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Treatment of Low Back Pain

Your choices for treatment of back pain are surgery, steroid injections, pain medications, exercise strengthening and stretching programs, or techniques that place external force on the back such as deep massage, manipulation and passive stretching. Because surgery has such a high failure rate, it is usually recommended only when there is danger of permanent injury such as loss of feeling, loss of muscle control or intractable pain.

Agent Orange Does Not Cause Diabetes

In April 2000, a study from the Air Force was widely reported in newspapers to have shown that agent orange causes diabetes. Only Gina Kolata of the New York Times wasn't fooled (NYT, April 20, 2000).

Excess Weight Linked to Larger Plaques

Being overweight is associated with having larger plaques in the arteries leading to the heart and a marked increase and progression of these arterial plaques that cause heart attacks, even if a person does not have the risk factors that predict increased risk for diabetes and heart attacks.

Prostate Supplements Not What They Claim to Be

It should bother you that the nutritional supplement industry is unregulated because there is no way to tell what a supplement contains. Several different studies have shown that at least one third of nutritional supplements do not supply what is on the label.

Exercise and Plaques

Paul D. Thompson, M.D., an accomplished competitive international marathon runner as well as a respected cardiologist, has written an editorial on two studies that show how important regular vigorous exercise is to prolong lives and prevent heart attacks and strokes. The results of these studies should stimulate every able-bodied person to try to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day for as long as they can.

Breast Cancer Survival Improves with Healthful Lifestyles

Almost 25 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will eventually die of that disease. Breast cancer patients who received a weekly telephone call recommending healthful lifestyles had a 35 percent greater two-year survival rate than women who were told of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in preventing recurrences of breast cancer, but were not called weekly; and a 50 percent higher two-year survival rate than breast cancer patients who were not informed of the benefits of a healthful lifestyle.

Sugared Drinks and Diabetes

This year there is virtually complete agreement among doctors that sugared drinks cause the highest rises in blood sugar that cause a fatty liver that leads to diabetes.

Body Odor

All people smell when they don't bathe often enough. Sweat doesn't smell when it first reaches your skin. The odor comes only after bacteria or fungi on the skin's surface break down the fat in sweat to form chemicals that smell. Most sweat glands produce sweat that contains no fat, but the sweat glands around the breasts, genitals and armpits produce sweat that contains fat.

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

Can Cell Phones Cause Memory Loss or Cancer?

Two recent studies show that non-ionizing radiation from cell phones may be associated with impaired ability to recall images, but not words, in teenagers; and at high levels, can increase brain and heart tumors in rats. Most studies on cell phone use have not shown increased cancer risk or memory loss.

Fatty Liver Disease and Diabetes

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 .

More Links Between Cancers and Sugar

The evidence is getting stronger that taking in too much sugar increases your risk for cancers as well as for heart attacks, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. A study from M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston shows how sugar may cause cancers to start and then to spread to other parts of the body (Cancer Research, Jan. 1, 2016).

Aging and Risk for Dementia

Dementia means loss of brain function, and your chance of having dementia increases with age: it affects three percent of people ages 65-74, 17 percent of those age 75-84 and 32 percent of those age 85 or older. Doctors can now predict increased risk for developing dementia by ordering an MRI which can show decreased volume of grey matter in the brain.

Testosterone for Older Men

Medical journals have reported trials that examine the benefits and harms of taking testosterone for men over 65 with low blood levels of testosterone (less than 275 ng/dL). At 12 study sites across the country, a total of 790 participants were given testosterone gel or a placebo applied daily to the skin.

Slim Evidence for Stem Cell Treatment of Arthritis

Hundreds of stem cell clinics in the United States are promoting stem cell treatments for knee osteoarthritis without solid evidence that they help to relieve pain or repair broken cartilage. Stem cells are primordial cells that can become any tissue such as bone, muscle, cartilage and so forth. Very promising research is being done now at several medical schools in which the DNA in stem cells is altered to make them become cartilage cells.

Exercisers Have Fewer Heart Attacks

A study of 21,758 men, average age 51.7 years, followed for an average 10.4 years, showed that men who exercised the most have more plaques in their arteries, but do not suffer more heart attacks or deaths than those with less heart artery calcification.

Sudden Dizziness or Meniere’s Disease

If you develop dizziness that lasts for more than a few seconds, check with your doctor. it could be a stroke. Recurrent dizziness can be caused by temporary interruption of circulation to your brain, such as blocked neck arteries or an irregular heart beat. It can be caused by a stroke, tumors on the...

Ankylosing Spondylitis (Reactive Arthritis of the Spine)

If your back is stiff and hurts when you move, if it hurts to touch two points at the side of the top of your pelvis where it joins your spine (the sacroiliac joint), and if your back x ray shows signs of this disease, you probably suffer from ankylosing spondylitis. You may also...

A Cure for Cancer is Coming

A study from the University of California, San Diego shows that fermentation of sugar takes the least amount of energy for cells to grow and thrive (Nature, December 3, 2015). I think this study shows how cancer will be cured in the not-so-distant future. Cancer cells multiply so much faster than normal cells do...

Cancer Cells and Sugar

An exciting new study in yeast contributes to our understanding of the link between cancer cells and sugar. Yeast cells, like cancer cells, get most of their energy from fermentation of sugar without needing oxygen.

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.

Cancer Treatment Should Include Heart Attack Prevention

Chemotherapy and radiation used to treat cancers can help to prolong lives, but these treatments can also increase heart attack risk. The American Heart Association recently recommended that patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation to treat breast cancers should be made aware that these treatments increase heart attack risk and that all people being treated for cancer should be on a lifestyle program to prevent heart attacks.

The Hidden Epidemic of Early Diabetes

Many people with high blood sugar levels are told by their doctors that they do not have diabetes because their fasting blood sugar levels are below 100 mg/dl, which is considered normal. Early in the disease, diabetics often have a "normal" fasting blood sugar, but one hour after they eat, their blood sugar levels rise above 140, which signals that they are at increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, cancers, nerve damage and premature death.

Risk for Dementia Goes Down with Steps to Prevent Heart Attacks

You can reduce your risk for suffering from dementia by up to 70 percent when you follow the same healthful habits that help to prevent heart attacks. A study of 6,600 people over 65, followed for 8.5 years, found that each lifestyle risk factor for heart attacks is also a risk factor for dementia, and that correcting each heart attack risk factor reduces risk for dementia.

Antioxidant Pills Can Cause Cancer to Spread

A study from China shows that antioxidant pills caused mice with liver cancer or colon cancer to have their cancers spread rapidly though their bodies. The authors then tested antioxidant pills on cells taken from patients with malignant cancers and grown in test tubes. The antioxidants caused the human cancer cells to grow faster and spread through the cultures. Overall, the conclusion from this and several other cancer studies is that antioxidants can help healthy cells to be protected from free radicals in the body, but they can cause already-developed cancer cells to grow and spread.

Brahms Had Sleep Apnea

An article in the medical journal, Chest, reports that composer Johannes Brahms was overweight, stored fat primarily in his upper body, and made horrible sounds when he slept. These are signs of sleep apnea, a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for more than 30 seconds many times each night. Brahms once remarked:...

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.

Alzheimer’s Disease

The most common cause of senility in North America is Alzheimer's disease, a horrible condition in which a person loses his capacity to reason, think, recognize and function. Former president Ronald Reagan had Alzheimer's disease, as do some Nobel Prize winners and some of the most brilliant people who have walked this earth.

Tinea Versicolor

If you notice dark brown or whitish circles on your skin, particularly on your chest or back, you probably have a fungus infection called tinea versicolor. Tinea versicolor is especially noticeable as white spots on your skin when you try to get a suntan. You don't have to treat it as it usually causes no harm...

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.