Is your body trying to tell your something? In a special, two-part episode, The Doctors reveal subtle signs about your health that may be going unnoticed! Find out about what your fingernails, underarms and skin tone may be trying to say, and get tips and remedies to fix what may be ailing you. Plus, feel like you're looking over the hill before you've even climbed it? See a non-surgical method to reverse the signs of aging. Is it right for you?
Part 1: Body Clues You Can’t UNDERestimate
Understanding How Medicines are Absorbed
E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork explains that while most medications are taken by swallowing a pill or a capsule, some are taken sublingually, or under the tongue, depending on how the medication is meant to be absorbed by the body.
“Certain medicines, when taken under the tongue, get absorbed faster,” Dr. Travis says. “It’s not just about how fast [a medicine] is absorbed; it’s about what’s the most effective method of delivery for that specific medication and your need.”
The underside of the tongue has a thin mucus membrane, rich in capillaries, that quickly absorbs medicine into the bloodstream. Some cardiovascular drugs, steroids, vitamins and minerals are taken sublingually for a faster effect. On the other hand, swallowed medications dissolve and distribute throughout the body, requiring more time to take effect. The majority of pain relievers are prescribed this way. Despite the delayed reaction, Dr. Travis explains that pills taken orally can be more beneficial, as they provide a controlled dosage and a stable delivery.
“Most medicines are taken orally. If they want you to take it sublingually, it will say ‘SL’ on the prescription,” Dr. Travis says. “Never crush up your medicine and just put it under your tongue. These medicines have certain outer cores that are designed to release medicine over a certain period of time.
“Slowly but surely is often the best way to deliver medicine, not fast and quick,” he adds.
The Best Underwear for Working Out
Whether you prefer boxers, briefs, boy shorts, thongs or nothing at all, wearing underwear during a workout is ideal from a health standpoint; however, certain types and fabrics of underwear are better than others when it comes to physical activity. See which types of underwear The Doctors recommend for different forms of exercise, and watch as Dr. Travis demonstrates how real men wear spandex!
5 Critical Clues Under Your Nails
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Glynis Ablon joins the show to reveal five signs your fingernails can show, and how they may indicate underlying health hazards.
“The nails do reveal a lot of systemic diseases and problems.” Dr. Ablon explains.
• Learn more about what fingernails can reveal about your state of health.
Underarm Body Signals
“Your body sends signals when something’s not right. The question is, ‘Are you seeing the signs?’
“Do you even know where to look?” Dr. Travis asks. “You may want to check under your arm.”
“Too much insulin will cause your skin cells to over-stimulate and overgrow, and you can get this hyperpigmentation, this darkening under the arm,” Dr. Ablon explains. “Our insulin works to control our blood glucose levels, and in diabetics it basically is too high.”
“This isn’t something that just shows up over night,” Dr. Travis adds. “This is evolving over time and that’s why you have to pay attention.”
The medical term for this condition is acanthosis nigricans, and it will typically appear in the armpits, neck and groin region.
“This is one of the top signs that we look for in kids that are at risk for developing diabetes – the darkness under the arms or on the neck,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears adds. “It kind of looks like elephant skin and that’s how I describe it to the kids.”
Acanthosis nigricans may also be an underlying sign of endocrine disorders related to the thyroid gland, as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome and other skin conditions, ranging from irritation of underarm sweat glands to a form of dermatitis; however, Dr. Ablon stresses that the texture and thickness of the skin can help differentiate whether the condition is caused by a minor skin rash or if it’s truly a marker for diabetes and associated health dangers.
Part 2: 6 Ways to OVERcome Your Body Problems
From calming an overactive bladder to preventing a hangover and more, The Doctors reveal six ways to overcome confusing, frustrating and embarrassing body problems.
Healthy Habits You Should Never Overdo:
Vitamins and supplements can provide added health benefits, but taking too many can actually produce the opposite effect. Learn what daily nutrients children, men, women and pregnant women need, and get the best ways to obtain some of the recommended levels through food sources instead of supplements.
“More kids die under the age of six from iron overdoses than any other poisoning,” Dr. Sears adds. “A lot of parents have these multivitamins with iron or iron supplements sitting on the counter.
“The initial symptoms [of iron poisoning] are very vague – tummy ache, vomiting, diarrhea,” Dr. Sears explains. The problem is [that] then those symptoms get better for a little while, and then the secondary symptoms of organ damage, coma [and] death set in later.
“It’s hard for a physician to recognize the symptoms unless parents see that there [are] pills missing, so that’s why it’s so important to keep these out of reach of children,” Dr. Sears says. “If you see [your child] getting into these, call Poison Control.”
• Poison Control Hotline: 1-800-222-1222
Facial Over-Washing and Over-Exfoliation
Think scrubbing your skin daily leads to a glowing complexion? Think again! Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon explains the adverse effects of over-exfoliation.
“If you over-exfoliate, what you’re going to do is get a rebound [effect] of your natural oil glands in the skin,” Dr. Ordon explains.
“The other thing to remember is that the skin naturally exfoliates,” he adds. “You lose 50 thousand skin cells of that outer layer per minute.”
Dr. Ordon recommends washing daily but only exfoliating once or twice a week, depending on your skin type.
• At-home tests to determine your skin type.
• IOMA Skin Analysis
Overdoing Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises help women to control the pubococcygeus (PC) muscles, which can both strengthen the pelvic floor and enhance sexual satisfaction; however, overdoing kegel exercises can have negative effects.
“Just like any muscle, because you’re working those PC muscles, if you overdo it, then you can have spasms,” OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson explains. “A lot of people think [that] they want to do it every time while they’re stopping their urine mid-stream, but that’s just how you learn how to do it."
Dr. Lisa explains the correct way to perform kegel exercises.
But what about under-doing kegel exercises? Learn the risks of vaginal prolapse.
Breakthrough Treatment for Overactive Bladder
Most people associate Botox with wrinkles, but new applications for the drug are being discovered, ranging from sweaty scalps, gummy smiles and crossed eyes, to chronic conditions such as strokes. Now, urologists are using Botox to treat overactive bladders!
Raquel has suffered from urge incontinence for years and has bladder contractions up to a dozen times each day. “I’m only 25 and I feel like I shouldn’t have to deal with bladder issues. It can be painful and it’s very inconvenient,” Raquel says. “I’m a nurse and when I have to do patient care, I’ll often have bladder contractions and they require me to stop what I’m doing.
“Small amounts of urine can cause the contractions to happen, so it’s not really relieved by going to the restroom. I have to wait for the contractions to pass,” she adds.
“There are clinical trials right now for Botox in the prostate,” Dr. Gruenenfelder adds. “For men who’ve had problems with their prostate, they can develop an overactive bladder because the bladder is working so hard to get past that prostate, and Botox can help those patients, too.”
Overcoming an “Over the Hill” Appearance
Feeling over the hill? See a new, FDA-approved procedure called LAVIV, which claims to get rid of wrinkles without surgery or fillers!
The revolutionary process extracts the patient’s cells from small skin samples, which are then harvested and multiplied in a laboratory. Several months later, millions of new cells are injected into the patient’s wrinkle lines.
The final result will take roughly six months to take full effect, but patients report seeing decreased visibility of wrinkles and less than one percent experienced adverse reactions.
Watch as dermatologist Dr. Cheryl Karcher performs the LAVIV procedure.