Why Is This Happening to Me?

Help for Haiti

Dr. Travis speaks with two doctors who are on the scene helping with relief efforts in Haiti

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Chronic Pain
For the last eight seasons of the Dr. Phil show, viewers have followed the trials and tribulations of the Dr. Phil Family.

The youngest daughter, 19-year-old Katherine, has struggled with chronic abdominal pain for several years.

"It feels like someone is stabbing me with a knife," Katherine says. "It's very intense."

The famed psychologist turns to The Doctors to decipher Katherine's ailment and alleviate her pain. "We're sending you to the best of the best," Dr. Phil assures her.

A trip to the emergency room when Katherine was 13 revealed that the young teen suffers from kidney stones. Since then, Katherine's kidney pain has been debilitating.

The Doctors and Dr. Phil send Katherine to urologist Dr. Jennifer Anger at the UCLA Diagnostic Center for further testing.

The primary function of the kidneys is to remove waste products from the blood, regulate acid concentration and maintain the body's water balance by excreting urine.

Dr. Anger reveals Katherine's test results. Although Katherine has a small kidney stone and a small ovarian cyst, Dr. Anger says these two conditions are not the cause of Katherine's pain.

"I think we need to stop looking for a source of pain, because there's nothing bad going on," Dr. Anger says. "Katherine needs to be reassured that there's no malignancy, no cancer. What I think is safe to say is that she may have some nerve hypersensitivity in that area. Rather than continuing with invasive testing, I think we need to start transitioning and really treat her pain."

Many of the medications used to treat chronic pain fall under the category of tricyclic anti-depressants.

"I think depression and stress can certainly aggravate a pain syndrome in a major way," Dr. Phil notes. "In fact, neurologic pain and depression share some of the same neurological pathways and neurotransmitters."

The Doctors and Dr. Phil set Katherine up with pain management specialist Dr. Marla Golden in Jacksonville, Florida and will follow her progress.

Breast Buds
All young girls will develop breast buds, or premature thelarche, at the onset of puberty. But what happens if your daughter develops them at 18 months? Jill calls in to The Doctors, worried about her 2-year-old daughter's breast buds.

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains that breast tissue can be stimulated by various conditions, such as hormone fluctuations in the mother, and once stimulated, the breasts will remain enlarged. Breast buds that develop before age 2 will eventually go away on their own.

Drinking and Laughing

Seven-year-old Kyle asks The Doctors why when he takes a drink of milk, it sprays out of his nose when he laughs!

"I see this a lot in my office, and it's always been no big deal," Dr. Jim reassures. "Usually if breast development is a sign of early puberty, it usually starts around age 2 or 3, not earlier."

In certain instances, if breast buds develop after age 2, it can be a precursor of precocious puberty, when a child enters puberty before age 7. Parents are advised to seek medical consultation to assess their child's case.

Dusk Blindness
The retina, located in the eye, consists of rods and cones, receptor cells that aid day and night vision, respectfully. The light at dusk, however, can pose a problem.

"There are no real great receptor cells for the in between," ophthalmologist Dr. Gregg Feinerman explains. "They both contribute, but they don't contribute at 100 percent."

Most people's vision at dusk will diminish slightly, but if someone has severe difficulty seeing at dusk, it may be an indicator of a more serious condition. Doctors recommend an eye exam with an ophthalmologist every year.

Fecal Incontinence

E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork demonstrates how the anal sphincter interacts with the rectum and what happens when signals get crossed.

Medications during Pregnancy
If you're pregnant, be sure to consult your doctor before taking any medications.The following are general guidelines:

• Acetaminophen for a fever
• Saline drops
• Pseudoephedrine for a stuffy nose
*Make sure to avoid pseudoephedrine during the first trimester because it may cause problems with the fetus' digestive system

• Aspirin
• Ibuprofen

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OAD 1/26/10