Subscribe to Dr. Mirkin's free FITNESS & HEALTH NEWSLETTER      
Home Health Other Diseases & Conditions

Other Diseases & Conditions

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.

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.

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.

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

Aging and Risk for Dementia

Dementia means loss of brain function, and your chance of having dementia increases with age. Doctors can now predict increased risk for developing dementia by ordering an MRI which can show decreased volume of grey matter in the brain.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dry, Cracked Skin on Heels (Fissures)

Dry skin on any part of the body can be annoying and can cause flaking and cracking, redness due to scratching, and unsightly patches of thick or hard skin. When dry skin occurs on the feet, the symptoms are magnified due to wearing shoes, the stretching of the skin on the feet with every step . . .

How Do You Catch a Cold?

Colds and pneumonia are caused by infection. You do not pick up infections from cold weather, you get germs from other people who sneeze or cough in your face or transmit germs with their hands to objects that you touch.

Getting Rid of Dark Spots on the Skin

With aging, many people develop dark spots on their skin, particularly in the sun-exposed areas of the face and back of the hands. Others develop dark spots after pregnancy or trauma, such as an abrasion, insect bite or cut.

How Prunes Treat Constipation

A study this month showed that prunes are an effective treatment for constipation, with 120 healthy adults, who did not eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and had bowel movements only 3 to 6 times a week, assigned to groups given either 0, 10 or 15 prunes per day for 4 weeks.

Delay Dementia with Lifestyle

The risk of developing dementia doubles every five years after age 65, until by age 85 almost 50 percent of North Americans suffer some degree of dementia. Finnish researchers showed that they were able to slow the onset of dementia in people at high risk with a lifestyle program.

Fungus Toenails – Deformed Toenails

Fungus infections cause less than five percent of deformed nails. Drying of skin and skin conditions such as psoriasis are more common causes. The part of nails that you see is dead. Living nails are located underneath the skin at their base.

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.

Duct Tape for Warts

A study from Cincinnati Children's Hospital showed that common duct tape is significantly more effective in curing common warts than the standard treatment of liquid nitrogen.

Autophagy: Self-Eating

Autophagy means "self-eating". When a cell is damaged or dies, the body quickly breaks down the dead cell’s parts (protein-making, power-generating, and transport systems) into small molecules that can be reassembled to be used for making new cell parts and supplying the energy to power these processes.

Gut Bacteria and Auto-Immune Diseases

New studies show that two auto-immune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis, may be caused by having pro-inflammatory bacteria in your gut. These bacteria are likely to punch holes in your intestines, which allows bacteria to slip into your bloodstream to cause inflammation.

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.

Your Appendix is Useful After All

I had my appendix removed when I was a child because the doctor told my mother it was a useless organ that might someday burst and cause horrible problems. After generations of children had their appendices removed for no reason, researchers have found that perhaps it may have an important function.

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.

Preventing Dementia

More than one in 10 North Americans, or 5.1 million, suffer from dementia. Today there is no effective treatment for dementia, but in the last month, several reports have shown that dementia may be delayed and prevented.

Too Much Skin Washing?

More than one million North Americans are diagnosed each year with skin cancers. Twenty percent of people have the bacterium called Staphylococcus epidermidis living on their skin. It produces molecules that have been shown to slow or stop the development of skin cancers in mice.

Body Odor

All people smell when they don't bathe often enough. Sweat doesn't smell when it first reaches your skin. The odor comes only after bacteria or fungi on the skin's surface break down the fat in sweat to form chemicals that smell. Most sweat glands produce sweat that contains no fat, but the sweat glands around the breasts, genitals and armpits produce sweat that contains fat.

Chronic Sinusitis

If you have been diagnosed as having sinusitis, and have sought help from allergists, ear-nose-and-throat-doctors, internists or surgeons, you know that you still have sinusitis, even though you may have had surgery, allergy shots, all kinds of medications and shots or any other treatment.

Chronic Constipation

Debilitating constipation affects 16 percent of North Americans and 33 percent of those older than 60. This epidemic of constipation is largely caused by a food industry that produces mostly ultra-processed foods that contain little or no fiber. People keep looking for constipation cures in a pill, but it is usually curable just with simple lifestyle changes.