What The H_ _ _? H-Words That Affect Your Health!

Hoarseness, hip pain, hyperactivity – has your health ever made you ask, “what the heck?”  The Doctors tackle the H-words that affect your health.


Former police officer Chris Willden saved two 9-year-old girls and a 4-year-old boy from a vehicle that had swerved off a bridge into an icy river, after their father lost control on the slippery and narrow road.

“I noticed a car under the bridge, and that it was upside down,” Chris says. “I thought, this is going to be cold, and I got in the water, reached under the water and felt the [closed] passenger side window.”

To rescue the children from the car, Chris shot out the window with a pistol, being careful to angle it perfectly so as not to injure anyone inside.

“After I shot out the window, I tried to grab arms, legs, clothing, hair,” he says.

However, he couldn’t locate the children until rescuers joined him and turned over the 2-ton vehicle. Two of the children were trapped in their seatbelts, and one was discovered floating in the water.

Passersby reportedly performed CPR on two of the children and all three children are said to be doing well.

“About two days after the incident, I bought seatbelt cutters for my family,” Chris says.

Car safey tips.
• Would you know what to do in an emergency?

It is reported that 5.2 million children between the ages of 3 and 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), along with 8 million adults. More children are diagnosed each year, leading doctors to prescribe drugs like Ritalin or Adderall to increase their focus and attention.

However, Adderall contains methamphetamine, which has lead to abuse among college students. It has also been linked to stunted growth, reduction in appetite and depression in children, and its long term effects are still unknown.

Are doctors too quick to diagnose children with ADHD and prescribe these medications? Tell us what you think.

“You can’t just diagnose [ADHD] in one quick appointment,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says.  “There’s got to be a multifaceted approach.”

If you notice your child is having trouble focusing and seems hyperactive, Dr. Sears recommends trying things at home before taking your child to the pediatrician:

Make sure your child gets five to 20 minutes of exercise in the morning, such as walking to school, to get out his or her energy.
• Add more omega 3s, which have a huge impact on brain development and functionality, to your child’s diet.
• Lower your child’s sugar intake for two weeks and see if there’s a change in his or her behavior.

If you try the above methods and your child still seems unfocused and hyperactive, consult your doctor about your options.

Horrendous H-Words

Feel like you’ve got a frog in your throat? Learn what causes hoarseness, and how to relieve it.

Many factors can lead to hoarseness including:
• Acid reflux
• Allergies.
• Inhaling irritants.
• Chronic coughing.
• Colds or upper respiratory infection.
• Heavy smoking or drinking.
• Overuse or abuse of voice.

Board-certified ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Drew Ordon explains how these irritants affect the vocal cords and cause hoarseness.

Take the following precautions to avoid hoarseness in the future:
• Stay hydrated.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

• Humidify your home.
• Avoid spicy foods.
• Avoid speaking or singing when you are hoarse.

Hip Pain

Brett writes:

“I am a 40-year-old runner, and lately when I run, there’s a sharp pain on the outside of my hip that continues long after I finish my run. Does this mean I’m going to need a hip replacement eventually?”

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paul Gilbert says Brett most likely suffers from a condition on the outside of his hip called bursitis.

Dr. Gilbert explains that bursitis has nothing to do with the hip joint, which would warrant a hip replacement. Bursitis affects the bursas, which are fluid-filled bags that allow one boney structure to roll over another without rubbing. Repetitive pressure like running can rupture the bursa and cause the area to become inflamed.

There are several ways to treat bursitis, including taking anti-inflammatory medication, such as acetaminophen, or cortisone shots to help with the pain. Dr. Gilbert also recommends icing the area for 20 minutes.

However, if symptoms don’t improve, which is rare, the bursa can be removed with surgery, and another non-inflamed bursa will grow in its place. During this surgery, the tendons are loosened to prevent further rubbing.

To avoid bursitis, Dr. Gilbert recommends identifying the cause.

“If you’re a runner, you may want to back off on your running,” he says. “If you sleep on your side, you may want to check your mattress.”

Taking a hot shower in the morning can also warm up the muscles and increase blood flow to the area, and stretching daily will help keep the tendons loose, as well.

More Health Horrors

The Doctors and USA Weekend

The Doctors have an exciting partnership with USA Weekend magazine as the exclusive medical contributors to its weekly HealthSmart column!

Latest: Three surprising eye facts.
• Check out USA Weekend for more information.

See which local newspapers feature USA Weekend.

Heal Your Heel Pain
Karen says she wakes up every morning with heel pain that usually subsides within 30 minutes. She asks Dr. Ordon why this happens and how she can treat it.

Dr. Ordon says Karen likely suffers from plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which connects the heel bone to the toes, creating the arch.

The arch acts as a shock-absorber for your feet, and if the tension becomes too great, small tears in the fascia can occur.

Causes of plantar fasciitis include foot arch problems such as flat feet or overly-high arches, obesity or sudden weight gain, long-distance running, especially downhill or on uneven surfaces, and a tight Achilles tendon. Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles can cause it as well.

To reduce pain and inflammation, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Stretching your heels by rolling your feet, one at a time, on a golf or tennis ball can also help, along with rest and wearing shoes with proper support.

“The key message here is, as these things are developing, if you ignore the pain, the inflammation is just going to get worse,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says.

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