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.
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.
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.
A seven-year study of 992 patients with colon cancer that had already spread to their bellies had a 42 percent reduction in death rate and a 31 percent reduction in recurrence of their cancer when they avoided overweight, exercised regularly (one hour of walking per day), ate a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and low in red meat and processed meat, and restricted alcohol.
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
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.
High blood pressure affects 108 million adults, increasing risk for heart attacks, the leading cause of death in the United States. A Harvard study of 412 adults found that a low-salt version of the DASH diet dramatically lowered both high blood pressure and markers of heart muscle damage in just four weeks
A study from the National Cancer Institutes showed that taking more than 100 mg of zinc supplements a day doubles a man's chances of developing advanced prostate cancer. There are hundreds of products on the market today that contain zinc and they are advertised to help treat the prostate, help prevent prostate cancer, help treat an enlarged prostate, treat impotence, increase sexuality, increase ejaculation volume, and make a man more potent. All of these claims are unsupported by scientific data.
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.
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...
Angioplasty may not boost survival for heart disease patients. A 15-year follow-up shows that those who have had angioplasties do not live longer than those who received just medication. This supports other studies that have shown that some angioplasties should not have been done
A liver full of fat can be caused by anything that damages the liver. Doctors used to separate liver damage into that caused by alcohol and that not caused by alcohol (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). Now we know that a liver damaged by excess alcohol has the same harmful consequences as a...
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when excess fat is stored in your liver. The most common cause of liver disease used to be alcohol, but now it is far more likely to be caused by eating sugar-added foods and drinking anything with sugar in it. Up to 12 percent of people with fatty livers keep on adding fat to their livers to develop Non-Alcoholic Steato Hepatitis (NASH), which is liver inflammation and permanent liver damage called cirrhosis and can cause liver cancer .
When all the cartilage in your knee is gone, the only effective treatment is to replace the whole knee. The ends of bones are soft, so they must be covered with a thick white gristle called cartilage. Once damaged, cartilage can never heal or re-grow. Small holes in cartilage can be repaired, but usually once cartilage is damaged the person spends the rest of his or her life losing cartilage until it is completely gone and the knee hurts 24 hours a day.
Almost everyone agrees that having total blood cholesterol levels above 250 is likely to shorten your life and markedly increases your chances of suffering a heart attack, unless you have a very high HDL (which is good). Other studies also show that people with very low cholesterol are at increased risk for cancer of the stomach, esophagus, liver and colon, but it looks like the incubating cancers cause the low cholesterol, rather than a low cholesterol causing the cancers.
People with arthritis should exercise to strengthen their muscles. This helps to stabilize their joints so they are not so loose that every movement chips off more cartilage. Exercises that put hard force on joints break cartilage, so the best exercise for people with arthritis is one that strengthens muscles without applying great force on joints. In T'ai Chi, a person moves very slowly for extended periods of time. Slow movements put great force on muscles to cause significant gain in strength without putting much force on joints.
Moderate drinking does not appear to prevent heart attacks. An analysis of 45 studies of relationships between heart attacks and alcohol consumption reports that the studies that associated moderate drinking with reduced heart attack rates are flawed.
Federal guidelines now require most Americans to avoid non-essential travel, non-essential work, eating at bars and restaurants, and gathering in groups of more than 10, at least through April 30, 2020. Many states and local governments have stricter directives that take precedence over the federal guidelines.
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.
Doctors do not need to biopsy every man with a high PSA screening blood test for prostate cancer. Most patients become infected from the procedure, 20 percent suffer severe pain, 10 percent require strong pain medicines, and 15 percent of previously potent patients report that they can't get an erection one month later.
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...
People who have had heart attacks are also at high risk for certain cancers because the same lifestyle factors increase risk for both and appear to be far more important than genetics in determining your likelihood to suffer both conditions.
CAUTION: The news media often reports on articles from the websites of scientific journals that have not yet been peer reviewed by other doctors. It has become common practice to "pre-publish" studies or press releases online before they have been fully reviewed, and many of these reports are sent out by companies with a lot of money at stake.
Autophagy means "self-eating". When a cell is damaged or dies, the body quickly breaks down the dead cell’s parts (protein-making, power-generating, and transport systems) into small molecules that can be reassembled to be used for making new cell parts and supplying the energy to power these processes.
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...
Almost anyone can get rid of plaques in their arteries, even if they have already had a heart attack or already have severe narrowing in the arteries leading to your heart. However, you have to do far more than just take drugs. The formation of plaques in arteries that eventually leads to heart attacks and strokes comes from chemical processes that start in the liver. Plaques can be reversed by changes in diet, exercise, weight, environmental exposures and medications.
Having high blood levels of cholesterol increaes your chances of getting a heart attack, but your blood cholesterol level is influenced far more by how many calories you eat than by how much cholesterol is in the food you eat.