Trends with Benefits: Are They Right For You?

Plastic surgery without the pain, weight loss without the gym, luscious lips without makeup -- The Doctors weigh in on the latest health trends.

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Baby Teeth Stem Cells
Doctors have been harvesting stem cells from umbilical cords for years, however, recent research shows that baby teeth, the temporary teeth children begin to lose around the age of 6, also contain a rich supply of stem cells. Should parents consider freezing their child’s baby teeth to acquire stem cells in the future?

“A stem cell is an immature cell that can turn into any body tissue type,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “It could someday be a heart muscle cell.”

Stem cells are the body’s “master” cells that are responsible for regenerating the body’s tissues and organs. Most cells in the body can only make new cells of the same type; blood cells make blood cells, skin cells make skin cells. Stem cells, however, are unique because they can create all different types of cells.

While harvesting these cells could potentially benefit your child’s health down the line, pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says it is currently still in the research phase and there is no use for them at this time. Additionally, freezing a baby tooth costs roughly $600 per tooth.

Curing Constipation
Stress and anxiety can take a toll on your ability to make a bowel movement, causing painful constipation. But there are a number of ways to combat it. Some people find reading helpful, while others take their computer into the bathroom.

But there’s a new trend for restroom relaxation: The Potty Putter.

The Potty Putter lets you practice your golf game while sitting on the pot, promoting focus and relaxation.

“It does [help] you relax and focus,” plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. “But it’s whatever works for you to just relax and let things open up naturally down there.”

When relaxation and putting don’t do the trick, some people turn to Botox.

The American Journal of Gastroenterology published a report that found using Botox helps relax the multiple sphincter muscles around the anus,” Dr. Ordon says.

One of the most common causes of constipation is when the pelvic floor muscles don’t relax enough during a bowel movement. A small amount of Botox injected in the anal sphincter can relax the muscles and correct constipation, as well as treat anal fissures, gastroparesis and dysphagia. The Food and Drug Administration, however, has not approved the use of Botox for these conditions.

As if constipation isn't frustrating enough, have you ever dropped your cell phone in the toilet, forcing you to buy a costly replacement? It's an upsetting situation many people are familiar with, but now there's a solution: Liquipel waterproofing technology.

“Liquipel is a way to waterproof your phone, potentially your computer or any of your technological gadgets,” Dr. Travis says.

“The [waterproof] coating is so thin, it’s about 1000 times thinner than a human hair,” Dr. Sears adds.

• De-stress with an Aroma Home Animal Knitted Hottie.

Gadgets and Gizmos
Discover noninvasive treatments for your biggest health bothers. Could they work for you?

Words With Friends
Interactive cell phone games are not only a growing trend; they can save a loved one’s life.

Georgie, an avid player of the popular mobile app Words with Friends, and her husband Simon, join the show all the way from Australia to reveal how the game helped save Simon’s life.

Georgie began a match with Beth, a random opponent from Missouri, and ongoing games lead the two to strike up a friendship.

“I didn’t play my turn for about five days, which was unusual,” Georgie says. “I received a chat message [from Beth], and responded that I’d had a few things going on at home and my husband wasn’t well.”

Beth, a nurse, became concerned and inquired about Simon’s symptoms, which were severe fatigue and burning in the back of his throat. She advised Georgie to seek medical attention for her husband immediately.

An angiography showed a 99 percent blockage in Simon’s left ventricle, the blood vessel that supplies the main chamber of your heart, a life-threatening condition called angina. Simon had two stents implanted in an emergency operation.

“I’m feeling absolutely fantastic, I can’t say 100 perfect but 99.9 percent,” Simon reports.

Beth and her husband, Larry, a physician, join the show, unaware that Georgie and Simon are backstage. See the surprise as the four friends meet for the first time!

Body Art: How Far is Too Far?
Many people express themselves through tattoos and piercings; but when do they go too far?

Maria Jose Cristerna, 36, known as “The Vampire Woman,” has adorned most of her body -- including her face -- with tattoos and piercings. Her body art also includes horn implants, with six in her arms, six on her head and three along her neckline.

“Maria speaks out against domestic violence; she works with the government and wants to emulate ancient Mexican warriors,” Dr. Travis explains. “She’s doing this to make a statement.”

While her expression of strength and beauty positively coincides with her activism, there are health risks that come with body modifications, including scarring, nerve and muscle damage, MSRA and HIV.

If you are interested in obtaining body modifications, make sure the shop is clean, ask if all instruments are thoroughly sterilized, check that disposable needles are being used and ask to see the practitioner’s Association of Professional Piercers (APP) license and/or Alliance of Professional Tattooist (APT) license.

Temporary lip tattoos.

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