Miracle Fat-Burning Pill
Scientists have searched incessantly for the key to fat-burning mechanisms in the body, and they may have finally stumbled across the answer. A chemical compound called resveratrol, found in the skins of grapes and in red wine, is believed to provide a number of health benefits. Studies have attributed almost miraculous properties to resveratrol: warding off the deleterious effects of aging, obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The compound helps to regulate the body’s metabolism and burn fat stores.
But don’t rush out to the drugstore just yet! The pill is still in development and won’t hit the market for at least another seven years. “You know, exercise has the same effect,” Dr. Jim notes.
“For the moment, I’ll think I’ll stick with my pinot noir and my merlot,” Dr. Ordon jokes.
Cooking Oil Catastrophe
If ever a procedure needed the warning, “don’t try this at home,” this is it. A 48-year-old woman, obsessed with plastic surgery for the last 20 years, resorted to injecting cooking oil into her face after she ran out of silicone. The result was a horrible and irreversible disfiguration.
Dr. Ordon explains, “Nobody picked up on the fact that this poor woman had something called body dysmorphic syndrome; she didn’t have a realistic appreciation of how she looked.”
“She needed counseling,” Dr. Lisa adds.
Dr. Ordon explains that collagen and hyaluronic acid, commonly used as fillers in cosmetic procedures, are naturally occurring compounds that our bodies produce. However, something like cooking oil is a foreign substance, and when injected into the skin, will cause the body to form granulomas, or inflammations. The body attempts to section off the foreign agent to protect itself.
You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato … You Say … the Cure to Cancer?
Are purple tomatoes the cure to cancer? Scientists have genetically modified tomatoes by crossing them with a snapdragon flower to create a super fruit high in anthocyanins, naturally occurring antioxidants that may help ward off cancer. Dr. Travis notes, “Colorful vegetables are better for you because they typically are richer in antioxidants, which stave off aging and cancer cell growth, among other things.”
Detecting Cervical Cancer
“Cervical cancer can be prevented and cured with early screening tests like pap smears and colposcopies,” Dr. Lisa says. She explains that the cervix is located at the back of the vagina and demonstrates its shape by holding up a small bagel.
Healthy cervical cells Cancerous/ abnormal/ dysplasia cells
Doctors perform a colposcopy as a follow-up to an abnormal pap smear. The colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure in which a camera inserted into the vaginal canal illuminates and magnifies the cells of the cervix, vulva and vagina. Both a diagnosis and a treatment in one, a colposcopy allows doctors to remove abnormal cells and biopsy them in one step.
Dr. Lisa explains that abnormal pap smears are extremely common as they can be caused by bacterial, yeast and viral infections, including human papilloma virus (HPV) and pregnancy.
Dr. Lisa performs a real-time colposcopy on Carla in the exam room. The OB/ GYN dabs vinegar on Carla’s cervix, which illuminates the abnormal cells by turning them white. The doctor explains that once the abnormal cells are identified, they are clipped and sent off for biopsy. Other than an initial sting, the procedure is a painless means to see the cervix and the vagina.
Total Body Lift
Twenty-seven-year-old Amanda weighed a precarious 400 pounds and teetered on the brink of medical crisis. Desperate, she turned to gastric by-pass surgery and lost 180 pounds. However, she was haunted by the physical remnants of her efforts: pounds and pounds of loose flesh hanging from her body. She turned to The Doctors and expert surgeon and pioneer of the Total Body Lift procedure, Dr. Dennis Hurwitz, for help.
The complex surgery required five doctors and lasted eight hours. In the end, they removed 15 pounds of excess fat and skin from five different parts of Amanda’s body: abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs and breasts. Dr. Hurwitz demonstrates the procedure on a mannequin onstage and narrates an animation of the process.
Dr. Ordon scrubbed in on the surgery and noted, “We removed one square yard of skin … It was truly epic stuff.”
Candidates for the procedure must be physically fit to undergo the extensive and expensive (upwards of $50,000) surgery. Recovery takes three to six weeks and patients take painkillers for weeks. They also must wear multiple drains to collect the excess fluid as well as girdles and bandages to prevent swelling. “If we don’t take proper care -- with bandages, elastic support, drains -- then we’re going to have trouble with healing, and that can be a monstrous problem,” Dr. Hurwitz warns.
Amanda debuts her new body and receives an exciting surprise. To celebrate her post-surgery body, The Doctors give Amanda a $1,000 shopping spree for a new wardrobe courtesy of Ann Taylor and … a reunion with a long-lost college friend!
Thrilled with the results, Amanda reflects on her decisions and offers advice to others considering gastric by-pass surgery. “You know, I had gastric by-pass because it’s a way out [of obesity]. I worked extremely hard. I had complications, I worked to run a marathon, I did everything I could, but there is a way out, and it’s not a stigma; it’s a way to a better life.”
“Your strength and determination are an inspiration to everybody,” Dr. Ordon states.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Kidd Kraddick in the Morning takes a trip to Disney World with Kidd’s Kids, a charity he founded to send chronically and terminally ill children to Disney World. Over 85 percent of the funds come from listeners, and each year the radio show raises half a million dollars for the cause.
“For four or five days, we just try to suspend reality. No tests, no needles, no staying overnight in the hospital,” Kidd says.
Dr. Jim explains that feelings of happiness stimulate the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Preliminary research in mice has shown that dopamine can inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells, and scientists are hopeful that the findings will translate into similar results in humans. It certainly gives new meaning to the adage that laughter really is the best medicine!
Executive Producer of The Doctors, Jay McGraw, surprises Kidd onstage with a check for $10,000 from his family’s foundation, The Dr. Phil Foundation, for Kidd’s charity. To learn more about Kidd’s Kids or to make a donation, click here.