THE FLU, ALSO KNOW AS INFLUENZA, is a respiratory infection caused by several viruses. The viruses pass through the air and enter your body through your nose or mouth. Between 5 and 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu each year. The flu

IN OCTOBER 2017 the FDA approved a new shingles vaccine called Shingrix. This January, the Centers for Disease Control officially recommended adults 50 and older get the new vaccine instead of the previous vaccine, Zostavax. Shingles, or herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus,

BELL’S PALSY IS A NERVE DISORDER that usually occurs without warning. This condition happens when the nerve that controls facial muscle movement becomes swollen, inflamed or compressed. Damage to this nerve — called the facial nerve or the seventh cranial nerve — causes weakness and

ARTHRITIS IS INFLAMMATION or degeneration of one or more joints. Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Normal cartilage protects the joints where two bones meet and allows them to move smoothly. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on a joint, such as when you

A VISIT WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE provider is a good time to share health concerns and ask questions. Preparing for your appointment helps you take an active role in your health and get the best possible care. Before your visit, jot down your questions and concerns.

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, or IBS, is a disorder that affects the large intestine. It causes abdominal pain and cramping along with diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both. IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease. It is not clear why IBS develops. It can

IF YOU ARE A TRAVELER WHO LIKES to cruise, try something different — a healthy living cruise. Many travelers associate cruise vacations with unhealthy activities such as excessive drinking, partying and all-you-can-eat buffets served around the clock. This has been the stereotype for cruising for

A SEIZURE IS THE PHYSICAL changes in behavior after an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The term “seizure” is often used interchangeably with “convulsion.” During convulsions, a person experiences uncontrollable rapid and rhythmic shaking, with the muscles contracting and relaxing repeatedly. There

COPD STANDS FOR CHRONIC obstructive pulmonary disease, which results in blocked airways in the lungs, making it hard to breathe. Over time, symptoms usually worsen, making it more difficult to take care of yourself and take part in activities. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are two

STRONG, HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS are vital throughout our lives. Our social ties with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others impact our mental, emotional and even physical well-being. Healthy relationships are powerful in promoting overall health. Research shows having a variety of social relationships may help reduce

ENTEROVIRUSES ARE VIRUSES that enter the body through the gastrointestinal tract and live there, often moving on to attack the nervous system. These viruses are small, made up of ribonucleic acid and protein. The polioviruses are enteroviruses. In addition to the three different polio viruses,

MANY FACTORS AFFECT YOUR HEALTH. Some you cannot control, such as age and genetic makeup. But you can make changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and other serious diseases, even when traveling. Get exercise and control your weight. Exercise,

MEDICATIONS IN PILL or other solid form must undergo security screening at U.S. airports. The Transportation Security Administration recommends medication be clearly labeled to speed up the screening process. Check with state laws regarding prescription medication labels. It is best to keep your medications in