Celebrity Health Scare
Emmy-award winning actress Mariska Hargitay made headlines recently for suffering a partially collapsed lung. The condition is also called a pneumothorax, and it occurs as a result of air escaping the lung, building up in the space between the lung and chest wall, and then creating pressure that causes the lung to collapse in on itself.
A lung can collapse spontaneously, but a collapse is far more common after a car accident, blunt trauma, broken rib, or gunshot or stab wound. Though a spontaneous collapse is rare, it’s more likely to happen in young, thin males who smoke.
Symptoms of a collapsed lung / pneumothorax:
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Sensation that you can’t get enough air
Philips Research has developed an intelligent pill, or iPill for short, for the treatment of gastroenterological disorders such as colitis and Chrohn’s disease. The capsule contains a tiny computer that measures temperature and acidity level in the intestines and releases medication to the specific location that needs it. The advantage of such targeted therapy is that other tissues and organs in the body that do not need the medication will not receive it.
Botox Foot Lift
Millions of women have a penchant for sky-high footwear, but no one has figured out a way to give foot pain the boot - until now! Fashionistas are turning to Botox injections in their feet to numb the pain. Dr. Ordon acknowledges that as much as women love their high heels, “your feet do pay a price.”
The plastic surgeon explains that the muscles on the bottom of the feet go into spasm after prolonged periods of wearing high heels. When Botox is injected into the muscles on the bottom of the foot, it stops the muscle from going into spasm, which subsequently numbs foot pain.
However, despite the pain sensations being blocked, damage is still being done to the foot. “Those pain signals are there for a reason!” Dr. Jim cautions. “It should be telling you not to wear things that hurt!”
Dr. Travis asks, “Aren’t we just masking the body’s natural defense mechanism here?”
Shockwave Foot Therapy
Twenty-one-year-old Diane has suffered chronic foot pain for more than a year. She says that she’s tried steroid injections, orthotics, heel cups, icing and stretching to alleviate the pain, but to no avail. “I feel like there’s a needle that’s been pushed up there and won’t come out. It’s very sharp, to the point where I have to get off my feet,” Diane says, despondently.
She has gained more than 30 pounds and has retreated into a shell. “I feel like I’m a completely different person,” Diane explains. “I want to go back to being the outgoing person that I was.”
Guest podiatrist Dr. Phillip Radovic explains that Diane’s plantar fascia, the large ligament that runs the length of the bottom of the foot, is extremely inflamed. He positions Diane’s foot on a gel pad and places a probe that emits electric impulses into the ligament. Dr. Radovic says that the Shockwave therapy enhances circulation and promotes healing of the area.
Usually one 20-minute treatment does the trick!
Ways to prevent foot pain:
• Sensible shoes
• Anti-inflammatory medication
“The best treatment is prevention,” Dr. Travis adds.
Are carbohydrates as addictive as drugs? The latest studies show that the body’s response to carbohydrates is similar to that of heroin. “The problem isn’t so much carbs, but the type of carbs,” Dr. Travis explains.
Simply put, there are good carbs and bad carbs. Bad carbs are highly refined foods such as white bread, bagels and cookies. All are high in sugar, and when you eat them, your body’s blood sugar, or glucose, skyrockets, and insulin levels surge to metabolize the sugar. Over time, high blood sugar and insulin levels tax the body so much that diabetes and other detrimental diseases can develop.
Good carbs like fruits, vegetables, and whole wheat have a slow-burning sugar content, and have a low glycemic index. “Good carbs that have a protein or fiber component will slow the blood sugar spike,” Dr. Jim explains.
Dr. Travis notes that a good example of that is putting peanut or almond butter on a slice of whole wheat toast slows the release of sugar into your system.
If you’re worried about your waistline, Dr. Ordon adds that high levels of insulin stimulate the body to form new fat in higher concentrations.
PMS and Caffeine
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a collection of ailments that converge on a woman a few days to a week before her menstrual period. Symptoms of PMS range from mood swings, anxiety, tension, bloating, and food cravings to bowel changes.
A lot of women believe that they have to cut out caffeine if they have PMS, but that’s not the case. “Caffeine gets a really bad rap,” Dr. Lisa says. “Moderate amounts of caffeine found in foods like coffee and chocolate are fine.”
The OB/GYN goes on to say that more than anything, exercise helps with the mood swings and bloating because it releases endorphins, naturally-produced chemicals that make us feel good.
Ways to alleviate PMS:
• Vitamin B
• Calcium carbonate
• Chase berry, which is an herb
• Diuretics like spironolactone
Fit, Forty and Pregnant
“Most pregnant women these days are in their 30s and 40s,” Dr. Lisa says. “It has changed in the last five to ten years,” she continues. “Women are going out there and pursuing their dreams and their goals, and we want to promote that. I think that’s great,” she affirms.
However, having children at an advanced age brings with it an increased risk of miscarriage, diabetes, hypertension and delivering via Cesarean section. The risk of genetic disorders are a consideration for women over 35, but tests like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) are designed to detect problems in the early stages of pregnancy.
CVS is the removal of a small piece of placenta tissue, or chorionic villi, from the uterus during early pregnancy to screen the baby for genetic defects.
“If a woman stays healthy, if she takes her vitamins, lives a healthy lifestyle, she really shouldn’t have many more problems than the woman who’s in her 20s,” Dr. Lisa explains. “The face of the new mom is in her 30s and 40s.”
“The biggest problem is actually whether she’s going to get pregnant,” the OB/GYN reveals. “Fertility rates drop significantly after 30, more so after 35, and drastically after 40, so one of the big issues is actually getting pregnant.”
Women can use ovulation kits and Day 3 FSH tests that are designed to predict the most fertile days of the month as well as remaining egg quality and quantity.
Most children have had the chickenpox vaccine, so the chance of an outbreak in your community is much less than in previous years. However, if there is an outbreak, don’t panic. If your child has not been vaccinated, it’s not too late to see your doctor for the shot.
If your child was vaccinated but gets sick anyway, rest assured that the illness will be much milder than if he or she wasn’t. Chickenpox is extremely contagious for about a week, or until sores have crusted over.
One of the greatest discomforts of the infection are the itchy blisters that accompany it, but Dr. Jim cautions that scratching them can cause infection or scarring.
To stop your young ones from scratching, try:
• Oatmeal baths to soothe the skin
• Oral anti-histamines, especially at bed time
• Trimming fingernails
• Putting gloves on their hands
Beauty is Skin Deep
Michelle was taunted mercilessly for years because of a port-wine stain birthmark, a splotchy blemish, covers her entire body. Dr. Ordon explains that the birthmark is caused by a malformation of veins and capillaries.
Although she wears copious amounts of clothes and makeup to hide the discoloration, Michelle admits that it doesn’t seem to make much difference, and the name-calling continues relentlessly. “I just try to ignore it and pretend that it doesn’t hurt me, but it really does hurt my feelings,” Michelle says quietly.
Michelle’s mother, Marilyn, confides that the teasing her daughter has endured is almost too painful to bear. “There are so many times where I just don’t know how Michelle makes it through the day,” she confides.
“I think some of the worst times are when I get made fun of in front of my mom,” Michelle confesses. “I don’t like her to see that.”
Master Esthetician and CEO of GlyMed Plus skin care, Christine Heathman, applies a tinted photo-age pigment protection skin shield to Michelle’s birthmark. “The makeup acts as a second skin and adheres to the non-porous surfaces of the skin,” Christine explains.
The makeup contains a high titanium dioxide concentration, which acts as a sun block and helps protect against ultraviolet rays, proven accelerators of the skin’s aging process. “It’s like a second skin,” Christine adds.
The heavy makeup is often used to camouflage post-surgical skin, bruises and tattoos. One application will last all day, but Christine recommends that Michelle remove it every night before she goes to bed.
The audience cheers as Michelle walks onstage. Her birthmarks are indistinguishable, and, visibly moved, Michelle wells up with tears. “I love it. I feel just like everyone else right now. Thank you.”
Michelle’s mother beams through her tears. “I think she looks just fabulous,” Marilyn says, her voice cracking. “She’s so beautiful. She always has been, but it’s amazing.”
Placing frozen green tea bags on your eyes can prevent puffiness. Puffiness often reflects how much sleep you’ve had, how much salt is in your diet, etc. Green tea has EGCG, which is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce fluid build-up around the eyes.
Dr. Ordon demonstrates the technique on the show’s guinea pig, Dr. Jim, and notes, “They will actually do this at high-end spas.”
Before you try this at home, Dr. Travis cautions, “Never apply ice directly to your skin, as it can kill skin cells.”