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.

Internal Medicine

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Discusses HIV, a virus that attacks white blood cells called CD4+ cells which are an important part of the immune system. Covers symptoms and stages of infection, including last stage called AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Covers HIV treatment.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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....

  • People who have cirrhosis are at risk for an infection in the fluid (ascites) that builds up in the abdominal cavity. Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is an infection of ascitic fluid that occurs without warning or a clear cause. SBP most...

  • 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.

  • In people who have cirrhosis, high pressure in the veins that carry blood from the intestines to the liver (portal hypertension) causes many problems. Variceal bleeding—bleeding from enlarged veins (varices) in the digestive tract—is an extremely...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Up to 85% of people who are infected with the hepatitis C virus will develop long-term (chronic) infection. About 25% of people who have chronic hepatitis C will go on to develop cirrhosis—severe liver damage and scarring—after a period of...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • What is unplanned weight loss? Unplanned weight loss means losing weight without trying to. It may be caused by a medical problem, so be sure to see your doctor if you are losing weight without trying. If you are losing weight because you're exercising more or eating less, it is considered normal weight...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • After you've had a stroke, 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 stroke. Taking medicine, doing stroke rehabilitation, and making healthy lifestyle changes can help. Take your...

  • 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...

  • 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 why it's important to take antiplatelet medicine after your stroke.

  • 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.

  • Learn what carotid artery stenting is and how it is done.

  • 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.

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a way to replace the aortic valve without open-heart surgery. This procedure is done to treat aortic valve stenosis. TAVR is often done through an incision (cut) in the groin. But sometimes a small cut is made in the chest. The doctor uses a tube called a catheter and...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Having anemia means you don't have enough red blood cells. Your body needs these cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Sometimes a long-term disease keeps your body from making enough red blood cells. This is called anemia...

  • 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...

  • What is left ventricular hypertrophy? Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) means that the muscle of the heart's main pump (left ventricle) has become thick and enlarged. This can happen over time if the left ventricle has to work too hard. This part of the heart needs to be strong to pump oxygen-rich blood to your...

  • 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 how to recognize stroke symptoms and know when to call.

  • 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.

  • End-stage kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease, means that your kidneys may no longer be able to keep you alive. When your kidneys get to the point where they can no longer remove waste, you may need dialysis or a new kidney. When you...

  • 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 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 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Watch the personal story of someone who's living better with dialysis.

  • Understand what dialysis is and how it helps you feel better and live longer.

  • Learn how timing affects what type of vascular access you can get before you start dialysis.

  • Learn what to expect when you have a vascular access procedure for hemodialysis.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Find out why it's important to keep taking your ACE inhibitor or ARB and how to make it easier.

  • Learn why you need to take your beta-blocker and how to make it easier to take.

  • 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.

  • Find out how to make it easier to take your diuretic.

  • 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.

  • 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 what happens during a kidney transplant and how to prepare.

  • Learn how to care for yourself after a kidney transplant.

  • 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 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 eardrops.

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

  • 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 about asthma tests for children.

  • Learn about spirometry tests for children.

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

  • Learn how to care for your IV site.

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

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

  • 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 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.

  • This guide covers the basics of renal artery stenosis, including what it is, what causes it, and how it is treated.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

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

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

  • This article explains what virtual care (telemedicine) is, when and how it's used, and what the risks are.

  • 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 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 the basics about getting started with teletherapy.

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

  • Learn some new tips for having date night at home during the pandemic.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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…

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Provides link to info on high cholesterol and cholesterol/triglyceride tests. Also has links to info on coronary artery disease and peripheral arterial disease of the legs, plus tools to decide about treatment options.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • In cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly stops beating. This causes blood to stop pumping to the body. If the heartbeat is not restarted within minutes, the person will die. This problem is also called sudden cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is different...

  • 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...

  • 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....

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Shunt surgeries are designed to redirect the flow of blood or abdominal fluid through other areas of the body. Shunts are rarely used because of the complications they may cause. They are done only in medical centers where the surgeon is experienced in doing the procedures. Peritoneovenous shunts. These...

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

  • Commissurotomy is an open-heart surgery that repairs a mitral valve that is narrowed from mitral valve stenosis. During this surgery, a person is put on a heart-lung bypass machine. The surgeon removes calcium deposits and other scar tissue from the valve leaflets. The surgeon may cut parts of the valve structure. This...

  • A balloon valvotomy is a treatment for mitral valve stenosis. It is a procedure that widens the mitral valve so that blood flows more easily through the heart. A balloon valvotomy is a minimally invasive procedure. A doctor uses a thin flexible tube (catheter) that is inserted through an artery in the groin or arm and...

  • 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...

  • Guides through decision to have screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Includes pros such as finding aneurysms so that they can be treated. Also explains the possible harm that could come if the test leads to risky surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Carotid artery stenting (CAS) is a procedure that can be used to open a narrowed carotid artery. It involves placing a small, expandable tube called a stent in the narrowed artery. This procedure is also called carotid angioplasty and stenting. There are two carotid arteries—one on each side of the neck—that supply...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Balloon valvuloplasty (also called valvulotomy or valvotomy) is a procedure that widens a heart valve that is narrowed. The cause of this narrowing in the aortic valve is aortic valve stenosis. During this procedure, the doctor puts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your upper leg (groin)...

  • Aortic valve replacement gives you a new aortic heart valve. The new valve may be mechanical or made of animal tissue. You and your doctor can decide before surgery which type of valve is best for you. The aortic valve opens and closes to keep blood flowing in the proper direction through your heart. When the aortic...

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

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

  • Learn how angioplasty can open narrowed or blocked arteries in your legs to improve blood flow.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Open surgery is done to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm. It is called an open surgery because the abdomen is opened so the doctor can see and work on the aorta. Open surgery is the traditional method of repair. To repair the aneurysm, a doctor...

  • Endovascular repair is a procedure to fix an aortic aneurysm in the abdomen. It's called endovascular because a doctor repairs the aneurysm from the inside of the damaged blood vessel (the aorta). This is not a surgery. This is a minimally invasive...

  • 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 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • What is frailty? Growing older often means getting tired faster and moving slower than before. But some older people become very weak, and everyday activities become hard to do. This may be a health problem called frailty. Frailty is more than just "slowing down." An older adult may be "frail" if a combination...

  • 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.

  • Dialysis is a lifesaving treatment when you have kidney failure. To keep up a regular dialysis schedule, you need a sturdy dialysis access where blood can flow in and out of the body. It must have a good, steady blood flow. Any type of dialysis access has some risk of failure. So it's important to always protect...

  • 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.

  • Hospitals are full of sick people, so they have a lot of germs. And although health care workers do their best to kill germs and protect patients, they can't always prevent infections. Hospital infections can be very serious, especially if you're...

  • 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...

  • 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 how surgery is done to repair or replace heart valves.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Learn what you can do to be safe when you're taking warfarin.

  • Learn why you need to keep taking warfarin and how to get help so you can keep taking it.

  • 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 how to prevent the spread of germs and avoid infections in the hospital.

  • 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 what increases your risk for stroke and how you can lower your risk.

  • 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.

  • Learn the symptoms of stroke and why it's important to call emergency services right away.

  • Learn how your self-care plan can help you manage after a stroke.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 three important ways to prepare for a healthier hospital stay.

  • 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.

  • See how a stress test works and how it's done.

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

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • What is carotid artery disease? A carotid artery on each side of the neck supplies blood to the brain. Carotid artery disease occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in either or both arteries. The buildup can narrow the artery and reduce the blood flow to your brain. This can raise your chance of a stroke...

  • 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 shoulder replacement 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.

  • Covers symptoms of giant cell arteritis, which include vision problems and pain in the jaw. Covers how this condition is treated.

  • 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.

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

  • Learn what carotid endarterectomy is and how it is done.

  • 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.

  • Compare the pros and cons of having a carotid artery procedure to help prevent stroke.

  • Learn about the range of emotions you may experience after you've had a stroke.

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

  • 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...

  • Getting better after a stroke takes patience and effort. See how others found inspiration to keep going.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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 what transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is and how it is done.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • What is gastritis? Gastritis is an upset stomach. It happens when something irritates the stomach lining. Normally, a layer of mucus protects the stomach lining. If gastritis occurs for a long time, part of this lining may wear away, causing sores called ulcers. Gastritis may come on suddenly and last for a...

  • What is a leg aneurysm? A leg aneurysm (say "ANN-yuh-riz-um") is a bulge in a blood vessel (artery) in your leg. The bulge occurs in a weak spot in the artery. It can happen in one or both legs. Blood clots can form in this type of aneurysm and can block blood flow in your leg. What raises your risk...

  • 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...

  • Teach your teen the important life skill of being responsible with money.

  • Use these tips to teach your child about money.

  • 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...

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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....

  • 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 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...

  • 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...

  • Discusses serious condition in which scarring damages the liver. Looks at causes, including heavy alcohol use, autoimmune chronic hepatitis, and chronic viral hepatitis. Covers symptoms like fluid buildup in the belly called ascites. Discusses transplant.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • In people who have cirrhosis, portal hypertension causes many problems. One serious complication is bleeding of enlarged veins, or varices, in the digestive tract (variceal bleeding). When the buildup of scar tissue caused by cirrhosis reduces the...

  • Fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity (ascites) is the most common major complication of cirrhosis. But it's important to get treatment. People who have alcoholic cirrhosis may develop ascites early in the course of liver disease. Those who have...

  • When the liver has been damaged by cirrhosis, it may not be able to filter poisons from the bloodstream, especially substances in the blood produced by bacteria in the large intestine. As a result, these substances (which include ammonia) may build...

  • In people who have cirrhosis, high blood pressure in the veins that carry blood from the intestines to the liver (portal hypertension) causes many problems. One serious complication of portal hypertension is variceal bleeding. When blood pressure...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is caused by long-term heavy alcohol use. It is a type of dilated cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood efficiently. If your heart gets weaker, you may develop heart failure. Alcohol in excessive...

  • Briefly discusses brain aneurysm (also called cerebral aneurysm). Covers possible causes, including hardening of the arteries, hypertension, and smoking. Lists symptoms. Discusses treatment with surgery. Links to info on strokes.

  • Normal changes occur in your feet as you age. Feet tend to spread, possibly causing shoe size to change. Have your feet measured each time you buy shoes. Do not assume that your shoe size has not changed. The bottoms of the feet lose the fatty pads...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a procedure that may be used to reduce portal hypertension and its complications, especially variceal bleeding. A TIPS procedure may be done by a radiologist, who places a small wire-mesh coil...

  • 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 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • Elder abuse refers to any of several forms of maltreatment of an older person by a caregiver, family member, spouse, or friend. Categories of elder abuse The 1987 Amendment to the Older Americans Act identified three separate categories of elder abuse: Domestic elder abuse usually takes place...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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): _______________________________________...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Uremia (uremic syndrome) is a serious complication of chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury (which used to be known as acute renal failure). It occurs when urea and other waste products build up in the body because the kidneys are unable to...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Femoral-tibial bypass surgery (also known as infra-popliteal reconstruction) is used to bypass diseased blood vessels in the lower leg or foot. To bypass the narrowed or blocked blood vessel, blood is redirected through a healthy blood vessel that has been transplanted or through a man-made graft material. This vessel...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Dialysis removes urea and other waste products from the blood. To find out how well dialysis is working, you will have blood tests that look at the level of urea in your blood. Usually these tests are done once a month, at the beginning of your session and again at the end. Two measures show how well dialysis is...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Discusses peripheral arterial disease, a narrowing or blockage of arteries that results in poor blood flow to your arms and legs. Discusses causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with lifestyle changes, medicines, or surgery. Also offers prevention tips.

  • What is mitral valve regurgitation? Mitral valve regurgitation means that one of the valves in your heart—the mitral valve—is letting blood leak backward into the upper area of the heart. Heart valves work like one-way gates, helping blood flow in one direction between heart chambers or in and out of the heart. The...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Being active is part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. It can also help you keep peripheral arterial disease (PAD) from getting worse. Regular exercise can help you manage high blood pressure and cholesterol, which can help control PAD and reduce your...

  • Femoropopliteal (fem-pop) bypass surgery is used to bypass diseased blood vessels above or below the knee. To bypass the narrowed or blocked blood vessel, blood is redirected through either a healthy blood vessel that has been transplanted or a man-made graft material. This vessel or graft is sewn above and below 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Learn what an ankle-brachial test is, why it's done, and what the results might mean.

  • Aortobifemoral bypass surgery is used to bypass diseased large blood vessels in the abdomen and groin. To bypass a narrowed or blocked blood vessel, blood is redirected through a graft made of synthetic material (such as polytetrafluoroethylene [PTFE] or Dacron). This graft is sewn above and below the diseased artery...

  • In this article, you'll learn the basics about peripheral arterial angioplasty, including how the procedure is done.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 signs of when your body loses too much fluid through diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or exercise. Covers dehydration in babies, small children, and older adults. Discusses prevention, when to see a doctor, emergencies, and rehydration steps.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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....

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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...

  • Viral hepatitis is liver inflammation caused by infection with a virus. The following viruses cause most cases of viral hepatitis: Hepatitis A virus (HAV) Hepatitis B virus (HBV) Hepatitis C virus (HCV) Hepatitis D virus (HDV) Hepatitis E virus...

  • Discusses hepatitis C, a disease caused by a virus that infects the liver. Covers causes and symptoms. Includes info on the two phases, acute and chronic. Includes info on cirrhosis. Covers treatment with antiviral medicines and surgery.

  • 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...

  • 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 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Discusses infection of the heart's valves or inner lining (endocardium). Covers cause by bacteria (bacterial endocarditis) or fungi (fungal endocarditis). Looks at symptoms like fever. Covers treatment with medicines or possibly surgery.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • What is pericarditis? Pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the pericardium, which is the sac that surrounds your heart. Pericarditis usually doesn't cause serious problems. Most people get better in 7 to 10 days. When there are problems, they may include: A buildup of fluid in the pericardial sac ( pericardial...

  • 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.

  • Mitral valve replacement surgery may be needed for mitral valve regurgitation or mitral valve stenosis . Valve replacement is typically done as an open-heart surgery. Minimally invasive types of surgery may be another option. This document describes open-heart surgery. Before you have valve replacement...

  • 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...

  • Viral load is a measurement of how much HIV is present in your blood. A sample of blood is drawn and sent to a lab for testing. Results are expressed as the number of copies of the virus per milliliter of blood. Each virus is called a "copy" because...

  • 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...

  • Discusses aortic valve regurgitation. Discusses symptoms and how it is diagnosed. Covers treatment with medicines and aortic valve replacement surgery. Covers lifestyle changes to help the heart work better.

  • What is aortic valve stenosis? Aortic valve stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve. The aortic valve allows blood to flow from the heart's lower left chamber (ventricle) into the aorta and to the body. Stenosis prevents the valve from opening properly, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood through the...

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

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

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies untreated HIV infection into three stages: CDC stages of HIV infection Acute retroviral syndrome: This is an illness with symptoms like mononucleosis. It often develops within a few days of infection with HIV, but it also may...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • CD4+ cells are part of the immune system and are a type of white blood cell. White blood cells protect the body against infection. CD4+ cells are also called T-lymphocytes, T-cells, or T-helper cells. HIV invades and destroys CD4+ cells. But the...

  • Health professionals are not considered at high risk for HIV infection, because they use protection (such as gloves, masks, and goggles) when dealing with blood or body fluids. The chances of becoming infected after being stuck or cut with an instrument that is contaminated with HIV-infected blood are about 1...

  • HIV does not survive well outside the body. HIV cannot be spread from one person to another in any of the following ways: Casual contact In studies of hundreds of households in which families have lived with and cared for people who have AIDS, including situations in which no one knew that the person...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is an important part of treating HIV. Good nutrition can help your immune system stay strong, which in turn may help your body fight HIV. Knowing the best way to nourish your body will help keep it strong and allow...

  • Exercise can't control the HIV infection. But exercise may help you feel better by reducing stress. Exercise may also help your immune system work better. Exercise: Is safe. Improves strength and endurance. Improves heart and lung fitness. May help...

  • 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...

  • HIV is present in the blood, semen, and vaginal fluids of a person who is infected with HIV and is usually spread by: Unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a person who is infected with HIV. Using condoms is the only way to prevent getting...

  • A person who has HIV has difficulty fighting off other infections. You can help protect the person from infections. Avoid close contact with people who have contagious illnesses until their symptoms have disappeared. This includes illnesses such as...

  • Providing support for a person who has AIDS can be a stressful and emotional experience. You may feel frustrated if the person doesn't want to take all of the medicine prescribed or if he or she doesn't get better despite your efforts. To help...

  • If a person's HIV infection progresses, you may be called on to provide home care for that person. A home care course may give you the knowledge, skills, and confidence to provide the care needed. Contact your local Red Cross chapter, Visiting Nurse...

  • 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...

  • Covers hepatitis B virus (HBV) tests that check for hepatitis B infection. Looks at most common HBV tests. Explains how tests are done and how to prepare for them. Looks at other tests that show how well the liver is working. Covers test results.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • The phosphate urine test measures the amount of phosphate in a sample of urine collected over 24 hours (24-hour urine test). Phosphate is a charged particle (ion) that contains the mineral phosphorus. The body needs phosphorus to build and repair bones and teeth, help nerves function, and make muscles contract. Most...

  • 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...

  • Discusses blood test to check level of potassium (K) in blood. Includes info on what affects potassium levels in the body such as kidney function, blood pH, and hormones. Explains how and why test is done. Covers what results mean.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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)...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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....

  • 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.

  • A hemorrhagic stroke develops when a blood vessel (artery) in the brain leaks or bursts (ruptures). This causes bleeding: Inside the brain tissue (intracerebral hemorrhage). Near the surface of the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage or subdural...

  • Stroke is the most common cause of disability resulting from damage to the nervous system. A stroke may affect: Movement. You may not be able to use your arms or walk. This is usually because of weakness or paralysis on one side of the body (hemiparesis). Speech and language. You may not...

  • 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...

  • After a stroke, keep in mind that you are the most important person in your own recovery. You need to have a major say in the decisions about your care. This may be hard for you, and you may sometimes feel like sitting back and letting others take...

  • 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...

  • A stroke often affects movement and use of one side of the body, so getting dressed is often difficult for people after a stroke. Getting dressed may be easier if you use stocking/sock aids, rings or strings attached to zipper pulls, and...

  • Some people have speech and language problems after a stroke. These problems may involve any or all aspects of language use, such as speaking, reading, writing, and understanding the spoken word. Speech and language problems, such as aphasia,...

  • 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...

  • After a stroke, you may not feel temperature, touch, pain, or sharpness on your affected side. You may have: Feelings of heaviness, numbness, tingling, or prickling or greater sensitivity on the affected side. No sense of how your muscles and joints...

  • 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...

  • Depending on what part of the brain was affected by a stroke, the way a person acts may be different from how he or she acted before the stroke. A person who was very concerned about details before a stroke may become sloppy and care little about...

  • Emotional reactions after a stroke may be different from normal emotional reactions. The reaction may have little or no clear connection with what is happening around the person. Often reactions can be easily interrupted by diverting the person's...

  • When a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, a person's ability to judge distance, size, position, rate of movement, form, and the way parts relate to the whole is affected (spatial-perceptual problems). People with these problems may have...

  • Some people who have had a stroke ignore or are not aware of one side of their body. This can happen when the stroke damages one side of the brain. Caregivers may notice signs that the person is ignoring, or neglecting, the affected side, such as:...

  • A stroke often causes memory problems. In stroke rehab, you might try ways to help improve memory. If your family member has problems with memory, you might get helpful tips from the stroke rehab team. These tips may include: Set a daily routine, if...

  • Rehabilitation after a stroke usually involves a number of health professionals. These may include the following people. Doctors and nurses Rehabilitation doctor. The rehabilitation doctor is in charge of your medical care after a stroke. This may be a physiatrist (a doctor who specializes in...

  • 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.

  • Discusses ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and TIA (transient ischemic attack). Describes stroke symptoms and importance of acting fast if symptoms develop. Covers stroke treatment and prevention.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 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...

  • 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...

  • 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)...

  • 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...

  • 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 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...

  • 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 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • People who are infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) virus may develop a chronic infection that can lead to cirrhosis. The damage that results increases the risk of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). If you have chronic...

  • 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...

  • The following tips can help you prevent the spread of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Inform the people you live with and/or have sex with about your illness as soon as possible. If you have long-term (chronic) HBV infection, you can infect others with the virus even if you have no symptoms of illness. Do not...

  • 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...

  • What is hepatitis B? Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. Most adults who get it have it for a short time and then get better. This is called acute hepatitis B. Sometimes the virus causes a long-term infection, called chronic hepatitis B. Over time, it can damage your liver. Babies and young children...

  • 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...

  • 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)...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 dilated cardiomyopathy? Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious condition that weakens your heart muscle and causes it to stretch, or dilate. When your heart muscle is weak, it can't pump out blood as well as it should, so more blood stays in your heart after each heartbeat. As more blood fills and stays in...

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (say "hy-per-TROH-fik kar-dee-oh-my-AWP-uh-thee") happens when the heart muscle grows too thick, so the heart gets bigger and its chambers get smaller. Many people have no symptoms and live a normal life with few...

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 causes and symptoms of aneurysms that form in an artery called the aorta. Links to pictures of abdominal aneurysm and thoracic aneurysm. Covers treatment with medicines or surgery. Also looks at lifestyle changes that may help.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Discusses traditional surgery to remove an enlarged prostate. Covers what to expect after surgery and risks. Links to info on TURP.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Briefly discusses surgery to remove the prostate gland through the urethra. Covers why it is done and how well it works. Lists risks.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • The tremor of Parkinson's disease is not always severe, but it may affect many of your daily activities. To help control tremor in your hand or arm when you are trying to use the hand, press the affected elbow against your body to stabilize your...

  • 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.

  • 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)...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Cardiopulmonary syndromes are conditions of the heart and lung that may be caused by cancer or by other health problems. Five cardiopulmonary syndromes that may be caused by cancer are covered in this summary: Dyspnea (shortness of breath). Chronic cough. Malignant pleural effusion (extra fluid around the lungs caused...

  • 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...

  • Childhood cardiac tumors, which may be benign or malignant, form in the heart. Most tumors that form in the heart are benign (not cancer). Benign heart tumors that may appear in children include the following: Rhabdomyoma: A tumor that forms in muscle made up of long fibers. Myxoma: A tumor that may be part of an...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Increase your fluid intake to replace lost fluids when you have a fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or sweating. The following suggested amounts of fluids to drink every hour are based on body weight: Your weight Fluid Pounds Kilograms Ounces Milliliters...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • Shock means that your body and its functions are shutting down. The body goes into shock when it can't get enough blood to the vital organs like your heart or brain. This may be caused by a sudden illness, an injury, or bleeding. Sometimes even a mild injury will lead to shock. Shock is a life-threatening...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 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.

  • 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...

  • Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart muscle and the way it pumps. There are different types of cardiomyopathies. And these types have different causes. Cardiomyopathy may occur as a result of damage to the heart, such as from a heart attack, or a person may inherit the tendency to develop it. What...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • Guides through decision about what type of dialysis to have for kidney failure. Explains the two basic types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • 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 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about many different types of food poisoning. You can also see the topics E. Coli Infection and Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy. What is food poisoning? Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating foods that have harmful organisms in them. These harmful germs can...

  • Wash your hands often and prepare foods properly to reduce the risk of food poisoning . How to wash your hands The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following steps for hand-washing: Wash your hands with running water, and apply soap. Rub your hands together to make a lather. Scrub...

  • There are things you can do while shopping to help prevent food poisoning. Put raw meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and shellfish in separate bags, and do not mix them with other food items. Do not buy meat or poultry that has a tear in the package or is leaking. Pick up your refrigerated and frozen items at the end of...

  • It is important to cook foods at a safe temperature to avoid food poisoning. The following picture shows you safe temperatures for a number of foods. Adapted from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (2011). Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures. Available online...

  • Storing food promptly and correctly can help prevent food poisoning. Set your refrigerator at or below 40 F (4 C) and your freezer at or below 0 F (-18 C). Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, fish, shellfish, ready-to-eat foods, and leftovers within 2 hours or sooner. If the temperature outdoors is above 90 F...

  • Food packaging labels provide information about when to use the food and how to store it. Reading food labels and following safety instructions will greatly reduce your chance of becoming ill with food poisoning. The following guidelines are included on a packaging label. Sell by: This tells the store...

  • You can help prevent food poisoning by taking precautions when serving food. Keep hot foods hot [ 140 F (60 C) or above] and cold foods cold [ 40 F (4 C) or below]. Never leave meat, poultry, eggs, fish, or shellfish (raw or cooked) at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the temperature outdoors is...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disease in which the heart muscle grows abnormally, making the heart muscle thicken. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is described as either obstructive or nonobstructive. Nonobstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is abnormally thick but not to...

  • Some people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are at high risk for sudden death. It can occur at any age, but it is most shocking when it happens to young adults or athletes. While the media often highlight these tragic deaths, sudden death is...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) changes (mutates) often. Sometimes these changes make the virus resistant to a particular medicine or class of medicines, which means the medicine is no longer effective against the virus. When this happens, the medicine no longer controls virus growth (replication) or protects the...

  • 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 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...

  • 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...

  • Medicines and vaccines are used to prevent infections and certain diseases ( opportunistic infections) that are more common in people with HIV. Primary prevention means preventing illness before it occurs. Immunizations (vaccines) are one kind of primary prevention. Medicines that kill or control the...

  • 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...

  • Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the combination of several antiretroviral medicines used to slow the rate at which HIV makes copies of itself (multiplies) in the body. A combination of three or more antiretroviral medicines is more effective than using just one medicine (monotherapy) to treat HIV. The use of three or...

  • Opportunistic infections and diseases occur in people whose immune systems have been weakened. They usually do not occur in people who have healthy immune systems. When the immune system is weakened by a disease such as HIV infection, opportunistic diseases may cause serious, even life-threatening, illnesses...

  • Taking antiretroviral drugs for HIV will not cure your infection. But it may allow you to stay healthy for a long time. And treatment can help prevent spreading the infection to other people. Your willingness and ability to follow your antiretroviral therapy schedule exactly as prescribed is essential for successful...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the flushing of sperm directly into the uterus. This is done through a thin, flexible tube (catheter). Artificial insemination (AI) is the placement of sperm into a woman's cervix or vagina. The sperm then travel into the uterus and fallopian tubes, where they may fertilize an...

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

  • What is mercury? Mercury is a metal found naturally in the environment. Human activities, such as farming, burning coal, and using mercury in manufacturing, increase the mercury cycling through the air, water, and soil. In water, mercury changes its form and becomes methylmercury. Fish absorb this mercury. When you...

  • If you have symptoms of giant cell arteritis (GCA) and your doctor believes you may have it, he or she may order a temporal artery biopsy to make sure. Giant cell arteritis can occur at various points along an artery. To test for giant cell arteritis, your doctor may have a surgeon take a sample of a blood vessel on...

  • When you're pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. If you're a smoker and get pregnant, now is the time to quit. If you're not a smoker, avoid secondhand smoke. If you smoke and aren't pregnant but are...

  • To help control the pain and stress of labor, you may get pain medicines. The medicine can be injected into a vein or into the muscle. The most common pain medicines used are opioids. Examples include fentanyl, morphine, and nalbuphine. How opioids work for labor pain Opioids suppress how you perceive pain, and they...

  • Epidural anesthesia is an effective form of childbirth pain relief. Epidural anesthesia is the injection of a numbing medicine into the space around the spinal nerves in the lower back. It numbs the area above and below the point of injection and allows you to remain awake during the delivery. It can be used for either...

  • What is a venous skin ulcer? A skin ulcer is a type of wound that develops on the skin. A venous skin ulcer is a shallow wound that occurs when the leg veins don't return blood back toward the heart the way they should. This is called venous insufficiency. See a picture of abnormal blood flow caused by venous...

  • Venous skin ulcers develop when the lower leg veins are weakened and cannot efficiently move the blood back toward the heart. Pooled blood and fluid in the lower legs then leads to tissue breakdown. You can prevent or heal a venous skin ulcer by helping your blood circulate back toward your heart. Leg...

  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) used to treat sperm-related infertility problems. ICSI is used to enhance the fertilization phase of in vitro fertilization (IVF) by injecting a single sperm into a mature egg. The fertilized egg is then placed in a woman's uterus or...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for jaw pain (TMD). Includes symptoms of temporomandibular disorders and treatment options. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Bursitis or a tendon injury (tendinopathy) in the elbow causes soreness or pain in the elbow region, particularly when the arm is in motion. Pressing on the affected area will also cause pain. The epicondyles are the bony bumps you can feel on the inside and outside of your elbow. Tendinopathy or epicondylopathy is a...

  • Bursitis or a tendon injury ( tendinopathy) can cause pain at the side of your hip when you rise from a chair and take your first few steps, climb stairs, drive, or lie down with direct pressure on the side of the hip. See a picture of bursitis of the hip. To prevent and ease hip pain during work, play, or daily...

  • Bursitis or a tendon injury (tendinopathy) in the shoulder can cause pain on the outside or front of the upper arm. Common symptoms include pain, pinching, and stiffness when you raise your arm. These symptoms are often brought on by doing repeated overhead movements. Pain from bursitis or a tendon injury can keep you...

  • Inflammation or small tears in a tendon ( tendinopathy) can cause wrist pain. Although tendinopathy is a different condition than carpal tunnel syndrome, both can respond to the same home treatment tips: Gently warm up your wrists and fingers before beginning an activity. Fan open your fingers. Stretch your wrists...

  • An injury to the Achilles tendon ( Achilles tendinopathy) can cause pain and stiffness on and above the back of the heel. Achilles tendinopathy is common among athletes. But it also occurs in people of all ages, activity levels, and jobs. Bursitis can also cause pain and swelling at the back or bottom of the heel. To...

  • Guides you through the decision to have a procedure to fix a tubal problem or to have in vitro fertilization. Looks at chances of pregnancy and risks after each procedure. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Describes symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome such as tingling, numbness, or pain in the fingers, thumb, or hand that occur with pressure on the median nerve. Offers prevention tips. Offers links to more info on carpal tunnel syndrome and office ergonomics.

  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that all pregnant women be screened for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This is because early detection and...

  • Most women develop back pain at some point during pregnancy. As the size and weight of your growing belly place more strain on your back, you may notice your posture changing. To protect your back from poor posture, unnecessary strain, and painful injury, follow these guidelines: Avoid standing with your belly...

  • Sleep problems are common during pregnancy. Sleep studies tell us that hormonal changes, plus the discomforts of later pregnancy, can break up a pregnant woman's sleep cycle. The first trimester can bring insomnia and night waking. Most women feel the need to take naps to battle daytime sleepiness and fatigue. The...

  • A back school is an educational program that teaches you practical information about back care, posture, body mechanics, back exercises, and how to prevent long-term back problems. Going to a back school gives you the tools for self-care, which may improve how well you manage low back pain. Back school works only as...

  • Botulinum toxin A is a protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, the same bacteria that causes botulism food poisoning. When injected into muscle in tiny amounts, botulinum A (Botox) can stop or reduce muscle spasm by blocking nerve signals to the muscle. This treatment has been used since the early 1990s...

  • Covers intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) to treat spinal disc-related chronic low back pain. Explains why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Includes how well it works. Looks at possible risks.

  • Covers using an electrical current to treat chronic pain. Explains how peripheral nerve and spinal cord stimulation is done, why it is done, and how well it works. Includes possible risks related to the treatment.

  • Lists common lifting mistakes. Offers basic rules to protect your back when lifting. Includes links to pictures on proper lifting technique and more extensive info on low back pain and herniated disc.

  • Guides you through the decision to treat a vaginal yeast infection yourself. Explains when you may need to see a doctor to diagnose a yeast infection. Discusses prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Boric acid is a white, crystalline chemical substance that has antifungal and antiviral properties. It is used in various prescription pharmaceutical products and is also available without a prescription. Some experts now recommend vaginal boric acid capsules as a treatment option for vaginal yeast infections...

  • Some treatments for cancer can cause infertility in both men and women. Also, cancer treatment in children may affect their future fertility. Infertility from cancer treatment may be temporary or permanent. Whether or not your cancer treatment will...

  • Infertility treatment success is defined as the birth of a healthy infant. Major things that affect your chances of conceiving and carrying a healthy pregnancy with or without treatment include maternal age, how long you have been trying to...

  • Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) do not ovulate regularly. They often have trouble getting pregnant. The medicines clomiphene and letrozole are commonly used to stimulate ovulation. But medicine doesn't work for some women who have PCOS....

  • What is healthy aging? Getting older is a natural part of life. How you will feel as you get older depends on many things, including what health problems run in your family and the choices you make. If you take good care of your body and learn positive ways to deal with stress now, you can slow down or even prevent...

  • You may have some difficulty urinating for a day or two after delivery. Your first bowel movement may be quite painful if you have had an incision (episiotomy) or a tear in your vagina. You may also have constipation or discomfort with bowel...

  • Describes toothache. Lists symptoms and possible causes. Also describes gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontal disease. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers prevention tips.

  • Guides you through carbohydrate counting as a good way to help control blood sugar when you have gestational diabetes. Explains why you need to count carbohydrates and how to count them. Includes suggestions that can help you count carbohydrate grams.

  • Describes monitoring blood sugar levels when you have gestational diabetes. Covers list of supplies needed, including blood sugar meter, testing strips, and lancet. Gives step-by-step instructions. Offers slideshow on using a blood sugar meter.

  • Describes how to give an insulin injection when you have gestational diabetes. Covers what is needed, including syringe and vial or cartridge of insulin. Offers step-by-step instructions and links to slideshows on preparing an injection.

  • What is teen substance use? Many teens try alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Some teens try these substances only a few times and stop. Others can't control their urges or cravings for them. This is substance use disorder. Moderate to severe substance use disorder is sometimes called addiction. Teens may try a number of...

  • What are pressure injuries? A pressure injury on the skin is caused by constant pressure to that area. This often occurs when a person lies in bed or sits in a chair for a long time. Pressure reduces blood supply to the skin. Over time, this can cause the skin to break down and form an open sore. Pressure injuries are...

  • Guides you through decision to put a loved one who has had a stroke into long-term care. Lists reasons for and against. Covers types of long-term centers. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is low bone density? Low bone density (sometimes called osteopenia) refers to bone density that is lower than the normal peak density but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Bone density is a measurement of how dense and strong the bones are. If your bone density is low compared to normal peak...

  • Whether you want to think about kicking your tobacco habit or not, you might find it interesting to take a look at the ways tobacco has worked its way into your everyday life. Check your response: Rarely Sometimes Often Smoking or chewing tobacco is something I do when I'm out having a good time with...

  • There are many ways to deal with stress. The table below (reprinted from Wellness: Concepts and Applications*) lists positive ways to cope. See how many you use to deal with stress. If you have trouble filling out this chart, you may want to track your stress for a few days and then try again. Positive ways to...

  • What would motivate you to quit smoking? Take a moment to fill out the smoker's self-test. Be honest when you answer the questions. You may discover that you have more good reasons to quit than to continue using tobacco. Decide if you agree with any of these statements. _____It makes me uncomfortable to know that I am...

  • What is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury. You...

  • 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...

  • Many people worry about getting a disease like hepatitis or HIV from an accidental needle stick. But it doesn't happen often. Most of the time, the person on whom the needle was used doesn't have hepatitis, HIV, or another infection that can be spread that way. When the person does have an infection that can be spread...

  • Discusses tetanus, also called lockjaw. Looks at cause by bacteria infection that makes a poison that causes severe muscle spasms. Looks at how bacteria enter the body through wound or cut. Covers vaccine shots (immunizations) to prevent tetanus.

  • What is neck pain? Neck pain can occur anywhere in your neck, from the bottom of your head to the top of your shoulders. It can spread to your upper back or arms. It may limit how much you can move your head and neck. Neck pain is common, especially in people older than 50. What causes neck pain? Neck pain can be...

  • Spinal decompression surgery reduces pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots and may reduce neck pain. To relieve the pressure, your doctor may remove: Bony growths (bone spurs or osteophytes) and fibrous tissue that are narrowing the spinal canal and pressing on spinal nerve roots. Parts of the vertebrae...

  • Chronic pain often requires both counseling and medical treatment, because it can have a wearing effect on both the body and the mind. At a pain management clinic, you can get multidisciplinary treatment from a team of specialists, including: Physiatrists. These medical doctors specialize in physical medicine and...

  • Covers exercises that are helpful for a person with osteoarthritis. Includes aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercises, and tips to motivate yourself. Includes things to avoid. Looks at why it is important to exercise and gives tips on how to exercise.

  • Most people find osteoarthritis to be a nuisance that eventually becomes significant enough to affect their daily activities. And sometimes there are more serious complications. Possible complications of osteoarthritis include: Rapid, complete breakdown of cartilage resulting in loose tissue material in the joint...

  • What is ergonomics? Ergonomics (say "er-guh-NOM-iks") is the study of the kind of work you do, the environment you work in, and the tools you use to do your job. The goal of office ergonomics is to set up your office work space so that it fits you and the job you are doing. When your workstation is set up right, you...

  • Physical therapists provide a type of treatment you may need when back pain makes it hard to move around and do everyday tasks. This treatment helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also helps improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level. The goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks...

  • Covers exercises that may help reduce or prevent low back pain. Includes aerobic, strengthening, and stretching exercises. Looks at why it is important to exercise for low back pain. Includes tips on how to do the exercises.

  • Briefly discusses lipid panel, a blood test that measures cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Covers why a lipid panel might be ordered. Also covers how to prepare for test.

  • Pain and other symptoms related to your life-limiting illness almost always can be managed effectively. Talk to your doctor and family about the symptoms you are experiencing. Your family is an important link between you and your doctor. Have a...

  • Guides through decision to stop kidney dialysis for kidney failure. Covers key factors in decision. Covers benefits and risks. Discusses what happens after dialysis is stopped. Offers interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • A viral load test measures how much human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is in the blood. Viral load is first measured when you are diagnosed with HIV infection. This first measurement serves as the baseline. Future viral load measurements will be compared with the baseline. Since viral load can vary from day to day, the...

  • A human papillomavirus (HPV) test is done to check for a high-risk HPV infection in women. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). An HPV test checks for the genetic material ( DNA) of the human papillomavirus. Like a Pap test, an HPV test is done on a sample of cells collected from the cervix. There are many...

  • Guides you through decision to have spinal manipulation. Describes treatment and how well it works for low back pain. Lists benefits and risks of both spinal manipulation and home treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Covers pelvic pain that has lasted longer than 6 months. Discusses common causes such as endometriosis. Covers what increases your risk and offers prevention tips. Covers treatment with lifestyle changes, medicines, and surgery.

  • Laparotomy is a surgical procedure that is done by making an incision in the lower abdomen. This allows the surgeon to see and inspect the abdominal cavity for structural problems, sites of endometriosis (implants), and scar tissue ( adhesions). The surgeon can then remove implants and adhesions. The surgeon can also...

  • Covers using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to learn ways to relax, reduce stress, and help you cope with pain. Looks at why it is done and what to expect after treatment. Includes info on how well it works.

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat mild nausea caused by cancer or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If you are having chemotherapy, your doctor can give you medicines to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting. Be sure to tell your doctor if you continue to have problems after your...

  • Not all forms of cancer or cancer treatment cause pain. If pain occurs, many treatments are available to relieve it. If your doctor has given you instructions or medicines to treat pain, be sure to follow them. Home treatment may help to reduce pain and improve your physical and mental well-being. Be sure to discuss...

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat diarrhea caused by cancer or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Be sure to follow any instructions and take any medicines your doctor has given you to treat diarrhea. Check with your doctor before using any nonprescription medicines for your diarrhea...

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat constipation caused by cancer, pain medicine, inactivity, or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If your doctor has given you instructions or medicines to treat constipation, be...

  • Discusses sleep problems caused by cancer or side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Offers tips like get daily exercise and use a sleep mask and earplugs to improve sleep. Warns to check with your doctor before taking sleep medicine.

  • Because children and teenagers are more flexible, back pain is not as common in this age group as it is in adults. Back pain in a child that occurs immediately after an injury or an athletic event should be checked by a doctor. Back pain in children and teens may also be caused by an overuse injury. Children or their...

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

  • Covers possible effects of sun exposure, including sunburn and skin cancer. Explains UVA and UVB rays. Offers tips for children and adults on how much time to spend in the sun. Discusses protective clothing and sunscreen protection, including proper SPF.

  • Discusses surgical treatment to control irregular heartbeat and restore normal rhythm of heart. Looks at what to expect after surgery such as taking medicine such as Coumadin. Covers risks.

  • Most people with atrial fibrillation don't have to change their daily activities. You can live well and safely with atrial fibrillation. There are some precautions you can take to prevent problems from atrial fibrillation. For example, tell your doctor about any activities that trigger an episode of atrial...

  • Anyone who has a head injury during a sporting event needs to immediately stop all activity and not return to play that day. Being active again before the brain returns to normal functioning increases the person's risk of having a more serious brain injury. Every person involved in a sporting event (every coach...

  • Discusses peritoneal dialysis. Covers having a catheter and using dialysate solution. Discusses hemodialysis. Looks at what to expect after treatment, how well it works, and risks.

  • Many medicines may impair kidney function and cause kidney damage. And if your kidneys aren't working well, medicines can build up in your body. If you have chronic kidney disease, your doctor may advise you to continue to take a medicine but may change how much you take. Or you may change to a different medicine. Don't...

  • Abdominal pain can have many causes. Often the specific symptoms help determine the cause of the pain. Causes of abdominal pain Cause Most common symptoms Gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, gallbladder disease, bowel obstruction, pancreatitis, appendicitis, gastritis, peptic ulcer disease...

  • The stages of chronic kidney disease are determined by the glomerular filtration rate. Glomerular filtration is the process by which the kidneys filter the blood, removing excess wastes and fluids. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a calculation that determines how well the blood is filtered by the kidneys. It is one...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause dehydration. A few examples are: Antihistamines. Blood pressure medicines. Chemotherapy. Diuretics. Laxatives. If you think that your dehydration is caused by a medicine: Call the doctor who prescribed the medicine to find out if you should stop taking...

  • Discusses options for managing perimenopause- and menopause-related hot flashes. Explains what hot flashes are. Discusses lifestyle changes that may help hot flashes. Looks at hormone therapy (HT) and treatment with medicines and herbs.

  • Discusses cancer pain management. Discusses causes such as tumor pressing on bones or nerves. Covers types of cancer pain. Discusses treatments with medicines, surgery, or radiation.

  • What is premature ejaculation? Premature ejaculation is uncontrolled ejaculation either before or shortly after sexual penetration. It happens with minimal sexual stimulation and before the person wishes. It may result in unsatisfactory sex for both partners. This can increase the anxiety that may add to the problem...

  • What are blood and body fluid precautions? Blood and body fluid precautions are recommendations designed to prevent the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and other diseases while giving first aid or other health care that includes contact with body fluids or blood. These...

  • Discusses use of radiation therapy to kill cancer cells or control cancer pain. Covers brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy, two ways radiation is delivered. Discusses risks and side effects.

  • Provides brief discussion on nerve block for pain relief. Explains that it is done by injecting a drug into or around a nerve or into the spine. Covers when and why nerve blocks are used. Also covers risks.

  • Experts agree that mammograms are the best screening test for people at average risk of breast cancer. But they don't all agree on the age at which screening should start. And they don't agree on whether it's better to be screened every year or every two years. Here are some of the recommendations from experts...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause vaginal symptoms. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Birth control pills. Hormone therapy. Chemotherapy for cancer. Vaginal sprays, douches, and spermicides. Vaginal symptoms may clear up on their own once you stop taking a medicine. A yeast infection can be...

  • If you develop symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is important to be evaluated by a health professional soon after your symptoms start. Symptoms of an STI include: A change in vaginal discharge (thicker, discolored, or bad-smelling) over a period of several days to 2 weeks. Pain, burning, or...

  • What are pulmonary (lung) nodules? Pulmonary (lung) nodules are growths or "spots" in the lungs. You may have just one nodule (called a solitary pulmonary nodule) or more than one (called multiple nodules). What causes lung nodules? Lung nodules may be caused by: A lung cancer. A cancer that has spread...

  • Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of injury from cold exposure. Alcohol: Changes your body's ability to regulate body temperature. Changes your judgment. For example, a person may not put on more clothing when it is needed if his or her judgment is changed by alcohol. Can cause blood vessels in the skin to get...

  • Chemical pinkeye (conjunctivitis) or toxic pinkeye is caused by getting smoke, liquids, fumes, or chemicals in the eye. Flushing the eye with running water must be done immediately to remove the toxic chemical or liquid. Mild pinkeye can be caused by the chlorine in swimming pools. Most people don't need treatment...

  • Physical sunscreens, such as zinc oxide, are usually thick white or colored cream. They prevent the skin from being exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. They are useful for high-risk areas such as the nose, lips, and shoulders. It's safest to keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun. Use sunscreens on children...

  • Some medicines may cause your skin to sunburn more easily. Medicines used for treatment on the skin (topical) or for the whole body (systemic) can cause two types of reactions: Phototoxicity. Medicines react with proteins in the skin and sunlight and cause a more severe sunburn reaction with increased...

  • The sunlight that reaches the earth has ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) rays. These ultraviolet rays are the main causes of damage to the skin from the sun. UVA and UVB rays affect the skin's sensitivity to sun exposure in different ways. UVA: Can pass through window glass. Is not affected by a change...

  • There is no evidence-based research to support the safety and effectiveness of the following home treatment measures, but they may help relieve your burn symptoms. Soak a washcloth in water to make a cool compress. Add a handful of oatmeal (ground to a powder) to your bath. Or you can try an oatmeal bath product...

  • You can take a temperature using the mouth (oral), anus (rectal), armpit (axillary), or ear (tympanic). But the temperature readings vary depending on which one you use, and you need an accurate body temperature to determine if a fever is present. Medical research hasn't determined an exact correlation between...

  • In some women, the estrogen in combination hormonal birth control methods increases the risk of a blood clot in a leg ( deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) or a blood clot in a lung ( pulmonary embolism, or PE). A blood clot in a leg vein can travel through the circulation system and cause pulmonary embolism. The risk for...

  • Record Answer questions Date and time of day: ________ Date and time of day: ________ Date and time of day: ________ Symptoms What were your symptoms? How long did the heartburn last? Do you have any other symptoms, such as asthma, hoarseness, or stomach pain? Does pain radiate to another part of your...

  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV) test is a blood test that looks for the genetic material ( RNA) of the virus that causes hepatitis or for the proteins ( antibodies) the body makes against HCV. These proteins will be present in your blood if you have a hepatitis C infection now or have had one in the past. Different tests are...

  • Guides you through the decision to take an anticoagulant to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Covers causes of heart attack (myocardial infarction) and unstable angina. Discusses symptoms like chest pain or pressure. Explains MI and angina differences. Offers prevention tips. Covers diagnostic tests and treatment with medicines and surgery.

  • There are many types of congenital heart defects. If the defect lowers the amount of oxygen in the body, it is called cyanotic. If the defect doesn't affect oxygen in the body, it is called acyanotic. What are cyanotic heart defects? Cyanotic heart...

  • Adults with congenital heart defects can live long, full, and active lives. There are many things you can do to stay healthy and live well. These include having a heart-healthy lifestyle, preventing infections, and getting regular checkups. You...

  • Heart failure is most often a lifelong illness that will require frequent changes in your medicine schedule and regular follow-up with your doctor. Over the years, many things will affect the course of your disease, including other illnesses that you develop, your age, your diet, your ability to tolerate and comply...

  • What is an intra-aortic balloon pump? An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a mechanical device that helps the heart pump blood. This device is inserted into the aorta, the body's largest artery. It is a long, thin tube called a catheter with a balloon on the end of it. If you are hospitalized, your doctor may insert...

  • A ventricular assist device (VAD), also known as a heart pump, is a mechanical device that helps pump blood from the heart to the rest of your body. A VAD can be implanted in the chest or worn outside the body. If it is implanted, surgery is done to place it in the chest area. The pump part of the VAD is placed in a...

  • If you have heart failure, symptoms start to happen when your heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of your body. Shortness of breath While shortness of breath is the most common symptom of heart failure, it may be difficult or impossible to distinguish it from shortness of breath caused by other health...

  • While there are certain symptoms that people with heart failure experience more commonly, there are many other symptoms that heart failure can cause. These symptoms are typically less common because they often result from more severe heart failure, when the body can no longer compensate properly for the failing heart...

  • Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) happens when the left side of your heart doesn't pump blood out to the body as well as normal. It's sometimes called systolic heart failure. This is because your left ventricle doesn't squeeze forcefully enough during systole, which is the phase of your heartbeat...

  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) occurs when the lower left chamber (left ventricle) is not able to fill properly with blood during the diastolic (filling) phase. The amount of blood pumped out to the body is less than normal. It is also called diastolic heart failure. What does preserved...

  • High-output heart failure happens when the body's need for blood is unusually high, so heart failure symptoms happen even though the heart is working well. This type of heart failure happens to a very small number of people with heart failure. What happens to the heart? High-output heart failure occurs when the...

  • Right-sided heart failure means that the right side of the heart is not pumping blood to the lungs as well as normal. It is also called cor pulmonale or pulmonary heart disease. What happens to the heart? Most people develop heart failure because of a problem with the left ventricle. But reduced function of the right...

  • Even if you are treating your heart failure successfully, you may develop a complication that can be serious and life-threatening. It is important to identify complications of heart failure as soon as possible, because some can be extremely serious conditions. You can discuss your complications with your doctor and...

  • Heart failure means that your heart muscle does not pump as much blood as your body needs. Failure doesn't mean that your heart has stopped. It means that your heart is not pumping as well as it should. There is more than one type of heart failure, so you might hear your doctor call it different names. The types are...

  • Why is diet important for heart failure? Diet is critical in the treatment of heart failure. Limiting sodium is typically recommended to limit fluid build-up. But some other nutrients or substances also play a role as well. Heart failure can become more severe if diet and medicine recommendations for heart failure are...

  • People who have heart failure can be active and enjoy life. Daily activities. If you have heart failure, you may find that your symptoms make it difficult to do things like cook, clean, bathe, or shop. You can deal with these limitations in various ways. For example, you can rearrange your kitchen to make...

  • Many hospitals and insurers have developed disease management (DM) programs to educate people who have heart failure about their disease. Disease management includes a broad range of health services, such as home health care, visiting nurses, and rehabilitation. The goal of DM programs is to offer a combination of...

  • Talk with doctors, therapists, and counselors about how to help a friend or relative living with heart failure. Most people don't hesitate when they are called upon to help a loved one who is ill. But being a full-time caregiver may be an unfamiliar role for you. It is important to consider the long-term...

  • One of the most frightening aspects about having heart failure is that it can lead to premature death. The increased death rate among people with heart failure is in part caused by the tendency of those with heart failure to develop abnormal heart rhythms. Some people with heart failure die suddenly from abnormal rapid...

  • Cardiac cachexia is unintentional severe weight loss caused by heart disease. The weight loss might be life-threatening. It can happen to people who have severe heart failure. Even with a very good appetite and high calorie intake, some people lose muscle mass. Cardiac cachexia can require supplemental nutrition...

  • The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have devised a classification system for heart failure. It categorizes heart failure based on how the disease progresses in most people. Under this system, heart failure is...

  • Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins. (Ablation means a doctor uses heat to damage tissue, which makes scar tissue form. This scar tissue closes the vein.) This technique uses radiofrequency energy (instead of laser energy) to heat up and damage the wall inside a vein. This...

  • Phlebectomy (also known as microphlebectomy, ambulatory phlebectomy, or stab avulsion) is a technique to remove varicose veins. In this procedure, several tiny cuts (incisions) are made in the skin through which the varicosed vein is removed. Stitches usually are not required. This procedure typically does not...

  • Interactive tool measures your ability to bounce back from stressful situations. Discusses what your score means from being very resilient to not very resilient. Includes next steps and a link to more information on stress management.

  • Helps you assess whether you have depression. Tool calculates how many common symptoms you have. Based on your answers, shows where you fall on a depression scale. Helps you find out if you might need treatment. Offers link to extensive info on depression.

  • Helps you check your risk of weight-related diseases such as diabetes, CAD, and high blood pressure. Tool calculates risk using body mass index (BMI) along with your waist size and other factors. Discusses what scores mean.

  • Helps you calculate the number of calories burned during exercise and daily activities like walking. Explains that you don't have to "work out" to be active. Covers building more physical activity into your daily life.

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure used to treat severe depression. It may be used in people who have symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, or suicidal thoughts or when other treatments such as psychotherapy and antidepressant medicines have not worked. It is also used for other psychiatric and...

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are found in marine or plant sources, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. A few studies suggest that adding omega-3 fatty acids to medicine (such as lithium) can help reduce the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder in some people. Omega-3 fatty acids don't seem to have an effect on the manic...

  • Discusses shots of EDTA into bloodstream to remove heavy metals or minerals from the body. Also discusses its use to treat atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Covers safety.

  • Looks at depression in children and teens. Covers symptoms like anxiety, headaches, sleep problems, and lack of energy. Discusses treatment with therapy and medicines. Covers warning signs of suicide.

  • Certain medical or mental disorders can produce symptoms similar to depression. Before depression is diagnosed, it may be necessary to rule out other causes of the symptoms that your child or teen may be experiencing. These other disorders may be...

  • Sometimes depression in children and teens may be triggered by or result in conflict within the family. Family conflict can trigger depression symptoms or make them worse. And family therapy aimed at correcting these issues can improve the outcome. But this type of counseling used alone has not been proved effective for...

  • After you start a cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program, you will work with many health professionals. Each will have a specific role in your rehab. While you are in rehab, make sure to stay in touch with your doctor or other health professionals who can keep track of your progress and health. You will probably keep...

  • Recovering from a heart problem means not only getting back your physical strength but also getting back your emotional and mental well-being. Having a positive outlook during your recovery and rehabilitation is necessary to help you recover physically, emotionally, and mentally. Remember that you are going to start...

  • If you are in a cardiac rehab program, you are probably taking medicines for your heart and for other health reasons. Some prescribed medicines can change your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall ability to exercise. It's important for your rehab team to know what medicines you take. Give your rehab team a list of...

  • There are several ways to measure your body's responses to exercise and other lifestyle changes. You may want to keep track of the following measurements during your exercise sessions at cardiac rehab and at home. Target heart rate Your target heart rate can guide you to how hard you need to exercise so you can get...

  • The more you know about bipolar disorder, the better you will be able to cope with this lifelong illness. There are many steps that you can take—or help a loved one take—to recognize and better manage manic episodes. Learn the warning signs of a manic episode, and get early treatment to avoid disruption in your life...

  • Many people take oral or inhaled steroid medicines for conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These medicines include beclomethasone, flunisolide, and prednisone. The oral kind and the high-dose inhaled kind can cause bone loss over time. If you are on these types of medicines for 6...

  • Discusses taking calcium and vitamin D to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Includes info on how much calcium you need based on your age or life stage. Offers list of calcium-rich foods and calcium supplements.

  • Guides through decision to take medicine to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Explains symptoms of OCD. Describes most common types of medicines used and other treatments. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Bright light therapy is an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The most common light therapy uses a special type of light, called a light box. This is much brighter than a lamp or other light fixture in your home. Light therapy is easy and safe. It has few side effects and can be done at home...

  • Guides through decision to take antidepressants for depression. Covers symptoms of depression. Lists reasons for and against antidepressants. Covers side effects. Looks at other treatments to try. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Read the following information to help you decide whether you might have depression. It does not take the place of a doctor's diagnosis. Depression causes you to feel sad or hopeless much of the time. It's different from normal feelings of sadness,...

  • It is normal for your growing child to be moody or somewhat irritable as he or she moves through adolescence. But symptoms of prolonged sadness or irritability and a loss of pleasure in activities the child enjoyed before can point to depression....

  • Guides you through deciding whether your child should take medicines for depression. Offers reasons for and against. Covers side effects, including possible increase in suicidal thoughts. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • It can be hard for your doctor to tell whether you have migraine headaches, tension headaches, sinus headaches, cluster headaches, or a combination of these types. The symptoms of these headaches are often the same, and no test can diagnose headaches. Listing a few key features of your headaches may help your doctor...

  • Guides you through the decision to take drugs for migraines. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Feverfew ( Tanacetum parthenium) is an herb that has been studied a lot for migraine prevention. Some small studies show that it may help prevent migraines in some people. Feverfew is available as dried leaf powder, tablet, capsule, and tea. You might find it under the name MIG-99. If you would like to try feverfew to...

  • Guides through the decision to take prescription drugs for tension headaches. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and antianxiety medicines. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through identifying and avoiding tension headache triggers. Helps you reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. Explains common triggers. Includes stress management, treatment for depression, and regular exercise and sleep.

  • What are voice problems? Voice problems usually include pain or discomfort when you speak or difficulty controlling the pitch, loudness, or quality of your voice. As you exhale, air gently passes through your throat, across your open vocal cords, and out your mouth and nose. When you speak, your vocal cords close...

  • Guides you through decision to take medicines for Alzheimer's disease. Covers medicine choices and their side effects. Lists reasons for and against taking medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Dawn is no stranger to dieting. Over the years, she followed many different weight-loss plans. Each plan worked for a while, but eventually she would go back to her old eating habits and her weight would go back up. She says that with dieting "There...

  • Jeremy grew up being active and involved in sports. But he never gave healthy eating too much thought until he found himself gaining weight several years after college. In November 2006, Jeremy hit a turning point when he found that he was too out...

  • Guides through decision about whether to use a diet plan to lose weight. Explains what diet plans are and that not all diet plans are safe. Explains risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you make a decision.

  • What is mitral valve stenosis? Mitral valve stenosis is a heart problem in which the mitral valve doesn't open as wide as it should. The valve becomes stiff or scarred, or the valve flaps become partially joined together. See a picture of mitral valve stenosis. Mitral valve stenosis can lead to heart failure; a...

  • Discusses primary cause (blood clot in the lungs) and symptoms of pulmonary embolism. Looks at treatment with thrombolytic medicines, blood thinners (anticoagulants), or surgery. Links to info on complications like pulmonary hypertension.

  • Blood clots can happen in veins. A blood clot in a vein close to the skin isn't likely to cause problems. But having blood clots in deep veins is called deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis happens most often in the legs. This problem can lead to a blood clot in the lung ( pulmonary embolism). The deep veins of...

  • If you have a normal heart, you have a low risk for endocarditis. But if you have a problem with your heart that affects normal blood flow through the heart, it is more likely that bacteria or fungi will attach to heart tissue. This puts you at a higher risk for endocarditis. If you have certain heart conditions...

  • The American Heart Association (AHA) publishes dietary and lifestyle recommendations for general heart health. These recommendations are for healthy adults and children older than age 2 as well as people who already have health problems such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or heart failure...

  • What is ischemia? Ischemia is the medical term for what happens when your heart muscle doesn't get enough oxygen. Ischemia usually happens because of a shortage of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. It is usually caused by a narrowing or blockage of one or more of the coronary arteries (which supply blood to the...

  • What is atherosclerosis? Atherosclerosis, sometimes called "hardening of the arteries," occurs when fat (cholesterol) and calcium build up inside the lining of the artery wall, forming a substance called plaque. Over time, the fat and calcium buildup narrows the artery and blocks blood flow through it...

  • What health professionals are involved in taking care of people who have coronary artery disease? After a diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD), you should visit your primary care physician every few months. Your doctor can help track your condition and make sure that your treatment is going as planned. If you...

  • How can I help a loved one who has coronary artery disease? If you have a family member or other loved one who has coronary artery disease (CAD) or has just returned home from the hospital due to a complication of CAD, you may want to know what you can do to help. Your loved one may be able to do fewer normal...

  • People in recovery from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery may need assistance from family members and friends in a variety of ways. You may help your loved one for several weeks during recovery with a number of tasks, including shopping, cleaning, and driving. You can also help support your loved one in making...

  • Why is it important to manage stress? Stress is the way we all react to change. It includes our mental, emotional, and physical responses to the pressures of everyday life. Because change is a natural and normal part of life, everyone has some stress. But stress can be bad for your heart. If you have heart...

  • You don't have to abandon all your favorite recipes to eat healthier. Several small changes to your current recipes can often greatly lower the saturated fat and sodium in your diet. These small changes can make a big difference in the amount of fat and calories in your diet. But they won't make much difference in how...

  • Intermittent claudication is a symptom of peripheral arterial disease. Intermittent claudication is a tight, aching, or squeezing pain in the calf, foot, thigh, or buttock that occurs during exercise, such as walking up a steep hill or a flight of stairs. This pain usually occurs after the same amount of exercise and is...

  • Guides you through the decision to have surgery for peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Covers what PAD is and how it is treated. Covers risks. Lists reasons for and against having surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Leriche's syndrome is the term used for a group of symptoms that are caused by a certain type of peripheral arterial disease of the legs. In Leriche's syndrome, blood flow in the aorta is blocked in the stomach area. This blocks blood flow to the legs. In men, blood flow to the penis is also blocked. The following...

  • Pulse and blood pressure measurements taken in different areas of the body help diagnose peripheral arterial disease. Pulse In the legs, doctors will commonly feel for pulses in the femoral (groin), popliteal (back of the knee), posterior tibial (ankle), and dorsalis pedis (foot) areas. Other pulses often checked...

  • Guides you through how to control itching when you or your child has chickenpox (varicella) rash. Includes home treatment with baths, over-the-counter medicines, and lotions. Covers avoiding scratching to prevent infection and scarring.

  • Having a family member with autism presents many challenges. Support and training for parents and siblings are important components of treatment. Training family members about autism and how to effectively manage the symptoms can reduce family stress and improve the functioning of the child with autism. Some families...

  • What is restless legs syndrome? Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder related to sensation and movement. People with restless legs syndrome have an unpleasant feeling or sensation in parts of their bodies when they lie down to sleep. Most people also have a very strong urge to move, and moving sometimes makes them...

  • Restless legs syndrome can be a secondary problem caused by another condition. Researchers continue their efforts to understand and define the relationship between this syndrome and: Iron deficiency or related anemia. The way the body metabolizes iron and certain proteins in the brain may be related to restless legs...

  • What is laryngitis? Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box, or larynx (say "LAIR-inks"), that causes your voice to become raspy or hoarse. Laryngitis can be short-term or long-lasting (chronic). Most of the time, it comes on quickly and lasts no more than 2 weeks. Chronic symptoms are those that last 2 weeks...

  • Lists common products that could be poisonous, including household cleaners, medicines, alcohol, cosmetics, garden products, and houseplants. Also covers chemicals and fumes. Offers tips on keeping children safe. Offers poisoning hotline telephone number.

  • Steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning include the following: Purchase and install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and near sleeping areas. Use those marked UL 2034 or IAS 6–96, which have met the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines. Follow the directions carefully for...

  • Keep pets in good health All pets, whether they are kept indoors or outside, should be in good health, show no evidence of disease, and be friendly toward children. The following suggestions benefit your pets and may also help protect young children from both illness and injury: Immunize cats and dogs, and...

  • Developing and nurturing your personal relationships can help you lower your stress level. The following suggestions can benefit both your relationships and your mental health: Visit with friends and family. Take time to make a phone call, send an email, or write a quick note. Make "date" time with your spouse, even...

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) creates Vaccine Information Statements (VISs), which have details about most vaccines given in the United States. The VISs are updated when needed. The information in these statements does not change often. Each VIS explains why to get the vaccine, the risks from...

  • Sex is part of a healthy life and is part of your quality of life. Most people with heart failure can still have an active sex life. If you have mild heart failure, your doctor will likely say that sex is safe for your heart. If you have more severe heart failure, your doctor will likely check your health to make sure...

  • Joan figured she would need months to recover physically from the heart attack 2 years ago that led to her heart failure. She didn't realize she would need just as much time to recover emotionally. "I was only 52 when I had the heart attack," she says. "Heart disease runs in my family, but I thought I'd been taking...

  • Jerry, 32, works in customer service at a call center. So he's hunched over a computer for most of his work day. "I love my job, but it can be stressful. I hold my stress in my shoulders and neck. My shoulders are always up around my ears. A lot of times, I leave at the end of the day with a big headache." Jerry...

  • Carole lost a lot of time to migraines. Instead of playing with her children, she would lie on her bed in the dark, with a bag of ice on her head. "I kept thinking I could stop the migraines if I would just lie down and be still and quiet," says the 41-year-old mother of two. "It hardly ever worked." When a migraine...

  • Guides you through the decision to take antiviral drugs for chronic hepatitis B. Covers treatment with interferons and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • A postvaccination test for immunity to the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is recommended only if you: Have an impaired immune system. This can be caused by many things, such as infection with HIV or the use of medicines to prevent organ rejection. Are older than age 49. Received the hepatitis B vaccine in the buttock. (The...

  • Discusses pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas that causes abdominal pain. Discusses most common causes, which include gallstones and alcohol misuse. Covers symptoms and treatment with medicines or surgery to remove the gallbladder.

  • In certain cases, medicines may cause inflammation of the pancreas ( pancreatitis). These include: Antibiotics. Medicines that suppress the immune system. Medicines used to treat high blood pressure. Aminosalicylates. Diuretics. Corticosteroids. Estrogen. Medicines used to treat diabetes. Valproate. General...

  • Pain is a frustrating, sometimes debilitating aspect of ongoing (chronic) pancreatitis. Many people have pain for many years. Pain may decrease as the damaged pancreas loses its ability to produce enzymes. But it may take years for the pancreas to stop producing enzymes. In many people, this process never occurs...

  • Milk thistle is a plant that contains silymarin, a substance that improves liver function. Originally from Europe, milk thistle now also grows in the United States. You can take milk thistle in capsules or as a tincture (combined with alcohol). It...

  • Medicines that constrict small blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the portal vein are used to treat sudden (acute) bleeding from enlarged veins (varices) in the digestive tract ( variceal bleeding). Octreotide is the main medicine used in the United States to treat variceal bleeding. These medicines also may be...

  • Rheumatic fever is a bacterial infection that can cause problems with the heart's aortic and mitral valves. Rheumatic fever is caused by certain strains of streptococcal bacteria. A strep throat infection that isn't properly treated can trigger rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can damage heart muscle and heart valves...

  • Guides you through decision about choosing new valve to replace your heart valve if you have aortic valve problems or mitral valve problems. Compares benefits and risks of mechanical valves versus tissue valves. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The major decision in treating aortic valve regurgitation is whether to have aortic valve replacement surgery and, if so, when to do it. Your doctor will check the severity of your condition. Your doctor will also check your overall health to see if surgery is too risky for you. Then you and your doctor will weigh...

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

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

  • Covers controlling irritable bowel syndrome with diet. Discusses limiting foods that may make symptoms like bloating or diarrhea worse. Explains importance of adding fiber to your diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting regular exercise.

  • You can lower your chance of being bitten by an insect or spiderlike animal (arachnid) by using insect repellents. Mosquitoes, biting flies, and ticks can cause annoying bites and sometimes a serious disease. Mosquito bites can spread infections such as West Nile virus, a virus that causes swelling of the brain (...

  • Children who are socially withdrawn, shy, and appear to lack self-esteem are more likely than other children to be targets for bullying. Children who appear confident and strong are better able to discourage children from harassing them. Parents and other important adults in a child's life can use these suggestions to...

  • Discusses causes of dementia, which include strokes, tumors, or Alzheimer's disease. Covers symptoms like memory loss and forgetfulness. Covers how dementia is diagnosed. Looks at treatment options. Covers issues for caregivers.

  • Some people have memory loss but do not have dementia. They have what is known as mild cognitive impairment, a middle ground between normal aging and dementia. People with this condition are at risk for developing dementia. But not all people with mild cognitive impairment will progress to dementia. People with mild...

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

  • Covers angina and symptoms that happen when the heart does not get enough blood. Covers unstable angina and heart attack. Discusses treatment with medicines, angioplasty, or bypass surgery. Offers prevention tips.

  • Guides people who have not had a heart attack or a stroke through decision to take daily aspirin. Discusses benefits and risks. Looks at who can take daily aspirin. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through decision to get a pacemaker for heart failure. Answers common questions about pacemakers, such as how they work and are placed. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through decision to get an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Gives information about ICDs and asks questions to help you learn if an ICD is right for you. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Discusses accurate, rational thinking to stay well or cope with a health problem. Covers cognitive-behavioral therapy, also called CBT. Provides links to info on healthy thinking and weight, stress management, anxiety, and depression.

  • Discusses how to encourage yourself with accurate, rational thoughts so that you can raise your odds of staying at a healthy weight. Covers how it can also help you handle stress better. Provides steps to practice. Includes keeping a thought diary.

  • Anxiety is having too much fear and worry. Some people have what's called generalized anxiety disorder. They feel worried and stressed about many things. Often they worry about even small things. Some people also may have panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of extreme anxiety. People who have social...

  • Depression is an illness that makes a person feel sad or hopeless much of the time. It's different from feeling a little sad or down. Depression can be treated with counseling or medicine, or both. Healthy thinking also can help prevent or control depression. If you have thoughts of harming yourself or others, you...

  • Unwanted thoughts can make you feel anxious or depressed. They may keep you from enjoying your life. A technique called thought-stopping can help you stop unwanted thoughts. What you think can affect how you feel. Thought-stopping helps you change how you think so that you feel better. Changing your thinking will...

  • Discusses safety issues for those with vertigo. Offers checklists with tips for home and personal safety. Offers links to more extensive info on Ménière's disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), and dizziness and lightheadedness.

  • Level 1 exercises for vertigo are "beginner" exercises. In all of them, start out slowly and gradually try to do the exercise for a longer time or do more repetitions. When you first begin, it is important to have someone with you to help you if you feel you are going to fall. As you progress, you may be able to do some...

  • What is heart valve disease? Heart valve disease is the term used for a number of conditions that affect the four valves of the heart. A heart valve disease happens when any of the heart's valves either cannot open well enough to let blood flow through (stenosis) or cannot close well enough to prevent backflow...

  • What is mitral valve prolapse? Your mitral valve controls blood flow on the left side of your heart. The valve opens and closes with each heartbeat. It works like a one-way gate, letting blood flow from your upper heart chamber to your lower chamber. When you have mitral valve prolapse (MVP), the valve closes after...

  • Many people experience vertigo. If you have Ménière's disease or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), you may have to deal with vertigo throughout your life. The spinning sensation it causes puts you at risk for falling and can also affect your quality of life if it interferes with your level of activity. You...

  • Use these checklists once a month to see how you are doing to stay safe in case of a vertigo attack. How many of the items can you say "yes" to? Try to do all the items on each list. Date:_________ Checklist for the home ____Walkways around the house (especially to the bathroom or telephone) are clear of furniture...

  • Myxomas are tumors of connective tissue. They can occur almost anywhere in the body, including the heart. Treatment for a myxoma in the heart depends on many things. These include where the tumor is and if it is blocking blood flow. If the tumor is in the left atrium, surgery might be done to remove it. This can help...

  • Level 2 exercises for vertigo are a little harder than the level 1 exercises. For all of them, start out slowly and gradually try to do the exercise for a longer time or for more repetitions. When you first begin, it is important to have someone with you to help you if you feel you are going to fall. As you progress...

  • Walking is a simple but powerful exercise for vertigo that can help your balance. Walking with greater balance will allow you to function better on your own, which in turn may lead to improved self-confidence. As you walk, you will also be working your muscles, which helps you keep muscle tone and may increase your...

  • Make a chart with three columns and as many rows you need for your walks. The chart can help you see your progress in the walking exercises for vertigo. Put the date in the first column, how far you walked or how many times you were able to do the exercises in the second column, and how you felt in the third column...

  • Make a chart with three columns and as many rows you need for your exercises. The chart can help you see your progress in the level 1 and level 2 exercises for vertigo. Put the date in the first column. In the second column, write down how many times you did the exercise and whether you had your eyes open or closed. In...

  • If you have mitral valve stenosis and you need surgery to treat it, you have a choice of repairing the valve or replacing it. Many things play a role in this decision. These things include whether you have symptoms or other health problems (or both), the severity of your mitral valve stenosis, the shape of the mitral...

  • To treat mitral valve regurgitation surgically, the options are to repair or replace the mitral valve. Repair of the heart valve may be recommended if it is likely that the valve can be repaired and that the repair will last a long time. Valve...

  • Use a 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 the prescribed daily amount of sodium in your diet. Make a chart with 3 columns and as many rows you need for meals...

  • What is an aortic dissection? Aortic dissection occurs when a small tear develops in the wall of the aorta. The tear forms a new channel between the inner and outer layers of the aortic wall. This causes bleeding into the channel and can enlarge the tear. Aortic dissection is a life-threatening condition. Aortic...

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) slowly damages the lungs and affects how you breathe. COPD's effect on breathing In COPD, the airways of the lungs (bronchial tubes) become inflamed and narrowed. They tend to collapse when you breathe out and can become clogged with mucus. This reduces airflow through the...

  • Genes influence your weight by their effect on: How calories are used (energy metabolism). Some people use calories efficiently—they need fewer calories to fuel the body, which can result in "leftover" calories being stored as fat. Other people use calories less efficiently—they need more calories to...

  • Adults with obesity are more likely to have certain health problems than adults who are not obese. These problems include the following. Heart disease and cardiovascular problems People who are obese have an increased risk of: Heart disease, including coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart...

  • The way you breathe affects your whole body. Full, deep breathing is a good way to reduce tension, feel relaxed, and reduce stress. Roll breathing (also called abdominal breathing) The object of roll breathing is to develop full use of your lungs and get in touch with the rhythm of your breathing. It can be...

  • Problem solving helps you overcome complex stressful events. Identify all aspects of a stressful event, including behavior, thoughts, and feelings. For example, if you have just been laid off from your job, you need to identify: Behaviors, such as the need to look for another job, earn money for your...

  • Children and teens notice and react to stress in their family and also experience their own stress. It is important to recognize stress in children and teens and help them with healthy coping strategies. The strategies they learn often stay with them into adulthood. Generally, anything that may cause children fear and...

  • Guides you through the decision to take medicines (Cialis, Levitra, or Viagra) for erection problems. Explains erectile dysfunction and what causes it. Lists risks and benefits of medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through decision to try injection treatment for erection problems. Lists common causes of erection problems. Includes information about types of injections used. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to take antibiotics for acute bronchitis. Explains when antibiotics are helpful. Covers risks of antibiotics. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Coughing is your body's way of getting foreign substances and mucus out of your lungs and upper airway passages. Coughs are often useful, and you should not try to stop them. Sometimes, though, coughs are severe enough to make breathing difficult, cause vomiting, or prevent rest. Home treatment can help you feel more...

  • Herbal supplements that may be used to relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) include beta-sitosterol, cernilton , Pygeum africanum, and saw palmetto. In general, the trials using these substances have been short, and self-reported improvement scores can be biased. Different preparations are available...

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) rarely has complications. When it does, they are often due to severe obstruction of the urine flow. These complications include: Complete blockage of the urethra (acute urinary retention, or AUR). This results in a complete inability to urinate. It can cause kidney damage, which may...

  • In transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT), an instrument (called an antenna) that sends out microwave energy is inserted through the urethra to a location inside the prostate. Microwave energy is then used to heat the inside of the prostate. Cooling fluid is circulated around the microwave antenna to prevent heat from...

  • If your child has been diagnosed by a doctor as being overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, a thorough medical exam is important to identify and treat any related health problems. History Your doctor will ask about: Your child's weight history, to see if your child has had an unusual change in rate of...

  • When a doctor asks questions about your child's eating and activity habits, the information helps identify patterns that may lead to extra weight. Nutrition history You may be asked: To describe your family's meals and snacks during a typical day. What your child eats at school. Who is responsible for meals. Is...

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are some of the most widespread infections both in the United States and the world. STIs affect both men and women, and two-thirds of all STIs occur in people younger than 25. Exposure to an STI can occur any...

  • You may have a very mild form of hyperthyroidism called subclinical hyperthyroidism if your thyroid tests show that: Your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels are low. Your thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are normal. Subclinical hyperthyroidism is different from hyperthyroidism. Your...

  • Tips for older adults and people who have had a stroke or have multiple sclerosis or osteoporosis to help prevent falls and injuries. Covers taking care of your health and making changes in your home. Covers preventing falls in the bathroom and outdoors.

  • Your body mass index (BMI) and waist size affect your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. The following table shows the risk. Body mass index (BMI) and the risk for diseases Classification BMI Waist size and relative risk Men: less than 40...

  • Discusses biliopancreatic diversion, surgery for obesity that makes the stomach smaller and bypasses part of the intestine. Looks at why the procedure is considered only for people who have not been able to lose weight other ways or whose health is at risk. Includes risks.

  • Guides you through decision about weight-loss surgery. Covers health problems like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes that can be caused by obesity. Lists reasons for and against surgery. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The hurricane still haunts Marvin. He and his wife, daughter, and four grandkids huddled on a neighbor's roof as floodwaters from the storm surges swirled around them. Lashed by wind and debris, they survived by hooking themselves to a rooftop...

  • The American Association for the Study of Liver Disease has made recommendations for treating long-term (chronic) hepatitis B. These recommendations are based on the presence of hepatitis B antigens in your blood, the level of hepatitis B viral DNA ( HBV DNA) in your blood, and the level of the liver enzyme alanine...

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

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

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

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

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

  • Your doctor may talk with you about your risk for heart and blood flow problems, including heart attack and stroke. You and your doctor can use your risk to decide whether you need to lower it and what treatment is best for you. What might you be at risk for? Your doctor is checking your risk of having a...

  • Covers eating healthy foods when you have COPD. Looks at how shortness of breath may make eating harder and why it is important to eat regularly. Offers tips to make eating easier and help you get necessary nutrition.

  • Covers oxygen treatment to increase oxygen flow to lungs and blood when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Explains that oxygen therapy may slow or prevent heart failure. Covers oxygen use during exercise, sleep, and travel.

  • Covers causes of weight and muscle loss when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Includes why weight loss is a concern with COPD and how to avoid it. Guides you through ways to add nutritious calories and protein to your diet.

  • Covers ways to exercise and stay active with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Explains that exercise makes muscles and heart stronger and may improve shortness of breath. Includes warning to talk to your doctor before starting exercise.

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

  • Manual therapy includes: Massage, which applies pressure to the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles. Mobilization, which uses slow, measured movements to twist, pull, or push bones and joints. Manipulation, which uses pressure on a joint. It can be done with the hands or a special device. The careful...

  • What is spondylosis? 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 that can range from mild to severe. What causes...

  • Testicular cancer is not common. It is often first discovered by the man himself, or his sex partner, as a lump or an enlarged and swollen testicle. In the early stages of testicular cancer, the lump, which may be about the size of a pea, usually is not painful. Testicular cancer has a high cure rate. Experts have...

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

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

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

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

  • What is healthcare-associated pneumonia? Healthcare-associated pneumonia (nosocomial pneumonia) is pneumonia that you get when you are in a hospital or nursing home. Experts generally consider it a more serious illness than pneumonia that people get in daily life (community-associated pneumonia). This is because the...

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysms can be found during an ultrasound screening test. Screening tests help your doctor look for a certain disease or condition before any symptoms appear. Not all doctors agree on who should be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Talk to your doctor about whether the benefits of screening...

  • Many people worry about going to the dentist. You may be very nervous and may actually feel sick to your stomach. Some people become so nervous that they just don't go to the dentist. But this can lead to serious problems, including infected gums and teeth, difficulty chewing, and lack of self-confidence because of bad...

  • My child's name is __________________________. My child's birthday is _________________. My child's doctor is __________________________. The doctor's phone number is _____________________. Age Immunization Dose Notes Date given Birth ...

  • The following questions are about your use of alcohol and other drugs. Count the number of "yes" answers you have. How you figure your results is provided at the end of the questions. During the past 6 months: 1. Have you used alcohol or other drugs (such as wine, beer, hard liquor, pot, coke, heroin or...

  • Health problems like cancer or heart disease and mental health problems like substance use disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have an emotional side. And the same is true for certain life events, like being a parent or caring for...

  • Covers some reasons people don't seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Looks at common objections to seeking treatment, such as the cost and the fear of what others think. Includes what you can do about overcoming objections.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder. Many people believe things about mental health disorders that aren't true. Here are some myths about PTSD. PTSD does exist. It is a recognized mental health problem that has been...

  • There is no medical test that can tell whether you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Your doctor will ask you questions to find out whether you have it, what traumatic event may have caused it, and how severe your symptoms are. Your doctor...

  • Recovery means finding your path to a meaningful life. It puts you in control of your life and helps you gain self-confidence and respect for yourself. You can use recovery for substance use and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress...

  • For 38 years, Ron kept his Vietnam memories to himself. When stress brought on flashbacks, he dealt with them by drinking them away. "I didn't realize I had a problem," he said. "I run a very successful program with a great staff. I considered it...

  • As a medic in Iraq, Tim was always in the midst of suffering. He treated soldiers with horrible wounds. He saw some die. Within one day of returning home, he faced another trauma. His father died of cancer. "He was my best friend for my whole life....

  • Many people think substance use disorder happen only to teens and younger adults. But all ages can have problems with drugs and alcohol, including older adults. Older adults may use illegal drugs, misuse prescription or over-the-counter medicines,...

  • Some people have an alcohol or drug use problem and a mental health problem. Doctors call this a dual diagnosis. You need to treat both problems to fully recover. Mental health problems that can happen with alcohol or drug use include depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress...

  • Alcohol is part of many traditions and is often served at parties and other functions. And although many drugs are illegal or legal only with a prescription, people may offer them to you. If you're in a situation where someone is offering you alcohol or drugs, try this: Look the person in the eye. In a firm voice...

  • If someone you care about has been diagnosed with depression, you may feel helpless. Maybe you're watching a once-vibrant person slide into inactivity or seeing a good friend lose interest in activities that he or she used to enjoy. The change in your loved one's or friend's behavior may be so great that you feel you no...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about substance use disorder in adults. For information about drug use in teens or children, see the topic Teen Alcohol and Drug Use. What is substance use disorder? Substance use disorder is using drugs in a way that harms you or that leads you to harm others. It...

  • People's ideas about depression have changed over the years. New technology and new research show that depression is a disease, just like asthma or heart failure. Here are some myths and facts about depression. Myth Fact "Depression isn't real." "It's something in your head." "It's being lazy." Depression is...

  • Your loved one or friend doesn't seem the same. You thought it was the blues, but it's been going on for weeks. And it seems much worse than that. Is your friend grieving over something? Or could it be depression? If you want to learn more about grieving, see the topic Grief and Grieving. If you think someone close...

  • Stopping substance use, whether it's alcohol or drugs you are using, is very hard. Very few people succeed the first time they try. A lapse or relapse is likely. A lapse is the first time you use a drug or alcohol again after you have quit, or brief episodes of use at later points. A relapse is not being...

  • If you have a family member or friend with a drug problem, you probably want to help. This can be hard. You can't force a person into treatment. One thing you can do is to stop making excuses for the person. For example, if the person is late to work, refuse to make an excuse. The person has to deal with the problems...

  • You can complete this form and print it for easy reference. When you exit the form, the information will be deleted. Answer these questions based on your use of drugs—not alcohol— in the past 12 months. Choose the answer that is mostly right for you. These questions are asking about risky drug use, including: Using...

  • So you've decided to change your eating habits. Great! Have you thought about getting support in making this change? Having the support of people close to you is an important part of change. It doesn't matter if you're changing a job, a routine, or...

  • You've made a big decision. You're going to quit smoking. Quitting is hard, and you probably know this. Maybe you've quit before. If so, that's normal. Most people quit many times. What can you do to make it more likely that you'll kick the habit for good? One important part of quitting smoking is getting help from...

  • Your partner or friend has decided it's time to quit smoking. This is great news. You're excited, and you want to help. But you don't want your partner or friend to feel that you're coming on too strong or that you're "checking up" on him or her. This Actionset will give you tips on helping someone who is trying to...

  • Many people have more than one long-term (chronic) health problem. You may be one of them. For example, you may have high blood pressure and diabetes, or you may have high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart failure. When you have more than one problem, doctors call the health problems comorbidities. One health problem...

  • It's not unusual for mental health problems, especially depression and anxiety, to occur with long-term (chronic) diseases. For example, you may: Have diabetes and also feel very sad. Be depressed and notice that your physical health is getting worse. Perhaps your blood pressure is going up. Have...

  • You know that eating right is good for you. But if you have more than one health problem, eating right may seem hard to do. Here's an example: If you have heart disease and diabetes, you may be given guidelines for each. One focuses on keeping your heart healthy and the other on keeping your blood sugar in your target...

  • When you are living with health problems, regular exercise and activity are important. They keep you healthier, give you energy, make you stronger, and help your mood. Exercise and activity can help many health problems. An active body is less likely to give in to diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, arthritis...

  • Depression is a medical problem, and you have the right to keep it private. But if it harms your relationships, it may help to talk to your partner, friends, or children about it. Talking to your partner or friends Explain depression to your partner or friends. Be honest about it. Tell them it's a health problem...

  • When you're depressed, holidays can be hard. They may bring up bad memories, or you may feel as if you're outside looking in at people who are having a good time. But try to take part in some holiday events. It may make you feel better. Here are some tips for dealing with the holidays. Try to: Spend time with...

  • What is depression in older adults? Depression is an illness that causes you to feel sad or hopeless much of the time. It is different from normal feelings of sadness, grief, or low energy. Some people think that depression is normal with age. But it's not. Older adults may go through major life changes or challenges...

  • Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. You may have high self-esteem—you believe you are a good person—or it may be low, and you question how "good" or "worthy" you are. Everyone has low self-esteem at times. It may happen when someone says something bad about you or questions how well you do something. But if...

  • Depression is a disease. It's caused by changes in chemicals in the brain that are called neurotransmitters. Depression isn't a character flaw, and it doesn't mean you are bad or weak. It doesn't mean you are going crazy. People who are very depressed can feel so bad that they think about suicide. They may feel...

  • Over coffee, Martha explains how severe depression left her wanting to end her life and unable to have normal conversations with people. "I woke up every day with suicide on my mind, and I went to bed with suicide on my mind," Martha says. Nearly broke, and without health insurance, her life became a "dark maze of...

  • For close to 40 years, Stan woke up each day feeling as if he were going to die. "Mornings were like doomsday," he recalls, describing his depression, alcohol use disorder, and prescription drug misuse. "It was like everything was just dead … that...

  • In raising three teenagers, Sherri juggles the usual whirlwind of school, sports, friends, and family commitments. She also has duties most parents don't face. She shuttles all the kids to counseling and psychiatrist appointments and makes sure they take daily antidepressant medicines. For a long time, Sherri was so...

  • Cheryl is a self-employed single mom. She juggles work, four kids, and depression. "Some days, depression really pulls me down, and I'm totally exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally," Cheryl says. "Other days, I feel great." Cheryl thinks her first bouts of depression came when she was in middle...

  • Susan's depression started in college. "I was a kid, and I had really bad self-esteem issues. I was making dumb choices," she says. Now Susan is 43, married, and a mother of four. Over the years, her depression has changed. Sometimes, it's felt as if hard times have brought it on. At other points in her life, the...

  • Use this sheet to list what you enjoy and what is hard for you. You and your doctor can use this information to come up with an activity plan. How active are you? Describe what you do to stretch, strengthen, and move your body. Write down how often and how long you do each activity. What would you like to do? List...

  • Discusses problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Covers causes such as stress, depression, lack of exercise. Discusses other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Covers treatment and includes alternative medicines like melatonin.

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

  • Excessive exposure to the sun and its ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin cancer. You can reduce your risk for skin cancer by: Protecting your skin, and that of your family members, from UV radiation. Performing frequent skin self-examinations. Finding out whether you have an increased risk for melanoma and other...

  • Guides through decision to have knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis. Describes other surgeries and treatment options used to decrease osteoarthritis pain. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to have hip replacement surgery. Discusses what happens in hip replacement and what to expect after surgery. Offers interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Discusses how cancer pain can almost always be relieved if you work with your doctor to create a treatment plan that is right for you. Covers using a pain control diary and medication record. Includes managing side effects and complementary medicine.

  • Heat and cold treatments can help with mild to moderate pain from cancer. But talk to your doctor before trying either of these during chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Heat may relieve sore muscles. Use a heating pad, a gel pack, or a hot-water bottle. Or you can take a hot bath or shower. Apply heat for no longer...

  • A pain diary may help you and your doctor find out what makes your pain better or worse. Use the diary 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 permission of the International Association for the Study of Pain® (IASP®). The figure...

  • What are sexual problems? A sexual problem is something that keeps sex from being satisfying or positive. Most women have symptoms of a sexual problem at one time or another. For some women, the symptoms are ongoing. But your symptoms are only a sexual problem if they bother you or cause problems in your relationship...

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

  • Covers type 2 diabetes in children. Discusses how obesity or being overweight is causing type 2 diabetes in kids. Includes info on treatment. Discusses monitoring blood sugar levels. Includes info on hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Nicotine is only one of the thousands of chemicals in tobacco, but it is the major component that acts on the brain. The lungs readily absorb nicotine from the smoke of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. The tissues of the mouth can also absorb nicotine when a person smokes cigars or pipes or chews tobacco. Nicotine reaches...

  • Inhalants are substances that produce chemical vapors that, when inhaled, result in mind-altering effects. The term inhalant is used because these substances are rarely, if ever, used by any other means. These substances are common household, industrial, or medical products. But most people do not think of them as...

  • Ecstasy (MDMA) is both a stimulant (amphetamine-like) and mild calming (tranquilizing) substance. Ecstasy is also called Adam, XTC, X, hug, beans, and the love drug. Ecstasy pills often have a logo, such as cartoon characters, stamped on them. This drug is most often taken as a pill, but the powder form is sometimes...

  • Drugs that have been used in date rapes include flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). These drugs inhibit a person's ability to resist sexual assault. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant. GHB is a...

  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is the most widely used hallucinogenic drug. Hallucinogenic drugs cause a person to see vivid images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but are not. LSD is also called acid, blotter, or dots. It is...

  • Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that is used legally as a local anesthetic for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries. Cocaine is also called coke, C, snow, flake, or blow. It may contain other substances, such as cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar....

  • Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant. It's like amphetamine, which doctors use to treat sleep problems (narcolepsy), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and severe overweight problems. The illegal form of methamphetamine is a white,...

  • Heroin is an illegal drug. It is a white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance (black tar heroin). It can be sniffed, snorted, smoked, or injected into a muscle or vein. It is often mixed (cut) with other drugs or substances, such as sugar or...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The program you choose for your teen needs to view substance use as a primary disease and not as a symptom. Your teen needs to have a comprehensive evaluation to determine the level of substance use and the presence of psychiatric or medical conditions. If you need to place your teen in a treatment program, look for...

  • You don't see as well as you used to. Eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy may be making it hard to work and manage many of your daily activities. But don't give up. There are lots of things you can do to adapt to low vision and make your life easier...

  • If you have diabetes, your doctor will give you blood sugar goals and recommendations for treating high blood sugar. Here are some general guidelines. Mild to moderately high blood sugar Follow these steps if blood sugar is over the target range set by your doctor, for example, over 200 milligrams per deciliter...

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Use this form to count carbs. List the food, how much you eat, how many grams of carbohydrates are in the serving size, and any notes you may have. Food Amount Example: strawberries 1¼ cup 13 grams Current as of: August 31, 2020 Author:...

  • Low blood sugar level Use this form to record a low blood sugar level problem. Fill out a record each time this happens. Take the completed form(s) with you when you visit your child's doctor. If your child is having low blood sugar problems, his or her medicine for diabetes may need to be adjusted or changed. Date...

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

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

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

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

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

  • Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be painful and, if allowed to continue, can lead to complications including esophagitis. Esophagitis is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus. You can make changes to your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms of GERD. Here are some things to try...

  • Covers warning signs that you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes. Includes causes and symptoms. Looks at lifestyle changes to get your blood sugar levels back to a normal range. Includes tips on diet, weight loss, and exercise.

  • If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you have an opportunity to prevent the progression of this condition to type 2 diabetes. By getting regular exercise, changing your diet, and losing weight, you can play a key role in preventing diabetes. Any type of physical activity may be beneficial, such as: Sports or...

  • A few people with HIV are described as nonprogressors. These people have HIV that does not progress to more severe symptoms or disease, but they can still spread HIV. Most nonprogressors: Have lived with the infection for 10 to 15 years and remained healthy. Do not have declining CD4+ cell counts...

  • Looks at how you can control how much salt (sodium) you eat when you eat out. Explains what salt does to your body. Lists foods to avoid and foods that are heart-healthy. Offers tips for choosing low-sodium foods at restaurants.

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

  • Guides through decision to have your child get the HPV vaccine. Explains the vaccination process and includes tips on how to talk to your child about HPV. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

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

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

  • A slip is when a smoker who has quit smokes one or two cigarettes. A relapse is when a smoker who has quit returns to regular smoking. It is hard to quit smoking. The temptation can be very strong. Here you will find strategies to help you avoid slips as well as a relapse. You will also find tips for deciding how soon...

  • Looks at how relaxing your mind and body can relieve stress, anxiety, or depression. Offers how-to tips, including practicing mindful meditation, using guided imagery, yoga, or massage. Includes interactive tool to test what you've learned.

  • Explains what progressive muscle relaxation is and how it can help reduce stress and anxiety. Walks you through doing relaxation exercises on various muscle groups. Links to info on other relaxation methods, including meditation, guided imagery, and yoga.

  • Discusses the use of mindful meditation to manage stress. Explains what mindful meditation is and reasons people meditate. Offers tips for successful meditation. Includes step-by-step instructions for meditation.

  • Looks at how breathing exercises can help with stress relief. Includes step-by-step instructions for exercises like belly breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, and morning breathing. Offers links to more info on managing stress with guided imagery and meditation.

  • Looks at how guided imagery can help to manage stress. Explains what guided imagery is and its uses in healing, creativity, and reducing stress. Lists step-by-step instructions for guided imagery.

  • Yoga is a mind and body practice that involves movement, breathing exercises, and a focus on thoughts and feelings as they happen (mindfulness). It began in ancient India as a spiritual practice, based on the idea that the mind and body are one. But today, more people practice yoga for overall health, including...

  • The cravings for nicotine can be intense for the first few days when you stop smoking, but they will get better with time. Here are some tips on how to cope: Use nicotine gum, lozenges, or an inhaler. Distract yourself. Stop what you are doing, and do something else. Try to stay away from other smokers, at least in...

  • What is the body clock? The body's "biological clock," or 24-hour cycle ( circadian rhythm), can be affected by light or darkness, which can make the body think it is time to sleep or wake up. The 24-hour body clock controls functions such as: Sleeping and waking. Body temperature. The body's...

  • Nancy started smoking in nursing school. It helped relieve the stress of school. But years later, something happened to make her think twice about her smoking habit. Nancy was working as a nurse and was exposed to someone who had a bad case of pneumonia. As a precaution, Nancy was checked for pneumonia. The X-ray...

  • When John Peterson is behind the wheel of his race car, he's doing more than just trying to win a race. With every lap, he's passing on a message to racing fans about not smoking. John is a race car driver, and his team is Smoke-Free 83. With each lap, fans see John's car covered with information about quitting...

  • After 8 years of trying to quit smoking, Nate was sick of it—literally. His throat hurt so much from smoking that he said to himself, "This is stupid." He tossed his pack of cigarettes to a friend and hasn't looked back. Nate started smoking in his teens with friends from school. After 2 years of smoking, he'd had...

  • Violence can happen to anyone—males or females, children, teens, adults, older adults, or people with disabilities. You are not to blame. No matter what happened, violence is not okay. Violent people usually have many problems that they find hard to deal with, which can cause them to act out with violence. Physical...

  • Vomiting occurs when a child's stomach contents are forced up the esophagus and out of the mouth. Although nausea may accompany vomiting in adults and older children, children younger than age 3 are usually not able to tell you if they are having nausea. Most of the time vomiting is not serious. Home treatment will...

  • Weakness and fatigue are terms that are often used as if they mean the same thing. But in fact they describe two different sensations. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel weak" or "I am fatigued" because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the possible causes of your symptoms...

  • Discusses pinkeye (conjunctivitis). Covers what causes it and symptoms. Offers home treatment tips. Also offers tips to prevent spreading it. Includes pictures of normal eye and one with pinkeye.

  • A child may have a higher chance of having high cholesterol if he or she: Is overweight. Does not exercise much. Does not eat healthy foods. Has a family history of high cholesterol. Your child's doctor may suggest a cholesterol test based on your...

  • Take sleeping pills for a short time, along with making lifestyle changes. Treat your sleep problems with only lifestyle changes. Insomnia can be caused by menopause or problems such as depression, anxiety, and sleep apnea. Treating these conditions may get rid of your sleep problem. This topic is for people...

  • Gout is a form of arthritis marked by sudden attacks of painful, inflamed joints. If it is not controlled, gout can cause severe damage to joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. This used to be treated with a strict diet, but now there are medicines that can control it...

  • Covers making your home fall-proof to prevent injuries. Looks at common hazards like clutter and throw rugs. Discusses simple changes you can make in your home and the way you do some activities to reduce risk of falling.

  • Antidepressant medicines often work well, but they do have some risks and side effects. Their use may increase the risk of suicide, especially in the first few weeks of use. If your child starts antidepressants, be sure to be aware of this risk and get help if you see any of the warning signs. Before prescribing...

  • Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances similar to the male hormone testosterone. Doctors prescribe them to treat problems such as delayed puberty and other medical problems that cause the body to make very low amounts of testosterone. Steroids...

  • You can do things at home to manage COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). By learning the triggers for COPD and avoiding them, you can help reduce flare-ups. While some triggers may be out of your control, there are others you can easily avoid. Learn and avoid the common triggers for COPD. By avoiding...

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a long-term illness that makes it hard to breathe. When you have COPD, air does not flow easily into and out of your lungs. You may be short of breath, cough a lot, and have a lot of mucus in your lungs. Learning to clear your lungs may help you save energy and oxygen and...

  • Why is it important to get enough calcium and vitamin D? Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Calcium keeps your bones and muscles—including your heart—healthy and strong. People who do not get enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life have an increased chance of having thin and brittle bones (...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Treatment includes medicine or therapy or both. Discusses working with your doctor to find the medicine that works best for you. Covers applied relaxation therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

  • Having a phobia means you are extremely afraid of a specific object, situation, or activity. Having a phobia about something is very different from everyday worry or stress. For example, most people feel worry and stress at some time, such as when...

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

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

  • Getting tested for HIV can be scary, but the condition is treatable. So it is important to get tested if you think you have been exposed. Early detection and monitoring of HIV will help your doctor find out whether the disease is getting worse and when to start treatment. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and...

  • Talk with your doctor about what is putting you at risk for type 2 diabetes and how often you need to be tested. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends testing for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in people who are...

  • Starting at age 10 or at the beginning of puberty, a child who has a body mass index (BMI) in the 85th percentile or higher for his or her age—or whose weight is more than 120% of ideal—and who has one of the following risk factors needs to be...

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and American Diabetes Association recommend that all women who are not already diagnosed with diabetes be screened for gestational diabetes after the 24th week of pregnancy., Most women...

  • After getting approval from several expert groups, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following immunization schedules: Childhood Immunization Schedule: Ages 0 to 6 Years Childhood Immunization Schedule: Ages 7 to 18 Years Adults ages...

  • Print this form and fill in the following information if this is a regularly scheduled appointment with your health professional. What questions or concerns do I want addressed during this appointment? Do I have any new symptoms? Yes ___ No ___ If yes, include how long I have had them and what helps relieve...

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

  • Discusses urinary incontinence in men. Looks at types of incontinence, including stress, urge, overflow, total, and functional. Covers causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with medicine or surgery. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Urge incontinence is a need to urinate that is so strong that you cannot reach the toilet in time. It can occur even when the bladder contains only a small amount of urine. Urge incontinence can be caused by bladder contractions that are too strong to be stopped by the bladder outlet valve (sphincter). This results in...

  • Explains why you should monitor your blood pressure at home and how it helps you be more in control of your own health care. Includes steps on how to take your blood pressure at home. Covers systolic and diastolic pressure measurements.

  • The goal in treating cholesterol is to lower your chance of having a heart attack or a stroke. The goal is not to lower your cholesterol numbers alone. The following guidelines are from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart...

  • A familial lipid disorder is a condition that runs in families. It causes very high levels of cholesterol. This condition can cause a person to get coronary artery disease (CAD) while still young. Because familial lipid disorders are rare, your doctor may only suspect one if you have: Very high cholesterol...

  • Millions of people struggle to lose weight and improve their diets. Finding a diet that works for you and then staying with it can be a huge challenge. Registered dietitians are experts in diet and nutrition, particularly for promoting general health and treating conditions such as high cholesterol. A dietitian can...

  • A hypertensive emergency is very high blood pressure that damages the body. It can cause damage to the brain, heart, eyes, or kidneys. A hypertensive emergency needs immediate care. Symptoms include numbness, blurry vision, chest pain, severe headache, and confusion. This problem is also called malignant...

  • What is an environmental illness? An environmental illness can occur when you are exposed to toxins or substances in the environment that make you sick. These health hazards may be found where you live, work, or play. Maybe you have headaches that only occur on weekends. Or maybe you began to feel sick and got a...

  • Exposure to indoor air pollutants can cause respiratory problems, such as asthma attacks, or diseases, such as lung cancer. Pollutants include smoke, pet dander, radon, mold, cleaning products, and other chemicals. You can create a healthier home by following the tips below. Reduce allergens Groom pets often to...

  • Covers importance of taking the right dose of the right high blood pressure medicines at the right time. Explains how medicines control high blood pressure. Includes working with your doctor to make a plan for taking your medicines.

  • Provides tips on adding DASH diet to stop high blood pressure. Includes sample DASH menu. Explains why adding more fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products helps lower high blood pressure. Includes working with experts to help plan menus.

  • DASH is an eating plan that can help lower your blood pressure. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Hypertension is high blood pressure. For more information on the DASH diet, see High Blood Pressure: Using the DASH Diet. Here is a sample menu for the DASH diet. It is based on a 2,000-calorie diet...

  • Resistance training with weights, elastic bands, or your own body weight may help you regain the physical strength and confidence to do the daily tasks you performed before your heart problem or surgery. Resistance training can help you get the most benefit from your cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program. Do...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic covers rehabilitation after a stroke. For information on stroke itself, see the topic Stroke. What is stroke rehabilitation? The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation ("rehab"). In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain...

  • After a stroke, the injury to the brain can cause muscles to contract or flex on their own when you try to use an arm or leg. The sensation can be painful. It has been described as a "wicked charley horse." Because the muscle cannot move in its full range of motion, the tendons and soft tissue surrounding the muscle can...

  • What are triglycerides? Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Your body uses them for energy. You need some triglycerides for good health. But high triglycerides might raise your risk of heart disease and may be a sign of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the combination of high blood...

  • After a stroke, problems with your vision, speech, or ability to move can change your ability to drive safely. So you'll need to get approval to drive again. This may be hard to accept. You may feel that this is a big loss of independence. But this approval is for the safety of yourself and others. Talk with your...

  • Covers walking as one of the easiest ways to increase your physical activity and improve your health. Explains what you need to know before starting a walking program. Includes how to stay motivated.

  • Weight loss in people with HIV has many possible causes. If you lose weight fast, it may be because you have another infection along with HIV. This type of illness is called an opportunistic infection. Gradual weight loss may be due to problems with nutrition. You may lose weight if you can't eat enough food or if your...

  • Feeling tired is common if you have HIV, especially if you have had the virus for many years. Being severely tired can affect your ability to work, take care of yourself, and enjoy your life. There can be many reasons why you are tired. It is important that you and your doctor try to find the cause. Many of the things...

  • If you have heart failure, you need to be extra careful with medicines. Some can make your heart failure worse. Other medicines may not mix well with your heart failure drugs. This Actionset will help you learn which medicines you may need to avoid and what questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist. Each time you...

  • It's not easy to quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes is addicting. Your body craves it because it makes you feel good. So when you try to stop smoking, you go through nicotine withdrawal. You feel awful, and you may worry about gaining weight. You get cranky and anxious. It can be hard to sleep. You're not the...

  • Offers tips on improving sleep. Covers sleep disorders like insomnia. Discusses things that affect sleep. Covers habits like drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed. Suggests exercising daily and no napping. Discusses sleep diaries.

  • Good health requires a positive attitude. It's up to you to decide to make the most of things when you are faced with health challenges. This attitude—a good-health mind-set—doesn't just happen. It takes work, every day. The following tips will help you enjoy a "good-health attitude": Focus on your abilities instead...

  • You can use paraffin wax (may be called either paraffin or wax) to apply moist heat to your hands or feet to ease the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis. Paraffin especially helps to reduce pain and loosen up your hand and finger joints before exercise. You should talk with your doctor before trying paraffin at...

  • Covers shoulder surgery to replace the ends of bones in a damaged joint. Includes what to expect after surgery, continued recovery, and living with a shoulder replacement. Looks at why it is done, how well it works, and the risks of surgery.

  • Hip resurfacing arthroplasty is surgery that replaces the damaged outer surfaces of the femoral head found at the top of the thighbone and, if needed, the cup-shaped socket where the thighbone meets the pelvis in the hip joint. People younger than about age 55 who have hip osteoarthritis have been difficult to help...

  • Asks questions that help you find out if your low back problem might be helped by surgery. Results help you talk with your doctor about back pain or other symptoms like leg pain. Helps you talk with your doctor about surgery and other treatment options.

  • "Fibro fog" is the name commonly given to the cognitive problems that can go along with fibromyalgia syndrome. These problems with concentration and memory can lead to confusion, losing your train of thought, or forgetting or mixing up words or details. You can take steps to manage fibro fog. Try some of the...

  • Prolotherapy involves injecting a substance into the body to promote the growth of normal cells, tissues, or organs. There are three types of prolotherapy. The type used to treat joint pain is called inflammatory prolotherapy. In inflammatory prolotherapy, a sugar water solution (dextrose) is injected into a weakened...

  • During childhood and teen years, new bone grows faster than existing bone is absorbed by the body. After age 30, this process begins to reverse. As a natural part of aging, bone dissolves and is absorbed faster than new bone is made, and bones become thinner. You are more likely to have osteoporosis if you did not reach...

  • Take medicines, along with counseling or not. Get counseling for treatment of panic disorder. Two types of medicines work well for treating panic disorder. Benzodiazepines can help you feel better right away. You can take antidepressants for long-term treatment. Counseling works at least as well as...

  • Interactive tool that helps you estimate the impact smoking will have on your lifespan. Provides links to info on quitting tobacco use and a decision tool to determine whether you're ready to quit smoking.

  • Interactive tool helps you calculate how much money you have spent on cigarettes in the past and how much you will spend on them in the future if you keep smoking. Offers link to more extensive info on quitting tobacco use.

  • Interactive tool gauges your stress level based on the number of life changes you have had recently. Discusses what your score means from low to high stress. Includes next steps and links to more information on managing stress.

  • FDA advisories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued advisories to patients, families, and health professionals to closely monitor for warning signs of suicidal behavior in children and adults younger than 25 who take antidepressants. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when...

  • It is common to have trouble swallowing, also called dysphagia, after a stroke. You may not be able to feel food on one or both sides of your mouth. You may also have problems chewing or producing enough saliva. Or you may have other conditions that make eating difficult and increase your risk of choking or breathing in...

  • Offers interactive tool to help you find out if you may have an alcohol problem. Calculates how many signs of a drinking problem you have. Suggests if you are at low, medium, or high risk for an alcohol problem. Links to info on alcohol abuse.

  • Guides through decision to use medicine to quit smoking. Lists benefits and risks. Discusses varenicline (Chantix), bupropion (Zyban), and nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum, and inhalers. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Discusses controlling and preventing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Looks at antinausea drugs including Zofran and Ativan. Also discusses complementary therapy, acupuncture, and nutrition.

  • Pain medicine works better when the pain first starts, before it gets too bad. A patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump lets you give yourself intravenous (IV) pain medicine when you need it. This gives you more control of your pain relief. The PCA pump contains your pain medicine. Usually that medicine is morphine...

  • Discusses heart murmur, an extra sound the blood makes as it flows through the heart. Covers harmless (innocent) murmurs and abnormal murmurs. Includes info on heart valve damage. Discusses tests by a cardiologist including electrocardiogram (ECG).

  • Guides through decision to take antidepressants while pregnant. Covers SSRIs (Zoloft and Prozac) and tricyclic antidepressants. Lists reasons for and against medicines. Covers benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to take or not take medicine to treat high blood pressure. Explains what high blood pressure is and risks of not lowering it. Covers treatment choices and lifestyle changes.

  • What is vaginitis? Vaginitis is infection or inflammation of the vagina. It can cause itching and burning, a change in vaginal discharge, and sometimes pain during sex. What causes vaginitis? Vaginitis may be caused by bacteria, yeast, or other organisms. Bath products, douches, and spermicides also can...

  • What are colds? Everyone gets a cold from time to time. Children get more colds than adults. Colds usually last 1 to 2 weeks. You can catch a cold at any time of year, but they are more common in late winter and early spring. There is no cure for a cold. Antibiotics will not cure a cold. If you catch a cold...

  • Guides through decision to be tested for hepatitis B. Explains hepatitis B and discusses causes and lifestyles that put you at higher risk. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to have angioplasty when you have stable angina. Lists benefits and risks of angioplasty and medical therapy. Explains why lifestyle changes are still important. Includes interactive tool to help you with your decision.

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

  • Guides through decision to have a breast cancer (BRCA) gene test. Includes reasons your doctor might recommend a BRCA gene test. Lists next steps for a positive test. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through the decision to stop or keep taking depression medicine. Looks at benefits and risks of stopping antidepressants. Covers cognitive-behavioral therapy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

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

  • Guides you through testing and treatment choices if you're at high risk for breast cancer. Covers extra checkups, medicines, and surgery. Lists reasons for and against for each option. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses how to deal with weight gain after you've quit smoking. Covers creating a plan before quitting to make weight control easier. Offers tips for avoiding weight gain.

  • To make a change, use goals to chart your path to success. Two types of goals can help you do this: long-term and short-term. Long-term goals A long-term goal is not something you can do all at once. It's the goal that inspires you and that will show how far you've come when you complete it. It's usually a goal you...

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD gets worse over time. You can't undo the damage to your lungs. But you can take steps to breathe easier and feel better. If you have severe COPD, you may find that you take quick, small, shallow breaths. It's...

  • If you have decided to start a healthy eating plan, congratulations! Making that decision is an important step in becoming a healthier person. Keep these key points in mind: When you're trying to develop new habits—whether it's healthy eating, getting more exercise, or quitting smoking—you have a better...

  • Teaches listening to body signals that tell you when you're hungry or full (satiety). Describes hunger signals. Covers steps to get back in touch with your hunger signals so that you don't reach for food when you're not hungry. Covers keeping food journal.

  • Replacing a bad habit with a good habit takes time and patience. It requires several steps, from setting your goals to getting support. One of the important steps is figuring out what your barriers are. What has stopped you from changing your eating...

  • Guides through decision to use over-the-counter diet aids for weight loss. Explains lack of evidence that diet aids work. Lists the risks and side effects. Includes information about Alli. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Having a sleepless night now and then can be annoying. But when you have restless legs syndrome (RLS), going without sleep night after night can make life miserable. You may be so tired that you just feel like crying. If restless legs are robbing you of sleep, you're not alone. But there may be some things you can do...

  • Discusses challenges of being a new parent and continuing to exercise. Covers amount of exercise needed for health and why it's important. Also offers tips on how to fit exercise into daily routine at home, at parks or playgrounds, and gyms.

  • Presents series of questions/answers regarding being active. Covers topics such as sticking with exercise programs, importance of knowing your preferences, your attitudes toward exercising, as well as choosing the best activity for you.

  • The dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect cause high blood sugar levels, especially in the morning before breakfast, in people who have diabetes. Dawn phenomenon The dawn phenomenon is a normal rise in blood sugar as a person's body prepares to wake up. In the early morning hours, hormones (growth hormone...

  • What is nerve ablation? The destruction (also called ablation) of nerves is a method that may be used to reduce certain kinds of chronic pain by preventing transmission of pain signals. It is a safe procedure in which a portion of nerve tissue is destroyed or removed to cause an interruption in pain signals and...

  • Exercise plays a big role in helping Maggie Morris stay in good shape. She got more active along with making healthier food choices. Her regular routine includes 45 minutes of exercise three or four days a week. She usually uses a recumbent bike or an indoor skier, which mimics the cross-country skiing that she loves...

  • Lung function means how well your lungs work. When you have COPD, your lungs can't move as much air in and out as they should. And the more serious your COPD is, the less air your lungs are able to move. Spirometry tests are used to measure lung function. They measure how much air you breathe out when you take long...

  • If you have COPD, your usual shortness of breath could suddenly get worse. You may start coughing more and have more mucus. This flare-up is called a COPD exacerbation or a COPD attack. A respiratory tract infection or air pollution could set off an attack. Or it may happen after a quick change in temperature or...

  • For inspiration to exercise, John hasn't had to look far. His father rides his bike daily to prevent another heart attack. John's grandparents and others in his family also had heart disease. John's doctor told him that his steady weight gain over the years was putting him in danger of heart problems as well. "He said...

  • More good days. It's possible to have them, even with COPD, says Sarah, who found out 3 years ago that she had the disease. COPD sneaked up on Sarah. She began coughing more often, and the coughing lasted longer. Every day it got a little bit harder to breathe. One day she found she couldn't walk up the basement stairs...

  • "I've been smoking ever since I was a teenager. That's 40-something years ago. I never really thought about what could happen to this old body if I kept lighting up. I just knew that I loved to smoke. "Then I started to notice that it was getting harder and harder to do simple things like walk to my mailbox. One time my...

  • "I was so scared when the doctor told me I had emphysema. I was afraid to go anywhere or do anything. I plunged into a big black hole of depression. "Someone told me to go online and hook up with a support group. I did, and it literally changed my life. I was pretty shy at first, and all I did was read what everyone...

  • "Why me?" That's what Cal asked himself over and over after he was diagnosed with severe COPD 5 years ago. "I spent the first 2 years moping around the house, feeling sorry for myself," he says. "I didn't go anywhere, I didn't do anything. I just sat in front of the TV and tried not to think about anything." Then one...

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

  • Whatever you do, don't tell Jaci that you can tell she's been on a diet. The 30-year-old mother of two feels strongly that losing 65 pounds over 4 years was the result of permanent lifestyle changes—not dieting. "I actually get mad at people when they say, 'You've been on a diet.' I'm not on a diet. I've never been on a...

  • Maggie lost some weight a few years ago. But like many people who go on diets, she couldn't keep the pounds off. She didn't eat enough food, so she was hungry. And she denied herself the food she really loved, like pizza. Then she changed the way she looked at food and what it meant to be healthier. She lost 50 pounds...

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

  • Guides through decision to stop driving because of age. Discusses how aging affects the ability to drive and when it is time to stop driving. Offers other transportation options. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Experts say that for the best health, men should have no more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day. And women should have no more than 1 drink a day. Tips about changing your habits Know your reasons. Write down your reasons for wanting to cut back (for example, to lower blood pressure or to lose...

  • "I'm a believer!" That's the proclamation from Izzy, a 60-year-old clerk from Petaluma, Calif. She's talking about a way of eating that helped her lose weight and brought her blood pressure way down. "If there were a commercial for the DASH diet,...

  • The neighbors can set their clocks by Arturo and his wife, Rosa. Every morning at 6:30 a.m. and every evening at 6:30 p.m., they walk out their front door for their 30-minute walk. "It's kind of a neighborhood joke," Arturo, 58, says. "People literally look at their watch and laugh when we go by." But the walks...

  • When Tyrell's doctor told him he had high blood pressure, he was shocked. "I thought, 'Hey, I'm a physical fitness trainer. I'm in great shape. How could I have high blood pressure?'" He knew that both of his parents have high blood pressure. And one of his uncles recently had a stroke. But Tyrell had always been kind...

  • Palliative care is medical care that provides an extra layer of support for people who have serious and chronic illnesses. With palliative care, you have the help of a medical team who are experts in managing treatment side effects such as pain,...

  • Your palliative care team may include a spiritual advisor or chaplain. Spiritual advisors can help you with questions that do not have clear answers. It does not matter what your spirituality or religion is. Your beliefs will be honored and respected. You may want to talk to a spiritual advisor about: The meaning of...

Load More