My MedlinePlus Weekly Newsletter: Answers to the Top Health-related Questions

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My MedlinePlus

January 29, 2020

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How To Lower Blood Pressure

The first step to lowering your blood pressure is to know your numbers. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. So the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get regular blood pressure checks from your health care provider. There are many things you can do to help control your blood pressure.

What Causes Kidney Stones?

A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidney from substances in the urine. It may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pearl. Learn the about the risk factors that contribute to kidney stones.


How To Get Rid of Hiccups

There are two parts to a hiccup:

  • an involuntary movement of your diaphragm, a muscle at the base of your lungs used for breathing
  • a quick closing of your vocal cords causes the "hic" sound you make

Hiccups usually go away on their own after a few minutes. You've probably heard different suggestions about how to cure hiccups. Here some things you can try. There is no proof that they work, but they are not harmful.


How Long Does the Flu Last

The flu, also called influenza, is a respiratory infection caused by viruses. The flu spreads easily and most of the time you'll start to notice symptoms within 2 to 3 days of exposure. Most people get better within a week or two but some develop complications and require a hospital stay. Learn more about treatments, how to shorten your symptoms, and how long you can expect to feel sick.


What is HPV?

HPV stands for human papillomaviruses. They are a group of more than 200 types of related viruses that can cause warts on different parts of your body. About 40 of those types affect the genitals and are spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. There are two categories of sexually-transmitted HPV. Low-risk HPV can cause genital warts. High-risk HPV can cause various cancers in men and women. Learn more about vaccines, who is at risk, and how to screen for HPV.


How to Lower Cholesterol

High cholesterol is linked to heart disease and stroke. You can lower your cholesterol through heart-healthy lifestyle changes including:

  • change your diet
  • manage your weight
  • get regular physical activity

If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs available, including statins. Learn more about what causes high cholesterol.