From dizziness to dehydration, The Doctors count down the top 10 diagnoses you hate to hear, and what you can do about them!
10. Common Cold
The common cold causes more than three billion infections a year in the United States. The Doctors describe the differences between the common cold, the flu and the H1N1 virus.
Twenty percent of Americans suffer from allergies, which are often inherited. With more than 1,000 allergens triggering reactions, chances are you're allergic to substances you don't even know about. Allergen specialists say that the key to combating allergies is proper diagnosis.
An allergy is the immune system's abnormal response to a usually harmless substance in the environment such as pollen, animal dander, mold, etc. If the substance causes a reaction, then it is deemed an allergen to that individual.
Once it comes into contact with the body, the allergen sets off a chain of events; it triggers the immune system to go into overdrive and produce an abundance of histamine, which attaches to receptors in blood vessels, causing them to enlarge. Like a domino effect, the enlarged vessels create the redness, swelling, itching and changes in secretions that cause discomfort and irritation.
When the histamine receptors are blocked with an antihistamine, then these symptoms subside. Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, Clarinex and Allegra are antihistamines that can be purchased at a pharmacy.
While most symptoms are merely unpleasant and can be remedied with medication, others symptoms are so serious they require multiple injections to manage. A new remedy may eliminate the need for shots for good.
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy throat
- Runny nose
- Grasses and weeds
- Animal dander, urine and saliva
- Dust mites
There are two types of diarrhea: acute and chronic. Acute diarrhea lasts several days, while chronic diarrhea lasts longer than four weeks. The most common causes include viruses, medication, bacteria and parasites, but it can also be caused by digestive disorders and certain substances found in food and beverages such as fructose and lactose.
If you have suffered from diarrhea for more than four weeks, consult your doctor. Chronic diarrhea is sometimes caused by inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr. Travis demonstrates what happens inside your body during a bout of diarrhea.
6. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins that appear close to the surface of the skin and are most prevalent in the foot and ankle area. Approximately 50 percent of women over the age of 50 will develop them in their foot, ankle or legs.
Interventional radiologist Dr. John Hewett performs VenaCure EVLT, a minimally invasive laser treatment, on Mariana, 27, a server who has developed varicose veins in her legs.
The procedure is performed by pulling a laser fiber through the blood vessel and sealing the varicose vein shut. VenaCure does not require anesthesia, usually takes less than an hour and has a short recovery period.
Dr. Hewett demonstrates the VenaCure EVLT procedure, and Mariana shows off her legs just three days after the procedure.
Dr. Hewett says that preventing varicose veins from developing is simple. "I tell everyone to be active and proactive," he explains. "Active: get up, walk around, lose some weight and exercise. Be proactive: wear compression stockings. Also, if you see a varicose vein, even if it's a small spider vein, go and see a vein specialist. Make sure there's nothing more significant wrong with your legs that can be treated early and taken care of, to prevent more serious consequences from happening later on."
Other Treatment Options for Varicose Vein
• CoolTouch CTEV Laser
• Foam Sclerotherapy
Dr. Ordon's Blog
• Treating Varicose and Spider Veins
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, the most common cancer found in women. Eighty to 90 percent of women with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
Surgical breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk demonstrates a cutting-edge technology used in the fight against breast cancer. See how the SAVI targeted radiation device attacks the cancer cells.
Learn more about preventing and detecting breast cancer.
Chewing tobacco contains 28 known carcinogens, has three to four times more nicotine than cigarettes and is highly addictive. Scott admits he started chewing tobacco when he was 15 or 16 years old. Now 35, he is happily married and a father of two but can’t seem to quit the habit, despite the risks.
Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman offers advice to help Scott quit the dangerous habit once and for all.
Risks of Chewing Tobacco
• Cancer of the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, esophagus, stomach, colon and floor and roof of the mouth
• Periodontal, or gum, disease
• Heart disease
How to Quit Chewing Tobacco
• Try nicotine patches or gum
• Take medication to counter cravings
• Attend individual and group counseling
• Chew on food substitutes such as gum, nuts, seeds and shredded beef jerky to help counter the oral fixation
3. Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is one of the most common skin problems babies and toddlers suffer.There are two types of diaper rash: contact and fungal. Contact, or irritant diaper rash, is the most common and is caused by a wet diaper and loose stool that irritates the baby's bottom.
"The [fungal], yeast diaper rash is a little different category," Dr. Jim says. "Just being on antibiotics predisposes somebody to yeast. Women get yeast infections, babies get the diaper rashes.
To treat both types of diaper rashes, use generous amounts of zinc oxide cream, vitamin A and D ointment, or hydrocortisone cream to help soothe the irritation.
"If you don't use an anti-fungal, an anti-yeast cream, the rash is going to keep coming back," Dr. Jim continues. "Probably for the first week, you're going to use all of these together. You can either whip them all together in your palm to mix them and put them on, or put them on individually. Doing all these things together will really help it go away."
2. Bad Teeth
Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and shiny, white teeth are a sign of good health. Elizabeth, 24, is embarrassed by her teeth. "I hate smiling and looking at my teeth in the mirror, seeing how crooked they are, how everything's decayed," she confesses. "I try to hide my teeth when I smile."
Cosmetic dentist Dr. Jack Ringer says that porcelain veneers are a simple solution to Elizabeth's problem. "Porcelain veneers are a thin shell of porcelain, very thin, that are made to the color, shape, and specifications, based on a design that we do for the patient," he explains. "Then they're bonded to the tooth permanently, kind of like a press-on nail, but permanent."
Dizziness is one of the most common reasons patients visit the doctor. E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork explains that people tend to describe one of two sensations when they feel dizzy. "It's either the sensation that the room is spinning, which is vertigo, or feeling extremely light-headed, like you're about to pass out," he says.
The Doctors delve into the causes and sensations of dizziness.
Be sure to see a doctor if you experience dizziness along with:
- Chest pain
- Leg or arm weakness
- New or different headache
- Falling or trouble walking
- Hearing loss
See how the Epley Chair can help people who suffer from vertigo.