Mushrooms may be a star of the farmer’s market. And studies do suggest that eating them can decrease cancer risk, support the immune system + more.
But not all types of fungi are friendly.
So let’s dig into the latest research on magic mushrooms and migraines, the best way to treat fungal infections of the nails and the side effects of climate change on several types of fungus. Then, we'll review the latest news around fall vaccines, healthcare worker strikes + questionable CDC updates.
Get ready to get your shroom on as you scroll down into…
As reported in US News, researchers are exploring the effect of psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms + LSD) on migraines.
In a tiny study, a single low dose of psilocybin reduced migraine counts by 50% for two weeks. In another, three doses spaced five days apart reduced migraine counts for eight weeks. (But only for some participants.) Various dosages and timings are now being tested in larger groups.
Researchers already know that psilocybin stimulates serotonin brain receptors—as do several migraine medications. But they don’t know why it offers some people migraine relief + not others. To be considered a transitional therapy, it must deliver long-lasting benefits. Until that happens, come to Dr. B for relief!
According to Wired, we might have reason to fear a Last of Us zombie-fungus apocalypse.
A ringworm-causing fungal species that had never been found in the US presented itself for the first time last February. In March, reports showed that cases of Candida auris—a deadly fungal infection—had tripled in two years. In May, meningitis caused by Fusarium solani spread to 150 people via contaminated anesthesia products.
These outbreaks vary in size and scope. But researchers blame one common denominator—climate change. Humans have a high body temperature unwelcoming to fungi. But as the globe warms, the fungi are adapting.
Read the article for more about what we know—and don’t know—about this eerie future.
A New York Times reader asked how to treat toenail fungus. The author’s reply? With prescription treatment.
Trichophyton rubrum fungi spread in warm, moist environments (like locker rooms). They climb under our fingernails or toenails + multiply, creating thick, cracked, yellow, smelly nails.
To avoid infection, we shouldn’t walk barefoot in locker rooms or around pools + we should keep our footwear clean and dry. Even when taking precautions, about 10% of us will get a nail fungal infection anyway—and risk increases as we age or any time we have a weakened immune system.
If you’re battling nail fungus or another fungal skin infection like ringworm or jock itch...
New Covid vaccines are coming out. The CDC wants you to get one. (Vox). Updated vaccines are en route to health centers nationwide. The CDC recommends everyone over six months old gets an updated jab. This article reviews the timeline of antibody protection, risk versus reward and when + why you should (or shouldn’t) get your updated booster. If you’re at higher risk for severe illess and have an active Covid-19 infection, remember that Dr. B can help you get Covid-19 antiviral medicine online!
Looming health care walkout, Kaiser strike authorized by unions in 4 states; 3 more may follow (USA Today). Unless a deal is reached by September 30th, 85,000 health workers at Kaiser centers nationwide will strike in what would be the largest healthcare strike in US history. Citing dangerous understaffing, their union proposes pay + staffing increases and making frontline workers eligible for bonuses. (Management staff already are.)
Expected CDC guidance on N95 masks outrages healthcare workers (NBC). A CDC advisory committee’s proposed updates to hospital masking guideline suggests that surgical masks protect as well as N95 masks. It also categorizes airborne pathogens by risk. Health experts cite flaws in the panel’s cited study analysis + pathogen categorization, stating such updates will increase patient + provider risk.