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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Watching Dr Oz 10/2/12: Ripped From Headlines, Shaming into Weight Loss, Health Prenuptial Agreement, Plan B in High School, Supplements, Arsenic in Rice, Bubonic Plague, Acromegaly

The Dr. Oz Show
Airdate: October 2, 2012
Ripped From The Headlines: Dr. Oz Talks Health News With TV's Biggest Doctors

  • Shaming kids and adults into losing weight
  • Would you sign a prenuptial agreement regarding health?
  • Plan B birth control available in New York high schools
  • What the doctors think of supplements
  • How much arsenic is in rice?
  • Has the bubonic plague returned?
  • Woman with acromegaly grows from 5'8” to 7'

Doctors who work for the biggest television networks and who are also close friends with Dr. Oz sit down to talk about the biggest health stories in the news headlines. Meet the 7 year old girl who contracted and survived the bubonic plague.

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Ripped From The Headlines: Dr. Oz Talks Health News With TV's Biggest Doctors

Dr. Oz invited his close friends and fellow doctors who all work for television's largest news networks to discuss the biggest health news headlines.

Dr. Oz Health Headline: Power of Embarrassment
Headline: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta ran an ad campaign in 2011 attempting to shame children into losing weight. The plan backfired and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta was lauded for their negative approach.

Should the media be shaming adults and kids into losing weight? Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Chief Medical Editor for NBC News, said you don't shame people into losing weight, it doesn't work. It's our responsibility as adults for taking physical education out of schools, for breaking the connection from farm to fork where kids don't exercise and don't eat a healthy diet.

Dr. LaPook, MD, Medical Correspondent for CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and Dr. Oz's own doctor, said the methods of this advertising is a form of bullying and studies have shown that it doesn't work. We can't expect children to make healthy choices in a sea of unhealthy choices. We need to surround children with healthy choices so that they can't help but make healthy choices.

Dr. Richard Besser, MD, Chief Health and Medical Editor for ABC News, said in his practice he has never met an overweight kid who isn't already feeling bad about their weight. Seeing this ad doesn't help them and it doesn't motivate them into making changes so they can lose weight.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta said the ad was “intended to raise awareness in Georgia”. Click here to read Children's Healthcare of Atlanta response to negative criticism for their negative ad.

Dr. Oz Health Headline: Prenup With Health-Clause
Headline: Prenup agreements are evolving to include health-related clauses. Would you sign a prenup that requires either spouse to maintain a certain weight? How about a prenup that doesn't allow partners to smoke?

Couples have become more creative with the drafting of prenuptial agreements. What do the doctors think about a prenup the says the marriage will end of a spouse gains weight? Dr. Snyderman thinks it's a ridiculous turn of events where marriage hinges on weight. She admits to gaining 50 pounds with each of her pregnancies and doesn't think that is a case for divorce. 

Dr. Oz Health Headline: Plan B Passed Out In High School
Headline: Some New York high schools are providing Plan B contraception to students. Students are automatically enrolled in the birth control program and parents can opt-out their student.

Parents can opt-out from the program however, the system is set up so that kids have access if parents don't opt out. If a student doesn't provide the paperwork to their parent, doesn't discuss it with their parent, they are still allowed access.

Condoms have been handed out in schools for years and some say providing Plan B is the same as handing out condoms. Both prevent unwanted births for sexually active teens in high school.

The opt-out rate was 1-2% prior to media attention on the issue, explained Dr. LaPook. After all the publicity, he said, the opt-out rate has not increased.

Dr. Oz wants to know why when the school gives his kid an ibuprofen he has to be notified but his kids can get contraception without notification to him.

Dr. Snyderman said at the core of this issue is that we don't do health education well in schools. From kindergarten on up there should be open conversations about anatomy and how the body works. The sex talk should come at a young age and girls should feel empowered and learn that “no” is the most important word.

Dr. Besser agrees, by the time parents have the sex talk 40% of kids have already had sex. He thinks the school should inform parents of their children's use of contraception.

Dr. Oz Health Headline: Supplements
Headlines: Reports continue to take supplements on a roller coaster ride leaving readers wondering should they or shouldn't they take supplements.

Dr. Snyderman says people need to remember that supplements are designed to supplement a healthy diet and not to replace it. She admits to taking supplements, trying new supplements, change up her supplements at least annually. Sometimes she wonders if she's only making healthy urine.

Dr. Besser says he does not take any supplements nor any medications. He says consumers need to research products and know what they are doing when they take supplements. Taking a pill, said Dr. Besser, doesn't replace a balanced diet.

Supplements are pharmacologically active, explained Dr. LaPook, they can help but they can also hurt.

Dr. Oz basically disagreed by saying that low dose vitamins are the same as food and should be alright. It's the stories of problems when people take high doses that capture people's attention.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, called in to say that he doesn't always eat a great diet so he feels supplements help to fill-in. Dr. Gupta said he takes fish oil and Vitamin D.
Dr. Oz Health Headlines: Arsenic in Rice
Headline: Arsenic has been discovered in rice in amounts that raises the alarm.

Dr. Oz talked about arsenic in apple juice last year on the 9/14/12 episode: Arsenic In Apple Juice, now the focus is on arsenic in rice. Dr. Besser said the recent reports of arsenic in rice is concerning and he's glad this issue is being looked at. Standards should be created, Dr. Besser continued, to keep the levels of arsenic down in our food supply.

Dr. Snyderman said the reality is that there is arsenic in our food supply so it's important to know where your food is coming from, buy organic when possible, and To know your local farmers. Correspondents also need to be responsible about their headlines, said Dr. Snyderman.

Dr. Oz got heat over his show about arsenic in apple juice and here we are talking about arsenic in the food supply again. Dr. LaPook wonders what is an acceptable level of arsenic in food? No one knows. How can doctors advise their patients and the public about this issue when there is not conclusive information. Dr. LaPook says we should keep in mind what his mom said, eat your fruit and veggies and go out and play.

Dr. Oz Quick Fire Questions
Which do the doctors prefer, low- or full-fat milk?
Dr. LaPook said he likes to eat what's natural. Dr. Snyderman asked if he drank milk directly from the cow? That would be an utter disaster, he replied. [Rim shot, please.]

What are your guilty pleasures?
You, Dr. Oz, are my guilty pleasure, gushed Dr. Snyderman.

Getting extremely personal, Dr. Oz asked how often each of the doctors had sex? [Oh! He did not just ask that!] Dr. LaPook said suffice it to say, he is getting plenty. Dr. Snyderman asked Dr. Oz to define sex.

Dr. Oz: Bubonic Plague Returns?

In the 1400's, one-third of the European population died from the ravages of the bubonic plague. This year, 7-year-old Sierra Jane from Colorado contracted the “Black Death” and nearly died. This was the first case of the bubonic plague in Colorado in six years. Thanks to quick action and team work between Sierra Jane's parents and doctors, Sierra Jane survived and joined Dr. Oz on the stage with her parents.

Didn't the bubonic plague go out with the Middle Ages? No, there are on average 10 cases of the plague each year in America. It has never gone away, it has simply been controlled through educating the public about proper hygiene and sanitation practices.

There are many exotic diseases and with travel being very common it's not uncommon for people to contract West Nile virus and the bird flu doctors are having trouble keeping up. Dr. Besser said it's not necessary for doctors to keep up with every disease outbreak but they do need to be hyper aware and have a high level of suspicion when patients aren't responding to treatments. Dr. LaPook added that the world is getting smaller as people are able to travel globally with relative ease in way that has never been experienced in world history.

While camping with her family, Sierra Jane saw a dead squirrel and felt compelled to care for it and give it a burial. Her mother admonished her explained about the cycle of life and realities of nature. Sierra Jane had set her sweatshirt down near the squirrel and unbeknownst to anyone, fleas from the dead squirrel jumped on. When Sierra Jane picked up her sweatshirt and tied it around her waist, the fleas bit her and infected her with the bubonic plague.

Shortly after returning home, Sierra Jane got sick and her family thought she had the flu. Then her fever spiked to 107F, her blood pressure dropped, and her heart rate was rapid. After vomiting several times she then had a seizure. Her parents rushed her to the emergency room.

Doctors were able to make this unexpected diagnosis by keying into symptoms and interviewing Sierra Jane's parents. Combining the information of her exposure to dead animals as well as rat droppings in a chicken coop with known cases, Dr. Jennifer Snow, MD, of Rocky Mountain Hospital and Dr. Wendy Drummond, DO, MPH, Infectious Disease Specialist made the call that Sierra Jane had contracted the bubonic plague. Treatment begun immediately.

Dr. Oz: A Case of Gigantism

Tanya Anges, age 33, suffers from a medical mystery of rapid growth that is slowing taking her life. At age 21 and 5'6”, Tanya began to grow again. First her feet and hands started growing and she stopped menstruating. Doctors said she was stressed.

After seeing doctor after doctor and continuing to grow to 7 feet tall she finally found a doctor who diagnosed her with acromegaly, a.k.a. Gigantism.

Acromegaly, explained Dr. Oz, develops as a result of a tumor on the pituitary gland causing the gland to over produce growth hormones. People with acromegaly experience tremendous pain as their bones, organs, connective tissues, and other tissues stretch well beyond what is normal and what can be sustained by the body. Prognosis of aromegaly is typically grim with intense pain and a short life expectancy.

Tanya's doctors essentially experimented on her through surgeries and radiation treatments in an effort to stop her growth. People thought Tanya was turning into a man. She too thought she was turning into a man. Tanya even asked her parents if she was born a hermaphrodite then turned into a woman after surgery.

Dr. Oz apologized for how she was treated by other doctors.

Today Tanya is trapped in her own body. Its ravaging her body. Her hips, back, knees all hurt simply from standing up and trying to walk. Tanya can't look at herself in the mirror, she has no control over her body. And she knows that society sees her as a fat person who is too lazy to walk.

Dr. Oz said we can take a lesson from Tanya who doesn't have any control over how her body is changing yet she's at peace with herself.

[Whoa. This is a horrifying disease. To wake up day after day in pain and simply watching your body change and become unrecognizable. Dr. Oz, while entirely compassionate, didn't really leave us with anything. I felt like I was left hanging. I get that there's not much that can be done about acromegaly but gosh I felt so let down by this segment. Maybe it was more that the story is sort of hopeless, although she keeps a brave face we all know the end result. Or maybe it was the presentation but I really didn't feel any sense of empowerment or uplifted as a result of this story. Maybe it's just me?]

Dr. Oz Sleepwalking Viral Sensation

Caught sleepwalking, well sleep dancing, by her son, this mom's nocturnal adventures in the laundry room have taken YouTube by storm. Nick showed his mom the sleep dancing video and also recorded her reaction. Dr. Oz contacted Nick who said his mom has forgiven him for posting her dancing moves online

****This post is in progress. Check back often for updates. I'm tying away!****

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