The Scent of an STD
Can you sniff out an STD? A new study claims you may be able to smell when someone is infected.
According to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, a small study in Russia had a group of men sweat into armpit pads and women ranked the smell. Men with gonorrhea were reported to emit a “putrid” odor, ranking them the worst-smelling as compared to their uninfected counterparts.
Researchers conclude that this odor may be a biological warning against sexually-transmitted health risks.
Can Sitting Cause Cancer?
Studies show that the 100,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 cases of colon cancer per year may be attributed in part to physical inactivity. The study found the more time people spend sitting, the higher their risk of dying early from cancer.
“There’s no question we’re sitting more today than ever,” plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says.
Low-activity jobs have significantly increased since the 1950s, while high-activity jobs have taken a serious dip. Today, people sit for an average of 15.5 hours a day.
E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork stresses that hours of sedentary behavior cannot be offset by only an hour of physical exercise.
“Exercising an hour a day and sitting for the rest of the day is not enough movement,” he says. “Every hour, make sure you’re up on your feet for at least 10 or 15 minutes at a time. If you’re watching a TV show, try to watch it standing up.
“Try to get on your feet more,” he adds. “Anything that can engage you in activity during the day is key.”
Erin, 44, says she’s been dealing with unsightly, puffy bags under her eyes for the past 15 years. “It’s frustrating to look in the mirror everyday and see these big bags all the time,” she says.
After consulting three plastic surgeons to no avail, Erin reaches out to The Doctors for a solution.
• Dermatologist Dr. Greg Van Dyke demonstrates how to banish blemishes, discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles with the new skin treatment, Allumera.
Hate Your Hammertoe?
If you hate the appearance of your feet, you’re not alone. Schanel, 25, has hammertoes and bunions on both of her feet, a problem she’s been dealing with since the age of 10.
A hammertoe is a toe that’s curled due to a bend in the middle joint, caused by a muscle imbalance that puts excessive pressure on the toe’s tendons and joints, forcing it into a hammerhead shape. Genetics, arthritis and injury are often causes of the muscle imbalance.
“I’ve been embarrassed to wear open-toe shoes. Even the best pedicures don’t help my hammertoes,” she says.
Foot surgeon Dr. Ali Sadrieh performs a procedure in which he removes a knuckle and piece of bone from the affected toe, and fuses the remaining bones together.
“Taking the knuckle out makes it more reliable in the long run,” he says.
Immediately following the procedure, Schanel will be able to walk while wearing surgical shoes. After two weeks, the stitches are taken out, and she can wear sneakers. After four weeks, her feet will be able to resume normal function and she can finally feel comfortable wearing any type of shoe.
Dr. Sadrieh also explains noninvasive procedures to try before resorting to surgery.
• Wear shoe inserts or pads to reposition your toe and relieve pressure and pain.
• Use corn and callous pads.
• If your toe is still flexible, change to roomier and more comfortable footwear.
• Try picking up marbles with your toes to strengthen them.
Straightening Out Scoliosis
If you or someone you love suffers from scoliosis, a new surgery promises to straighten the spine with half the recovery time of past procedures. Paige, 24, has been suffering from scoliosis since the age of 12 and says it's gotten worse with age.
“I’m 24 years old, but most days I feel like I’m 50,” she says.
Scoliosis is an excessive curvature of the spine, which can be caused by a problem with the formation of the spine during development in the womb, or neuromuscular problems such as poor muscle control or weakness, or paralysis due to disease such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida or polio. Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type, and its cause is unknown.
The condition can cause breathing problems and body image issues.
Complex spinal surgeon Dr. Michael S. Chang performs a direct vertebral derotation, a six-hour procedure whereby the ribcage is spun back into place.
Dr. Chang says the procedure is a significant advancement compared to earlier methods, which left patients bed ridden in a cast mold for six months. With this surgery, Paige should be able to resume normal activity in two to three weeks and engage in physical activity, such as sports, within three months.
Rochelle, 35, had her left parotid gland removed in 2001. Following the surgery, she noticed that the site of the incision sweated profusely every time she ate. Doctors ultimately diagnosed her with Frey’s syndrome, a rare disorder that often occurs as a result of surgery near and around the parotid glands, the largest salivary glands in the body.
Checking in With Tanya
Tanya, 35, previously appeared on The Doctors for help with her body image. Despite being an avid exerciser, Tanya said every time she looked in the mirror, she still saw herself as an overweight seventh grader.
The Doctors check in with Tanya for an update on her progress.
“Being on the show has really helped me,” she says. “For the first time in my life, I’m beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin.”