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Knee Pain: Treat with Lifestyle Changes

A review of 47 .studies on 22,037 patients with knee osteoarthritis treated for at least 12 months showed no clear difference in controlling long-term pain between medications and placebos. With the exception of immune suppressants that have lots of serious side effects, medications and health supplements do not prevent progressive damage to joints and are used only to help lessen pain.

Low Vitamin D Increases Risks for Heart Attacks and Severe COVID-19

Recent studies show that having low levels of vitamin D is associated with increased risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and severe consequences of COVID-19. Researchers in Australia collected data prospectively from 295,788 participants, and found that having low blood levels of vitamin D is associated with increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. (Normal blood levels of hydroxy-vitamin D are considered to be above 30 ng/mL).

Daily Aspirin May Not Save Lives

Aspirin has been shown to help prevent a second heart attack in people who have already had a heart attack. However, aspirin also causes bleeding that can kill a person, so researchers wanted to find out if the heart-attack-preventing effects of aspirin would be offset by the complications of bleeding that aspirin can cause.

A First Vaccine for COVID-19

Oxford University in England has developed a vaccine and will start trials on more than 6,000 people on Thursday, April 30, 2020, to see if their new vaccine is safe and effective.

Reduce Inflammation and Clotting to Prevent Heart Attacks

Heart attacks and strokes cause 50 percent of the deaths in North America today, yet many people are not adopting the lifestyle changes needed to prevent the factors that cause them: inflammation and clotting. A new study from the University of Michigan shows how important inflammation is as a cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Do Not Overdose on Vitamin D

You cannot be poisoned by vitamin D through sun exposure or diet alone, but vitamin D poisoning can occur when people take high-dose supplements for an extended time. Excess vitamin D can cause blood calcium levels to rise and after several months of having high blood calcium levels and having no symptoms at all, you can develop kidney failure and not even know it.

Get Your Flu Shot Now

This coming winter could be the worst flu season in years since last winter we had one of the lowest incidences of flu cases and deaths because of the isolation techniques, mask wearing and hand washing so many people used to try to prevent COVID-19 Since very few people will have natural immunity from getting the flu last winter, we can expect a marked increase in flu cases and deaths this year.

Protecting Yourself from COVID-19

As businesses and activities are re-opening, many people have decided to relax their precautions to avoid infection with COVID-19. If you are a person who is at high risk for complications from this virus, I believe that you should continue to be on guard.

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Joint Pain

Eighty percent of North Americans have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis by age 65, and 60 percent have significant joint pain. Researchers at Surrey University in England reviewed 68 studies on the effects of diet on osteoarthritis and found that osteoarthritis is associated with everything that increases inflammation, and that the joint pain can be reduced by everything associated with the control of inflammation.

Many Common Drugs Can Raise Blood Pressure

A very important new study of 27,599 adults, average age 47-50, showed that almost 15 percent of North American adults and almost 19 percent of those with high blood pressure take medications that can raise blood pressure. The blood-pressure-raising medicines taken most frequently were antidepressants, NSAIDs, steroids, and estrogens.

Running and Walking May Be Good for Your Back

People who run or walk regularly have healthier and stronger spinal discs than non-exercisers do (Scientific Reports 7, April 19, 2017). This is very reassuring because some doctors tell patients with back pain not to run because they think that the jarring of the foot striking the ground will damage discs and injure backs,.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery is Usually Useless

I have said repeatedly that surgery to trim attached cartilage in the knee is usually worthless. I have seen many patients who have had cartilage removed by surgeons for an average charge of $5000, and then they must have a knee replacement several years later.

Aging and Risk for Dementia

Dementia means loss of brain function, and your chance of having dementia increases with age. Doctors can now predict increased risk for developing dementia by ordering an MRI which can show decreased volume of grey matter in the brain.

The Search for Drugs to Treat COVID-19

Today there are no drugs that have been proven to treat the coronavirus, COVID-19, but a study from China showed that the inexpensive anti-malarial drug, Chloroquine phosphate, was safe and effective in shortening the course and decreasing symptoms in patients suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia.

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.

Atrial Fibrillation in Endurance Athletes

Medical researchers agree that exercising into old age helps to prevent heart attacks, strokes and cancers and prolongs lives, but one report shows that sometimes competing in endurance sports may cause atrial fibrillation.

Guidelines for COVID-19 Fully Vaccinated People

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released recommendations for fully vaccinated people who are two weeks past their second injection of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, or have had the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As of March 8, 2021, more than 31 million people (9.4 percent of the U.S. population) had completed these vaccines.

High Blood Pressure and Colon Bacteria

The CARDIA Study shows that having certain types of bacteria in your colon is associated with having high blood pressure, and that you can lower blood pressure by improving the proportion of healthful to unhealthful bacteria in your colon. Lifestyle changes may be more important than drugs in treating high blood pressure.

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.

Dry, Cracked Skin on Heels (Fissures)

Dry skin on any part of the body can be annoying and can cause flaking and cracking, redness due to scratching, and unsightly patches of thick or hard skin. When dry skin occurs on the feet, the symptoms are magnified due to wearing shoes, the stretching of the skin on the feet with every step . . .

Best Diet to Prevent and Treat Diabetes

More than 30 million adults in North America suffer from diabetes and another 85 million have pre-diabetes that is likely to become full-blown diabetes within five years. Research papers published this month suggest that people who are diabetic or likely to become diabetic should eat a very large amount of plant fiber and restrict animal products, particularly red meat and processed meats.

Sunscreens and Sun Protection

Sunscreens help to prevent sunburns and skin cancers because they actually block the ultraviolet rays of the sun that damage the skin. However, some sunscreens are safe, while others may not be safe.

Metabolic Syndrome Predicts Heart Attacks and Diabetes

A huge study from Korea confirms that people with Metabolic Syndrome are at increased risk for heart attacks, and that when they correct some or all of the components of Metabolic Syndrome, their risk for a heart attack goes down dramatically.

Systolic or Diastolic Blood Pressure

You have two blood pressures: the systolic that measures blood pressure when your heart contracts, and the much lower diastolic reading that measures the pressure when your heart relaxes. When your heart contracts, it pushes a huge amount of blood forward to your arteries. Your arteries are supposed to act like balloons and expand to accept the blood and prevent your blood pressure from rising too high.

What Do Blood Cholesterol Levels Mean?

Having a high (>100 mg/dL) bad LDL cholesterol or a low (<40) good HDL cholesterol has long been associated with increased risk for heart attacks. However, new studies show that you can form plaques and be at risk for a heart attack even if your bad LDL cholesterol is as low as 50.

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.

Blood Pressure During and After Exercise

Your blood pressure usually rises as soon as you start to exercise and drops a little bit while you exercise at the same intensity. However, as you continue to increase the intensity of exercise, your blood pressure usually rises higher and higher.

Alzheimer’s Disease May Come From an Infection

Nearly fifty percent of people over 85 suffer from symptoms of dementia of which Alzheimer's disease, a progressive loss of brain cells, is the most common form. The second most common type of dementia comes from repeated strokes. This month researchers offer strong evidence that Alzheimer's disease may be started by an infection.

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.

Vinegar to Lower Blood Sugar?

In small studies in animals and humans, vinegar has been shown to reduce the rise in blood sugar and insulin that normally occurs after a meal. However, I cannot find any large studies to show that vinegar is an effective treatment for diabetes.