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

Other Diseases & Conditions

Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain is a common walking and sporting injury. It occurs when the ankle twists, causing damage to the soft tissues and ligaments. A ligament consists of several strands of tissue, all compacted together to form a strong structure, similar to a rope, which stabilizes the ankle joint.

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

Cancer-Causing HPV Found in 20 Percent of U.S. Adults and Teens

Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV) that cause cancers of the mouth and sexual organs are the most common sexually-transmitted diseases in the United States today, infecting 20 percent of people under age 60.

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.

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...

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.

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.

Be Wary of Stem Cell Clinics

Stem cell clinics have sprung up in most states, but are most abundant in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New York and Texas. Last year the FDA sent warning letters to clinics in California, Florida and New York for illegally using stem cells from people's fat tissue to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease.

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.

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.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, means that a person has excessive fear, depression and inability to function normally after witnessing or experiencing intense fear or helplessness. While most commonly associated with veterans of combat or captivity, PTSD can also occur after:

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.

Total Body Scans

CAT scans of the body are high-speed, highly sensitive X-rays that can find tiny tumors, weak spots on blood vessels that make them bulge out like balloons, and calcified areas that may be indicative of heart disease.

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.

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.

PPIs May Increase Heart Attack Risk

Researchers at Stanford reviewed the medical records of nearly three million people and found that those who took a type of ulcer medication called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) were almost 20 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than those not taking these drugs (PLoS ONE. June 10, 2015). PPIs reduce excess stomach acidity...

Alcohol and Cancer Risk

The alcohol industry is downplaying the cancer risks of their products in the same way that the tobacco industry did 70 years ago. The alcohol industry claims that moderate drinking is safe, yet thirty percent of all alcohol–related deaths are caused by cancer, with 60 percent of these deaths from breast cancer.

Exercise Reduces Risk for 13 Types of Cancer

Leisure-time physical activity is associated with a lower risk of cancers of the colon, breast, endometrium, esophagus, adenocarcinoma, liver, stomach, kidney, head, neck, rectum, bladder and lung, and myeloid leukemia and myeloma

Night-Time Leg Cramps

Cramping during sleep is usually due to an exaggeration of a normal muscle reflex. When you turn during sleep, you contract your calf muscles and stretch their tendons. This stimulates nerve stretch receptors in the tendon and sends a message back to the spinal cord, telling the calf muscles to contract.

Cancer Is Not Just a Random Disease

A recent study from respected researchers at Johns Hopkins claims that two-thirds of adult cancers are caused by random DNA mutations in your cells, and far fewer cancers are caused by genetics, lifestyle or exposure to cancer-causing agents.

Healthful Diet Helps to Prevent Colon Cancer

A study published this week shows that vegetarians who eat fish have a 43 percent reduced risk for developing colon cancer, compared to people who eat meat (JAMA Internal Medicine, March 9, 2015). Researchers analyzed the diets of nearly 78,000 men and women. During an average seven years of follow-up, they identified 380 cases...

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.

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 did some Nobel Prize winners and some of the most brilliant people who have walked this earth.

Antioxidant Pills Can Cause Cancer to Spread

A study from China shows that antioxidant pills caused mice with liver cancer or colon cancer to have their cancers spread rapidly though their bodies. The authors then tested antioxidant pills on cells taken from patients with malignant cancers and grown in test tubes. The antioxidants caused the human cancer cells to grow faster and spread through the cultures. Overall, the conclusion from this and several other cancer studies is that antioxidants can help healthy cells to be protected from free radicals in the body, but they can cause already-developed cancer cells to grow and spread.

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.

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.

Hepatitis C

If you are tired, feel sick and have muscle and joint pains, part of your evaluation should include a blood test for hepatitis C, even if all liver function tests are normal.

Helicobacter and Stomach Ulcers

If you belch or have burning in your stomach or chest, particularly when your stomach is empty, you probably have either an infection, a tumor, or a condition called GERD (reflux or regurgitation). Infection with bacteria such as helicobacter pylori is by far the most common cause.

Aspirin to Prevent Colon Cancer?

People who take aspirin are at reduced risk for colon cancer, unless they are among the four percent of North Americans who have a genetic susceptibility for colon cancer (JAMA, March 17, 2015;313(11):1133-1142). Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States (after lung cancer), with 1,162,426 people living...

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.