- By Laurel J. Kelly
Consumer Health: Are you at risk for hepatitis?
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, usually caused by specific viruses. In the U.S., the most common forms are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Hepatitis A is highly contagious and spreads through contact with contaminated food or water, or from close contact with a person or object that's infected. Hepatitis B is passed from person to person through blood, semen or other bodily fluids. Hepatitis C, which is transmitted primarily by infected blood, is a common reason for liver transplants in the U.S. Learn more about the symptoms and prevention of hepatitis, and discover your level of risk by taking this Hepatitis Risk Assessment offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Also in today's tips ...
CPAP: Tips for avoiding 10 common problems
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Learning to use CPAP and finding the right equipment can be frustrating, though. Here are 10 common CPAP problems and what you can do about them.
What are opioids and why are they dangerous?
Opioids are a broad group of pain-relieving drugs that work by interacting with opioid receptors in your cells. When opioid medications travel through your blood and attach to opioid receptors in your brain cells, the cells release signals that muffle your perception of pain and boost your feelings of pleasure. When used as directed by your health care provider, opioid medications can safely control acute pain, such as the pain you experience after surgery. The action that makes opioid medications effective for treating pain also can make them dangerous, though. Learn more from Carrie Krieger, Pharm.D., a Mayo Clinic clinical pharmacist.
Treating scalp psoriasis
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful. Scalp psoriasis, which often extends beyond the hairline, can be tricky to treat. Scratching can worsen the condition, and your hair can prevent medication from reaching your scalp. Learn more from Dr. Lawrence Gibson, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist.
Antibiotic resistance: The connection to the food supply
Misusing and overusing antibiotics can lead to the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that may cause untreatable infections. Antibiotics that are given to food-producing animals kill some bacteria, but resistant bacteria often will survive and multiply. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread to humans through the food supply or the environment, causing antibiotic-resistant infections. Learn more about antibiotic resistance, and the regulations and recommendations around the use in food-producing animals of antibiotics that are important for human health.