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Itching with no visible cause

Itching can be caused by nerve damage associated with diabetes or lack of vitamin B12, skin diseases, an allergy to something touching the skin or inside your body or a hidden tumor or infection. See my report on neuropathy. Often doctors cannot find the cause. When more than one person in a family itches, the usual cause is scabies

Constipation

The most common complaint among older people is constipation. If you have constipation, check with your doctor who often orders thyroid tests and a barium enema to rule out a cancer or other obstruction or diabetic nerve damage. Usually these tests are normal and you need to correct your diet. Eat whole grains and stop eating foods made from white flour.

Healthy Aging and Senescent Cells

Extensive evidence shows that aging is associated with, and partially caused by, the accumulation of "senescent cells" in your body. Recent animal studies have shown that it is possible to extend the lives of animals by reducing the numbers of senescent cells, even if treatment is started late in life.

A Cure for Cancer is Coming

A study from the University of California, San Diego shows that fermentation of sugar takes the least amount of energy for cells to grow and thrive (Nature, December 3, 2015). I think this study shows how cancer will be cured in the not-so-distant future. Cancer cells multiply so much faster than normal cells do...

Foot Odor

Do you know why you should wear socks? It's to keep your feet and shoes from smelling. Foot odor is caused by bacteria or fungi rotting old skin. Your skin turns over every 28 days. A new cell starts on the bottom layer of skin, then another skin cell forms underneath it. The process continues...

Making Vaccines to Stop the COVID-19 Pandemic

The only way that scientists are going to end this current pandemic is to develop vaccines and immunize enough people to reach immunity in about 40 percent of the population from the vaccines or by having been infected with the disease.

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.

Colon Cancer, a Preventable Disease?

One in 20 North Americans can expect to develop colon cancer, with more than 100,000 new cases each year. A recent review of 80 studies found that most cases of colon cancer are linked to poor lifestyle choices.

Sudden Dizziness or Meniere’s Disease

If you develop dizziness that lasts for more than a few seconds, check with your doctor. it could be a stroke. Recurrent dizziness can be caused by temporary interruption of circulation to your brain, such as blocked neck arteries or an irregular heart beat. It can be caused by a stroke, tumors on the...

Hammer Toes

A hammertoe is a general name for a toe that is bent. Hammertoes are caused by genetics, arthritis, poor-fitting shoes, or feet that are either excessively high-arched or flat. You can't change genetics, and in most cases, you can't prevent arthritis.

Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle Reduces Deaths from Prostate and Breast Cancers

Cancers of the breast and prostate look more and more like diseases of inflammation. They appear to occur more often in people with lifestyles that cause inflammation, and people who have been diagnosed with these cancers live longer when they adopt anti-inflammatory lifestyles.

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.

Herpes

If you get recurrent painful blisters with itching or tingling in your skin, around your mouth or in your genital area, check with your doctor who will usually do a culture of the blisters. If the culture shows that you have an infection with one of the two herpes simplex viruses, your doctor can give you a prescription for pills containing one of three common drugs used to shorten the course of each outbreak of blisters:

Tietze’s Syndrome or Costochondritis

When patients come to me with pain in the chest and I feel swelling and they hurt when I press on ribs just to the side of the large bone in the middle of the chest, I often diagnose a usually harmless condition called Tietze's syndrome, also known as costochondritis. Chest pain can be a...

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.

How to Avoid Skin Cancer

Almost all skin cancers are caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are caused by cumulative exposure to sunlight over a lifetime, so every time you expose any part of your skin to direct sunlight, you are adding to the damage that you have received from previous exposures.

Ingrown Toenails

Edges of toenails that press into the flesh can cause pain, swelling, redness, and even infection. Your skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail. Treatments include special chemicals, lasers, and various ways to remove the edge of the nail that presses into the skin.

Protein Found in Belly Fat Increases Cancer Risk

Visceral fat (the fat inside your belly and around organs) makes a protein called fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) in much larger amounts than fat underneath your skin does. FGF2 can convert normal cells into cancerous ones.

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.

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

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.

Dementia Linked to Excess Belly Fat

We now have data that links having a large belly to increased risk for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, a debilitating way to spend your last years.

What We Have Learned So Far from Eight Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Infection with COVID-19 comes primarily from breathing air in indoor spaces where people with the coronavirus have been, and the more virus you breathe in, the more likely you are to become infected.

New Drug May Slow Down Alzheimer’s Disease

A study of 856 patients with a mild, early form of Alzheimer’s disease, found that a new drug called BAN2401 may reduce the amount of amyloid plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. The drug reduced the amount of Beta-amyloid in sticky plaques that form around nerves in the brain to prevent messages being sent from one nerve to another.

High Blood Sugar Increases Risk for Complications in COVID-19

A study from Wuhan, China showed that non-diabetic COVID-19 patients with high blood sugar levels on admission to the hospital were more than twice as likely to die within a month and four times more likely to suffer the most serious complications caused by that disease.

Neuroma (Pinched nerve between foot bones)

A neuroma is a swollen or damaged nerve. This often occurs between the bones that your toes attach to on the foot, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. Neuroma can be caused by tight shoes, repetitive stress or trauma.

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.

Get Your Flu Shot During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A flu shot will help to protect you from this year's flu viruses. A flu shot will not protect you from developing COVID-19, but the odds of severe disease, ventilatory support requirement, and death were reduced in people who had a recent trivalent flu vaccine.

Ringing in the Ears – Tinnitus

Tinnitus means that you hear a sound that no one else hears. It can be a buzzing, roaring or ringing and it can even sound like a heart beat. If the sound is pulsatile like a beating heart, the doctor may look for obstructions or widening in the arteries in the brain such as those caused by arteriosclerotic plaques or a ballooning of an artery called an aneurysm

Nuts Linked to Improved Colon Cancer Outcomes

A 6.5-year-long study followed 826 people who had been diagnosed with colon cancer that had already spread to their lymph nodes and been treated with chemotherapy and radiation. The researchers found that those who ate at least two one-ounce servings of tree nuts per week gained a 42 percent reduced rate of cancer recurrence and and a 57 percent reduced risk for death during the study period.