The Secrets to Never Getting Sick

Runny noses, sore throats, nasty coughs and vomiting: Stop those dreaded symptoms before they start! The Doctors reveal the top secrets to never getting sick.

Can You Really Cough Up a Lung?
Ever heard the expression, “I think I’m going to cough up a lung?” It may not just be a figure of speech.

An Apple a Day ...

A Dutch study found that eating apples and pears is associated with a lower risk of stroke. The study showed that people who ate at least 171 grams of white produce daily – equal to a medium or large apple – had a 52 percent lower risk of stroke.

“An apple a day. Think about it!” Dr. Travis says.

“A 40-year-old woman literally coughed her right lung out into her abdominal cavity,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “Luckily, surgeons were able to repair the herniated lung.”

A New England Journal of Medicine study reports that the woman suffered from asthma and emphysema – a condition that weakens lung tissue – which may have left her much more vulnerable to suffering a herniated lung.

“She coughed so hard she ruptured a muscle and her lung came out through the rib cage,” Dr. Travis says. “Technically, she didn’t cough up her lung; she coughed out her lung.”

It is reported that after a follow-up visit, there was fortunately no evidence of a recurrent hernia.

Who Gets Sick More Often: Men or Women?
A recent study shows that women are more likely to get sick especially during ovulation. According to the findings, the high levels of estrogen that are present during ovulation are said to lower the activity of the immune system.

A woman’s immune system lets down its guard when a female is ovulating to let sperm survive in the reproductive tract. As a side effect, ovulating females are more prone to infections from bacteria and viruses.

“Women are hormonal beings and estrogen and progesterone work together in that factor and that’s one of the things that helps with pregnancy, to decrease the reaction toward a foreign body, [in that case] a baby,” OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says.

However, a different study suggests that men’s immune systems aren’t as strong as women’s in part, because throughout evolution, men’s bodies prioritized procreation over development of immunity, leaving them more susceptible to illness.

“Being around kids a lot makes you sick whether you’re a man or a woman,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says.

How to Handle a Cold
In general, the common cold lasts between eight and nine days, however, 25 percent of colds can last up to two weeks and 5 to 10 percent can last three weeks. The Doctors share tips, tricks and facts about managing your symptoms during the duration of your cold.


• Bad cold, bad gas? Learn why it happens.
Catching a cold.
Fight the flu.

What is Pneumonia?
A viewer asks: “Does the vaccine for pneumonia last forever once you get it, or do you need to take it every year like the flu vaccine?”

It's Never Too Late to
Get in Shape!

Who says baby boomers are over the hill? Seventy-year-old pushup king Sonny Pecora can pump out 100 pushups in 60 seconds – living proof that it’s never too late to get in shape. Can Sonny show up The Doctors in a pushup contest?

• Ninety-year-old Bob’s tips to longevity.

“Adults who are 65 and older need to be vaccinated once in a lifetime, unless they are at risk for infection,” Dr. Travis says. “Those who are at high risk of infection, and those who were vaccinated before the age of 65, may need to be revaccinated five years after the first dose.”

Dr. Travis explains what happens in the lungs during pneumonia.

Treating pneumonia depends on a number of factors, including age and general health, the organism involved and the setting – community and healthcare – where the infection developed. Depending on whether it’s bacterial or viral pneumonia, medication options include antibiotics, antivirals, fever reducers and cough medicine.

Coxsackie Virus
Coxsackie is a highly contagious virus that causes painful mouth sores that appear in the back of the throat and the tonsils.

“It usually lasts for five or six days, or even a week,” Dr. Sears says. “A child can become miserable with a fever and can become dehydrated, and unfortunately, there is no treatment, but there is pain relief.”

Note that the Coxsackie virus leaves sores in the back of the mouth while other viruses, like herpes, appear at the front of the mouth.

The Doctors and USA Weekend

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Latest: New heart health strategies.
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Dr. Sears recommends using “magic mouthwash,” a mixture of liquid antacid and liquid antihistamine, to help ease your child’s pain. Have your child swish with “magic mouthwash” for several seconds.

“Adults can get it, too,” Dr. Sears adds.

To avoid Coxsackie, teach all family members to wash their hands often, especially after you change the diaper of an infected child. Do not let your child share toys or give kisses while he or she is infected, and wear rubber gloves when you apply any lotion, cream or ointment to the blisters. Lastly, be diligent about cleaning infected surfaces, including clothing.

Go ahead and let your kids get dirty. Discover the immunity-boosting properties of dirt.

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OAD 10/7/11