Diseases and Conditions

  1. Civilians now getting flu-like virus common in the military

    Could this scary bug arrive in YOUR town?

    My hat is always off to our brave men and women in uniform.

    Every day, the members of our military face grave dangers over land... air... and sea.

    But one of those dangers can rear its head BEFORE they even leave basic training.

    I'm talking about a nasty strain of a flu-like virus called human adenovirus type 4 (HAdV-4).

    It can cause acute respiratory disease (ARD) and even damage your eyes -- and it's usually found exclusively in isolated military settings like training camps.

    But according to a new study, you don't have to be a soldier in order to catch HAdV-4 -- because in recent years, cases of the virus have shown up in CIVILIANS.

    And they've all been right here in the Northeast!

    In the study, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers identified HdV-4 among both young adults and older folks in Connecticut, New York, and even my home city of Boston, Massachusetts.

    It turned out that most of those infected with HdV-4 had the SAME strains of the virus commonly found among military recruits, so they could have acquired it from contact with armed forces personnel.

    But the researchers also identified NEW strains among some college kids in upstate New York -- which means that the virus may have been circulating at low levels among civilians for years.

    In fact, the researchers wagered that HAdV-4 may be an underestimated cause of severe respiratory illnesses like ARD among the general population.

    Now, if you're not familiar with ARD, you should know that it can literally take your breath away.

    It happens when the tiny sacs in your lungs fill with FLUID instead of air -- which means you can't take in enough precious oxygen.

    Your breathing becomes labored... your organs can't get the oxygen fix they need to function... and your brain can't fire on all cylinders.

    And many of the folks who develop ARD become casualties of this killer!

    Now, there IS a vaccine for HAdV-4, but here's the catch: The vaccine has been exclusively licensed for military use.

    And even though all new military recruits since 2011 have been required to get the vaccine, that clearly hasn't wiped out the virus entirely.

    So, you want to use all of the natural stuff in your "arsenal" to avoid catching this rare (but deadly) bug.

    Luckily, the same precautions that armor you against seasonal flu viruses can also help defend against HAdV-4.

    • Up your vitamins: Taking about 4,000 IUs of vitamin D and at least 3 grams of vitamin C daily can help you ward off viruses.
    • Strengthen your immunity: Getting enough sleep, reducing stress, exercising, and taking probiotics can all fortify your immune system.
    • Wash up: Washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water will make it less likely that flu germs will hitch a ride.
  2. Air pollution wallops your heart and lungs

    To avoid tailpipe toxins, take the path less traveled

    The holidays always bring more hustle and bustle to our roads and highways.

    Even now, in early January, you'd think it would have calmed down -- but everyone's STILL out! Only now they're returning gifts instead of buying them.

    And if you've braved the trip to the mall or shopping center yourself this past week, you know what that means: More cars and trucks are spewing pollutants into the air!

    Where's Santa with his flying reindeer and sleigh when it turns out that it's really NOT the thought that counts?!

    And according to a new pair of studies, if you spend enough time near a busy road, all that toxic junk you're breathing in could put both your lungs AND your heart in jeopardy.

    In the first study, Duke University researchers evaluated more than 2,000 people who lived within two miles of a major roadway.

    After testing how well the participants' hearts were working, the researchers discovered that those who lived the CLOSEST to a busy road -- within about half-mile away -- were at HIGHER risk of both high blood pressure and narrowing of the arteries than those a bit farther away.

    The study shows that they were also more likely to show a narrowing of the blood vessels leading to the legs, stomach, arms, and head -- a condition known as peripheral artery disease, which ups the risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Presumably, these folks experienced damage to their arteries over a number of months or years -- but the second study out of London showed that traffic-related toxins can wreak havoc within just a couple of HOURS.

    In the study, about 120 older folks were split evenly into three groups: those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), those with heart disease, and those who were healthy. Then, they were randomly assigned to walk either along a busy street OR in a quiet section of a park.

    It turned out that in just two hours, the walk in the park not only improved the participants' lung capacities...but it also eased stiffness in their arteries.

    And the effects lasted for up to 24 hours.

    Now, both benefits are typically associated with exercise in general, so here's where the study gets interesting.

    Walking down the busy street, on the other hand, CANCELLED OUT these exercise benefits. After two hours, the participants' lung capacities barely improved at all... and their arteries actually became STIFFER.

    Those with COPD fared even worse than others during the street stroll -- they developed blockages in small airways that left them coughing, wheezing, and gasping for breath.

    So, if you don't want your arteries or your lungs to wind up clogged, you should stay as far away as possible from "congested" streets!

    Choose to walk or do outdoor activities in green spaces removed from traffic.

    And if you live close to gridlocked roads, protect yourself indoors by investing in a quality air purifier with a HEPA filter.

    Another option is to up your B vitamins -- found in foods like liver, chicken, nuts, fish, and eggs or in "B complex" supplements -- which studies have shown can offset the effects of air pollution.

  3. New link between Crohn's disease and yeast overgrowth

    The fungus among us can sock you in the gut If you've been reading my eTips for a while now, you know that you're walking around with a whole "metropolis" inside of your gut. That's right: There are BILLIONS of bacteria that reside down there! And if the HARMFUL critters manage to outnumber the BENEFICIAL ones, you can wind up...
  4. Antibiotics for dental work can open door to C. diff

    Could you catch a case of deadly diarrhea... at the dentist? My friend, we're in the throes of an epidemic -- one that gets little attention in the mainstream press. I'm talking about infections of the lethal bug Clostridium difficile (a.k.a. C. diff), which causes crippling diarrhea... is resistant to some of our most powerful medications... and kills someone every...
  5. Sepsis can make your heart stop

    The heart-stopping infection that could take you down He was a legend in his own time... in his silk pajamas and smoking jacket, surrounded by his "bunnies." Hugh Hefner lived life on his own terms. And what a long life it was -- when he died in September, "Hef" was the ripe old age of 91! The official cause of...
  6. Air pollution is linked to kidney disease

    This hero vitamin can save your kidneys The future is now, my friend -- and you can witness it yourself out on our roads and highways. From hybrids... to electric cars... to buses that run on natural gas... we're getting closer to keeping our skies free of the nasty exhaust that's plagued us ever since the "carriage" went "horseless"! Heck...
  7. Type 2 diabetes ups your risk of fractures

    High blood sugar can ravage your bones In your younger years, if you tripped and fell, it was no big deal. You'd pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again -- just like Ol' Blue Eyes himself. But as we age, taking a spill can really stop you in your tracks. Your bones can get softer as...
  8. Control blood pressure by maintaining your weight

    The ONE thing that keeps BP in check When you've got high blood pressure, it can feel like you've been saddled with a long to-do list. You know you're supposed to exercise and eat right... quit smoking and limit alcohol... and cut back on caffeine, salt, and stress. It's no wonder that the idea of popping just one little pill...
  9. Severe psoriasis can raise your risk of dying

    Could clearing up your skin save your life? From the itching and burning... to the scaling and peeling... having psoriasis can really get "under your skin." It can be unsightly and embarrassing -- but you might comfort yourself with the notion that this inflammatory illness is only "skin deep." The worst that can happen is that those red and scaly...
  10. Diet and exercise improve asthma

    Breathe easier with this common-sense routine You want to enjoy the crisp fall air... but you can't get enough of it into your lungs. Unfortunately, autumn is prime time for asthma attacks because weed pollens, mold spores, and other allergens are on the loose. But according to a new study, you don't have to hide inside to avoid getting walloped...

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