Managing Celiac Disease-Mayo Clinic

Wheat is the grain on which Western civilization was built. It’s been used for thousands of years as the foundation of our diet. But 1 out of 100 Americans has a condition called celiac disease, which is an intolerance to wheat, barley and rye. Its symptoms can be subtle, but if you don’t stick to a gluten-free diet you could be damaging your body and not even know it. More from Mayo Clinic.

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Zika Virus Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

What is a Zika virus test?

Zika is a viral infection usually spread by mosquitos. It can also spread through sex with an infected person or from a pregnant woman to her baby. A Zika virus test looks for signs of the infection in blood or urine.

Mosquitos that carry the Zika virus are most common in areas of the world with tropical climates. These include islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, and parts of Africa, Central America, South America, and Mexico. Mosquitos carrying the Zika virus have also been found in parts of the United States, including South Florida.

Most people infected with Zika have no symptoms or mild symptoms that last a few days to a week. But a Zika infection can cause serious complications if you are pregnant. A Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly. Microcephaly can severely affect the development of a baby’s brain. Zika infections during pregnancy have also been linked to an increased risk of other birth defects, miscarriage, and stillbirth.

In rare cases, children and adults infected with Zika may get a disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). GBS is a disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack part of the nervous system. GBS is serious, but treatable. If you get GBS, you will probably recover within a few weeks.

Other names: Zika Antibody Test, Zika RT-PCR Test , Zika test

What is it used for?

A Zika virus test is used to find out if you have a Zika infection. It is mostly used on pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area where there is a risk of Zika infection.

Why do I need a Zika virus test?

You may need a Zika virus test if you are pregnant and have recently traveled to an area where there is a risk of Zika infection. You may also need a Zika test if you are pregnant and have had sex with a partner who traveled to one of these areas.

A Zika test might be ordered if you have symptoms of Zika. Most people with Zika don’t have symptoms, but when there are symptoms, they often include:

What happens during a Zika virus test?

A Zika virus test is usually a blood test or a urine test.

If you are getting a Zika blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

If you are getting a Zika test in urine, ask your health care provider for instructions on how to provide your sample.

If you are pregnant and your prenatal ultrasound shows the possibility of microcephaly, your health care provider may recommend a procedure called amniocentesis to check for Zika. Amniocentesis is a test that looks at the fluid that surrounds an unborn baby (amniotic fluid). For this test, your provider will insert a special hollow needle into your belly and withdraw a small sample of fluid for testing.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t any special preparations for a Zika virus test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

There are no known risks to a urine test.

Amniocentesis may cause some cramping or pain in your belly. There is a small chance the procedure will cause a miscarriage. Talk to your health care provider about the benefits and risks of this test.

What do the results mean?

A positive Zika test result probably means you have a Zika infection. A negative result can mean you aren’t infected or you were tested too soon for the virus to show up in testing. If you think you were exposed to the virus, talk to your health care provider about when or if you need to be retested.

If you are diagnosed with Zika and are pregnant, you can start to prepare for your baby’s possible health problems before he or she is born. While not all babies exposed to Zika have birth defects or any health problems, many children born with Zika have long-lasting special needs. Talk to your health care provider about how to get support and health care services should you need them. Early intervention may make a difference in your child’s health and quality of life.

If you are diagnosed with Zika and are not pregnant, but would like become pregnant in the future, talk to your health care provider. Currently, there is no evidence of Zika-related pregnancy complications in women who have fully recovered from Zika. Your provider can tell you how long you should wait before trying to have a baby and if you need to retested.

Is there anything else I need to know about a Zika virus test?

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should take steps to reduce your risk of getting a Zika infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women avoid traveling in areas that may put you at risk for Zika infection. If you can’t avoid travel or if you live in one of these areas, you should:

  • Apply an insect repellent containing DEET on your skin and clothing. DEET is safe and effective for pregnant women.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Use screens on windows and doors
  • Sleep under a mosquito net

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Backwards: Jude’s Story | WebMD

Backwards is the story of Jude Hiley, an 11-year-old boy, who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. He chose to have Rotationplasty, a surgery that turns his leg backward so his heel can act as a knee joint. and opening up the opportunity for him to play sports for the rest of his life.

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Drug Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis



Eric Matteson, M.D., a rheumatologist at Mayo Clinic, discusses some of the different drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

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What Happens During Gallbladder Surgery?

Intense belly pain could mean you have a gallstone blockage. See what happens when your doctor has to remove your gallbladder. Learn more: http://wb.md/2fxO04Y

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Recognizing and Treating Whooping Cough



While the bacterial infection can be mild in adults, if a baby who hasn’t received a full course of vaccinations is infected, whooping cough can be extremely serious.Mayo Clinic News Network reporter Vivien Williams has more on how to recognize and treat this disease.

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Homocysteine Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

What is a homocysteine test?

A homocysteine test measures the amount of homocysteine in your blood. Homocysteine is a type of amino acid, a chemical your body uses to make proteins. Normally, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid break down homocysteine and change it into other substances your body needs. There should be very little homocysteine left in the bloodstream. If you have high levels of homocysteine in your blood, it may be a sign of a vitamin deficiency, heart disease, or a rare inherited disorder.

Other names: total homocysteine, plasma total homocysteine

What is it used for?

A homocysteine test may be used to:

  • Find out if you have deficiency in vitamin B12, B6, or folic acid.
  • Help diagnose homocystinuria, a rare, inherited disorder that prevents the body from breaking down certain proteins. It can cause serious health problems and usually starts in early childhood. Most U.S. states require all infants to get a homocysteine blood test as part of routine newborn screening.
  • Screen for heart disease in people at high risk for heart attack or stroke
  • Monitor people who have heart disease.

Why do I need a homocysteine test?

You may need this test if you have symptoms of a vitamin B or folic acid deficiency. These include:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Sore tongue and mouth
  • Tingling in the hands, feet, arms, and/or legs (in vitamin B12 deficiency)

You may also need this test if you are at high risk for heart disease because of prior heart problems or a family history of heart disease. Excess levels of homocysteine can build up in the arteries, which may increase your risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

What happens during a homocysteine test?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You may need to fast (not eat or drink) for 8–12 hours before a homocysteine test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

If your results show high homocysteine levels, it may mean:

  • You are not getting enough vitamin B12, B6, or folic acid in your diet.
  • You are at a higher risk of heart disease.
  • Homocystinuria. If high levels of homocysteine are found, more testing will be needed to rule out or confirm a diagnosis.

If your homocysteine levels were not normal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a medical condition needing treatment. Other factors can affect your results, including:

  • Your age. Homocysteine levels can get higher as you get older.
  • Your gender. Men usually have higher homocysteine levels than women.
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Use of vitamin B supplements

If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about a homocysteine blood test?

If your health care provider thinks a vitamin deficiency is the reason for your high homocysteine levels, he or she may recommend dietary changes to address the problem. Eating a balanced diet should ensure you get the right amount of vitamins.

If your health care provider thinks your homocysteine levels put you at risk for heart disease, he or she will monitor your condition and may order more tests.

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Team USA Gymnast Shares Training Secrets

Elite gymnast Aly Raisman talks about how she prepares for competition and the foods she eats stay healthy.

Discover how Olympic athletes stay fit. Plus, get food and fitness tips for the everyday Olympian.
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/summer-olympics-12/default.htm

Reviewed By: Michael W. Smith, June 2012
SOURCES: Team USA Olympic Athletes, Uinterview, http://www.uinterview.com
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Familial Hypercholesterolemia: Defining, Screening, Treating



In a video originally posted on TheHeart.org | Medscape Cardiology, Sharonne Hayes, MD, and Regis Fernandes, MD, discuss the genetic disorder of familial hypercholesterolemia and appropriate steps for identifying and treating the disease.

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