Vitamins are organic substances that are essential for the proper growth and functioning of the body. Calcium is a mineral essential for healthy bones and is also important for muscle contraction, heart action, and normal blood clotting. Read more: Vitamins and Calcium Supplements Article
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Vitamins and Supplements: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Vitamins & Supplements Quiz to learn just how many essential vitamins your body needs to function!
Superfoods Quiz: List of Top Superfoods
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Diet and Nutrition Quiz: Plans & Facts
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Vegetarian Diet: Tasty, Basic Choices in Pictures
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Osteoporosis Super-Foods for Strong Bones With Pictures
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What Is Osteoporosis? Treatment, Symptoms, Medication
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Health Screening Tests Every Woman Needs
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Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?
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The Benefits of Omega 3 Foods on Heart Health
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Magnesium: Basics, Benefits, and Sources
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Nutritional Health: 19 Key Vitamins and Minerals Your Body Needs
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Related Disease Conditions
Cancer Risk Factors
Though it's difficult to say why some people develop cancer while others don't, research shows that certain risk factors increase a person's odds of developing cancer. These risk factors include growing older, family history of cancer, diet, alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to sunlight, ionizing radiation, certain chemicals, and some viruses and bacteria.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED, Impotence)
Erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence) is the failure to achieve or maintain an erection. There are many potential underlying causes of erectile dysfunction, including stress and emotional problems, brain dysfunction, problems with blood supply to the penis, and structural problems with the penis. Erectile dysfunction is diagnosed by taking the patient's history and physical exam. Blood tests measuring kidney function and blood sugar, cholesterol, hormone, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels may be ordered. Urinalysis, ultrasound, and other more sophisticated tests may be required. The treatment of erectile dysfunction depends on the underlying cause. Medications, penile injections, penile implants, and vacuum devices may be used. Treatment for erectile dysfunction is usually successful. The patient should manage heart disease risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes) as they are related to erectile dysfunction risk.
Learn about osteoporosis, a condition characterized by the loss of bone density, which leads to an increased risk of bone fracture. Unless one experiences a fracture, a person may have osteoporosis for decades without knowing it. Treatment for osteoporosis may involve medications that stop bone loss and increase bone strength and bone formation, as well as quitting smoking, regular exercise, cutting back on alcohol intake, and eating a calcium- and vitamin D-rich balanced diet.
Pregnancy Planning (Tips)
Pregnancy planning is an important step in preparation for starting or expanding a family. Planning for a pregnancy includes taking prenatal vitamins, eating healthy for you and your baby, disease prevention (for both parents and baby) to prevent birth defects and infections, avoiding certain medications that may be harmful to your baby, how much weight gain is healthy exercise safety and pregnancy, travel during pregnancy.
Skin cancers occur when skin cells undergo malignant transformations and grow into tumors. The most common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are highly curable when they are diagnosed and treated early. Sun exposure, tanning beds, depressed immune system, radiation exposure, and certain viral infections are risk factors for skin cancer. Skin cancers are treated with surgery or radiation. The prognosis of nonmelanoma skin cancers is generally very good.
Pernicious anemia is a blood disorder in which the body does not make enough red blood cells due to a lack of vitamin B12 in the blood. Pernicious anemia can develop from a lack of a protein that helps the body absorb vitamin B12, not getting enough B12 in the diet, and certain intestinal conditions that interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12 such as Crohn's disease, celiac sprue, or ulcerative colitis. There is no cure for pernicious anemia, thus treatment is life-long.
Sunscreens are crucial for sun protection. Sun damage to the skin from exposure to ultraviolet rays is a risk factor for skin cancer and melanoma. To avoid sunburn, people should limit sun exposure during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., wear protective clothing, and use a sunscreen. People with sensitive skin should use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
Enjoying a healthy diet helps to prevent diseases. A good diet also helps to: control celiac disease, control diabetes, control high blood pressure, prevent loss of bone mass, prevent loss of muscle strength, and prevent vitamin deficiencies. Healthy diets also help prevent obesity and weight gain.
Healthy Living and Disease Prevention
The importance of a healthy lifestyle in disease prevention is widely understood and most people know that lifestyle changes and choices can be critical to good health. Yet, few practice healthy behaviors that constitute healthy living.
Hair Loss (Alopecia)
There are many causes of scalp hair loss. This featured article covers the common ones such as patchy hair loss (alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and tinea capitis), telogen effluvium, and androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness, female-pattern baldness).
Fibrocystic Breast Condition (Changes)
Fibrocystic breast condition (sometimes called fibrocystic breast disease) is characterized by lumpiness and usually pain, tenderness, and discomfort in one or both breasts. The condition is very common and benign (not malignant). Fibrocystic breast condition is the most common cause of "lumpy breasts" in women. A common symptom of fibrocystic breast condition is breast pain or discomfort. Some women with fibrocystic breasts have mile breast tenderness or pain. Other women with the condition may have very painful and tender breasts with lumpy areas that can be felt. Fibrocystic breast condition is most common in women after age 30, which continues through perimenopause and menopause. Women with the condition often have fewer problems after menopause (postmenopause).Fibrocystic breast condition that involves hyperplasia is associated with a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer. Atypical hyperplasia is associated with a moderately increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to women with fibrocystic without fibrocystic changes. Natural and home remedies to help relieve breast pain include NSAIDs like aspiring, Aleve, and Advil. Prescription medication also may help relieve symptoms of fibrocystic breasts.
Disease Prevention in Men
Disease prevention in men includes routine screening tests that are part of basic prevention medicine. Take an active role in your own health care and discuss screening tests with your doctor early in life. Age of screening and timing of screening depends upon the condition being assessed. Diseases men should take steps to prevent include high blood pressure (hypertension), hypercholesterolemia, type II diabetes mellitus, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), colon cancer and colon polyps, prostate cancer, glaucoma, melanoma and other skin cancer, and bladder cancer.
Disease Prevention in Women
Disease prevention in women includes screening tests that are a basic part of prevention medicine. All screening tests are commonly available through your general doctor. Some specialized tests may be available elsewhere.
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Treatment (PBC)
Primary biliary sclerosis (PBC) is thought to be an autoimmune disorder that involves the deterioration of the liver's small bile ducts. These ducts are crucial to transport bile to the small intestine, digesting fats and removing wastes. Symptoms of PBC are: Edema Itching Elevated cholesterol Malabsorption of fat Liver cancer Gallstones Urinary tract infections (UTIs) Hypothyroidism Treatments include ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA); colchicine (Colcrys); and immunosuppressive medications, such as corticosteroids; obeticholic acid (Ocaliva); and medications that treat PBC symptoms. For PBC that is associated with cirrhosis of the liver, liver transplantation may be indicated in extreme cases.
Children's health is focused on the well-being of children from conception through adolescence. There are many aspects of children's health, including growth and development, illnesses, injuries, behavior, mental illness, family health, and community health.
Pregnancy (Week by Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but others include breast swelling and tenderness, nausea and sometimes vomiting, fatigue, and bloating. Second trimester symptoms include backache, weight gain, itching, and possible stretch marks. Third trimester symptoms are additional weight gain, heartburn, hemorrhoids, swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face, breast tenderness, and trouble sleeping. Eating a healthy diet, getting a moderate amount of exercise, also are recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Information about the week by week growth of your baby in the womb are provided.
Vitamins & Exercise: Heart Attack Prevention Series
Vitamins and exercise can lower your risk for heart attack and heart disease. Folic acid, vitamins, and homocysteine levels are interconnected and affect your risk for heart disease or heart attack. For better heart health, avoid the following: fried foods, hard margarine, commercial baked goods, most packaged and processed snack foods, high fat dairy, and processed meats such as bacon, sausage, and deli meats. Antioxidants and exercise also play a key role in heart attack and heart disease prevention. Lower your risk factors for heart disease and heart attack by: lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, diabetes prevention, and smoking cesssation. Here are a few things you can do to prevent heart attacks: Eat whole, natural, fresh foods, eat five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, eat more omega-3 fatty acids, drink water, tea, non-fat dairy and red wine, eat lean proteins, limit glycemic foods, and exercise daily.
There are a variety of diseases and conditions that can cause tongue problems, discoloration, and soreness. Though most tongue problems are not serious. Conditions such as leukoplakia, oral thrush, and oral lichen planus may cause a white tongue while Kawasaki syndrome, scarlet fever, and geographic tongue may cause the tongue to appear red. A black hairy tongue may be caused by overgrown papillae on the tongue. Canker sores, smoking, and trauma may cause soreness of the tongue.
Sunburn (Sun Poisoning)
Sunburn is caused by overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. UV rays can also damage the eyes. Repeated overexposure to UV rays also increases the risk for scarring, freckles, wrinkles, and dry skin. Symptoms of sunburn include painful, red, tender, and hot skin.The skin may blister, swell, and peel. Sun poisoning (severe sunburn) include nausea, fever, chills, rapid pulse, dizziness and more. Home remedies can help relieve sunburn pain, blisters, and peeling. Severe sunburns may need medical treatment. Sun protection and sunscreen for an person's skin type is recommended to decrease the chance of a severe sunburn and sun poisoning.
Hypercalcemia (Elevated Calcium Levels)
Hypercalcemia is a condition in which calcium levels in the blood are elevated. Hypercalcemia is associated with other conditions such as: hyperparathyroidism, lung cancer, breast cancer, kidney failure, and elevated levels of vitamin D. Symptoms of hypercalcemia include constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, and kidney stones. Treatment depends on the cause of hypercalcemia.
Juvenile Bone Health
Setting a good example for your children when it comes to diet and exercise will help them to make healthy decisions about nutrition and fitness. Eating calcium-rich foods and performing weight-bearing exercise will help your children prevent osteoporosis and fractures later in life.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is considered a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD has also been referred to as late luteal phase dysphoric disorder. The cause of PMDD is unknown. Some of the common symptoms of PMDD (not an inclusive list) include mood swings, bloating, fatigue, headache, irritability, headache, breast tenderness, acne, and hot flashes. Treatment for PMDD is with medication to treat the symptoms of PMDD.
Rickets is caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. Infants and children who are exclusively breastfed, have dark skin, and infants born to mothers who are vitamin D deficient are most at risk for developing rickets. Symptoms and signs of rickets include bone pain, delayed teeth formation, short stature, skeletal deformities (bowlegs, abnormally shaped skull), and decreased muscle strength. Treatment of rickets depends upon the cause, but the first step usually involves correcting any abnormal levels of calcium, phosphate, or vitamin D with supplements.
Osteopenia is a bone condition characterized by bone loss that is not as severe as in osteoporosis. Bone fracture is the typical symptom of osteopenia, though the condition may be present without symptoms. Treatment involves lifestyle modifications (quitting smoking, not drinking in excess) and ensuring an adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with rickets, cancer, cardiovascular disease, severe asthma in children and cognitive impairment in older adults. Causes include not ingesting enough of the vitamin over time, having limited exposure to sunlight, having dark skin, and obesity. Symptoms include bone pain and muscle weakness. Treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves obtaining more vitamin D through supplements, diet, or exposure to sunlight.
Are Canker Sores Contagious?
Canker sores or aphthous ulcers are one of the most common causes of painful sores in the mouth. The actual cause of canker sores is unknown; however, some triggers that may precipitate outbreaks in some people include stress, anxiety, oral trauma, hormonal changes, drugs, food allergies, toothpastes, and vitamin deficiencies.
Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA or Temporal Arteritis)
Giant cell arteritis, inflammation of blood vessel walls, affects 10%-15% of polymyalgia rheumatica patients. Symptoms of giant cell arteritis include fatigue, weight loss, low-grade fever, jaw pain when chewing, scalp tenderness, and headaches. High doses of cortisone medications are used to treat giant cell arteritis.
COPD vs. Emphysema
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the term doctors and other healthcare professionals use to describe a group of serious, progressive (worsens over time), chronic lung diseases that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and sometimes asthma. The number one cause of COPD or emphysema, is smoking, and smoking is the third leading cause of death in the US.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Diet: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a name for a group of diseases in which there is inflammation of the digestive tract (gastrointestinal tract). Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease. While there is no specific recommended diet for a person with IBD, doctors and specialists recommend a low-residue (low fiber) diet for people with inflammatory bowel disease. Nutritionists, registered dieticians, and other health-care professionals can recommend specific foods, create meal plans, and recommend vitamins and other nutritional supplements.Foods to avoid with IBDExamples of foods to avoid that may trigger symptoms include if you have IBD include products alcohol, diary products, fatty, fried, and spicy foods, beans, and creamy sauces. Foods to eat with IBD Examples of a low-residue (low-fiber) diet that may help relieve symptoms after a flares of the disease are plain cereals, canned fruit, rice, oatmeal, and bananas.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Diet & Nutrition FAQs
- Superfoods FAQs
- Vitamins and Supplements FAQs
- Beta Carotene Supplements Not the Answer for Cancer or Heart Disease
- Birth Defects Prevented by Folic Acid!
- Osteoarthritis - Vitamin D May Prevent Progression
- Prostate Cancer Risk May Be Lowered By Vitamin E
- Hip Fracture Prevention - Hip Protectors
- Drug Interactions: Know Ingredients, Consult Your Physician
- Dietary Supplements Can Cause Liver Damage
- Fats, Fish Oil and Omega-3-Fatty Acids
- Eye: Silencing a Gene in the Eye
- Heart Disease: Antioxidant Supplements and Women
- Nutrition: 10 Tips for Healthy Eating on the Run
- Heart Attack Prevention From a Doctor's Perspective
- Truths, Lies, and Sunscreens
- What Are Difference Between Synthetic and Natural Vitamins?
- Which Vitamins are Water Soluble and Fat Soluble?
- Do Oral Contraceptives Prevent Vitamin Absorption?
- Evaluating Treatments and Supplements
- Patient Story: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
- Disease Prevention From a Doctor's Perspective
- Eating Tapeworms for Weight Loss
- How Much Protein Do I Need?
- Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Symptoms?
- Herbs: Toxicities and Drug Interactions
- Folic Acid: The Benefits for Women
- Grapefruit Diet
Medications & Supplements
- Over-the-Counter Products
- vitamin A (Oral Natures Way Vitamin A, Now Foods Vitamin A, GNC Vitamin A, and many more brands)
- multivitamins/minerals/omega-3 fatty acids - oral
- MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) Dietary Supplement
- vitamin K-1, phytonadione (Mephyton)
- vitamin k - oral, Mephyton
- vitamin D (Drisdol (Vitamin D2), Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3)
- Prenatal Vitamins (Side Effects and Types)
Prevention & Wellness
- Do You Take Biotin Supplements? They Could Affect Your Medical Tests
- Supplement Pills Can Pose Choking Risk for Seniors, Study Finds
- Vitamin A Linked to Lower Odds of Common Skin Cancer
- Dietary Supplements Do Nothing for You: Study
- Extra Calcium Safe for the Aging Eye
- FDA to Tighten Oversight of Supplements
- Healthful Diet & Healthy Bones
- Many Supplements Contain Unapproved, Dangerous Ingredients: Study
- FDA Cracks Down on Caffeine-Loaded Supplements
- Vitamin D3 May Benefit Heart Surgery Patients
- Vitamin D Supplements May Make Arteries Healthier
- Can You Trust the Labels on Your Supplements?
- Many Americans May Be Taking Too Much Vitamin D
- High Doses of Vitamin D Fail to Cut Cancer Risk, Study Finds
- No Evidence Fish Oil in Pregnancy Makes for Brainier Kids
- Vitamin D Pumps Up Muscles
- GNC Pays $2.5 Million to Settle Improper Labeling Investigation
- Review Says Calcium Supplements Won't Harm the Heart
- Calcium Supplements May Not Be Heart Healthy
- Calcium Supplements Might Raise Older Women's Dementia Risk
- Tanning May Limit Skin's Ability to Produce Vitamin D: Study
- Vitamin D Boosts Heart Function in Study
- Vitamin D While Pregnant Won't Boost Most Infants' Bone Health, Study Says
- IBS Linked to Low Vitamin D
- Can You Trust Your Dietary Supplement?
- Charges Filed Against Makers of Nutritional Supplements
- Vitamin D, Calcium May Not Prevent Colon Cancer After All
- Vitamin B12 Supplements May Not Help Some Seniors
- Many Hospital Patients Not Asked About Supplements: Study
- Health Food Stores Often Promote Adult-Only Supplements to Teens
- Calcium Supplements Tied to Macular Degeneration
- Untested Stimulant Still in Dietary Supplements
- Vitamin D May Boost Colon Cancer Survival, Study Finds
- Many Consumers Misled About Bogus Weight-Loss Supplements, Survey Says
- Low Levels of Vitamin D May Raise Early Death Risk: Study
- Health Tip: Think You're Getting Enough Calcium?
- B Vitamins May Not Boost Memory or Thinking, Study Suggests
- FDA: Supplements, Meds Can Be Dangerous Mix
- Vitamin D: A Key to a Longer Life?
- Vitamin D Supplements: FAQ
- Experts: Don't Waste Your Money on Multivitamins
- Vitamin D Supplements Won't Help Prevent Disease: Review
- No Good Data For or Against Taking Vitamins, Experts Say
- Study: Vitamin D Supplements May Not Raise Risk for Kidney Stones
- Vitamin D Alone Doesn't Boost Bone Health, Study Says
- Vitamin B Supplements May Guard Against Stroke
- Calcium Plus Vitamin D Won't Cure Joint Pain, Study Finds
- Many Docs Don't Discuss Dietary Supplements, Study Says
- Women on Hormone Therapy May Benefit From Extra Calcium, Vitamin D
- Iodine Supplements May Be Too Much of a Good Thing
- Calcium May Cut Risk for Precancerous Colon Lesions in Some People
- Do Vitamin Supplements Make Sense?
- Healthy Older Women Advised Against Taking Calcium
- Calcium Supplements May Raise Odds of Heart Death in Women
- Vitamin D Supplements: Is What You See What You Get?
- Scientists Explore How Zinc Fights Off Infection
- Which Fats Really Are Good for Your Heart?
- High Doses of Vitamin C May Raise Risk of Kidney Stones
- Calcium Supplements May Raise Men's Death Risk From Heart Disease
- With Benefits Unproven, Why Do Millions of Americans Take Multivitamins?
- Can Brightly Colored Fruits, Veggies Protect Against ALS?
- How Much Caffeine in That Supplement? Hard to Tell
- Despite FDA Warning, Sports Supplements Still Available Online: Study
- Do Older Adults Need Vitamins, Supplements?
- Supplement Use Widespread Among Americans
- Obese Children Struggle With Joint Pain: Study
- Eating More Fruits, Veggies May Help Kidney Patients
- Fish, But Not Fish Oil Supplements, May Shield Against Stroke
- Calcium May Help Prevent Hormone Disorder
- Multivitamins Won't Boost Standard HIV Care, Study Finds
- B Vitamin Supplements Don't Affect Colon Cancer Risk: Study
- Zinc Harder to Absorb in Old Age, Animal Study Shows
- Organic Foods Not Necessarily Better
- Calcium, Vitamin D Supplements May Pose Risks for Men With Prostate Cancer
- Antioxidants Might Help Cut Pancreatic Cancer Risk, Study Suggests
- Calcium Supplements May Raise Heart Attack Risk
- Body Building, Diet Supplements Linked to Liver Damage: Study
- Study Explores Fish Oil's Healthy Effect on Heart
- Extra Vitamin C May Help Lower Blood Pressure
- Vitamin D Doesn't Help Kids Do Better in School, Study Finds
- Soy Supplements May Not Shield Against Breast Cancer
- Sunny Skies Linked to Lower Stroke Risk
- Are the Benefits of Vitamin D Overhyped?
- Some Fish Oil Supplements Fishy on Quality
- Use of Dietary Supplements on the Rise
- Vitamin E Supplements Affect Stroke Risk
- Low-Carb Diets Improve Cholesterol Long Term
- Study: Calcium May Increase Heart Attack Risk
- Multivitamins May Cut Breast Cancer Risk
- Chronic Pain: Does Vitamin D Help?
- The Truth About Vitamin D
- FDA Warns Consumers to Stop Using Hydroxycut Products
- Vegetarian Diets
- Know Your Stones...Protect Your Kidneys
- Aging & Dietary Supplements: More is Not Always Better
- Menopause Symptoms: Natural Solutions
- US Future Full of Fractures
- Rickets Still Around and Still a Problem
- Vitamins - Too Much Of A Good Thing?
- To Bottle or Not to Bottle...Is Bottled Water Really Better than Tap Water?
- Vitamin B12...Essential & Helpful
- Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, Phytochemicals . . . Health-Protecting Foods
- Kava Kava Knocked By FDA
- Calcium & Iron - Are You Getting Enough?
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