Chronic Kidney Disease

Your kidneys remove waste and extra water from the blood in your body. This waste and water then leave your body as urine. Without the kidneys, the waste would keep building up and, over time, you would die. When the kidneys are not healthy, they have a hard time removing waste from the blood. Chronic… Read more »

Spirometry for Asthma

Spirometry is a simple breathing test. It measures how much air flows in and out of your lungs. If you have symptoms that could be a sign of asthma—like shortness of breath—you should have a spirometry test. Here’s why: Asthma and other diseases can have the same symptoms. When you have asthma, the lining of the airways in… Read more »

Imaging Tests for Ovarian Cysts

Most ovarian cysts are small sacs, filled with fluid, on your ovaries. These are called “simple” ovarian cysts. If your healthcare provider finds an unexpected cyst or enlarged ovary during a pelvic exam, you should have a vaginal ultrasound to assess for cancer. However, many women have follow-up ultrasound exams to make sure that cancer… Read more »

Painkillers with Kidney or Heart Problems

When people have pain, they often take pain medicines called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These include: Advil and Motrin (generic and store-brand ibuprofen). Ibuprofen is also in other over-the- counter drugs, such as cold medicines. Aleve (generic and store-brand naproxen). Celebrex (generic celecoxib). NSAIDs help ease pain and inflammation. But if you have high blood… Read more »

Immunoglobulin Replacement Therapy

Some people suffer from repeated and severe infections because their immune system can’t make enough germ-fighting antibodies. A treatment known as immunoglobulin replacement (IgG) therapy can be a lifesaver for them. But other people receive the treatment even though they don’t need it. That’s not a good idea. Here’s why. The treatment doesn’t help most… Read more »

Allergy Tests

Allergy tests may help find allergies to things you eat, touch, or breathe in. They are usually skin or blood tests. However, allergy tests alone are generally not enough. It is important to have a doctor’s exam and medical history first to help diagnose allergies. If the exam and medical history point to allergies, allergy… Read more »

Chest X-rays Before Surgery

Many people have a chest X-ray before they have surgery. This is called a “pre-op” chest X-ray. “Pre-op” stands for preoperative, which means that it is before an operation, or surgery. If you have a heart or lung disease, you may want to get a pre-op chest X-ray. It can show medical problems, like an… Read more »

Bone-Density Tests

A bone-density test is a way to measure the strength of your bones. The test, called a DEXA scan, is a kind of X-ray. Many people get a bone-density test every few years. The main reason to have the test is to find and treat serious bone loss. But most men, and women under age… Read more »

Treating Heartburn and GERD

Heartburn is a feeling of burning pain in your lower chest, behind the breastbone. It comes from acid backing up from your stomach to your throat. You may have seen ads for heartburn drugs, such as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. These drugs are called PPIs (proton pump inhibitors). They keep the stomach from making too… Read more »

Pap Tests

Pap test is a test of cells in the cervix. The cervix is the opening between the vagina and the uterus. The Pap test looks for cells that are not normal and can cause cancer of the cervix. This is also called cervical cancer. Most women ages 21 to 65 need regular Pap tests. But… Read more »

Imaging Tests for Headaches

CT scans and MRIs are called imaging tests because they take pictures, or images, of the inside of the body. Many people who have very painful headaches want a CT scan or an MRI. They want to find out if their headaches are caused by a serious problem, such as a brain tumor. But most… Read more »

Imaging Tests for Lower-Back Back Pain

X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are called imaging tests because they take pictures, or images, of the inside of the body. You may think you need one of these tests to find out what is causing your back pain. But these tests usually do not help. Here’s why: The tests will not help you feel better… Read more »

EKGs and Exercise Stress Tests

EKGs and stress tests are tests to find out if you are at risk for heart disease and heart attack. An EKG, or electrocardiogram, measures your heart’s activity. In an exercise stress test, you have an EKG while you walk or jog on a treadmill. You may need these tests if you have symptoms of… Read more »

Treating Sinus Problems

The sinuses are small, hollow spaces inside the head. They drain into the nose. The sinuses often cause problems after a cold. They can also cause problems if they get blocked up from hay fever and other allergies. The medical name for sinus problems is sinusitis. Sinus problems can be very uncomfortable. You may feel… Read more »