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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.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

Several studies show that a high-plant diet such as a Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk for the type of prostate cancer than can kill you, and if you already have prostate cancer, that diet is associated with reduced chance of dying from that disease.

How Excess Weight Can Cause Arthritis

Osteoarthritis affects almost 30 million North Americans, making it the most common joint disease. It damages cartilage most often in the knees, hips, fingers and spine and is associated with aging, trauma, and obesity, but its primary cause now appears to be an overactive immunity that damages joints.

Added Sugars Linked to High Blood Pressure

A new review of studies on sugar-added foods shows that people who take in 10-25 percent of their calories from sugared beverages and foods suffer a 30 percent higher risk for heart attacks, compared with people who take less than ten percent of calories from added sugars.

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.

Ovarian Cancer and Talcum Powder

On August 21, 2017, a Los Angeles jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed that talcum in J&J's baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. This is the largest jury award so far in the more than 1,200 lawsuits filed against J&J, alleging that the company knew about cancer risks but did not warn consumers.

Corns and Calluses

Skin responds to friction and pressure by thickening. This is helpful until the skin becomes so thick it actually hurts. Skin that thickens without a core is called callus. They usually form under the foot. Corns are thick spots of skin with a deep, central core. They usually form on the toes.

Exercise for Osteoarthritis

Strengthening leg muscles helps to control pain in osteoarthritic knees. Isometric and range-of-motion strength programs help to control pain and increase range of motion in people who have osteoarthritis. The patients had less pain on moving their knees and were able to perform motor tasks faster.

Inactivity Increases Risk for Knee Pain

Eighty percent of North Americans have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis by age 65, and sixty percent have significant joint pain. More than 700,000 people in the United States have their knees replaced each year. It now looks like inflammation, lack of exercise and being overweight are the major causes of knee joint pain.

PSA Test for Prostate Cancer

Many doctors recommend that every man over 40 get a blood test called Prostate Specific Antigen to check for prostate cancer. Prostate Specific Antigen is made by prostate cells and is released into the bloodstream. Large prostates have more PSA, so a rise in PSA means that the gland is enlarging rapidly, which can be a sign of cancer or that the prostate is irritated by infection.

Swollen Feet and Ankles

Your leg muscles function like a second heart to pump fluid from your legs to your heart. When your leg muscles relax, the veins near them fill up with blood. When your leg muscles contract, they compress the veins and squeeze blood up toward your heart.

How Low Should Your Cholesterol Be?

Having high blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol (>100 mg/dL) is associated with increased risk for heart attacks and premature death, and is the single most important predictor of forming plaques in your arteries. Many experts recommend lowering elevated LDL levels to 70 mg/dL in people who are at increased risk for heart attacks.

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.

Intense Exercise Prevents and Treats Diabetes

A review of the world's literature shows that high-intensity exercise, particularly interval training, causes greater reduction in HbA1c in diabetics than less intense exercise. HbA1c measures cell damage from high blood sugar levels. Many studies show that increasing exercise intensity controls blood sugar in diabetics more effectively than just increasing the duration of exercise.

People with Arthritis Should Keep On Moving

If you have joint pains, you should still keep moving. Inactivity worsens arthritis by preventing joints from healing.

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....

The Hidden Cause of Many Heart Attacks

More than 40 percent of people who have had heart attacks are diabetic and these patients are the ones who are most likely to die from their heart attacks (Lancet, 2002; 359: 2140-44). Three tests are commonly used to diagnose diabetes: fasting blood sugar, blood sugar level two hours after eating, and HbA1c, a measurement of how much sugar is attached to cells.

Baldness

Several years ago I reported that the present treatment for male-pattern baldness is not very effective and that male pattern baldness may be caused by insulin resistance, and that a diet high in sugar and flour may cause irreversible hair loss.

Statin Drugs and Muscle Pain

At last we have a reasonable explanation why statins can cause some people to suffer skeletal muscle pain and damage, but do not cause heart muscle damage.

Testosterone Increases Heart Attack Risk

Researchers reviewed the medical records of 55,593 men who were given testosterone for low testosterone levels and/or sexual dysfunction and compared them to men who received Viagra or Cialis but no testosterone. After three months, the risk for heart attacks was double in the testosterone group for all of the men older than 65,...

How Would I Treat Myself If I Got COVID-19?

If I had COVID-19 and was not very sick, I do not know if I would take anything. Today there are no drugs or treatments proven to prevent or cure COVID-19, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not licensed any treatment specifically for the virus.

Vigorous Exercise Won’t Hurt a Healthy Heart

Some recent research articles seem to warn people not to exercise too long or too hard, but the overwhelming scientific and epidemiological evidence is that vigorous exercise strengthens a healthy heart and helps to prevent heart disease. Elite endurance athletes who exercise long hours each day outlive their less-active peers, as do Tour de France cyclists. However, three studies raise the possibility that extreme exercise such as running a marathon could possibly increase risk for heart problems, particularly in people who are not adequately trained for their events.

Irregular Heartbeats in Older Athletes and Exercisers

Most researchers believe that exercise helps to strengthen the heart and protect it from disease, but about twenty years ago, doctors noted that some men over 80 who competed in cross country ski races longer than 100 kilometers (60 miles) were at increased risk for an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.

Exercise Helps People with Heart Disease

A recent study shows that stable angina patients who exercise are less likely to die from heart attacks. Stable angina means that you may or may not have chest discomfort or pain at rest, but pain occurs or worsens when you exert yourself.

Brain Tissue Loss Linked to Diabetes

Research shows that the longer a patient has diabetes, the smaller his brain, particularly in the gray matter that interprets and directs muscle control, seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision-making and self-control. Diabetics lose brain size more than twice as rapidly as non-diabetics. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely he is to suffer dementia.

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:

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.

Yogurt or Cheese Instead of Milk Reduces Heart Attack Risk

A recent Danish study followed 54,903 healthy men and women, 50-64 years old, for 16 years. Those who ate primarily fermented dairy products such as cheese and yogurt were significantly less likely to suffer heart attacks than those who drank milk.

Prostate Cancer and Heart Attacks

Heart attacks are the main cause of death in men diagnosed with prostate cancer. More than 230,000 American men are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Because prostate cancer usually progresses so slowly, the more than three million living American men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are at much higher risk for dying of heart attacks than they are of dying of their prostate cancer.

More Vegetables, Less Diabetes

Data from nine studies of 307,099 middle-aged people followed for up to 28 years shows that those who ate lots of plant-based foods and restricted meat had a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and those who ate the most vegetables had a 30 percent lower risk of developing diabetes than...