Medical Advice from Dr. Mehmet Oz - Ask Oprah's All Stars - 103
OWN TV | January 16, 2011
Dr. Mehmet Oz, "America's Doctor", wants to help you live your best life! In Episode 3 of Ask Oprah's All Stars, Dr. Oz continues answering your most burning questions in an "embarassment free" zone. This week he discusses everything from food to snoring to what a "wenus" is. Read the complete guide of his questions and answers right here.
What can I do to help my husband stop snoring so that I can finally get some sleep? -Frances from Orlando, Florida
DR. OZ: snoring generally is about 85 decibels of noise. I mean, that violates OSHA requirements. It can cause hearing loss...that kind of snoring.
DR. OZ: So the thing is, most guys don't realize they're snoring. And women can snore, too, obviously. So there's two basic things that cause snoring. One thing is the collapse of the oral airwave: That, that space where the air moves down into your lungs. Obesity causes it. Uh, sometimes alcohol or other things that sort of relax you too much, and the whole thing clogs up. That's one big area. And the other is allergies. Sometimes folks don't realize it but there could be dust mites in the bed. There could be stuff in the, in the humidifier, whatever it might be that causes allergies that close you up. But if it's a allergy issue, those little bangs over your nose, pretty effective. Uh, if you've got, uh, the more profound problem which is that that airway gets lose and like a kazoo closes down, that's sometimes a bigger deal. But if you can lose just five percent of your body weight, you can reduce your sleep apnea by 30 percent. Now here's an animation to explain why that's the case.
So as you're snoring...here's what's happening. That air is moving through your airway, and look what happens inside. Inside you've got this nice narrow passage with your tongue. As that tongue begins to fall to the back, it'll sometimes close all the way. This scares me. This is what sleep apnea is all about, because the snoring is gone now. Instead it's like a caboose hitting' the hammer head-on to another train. All of a sudden you wake up and it happens hundreds of times all night long. This is devastating for your body 'cause your body can never ever actually relax. So the snoring that we see here, that vibration like a kazoo, is what so many of us complain about, I wanna take it one step deeper and talk about sleep apnea.
Now sleep apnea is a big issue for all of us because we know that it's driven by obesity. So it's a simple little step but a very difficult one to do. And when you know you've got that warning sign, it's something you gotta act on. So, can I give you one [piece of] advice for tonight?
DR. OZ: I want you to take a tennis ball and put it inside of Kevin's shirt. In the back. I don't want him lying on his back anymore. He can lie on his left side or his right side, or frankly, on his stomach, although he'll probably asphyxiate there with that snoring'. Left side or right side, and you should be okay, at least with some of the snoring that's you're being devastated by. And this is a big problem for a lot of couples in America.
I have been getting colonics for five years to help keep my colon squeaky clean...How often should I have colonics? -Sheri from Venice, California
DR. OZ: You said that [colonics make] you feel squeaky clean...so squeaky clean means something to me. This is a colonoscopy. When we actually go and look inside the body, this is what we see. There's no poop there...I mean, it's pretty clean. Right? That's what it looks like. You can see the blood vessels. And the problem I have with colonics is you get in there, some folks don't know how to do 'em well - I gotta say just say that upfront. You don't get trained for years and years to colonics usually. And so sometimes trauma can happen in there, which you don't wanna have. You also mess up a very delicate balance.
When you go to the bathroom - the reason we talk about S-shaped poops that Dr. Phil keeps talkin' about - is because it comes out in a cast of your rectum. That is all that's supposed to be there. It is literally as though someone put cement in the last 18 inches of your bowel, that's what comes out because that's what supposed to come out. You're as clean as you can be if you eat the right kind of food. So my vote is no.
Well, what about the people that say, "but [colonics keep] keep me thin. I can lose weight, I feel so cleaned out?" -Robin Meade, host of Ask Oprah???s All Stars
DR. OZ: I can't judge how you feel. I can only judge the claims that you would make about how it makes you lose weight and it doesn't do that...I mean, you'll, you'll lose the poop inside of ya, but that's not real weight loss.
I'm not gonna argue that it's medically dangerous to get a colonic. I just can tell you as a physician that there's not a medical benefit to getting a colonic. So again it comes back to the fundamental issue, if you feel good getting it - and challenge yourself about that - if the only reason you feel good is because you think it's helping you, then fine.
What do you think of the juice fasts and cleanses? - Stephanie via The Huffington Post
DR. OZ: I'm okay with the juice fast, oral fast. My one little caveat to that, it's an important one for everybody to remember, is that a lot of folks say, you know what, I'm gonna go on a fast 'cause I'm overweight. But they don't realize they're malnourished.
The fundamental reason I think we get overweight in America is because our brain, our body is looking for nutrients and we're giving it calories. So if you're starving yourself and eating low calorie junk stuff, then you'll get fat, but you won't get nutrients. So, first make sure your nutrient status is in reasonable shape...And then once that's set, then the juice fast makes tons of sense. Remember you gotta do it for a couple of days, not longer, and that'll rest your taste buds. If you really wanna get your liver back on track again, you gotta eat the right diet for a month. That's how long it takes but it's doable.
So, Dr. Oz, for instance, when somebody has this kind of debt, what is the physical effect on [your body] under this kind of financial stress? -Suze Orman
DR. OZ: If I can give you a number - I don't wanna pile on with the bad news - but this, again, it's important that we're at least clear where we start 'cause there's places we can go. We know when folks go through any kinda major financial crisis, bankruptcy's the classic example, uh, they lose on average seven years from their life.
Now what's the good news 'cause it doesn't sound good? You've got a step-father obviously loves you. You've probably got other members of your family who care for you. The reason human beings have been able to survive through all kinds of craziness much worse than bankruptcy is 'cause we come together. We pull our resources and we support each other emotionally. If you've got a family unit, or a team around you that can help you emotionally, people who love you and care for you, you loss of life goes under a year. It drops from seven years to less than a year. That's a dramatic improvement. So when you're facing bankruptcy, I would do the tough steps that Suze's talking about, but the most important thing I'd do is make sure you talk to the people who love you. Explain to them why you love them back and keep them darn close to you; closer than your pocketbook would be.
I looked down in the toilet and noticed some little white things, almost worm-like. What on earth is going on? -Paul from the Ask Oprah's All Stars studio audience
DR. OZ: I think this might be hook worms. All right, here's what happens with hook worms, and this is why it's so common, especially in the South. So, you're walkin' along and this little worm in the dirt gets up into your skin and bores a hole in the bottom of your foot, into your sole. It gets into the bloodstream through a little vein coming from your foot up towards your body. There it is, coming up. And it wiggles its way up into the bloodstream, and from there it flies up towards the heart. Once it's in the heart, it's pumped in to this cool area called the lungs. When it's pushed into the lungs, it sits there and of course, what happens in the lung? You breathe you, you breathe out. When there's a little worm inside your lungs, you don't like it so you begin to cough it up. These guys, they know where they're goin'. They climb up into the throat. This is the back of your throat.
It climbs over your uvula and then down into your - over your trachea and into your intestinal system. Once it's in your gut it sets up shop and bangs a little hole in there. See it's little biting things there? Those little teeth then suck in there and actually takes your blood and it lives there for months, sometimes years. So, when they come out, they often come out, they're about an inch, maybe a little shorter than that long. They'll often be alive when they come out.
Here's the deal. You've got different kinds of worms. There's hundreds of millions of people with hookworms. People argue actually that the South lost the Civil War because they had so many of their population that had worms from the dirt that had gotten into their body and made them anemic. Because the main way you know you got worms of this type is you have low blood counts, you just feel completely washed out. That's one thing you watch out for.
There are also round worms: probably a billion people on the planet with those. There are little pin worms. They're the ones that make your bottom itch. You have little kids that are itching' their bottoms, you know what to do, right? Put a piece of tape on their bottom. When they go to sleep at night, the worms climb out, get stuck on the tape. Pull the tape off the anus and looked at it, and you will see little itty bitty pin worms. They're the smallest of all the kind we talk about.
Good news in worms is they're easy to treat, not a big deal. And they don't usually kill ya, they just weaken you. Worms don't wanna kill ya - most bugs don't wanna kill ya, they wanna live on you, they wanna leech on you; they wanna suck your blood, which is what these guys do.
Get a little bit of poop, take it to the doc. We look at it, we can diagnose what it is by looking' at it. And take the antibiotics.
It was so heartbreaking to hear that this dog ate a Sego Palm. What is a Sego Palm? -Robin Meade, host of Ask Oprah's All Stars
DR. OZ: I'm very sorry about what happened to you, but I've heard it too many times. I'm gonna make this real clear to everybody: this plant is called a Sego Palm. It's pretty commonly purchased in this country. It's unfortunately toxic to dogs. These often are not good for cats either, but they cause liver failure, which is one of the reasons they - they'll kill an animal. They also cause diarrhea so they can't maintain their fluids.
But there's others: oleander, which is a pretty benign looking plant; it can be a big issue 'cause it can cause cardiac arrest. There are toxins it that actually stop the heart. Uh, azaleas will, will cause comas in animals. It'll also cause diarrhea. This is why I say be careful - I cannot tell you how many friends I've had who have gotten animals that haven't gotten - I've had animals get sick from these things. In fact aloe is one of the ones that I worry about. Doesn't kill the dogs usually, but it causes a lot of vomiting, you know, put 'em in the vet's office pretty quickly.
DR. PHIL: Okay, but if you see your dog out nibbling on one of these, what do you?
DR. OZ: The dog goes away, goes to the vet and depending on how much they've eaten, they'll tell you there's some symptoms that will present early diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. Malaise is the first things you'll notice. But if you wait too long the toxins will have already acted. And by the way it's not just plants. Chocolates can be a problem, onions are a big issue. So is garlic.
DR. OZ: The ASPCA has a very nice list of these plants. You can find the pictures next to them as well. It's just about being thoughtful. Oftentimes a pet won't go near these, but why risk it, and especially there are times that - where we have flowers in our homes. They can be deadly.
I have a problem with constant bad breath. Can you tell me what the cause could be and what I can do to cure it? -Cynthia from the Ask Oprah's All Stars studio audience
DR. OZ: Listen, I don't want you being ashamed or embarrassed about your breath 'cause here's the deal: it's a warning sign to you. You're breath's not supposed to be bad. If it is it could be a bunch of things.
So, first of all let's talk about what might be goin' on in there. Gum issues will be a problem sometimes. When you floss your teeth, do you get bleeding much?
DR. OZ: Okay. That's actually not a common reason, but it's one reason. It's usually not rotting teeth, 'cause most people don't lose their teeth from that, they lose it from gingivitis. Sucking your tongue will often do it. You get little crevices in your tongue.
The last thing is, a lot of folks don't recognize this, big cause of bad breath is from your stomach. And people can't change that. At least as obviously as they can change the other places. So the question then becomes, as a physician is, you know, how do you find out, how do we tell people - which I'm gonna ask Dr. Phil about - and then what do we do about when we get the news. But the big message is, it's your body's wakeup call to you. It's hey, something's not quite right, deal with it. Right? If your car starts smelling', you don't just ignore the problem, you actually figure out some way of getting' to the root of why it smells bad.
SUZE ORMAN: So what should she do?
DR. OZ: Number one, well she shouldn't have gingivitis. Number two, continue to scrape the tongue. Number three you gotta get your stomach evaluated. 'Cause I think the breath is from down there, and there's all kinds of little nooks and crannies from your back of your mouth down to your stomach where food can get stuck. And when that food gets stuck, it will rot and that's what gives you the odor.
Dr. Oz, It's come to my attention that hairs are growing out of my nose. Is, it plucking them a safe way to deal with this problem? -Paul from the Ask Oprah's All Stars studio audience
DR. OZ:As you get older, we get more hairs in places we don't want, and less hairs in places we do want. Right? That's part of the human condition. But, but at the end of the day there are places you should never touch.
I would have hair on my nose, but I use a little trimmer and I cut the hair under my nose. I don't pull it. And here's why you don't pull it. There's very sensitive blood supply, it comes from the - inside of the nose, but it's actually found in the entire front part of the face. And that's why we always say, never touch the triangle of death! The triangle of death is defined by the top of my nose, brow of my nose, coming along the side to the sides of my lips. That's the triangle of death. All of that blood that's draining from there, if there's an infection, a pimple; if I pick, uh, my, my hair and it gets infected, goes right back to my brain. And there's a big vein there called the cavernous sinus, and when that thrombosis, when that clots off, you're cooked. And then the bacteria get in there and it's party time for the bad boys. So you never wanna touch anything in that triangle of death. I tell you, if you, if you teens with pimples there, and adult men with, with hair there, women, please do not fool around in that area; it's a bad place to play. I have dealt with those problems. They're not pretty.
If you got a pimple between this triangle, within that triangle, you're not gonna squeeze it, you're not gonna plow out or plug at it, you're gonna deal with it in a very professional way, let the thing heal on its own. You got a pimple on the side of your face, go ahead and do whatever you wanna do with it.
SUZE ORMAN: What happens about a facial? We get facials and do you know how when they do the facials they go in that area, ladies, and how - are you telling us that we're not supposed to have these women get out [the blackheads]?
DR. OZ: Yeah, but these are blackheads with pores that are full. There's not an infection in there. But when you get a pimple on your nose and you start pushing at it, you've pushed the puss in because it's not - often not ready to go. Inside the nose it's a big issue back there 'cause you - it's a contaminated area obviously. You pull a hair you traumatize it and you can get little pustules in there and those bad boys will grow.
What is a wenus, Dr. Oz? -Robin Meade, host of Ask Oprah's All Stars
DR. OZ: You know, we do have two. I mean, Dr. Phil, right here for the first time on this stage, in fact the first time ever, we're gonna see who has a bigger wenus. Are you ready to do it?
[Points to side of elbow] It's right there. That's the wenus. It's the skin on the bottom of the elbow. It doesn't have very many sensory fibers.
Now, if you were to have two of them, it allows you to do all kinds of fun things, but because it has less sensory fibers, you don't hurt it all the time. If you think about it, this is a unique joint. It does all kinds of crazy motions. It's got to be able to act in a really hinge-y way. But if it were sensitive, you couldn't put your elbows down on things, you couldn't contemplate; you couldn't do all those fun things. So we can compare wenuses now. And plus it's a great Scrabble word.
Dr. Oz, what's your action plan for all of us for the week?-Robin Meade, host of Ask Oprah's All Stars
For me it's about a very deep epiphany, and that's that food is sacred. When I walk in to a grocery store, to me it feels like I'm walking into a pharmacy. That's how powerful nutrients are to our body. So, my assignment is to tantalize your taste buds. I want you to push the limits a little bit and try foods you haven't tried before.
You know, pumpkin seeds without the salt. Steel cut oatmeal which I have for breakfast often in the morning. It takes about 10 minutes actually to make, not a lot longer and it tastes fabulous. It's got B vitamins, all kinds of crazy things that are good for ya. Black currents, same kinda thing. Anything with these dark colors, and especially pomegranates, for example, are great for ya, because those dark colors are there to give these nutrients that they need to protect themselves from the outside world. When you eat them you get those nutrients.
And finally, the egg, which is probably the best value in food out there. Wonderful source of protein. You wanna lose weight, have eggs for breakfast in the morning. And by the way, eggs do not elevate your cholesterol, being fat does. So cut out the sugar and start eatin' the eggs. You want solid important proteins. [It's] the only white food that I endorse.
I always sort of chortle to myself when people order, you know, the egg white omelet, which is basically a waste of your money. You know, the yolk is not what gets your cholesterol high. Eating cholesterol does not raise your blood cholesterol except for a rare percentage of Americans. Most Americans get big bellies and that's what gives them high cholesterol. And egg per se is - costs almost nothin'. Make sure you cook it so you don't get salmonella. But you're good to go in terms of your diet for a long, long time.