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Health News Results - 126

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The most common genetic disorder among northern Europeans -- called hemochromatosis -- occurs more often than previously thought, according to a new study.

The researchers also found that people with the condition often develop serious health problems.

People with hemochromatosis -- a build-up of iron in the body that can damage t...

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Two of every five common diseases are at least partially influenced by a person's genetics, the largest U.S. study of twins ever conducted finds.

Nearly 40 percent of 560 different diseases have a genetic component, while 25 percent are driven by environmental factors shared by twins who are growing up in the same household, the researchers re...

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The flu season is picking up steam, with about 7 million Americans having been struck by a strain of the flu virus, health officials said Friday.

Almost half of those folks went to a doctor, while between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized for flu-related illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new r...

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The flu is now spreading throughout the United States, health officials said Friday.

Since last week, when nine states and New York City were reporting high flu activity, 19 states and New York City are now seeing a lot of flu, and it's widespread in 24 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The s...

THURSDAY, Dec. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People who drink lots of sugar-sweetened drinks may be putting themselves at a heightened risk for kidney disease, a new study suggests.

The study of more than 3,000 black men and women in Mississippi found that those who consumed the most soda, sweetened fruit drinks and water had a 61 percent increased risk of developing chronic kidney di...

TUESDAY, Dec. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Though this is the time of year when family and friends gather and connect, loneliness remains a serious public health issue in the United States, an expert on aging says.

More and more Americans are lonely, and there's growing evidence that it can pose significant health risks.

Nearly one-third of older Americans are lonely, and ch...

TUESDAY, Dec. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they've identified genetic mutations linked with a blood vessel defect that can lead to deadly brain bleeds in babies.

A rare hereditary condition, called vein of Galen malformation, causes high-pressured blood to be pumped from arteries into veins. The veins aren't meant to handle such pressure and can rupture, spilling blood...

THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A brain protein linked to Alzheimer's disease might potentially be transmitted to people during neurological procedures, a new preliminary study suggests.

Genetically engineered lab mice developed amyloid-beta deposits in their brains after they were injected with amyloid-laced samples of human growth hormone taken from decades-old human cad...

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obesity accounted for nearly 4 percent of all cancers globally in 2012, and that rate is likely to rise in coming decades, a new study suggests.

Rates of excess body weight have been increasing worldwide since the 1970s. By 2016, about 40 percent of adults (2 billion) and 18 percent of children aged 5 to 19 (340 million) had ...

MONDAY, Dec. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic kidney disease is more likely to progress to kidney failure and death in men than in women, a new study reveals.

"We found that women had 17 percent lower risk of experiencing [kidney failure] and the risk of death was 31 percent lower in women than in men," said study author Dr. Ana Ricardo. She's an associate professor of medicine a...

TUESDAY, Dec. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A new gene therapy shows early promise against sickle cell anemia, researchers say.

The therapy targets the genetic flaw that causes sickle cell. In a small group of patients, researchers said the therapy appears safe and effective enough to keep moving forward into larger trials.

"We've been talking about using gene therapy for sick...

THURSDAY, Nov. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Americans have unwelcome eight-legged visitors from the East, and they're here to stay.

The Asian longhorned tick -- Haemaphysalis longicornis -- "is a tick indigenous to Asia, where it is an important vector of human and animal disease agents," warned a research team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The fastest way to get a sedentary person moving is to tell them the specific health dangers of inactivity, a new report suggests.

For the study, researchers surveyed 615 Australian adults, aged 18 to 77, about their levels of physical activity, as well as their knowledge about the benefits of exercise and the dangers of being a couch potat...

TUESDAY, Nov. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A freeze-dried polio vaccine that could be used in locations without refrigeration might help doctors conquer the disease, researchers report.

For the study, scientists freeze-dried the injectable vaccine into a powder and kept it at room temperature for four weeks. They then rehydrated it and injected it into mice, giving them full protecti...

TUESDAY, Nov. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Couch Potato Nation: Nearly half of Americans sit for far too many hours a day and don't get any exercise at all, a new study finds.

A survey of some 5,900 adults found that nearly 26 percent sit for more than eight hours a day, 45 percent don't get any moderate or vigorous exercise during the week, and about 11 percent sit more than eight h...

THURSDAY, Nov. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Prejudice directed at older people results in $63 billion in excess health costs each year in the United States, a new study claims.

Ageism, which is the marginalization of the elderly in society, accounts for one of every seven dollars spent on the eight most expensive health conditions for Americans older than 60. Those conditions include...

MONDAY, Nov. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer is expected to overtake heart disease as the leading cause of death for well-off Americans by 2020.

The expected shift owes to advances in technology and drugs that are making big headway against heart disease, according to a new report.

But lack of access to quality care is likely to keep heart disease the leading killer of...

THURSDAY, Nov. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If thinking skills aren't affected, a person with Parkinson's disease can live a normal life span, a new study suggests.

"This is good news for many people with Parkinson's and their families," study author Dr. David Backstrom, from Umea University in Sweden, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

Parkinson'...

TUESDAY, Oct. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Three experimental Ebola vaccines trigger an immune response that lasts for more than two years against the deadly disease, researchers report.

In addition to being welcome news for the Ebola outbreak that's now spreading throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, this success story is spurring research into the development of similar vacci...

MONDAY, Oct. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- With their keen sense of smell, dogs can track down bombs and drugs, but new research suggests they can also sniff out malaria in people.

If confirmed by further studies, canines might someday be used to help spot malaria early, when treatment is most effective.

The study included two dogs -- a Labrador retriever and a Labrador-Golde...

THURSDAY, Oct. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A new gene therapy might help improve motor symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease who aren't responding to other therapies, an early study has found.

"This is not a cure of Parkinson's disease," said James Beck, chief scientific officer of the Parkinson's Foundation. "This is a potentially good treatment for symptom control. It provid...

MONDAY, Oct. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In some bad news for chocolate Labrador Retriever lovers everywhere, new research shows that they have shorter life spans than their black and yellow cousins.

Not only that, but they also have higher rates of skin disease and ear infections.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 33,000 Labradors in the United Kingd...

THURSDAY, Oct. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In what researchers are calling a "breakthrough," two preliminary trials have found that either of two triple-drug regimens could potentially benefit 90 percent of people with cystic fibrosis.

The trials were short-term, finding that the drug combinations improved adult patients' lung function over four weeks. But experts said they were opti...

THURSDAY, Oct. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- To safeguard human health in the future, researchers envision creation of a "Noah's Ark" of beneficial human microbes.

The human microbiome includes trillions of microscopic organisms that live in and on our bodies, and benefit our health in a number of ways, according to the authors of the proposal.

But antibiotics, processed-food ...

TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Only a small percentage of Americans have had their DNA analyzed -- but many are tempted to try it, according to new research.

For the study, University of Michigan researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 adults aged 50 to 64. While curious about their ancestry or health risks, the majority said they fear they'll worry excessively if they learn the...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Almost $200,000 over the course of two years. That is the cost of the care that a family member typically gives a loved one with Alzheimer's disease.

That's according to a new study that attempted to put a price tag on the burden of the day-to-day help that millions of folks with the memory-robbing disease need for shopping, cooking, clea...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your eyes are subject to a wide variety of health conditions, from minor annoyances to serious chronic diseases and even cancer.

While it's never a good idea to ignore any change in your vision or in the appearance of your eyes, call your doctor right away if you experience the following warning signs.

Report any sudden spots and...

FRIDAY, Sept. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying malaria parasites, but scientists report they have discovered compounds that might keep mosquitoes from spreading the sometimes deadly disease.

"Current anti-malarial drugs can cure a person of the disease, but that person is still infectious to mosquitoes, and can therefore still cause someone el...

FRIDAY, Sept. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors have long known that obesity increases the risk for developing asthma, but new research suggests the opposite also may be true.

Scientists in Spain found that people with asthma are at greater risk for obesity, particularly those who develop the condition as adults and those diagnosed with asthma without allergies.

"We alrea...

THURSDAY, Sept. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The minds of patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are damaged by the disease, despite the longstanding belief that this was not the case, a new study reveals.

In fact, in the later stages of ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease, patients experience a decline in their thinking and language skills, researchers report...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be more than twice as likely to develop an early onset form of Parkinson's, new research warns.

What's more, among "those ADHD patients who had a record of being treated with amphetamine-like drugs -- especially Ritalin [methylphenidate] -- the risk dramatically increased, to...

FRIDAY, Aug. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A baby's immune system kicks into high gear immediately after birth, a new study finds.

Changes in a newborn's immune system have been difficult to assess because doing so has relied on samples taken from the umbilical cord immediately after birth. In this study, researchers used a new immune cell analysis technique to follow 100 premature and...

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The agony of severe diarrhea can make some people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) wish they were dead.

So claims a new survey that reveals the mental and physical fallout from the chronic disease.

"IBS can be an extremely tough, emotional and difficult condition to live with and, in addition to dedicating resources to improve ...

THURSDAY, Aug. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Excess weight boosts the odds of flu complications, but that's not all. Obese adults are contagious for much longer than their slim peers, researchers report.

It's known that obesity increases a person's risk of hospitalization and death from flu, but these findings suggest extreme weight may also play a role in how the flu spreads.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The right diet can slow chronic kidney disease, but 90 percent of patients who do not require dialysis never see a dietitian, new research finds.

"Most adults with chronic kidney disease remain poorly informed of how diet influences disease management and progression," explained study author Dr. Holly Kramer, from Loyola University in Chicag...

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A single traumatic brain injury can raise a person's risk of dementia, a new study suggests.

"Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability in young adults," said researcher Elisa Zanier, from the Mario Negri Institute in Milan, Italy.

"Moreover, even in milder cases, it represents a risk factor for dementia, su...

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A new report details how a measles outbreak tore through two Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2013, ignited by an unvaccinated teen who brought the highly contagious disease home from a trip to London.

Before it was over, 58 people came down with the measles, out of more than 3,300 exposed contacts identified by public health ...

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that colon cancer patients who regularly drink diet sodas have a much lower risk of their tumor coming back, or of dying from the cancer.

In a study funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, researchers tracked outcomes for more than 1,000 colon cancer patients. The investigators found that those who drank one or more ...

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- An FDA-approved supplement reduces episodes of severe pain in people with sickle cell disease, a new clinical trial shows.

Endari, a medicine-grade version of the dietary supplement L-glutamine, reduced sickle cell patients' number of acute pain crises by 25 percent compared with a placebo, the researchers found.

In addition, the ...

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- As the tick population surges across the United States this summer, one doctor says the best way to avoid being infected with the nasty illnesses the tiny bugs carry is to wear protective clothing and to check your body thoroughly after every trip into the woods.

Just last week, a new study found that ticks have spread far and wide in recent ...

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Think you live in a place that's free from disease-carrying ticks? Don't be so sure.

Citizen scientists found ticks capable of transmitting Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses in dozens of places across the United States where the pests had never previously been recorded, a new study reports.

All told, disease-carrying tick...

WEDNESDAY, July 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A bacteria carried by dogs that haven't been neutered can produce flu symptoms in humans and potentially jeopardize a pregnancy, a new study suggests.

Brucellosis infection is most commonly spread by livestock like sheep, cattle, goats and pigs.

But a strain of the bacterium carried by dogs -- Brucella canis -- could be wid...

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Get up off of the couch: Sitting too much may kill you even if you exercise regularly.

If you sit for six hours a day or more, your risk of dying early jumps 19 percent, compared with people who sit fewer than three hours, an American Cancer Society study suggests.

And, the study authors added, sitting may kill you in 14 ways, includ...

WEDNESDAY, June 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women with type 2 diabetes may face a significantly higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease later in life, new British research suggests.

The finding of a link followed the tracking of Parkinson's diagnoses among millions of diabetic and non-diabetic patients who use the National Health Service in England.

Study auth...

SUNDAY, June 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If more Americans ate healthier diets, the nation could save tens of billions of dollars in health care costs for major problems such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, strokes, hip fractures and Alzheimer's disease.

That's the conclusion of a new study in which researchers assessed different scenarios and d...

FRIDAY, June 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A comprehensive, nearly two-decades long study of the DTaP vaccine that's routinely given to babies and young children finds no safety issues.

"No new or unexpected adverse events were detected" with use of the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) shot over 19 years of follow-up, concluded a team led by Dr. Pedro Moro, of the U.S. Cen...

TUESDAY, June 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Eight million people in less-developed countries die needlessly each year, and that loss of life strips $6 trillion from the economies of those nations, new research calculates.

If the rate of preventable deaths continues unchecked, those countries could lose $11 trillion in gross domestic product by 2030, the researchers reported.

"...

TUESDAY, May 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- May is Women's Health Month.

With that in mind, doctors are offering suggestions for steps that women can take to reduce their risk of diseases and safeguard their health, both physical and mental.

Dr. Blanca Sckell is medical director of the Ambulatory Care Center and internal medicine program at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, in New ...

THURSDAY, May 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise can help prevent many chronic illnesses as well as make it easier to manage health conditions, from diabetes to joint pain.

In terms of prevention, aim for the recommended 150 minutes of exercise, like brisk walking or cycling, each week. Along with eating a healthy diet, this can cut your risk of diabetes by more than a third, plus ...

THURSDAY, May 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- French Bulldogs can melt your heart with their wrinkled faces and big ears, but they come with a special set of health problems, a new report warns.

The breed is becoming the most popular in the United Kingdom, so researchers at the Royal Veterinary College analyzed data from more than 2,200 French Bulldogs that received care at more than 300 ...

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Wellness Library Results - 95

Kaye Wellborn* will never forget her first -- and last -- abscessed tooth. The San Francisco Forty 49ers had just won the Superbowl, and a huge, exuberant crowd was celebrating in the street where she was house-sitting. "I was already in so much pain I had tears running down my face," she says. "People were honking horns and beating drums, and with every drumbeat the throbbing pain in my tooth bec...

Men are always just one misstep away from groin pain. Even if they manage to avoid serious injury, some aches and pains just come with the territory. It's important for a man to know which types of pain can be shrugged off and which require medical attention. Pulled groin muscle (adductor strain) Groin injuries are common among athletes, especially soccer players. One common type of injury is...

What causes allergies? Every human body carries an arsenal of chemicals to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other intruders, but sometimes these weapons backfire. If your child has allergies, she responds to things in the environment that are not invaders. The body produces antibodies, and when your child is exposed to the irritant a second time, her body releases a number of chemicals. One of th...

What are mumps? Caused by a virus that infects the salivary glands near the jawbone, mumps is a highly contagious illness that shows up mainly in swelling and soreness in the jaw area. The swelling is usually on both sides, so that the sufferer bears a passing resemblance to a chipmunk. In some cases, though, one side may puff up several days before the other. Your child may run a fever and compl...

Consider the standards used to diagnose oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and you may think they could describe any kid on a bad day -- and almost any teenager almost every day: They argue with adults, deliberately annoy people, defy rules, and have high fits of temper. All these activities are all-too-familiar to parents. The distinction lies in the frequency and intensity of the behavior. F...

What is a middle ear infection? A middle ear infection is simply an invasion of viruses or bacteria into the small space that lies just beyond the eardrum. The germs usually stage the assault while a child is recovering from a cold or flu, ailments that leave her ears partly clogged with fluids and create an ideal habitat for microbes. As the infection takes hold, the middle ear fills with pus, a...

What's the measles vaccine rash? It's a rash that shows up in about 5 percent of people vaccinated for measles (rubeola). The rash looks a bit like the one caused by the disease itself: red dots on the chest and neck. These may occasionally become raised bumps and in rare cases may spread to the rest of your child's body. The rash usually appears about 10 days after your child was vaccinated, but...

Scary stories about cats and babies abound, most nothing more than superstition. But there are real diseases associated with changing the kitty litter while you're pregnant. Fortunately, with a few precautions, you can minimize the risks and still enjoy your favorite feline. Why is kitty litter a potential danger during pregnancy? Cats can become transmitters of toxoplasmosis, a disease they can ...

What is amebiasis? As the name suggests, amebiasis is a disease caused by an amoeba. In this case, the culprit is Entamoeba histolytica, a one-celled, protozoan parasite that often lurks in food and water contaminated with human feces. In approximately 90 percent of all cases, E. histolytica doesn't cause any problems. But if conditions are right, the parasite can start eating away at the walls ...

What is campylobacteriosis? Most store-bought chicken comes with a bonus: Campylobacter, the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States. According to the Food and Drug Administration, this bacterium was found on 20 to 100 percent of raw chicken breasts the agency tested in various food surveys. And if you're not careful, you'll get infected, too. Campylobacter infections don't seem...

What is celiac disease? Just about everybody loves the smell of freshly baked whole-wheat bread, but not everyone can afford to take a bite. For anyone with celiac disease, this treat is practically poison. People with this condition are extremely sensitive to gluten, a class of proteins found in all foods made with wheat, rye, or barley. Even small amounts of these proteins can damage the intesti...

Walk into a crowded bus station or supermarket, and there's bound to be somebody who has had a colostomy. The thing is, you probably won't know who it is. People who have had a colostomy can work, exercise, and have sex -- in short, many are just as active as ever. But patients who have never had a colostomy often take a different view. For them, a colostomy represents a threat to their lifestyle...

Dysentery is not a disease but a symptom of a potentially deadly illness. The term refers to any case of infectious bloody diarrhea, a scourge that kills as many as 700,000 people worldwide every year. Most of the victims live in developing areas with poor sanitation, but sporadic cases can pop up anywhere in the world. What causes dysentery? Dysentery is the body's response to an unwanted visit...

As far as anyone can tell, the appendix serves no particular purpose in the body. While your other organs are busy keeping you alive, this small, pinkish, finger-length abdominal sac seems content to just take up space. But every once in awhile, the appendix can be a matter of life and death. If the organ becomes swollen and inflamed -- a condition called appendicitis -- you'll need an emergency o...

What is Crohn's disease? A hundred years ago, before Crohn's disease had a name, doctors dismissed it as an untreatable illness or possibly a tumor. Doctors didn't know that patients' immune systems, the weapons for battling disease, were attacking their own digestive tracts. In people with Crohn's disease, tissues deep within the lining of the digestive system become inflamed. The inflammation ...

"Food, glorious food," begins the chorus of young boys in Oliver, the musical based on the Charles Dickens's classic, Oliver Twist. "Hot sausage and mustard. While we're in the mood, cold jelly and custard!" the residents of the orphanage continue in their ode to an imaginary feast, an antidote to their daily gruel. Although the poorhouse fare may be foreign to many, the cravings evoked in the bo...

Lying down after a big meal, you feel a burning pain in the center of your chest. Before long, the fire spreads upward to your neck. The pain eventually dies down, but not before you curse that third helping. That searing pain you felt was heartburn, also known as acid indigestion -- a symptom experienced by more than 60 million adults in the United States. A survey from Simmons Market Research B...

GERD is the acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition in which stomach acid frequently splashes into the esophagus. GERD occurs when the valve connecting the stomach and esophagus becomes weak, turning the junction into a two-way street. Because the esophagus isn't well equipped to handle such a harsh liquid, GERD often causes burning pain and discomfort. Over time, it can even infl...

The gallbladder often seems more trouble than it's worth. This small storage pouch plays a minor role in the body, but it's a major source of disease. Specifically, the organ can become a breeding ground for gallstones, hard crystals that can cause absolute misery. Each year, about 1 million Americans develop gallstones. More than half never experience any troubling symptoms, and their gallstones...

What is gastritis? Many people -- including some doctors -- use "gastritis" as a fancy word for stomachache, but the term really means "inflammation of the stomach." Most people with sore stomachs don't have gastritis. When inflammation does set in, it can cause considerable pain and discomfort. Fortunately, gastritis is usually easy to control. You may need to make a few lifestyle changes or get...

What is dyspepsia? Dyspepsia -- commonly known as indigestion -- is a catch-all term for pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Everything from stress to certain painkillers can cause indigestion, but with treatment and some basic lifestyle changes, most people find they can be free of it. If you have persistent stomach trouble, schedule an appointment with your doctor. You can rest assured he...

What is gastroenteritis? Many people blame "the stomach flu" whenever they fall ill with nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. But stomach flu is actually a misnomer: The viruses that cause the "real" flu (influenza) usually don't affect the stomach. When doctors speak of stomach flu, they're usually referring to a popular name for a condition in which the digestive tract becomes irritated and inflamed....

Everyone feels sad and blue once in a while, but depression is a gloom that lasts for weeks or months. It saps the life out of you and often leaves you feeling as if the world is empty and bleak. You're probably depressed if for two weeks or longer you're overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, anxiety, or worthlessness; lose interest in normal activities such as eating, making love, and seeing friend...

When Charlie Jannings, MD, talks about the value of exercise, you have to take him seriously. After all, the man is a kickboxer. He's also the reigning male athlete of the year at the Big Sky State Games, an Olympic-style event that attracts thousands of Montanans of all ages: He won four gold medals in his age group. All in all, you could say he's fairly fit for a 75-year-old. A specialist in bo...

Your knee feels sore and stiff when you wake up in the morning. After an hour of creaking and groaning, it finally decides to loosen up for the rest of the day. The pattern repeats itself the next day. And the next. At this point, you have two choices: Put up with the pain or get some help. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 46 million Americans have b...

Baby boomers everywhere are just starting to approach what they thought they never would: old age. Lots of the people born between 1946 and 1964 (the dictionary definition of a boomer) are now eligible for senior citizen discounts at restaurants. Many have grandchildren. And many have sore, creaky joints, the ultimate badge of aging. At 41, Chris Webb of Billings, Montana, was at the younger end ...

Twelve older women are sitting in a shallow swimming pool while the strains of Swan Lake rise in the background. An extended family of bright yellow rubber ducks bobs around the pool as Maria Antonietta Nevarez leads the group through a simulated bicycle exercise. "Okay, close your eyes: Where are we riding to today?" she asks the group. "We're in Golden Gate Park -- there are irises growing on th...

Alternative remedies for arthritis are nothing new. Folklore is full of potions and poultices that supposedly relieve joint pain, and the advent of modern medicine hasn't dampened the public's interest. If anything, arthritis patients are more adventuresome than ever before. It's no surprise that so many arthritis sufferers are willing to venture beyond the bounds of mainstream medicine, says Joh...

Imagine two people with identical cases of arthritis. Even on x-rays their joints look exactly alike, and every test comes back with the same results. The only difference: One person is in agony, while the other has relatively little pain. Many people assume there's a one-to-one relationship between arthritis and pain, meaning if damage to the joints is severe, so is the pain. The truth is more c...

We ask a lot of our joints. We bend and twist all day and think nothing of it -- until arthritis sets in. More than 50 million Americans were living with arthritis or chronic joint symptoms and with a rapidly aging population, that number is expected to jump to nearly 70 million by 2030. "Arthritis" literally means joint inflammation, and can refer to any condition that causes pain and stiffness ...

Many arthritis sufferers complain of a little stiffness in the morning. Then there's Jane Kowalski,* an 83-year-old living in Baltimore. She often woke up feeling like her joints had been dipped in cement. On some mornings, she couldn't even get out of bed without help. Now Kowalski has a new way to start the day. Instead of lying there helpless, she takes the time to stretch all of her muscles b...

Most people with chronic arthritis will readily admit they have trouble with certain tasks such as climbing long flights of stairs or opening tight jar lids. But there's another challenge that often goes unmentioned. The pain, stiffness, and fatigue caused by arthritis can interfere with a person's sex life or even bring it to a halt, says Annette Owens, MD, PhD, a sex counselor and cofounder of t...

If you don't suffer from osteoarthritis, take a moment to consider your good fortune. An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from arthritis or chronic joint symptoms -- and the Centers for Disease Control expect that number to balloon to nearly 70 million by 2030. You should also think about your future. Are you doing everything you can to protect your joints? Osteoarthritis is the kind of arth...

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a disease that should be rare by now. We've had an effective vaccine against whooping cough for decades, but the illness continues to thrive. In 2009, 17,000 cases were reported in the United States among people of all ages, and many more cases go unreported. In fact, an unusual whooping cough outbreak in California in 2010 sickened more than 6,000 infants and kille...

Nine people walk in a circle, obeying the commands of instructor Nancy Kieffer. "Imagine a cup of water on the crown of your head," she calls out. The directive may seem like something out of a 1950s charm school guide for perfect posture, but for this particular warm-up exercise, balance is the key element. The class is Tai Chi, and the students are practicing the ancient Chinese martial art to g...

Whether you're having total joint replacement or just a minor repair of damaged cartilage, you should learn as much as possible about the procedure before you enter the operating room. Try to find a surgeon who has extensive experience with the operation you'll be having, and be sure to ask plenty of questions. One in particular should be at the top of your list: What will this surgery actually ac...

Experts have discovered a cheap, powerful tool that can relieve pain, improve motion, and generally make life a little easier for people with arthritis. It's powerful enough to relieve many symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, yet safe enough to use every other day. It's convenient and inexpensive, and when used properly, causes no unpleasant side effects. It's called a barbel...

Few of us need to be given more reasons to drop those extra pounds. We could do it for our hearts or our chins, for lower medical bills or freer spirits. But did you know you should also do it for your joints? The fact is, being overweight increases your risk of degenerative arthritis in the weight-bearing joints, especially the knees. According to the U.S. Surgeon General's Office, your odds of...

Joshua Heller wasn't worried when he noticed a painless knot below his right ankle in February 1994. A couple of months later, he felt a dull ache in his right foot, but the 26-year-old chef continued working his usual long hours at his family's seaside restaurant. In his spare time, he played racquetball and coached two local sports teams. By summer, periodic shooting pains in his instep forced ...

The typical arthritis sufferer has at least a few gray hairs, a wrinkle here and there, and joints that have started to wear out after decades of use. But not every person with arthritis fits that profile. Some forms of arthritis can strike children or even infants. Arthritis may seem like a cruel fate for a young person, but many children cope admirably with their disease. With treatment and supp...

For nearly 20 years, social worker Susan Mason suffered from mysterious and debilitating muscle pain throughout most of her body. Time and time again, doctors told Mason that she just had the flu, or that she was depressed and the aches would eventually go away on their own. But they never did. "It just hurt too badly for me to believe there wasn't something wrong," Mason says. Finally in 1999, d...

When we think of invading bacteria, we usually don't think of our joints as a potential target. But if there's an infection somewhere in your body, the germs can travel through your bloodstream to attack a joint. Bacteria can also enter a joint directly, either right after surgery or from an injury, for example. Either way, the infected joint becomes swollen, inflamed, and painful. Doctors call th...

What is osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis, by far the most common form of arthritis among older people, is a condition brought on partly by aging and long-term wear-and-tear in the joints. After years of use, the cartilage that cushions the joints can break down until bone rubs against bone. Spurs often grow on the sides of the affected bones, which only adds to the pain. Osteoarthritis is rarely c...

What is rheumatoid arthritis? On the surface, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) looks like a close relative of osteoarthritis, a condition all too familiar to many older people. Both conditions make joints stiff and sore, but that's where the similarity ends. Its cause and its destructiveness put rheumatoid arthritis in a class by itself. What's the difference? Unlike osteoarthritis -- a condition brou...

Marina Alyea, a certified massage therapist in San Francisco, is familiar with the ravages of back pain. She has worked on people's backs, she said, that were so tight and inflexible that they felt armored. "Often people don't realize how much tension they feel until they're touched," she says. The most typical problem areas are the upper back, neck and shoulders, followed by the lower back -- ac...

What is strep throat? Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection marked by swelling and extreme soreness of the back of the throat, or pharynx. It can hurt so much your child doesn't want to swallow. (The name "strep throat" is a shorthand term for the throat infection, which is caused by Group A streptococcus bacteria.) Other symptoms of strep are fever (often above 101 degrees), chills, decre...

Most of us have been there: What starts as a dull ache or uncomfortable jolt when you sip your ice tea signals the onset of tooth decay. Soon the pain becomes so unbearable that you can't call the dentist fast enough. The good news is that you can prevent this all-too-common ailment with regular checkups and good oral hygiene. What causes toothache? Tooth decay is the most likely cause. Bacter...

We all ask a lot from our backs. We bend, we lift, we slouch -- it's enough to make a back complain. According to the Mayo Clinic, four out of five adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. Two times out of three, injuries to muscles and ligaments in the lower back are to blame. These injuries are painful, but they can also be temporary. With proper care, most people can look forwa...

What is scoliosis? Nobody has a completely straight spine. Even if you sit as stiff as a board, the vertebrae in the middle of your back gently and naturally curve inward. Some people's spines, however, take a different sort of turn. In addition to curving inward, they curve from side to side. This condition is called scoliosis, from the Greek word for crooked, "skoliosis." Most cases of scolios...

Whether you spend your day moving furniture or sitting in an office chair, you're probably no stranger to back pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, four out of five Americans suffer back pain at some point in their lives. It's an expensive proposition, costing the United States an estimated $100 billion a year. Although problems can arise anywhere in the spine, the lower back is Pain Central. Low b...

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