Medical Must-Have Contest
The contest for the medical must-haveis now closed. No entries will be accepted.
Diabetes is a life-threatening disease that affects people of all ages, including 20 million Americans. The disease occurs when the body does not correctly use or produce enough insulin, causing uncontrolled blood-sugar levels.
Types of Diabetes
• Type 1 diabetes: The body does not produce the hormone insulin, which helps the body use glucose as fuel. Type 1 diabetes typically appears during childhood. Symptoms include frequent urination, thirst, weight loss, sores that don’t heal, blurry vision and vaginal infections in women.
• Type 2 diabetes: This is due to insulin resistance, where the insulin does not act normally in cells. It is often associated with obesity. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are the same as type 1.
The target blood-sugar levels for diabetics to stay between are 70mg/dl (milligrams/deciliter) and 140mg/dl. Falling below or rising above the target levels can cause immediate and long-term problems for diabetics. If the blood-sugar levels get too high, for example, and you don't take insulin shots or you get sick you can fall into a coma.
“When you get high blood sugar, how do you feel? Probably not so good,” says Dr. Francine Kaufman, endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. “And when you get a low blood sugar, you feel particularly bad, and then you can’t think, you can’t drive, so we have to really control this disease.”
Rachel, 13, has type 1 diabetes and is often worried her blood-sugar levels will fall too low while she is sleeping. “Well it definitely is a family thing, it’s 24/7 to manage diabetes,” Rachel’s mother, Susan, says. “Her dad and I help one way: we test her blood sugar every night in the middle of the night. It’s a family effort.”
To keep your blood-sugar levels in check, when and what you eat is vital. Sandra, from Forked River, New Jersey, is pre-diabetic and says that no matter what type of cereal she eats for breakfast, she gets a low-blood-sugar crash at 2 p.m. She asks The Doctors through Redbook magazine how to keep this from happening.
Dr. Kaufman says having a glucose meter on hand is a must to find out what is happening to your blood sugar. “Are you just having the normal slight dip, or are you actually getting hypoglycemic?” she asks. “With the meter, you can figure that out.”
“I think that, just about whatever you have for breakfast, if you’re waiting until 2 p.m. to eat again, you’re going to be getting pretty hungry,” Dr. Jim says.
To prevent a crash from occurring, Dr. Kaufman says that portion control is extremely important for anything you eat. In addition to, or in place of, cereal, eating foods with protein and a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates, such as a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, can keep your blood-sugar at a safe level. Also, fruit and yogurt provide protein and fat, which cause the absorption of the food to be a little slower, so you keep extreme peaks and valleys in your blood-sugar levels from occurring.
Drinking orange juice in moderation with a meal can help, as well. Drinking too much, however, could cause a spike in blood-sugar. “I don’t consider this food anymore at all,” Dr. Kaufman says. “This is medicine. This is something that people with diabetes should use to recover from low blood sugar.
If you are a diabetic and struggle with insulin injections, watch Dr. Kaufman explain the latest breakthrough in diabetes treatment.
Child Hearing Loss
Imagine not being able to hear your family call your name or say “I love you.” Thirty-six million Americans suffer from hearing loss, many of whom are children. “Six out of 1,000 babies are born every year with hearing loss,” Dr. Lisa says. “So, it’s really important to pick it up at the beginning because it’s so important in development and language skills.”
Hearing loss in children can be hereditary but is also often caused by chronic ear infections and scarring caused by tubes that are left in the ear too long.
Abigail, 6, suffers from mixed hearing loss, which is caused by hereditary nerve deafness and chronic infections. “In somebody who has underlying sensory neural hearing loss, it’s so important you get the middle ear to work as well as you can,” Dr. Ordon says.
After receiving a hearing aid, Abigail and her father, Kerry, see immediate changes. “It’s a night-and-day difference,” Kerry, says. “It’s amazing to have the miracle of hearing and to see her eyes light up is just a blessing.”
While hospitals do check newborns’ hearing with specialized equipment, there are ways to test at home, as well. “Starting as a newborn, something a parent can do at home is called a sleeping-baby test,” hearing specialist Dr. Trevi Sawalich says. “As your baby is sleeping, get a cooking pot or pan from the kitchen and bang it. A normal reaction would be a baby should be startled. If you don’t see that response, consider further evaluation. As a child, you’re looking for any kind of speech delay, problems in the school, attention-deficit problems, learning problems in school, trouble focusing, because a lot of children are misdiagnosed as having attention-deficit problems, when in reality they could just have a hearing loss that needs to be checked.”
Dr. Jim’s Tips for Preventing Ear Infections
• Longer breast feeding has been shown to reduce chances of chronic ear infections.
• Avoid large daycare settings.
• Make sure to control allergies.
The Doctors’ Medical Must-Haves
• TRIA Home Laser Hair Removal System: This is FDA-approved, and can be used to remove hair on any area below the neck.
“Laser hair removal has become a big thing, expensive in the doctor’s office,” Dr. Ordon says. “You can now do this safely and comfortably with no pain at home.
“It’s great, but it’s not for all skin types,” he adds. “If your skin is too dark, you’ve had a lot of sun, you may not be a candidate.”
• Itami FiTrainer heart-rate monitor headphones: The headphones allow you to listen to music while informing you of your heart rate and progress throughout your workout.
“What you do is you can hook it into an mp3 player, so you can listen to your tunes, and then you can also get your heart rate,” Dr. Lisa says. “And not only that, but since it’s a trainer, it talks to you!”
• KettleWorx home fitness system: This is a complete home-fitness program based entirely on kettlebell training. “Because they’re not stable, you are concentrating on keeping it stable while using it, it works more of your core than just a simple dumbbell will,” Dr. Jim says.