The human body is teeming with bacteria, both inside and out. Some of the bacteria are beneficial, while others, known as pathogens, can pose serious health hazards.
Digesting the Digestive System
The human digestive system is a complex combination of organs and glands that rely on each other, along with healthy bacteria, to properly process food. “Ninety percent of nutrients are digested in the small intestine," E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says.
What’s Eating You?
From fungus on your feet and scalp to creepy-crawlies feeding off your skin and blood, learn the surprising facts about these conditions so you can take preventative measures. Particular parasites, such as roundworms and tapeworms, can also be the underlying cause of certain allergic reactions, asthma and even arthritis!
The Doctors are joined by gastroenterologist Dr. Susan Edelstein to reveal some of the common parasites that use the human body as a host.
“What people don’t realize is that you don’t have to travel that far to actually get infected with these [parasites],” Dr. Edelstein explains. “[You can] just ingest a few of their eggs in contaminated water supplies [or] in food, especially rare or raw meats like sushi."
• Learn the typical and atypical symptoms of a parasitic infection and how to diagnose the condition.
• What's living in and around your eyes?
• What are scabies?
Battling Bed Bugs
They’re flat, they’re round, they're reddish-brown and they feed on human blood. “Bed bugs are on the rise all over this country,” Dr. Travis says. "Pest control companies say business has doubled since 2000."
Top 10 Cities for Bed Bugs
1. Cincinnati, OH
2. Chicago, IL
3. Detroit, MI
4. Denver, CO
5. Los Angeles, CA
6. Columbus, OH
7. Dallas / Fort Worth, TX
8. Washington, D.C.
9. New York, NY
10. Richmond, VA
A Mouthful of Bacteria
Even after brushing your teeth, an estimated 100 million bacteria are still present inside your mouth. Actress and mother Alicia Silverstone created a stir when she uploaded a video depicting how she feeds her two-year-old son by mouth. The Doctors weigh in on the safety of pre-chewing food for young children.
The Dirtiest Place on the Body
"There are 10 to one bacteria for every cell in your body," Dr. Travis says. But the germiest spot on your body may not be what you expect!
"Think about this: What do you always wash? Your hands," Dr. Travis says. "What else also touches everything else around you all the time? Your forearms!
"The National Human Genome Research Institute looked at subjects who were asked to not bathe or shower for a period of time. They swabbed various body parts [and] the highest concentration of bacteria was found on the forearm," he explains.