They’re the subtle symptoms only a doctor can spot – until now. From head to toe, The Doctors reveal signs, signals and prevention tips for your health.
911 Call Controversy
Actress Demi Moore was reportedly hospitalized for exhaustion. A 911 call revealed she had allegedly smoked an unknown substance, rumored to be synthetic marijuana, and began experiencing convulsions and trouble communicating. The emergency call has since been released publicly, prompting The Doctors to take issue.
“I feel it’s like a personal and confidential medical record, and therefore should not be disclosed,” OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says.
“HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws prevent [doctors] from sharing [confidential] information,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “I have never been a fan of 911 calls being released. The reason that the 911 call is public knowledge is because 911 is a public service. It’s publicly funded, and 911 is an amazing service, but I would actually urge congress to take this up.
“This system needs to get fixed. When you call 911, you are basically saying, ‘I am in distress. I need help.’ We don’t feel that 911 calls should be sent out for broadcast,” Dr. Travis says.
Do you think 911 calls should continue to be in the public domain? Tell us your thoughts!
Dr. Travis explains the dangers of synthetic substances, such as K2 and spice.
“The main component [is] similar to THC, which is the cannabinoid that gives marijuana its effect, but these synthetic marijuana [substances] are 10 times stronger, and are also laced with [unknown and unregulated] chemicals,” Dr. Travis explains. “Atypical reactions like seizures, severe anxiety, racing heart – these are not typical with marijuana. Marijuana, for the most part, is a fairly benign drug, in terms of what it does to your body.
“Whether or not Demi Moore was using a synthetic marijuana – again, this is all alleged – but these [reactions] can result from over-the-counter synthetic drugs or substances that pose as ‘spices’”.
“Your reaction to these drugs can be very unpredictable,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. “Each time you try one, it could be something very different.”
American Heart Health Month
February is American Heart Health Month. From earlobe creases, to bumpy elbows to skinny calves, learn the surprising heart disease warning signs your body may be telling you.
• Earlobe Creases
Studies show that linear wrinkles in one or both lobes may predict heart disease. A crease in one lobe is said to raise the risk by 33 percent, while creases in both lobes increases the risk by 77 percent.
• Bumpy Elbows
Certain bumps on tendons located close to the skin, such as on the elbows or Achilles, may be cholesterol deposits, which can cause heart disease. These bumps are typically found in people with genetic disorders and high cholesterol levels.
• Thin Calves
The World Health Organization followed thousands of men and women for more than a decade, and found those with the thinnest calves less than 13 inches around -- have a two-fold risk of heart disease and death.
“The subcutaneous fat in your calves can help pull fatty acids from the blood stream and store them in your calves, where they’re less of a risk factor,” Dr. Travis says.
APGAR is an acronym, named after anesthesiologist Dr. Virginia Apgar, and is used by pediatricians and obstetricians to assess the health of newborns. The APGAR System is rated on a scale of one to 10 and serves as medical shorthand for doctors to address and care for any health dangers that an infant may experience after delivery.
“Suppose I run into the room after the baby has been delivered,” Dr. Sears explains. “You can just yell at me, ‘APGAR three,’ and then I know that baby is blue, not breathing and doesn’t have much of a heart rate. Whereas if you say, ‘APGAR eight,’ I [know that] the baby’s fine. [But] no baby ever gets a 10, because it’s normal to be just a little bluish,” Dr. Sears adds.
Dr. Sears explains three health concerns to look out for after bringing home a newborn:
“Jaundice is a very normal process that happens to newborns,” Dr. Sears says. “Blood breaks down and releases a yellow pigment, which normally appears on the face and eyes, but if it moves to chest or belly, it’s time to call your pediatrician.”
• Belly Button
“Clean the belly button with water, but watch out for puss. Make sure there’s no green, oozy puss around the area,” Dr. Sears says. “But, an orange, powdery substance in the diaper is completely normal.”
• Soft Spot
“Get to know your baby’s soft spot,” Dr. Sears says. “Just feel it and get to know what normal feels like. If it changes and becomes sunken, it can signal dehydration. If it bulges out, it might be a sign of infection.”
Skin is the largest organ of the body, and if you know what to look for, it can be the first line of defense in protecting your health.