Subscribe to Dr. Mirkin's free FITNESS & HEALTH NEWSLETTER      

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.

Questions About Stents

A recent study suggests that stents placed in arteries leading to the heart have not been shown to cure chest pain (Lancet, Nov 2, 2017). Placing stents in people who have heart pain from narrowed arteries and giving them medication is not more effective in relieving pain than just giving them medication and no stents. Stents do help to prevent the heart muscle from dying when put in place within the first few hours after the start of a heart attack.

Gilbert’s Disease

Bilirubin is a yellow pigment released from dead red blood cells into your bloodstream. Not only is Gilbert's disease not harmful, it may prolong life by preventing heart attacks.

High Blood Sugar Linked to Prostate Enlargement, Low Testosterone and Prostate Cancer

Metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes are characterized by high blood sugar, insulin, and triglycerides, low HDL and a fatty liver and obesity. Of 490 male adults, average age 58 years old, 37 percent with lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTS) had metabolic syndrome.

Slow Heart Rate

A slow pulse rate in athletes usually means a strong heart, but in non-athletes, it can mean heart damage. Athletes often have pulse rates below 60 because their hearts are strong enough to pump large amounts of blood with each beat and therefore don't have to beat as often.

Fitness Prevents Impotence

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine (August 2003) showed that lack of physical fitness is a major cause of impotence. Dr. Eric Rimm of the Harvard School of Public Health showed that men who run for three or more hours per week, or play tennis five hours a week, have a 30...

Bicycling Does Not Raise PSA

A study from the University Hospital in Essen, Germany shows that riding a bicycle does not raise blood levels of PSA, the blood test used to screen for prostate cancer. Several studies suggest that ordinary bicycle seats can cause impotence which can become permanent with continued pressure on the nerves that control erection. Men who...

NSAIDs May Increase Heart Attack Risk

Millions of people take over-the-counter NSAID pain medicines when they have a headache, fever, chills, joint pain or various other aches and pains. A new study shows that NSAIDs are associated with increased risk for heart attacks.

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.

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,...

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.

Synvisc Injections Equal Cortisone for Knee Pain

A study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons showed that Synvisc injections are as effective as steroid (cortisone) injections in controlling the pain of damaged cartilage in the knee. Synvisc costs about $5000, compared to five dollars for cortisone.

What is the best way to treat recurrent bladder infections?

When I was in medical school more than 45 years ago, I learned that E. Coli, a common intestinal bacteria, causes recurrent urinary tract infections in women; and that women with these infections should be given 100 ampicillin pills and be told to take one pill four times a day for three days, whenever...

Insulin Resistance Predicts Heart Attacks and Diabetes

An article written by two highly-respected physicians and an investigative reporter concludes that, "Emerging evidence shows that insulin resistance is the most important predictor of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes" .

Exercise for Arthritis

When you have arthritis, your joints hurt every time you move. When you wake up, your muscles and tendons are so stiff that you can barely get out of bed, but you force yourself to get up and as you keep on moving, the pain lessens and you can move a little faster. Is your...

Swollen Testicles: Varicoceles and Hydroceles

Research has shown that most cases of swollen testicles do not need to be corrected by surgery. Swollen, painless testicles are usually caused by varicoceles, large veins full of blood on the outside of the testicles; or hydroceles, a sac of fluid around the testicles. Less common causes include infection or a tumor.

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.

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.

Testosterone to Prevent Heart Attacks?

We have no data to show that testosterone helps to prevent heart attacks in older men. In an effort to find out if taking testosterone could help to prevent heart attacks, doctors gave injections of testosterone to 45 men and placebo to 43 men for 40 weeks. Those treated with testosterone showed a reduction in the cardiac biomarker NT-proBNP, but no reduction in another biomarker, hs-cTnT.

More Benefits of Mid-Life Fitness for Men

A study that followed 13,000 men from 1971 to 2009 shows that men who keep a high level of fitness from their forties onward have a one third lower risk overall of dying from certain cancers after age 65 (JAMA Oncology, March 27, 2015). Fitness was measured by their ability to keep on running...

Male Infertility

Infection is the most common cause of male infertility and that standard tests for infertility often do not find the infection. When evaluating a male for infertility, doctors check sperm count and sperm mobility. If a man's ejaculate contains fewer than 50 million sperm, he is infertile, and the most common cause of reduced sperm count is infection.

Height Loss with Aging

The bones of your spine are separated by pads called discs. As you age, these discs dry out and become smaller. However, regular exercise compresses and relaxes these discs as you move up and down. This helps to keep the discs from shrinking and maintains your height.

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...

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.

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.

Colon Cancer Associated with Sugared Drinks and Foods

The largest prospective study yet of 121,111 adult health professionals in the Nurses’ Health and Health Professionals Follow-Up Studies found 2733 cases of colon-rectal cancer, with 901 deaths. Sugar-sweetened beverages were associated with significantly increased risk for suffering and dying from colon cancer.

Colon Cancer and Bacteria

Researchers at Harvard University and VHIO cancer Institute in Barcelona report that colon cancer may be caused by a specific bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum. I believe this is breakthrough research that could lead to a potential cure for colon cancer and a Nobel Prize.

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.

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.

Exercise Can Help to Treat (and Prevent) Cancer

Exercise is now recommended as part of the treatment for cancer by the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Cancer Society, the Oncology Nursing Society, the Commission on Cancer and the Cancer Foundation for Life.