What Comes Out … Must Go Back In?
Deborah, 48, was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis — a condition that results in recurring discomfort in the bladder and surrounding pelvic region — about one year ago. She says that the pain she experienced was completely debilitating. “It got to the point where I literally could not go from the sofa to the bedroom without severe pain,” she says. When doctors were unable to find a treatment that worked for her, she decided to try an unusual remedy: urine therapy.
Used for centuries as a healing agent in Eastern cultures, urine therapy — also known as urotherapy — involves the patient drinking his or her own urine, from a few drops to full glasses, every day.
While urine is not necessarily harmful, ER physician Dr. Travis Stork emphasizes that The Doctors do not advocate urotherapy. “We do not personally recommend doing this,” he says.
Living with an Ostomy
Nysha was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was just 12 years old. The autoimmune disease, which most commonly affects the end of the small bowel, causes the body to attack the intestines. Nysha’s condition became so severe that by her freshman year of college, she had withered down to 50 pounds. To save her life, doctors removed her entire large intestine and created an ileostomy — an opening in the abdominal wall through which stool can move out of the body. She joins The Doctors to shed light on this disorder and to help clear up the myths and misconceptions about people with ostomies.
“This is a disease that carries a lot of shame around it and humiliation,” Nysha says. “Life’s messy. Everybody poops, even you!”
Is It Diabetes?
Emily says she usually eats a very healthy diet, filled with salads and fruit and plenty of water. But, she says, about three to four times a week, she has intense sugar cravings, which when satisfied, result in frequent urination. For example, one chocolate bar can cause her to urinate roughly every 30 minutes for a five-hour period! Worried that she could be at risk for developing diabetes, she joins The Doctors to find out what her frequent urination could be saying about her health.
Urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman explains that excessive sugar consumption, especially refined white sugar, can have a myriad of negative health consequences. Chocolate, she says, contains a chemical that increases blood flow to the kidneys, which increases urine production and the need to relieve yourself. Sugar can also create inflammation in the bladder and surrounding nerves, which can result in more frequent urination and a feeling of urgency to urinate.
"We've got to do two things," Dr. Berman says. "moderate your sugar intake ... and try to understand when these cravings come and why you're having them."
The average adult expels about 410 pounds of stool per year. But sometimes the digestive system doesn’t work as smoothly as we’d like. Liz Vaccariello, editor in chief of Reader's Digest magazine, opens up to The Doctors about her struggles with constipation and the discovery she made that changed everything.
“I had this eureka moment, and I thought, what if I can have a diet that soothes my digestive system and slims me down?” she says.
Working with a registered dietician, Liz created an easy, three-week eating plan, called the 21-Day Tummy, which incorporates foods that not only alleviate digestive irritations, but also promote weight loss.
Heather’s Body Transformation
Heather visited The Doctors in March 2013 to share her dismay at the massive amount of excess skin she had retained after losing almost 200 pounds. Although she’d changed her diet and exercised intensively to lose the weight and improve her health, there was nothing she could do to reduce the roughly 25 pounds of sagging skin that remained. Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon promised Heather that he and his team would help her attain the body she’d worked so hard for, by performing the complex excess skin removal surgery.