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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.

Sunscreens Only Partially Block the Sun’s Rays

Sunscreens offer only partial protection from the sun. It is dangerous to expose large areas of your sun screen-coated skin to sunlight. If you want to really protect your skin from sun damage, get under a roof when the sun is out in full force. Clothes are next best, and sunscreens are a poor third.

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...

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 Soluble Fiber Helps to Prevent Heart Attacks

Forty percent of deaths in the United States are from heart disease, which kills more than 400,000 people each year. Soluble fiber (from beans, oats, peas, barley, nuts, fruits and vegetables) reduces high blood levels of Low-Density Cholesterol (LDL), one of the strongest predictors of heart attack risk

Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation means that a man doesn't last as long as he wants to, regardless of time or strokes. Ninety percent of teenage boys suffer from this condition, while 90 percent of men over the age of 55 suffer from delayed ejaculation.

Cellulite

Women pay millions of dollars for products that are supposed to get rid of cellulite, but there is no such thing as cellulite. The fat on a woman's hips and thighs is the same as the fat anywhere else. She has skin on the outside, fat in the middle and muscles and fascia underneath the fat.

How Excess Fat Can Spread Cancer

People who have cancer and are also overweight are at increased risk for having the cancer spread through their bodies. A new study shows how excess weight may spread cancer cells through the body.

Neuroma (Pinched nerve between foot bones)

A neuroma is a swollen or damaged nerve. This often occurs between the bones that your toes attach to on the foot, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. Neuroma can be caused by tight shoes, repetitive stress or trauma.

Red Yeast Rice Pills

People who take red yeast rice pills to lower their cholesterol levels may not be getting their expected protection against suffering a heart attack. North Americans spend an estimated 40 million dollars a year on these pills.

Reducing Alcohol Intake May Help to Prevent Heart Attacks

Contrary to what you may have heard previously, it now appears that any amount of alcohol can be harmful. Researchers reviewed more than 50 studies involving more than 260,000 people and concluded that reducing alcohol consumption helps to prevent heart attacks, whether a person is a light, moderate or heavy drinker

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.

Cold Hands – Raynaud’s Phenomenon

If your fingers turn white and start to hurt when you are out in the cold, you may have a condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon. When your body temperature starts to drop, your brain sends signals along nerves to shut blood flow to your hands and the skin turns white.

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

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection that causes itching or peeling skin on the feet, especially between the toes. A diagnosis of athlete's foot is made by taking a scraping of skin and looking for fungus under a microscope. If nothing is seen, scrapings of skin are placed in a culture bottle to...

Storing Fat in Your Liver Can Kill You

North America's epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart attacks appears to be fueled by storing fat in the liver, muscles and around organs, rather than just in fat cells, excess calories, sugar added to foods and drinks and lack of exercise.

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.

Yeast Infections

When a woman develops a white discharge and vaginal itching, her doctor often diagnoses yeast infection, even though he may be wrong because every healthy woman has yeast in her vagina and cultures of the vagina almost always grow yeast, even in women who have no symptoms at all.

Both Low and High HDL Can Predict Harm

Having high blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol predicts increased risk for heart attacks, but contrary to what we thought in the past, having high levels of "good" HDL cholesterol does not necessarily predict protection from heart disease. A recent report from the Copenhagen General Population Study shows that having either low or high levels of HDL cholesterol also predicts increased risk for infections such as gastroenteritis and bacterial pneumonia.

Belly Fat Predicts a Heart Attack

You are at high risk for a premature death if you can pinch more than three inches in your belly. Even people who are not overweight are at high risk for a heart attack and diabetes if they store most of their fat in the belly instead of in the buttocks, hips and thighs.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Colon Bacteria

If you have rheumatoid arthritis or any other type of arthritis, anti-inflammatory lifestyle habits should be an important part of your treatment program. For many years, exercise has been recommended as part of the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, and a recent summary of studies confirms that vigorous exercise is beneficial. An anti-inflammatory diet high in plants and low in meat and sugar, and weight control, also reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Prostate Cancer, Diet and Lifestyle

Lifestyle appears to be a major factor in whether you develop prostate cancer. An excellent review of the world’s scientific research concludes: "Heart healthy equals prostate healthy . . . the best dietary advice for prostate cancer prevention or management seems to include: increasing fruits and vegetables, replacing refined carbohydrates with whole grains, reducing...

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.

Osteoarthritis Linked to Inflammation

Eighty percent of North Americans have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis by age 65, and sixty percent have significant joint pain. Osteoarthritis may be caused by inflammation, the same overactive immunity that causes heart attacks and auto-immune diseases.

Preventing Dementia

More than one in 10 North Americans, or 5.1 million, suffer from dementia. Today there is no effective treatment for dementia, but in the last month, several reports have shown that dementia may be delayed and prevented.

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.

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.

Sunlight May Help to Prevent Auto-Immune Diseases by Altering Gut Bacteria

Lack of vitamin D may change the colon bacteria to an overabundance of harmful bacteria to cause inflammation that increases risk for autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lupus and some types of arthritis.

Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

A bunion is a bony prominence on the side of the foot, at the base of the big toe joint. This enlargement of the joint, spurring, bump or lump can be aggravated by sports or tight shoes. There is progressive movement of the big toe toward the other toes.

Who Gets High Blood Sugar After Meals?

Some foods raise blood sugar far more than others, and a high rise in blood sugar after meals can increase risk for diabetes, heart attacks and premature death. A study from Israel shows that some people develop surprisingly high blood sugar levels after eating foods such as bread, pizza, potato, tomatoes or bananas, while others do not develop the expected rise in blood sugar even after drinking a sugared soft drink or eating a cookie.