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Health - Consumer Information

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Featured Consumer Guides and Resources: Health

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Be An Active Member of Your Health Care Team (graphic only). Tips to protect yourself and get the most benefit from prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Includes a list of questions to ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. 4 pp.

Clearing Up Cosmetic Confusion. Gives you the facts on cosmetic terms as well as advice on how to protect yourself from makeup misuse. 5 pp.

Cosmetic Laser Surgery: A High-Tech Weapon in the Fight Against Aging Skin. Explains how laser surgery can help remove facial wrinkles and lines, how to tell if it's right for you, the risks, and more. 4 pp.

FDA Consumer. Get the latest medical news with a 6-issue subscription to this publication.

Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance. This type of insurance covers services needed by those with chronic illness or disability. Check out the costs, limitations and exclusions, and coverage options you need. 20 pp.

How to Find Medical Information. How to use your local library, the federal government, and the Internet to get information on an illness or disorder. 24 pp.

How to Hold Your Own Against Colds and Flu. Get the facts on lowering your chance of infection, treating difficult cold and flu symptoms, and when to see a doctor. 6 pp.

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy. Every year, more than 1 million people have heart attacks. Learn to recognize heart attack symptoms and make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. 7 pp.

How Well Are You Sleeping?. Discusses the causes and treatments for the most common sleep problems – insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, and sleep apnea – and gives tips on how to get better sleep. 6 pp.

Mammograms .

Mammography Today. How to tell if you are getting a high-quality mammogram, what to do if you need to change mammogram facilities, and more. 6 pp.

Pap Tests .

Primer on Summer Safety. Helpful information on how to avoid or treat typical summer injuries and illnesses such as sunburn, mosquito and tick bites, bee stings, heat illness, burns, foodborne illness, poison ivy, and poisoning in children. 8 pp.

Protect Your Drinking Water. Learn where your water comes from, the factors that affect its quality, and how to prevent pollution. 7 pp.

Staying Healthy at 50+ (graphic only). Covers everything from cholesterol levels, various cancers, weight control, and checkups, with helpful charts to keep track of your medications, shots, and screening test results. 64 pp.

Tattoos and Permanent Make- Up. Describes the types of tattoos, risks involved in getting one, and ways to remove them. 2 pp.

Understanding Breast Changes: A Health Guide for All Women. Describes the various types of breast changes that women experience. Also discusses breast cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. 52 pp.

Understanding Vaccine Safety. Get the facts on vaccines, their safety, common concerns, and a schedule of recommended childhood immunizations. 6 pp.

You Can Control Your Weight While You Quit Smoking (graphic only). Often one of the downsides of quitting smoking is gaining weight. Here's some help on how to avoid weight gain and adopt a healthier lifestyle after smoking. 10 pp.

Your Rights After a Mastectomy. Federal law requires health plans to provide certain benefits if you have had a mastectomy. 6 pp.
Drugs & Health Aids

Aspirin for Reducing Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke. It can have significant benefits and serious side effects--get the facts and speak to a health professional first. 3 pp.

Botox. Why it is used, how it works, what its side effects are, and what to consider if you want to try it. 2 pp.

Buying Contact Lenses Online or by Mail. Tips to follow when ordering contact lenses online or through the mail, including prescription information required and what to watch out for. 2 pp.

Buying Drugs Online. A new advantage of the Internet is being able to buy prescription drugs online. Exlpains how online sales work, how to check for professional certification, and warning signs that a web site may be fraudulent. 6 pp.

Buying Prescription Medicines Online: A Consumer Safety Guide. Here's a helpful list of do's and don’ts when shopping for medications over the Internet. 5 pp.

Dietary Supplements. Questions to ask before taking dietary supplements, including risks and where to find more information. 2 pp.

Drug Interactions: What You Should Know. Protect yourself and your family from potentially dangerous interactions of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, food, and medical conditions. 8 pp

Emerging Trends in Medical Device Technology: Home Is Where the Heart Monitor Is. Learn about the latest home monitoring systems and how they transmit data to your health care provider, the future of these systems, home healthcare issues, and more. 6 pp.

FDA's Tips for Taking Medicines. Tips to protect yourself from prescription and OTC drugs that may react in strange ways to each other, certain foods, alcohol, etc. 4 pp.

Fighting Antibiotic Resistance. Explains what you can do to reduce resistance and why it is important for better health in the long run. 5 pp.

Generic Drugs. Covers effectiveness, appearance, safety, and how they save you money. 2 pp.

Greater Access to Generic Drugs. What the FDA is doing to make generic drugs more available, and why that's good news for consumers. 6 pp.

Keeping an Eye on Contact Lenses. Describes the different types of contact lenses available, proper care, safety concerns, and potential problems. 5 pp.

Know When Antibiotics Work. Answers common questions about antibiotics, including when they won't help and why to be careful about their use. 4 pp.

La Menopausia y las Hormones (Fact Sheet). Explica los síntomas de la menopausia, y los beneficios y los riesgos asociados con el tratamiento de reemplazo hormonal. 2 pp.

La Menopausia y las Hormones (Purse Guide). Provee una lista de preguntas para hacerle a su doctor acerca de la terapia de reemplazo hormonal como tratamiento para los síntomas de la menopausia. 2 pp.

LASIK Laser Eye Surgery. What to know before having laser eye surgery, including cost, health risks, lifestyle considerations, and more. 2 pp.

Menopause & Hormones: Fact Sheet. Explains the benefits and risks of treating symptoms of menopause with hormone therapy. 2 pp.

Menopause & Hormones: Purse Guide. Questions to ask your doctor concerning hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause. 2 pp.

Mis Medicinas (This is the Spanish language version of My Medicines.). Por lo general, las mujeres se encargan de sus medicamentos y los de toda la familia. Por eso es importante leer las etiquetas, evitar problemas, hacer preguntas, y llevar un registro. 2 pp.

My Medicines. Take care of yourself with this easy-to-follow guide that features questions to ask your doctor and a simple chart to keep track of your medications. 6 pp.

New Over-the-Counter Medicine Label…Take a Look!. OTC labels were redesigned to make them easier to compare and understand. Here's a sample of the new label and the standard information you'll find on it. 5 pp.

Over-the-Counter Medicines: What's Right for You?. Use labeling information to avoid harmful interactions, protect against unsafe products, and get the most effective relief from your symptoms. 12 pp.

Think It Through: A Guide to Managing the Benefits and Risks of Medicines. Before you start a new medication, know the right questions to ask your doctor, read your medication labels, avoid harmful interactions, and more. 4 pp.

Whole-Body CT Screening. Discusses the risks, limitations, and benefits of whole-body CT screening. 2 pp.

You Know the Questions That Go Through Your Mind When You Take Your Generic Drug?. Find out what generic drugs are, how they differ from brand name drugs, and what is done to ensure their safety and effectiveness. 3 pp.
Exercise & Diet

Eat 5 Fruits and Vegetables a Day.

Fitness and Exercise. Get fit and feel better with daily activities that fit the weather, your lifestyle, and your schedule. 12 pp.

Handout on Health: Sports Injury. Especially if you’re not a pro athlete, you need to have the facts about sports injuries. Learn what kinds of activities are most likely to cause injuries, how to prevent them, and recent treatment advances. 16 pp.

Losing Weight: More Than Counting Calories. Use this guide to learn whether you’re overweight, develop healthier eating habits, increase your physical activity, and create a successful weight loss plan. 6 pp.

Questions & Answers About Arthritis and Exercise. Suggestions on the best exercises to include in a program to help treat arthritis. 18 pp.

Weight Loss for Life. This guide will help you learn how to lose weight safely and stay healthy. 20 pp.
Medical Problems

Allergies. Discusses the symptoms, tests, and treatments. Also provides a comparison chart to help you distinguish between allergy and cold symptoms. 1 pp.

Alzheimer's: Searching for a Cure. Learn how Alzheimer's is diagnosed, its symptoms, current drug treatments, and lifestyle advice to help prolong mental health. 6 pp.

Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases. Basic facts about these conditions, including examples of rheumatic diseases, symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatments. 34 pp.

Arthritis: Timely Treatments for an Ageless Disease. This guide explains the types of arthritis, new treatments available, unproven remedies to guard against, and more. 6 pp.

Atopic Dermatitis. Find out more about the symptoms and treatments for this disease, which causes extremely itchy, inflamed skin. 37 pp.

Bone Marrow Transplants Come of Age. Bone marrow transplants save patients from deadly diseases. Learn about the types of transplants, the transplant process, post transplant recovery, and donating bone marrow. 6 pp.

Boning Up on Osteoporosis. You can lose bone mass without warning. Learn the risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment options for preventing, minimizing, and even building back bone mass. 6 pp.

Breast Cancer and Mammograms. Describes who is at risk for breast cancer, what you can do, and how a mammogram can help. 5 pp.

Breathing Better. Control your asthma with an action plan to recognize your triggers, track your symptoms, monitor your breathing and know when to take medication. 8 pp.

Cataract in Adults. Cataract is a normal part of aging vision, but if it makes routine tasks too difficult, you may need surgery. Learn more about symptoms and treatments. 13 pp.

Diabetes (graphic only). Many people who have diabetes are unaware they have it. Learn more about diabetes, its risk factors, the warning signs of diabetes, and treatments available. 6 pp.

Do I Have Arthritis?. Read about common signs of arthritis and how medications and exercise can help. 28 pp.

Do I Have Lupus?. Lupus is a disease in which the immune system attacks the body's healthy cells and tissues. Learn about the three main types, their symptoms, who is affected and how lupus is diagnosed and treated. 50 pp.

Don't Lose Sight of Glaucoma. If you notice your side vision failing, you may have glaucoma. Here are some facts on who is at risk, how it is detected and what treatments are available. 2 pp.

Eating Disorders. Recognize the symptoms of different eating disorders, who is most likely to be affected, and various treatment options. 8 pp.

Fever Blisters & Canker Sores. Explains causes, treatments, and research on these mouth infections. 12 pp.

Fibroids. Explains the symptoms and treatments, and answers common questions about fibroids. 2 pp.

Flu. The flu is different than a cold and usually appears without warning signs. Learn the symptoms, types of vaccines available, who is at risk, and more. 2 pp.

Gallstones. Explains what gallstones are, who's at risk, symptoms, and how they're diagnosed and treated. 6 pp.

Heart Disease. Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S. Learn the signs of heart disease, including the "silent" symptoms, and get tips on how to lower your risk. 2 pp.

Hepatitis C (graphic only). Hepatitis C is a serious blood-borne infection and affects about 4 million Americans. Learn how this and other types of hepatitis are spread, diagnosed, and treated. 6 pp.

High Blood Pressure: Treat It for Life. High blood pressure can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, or stroke. Learn how you can control it through diet, exercise, and medication with this guide. 52 pp.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. This disease affects children 16 years old and younger. Find out about the causes, symptoms, tests, and various treatments. 19 pp.

La Diabetes (This is the Spanish language version of Diabetes). 8 pp.

Lung Cancer. Describes how it is diagnosed, the types and stages of lung cancer, warning signs, and more. 2 pp.

Lupus. Discover more about lupus, including warning signs and available treatments. 33 pp.

Managing Chronic Pain (graphic only). Learn more about how to cope with chronic pain, which includes back pain, headaches, arthritis, cancer pain, and neuropathic pain.

Noninsulin-Dependent Diabetes (graphic only). Use this guide to learn more about this type of diabetes, who is at risk, and how it is treated. 35 pp.

Osteoarthritis. Discusses symptoms, treatments, and helpful exercises for the most common type of arthritis. 36 pp.

Preventing Stroke. Learn more about the most common cause of adult disability and estimate your risk with the informative stroke-risk chart. 8 pp.

Questions & Answers About Acne. Explains how acne develops, what treatments will and won’t work, and how to care for your skin. 12 pp.

Questions & Answers About Alopecia Areata. This autoimmune disease leads to hair loss on the scalp, face, and body. Find out what alopecia is, its causes, and treatment options available. 21 pp.

Questions & Answers About Arthritis Pain. Discusses conventional and alternative options for short-term relief and long-term pain management. 18 pp.

Questions & Answers About Fibromyalgia. Learn about causes, treatments, and latest research efforts on this chronic disorder, which causes widespread pain and tenderness in your muscles and soft tissue and other symptoms. 26 pp.

Questions & Answers About Gout. Here are the details on this painful type of arthritis, including symptoms, treatments, and more. 11 pp.

Questions & Answers About Hip Replacement. Who is a likely candidate, alternatives available, possible complications, recovery, and what to expect during rehabilitation. 15 pp.

Questions & Answers About Knee Problems. Causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of specific knee conditions. 30 pp.

Questions & Answers About Psoriasis. This chronic skin disorder causes scaling and inflammation. Learn about its causes, symptoms, types, diagnosis, and treatments. 17 pp.

Questions & Answers About Rosacea. This chronic disease affects the skin and causes redness and pimples. Explains causes, treatments, and how to minimize flare-ups. 10 pp.

Questions and Answers About Scoliosis in Children and Adolescents. Learn how scoliosis is dignosed and treated in children and adolescents 14 pp.

Reactive Arthritis. This form of arthritis occurs as a reaction to an infection in another part of the body. This helpful guide details its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and more. 17 pp.

Rheumatoid Arthritis. Discusses diagnosis and treatments, with a medication chart for drug benefits and side effects. 44 pp.

Strokes. Basic information on the three types of strokes, warning signs to watch out for, and how to lower your risk. 2 pp.

Understanding Treatment Choices for Prostate Cancer. Find out how prostate cancer is diagnosed, available treatment options, and follow-up care. 44 pp.

Urinary Tract Infections in Adults. Learn about its causes, symptoms, and treatments available. 8 pp.

West Nile Virus. Facts on how this virus is contracted through mosquito bites, its symptoms, who is most at risk, and ways to protect yourself. 2 pp.

What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer. The most common cancer in the US is among the most curable – if caught in time. Learn what to watch for and how to do skin self-exams. 23 pp.
Mental Health

Anxiety-- Fact Sheet. Describes different types of anxiety disorders and what you can do if you recognize these symptoms in yourself or a loved one. 4 pp.

Depression. Outlines the three main types of depression, causes, symptoms, and how to learn more. 2 pp.

Depression & Suicide Facts for Older Adults (graphic only). More than 2 million of the 34 million Americans age 65 and older suffer from some form of depression. This publication will help you learn more.

Let's Talk About Depression. Helps teenagers learn the symptoms of depression and where to get help. 3 pp. (2001. NIMH) 614M. Free.

Real Men. Real Depression. An estimated six million men in the U.S. have a depressive disorder, but many don't admit it or seek help. Here's how to recognize the symptoms and get treatment. 3 pp.

Stories of Depression: Does This Sound Like You?. Do you feel really sad, tired, or worried for extended periods of time? Read these stories to learn more and get help. 20 pp.

Story of Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depressive Illness): Does This Sound Like You?. Mood swings can be a serious problem. Read this story for more on symptoms, causes, and treatment. 20 pp.

What to Do When a Friend is Depressed. Depression is a serious disease that affects people of all ages, even teenagers. This guide helps teens understand the myths about depression and find out where to get help. 3 pp.

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This information is provided by the Consumer Information Center of the U.S. General Services Administration.