Most of us do not give our urine much thought. A quick flush and it is disposed of and the story is over for at least the next few hours. But the urine itself and urinary habits can serve as important signs of kidney and urinary tract problems. In fact, your urine can also tell you a lot about other aspects of your health beyond the genitourinary system. You do not have to spend copious times inspecting your urine and trying to reach a conclusion of where the problem may lie. The important aspect is knowing what is normal and what is not and seeking medical attention is something seems amiss.
Current Health Articles
A middle ear infection (otitis media) is the second most common infectious condition in children, after upper respiratory tract infections. Understandably many parents are not immediately concerned when otitis media is diagnosed in their children as it is so common and often just goes away on its own. Sometimes treatment is necessary. However, leaving otitis media without treatment or close monitoring can lead to some very serious complications. It is even possible that what was a simple middle ear infection today can progress to a brain problem and cause other life threatening consequences.
Dehydration is a serious complication of fluid loss associated with vomiting and/or diarrhea. In fact dehydration can lead to death. It is one of the main complications associated with vomiting and diarrhea and one of the primary reasons for fatal outcomes with these conditions, particularly in children. In the large majority of cases, dehydration can be prevented. Unfortunately many people do not know the facts about how to rehydrate properly, when to start and what to use to prevent dehydration.
As the cooler months of the year approach, the stomach flu season starts up in the United States. It starts as early as October and ends around April each year, usually peaking in January. The stomach flu is an acute viral infection marked by profuse diarrhea, sometimes vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and a fever. The symptoms usually last for 2 to 3 days and do not require treatment. However, the duration and approach to managing the stomach flu largely depends on the cause. While the stomach flu itself is not dangerous, the complications such as dehydration can be deadly if not properly managed.
Autism is disorder of the brain that affects about 1 in 88 children in the United States. There is no specific test to diagnose autism. Instead it has to be identified by the signs and symptoms as observed by the parents of a child along with the assessment of relevant health care practitioners. Autism is evident from early childhood but the signs and symptoms can be difficult to spot. The problem is that most parents are not aware of the features of autism. It is only when parents realize that something is “wrong” that they seek medical advice and research autism further.
Wrinkles are one of the undesirable aesthetic consequences of aging. It is a crease, furrow, ridge that can occur anywhere on the body but is most commonly seen on the face. Aging is not the sole cause. There are other possible causes and contributing factors that can make wrinkling worse in some people or even cause it to arise in early adulthood when it is not expected. It is however somewhat of an inevitability of growing old, whether you get wrinkles in your 30s or as late as your 50s.
Collagen and elastic fibers in the skin give it the ability to stretch and retain moisture along with a host of other benefits that gives skin that ‘young and healthy’ look. These proteins are abundant in the skin during the early years of life but as you get older, the quantity of collagen and elastic decreases. Wrinkles are one of the consequences. While it is not entirely preventable, there are many ways that you can help delay the onset of wrinkles or minimize the severity.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic conditions across the globe, particularly in developed nations. It is often associated with obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and a family history of diabetes. Like many other chronic conditions, you may not know you have diabetes for months or even years until the symptoms become evident or the changes in the blood glucose levels are detected upon routine screening. However, many diabetics also believe that if they are asymptomatic then their diabetes is under control. Similarly they believe that they can continue eating whatever they want, not exercise and even skip their diabetes medication and ‘catch up’ later once the diabetes becomes more serious.
Lice are a type of insect that we often associate with animals. But there are different types of lice, some of which can infest humans. These lice can be very specific for the area of the body that it will infest. Most of us have heard of head lice infestation, a fairly common problem among young schoolchildren. But there are also different types of lice that will infest the body and even the groin region specifically. Lice infestation can be treated and prevented. It is not a disease as such because the lice do not live on or in the body. It feeds on human blood several times in a day and while its saliva can irritate the skin, it rarely leads to any complications.
Neck pain is a common occurrence for most adults and is often associated with headaches. Most of the time it is not serious and usually related to muscle strain. However, there are some serious and potentially deadly causes of neck pain that need to be kept in mind. When it comes to children in particular, neck pain should never be ignored or passed off in the way abdominal pain is seen by parents. Adults may not necessarily be as concerned about neck pain provided that it does not progressively worsen over hours and days, occur with severe headaches, confusion and sensitivity to light.
It is still thought of as condition that only affects children. The thoughts of an uncontrollable and excitable child, unable to sit still and throwing tantrums in public. The child that does not pay attention in class, is constantly fidgeting and disrupting social activities. But ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is not always so typical in presentation. And it does not only affect children. It is now known that childhood ADHD can continue into adulthood although not be as prominent in the way it appears. The problem is that adults today who were born in the 60s and 70s were most likely undiagnosed as having childhood ADHD and the symptoms in adulthood are often mistaken as personality traits or other mental health conditions.
A queasy stomach is one way of describing a host of gastrointestinal symptoms from nausea, indigestion and bloating to cramps, flatulence and sometimes even diarrhoea. As a non-medical term, a queasy stomach may mean different things to different people but the underlying intention is to describe that “all is not well” with the digestive tract. It is difficult to isolate these sensations specifically to the stomach and may include the bowels or esophagus as well. Often it is related to food – either starting after eating or when a person is hungry.
Anemia is the most common blood disorder where the blood’s ability to carry oxygen is impaired. It is a problem with the red blood cells – either there are too few red blood cells or the oxygen-carrying ability of these cells are lower than normal. When it is associated with insufficient iron, an essential mineral required for red blood cell formation, then it is known as iron-deficiency anemia. This is the most common type of anemia and is mainly seen in females for several gender-specific reasons. However, iron-deficiency anemia can also occur in men and is sometimes due to common reasons that many people do not know.
Lupus is a broad term for a group of autoimmune conditions. A mild type is cutaneous lupus erythematosus, the most notable form being discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), which primarily affects the skin. A greater concern for most people is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) which can affect several organs throughout the body. Lupus can also be caused by using certain drugs and this is known as drug-induced lupus. There are other newborn and childhood variants that are less commonly seen. The problem with diagnosing lupus is that many of the signs and symptoms resemble other more common conditions.
If there is one abdominal organ that is probably given the least thought by most people then it would have to be the spleen. Many people do not know what the spleen is, where it is located or what it does. It is only in rare cases that the spleen is heard of, like when it has to be removed after a rupture following an injury, or when it drastically swells in certain diseases. The spleen is not a vital organ, meaning that you can live without it. But it does play several very important roles in the body. It is not surprising that many people are caught “off guard” when told that there is a problem with the spleen as the symptoms are often vague.
Low back pain is a common problem in adults. While it may be expected after a fall, during pregnancy or with the strain of lifting a heavy object, chronic low back pain should be investigated more intensively. Two-thirds of American adults will experience low back pain in life and it remains the second most common reason for seeing a physician in the United States. Many of these cases are due to mechanical back pain where the problem likes in the bones (vertebrae), muscles, ligaments and nerves in the lower back.
It is often associated with injuries and age-related changes in the spine. This includes conditions like nerve root compression (such as sciatica), a herniated disc, myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia. However, there also other common causes of low back pain that can be easily corrected with lifestyle changes. Yet these causes are often not considered. Persistent low back pain is also a common symptom of many diseases of the internal organs even when other symptoms have not as yet appeared.
Osteoporosis is not an inevitability for every person as they get older. Age does lead to a loss in bone density that makes your bones less strong even though it is not as brittle as in osteoporosis. There are several reasons why bone loss occurs with age. A less active lifestyle, changes in diet and the effects of certain chronic diseases more commonly seen in the elderly are major contributing factors. However, age-related changes also play a significant role as well as genetic factors.
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