What Your Vital Signs Say About You


nurse measuring patients blood pressure

What Your Vital Signs Say About You

Your vital signs show how well your body is functioning and include blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature. Checking your vital signs helps your health care provider monitor your health and any medical problems you may have. Learn more about what your vital signs mean.

Canker Sores

Aphthous ulcers, or canker sores, are common. They’re round sores inside your mouth, usually on the inside of your cheek or under your tongue, and they can sometimes be painful. Anyone can get one but women are more likely than men. Causes and triggers include:

  • viral infections
  • injury
  • stress
  • vitamin deficiency
  • allergy

They may also run in families. In most cases, they go away without treatment.

Learn About Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues by mistake. This can damage many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain. Anyone can get lupus, but women are most at risk. Lupus is two to three times more common in African American women than in white women. It’s also more common in Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women. African American and Hispanic women are more likely to have severe forms of lupus. There is no cure for lupus and the cause is unknown, but medicines and lifestyle changes can help control it. Taking an active role in treatment by developing coping and flare prevention strategies can help manage living with lupus.

Drug Interactions, Side Effects, and Allergies

Medicines are created with the intent to improve our lives. They reduce aches and pains, fight infections, and control problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes. But they can also cause unwanted reactions.

Interactions may occur between:

  • two drugs, such as aspirin and blood thinners
  • drugs and food, such as statins and grapefruit
  • drugs and supplements, such as ginkgo and blood thinners
  • drugs and diseases, such as aspirin and peptic ulcers

Interactions can change the actions of one or both drugs. The drugs might not work, or you could get side effects.

Side effects are unwanted effects caused by the drugs. Most are mild, such as a stomach ache or drowsiness, and go away after you stop taking the drug. Others can be more serious.

Drug allergies can be mild or life-threatening. Skin reactions, such as hives and rashes, are the most common type. Anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction, is more rare.

When you start a new prescription or over-the-counter medication, make sure you understand how to take it correctly. Know which other medications and foods you need to avoid. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions and learn more about drug interactions, side effects, and allergies.


Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body, fatigue, and other symptoms. People with fibromyalgia may have an abnormal pain perception process causing them to be more sensitive to pain. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, however, researchers think that certain things might contribute to its cause:

  • stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents
  • repetitive injuries
  • illnesses such as viral infections
  • genetic factors

Fibromyalgia is treated with a combination of treatments, which may include medicines, lifestyle changes, talk therapy, and complementary therapies.

Steamed Chicken Wontons

Steamed Chicken Wontons are easy to make. Try using crumbled tofu instead of meat for a vegetarian version.