20 Health Changes You Need To Make Now!

Times are changing and so is your health! Renew your well-being today by rethinking some of your health choices.

“Change is good and it’s often necessary to get the upper hand on your health,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “Don’t put off until tomorrow a healthy change you can make today.”

Have Your Pasta
and Eat it Too!

Do you swoon over spaghetti? Does your mouth water for meatballs? Chef Rocco DiSpirito shares easy tips for cutting the calories and keeping the taste in your favorite Italian meals.

Enter to win a copy of Rocco’s new book, Now Eat This! Italian.
• Want Rocco’s low-cal Italian recipes? Buy your copy of Now Eat This! Italian today.

• A low-cal diet is best paired with a regular workout regimen. Get tips for squeezing in a morning workout. Plus, how to know if you’re using correct form at the gym.

Public Restroom Safety
Michelle asks:

When I take my 7-year-old son in a public women’s bathroom, he’s a little curious about “lady parts.” I just started allowing him to go into the men’s room alone, but I’m still concerned he’s not old enough. Is there an appropriate age to let my son use a public bathroom by himself?

Rene Syler, author of Good Enough Mother and founder of a parenting blog of the same title offers her two cents about allowing children to use public restrooms on their own.

For mother and son situations, Rene recommends assuring your son that you’ll stand right outside the bathroom door while he uses the restroom.

“I think it’s important to empower your child to make decisions when they’re uncomfortable,” Rene says. “Also, have him use the stall; he doesn’t have to use the urinal."

Three Dental Habits to Change Today
Oral health is vital to your overall health and cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman shares three dental habits to change today for a lifetime of bright smiles.

1. Stop stressing: Stress leads to teeth clenching and grinding, which can cause tiny fractures in the teeth. Once you damage your teeth, they do not grow back and veneers may be the only option. If you’re someone who grinds and clenches, wear a mouth guard at night.
2. Stop drinking sparkling water: Carbon dioxide in sparkling water can erode enamel over time, even without the sugar and artificial sweeteners found in soda. Any drink with a pH level below 5.5 will affect enamel, as the lower the pH, the stronger the erosion.
3. Don’t drink and walk: Beer bottles are one of the most common reasons people chip their teeth. So when you’re enjoying a beer at a party or a bar, finish your brew before you mix and mingle.

Everyday Dangers You Didn’t Know About
We come in contact with hundreds of items every day that could potentially damage our health. The Doctors reveal normal situations that may be more harmful than you realize.

Teen Smoking
Research indicates that 88 percent of smokers had their first cigarette before 18 years of age. Teen smoking rates have dropped since the 1990s, but new studies suggest that that decline is slowing down.  

“Every day about 1,000 kids become new daily smokers,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says.

Is Eating Eggs as Harmful as Smoking Cigarettes?

Recent headlines report that eating eggs may be as harmful to your arteries as smoking cigarettes. Could it be true? The Doctors clear the air.

“We need to understand, nicotine is a drug; it is a legal drug but it’s a drug nonetheless,” Rene adds. “Plus, 433,000 people die every year from cigarette smoking-related causes; this is very, very serious.”

Australia recently passed a new law that requires graphic images be printed on cigarette cartons. Are these types of scare tactics effective?

“It’s an uphill fight, there’s so much in the media showing that smoking is cool. That’s why it’s so important that any campaign really has to go overboard to combat that,” plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says.

These disturbing images are designed to instill fear in consumers to counteract the “it can’t happen to me” attitude. Once the viewer sees the ads, he or she will ultimately realize these harmful effects of smoking.

“Sometimes teenagers don’t see beyond tomorrow,” Rene says. “They need to understand the long-term impact.”

Turn Back Time on Your Voice
Aging skin can be remedied with a facelift, but what about an aging voice?

• See a 30-second, non-invasive facelift. Could it work for you?

“We don’t think about our voice aging along with the rest of our body but it does,” Dr. Ordon says.

Otolaryngologist Dr. Sunil Verma joins The Doctors to explain how our vocal cords age with the rest of our body, and what can be done to treat it.

“The vocal cords are made with a majority of muscle, so just like other parts of the body, they relax, so when they start to sag, there is difficulty in producing a loud voice, as well as pitch changes,” Dr. Verma says.

“Because of this, your vocal cords might not close all the way, which creates a raspy, hoarse voice,” he adds.

Injectables like collagen, Botox and even fat can be utilized to plump up vocal cords and allow them to close properly, which can improve the sound of your voice; however, Dr. Verma shares three things you can do to preserve your voice for as long as possible:

• Stay properly hydrated.
• Think about the numbers of times you use your voice unnecessarily, like talking on a cell phone in the car for having a conversation in a loud restaurant, then try to avoid those situations.
• Stay away from toxins like cigarettes.

Maternity Leave Matters
Working moms-to-be struggle with the decision of when to begin maternity leave. Should you leave your job at 7 months, or work right up until your delivery date? OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson weighs in.

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: The importance of breast health.

• Check out USA Weekend for more information.

• See which local newspapers feature USA Weekend.

“You can go all the way to the end if your doctor says so,” Dr. Lisa says.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists doesn’t officially recommend women stop working at a certain time, except when medically necessary; however, a new study suggests that working late into pregnancy may have an effect on birth weight. Moms who work right up until their delivery date have been found to birth babies weighing half a pound less than moms who stopped working earlier.

Dr. Lisa says that the lower birth weight can actually be a good thing, as it may decrease the possibility for c-section and other complications potentially brought on by larger babies. But in any situation, it’s essential to consult your physician about when to start maternity leave to manage the health of your baby.