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

Other Diseases & Conditions

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.

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

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection that causes itching or peeling skin on the feet, especially between the toes. A diagnosis of athlete's foot is made by taking a scraping of skin and looking for fungus under a microscope. If nothing is seen, scrapings of skin are placed in a culture bottle to...

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.

Colon Cancer May Be Caused by Bacteria

More than 1.3 million North Americans have had colorectal cancer, a disease associated with lifestyle factors that encourage cancer-causing bacteria to thrive in your colon. A new study shows that 992 people who were already diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread beyond the colon, who changed to a healthier diet and exercise program, had a 42 percent lower risk of dying over the next seven years compared to those who did not change their lifestyles.

Restless Legs Syndrome is Very Common

One in 20 people over 60 suffers from restless legs syndrome, a common cause of insomnia. Without any warning during sleep. their legs start to tingle, and walk off the bed.

Colon Cleansers

Colon cleansers are foods and laxatives that loosen your stool and make you go to the bathroom. The latest research shows that regular use of laxatives or colon cleansers can harm you by blocking the absorption of healthful nutrients from your colon into your bloodstream.

Can Cell Phones Cause Memory Loss or Cancer?

Two recent studies show that non-ionizing radiation from cell phones may be associated with impaired ability to recall images, but not words, in teenagers; and at high levels, can increase brain and heart tumors in rats. Most studies on cell phone use have not shown increased cancer risk or memory loss.

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...

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...

Tinea Versicolor

If you notice dark brown or whitish circles on your skin, particularly on your chest or back, you probably have a fungus infection called tinea versicolor. Tinea versicolor is especially noticeable as white spots on your skin when you try to get a suntan. You don't have to treat it as it usually causes no harm...

FDA Warns Not to Use Sunscreen Pills

There are no pills or capsules that you can take to prevent the sun from damaging your skin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to several companies illegally marketing and selling pills claiming to prevent skin damage from sunlight.

Routine CT Scans Can Increase Cancer Risk

A single CT scan routinely used to evaluate patients for heart disease emits more than 150 times the amount of radiation that comes from a single chest X-ray. Radiation can damage the DNA genetic material in cells, kill some cells, and cause increased expression of genes involved in the repair or death of cells...

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

Overweight Increases Cancer Risk

A study in the UK that followed 5.24 million people for 7.5 years identified more than 166,000 who developed at least one of 22 cancers. Each 5-point elevation of BMI above normal (equal to about 30 pounds for a person 5'6" tall) was associated with significantly higher risk for cancers of the uterus, gallbladder,...

Melanomas are Often Not on Moles

For many years we have been told to watch existing moles for changes that may signal a melanoma, but a new review of 38 studies covering 20,126 melanomas shows that fewer than 30 percent of melanomas are found on moles. More than 70 percent of melanomas show up on previously normal skin.

Colon Cancer Prevention and Treatment

More than 1.3 million North Americans have had colorectal cancer, a disease associated with behaviors that encourage cancer-causing bacteria to thrive in your colon. Colon cancer is linked to lifestyle factors that increase inflammation risk: an unhealthful diet, lack of exercise, excess weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

Radon

After cigarette smoke, radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, causing more than 15,000 deaths each year. Radon-222 is a colorless, odorless gas that forms from the decay of naturally occurring uranium-238. Since U-238 occurs in soil and rock throughout the world, radon gas seeps into homes through the soil.

Triclosan Banned by the FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will ban triclosan and 18 other antibacterial chemicals in soaps and liquid hand or body wash products because they are ineffective and potentially harmful. The banned chemicals are also found in hand sanitizers, detergents, deodorants, antiperspirants, lotions, creams, toothpastes, dishwashing liquids, shampoos, mouth washes, shaving cream, after-shave lotions, hair conditioners, foot odor products, cleaning supplies, pesticides, kitchen utensils, toys, bedding, socks, trash bags and even baby pacifiers, but the FDA ban does not affect these products.

Trouble Sleeping? Check Your Diet

A study from Columbia Medical School shows that a high fiber diet that is low in sugar and saturated fat can help you to fall sleep faster and sleep deeper at night. A single day of increased sugar and fat and decreased fiber intake can interfere with your sleep that night.

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.

Blood Type

There are more than 300 known variations in blood types. For example, you are also classified as to whether the surface of your red blood cells contain a Duffy surface. Almost no one in Africa has the Duffy red blood cell type.

Junk Food Raises Cancer Risk

Results from the huge EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) confirm that eating a lot of junk food increases risk for many cancers. Researchers in Paris followed 471,495 adults in 10 European countries for an average of 15.3 years, and the participants developed 49,794 cancers. The participants' diets were scored using the British Food Standards Agency's Nutrient Profiling System (FSAm-NPS), which ranks foods according to their healthful and harmful components. Those who ate more of the harmful and less of the healthful food components were at significantly greater risk for developing cancers, particularly cancers of the breast, prostate, colon-rectum, mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, lung and liver.

How Excess Fat Can Spread Cancer

People who have cancer and are also overweight are at increased risk for having the cancer spread through their bodies. A new study shows how excess weight may spread cancer cells through the body.

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.

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.

Excess Weight Raises Cancer Risk

The American Association for Cancer Research reports that being overweight is linked to 25 percent of cancers, and adding lack of exercise and eating pro-inflammatory foods raises the risk to 33 percent of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the U.S.

Alzheimer’s Disease

The most common cause of senility in North America is Alzheimer's disease, a horrible condition in which a person loses his capacity to reason, think, recognize and function. Former president Ronald Reagan had Alzheimer's disease, as do some Nobel Prize winners and some of the most brilliant people who have walked this earth.

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.

Cold Hands – Raynaud’s phenomenon

If your fingers turn white and start to hurt when you're out in the cold, you may have a condition called Raynaud's phenomenon. On exposing your fingers to cold, the blood vessels close, skin turns white and their temperature drops. When the temperature drops to 59 degrees, your body tries to save your skin...