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Other Diseases & Conditions

Protecting Yourself from COVID-19

As businesses and activities are re-opening, many people have decided to relax their precautions to avoid infection with COVID-19. If you are a person who is at high risk for complications from this virus, I believe that you should continue to be on guard.

Healthful Lifestyles to Prevent Cancer

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults age 20 years or older are overweight or obese. Being overweight markedly increases cancer risk.

History of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

When a person becomes extraordinarily tired to the point where he or she can’t get through the day, doctors should do an extensive evaluation to try to find the cause. They check for an infection, a hidden cancer, impaired immunity, poisons, an autoimmune disease, lack of minerals, hormone imbalance, and so forth.

Night-Time Leg Cramps

Up to 60 percent of North American adults suffer from night-time leg cramps, a sudden painful contraction usually of the calf muscles that can last from a few seconds up to 10 minutes or more. Doctors do not know what causes most cases of leg cramps, but usually they are not caused by dehydration or lack of minerals.

Sunscreens and Sun Protection

Sunscreens help to prevent sunburns and skin cancers because they actually block the ultraviolet rays of the sun that damage the skin. However, some sunscreens are safe, while others may not be safe.

Recent News on COVID-19

CAUTION: The news media often reports on articles from the websites of scientific journals that have not yet been peer reviewed by other doctors. It has become common practice to "pre-publish" studies or press releases online before they have been fully reviewed, and many of these reports are sent out by companies with a lot of money at stake.

Potential Treatments for COVID-19

As of today doctors have no proven effective treatment for COVID-19. However, many studies are being conducted all over the world. Here are some of the reported studies.

Getting Frequent Infections Can Precede Cancer Diagnosis

People who develop frequent infections are at increased risk for developing cancer later on. Japanese researchers checked 2,354 patients suffering from malignant cancers and found that compared to those who did not develop cancer, cancer sufferers were at significantly increased risk for suffering infections such as influenza, pneumonia, hepatitis, or gastroenteritis in the six years before they were diagnosed with cancer

A First Vaccine for COVID-19

Oxford University in England has developed a vaccine and will start trials on more than 6,000 people on Thursday, April 30, 2020, to see if their new vaccine is safe and effective.

Why Obesity Increases Risk of Death from COVID-19 or Influenza

A review of 4,103 patients found that obesity and its resultant inflammation, heart disease and diabetes are the most common conditions found in patients requiring hospitalization with COVID-19.

Potential Drugs, Treatments and Vaccines for COVID-19

We have no drugs yet proven to prevent or treat COVID-19, although some drugs appear  promising, as do transfusions of blood donated by people who have recovered and are now immune. The virus is spread from one person to another; it has not been shown to be spread from animals or food.

Latest Advice on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Federal guidelines now require most Americans to avoid non-essential travel, non-essential work, eating at bars and restaurants, and gathering in groups of more than 10, at least through April 30, 2020. Many states and local governments have stricter directives that take precedence over the federal guidelines.

The Current Coronavirus Pandemic – Updated

The World Health Organization (WHO) gave the new coronavirus the name "COVID-19" on February 11, 2020, and declared it a pandemic on March 10, 2020. COVID-19 is not more severe than many flu viruses. However, it is incredibly contagious.

Treatment of COVID-19

As of 3/27/20, we have no drugs that have been proven to be effective for shortening the course of COVID-19 infections. Several possible drugs are currently being tested in the midst of the massive outbreak in New York City.

The Search for Drugs to Treat COVID-19

Today there are no drugs that have been proven to treat the coronavirus, COVID-19, but a study from China showed that the inexpensive anti-malarial drug, Chloroquine phosphate, was safe and effective in shortening the course and decreasing symptoms in patients suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia.

Large Doses of Vitamin D Can Be Harmful

Lack of vitamin D can cause weak bones that break easily, bone pain, and muscle weakness, and may increase risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, nerve damage and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis. However, taking very high doses (>3000 IU/day) of vitamin D can harm you.

Lifestyle Changes Do Help to Prevent Cancers and Heart Attacks

In North America, more than 40 percent of cancers and cancer deaths from 26 different cancers are associated with lifestyle factors such as excess weight, a faulty diet or lack of exercise.

Alcohol At Any Dose Can Increase Cancer Risk

Compared to non-drinkers, people who take one or two drinks per day for one year are at increased risk for cancer, and drinking even one glass of wine a day raises the risk of cancer of the throat, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum or breast.

Frostbite

You should never suffer from frostbite: painful freezing that can cause permanent loss of skin, and can be followed by loss of fingers, ears, toes, or even arms and legs. You get plenty of warning before your skin starts to freeze. First your fingers feel cold and then your skin starts to burn or itch.

Heart Disease and Cancers Share Many Risk Factors

The risk factors for a heart attack are also risk factors for many cancers. People who are at 20 percent increased risk for suffering a heart attack in 10 years are three times more likely to develop cancer in 10 years, while those who develop a heart attack, heart failure or atrial fibrillation are seven times more likely to develop a cancer.

Cold Hands – Raynaud’s Phenomenon

If your fingers turn white and start to hurt when you are out in the cold, you may have a condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon. When your body temperature starts to drop, your brain sends signals along nerves to shut blood flow to your hands and the skin turns white.

Sunlight May Help to Prevent Auto-Immune Diseases by Altering Gut Bacteria

Lack of vitamin D may change the colon bacteria to an overabundance of harmful bacteria to cause inflammation that increases risk for autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lupus and some types of arthritis.

Breakthrough Research from Winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine

2019 Nobel Prize honors the discovery of how your body responds when you can't meet your needs for oxygen. Their groundbreaking research is now being used to treat certain cancers, strokes, infections, anemia, heart attack risks, and some eye diseases that can cause blindness.

Inflammation Can Help or Harm

Your body uses inflammation to protect you from invading germs and to heal injuries. When a germ gets into your body, you make cells and proteins to kill that germ. As soon as the germ is gone, your immune system is supposed to dampen down and stop making large amounts of these cells and antibodies.

Being Overweight Increases Cancer Risk

A study of more than two million people showed that being overweight markedly increases risk for at least nine different cancers in men (bladder, colorectum, gallbladder, kidney, liver, lung, lymphatic system, pancreas, stomach) and eleven cancers in women (gallbladder, kidney, liver, lung, lymphatic system, ovaries, pancreas, stomach, uterus, cervix, and endometrium).

Dementia Risk May Be Increased by Some Common Drugs

A study of 58,769 patients over 55 years of age diagnosed with dementia and 225,574 people of the same age without dementia found a 50 percent increased risk of dementia among people who used a strong anticholinergic drug daily for about three years within the 10-year study period

Flu Shots

It only takes one injection each year to protect you from the flu. The vaccine is very safe and cannot cause disease because it is made from killed virus. The most common side effect is a sore arm from the injection. Some people may suffer a few hours of fever, muscle pain, and chills.

FDA Proposes New Sunscreen Rules

At last, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing new rules on sunscreen safety. Finalizing these rules and actually making changes on the regulation or labeling of sunscreens will take time, so I advise you to follow their recommendations now by reading the labels and avoiding those products with ingredients that are unlikely to be safe or may be found unsafe. Here are the proposed rules.

Dementia Risk Increased by Harmful Bacteria in Your Colon

More than 30 percent of North Americans over the age of 85 suffer from dementia. A study presented recently at the International Stroke Conference 2019 shows that having harmful bacteria in your colon increases risk for dementia.

Sunlight: More than Vitamin D

For many years I have offered my opinion that sunlight provides benefits that are not gained just from taking vitamin D pills. Recent research is confirming that opinion, and many scientists now believe that low vitamin D blood levels are only a marker for not getting enough sunlight.