Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

Everyday Health from A to Z:  F = Food

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears and Everyday Health from A to Z share the importance of eating balanced, nutritious meals.

Don’t shrug off minor aches and pains! Learn why ignoring certain symptoms can put your life at risk. Find out how to decipher what your body is telling you and which symptoms you should never ignore.

A study in the Journal of Pediatrics states that in the last several years, emergency room visits for sports-related concussion injuries has doubled for children 8 to 13 years of age and tripled for 14- to 19-year-olds.

“It still causes me a lot of pain and grief when I see kids out playing without a helmet,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “Ninety percent of deaths [from riding] a bicycle are due to not wearing a helmet. Think about that.”

A concussion is the most common head injury and occurs when an impact to the head causes the brain to hit the side of the skull, resulting in bruising of the brain. The damage sustained from a concussion is considered more dangerous in children, because their brains are still developing. Suffering multiple concussions can cause cognitive problems in both children and adults.

Common signs of a concussion are confusion and amnesia. If a victim cannot answer simple questions such as, “What is your name?” and “Do you know where you are?” he or she may have concussion. If a person loses consciousness, is confused, lethargic or vomiting, take him or her to an emergency room immediately.

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Warning Signs of a Concussion
• Nausea or vomiting
• Headache and dizziness
• Confusion and amnesia
• Loss of balance
• Ringing in ears
• Sensitivity to light and noise

Warning Signs of Head Trauma
• Abnormal pupil size
• Abnormal gaze
• Abnormal behavior – even if it’s subtle
• Drowsiness
• Disorientation
• Vomiting
• Lethargy
• Loss of consciousness
• Slurred or repetitive speech

Potty Training
Potty training can be a trying time for parents and children alike. Accidents often happen because children are still developing their sense of bowel and bladder fullness. “Kids just forget,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. “They’re out playing and having fun, and suddenly, ‘Oh! I had an accident.’”

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To help remind children to use the toilet, parents can use devices such as the Potty Watch by Potty Time, Inc., which has a timer that plays tunes, and the WobL Vibrating Watch by PottyMD LLC, which has a timer that vibrates. The Potty Watch can be set to 30, 60 or 90 minute increments, and the WobL Vibrating Watch can be set for any increment of time. The devices are most useful for toddlers who are farther along in the potty training process.

And they’re not just for kids! Adults can use the WobL Vibrating Watch as a reminder to perform daily tasks, such as taking medicine.

“There’s actually a really good behavioral basis for this. Sometimes, kids, if you tell them to go potty, they’re just resistant,” Dr. Sears continues. “But if it’s something other than the parent, like an alarm or a watch, it’s cool, it’s fun.”

Dr. Sears’ Potty Training Tips:
• Watch for readiness
• Use potty props
• Don’t pressure your child
• Lead by example
• Never punish

Moms: Share your potty training tips with The Doctors Motherhood Survival Club!

Oral Care

Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman offers explanations for recurring mouth sores and tooth sensitivity and reveals dental warning signs you should never ignore.


                       Mouth Sores                                       Tooth Sensitivity

Respiratory Care
Yaz, 26, comes down with bronchitis-related symptoms two to four times per year. She visits allergist and immunologist Dr. Warner Carr, who evaluates her.

Dr. Carr determines that Yaz is suffering from vasomotor rhinitis, also known as non-allergic rhinitis, an inflammation of the lining of the nose, nasal cavity and sinuses, which is triggering asthmatic bronchitis.

“Asthma is a form of bronchitis,” Dr. Carr explains. “Asthma is a combination of two things: the airway narrowing, which causes the cough, and airway inflammation. Those are signs of bronchitis.

“Bronchitis is almost a wastebasket term, and a lot of things can cause it,” Dr. Carr continues. “It’s very important, if a patient has bronchitis, for them to see their doctor so they can figure out why they have it.”

The following symptoms should never be ignored, as they may indicate lung or heart conditions that require medical treatment:

Respiratory Warning Signs
• Shortness of breath
• Wheezing
• Coughing when exercising
• Decreased exercise tolerance
• Coughing without phlegm
• Trouble sleeping
• Sweating

What Does It Mean? 


      Buzzing in Your Ears           Seeing Spots and Flashes             Changes in Stool

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OAD 10/19/10