doctor if your child can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve fever (if present). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the...

  • If the herpes simplex virus (HSV) invades a part of the body other than the genital area, it may cause disease in that part of the body. In general, complications are rare. And they usually occur with the first-time (primary) genital herpes outbreak. Some of these complications include: Meningitis, an infection of the...

  • Breast milk or formula is the only food babies need for the first 6 months of life, at which point solid foods can be gradually introduced. Ideally, your baby will be fed only breast milk until 6 months of age. Some babies may be ready for solid foods at 4 or 5 months. Ask your doctor when you can start feeding your...

  • You can help create and strengthen the emotional bond with your baby by: Making frequent eye contact, such as during feeding times. Young babies love to look at your face and eyes. Cuddling your baby in the crook of your arm is about the perfect...

  • When you cuddle, talk to, and play with your baby, you build an emotional bond. You also help stimulate his or her learning and cognitive development. Show your baby new and interesting things. For instance, carry your baby around the room and show...

  • Guides through decision to use antibiotics for a child's ear infection. Covers symptoms of an ear infection. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision. This topic is only appropriate for children 6 months and older.

  • Whether a person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia should still be allowed to drive is a common dilemma faced by people who have the disease and by their caregivers. Taking away driving privileges may reduce the person's sense of independence and increase dependence on family and friends. But it is extremely...

  • What kinds of development occur between ages 6 and 10? Children ages 6 to 10 are more independent and physically active than they were in the preschool years. They also are more involved with friends and are learning to think in more complex ways. Progress in the major areas of development—physical, intellectual...

  • Growth between the ages of 6 and 10 usually occurs in spurts but progresses at an overall steady pace. Most children gain an average of 7 lb (3 kg) and 2.5 in. (6 cm) each year. The loss of baby teeth and their replacement by permanent teeth is one of the most dramatic signs of physical development for this age...

  • Around age 6, children begin to change the way they think about the world. They leave behind the preschooler's egocentric thinking and begin developing more mature ways of understanding. A typical first-grader is able to perform simple addition and subtraction, and he or she usually begins to read and write sentences...

  • The home remains a child's most important sphere of influence during the early school years. It also becomes the base from which children explore relationships outside of the home. A child's increasing independence is tested, for example, by the first night spent away from home. The child returns home with a sense of...

  • While most children have a large vocabulary—about 13,000 words—at age 6, they have limited ability to understand complicated language structures. From ages 6 to 10, children gradually begin to think in more complex ways. This growth helps them understand and use the nuances and subtleties of language. Children...

  • Many children ages 6 to 10, if left to their own devices, would eat pizza 3 times a day, 7 days a week, or play video games for hours at a time. That is because they have not developed control over their drives and appetites, which can include...

  • Your child may seem anxious about everyday occurrences. School-age children usually are still dealing with a number of fears that first developed during their early childhood, such as fear of ghosts, of the dark, or even of dying. Every child's...

  • Most school-age children feel driven to "make it" in the world away from home. Making friends and being accepted become top priorities. School is a testing ground where children evaluate, accept, and reject each other daily. At times, parents cringe at the degree to which children try to fit in and are often saddened...

  • Children between ages 6 and 10 years make major gains in muscle strength and coordination. Boys and girls are able to compete quite evenly at sports, because muscle development and coordination occur at about the same times for both sexes. Team sports are a good way for children to build both motor skills and...

  • As a parent, you are the ideal teacher to help your child learn about sex. Open communication about sexuality helps your child understand his or her feelings and encourages a positive attitude toward a natural process. Your explanations should be honest and simple. Because children's cognitive growth is ongoing, a...

  • Every day, children ages 6 to 10 may face new challenges at home with their families and at school with their friends and teachers. At the end of one day, they may feel good about themselves. They have fun with their friends, have done well at...

  • To build healthy self-esteem, all children need to feel that they can do at least one thing very well. Many times, though, a child's special talent is overlooked because it's not an area that is recognized at school or elsewhere. Parents can...

  • Egocentric thinking is the normal tendency for a young child to see everything that happens as it relates to him- or herself. This is not selfishness. Young children are unable to understand different points of view. For example, a preschool child...

  • In the first month, your doctor will pay close attention to your baby's increasing weight, length, and head circumference, which is measured around the largest point of the head, usually starting at a point on the forehead. The average birth weight for babies is around 7.5 lb (3.5 kg), although between 5.5 lb...

  • Cognition is the ability to think, learn, and remember. Your baby is born with 100 billion brain cells ( neurons). To function at their full potential, these cells must form connections (synapses) with each other. These connections carry messages between the cells in the brain and from the brain to the body. During a...

  • Speech and language lessons start in the uterus, where your developing baby hears and responds to familiar voices. Indeed, soon after birth, your baby prefers and responds more to the mother's voice than to any other. Also, your newborn can recognize whether sounds are part of his or her native language. Your newborn...

  • Newborn senses Your newborn is equipped with all five senses, although some are more developed than others. Touch. Your newborn's sense of touch is highly developed, particularly around the mouth, where he or she is sensitive to temperature, pressure, and pain. Newborns like gentle handling and to...

  • Your newborn immediately starts to communicate with you. Newborns need and, in their own way, ask for social interaction with others. They communicate by moving their arms and legs and directing their gaze toward a familiar voice. Their eyes and face brighten as they track parents' movements and scan their faces. When...

  • To help establish and maintain a predictable daily schedule, respond to your baby's needs and try to reinforce your baby's natural habits. Eating From birth, babies follow their internal hunger and fullness cues. They eat when they're hungry and stop eating when they're full. Experts agree that newborns should be fed...

  • Babies cry to communicate that they are hungry, wet, tired, too warm, too cold, lonely, or otherwise uncomfortable. When you respond promptly to these cries, you help your baby feel confident and safe. After your baby's need is met, the crying usually stops. The more consistently you respond to your baby when he or she...

  • You naturally develop an emotional bond with your baby simply by spending time together, being physically close, and responding to his or her cues. Although the bond does not require special planning, keep the following in mind: Respond to your newborn's crying. Newborn babies cannot act with forethought, so they are...

  • When you encourage emotional bonding with your baby by cuddling, talking, and playing with him or her, you also stimulate brain development and communication. To further promote learning and communication: Learn your newborn's cues and recognize when he or she is most alert and receptive. Newborn communication can be...

  • Preparing for a newborn Be prepared for a variety of reactions from your older child when a newborn joins your family. It is normal for an older child to feel jealous and displaced when you have another baby. The older sibling may go back to thumb-sucking, abandon potty training, or display other similar behaviors...

  • 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.

  • Thyroid surgery is used to treat thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, and hyperthyroidism. During this procedure, part or all of the thyroid gland is removed. During surgery, an incision is made in the skin. The muscle and other tissues are pulled aside to expose the thyroid gland.

  • 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...

  • What kinds of growth and development occur during ages 12 to 24 months? Your child's rapid brain development between the ages of 12 and 24 months causes amazing changes to happen—such as talking, walking, and remembering—as he or she enters the toddler years. The changes that happen in this period are often...

  • Separation protest (also called separation anxiety) usually starts around 9 months of age, peaks near 15 months of age, and starts to fade sometime before the third birthday. The intensity and duration of separation protest is affected by your...

  • Toddlers may throw fits, act selfishly, and rarely mind. This behavior often develops out of frustration from not being able to communicate, master skills, and be as independent as they want to be. Assertiveness and irritability are normal behaviors for toddlers. Toddlers are actively absorbing and exploring the world...

  • The typical toddler is programmed to crawl, walk, run, climb, and seek out new experiences. Toddlers need stimulation to improve their motor and sensory skills. You can foster your toddler's strength and coordination: Play and interact with your toddler. Playing, dancing, marching, and doing other simple...

  • Heart block refers to an abnormality in the way electricity passes through the normal electrical pathways of the heart. The abnormality "blocks" the electrical impulse from continuing through the normal pathways and usually results in a slower heart rate. What causes heart block? Heart block can be caused...

  • Is it safe for you to have sex? If you have an arrhythmia and your doctor says that it's okay for you to do moderate activity, like brisk walking, then it's probably safe for you to have sex. If you have any concerns, ask your doctor. Your doctor can check the health of your heart and help you know if it's safe...

  • Are there driving restrictions for people with heart rhythm problems? If you have an arrhythmia or an ICD that makes it dangerous for you to drive, your doctor might suggest that you stop driving, at least for a short time. If you have an arrhythmia that doesn't cause significant symptoms, you don't have to stop or...

  • Sick sinus syndrome is the name given to a group of arrhythmias that occur because the normal pacemaker of the heart (the sinus node) does not work properly. Sick sinus syndrome is also called sinus node dysfunction. For more information on other types of sinus node problems, see Types of Bradycardia. What...

  • Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is a heart rhythm problem that causes a very fast heart rate. WPW is one type of supraventricular tachycardia called atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT). With WPW, an extra electrical pathway links the upper chambers (atria) and lower chambers (ventricles) of the...

  • Heart rhythm problems, called arrhythmias, can cause a few types of symptoms. These symptoms happen because the heart isn't beating regularly or may not be pumping blood as well as normal. Some of these symptoms include palpitations, lightheadedness, fainting, and shortness of breath. Palpitations Having palpitations...

  • What is dyslexia? Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it hard to read, write, and spell. It occurs because the brain jumbles or mixes up letters and words. Children with dyslexia often have a poor memory of spoken and written words. Having dyslexia does not mean that your or your child's ability to learn is...

  • How do teenagers grow and develop during ages 15 to 18? The ages from 15 to 18 are an exciting time of life. But these years can be challenging for teens and their parents. Emotions can change quickly as teens learn to deal with school, their friends, and adult expectations. Teen self-esteem is affected by success...

  • How do children grow and develop between ages 11 and 14? The ages 11 through 14 years are often referred to as early adolescence. These years are an exciting time of many varied and rapid changes. Your child grows taller and stronger and also starts to feel and think in more mature ways. You may feel amazed as you...

  • Dyslexia may occur with other learning or emotional problems. Some of the conditions associated with dyslexia may be the result of the way the child's brain was formed or how it functions. Some of the emotional problems that a child with dyslexia can have are due to frustrations and failures at school and home. But keep...

  • Adolescence is a time of rapid growth in height and weight and of physical changes throughout the body. Most of these changes occur near the time of puberty, which in the United States and Canada usually begins for girls between the ages of 9 and 11, and for most boys between the ages of 9½ and 13. Breast buds—slight...

  • Adolescents typically think in concrete ways. This means that they have difficulty with abstract and symbolic concepts. Their thinking tends to be focused on the present. They are just starting to be able to gather information from experience, analyze information, and make critical decisions about future choices and...

  • Independence, individuality, identity, and self-esteem are buzzwords for early teen emotional and social development. Elementary school-age children have strong ties to their families and want to please their parents. The years 11 through 14 are a transition between childhood and adulthood. Appropriately, adolescents...

  • Before the adolescent growth spurt, the strength of boys and girls is about the same. But afterward, males most often have the advantage. During these years of rapid physical growth, adolescents may be somewhat awkward or clumsy as they get used to longer limbs and bigger bodies. Their brains need time to adjust to the...

  • Adolescent thinking tends to be focused on the present. But adolescents and teens are rapidly learning new skills related to complex reasoning, inductive and deductive reasoning, sensitivity toward others, flexibility, and problem solving. Remind yourself that it is normal for adolescents to have a sense of being...

  • The teen years can be a difficult time for both your teen and you. But, you can also experience times of pride, laughter, and closeness. The world changes so quickly that you may not recognize the problems your teen may face. Some issues teens face may be choices that involve alcohol and drugs, high-risk sexual...

  • Puberty begins with hormonal shifts that trigger the development of male and female sex characteristics. In general, puberty usually starts for girls between the ages of 9 and 11, and for most boys between the ages of 9½ and 13 years. The exact age at which puberty starts varies widely among individuals. Having an...

  • Remember the knot in your stomach the week before you began junior high as you imagined losing your way to classes, a mass of new faces, lots of different and probably scary teachers, and mountains of homework? Those fears live in the hearts and minds of adolescents and teens. While most adolescents make the adjustment...

  • Getting enough sleep and rest is important during the teen years. Teens need more sleep than younger children, because rapid physical growth and activity during the teen years can cause fatigue. Many teenagers sleep late whenever possible and often have problems getting up in the morning. Teenagers' biological clocks...

  • By the time a child starts school, his or her distinct temperament becomes more apparent. Every child has a unique way of feeling, thinking, and interacting with others. Some children are shy, while others are outgoing. Some are active, while others are calm. Some are fretful, while others are easygoing. Each family is...

  • By age 15, most girls have had their first menstrual period and have completed the rapid growth spurt that usually occurs during puberty. After the first period, teenage girls grow 1.5 in. (3.8 cm) to 3 in. (7.6 cm) on average. Other early changes of puberty, such as the growth of pubic hair and breasts, have also...

  • By age 16, most teens are developing the ability to think abstractly, deal with several concepts at the same time, and imagine the future consequences of their actions. This type of thinking in a logical sequence continues to develop into adulthood. Also by age 16, teens can learn to process more complex problems, to...

  • Older teens may seem mature at times, but they often will still have periods of childish behavior. Those who have not yet established a personal identity and sense of independence may try defining themselves through rebellious or difficult behavior. Teens learn about themselves through expanding their relationships...

  • Teens want an answer to the eternal question, "Who am I?" Part of the answer lies in their sexual self. The teen years can be a confusing time. Hormones, cultural and peer pressures, and fear of being different can cause many teens to question themselves in many areas, including their sexual orientation and gender...

  • Most parents are nervous about their teenager driving a car. As a parent, you are right in your concern. Most teens learn to drive by taking driver's education classes. While teens are learning to drive, they need to get as much experience as possible with another adult in the car. Not all parents have the temperament...

  • Teens may start working during the high school years, often starting with a summer job. Work experience can offer many valuable lessons for teens and gives them a sense of independence and accomplishment. They also develop skills they will need to become successful in the adult workforce, such as how to balance time...

  • Offers tips on talking with your child about sex. Addresses family values. Covers getting conversations started. Covers topics such as using condoms and other forms of birth control to avoid pregnancy and STIs. Also covers sexual abuse and date rape.

  • Parenting a teenager can be both challenging and rewarding. Many teens have conflicting feelings about growing up and aren't yet able to gracefully manage these emotions. They can be inconsistent with their affections, argumentative, and at times even hurtful. As your teen struggles with becoming independent, it is...

  • To a baby's eyes, your home is one big playground. He or she sees a lot of things to crawl under, climb on top of, pull down, touch, taste, and smell. It can be fun to watch your baby discover new things as he or she learns to crawl and walk. But it can also be scary to think about what your baby might get into around...

  • When can I have sex again? Sex is part of a healthy life and part of your quality of life. It is safe for most people after they have had a heart attack. After a heart attack, you can resume sexual activity when you are healthy and feel ready for it. You could be ready if you can do mild or moderate activity...

  • Some risk factors—things that increase your risk—for coronary artery disease (CAD), such as your gender, age, and family history, cannot be changed. Other risk factors for CAD are related to lifestyle and often can be changed. Your chance of developing coronary artery disease increases with the number of risk factors...

  • If you have an irregular heartbeat ( arrhythmia), ask your doctor what type and level of exercise is safe for you. Regular activity can help keep your heart and body healthy. The type and amount of exercise that is allowable will vary depending on the cause of your abnormal heart rhythm and whether you have other...

  • Discusses pacemakers used to treat bradycardia. Discusses various types of pacemakers. Covers how they work and how well they work, risks, and possible side effects.

  • What are razor bumps? Razor bumps, or ingrown hairs, are small, irritated bumps on the skin. They happen after you shave, when strands of hair curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. They cause irritation and pimples. They also may cause scarring. How are razor bumps treated? The best way to treat razor bumps...

  • What is an ankle sprain? Most people have twisted an ankle at some point in their life. But if your ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, you have most likely sprained it. This means you have stretched and possibly torn the ligaments in your ankle. Even though ankle sprains are common, they are not...

  • Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are surgeries that are done to try to relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine by stabilizing the broken bone with a substance that works like cement. These surgeries are not done very often, because most fractures heal on their own. Fractures can happen because of...

  • Guides you through decision to take bisphosphonate medicines for osteoporosis. Lists medicine names like alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel). Lists risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The risk of getting osteoporosis increases with age as bones naturally become thinner. After age 30, the rate at which your bone tissue dissolves and is absorbed by the body slowly increases, while the rate of bone building decreases. So overall you lose a small amount of bone each year after age 30. In women, bone...

  • Ankle sprains are common injuries that can result in lifelong problems. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems. Rehabilitation (rehab) exercises are critical to ensure that the ankle heals completely...

  • Ankle sprains are common injuries that can result in lifelong problems. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems. If an ankle sprain does not heal correctly, the joint may become unstable, resulting in a...

  • What is domestic violence? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • Covers importance of exercising regularly when you have coronary artery disease. Guides you through steps of starting a complete exercise program that includes aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching. Explains how to set goals you can reach.

  • Covers risk of heart disease and stroke in women. Lists things that increase risk. Lists prevention steps, such as diet, exercise, not smoking, managing cholesterol and blood pressure, and making decisions on birth control and hormone therapy.

  • Children with sensory processing disorder have difficulty processing information from the senses (touch, movement, smell, taste, vision, and hearing) and responding appropriately to that information. These children typically have one or more senses...

  • Nonverbal learning disorder is a learning disorder that has many traits commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder. Like those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), children with nonverbal learning disorder usually start to talk around 2 years...

  • If you want to learn about supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), go to the topic Supraventricular Tachycardia. What is ventricular tachycardia? Ventricular tachycardia is a type of fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower part of the heart (ventricles). The heart might beat more than 100 beats per minute...

  • Discusses taking aspirin to prevent a first and second heart attack for people who have coronary artery disease. Covers aspirin therapy to help lower risk of a stroke. Discusses if aspirin therapy is for you. Looks at things to avoid while taking aspirin.

  • Interactive tool measures your readiness to quit smoking. Helps you identify the stage of change that you're in. Offers questions to help you think about what to do next. Includes link to more extensive info on quitting tobacco use.

  • The amount of time it takes for a woman's full fertility to return after stopping birth control varies for each woman and depends on the birth control method she is using. Your ability to get pregnant gradually decreases as you age, starting at age 25. Poor health and irregular periods may also decrease your fertility...

  • What is diabetic retinopathy? Retinopathy is a disease of the retina. The retina is the nerve layer that lines the back of your eye. It is the part of your eye that "takes pictures" and sends the images to your brain. Many people with diabetes get retinopathy. This kind of retinopathy is called diabetic retinopathy...

  • Vitrectomy is a surgery to remove the vitreous gel from the middle of the eye. It may be done when there is a retinal detachment or if blood in the vitreous gel (vitreous hemorrhage) does not clear on its own. Removing the vitreous gel gives your...

  • Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. During liposuction, small, thin, blunt-tipped tubes (cannula) are inserted through tiny cuts in the skin. Fat is suctioned out through these tubes as the doctor moves the tubes around under the skin to target specific fat deposits. In recent years, improved...

  • Laser photocoagulation uses the heat from a laser to seal or destroy abnormal, leaking blood vessels in the retina. One of two approaches may be used when treating diabetic retinopathy: Focal photocoagulation. Focal treatment is used to seal specific leaking blood vessels in a small area of the retina...

  • Discusses diabetic neuropathy, nerve disease caused by diabetes. Covers the three types: peripheral, autonomic, and focal. Discusses symptoms of each type. Covers diagnostic tests. Includes info on treatment with medicines, physical therapy, and TENS.

  • Diabetic focal neuropathy, sometimes called mononeuropathy, affects a single nerve, most often in the wrist, thigh, or foot. It may also affect the nerves of the back and chest, as well as those that control the eye muscles. Focal neuropathy is far less common than peripheral or autonomic neuropathy. It occurs mostly...

  • Regular exercise may help control your diabetes, which can reduce your risk of severe diabetic neuropathy. Depending on what areas of your body have been affected by nerve damage, though, you may need to modify some aspects of your exercise program so that other problems don't develop. Before beginning an exercise...

  • Autonomic neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves that help control the involuntary functions of the body ( autonomic nervous system), such as heartbeat and blood pressure, sweating and temperature regulation, digestion, urination, and some aspects of sexual function. Heart and circulatory system problems...

  • Tretinoin (Avita, Renova, Retin-A) is a topical medicine most often used to treat acne. It is sometimes used to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and to smooth rough facial skin. Tretinoin is made from vitamin A and is sometimes called vitamin A acid or retinoic acid. It comes in cream, gel, and liquid forms. Side...

  • Discusses urinary tract infection in children 12 years and younger. Covers symptoms and how problems might be diagnosed with urinalysis or a urine culture. Looks at treatment with antibiotics. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Few things are more important to your health and survival during a long emergency than having water that is safe to drink. Knowing how to purify water can help you if your regular water supply becomes contaminated or if you are in a place where clean water is not available. Even if you have stored clean water to use in...

  • Uses your child's weight and height to compare your child's size to that of other boys or girls of the same age. Covers what the results mean and next steps.

  • Interactive tool to help you figure out whether you want treatment for urinary symptoms from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Provides links to more detailed info on BPH and decision tools for treatment options.

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause a rash. A few common examples are: Antibiotics. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve). Pain medicines, such as codeine. Seizure medicines. If a rash occurs after you have begun a new medicine: Call the doctor who prescribed the medicine...

  • The copperhead is a poisonous (venomous) pit viper found in areas extending from the eastern United States to Texas. Copperheads may leave distinctive double marks on the skin. They leave one, two, or three puncture marks on the skin, but you won't always see any marks. A copperhead has: Hourglass-shaped...

  • Coral snakes are found in tropical regions of North America and are often confused with nonpoisonous (nonvenomous) milk snakes because they look similar. A coral snake can be up to 3 ft (1 m) long and has: Red, yellow, and black bands along the length of the body. Round pupils and a black nose...

  • The cottonmouth, also called a water moccasin, is a poisonous (venomous) snake found in southeastern and south central North America. They leave one, two, or three puncture marks on the skin, but you won't always see any marks. Water moccasins can be up to 6 ft (2 m) long and have: Distinctive white...

  • The Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard are two types of poisonous (venomous) lizards found in North America. These large, thick-bodied lizards have short, stubby limbs. They live in desert regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Poisonous lizards do not generally bite unless they are...

  • Rattlesnakes are the most widely known of the pit vipers (family Viperidae). They are found throughout the United States and parts of Canada and account for most poisonous (venomous) snakebites in North America. They leave one, two, or three puncture marks on the skin, but you won't always see any marks...

  • Pit vipers, such as the rattlesnake, copperhead, and cottonmouth (also called water moccasin), are poisonous (venomous) snakes. They leave one, two, or three puncture marks on the skin, but you won't always see any marks. Symptoms of a pit viper snakebite usually appear within a few minutes to a few hours after a bite...

  • The iliotibial band is a band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh. It provides stability to the knee and hip and helps prevent dislocation of those joints. The band may overdevelop, tighten, and rub across the hipbone or the outer part of the knee. Each time the knee is bent or the hip flexed, the...

  • The rules of our family are listed below. All members of the family are able and agree to follow the rules. If someone breaks a family rule, a consequence will be enforced. Family rule Consequences 1. 1. 2. 2. 3. 3. 4. 4. 5. 5. 6. 6. Current as of: ...

  • Consequences result from our actions. Natural consequences are the experiences that naturally follow a choice or behavior. For example, going out in cold weather without a coat naturally leads to feeling cold. Logical consequences are consequences chosen to follow behaviors that violate the...

  • Family meetings are regularly scheduled times when family members get together to share feelings, discuss concerns, and solve problems. Since all members participate, these meetings help build cooperation and responsibility. Family meetings help...

  • Use this form to record information about your child's treatment plan for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Review the plan with your doctor often. Together you can keep the plan up to date. My child's main symptom of ADHD is...

  • You may want to give the teacher a copy of your child's treatment plan to keep with this school plan. Adapt this form to fit your child's needs. Keep a copy of the completed form for your records and give a copy to your child's teachers. Name:...

  • If changing your alcohol use is a goal, then knowing what you'll gain by cutting back on or not drinking can help keep you motivated. Take a moment to fill out the form. Be honest. You may find that you have good reasons to cut back or quit-whatever your goal is. Put a check next to the statements that you agree with...

  • You can take steps today to stop drinking. Your first step might be to see your doctor, contact a support group, or set a date in the near future to stop. While some people can stop drinking on their own, others need medical help to manage the physical process of withdrawal. If you think you have alcohol use disorder...

  • My plan to stop drinking alcohol I will stop drinking any alcohol on (date): _______________. I have written down my reasons for not drinking and placed the list: _______________________________________________________. I have discussed my plan with my family and asked for their support. They will support me by...

  • Discusses teen use of alcohol and other harmful or illegal substances. Covers the effects and consequences substance use has on a teen's life, including physical and emotional health. Includes info on how to recognize and deal with teen substance use.

  • The best way to manage migraine headaches is to avoid them. And to avoid them, you need to know what things (or triggers) bring them on. By finding and avoiding your triggers, you can limit how often you get migraines and how bad they are. Try to avoid as many triggers as you can. Triggers add up, so the fewer you have...

  • 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...

  • The following strategies may help decrease your child's discomfort related to immunizations. Your baby is less likely to be uncomfortable or upset after an immunization if he or she is not hungry or tired. See that your baby has a good nap 2 to 4...

  • Inverted nipples fold inward instead of pointing out. Most women with inverted nipples will still be able to breastfeed. If the baby is having a hard time latching on to the breast, ask your doctor, midwife, or lactation consultant for help. To find...

  • There are many ways to help your baby who is teething. You can help relieve discomfort by offering your baby safe objects to chew or suck on. A wide variety of teethers and toys are made of nontoxic materials and are specially designed for teething...

  • Infant formulas take two times longer for a baby to digest than breast milk. The slower digestion of infant formula can affect: Feeding frequency. Babies who take infant formula usually want to feed less often than babies who are breastfeeding....

  • Check with your local water supplier to find out if your tap water is safe to use for your baby's formula. If your water is not safe or if you are not sure, you may use bottled water. If you are not sure if your water is safe, you can use bottled...

  • Bottles Small, 4 fl oz (120 mL) bottles are a good size for newborns. As your baby starts to take more formula during a feeding, you will likely want to have bigger 8 fl oz (240 mL) bottles on hand. Bottles are made of glass or plastic. Glass bottles can be cleaned by boiling them. Plastic cannot be...

  • You may choose to breastfeed and give infant formula for some of your baby's feedings. Supplementing breast milk with formula may decrease your supply of breast milk. But it will not stop your breast milk production. It is best to wait until your...

  • Your doctor, registered dietitian, or certified diabetes educator may suggest that you use one of two ways to count carbohydrate in your diet. For both, 15 grams of carbohydrate equals one serving. Use the method that is easiest for you. Counting grams of carbohydrate. For example, if you want to eat 45...

  • Below are some of the most common and helpful strategies people use to get through the tough period of nicotine withdrawal. Make a list of your smoking triggers. It is wiser to avoid triggers after you have quit smoking than to tempt yourself too soon. If you cannot avoid them early on, be cautious when they are...

  • The best way to cope with a strong temptation to smoke is to quickly remove yourself from the situation that is causing the temptation. Don't worry about "how it will look" if you leave a party, wedding reception, or public function to avoid the temptation to smoke. You have an important reason for leaving. When you...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic provides information about pleurisy, which usually results in chest pain. If you have chest pain that concerns you and that your doctor does not know about, see the topic Chest Problems. What is pleurisy? Pleurisy is swelling ( inflammation) of the thin layers of tissue...

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in an adult is often not noticed because the person may maintain relationships and hold a steady job. It is not unusual for a parent to discover he or she has ADHD when his or her child is diagnosed with the disorder. The key to the diagnosis of ADHD for an adult is...

  • Self-esteem is a person's core belief about himself or herself. A person's self-esteem is reflected in his or her actions, both in how as well as what he or she does. Although self-esteem varies from time to time, the pattern usually leans toward a healthy or unhealthy view of self. With healthy self-esteem, a person is...

  • Covers helping a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder succeed in school. Discusses working with teachers and other school personnel. Also covers helping your child control symptoms. Includes interactive test to measure what you've learned.

  • One of the most difficult things about parenting a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is getting your child to do what you ask. Daily routines, such as getting ready for school or bed and getting homework done, can become...

  • If you think you might have alcohol use disorder, talk with your doctor before trying to stop drinking. If you have alcohol use disorder, you should stop drinking, not just cut back. If you are physically dependent, you might develop severe withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking on your own. Whether you have...

  • Putting a plan for avoiding alcohol and substance use in writing will help your teen make good decisions in the future. Using the example below, have your teen help you write the contract. Teens feel more responsible for their actions when they are...

  • Helping a person to stop drinking can: Reduce possible health problems and injuries caused by alcohol use. Ease family conflicts or other relationship problems. Reduce legal problems caused by alcohol use.

  • Use this list to help you plan how to help someone you care about get treatment for an alcohol use disorder. A health professional who has special training in conducting interventions (intervention specialist) with people who have alcohol use...

  • 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.

  • A woman who drinks alcohol while she is pregnant may harm her developing baby (fetus). Alcohol can pass from the mother's blood into the baby's blood. It can damage and affect the growth of the baby's cells. Brain and spinal cord cells are most...

  • When a child has diarrhea or is vomiting, it is important to replace the fluids he or she is losing. Give your child small sips of water. Let your child drink as much as he or she wants. Ask your doctor if your child needs an oral rehydration solution (ORS) like Pedialyte or Infalyte. Oral rehydration solutions contain...

  • Fill out this sleep journal every morning for 1 to 2 weeks. It can help you see what gets in the way of a good night's sleep. It could also help your doctor know more about what affects your sleep. Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 What time did you go to...

  • The following suggestions may help you develop a plan to help a family member who has an ongoing problem with memory, problem solving, judgment, or the ability to handle daily tasks. These suggestions are basic and do not include all the information you will need to care for your family member. Your doctor may have...

  • What is child abuse and neglect? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use...

  • Corporal punishment is the intentional use of physical force to cause bodily pain or discomfort as a penalty for unacceptable behavior. Corporal punishment includes any action that produces discomfort, such as: Spanking, hitting, slapping, pinching, ear pulling, jabbing, shoving, or choking. Forcing a...

  • What is failure to thrive? Failure to thrive is a term used to describe a child who seems to be gaining weight or height more slowly than other children of his or her age and sex. A baby who has failed to thrive may seem slow to develop physical skills, such as rolling over, standing, and walking. Slow growth also...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • What is a lipoma? A lipoma is a growth of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule usually found just below the skin. Lipomas aren't cancer and don't turn into cancer. They are found most often on the torso, neck, upper thighs, upper arms, and armpits, but they can occur almost anywhere in the body. One or...

  • Swallowing air may cause bloating, burping, gas, and abdominal pain. Swallowed air that is not released by burping passes through the digestive tract and is released as gas (flatus). Babies often swallow air during feeding. It is important to burp your baby during and after feeding. Swallowed air may cause a baby to be...

  • What is gas? Gas (flatus) is made in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. All people pass gas, some people more than others. It is normal to pass gas from 6 to 20 times per day. What causes gas? Common causes of gas include: Swallowed air. If swallowed air is not burped up, it...

  • Dyspepsia is a common condition and usually describes a group of symptoms rather than one predominant symptom. These symptoms include: Belly pain or discomfort. Bloating. Feeling uncomfortably full after eating. Nausea. Loss of appetite. Heartburn. Burping up food or liquid (regurgitation). Burping. Most...

  • Many nonprescription and prescription medicines and supplements can cause gas and bloating. A few examples are: Aspirin. Antacids. Diarrhea medicines, such as Imodium, Kaopectate, and Lomotil. Opioid pain medicines. Fiber supplements and bulking agents, such as Citrucel, Fiberall, and Metamucil. Multivitamins and...

  • What is cradle cap? Cradle cap is an oily, yellow scaling or crusting on a baby's scalp. It is common in babies and is easily treated. Cradle cap is not a part of any illness and does not imply that a baby is not being well cared for. What causes cradle cap? Cradle cap is the normal buildup of sticky skin oils...

  • What is dandruff? Dandruff is a shedding of the skin on the scalp that leads to white flakes on the head, neck, and shoulders. What causes dandruff? Dandruff may be caused by a form of a skin condition called eczema, which causes increased shedding of normal scalp skin cells. Dandruff can also be caused...

  • What is seabather's eruption? Seabather's eruption is a rash that occurs when a swimmer is stung by marine life larvae. The condition has many names, including sea lice, pika-pika, sea poisoning, sea critters, and ocean itch. What causes seabather's eruption? Two types of marine life that generally...

  • The rash and skin irritation that occurs with minor jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war stings will usually go away with home treatment. Seabather's eruption is a rash that develops from the stings of jellyfish or sea anemone larvae. Although these rashes are annoying, they are not a serious medical problem. When an...

  • During a male genital exam for sexually transmitted infections, the doctor: Looks for discharge from the penis. The doctor may put a thin swab into the urethra and take a sample of fluid and cells to test for infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Checks the testicles for swelling and tenderness. May use a small...

  • Syphilis is described in terms of its four stages: primary, secondary, latent (hidden), and tertiary (late). Primary stage During the primary stage, a sore ( chancre) that is usually painless develops at the site where the bacteria entered the body. This commonly occurs within 3 weeks of exposure but can...

  • What do I need to know about breast pain? Many women have breast tenderness and pain, also called mastalgia. It may come and go with monthly periods (cyclic) or may not follow any pattern (noncyclic). Cyclic pain is the most common type of breast pain. It may be caused by the normal monthly changes in...

  • Pneumocystis is a fungus that can sometimes cause pneumonia in people who have AIDS. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Pneumonia can make it hard to breathe and to get enough oxygen into the bloodstream. Symptoms often begin suddenly and may be similar to those of an upper respiratory infection, such as...

  • What is a black widow spider? Black widow spiders ( Latrodectus mactans and Latrodectus hesperus) are found throughout the United States, Mexico, and southern Canada. A female black widow is much more likely to deliver more venom than a male spider. Female black widows are long-legged, shiny...

  • What is a brown recluse spider? Brown recluse, violin, or fiddleback ( Loxosceles) spiders are about 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long with a dark violin-shaped mark on the combined head and midsection (cephalothorax). They are found most often in the south-central part of the United States and live in hot, dry, abandoned...

  • Scorpions , found mostly in the western and especially the southwestern United States, are up to 3 in. (7.6 cm) in length. They have eight legs and a pair of pincers like a crab has. The stinger, which injects venom, is located at the end of a narrow tail that curves around and over the back of the scorpion's body...

  • 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...

  • Snake venoms can cause many problems, such as: Blood-clotting problems. Injury to muscles. Low blood pressure leading to shock. Kidney damage. Nervous system problems. Severe allergic reactions. Swelling. Antivenom is a medicine that is given to stop snake venom from binding to tissues and causing serious...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines, including some that you put directly on the skin, may cause blisters. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (for example, Advil or Motrin), naproxen (for example, Aleve), or piroxicam (for example, Feldene)...

  • What are hiccups? Hiccups occur when a spasm contracts the diaphragm, a large sheet of muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. This spasm causes an intake of breath that is suddenly stopped by the closure of the vocal cords (glottis). This closure causes the characteristic "hiccup" sound...

  • By the age of 4, your child may tell you he or she is having trouble hearing or understanding others. You can ask your child questions about his or her hearing. You can also assess changes in your child's behavior that might mean a hearing loss. Compare present behavior with past behavior. Does your child: Follow...

  • Pelvic pain and problems urinating may mean you have a bladder infection. Flank pain with fever and urinary symptoms may mean you have a kidney infection (pyelonephritis). Flank pain is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist. It can be on one or both sides of the back. If you have pelvic or flank pain and...

  • Most women have an increased urge to urinate during pregnancy. This is a normal body response related to hormone changes that occur during pregnancy and to physical pressure on the bladder. Bladder infections are more common during pregnancy. When a bladder infection develops during pregnancy, you may have discomfort...

  • It is not unusual to develop a viral illness that causes a fever during pregnancy or after your delivery. Mild fevers that last only a short time usually are not a concern. An ongoing fever that does not get better with home treatment, such as taking acetaminophen, or that does not improve after several days may mean...

  • Constipation Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. Delayed passage of bowel contents (slow transit) is the most common cause of constipation during pregnancy. You may also have constipation or discomfort with bowel movements for a few days after delivery. Your first bowel movement may be painful if you...

  • Skin adhesives are clear gels that may be used to hold the edges of a small cut together. Your doctor may apply a skin adhesive instead of stitching your cut. A liquid will be applied to your skin and allowed to dry. As it dries, it creates a film that will hold together the edges of your cut. If a skin adhesive is...

  • Signs that an intoxicated person might need medical evaluation include: An injury. An intoxicated person may not feel pain normally, so he or she may not be aware of an injury or realize how serious it may be. It is not uncommon for an intoxicated person to vomit once. But an intoxicated person who is confused or not...

  • Discusses high and low blood sugar levels caused by diabetes. Suggests when to check blood sugar levels. Covers symptoms. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes info on diabetes emergencies.

  • A rash in your vaginal area ( vulva) may be caused by irritation of the skin from many sources, such as clothes rubbing against the skin. Rashes that occur without other symptoms are usually minor and often go away with home treatment. Contact dermatitis A common cause of a rash is contact with a substance that...

  • Anyone can become a victim of domestic violence. Certain factors can increase your risk of being abused. Your risk for abuse increases if your partner: Uses alcohol or drugs. Had a job loss or job change or had a change in the level of income. Has a...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to read...

  • For a while after childbirth, don't be surprised if you have little interest in sex. Physical recovery, exhaustion, and hormonal changes often affect sexuality after childbirth. Each woman's experience is different. Together, you and your partner can connect emotionally and physically by knowing ahead of time what...

  • Discusses treating varicose and spider veins with a laser. Covers simple and endovenous laser treatment. Looks at sclerotherapy. Discusses why laser treatment is done and what to expect after treatment. Covers how well it works and possible side effects.

  • Birth control pills come in packs. The most common type has 3 weeks of hormone pills. Some packs have sugar pills for the fourth week. During that fourth no-hormone week, you have your menstrual period. After the fourth week (28 days), you start a new pack. Some birth control pills are packaged so that you take...

  • Pain is a long-lasting problem for people who have sickle cell disease. Bouts of severe pain can last for hours to days and are difficult to treat. Pain can be exhausting for caregivers as well as for the person in pain. A pain management plan can help a person cope with chronic pain and with pain caused by a sickle...