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Cholesterol Guidelines

The current cholesterol guidelines recommend that everyone should have a blood level of the bad LDL cholesterol below 100. If you live in Canada, divide the American number by 40.

Mitral Valve Prolapse

One in ten Americans suffers from mitral valve prolapse and the vast majority have no symptoms and will never know that they have it. Valves are located in your heart to keep blood from backing up. With aging, some of these valves can stretch and fail to close completely, so they allow a small...

Treatment of Insulin Resistance

Most people who develop diabetes in later life can be controlled so that they are not at increased risk for the many complications of diabetes such as heart attacks, strokes, blindness, deafness, amputations, kidney failure, burning foot syndrome, venous insufficiency with ulceration and stasis dermatitis.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

If you are a man who finds it difficult to start your stream, check with your doctor to see if you have an infection or a benign or cancerous enlargement of your prostate.

Testosterone Replacement for Older Men?

As men age from 50 to 70, their testosterone levels drop more than 40 percent, causing them to become fatter, and less sexual, muscular and assertive and have smaller, weaker bones (7,11). Twenty percent of men aged 60-80 years have testosterone levels below the lower limit of normal.

Gout

If you have recurrent pain and swelling behind your big toe or in your ear, you may have gout. Gout occurs when uric acid crystals precipitate out from your joint fluid to cause pain, swelling and heat.

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

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...

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.

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.

Grapefruit Juice Effects on Drugs

Several reports show that taking certain medications with grapefruit juice can cause problems by markedly increasing absorption of the medication. Many drugs are broken down in your intestines by an enzyme called cytochrome P450 that is normally there, so these drugs have to be given in higher concentrations than normal to achieve adequate blood levels....

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:...

Why was Beethoven Deaf?

More than 150 years after the death of arguably the world's greatest composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory are finally able to explain what made him sick and how he died. Beethoven was healthy through his early life and studied with Mozart and Hayden. When he was 17, he started a...

No Way to Grow Taller After Puberty

Bones do not grow throughout their length. They grow from growth centers, called the epiphysis, near their ends. When a person reaches puberty, growth centers close one after the other until all the growth centers are closed forever and a person's bones can never grow again. After that, a person can grow wider, but not taller.

Permanent Birth Control Methods: Vasectomy or Tubal Ligation?

Will a vasectomy increase risk of prostate cancer? Whether the husband gets a vasectomy or the wife gets a tubal ligation is usually decided by who has the strongest will. Vasectomies and tubal ligations are safe surgeries, but the operation on a man is a simple cutting under the skin in an office, while the operation on a woman requires going into her belly in an operating room. Over the long haul, they both are safe and effective in preventing pregnancies.

Why Women are More Likely Than Men to Develop Autoimmune Diseases

Women are three times more likely than men to develop lupus, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis, currently thought to be autoimmune diseases that are caused by a person's immunity attacking her own body, instead of doing its job of killing germs. This increased risk may be caused in some way by the process of pregnancy, or it may be due to the fact that women are twice as likely as men to become infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

Irregular Periods – Amenorrhea

Women who menstruate more often than every 21 days or less often than every 35 days need to be evaluated for a cause. Women are supposed to have two hormones, estrogen and progesterone.

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.

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.

Colon Cleansers Can Harm

A popular natural health newsletter tells you that toxic sludge builds up in your colon, and of course they will sell you a product to remove it. This is nonsense. You don't need to cleanse your colon, and frequent use of these products can be harmful. Colon cleansers are laxatives that soften your stool. They...

Pepper Cream for Pain Control

Pain messages are passed along nerves by a neurotransmitter called "substance P." Capsaicin, the component of chili peppers that makes them hot, blocks substance P and the resultant pain. A cream containing .025 percent capsaicin has been shown to block pain in joints, nerves and skin

Varicose Veins Helped by Exercise

A regular exercise program may be the most effective treatment for varicose veins. Veins are supposed to contain valves that keep blood from backing up. When the valves cannot close properly, veins become varicose, blood backs up and causes the veins to widen and look like blue snakes underneath the skin. Since varicose veins...

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

A study from Brown University Medical School showed that Alzheimer’s disease may be another form of diabetes, and all the recommendations for avoiding diabetes may also protect your memory.

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

Your Liver Does Not Need to be Detoxified

Your liver is the organ that picks up breakdown products of your own metabolism and removes them from your body. The promoters of liver-detoxifying supplements tell you that their products "support healthy liver function" and help it do its job better.

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.

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...

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...

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...

Sunscreens

We do not know how safe sunscreens are because they have never been tested systematically. Oxybenzone in sunscreens has been shown to be absorbed into the bloodstream in humans, and to disrupt hormones in animals. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide appear to be safe, except that manufacturers often convert them to nanoparticles that can be inhaled.