The Med & Mic™ 01.28.22
Medical and Health News Updates
From Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC
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New Coronavirus Variant
A new version of Omicron has been found in the United States and 40 countries so far. It’s called BA.2 and has genetic traits that make it harder to detect. BA.2 is more common in Asia and Europe. How contagious it is, how severe an illness it causes, and how well vaccines or prior illness protect against it are still not known. In Denmark, where BA.2 has accounted for 45% of all COVID cases in January, there has been no difference in hospitalizations with BA.2 compared with the original Omicron. If it becomes a “variant of concern,” it will get its own Greek letter name. More from CBS.
Two Drugs Add to Overdoses
Medical examiners are seeing two uncommon drugs, para-fluorofentanyl and metonitazene, in more overdose deaths. The drugs, which are synthetic opioids, are more powerful than fentanyl. They are taken with or mixed with illicit fentanyl and injected or snorted. Naloxone can reverse the overdose, but more is required. Overdose deaths have increased over the past two decades, with a 20% jump in 2021. More from the AP.
Vitamin D and Fish Oil to Reduce Autoimmune Risk
Daily vitamin D and fish oil supplements could help protect older adults from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid diseases, and polymyalgia rheumatica. Researchers studied more than 25,000 people over 50 in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.The initial goal was to see if the supplements protected against heart disease or cancer, but they did not. The researchers did find that taking 2000 IU if vitamin D over five years lowered the relative rate of a confirmed autoimmune disease by 22%. Taking both the vitamin D and the fish oil decreased autoimmune disease by 30%. “This is the first direct evidence,” says study author Dr. Karen Costenbader in a report from CNN, “with more pronounced effect after two years.” Taking too much vitamin D is possible leading to bone and kidney problems.
Getting Rid of Acne Scars
Three main treatments are available for scars from previous acne breakouts:
Laser treatments, to lighten pink or purple scars and to flatten raised scars.
Chemical Peels, to create new, regenerated, smoother skin.
Microneedling, which stimulates collagen production.
“My patients may be discouraged, but I’m not,” says dermatologist Dr. Amy Kassouf in a patient education article from the Cleveland Clinic.
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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis, or the advice of your own physician. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.