Don’t burn yourself out! The Doctors share the best ways to reduce stress. Then, learn about Scrubs actress Sarah Chalke’s mission to fight a dangerous childhood disease. Plus, see which unexpected spots in your kitchen may be harboring harmful bacteria. And, find out the best late-night snacks to improve your sleep ... without adding inches to your waistline!
Ask Our Docs
The Doctors answer health questions from the studio audience and viewers at home!
Kitchen Misconceptions Uncovered
Contrary to popular belief, your bathroom may not be the dirtiest place in your home. The Doctors uncover three surprising health hazards in your kitchen!
Misconception #3: Washing Meat Kills Bacteria
Do not wash red meat, fish or poultry prior to cooking, as running water can splash bacteria onto other surfaces and increase the risk of cross contamination and food poisoning. Additionally, meat that is too damp will not brown properly. The Doctors recommend using a dry paper towel to absorb excess moisture, then disposing the towel and washing your hands. The safest way to prevent foodborne illness is to ensure that your meat is cooked thoroughly and has reached the appropriate internal temperature.
• Click here for a guide to cooking meat.
Sarah Chalke’s Medical Mission
Actress Sarah Chalke is best known for playing a doctor on the hit TV show Scrubs, but she discovered her true passion for medicine when her son, Charlie, was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness that primarily affects children: Kawasaki disease. The autoimmune illness, also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, causes chronic inflammation of blood vessels, which can lead to coronary embolisms and heart attacks.
Kawasaki disease is the primary cause of acquired heart disease in children in the U.S., and it is often misdiagnosed, due to symptoms that mimic other illnesses, such as measles, scarlet fever and other bacterial infections. A proper and expedient diagnosis is crucial, however, as Kawasaki disease should be treated within a 10-day window from the time symptoms present. After the disease surpasses the 10-day mark, coronary artery aneurysms can begin to form, which may result in permanent heart damage and elevate the risk for cardiac arrest.
"I really felt like I needed to do something right away to raise awareness, because you have this very short window to get the treatment to save their heart," Sarah explains.
Sarah documented Charlie's symptoms with pictures, which assisted pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Wilbert Mason, from Children's Hospital Los Angeles, in his diagnosis. Charlie underwent immediate treatment, as he had been showing signs of the disease for 10 days. Treating Kawasaki disease involves intravenously administering gamma globulin — a protein found in blood — to suppress overactivity of the immune system, combined with high doses of aspirin to decrease arterial inflammation.
Tips to Prevent a Burnout
The Doctors recently teamed up with Women’s Health magazine to conduct an exclusive survey, which revealed that 55 percent of women feel guilty about taking time to relax!
“We’re multitasking all the time; we’re so plugged in; the job market is terrible, so we’re working harder. We’re working longer. We’re trying to get that competitive edge,” explains Sascha de Gersdorff, the health and features editor of Women’s Health. “What’s happening is that every time we have a second to decompress, we feel like we need to use that to get ahead. So, relaxing can actually make you feel restless, which is terrible for your health,” she adds.
Relaxation-induced anxiety can cause the body to produce a surplus of cortisol — the primary stress hormone. “Cortisol, in and of itself, is important,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “But the problem is if you’re just overproducing it, and you’re constantly releasing cortisol, it can decrease immunity; it can increase fatigue; it can cause anxiety; it can even lead to depression and obesity.”
• The Doctors and Sascha share tips and activities to help reduce chronic stress.