Diseases & Conditions Archive

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More guidance on using the COVID-19 drug Paxlovid

Guidelines advise unvaccinated people at high risk for severe COVID to take Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir with ritonavir) soon after symptoms begin. However, a 2024 study suggests that people who are vaccinated and high-risk or unvaccinated and low-risk don't need to do so.

Regularly adding salt to meals may raise odds of kidney disease

A 2023 study suggests habitually adding salt to food may raise the odds of developing chronic kidney disease, which increases the risks of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.

Dizziness demystified

Vertigo is a symptom, not a condition. It can make people feel lightheaded, faint, unsteady, or like the room is spinning. Common conditions causing vertigo include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vestibular migraines, vestibular neuritis, and M'nière's disease. People should see a doctor after a single vertigo episode to determine the cause. Depending on the cause, treatments might include medications, a canalith repositioning procedure, vestibular therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Staying active, not sedentary, between episodes can help people with vertigo feel better.

What is leaky gut syndrome?

Leaky gut syndrome isn't a clinical diagnosis. It refers to a breakdown in the barrier between the gut and bloodstream caused by inflammation in the small intestine. The bacteria and toxins that seep through the gut lining can trigger an array of intestinal symptoms.

Do you really have a drug allergy?

Many people believe they have allergies to certain medications, even though they really don't. It could be that they experienced only a drug side effect after taking a particular drug, not a true allergic reaction (which is an immune system response). Unfortunately, inaccurate information can limit treatment options. So it's best to confirm a suspected drug allergy with an allergist. That typically involves getting a simple skin test or taking a very small dose of the medication in question in the presence of a medical team.

Are you missing this simple treatment for restless legs?

Brain iron deficiency should be one of the first considerations when treating restless legs syndrome (RLS). But many doctors don't know that iron deficiency is one cause of RLS and don't test for it, particularly in men, in whom iron deficiency is uncommon.

One surprising effect of wildfires: Itchy, irritated skin

Mounting evidence suggests that wildfires, which are increasing in intensity and frequency, contribute to skin problems, including eczema flares. Here's what you need to know to protect your skin from wildfire pollution.

A bird flu primer: What to know and do

A bird flu strain that began circulating in 2020 continues to evolve globally and locally within the United States. If you're wondering what this means, understanding the basics — what bird flu is, how it spreads, whether foods are safe, and prevention tips — can help.

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