Health Effects of Alcohol Consumption

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 87.6% of people age 18 and older in the United States have consumed alcohol at some point during their lifetime.1 Although some research indicates that alcohol consumption may have a beneficial effect on health,2 other research has found that even moderate alcohol consumption can…

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in two main forms: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Both are first metabolized by the liver, where they are converted to 25(OH)D (calcifediol). Thereafter, they are converted by the kidneys to 1,25(OH)2D3 (calcitriol), a biologically active hormone. Vitamin D2 is largely manufactured from plant-based sources and then added to foods to fortify them, whereas vitamin D3 is predominantly made in the skin when 7-dehydrocholesterol is converted to the vitamin upon exposure to sunlight, but it can also be obtained from some animal-based sources, such as salmon and other fatty fish. Vitamin D produced in the skin can last up to twice as long in the blood compared with ingested vitamin D. Most laboratories consider a vitamin D level of 20 to 50 ng/mL to be adequate for healthy persons and a level <12 ng/mL to indicate deficiency. Treatment of deficiency may include supplementation and increased sun exposure.

SLIDESHOW: Vitamin D and Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathogenesis

This article originally appeared here.   Vitamin D has long been known to be crucial to bone health by regulating bone metabolism but has also been shown to play other crucial physiologic roles, including regulating the immune system.1,2 Subsequently, it can play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Increasing…

For most people, pain is an automatic reflex that protects them from damaging stimulus like a hot stove or candle. For example, heat exposure activates pain receptors in the skin, which pass a signal along a sensory neuron to the spinal cord. This activates a motor neuron, which sends a signal to the muscles in the arm, causing it to contract. But nerve damage can send false signals that cause real pain, or prevent individuals from feeling pain when they are injured.

Neuropathic Pain Symptoms & Treatment

Nerve damage affects approximately 20 million Americans. There more than 100 different types of nerve damage with a range of different causes including compression, trauma, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, motor neuron diseases, nutritional deficiencies, infections, cancer and drug side effects and toxicities. Learn more about the symptoms of and treatments for neuropathic pain with this slideshow.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints without detectable inflammation. It affects an estimated 3 to 6 million Americans. Fibromyalgia is the second most common disorder seen by rheumatologists. It predominantly affects women at a rate of 3.4%, and less commonly, men at 0.5%, children at 1.2% to 6.2%, and the elderly. Prevalence increases with age, and diagnosis is most common between ages 60 and 79, although symptoms are often present years prior to diagnosis. It can occur independently or can be associated with another rheumatic disease, such as systemic lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnosing & Managing Fibromyalgia Pain

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints without detectable inflammation. It affects an estimated 3-6 million Americans. Learn more about diagnosis and management with this slideshow.

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