Ask Our Docs

Danger of Synthetic “Smiles”
A new synthetic drug similar to "bath salts" is being marketed to teenagers over the Internet and has been linked to several deaths.

The drug 2C-I, nicknamed "smiles," is an amphetamine that is sold as a pill or powder, which often is added to chocolate or candy. It acts as a combination of LSD and Ecstasy and interferes with serotonin in the brain.  

The drug is particularly dangerous because it can take a while to have an effect, causing some users to get impatient and take more of the drug.

Effects on the body from the synthetic drug “smiles” include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Strokes
  • Kidney failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting

The Doctors encourage parents to talk with their children about the dangers of taking drugs.

Here are some warning signs that could indicate your child is taking synthetic drugs:

  • Erratic behavior
  • Hallucinations lasting hours or days
  • Heavy sweating
  • Excessive thirst
  • Talking gibberish

“It’s really on the parents to start to talk to their kids and say, 'These (are) things you don’t want to do because they may have long-term consequences,'” OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says.

Scarred after a Trauma
Madison was driving across town with her 4-year-old son when the car in front of her slammed on the brakes and she crashed into it. Madison was rushed to the hospital with a fractured sternum, two broken ribs and a hole in her intestines, which required emergency surgery. Her son had a hernia repaired and is doing well.

Nine months later, Madison has lots of scarring from the emergency surgery and can’t stand up straight.

“I wish I could pick up my son again and give him a big bear hug,” Madison says.

“After an acute traumatic event, the whole focus is how do we keep Madison alive,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “Now, we’re able to address some of the realities.”

Madison visits Dr. Leif Rogers, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Watch as Dr. Rogers performs surgery to remove the scar tissue and reclose the wound so Madison’s scar is less visible and gives her more flexibility to bend and stretch.

Seeing Clearly
Marji developed cataracts about two years ago, clouding her vision. She is legally blind in her right eye, and the vision in her left eye is deteriorating quickly.

She visits ophthalmologist Dr. Kerry Assil, who explains that a cataract is the loss of transparency of the natural lens inside the eye.

“It becomes like a dirty windshield,” he says.

Cataracts are the No. 1 cause of blindness worldwide, but Marji developed them early, and Dr. Assil performs a revolutionary new surgery to remove them.

“She’ll go from a world of blindness to being able to see within a few moments of sitting up after the cataract surgery,” he says.

The surgery took about 15 minutes, Marji’s vision improved soon after, and 24 hours later, she had 20/20 vision.

The Blind MasterChef
Christine Ha won the reality competition MasterChef even though she could not see the ingredients or the tools in kitchen.

Christine started losing her vision about 10 years ago after her optic nerve became inflamed due to an autoimmune condition.

“The best way to figure out what I see is to come out of the shower and right when your mirror is really steamy and foggy,” she says.

Watch as Christine masterfully prepares a braised catfish in a clay pot with pickled cucumbers and carrots.

“When you lose one sense, your other four senses take over, and there actually can be changes in your brain,” Dr. Travis explains.

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears wears a blindfold and tries to rely on his other senses as he also attempts to cook the fish. Try the recipe, which can be found in MasterChef, The Ultimate Cookbook.

Vaccines for Adults
Adults, you don’t outgrow the need for vaccines. Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, chief medical officer of Pfizer, explains that 45,000 Americans die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Dental Work during "That Time of the Month"

Viewer Jasmine knows not to schedule her OB-GYN appointment during her period, but she says she has also heard that you should never schedule a dentist appointment at this time either. Dentist Dr. Kari Sakurai explains how your menstrual cycle can affect your teeth and tells you the best time to schedule a dentist appointment.

“This is no guarantee that if you were protected when you were young and you were vaccinated years ago that you are still protected as an adult. Plus, there are many vaccines that weren’t available many years ago that are available now,” she says.

Common vaccines you might need include:

• Whooping cough
• Flu shot
• Shingles
• Pneumococcal vaccination

Adult vaccines depend on several factors:

• Age
• Lifestyle
• High-risk medical conditions
• Travel plans
• Previous shots

“If you’re sick, guess what? You can’t take care of your kids, can you? No, you’re bedridden,” Dr. Travis says. “So parents, you have to make time for your health as well.”

For more information on vaccines for adults, visit the Get Healthy Stay Healthy website.

Power Nap
Everyone needs a power nap, every now and then.

“A power nap can be a good thing, but when we say a power nap, we’re talking 15- 20-minute power nap,” Dr. Travis says. “And in an ideal world, you’re going to keep it under 30 minutes; you’re going to be in a nice, dark place. If you do that, it can boost productivity; it can actually boost mental alertness.”

Dr. Sears shows off an Ostrich Pillow, designed to help you take a nap anywhere.