What A (Headache) Relief
This just in! The Doctors is happy to report that Jaci, the 56-year-old grandmother who acted as surrogate to her daughter’s triplets, gave birth via C-section just a few days ago. Jaci and all three babies are healthy and resting comfortably. The Doctors cameras caught the delivery room action and a future episode will feature exclusive footage of the newest family members! See Jaci's story here.
Spa Dangers for Kids
The Doctors discuss the rising numbers of young girls who accompany their mothers to spas for treatments such as manicures, pedicures and massages. Dr. Sears thinks it’s harmless and a nice way for mothers and daughters to bond, but Dr. Travis wonders if the girls are just too young. “You’ve got to have something to look forward to, right?” he asks. Dr. Lisa disagrees. “The truth of the matter is that little girls want to be like their mothers,” she explains. “It’s similar to dress-up.”
Dr. Sears cautions that saunas and whirlpools can be dangerous for young children. Moms should make sure the temperature stays below 104 degrees and stay in for five minute increments.
Bird Poo Facials
The latest trend in skin care is a facial concoction that contains bird excrement. New Yorkers are flocking to Shizuka’s Spa in Manhattan, birthplace of the “Geisha Facial”. Spa owner, Shizuka, explains that the Japanese have used nightingale droppings for centuries to attain beautiful, porcelain-like skin. The droppings contain urea that helps to cleanse pores and are sanitized by the exposure to UV light. Kat, a brave audience member, volunteers for a treatment. When the mask comes off, she thinks it’s something to crow about!
Chiropractor Marc Golub demonstrates the revolutionary Spine Force machine, a unique device that strengthens core spinal muscles, optimizes coordination and works up to 180 muscles at the same time! It’s perfect for someone with back pain or rehabilitating a back injury. A volunteer from the audience jumps on to give it a whirl.
Next, there are five types of headaches: Sinus, cluster, tension, migraine and hormonal. Dr. Lisa explains that headaches are much more common in women than men due to hormonal fluctuations, and many women report menstrual migraines right before their period.
Migraines are also known as vascular headaches because they are caused by a change in circulation inside the brain. They tend to affect one side of the head and are often relieved by sleep. Dr. Ordon explains that Botox injections are an increasingly popular treatment for migraines because it can be injected into the sensory nerves that send pain impulses to the brain. To demonstrate, he injects Botox into trigger spots on Amanda, 30, who has suffered from migraines for years. “I feel great!” she reports.
Another migraine remedy that’s still in development is the Neuralieve TMS Treatment Device. The Doctors gets a sneak peak at the handheld machine that is placed at the back of the head and emits a magnetic pulse to stave off the onset of a migraine. The caveat is that the pulse can only be administered when a person senses an aura, which is a precursor to a debilitating migraine. Research has shown that just one zap keeps the doctor away!
Ness L300 Drop Foot Device
Michelle, 42, was devastated when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis four years ago. “I had an MRI and the doctor told me I have lesions on my brain.” Michelle says. Walking has become increasingly difficult for her because she has developed foot drop, which is when the muscles of the foot are unable to contract and pull the foot upward in stride. The contraction and extension of the foot is essential to walking, but when the nerves in the brain are damaged, movement is severely compromised.
The Ness L300 device, a small orthotic worn over the knee, performs the function of the brain and sends electrical impulses directly to the foot to lift it up and complete a step. This revolutionary device is making great strides in the realm of brain and spinal cord injury and is ideal for those who have suffered stroke, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury.
Dr. David Patterson, Medical Director for the California Brain Injury Association, explains that the neuromuscular electrical stimulation device senses when a person is ready to take a step and needs the foot to be lifted. It then stimulates the proper muscles and allows the wearer to walk normally.
Jonna, 35, has multiple sclerosis and has used the Ness L300 for several years. “It’s phenomenal,” she glows. “It’s given me a piece of my life back.” She’s even hiked to the top of Diamondback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona! Michelle tried the Ness L300 and beams, “It’s incredible!”
Vertigo is the sensation that your surroundings are spinning uncontrollably and is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The condition is usually attributed to a problem with the inner ear and occurs most often in people over 60. Fifty percent of adults will experience vertigo in their lifetime, 70 percent of whom are women.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common type of vertigo. When tiny crystals in the inner ear dislodge and migrate to other parts of the ear, they irritate tissues, and that irritation is the source of the vertigo.
Zee, 51, was diagnosed with vertigo in June 2008. “I woke up in the middle of the night spinning like I was on a carnival ride and I could not get off,” she recalls, “I felt like my brain was exploding.”
Dr. Michael O’Leary and Dr. Ian Purcell explain that an experimental contraption called the Epley Chair helps vertigo sufferers like Zee. It allows doctors to determine where the crystals are in the ear and then repositions them into an area where they don’t cause irritation. Zee tried the chair three days ago and is happy to report that she feels much better!
Lyric hearing aid
Thirty million people suffer from hearing loss, and without sound to connect them, often feel alienated from the world around them. Hearing aids amplify sound waves and can help to restore communication, but they can be cumbersome and often provide mediocre sound quality.
A new hearing aid called the Lyric is the first extended-wear device that offers clear sound due to its positioning deep in the ear canal. To demonstrate, Dr. Michael Scherl inserts the Lyric’s effectiveness by inserting it into John’s ear. John, 29, has a 65 percent hearing loss in his right ear as a result of a prior brain surgery. John reports, “The hearing is amazing. It’s as good as I remember it pre-surgery.” He recounts that losing his hearing made him feel cut off from society, but describes the Lyric as “life-restoring.”
The latest development in women’s health is a spermicidal gel touted to protect women from both STDs and unwanted pregnancy. The makers of the gel claim that it adheres to the vaginal wall and kills sperm, bacteria and viruses but maintains vaginal pH. Amphora gel is still in clinical trials and could be available as early as 2010.
Ask the Doctors
Laverne from Hillside, California, e-mails about meningitis outbreaks at her child’s school and wonders what warning signs she should look for in her child. Dr. Sears explains that meningitis is a life-threatening infection of the meninges, which are the membranes that cover the brain. The membranes can be infected either by bacteria or viruses that enter the blood stream and are carried to the brain. Although vaccines have decreased the incidence of meningitis outbreaks, they are still very dangerous. If you suspect meningitis, go the doctor immediately -- minutes count!
Symptoms of Meningitis
Sensitivity to light