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Other Diseases & Conditions

Lyme Disease

Many medical authors recommend treating all Lyme disease patients with 30 days of intravenous Rocephin. However, intravenous antibiotics may offer no advantage over less expensive pills (1). For many years I have been criticized for treating my Lyme disease patients who have muscle and joint pain and fatigue with 100 mg of minocycline or...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Zinc Neither Prevents Nor Treats Colds

Millions of North Americans take zinc lozenges to treat their colds. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that they neither shorten the cold nor lessen its symptoms. Another study from the University of Virginia showed that zinc nasal sprays do not prevent or treat the common cold.

Low Vitamin D Can Increase Risk for and Severity of COVID-19

Vitamin D deficiency increases risk for becoming infected with COVID-19, and for complications and death from the disease. A study of 500 patients showed that those who had low blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D were twice as likely as those with normal levels to develop COVID-19.

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.

Preventing Kidney Stones

Thirteen percent of North American men and seven percent of women suffer from kidney stones which can be incredibly painful to pass from the kidneys to the bladder. Those who get one stone have a 50 percent chance of passing another stone within the next five years. Here are the current recommendations for preventing kidney stones:

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.

Lack of Sleep Linked to Risk for Dementia

Researchers in the Whitehall Study followed 7959 British men and women for 30 years, with data on their sleep habits collected at ages 50, 60 and 70. They found that those who slept six hours or less per night had a 30 percent increased risk for dementia, compared with those who slept seven hours or more.

Reduce Inflammation to Help Prevent Cancer

Certain dietary habits are associated with increased risk for breast and prostate cancer. Of 3184 adults followed for more than 20 years, 565 were diagnosed with cancer. Those who drank sugary drinks had three times as much prostate cancer as those who took in less. Men who ate processed lunch foods (pizza, deli meats and burgers) four or more times a week had double the risk for prostate cancer. Women who ate vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes were 67 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, compared with women who favored refined carbohydrates.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Low Vitamin D Increases COVID-19 Risks

If your vitamin D level is below 30 ng/mL, you are at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. A review of 40 studies showed that adequate vitamin D reduced the frequency and severity of COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions, and lowered the death rate

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.

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.

Drugs Given to President Trump for COVID-19

As reported by the White House medical team, the drugs given to President Trump to treat COVID-19 included Regeneron's antibody cocktail (monoclonal antibodies), Gilead Sciences' remdesivir (brand name Veklury), and dexamethasone.

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.

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.

Brahms Had Sleep Apnea

An article in the medical journal, Chest, reports that composer Johannes Brahms was overweight, stored fat primarily in his upper body, and made horrible sounds when he slept. These are signs of sleep apnea, a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for more than 30 seconds many times each night. Brahms once remarked:...

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...

Treatable Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19

Don't believe the claims made for nutritional products that are supposed to boost your immunity and protect you from infections, unless you suffer from a specific medical condition or deficiency that can be corrected by that product. The current evidence shows that you are at increased risk for infection with, and severity of, COVID-19 if you have a medical condition that interferes with your immune system such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and so forth.

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.

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).

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

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.