Smoking and Snorting Candy
Can candy lead to smoking? The latest in teen trends is snorting and smoking candy. Kids crush the candy into a fine, sugary dust, which they then smoke or inhale. Dr. Andrew Ordon explains that the sugar powder gets trapped in the nasal cavity and can cause an inflammatory reaction, infect the sinus cavity, and eat away the nose.
Trevor, a teenaged boy, admits to engaging in this practice on occasion. When The Doctors ask why, he says, “It’s just something stupid to do for stupidity’s sake.”
Does Beer Build Bones?
We’ve heard that milk builds healthy bones, but what about beer? The latest studies may have you bellying up to the bar for another pint o’ ale! Some experts suggest that moderate drinking may help keep your bones healthy and strong. Researchers found that people who drank one or two glasses of beer or wine per day had denser bones than non-drinkers.
But don’t reach for that third glass! Drinking more than two glasses a day, or drinking hard liquor, can weaken bone density. Dr. Ordon says that beer contains trace amounts of silicon, which helps build bone density.
“This is absolutely, in my opinion, not a reason to drink alcohol,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “If you want to have a glass of wine a day for a cardio-protective benefit, there’s good data on that … Have a glass of milk if you want to protect your bones.”
Will Red Meat Kill You?
Recent research suggests that too much red meat and too much processed meat increases risks to your health, as well as your life. Jim Sears recalls that his father, after being diagnosed with colon cancer, discovered that when red meat is cooked or prepared in a certain way, carcinogenic compounds are released.
“Even the iron in the red meat increases oxidation, creating free radicals … He hasn’t touched the stuff since,” Dr. Jim concludes.
Dr. Travis notes that one of the compounds, heterocyclic amines, can occur from grilling other meats as well. Dr. Jim adds that if meat is boiled or baked, then the amines do not develop.
“Don’t stop barbequing,” Dr. Ordon says. “Just mix it up!”
If you’re going to eat red meat, do so in moderation and make sure to buy lean cuts such as filet or sirloin. Excessive meat intake can increase your risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
Madelyn, barely a year-old, suffers from strabismus, a misalignment of the eyes. In her case, her eyes are crossed extremely, a condition known as esotropia. Pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. David Granet from the University of California, San Diego performs corrective eye surgery on Madelyn .
Dr. Granet explains that he cut the muscles on the inner part of Madelyn’s eyes. Those muscles pulled Madelyn’s eyes towards her nose, so once they were cut, he straightened her eyes, and then reattached the eye muscles.
“We can straighten her eyes out,” Dr. Granet says, “almost like you can straighten headlights out.”
The ophthalmologist stresses that the earlier the surgery is performed, the better. If left untreated, the condition worsens , causing one eye to shut down and brain cells of the optic nerve to atrophy.
“If the child’s eyes are insistently, persistently, consistently crossing, it’s not going to go away,” Dr. Granet warns. “If he or she is three months of age and those eyes are still crossed, don’t wait. Go to see your pediatrician, and your pediatrician can evaluate you and get you to somebody like me who can then straighten the eyes out. Doing it under the age of one is when you get your best results.”
OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson performs a 4-D ultrasound on Sarah, one of The Doctors’ show producers. Sarah is 20 weeks along, mid-way through her pregnancy. An ultrasound performed at 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy allows doctors to ensure proper fetal development and delineate any anomalies.
The ultrasound technician applies gel to Sarah’s belly, which acts as a medium for the machine’s sound waves to pass through in order to create corresponding images onscreen. Sarah’s husband, Jake, looks on as Dr. Lisa performs an ultrasound in 2-D, considered the standard of care, as well as in 4-D, the latest technology.
The Doctors surprise Sarah and Jake with a basket filled with baby goodies.
Pregnant and Constipated?
“Pregnancy can just be fraught with these things,” Dr. Lisa assures. “They’re very uncomfortable, annoying, and difficult to live with, but you don’t have to.”
To remedy constipation, try prunes, lots of water, exercise, fiber laxatives and stool softeners. Often, the extra iron in pre-natal vitamins causes constipation.
Chronic Back Pain
Eighty percent of Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives. Mark, 49, suffered from debilitating back pain, and recently underwent a revolutionary new back surgery called Lateral Lumbar Interbody Infusion, or XLIF surgery. After XLIF, Mark was up and walking in three days.
“What makes this approach revolutionary,” neurosurgical spine specialist Dr. Ian Armstrong explains, “is that we’re going through the side.”
Dr. Armstrong describes the surgery , saying that the greatest advancement is that surgeons can now access the patient’s spine through his or her side, instead of having to go through the back or the stomach, destroying those muscles in the process and increasing recovery time exponentially.
Doctors make an inch incision and guide a trochar through the portal, using electrical stimulation to safely navigate through nerves and muscles.
A patient undergoing ILIF surgery can expect to be back to routine activities in four to six weeks, as opposed the standard model of recovery: a hospital stay for at least five days, several weeks of recovery, and a return to full functioning in four to six months.
When to Seek Medical Help for Back Pain
• Constant or intense pain
• Progressive back pain
• Night-time back pain (can be a sign of infection or tumor)
• Leg pain with progressive weakness or numbness
• Bowel or bladder problems
Dr. Armstrong explains that when people experience back pain, most of the time the cause is spasm or strain. To treat the pain, he recommends:
• Guided activity or exercise with physical therapist or chiropractor
• Soft tissue work (i.e. massage)
Ask the Pharmacist
CVS Pharmacist Jeff McClusky recommends consulting your pharmacist before starting any allergy medication.
What causes allergies?
When the body is exposed to a substance it is allergic to (an allergen), the immune system responds by releasing histamines from mast cells. Such high levels of histamine cause allergic symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, etc.
• Dust mites
• Animal dander
• Industrial chemicals
Kids and Allergies
Eight-year-old Kayson suffers from allergies, and his mother, Jessica, fears they will worsen as he gets older. She wonders what’s causing them, and if it’s possible Kayson will outgrow them.
“Whether he’ll grow out of them,” Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says, “depends on what he’s allergic to.”
He explains that some kids will outgrow respiratory allergies, and a lot of food allergies can be alleviated by avoiding that particular food for awhile. However, most animal allergies tend to persist. The Doctors suggest that Jessica keep an allergy journal and go see a specialist to find out what Kayson is allergic to.
Keep an allergy diary in order to best determine how to treat them. Log the date, time, day of the week, current weather, food intake, activities, changes in routine, symptoms and how long they last, etc. This will help you and your doctor determine a course of treatment.
Can Doing Your Chores Lead to Better Sex?
Is there a chore that men can do around the house that will benefit your sex life? You bet! Redbook magazine cites a study positing that men who exercise 30 minutes a day can reduce their risk of impotence by 38 percent. Light exercises such as gardening, walking, dancing or cycling are an excellent way to stay healthy and keep everything functioning as it should.
Impotence can be a sign of diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, so make sure to check with your doctor if symptoms arise.