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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Watching Dr Oz 12/12/12: Secrets of a Medical Examiner, Truth About Soy, Shopping Health Hazards, Holiday Prep Tips

The Dr. Oz Show
Airdate: December 12, 2012
Dr. Oz: Dr. G: Life Saving Secrets Of A Medical Examiner

  • Can you solve a medical mystery like the pros on the TV shows?
  • What's the truth about soy? Health hero or health villain?
  • Holiday shopping health hazards to avoid
  • Fans share their time-saving tips for holiday prep

Medical mysteries solved by a medical examiner can provide clues to keep us healthy. Dr. Oz sets the record straight about soy.

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Dr. Oz: Dr. G: Life Saving Secrets Of A Medical Examiner

Do you watch crime shows? Do you think you can solve medical mysteries and determine cause of death of a patient just like the pros shown on crime scene shows?

Dr. G, or Dr. Jan Garavaglia, is the chief medical examiner in one of Florida's biggest counties. She was the medical examiner on one of the biggest headlining crime of recent years: the Casey Anthony Case. Dr. G testified in the trail that she believed little Casey Anthony was murdered.

She called foul play on the case because when a two-year-old is found dead in a field in a plastic bag with duct tape on her face it points to foul play in Dr. G's mind. Dr. G wasn't necessarily happy with the outcome of the case but by the time the trial ended she had already moved on to other cases.

Dr. G described her medical education which includes several years of school above and beyond her medical degree and involves more investigative medicine and studying causes of death as well.

Dr. Oz: Real Life Medical Drama Situation #1
Case #14592: a 45 year-old female weighing 190 pounds died suddenly in her bed with no prior medical history. What is the cause of death?

A Dr. Oz fan was asked to join Dr. Oz and Dr. G on the stage to see if she could solve this medical mystery file. Her first guess is that death could have been caused by a heart attack.
Dr. G said the dead woman's weight of 190lbs, and a high Body Mass Index (BMI) is the main clue for this case. Sudden and unexpected from high blood sugar and insulin resistance is quite common.

A medical examiner can't conduct a blood test like doctor can during an office. Dr. G can take a fluid sample from the patients eye and test for sugar levels and diabetes. This patient did indeed have diabetes but that doesn't provide a clear cause of death.

Dr. G then took a look at the liver and this patient had an enlarged liver a common result of diabetes.

A healthy liver is dark brown in color. A BMI over 30, however, results in a liver that is pale in color and fatty. Dr. G explained that 90% of people with a BMI over 30 have accumulated fat in the liver. That fat goes into liver cells and expands them, over time those liver cells can die and be replaced by fat causing cirrhosis of the liver.

We're still not at a cause of death for this case, but we're close. While the liver may be fatty it may not necessarily be the cause of death so Dr. G moves on to examine the lungs. This patient had a large blood clot lodged in her lungs the size of a normal vein in the leg.

The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism blood clot to the lungs with a contributing factor of obesity. 

Dr. Oz: Real Life Medical Mystery #2
A 51 year old female weighing 145 pounds with a history of chronic pain and use of pharmaceutical narcotics and over-the-counter pain relievers. The night before, she went out drinking with friends. The next day her boyfirend found her dead in her bed.

The Dr. Oz fan said the boyfriend sound suspicious and the first thing to do is talk to him. Dr. G agreed that the boyfriend looks suspicious but an investigator needs facts from the scene first and foremost.

By the bed was a bottle of ibuprofen, said Dr. G., in the bathroom medicine cabinet was a variety of over-the-counter pain medications and a powerful pharmaceutical for pain. In the sink blood is found and it appears that some cleanup was attempted.

Examining the body, Dr. G said she looked for trauma such as bruising on the neck and broken blood vessels in the eye hinting at strangulation. None of these signs were found however the eye lids were pale indicating anemia.

Dr. G opened the woman's intestines and found blood in the bowels. The cause of death was determined to be internal bleeding and had nothing to do with the boyfriend but everything to do with the over-the-counter pain medications which led to erosion of the lining of the stomach and internal bleeding. The victim had a stomach ulcer which Dr. G believes was attributed to the over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers.

The longer NSAID's are taken, the greater risks of developing stomach issues, even with occasional use. Drinking or smoking can increase risks of damaging stomach tissues. In general, chronic and high dose usage are the typical causes of this type of death, explained Dr. G.

Dr. Oz: Real Life Medical Mystery #3
A 39 year old female, height 5'7” and 175 pounds who had not been to a doctor in 15 years had no known med problems. She carried groceries up a flight of stairs to her apartment then collapsed. Her sister called 9-1-1 but the woman died on the scene.

The fan's guess was that the strain of carrying groceries could have caused a problem maybe high blood pressure was a factor. Dr. G said the story is a big clue. The woman died suddenly and unexpectedly and heart issues may have been at play.

Of the cases of people dieing from heart disease, 30% of them don't know they have a heart health concern and they die suddenly. Looking at the heart is the best place to start in this case.

Dr. Oz showed a normal heart, the size of a fist. The medical mystery woman's heart was twice the normal size. The woman's arteries were not clogged but the heart was enlarged. The most common cause of enlargement would be high blood pressure. The kidney's can provide more information

Normal kidney's are smooth and this woman's kidney's were shrunken, a classic sign of high blood pressure. Dr. G said she sees this cause of death nearly everyday and many people have no prior symptoms before death.

Dr. Oz: The Truth About Soy

It's in just about everything we eat these days from milk to bread to hot dogs. Popular opinion seems to go back and forth from viewing soy as healthy to warning people to severely limit consumption.

Asian cultures have relied and depended on soy as a main food for centuries. Many say that soy supports heart healthy and can be a part of a healthy diet.

Others say that soy can increase risks of cancer and heart concerns. So what's the truth? Dr. Oz takes on concerns and questions about soy.

Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, member of the medical advisory board for The Dr. Oz Show, said yes soy has healthy isoflavones that are very supportive of health. The controversy over soy stems from a misunderstanding of plant sourced estrogen. Peanuts also have lots of plant based estrogen and they provide health benefits too.

Dr. Oz The Truth About Soy #1: Soy Will Cause Breast Cancer
Verdict: Soy does not increase breast cancer risks, in face, soy can play a role in reducing the risks of breast cancer.

One cup soy milk daily reduces breast cancer risks by about 30% which has been shown in many studies. Asian cultures who have regularly eaten soy for generations and regular soy consumption in general have a lower rate of breast cancer.

The concern with soy and cancer is typically for people who have been diagnosed with cancer and then eat soy. It's not known if those plant estrogens play a negative or a positive role in the cancer.

Dr. Oz The Truth About Soy #2: Soy Is Bad For Heart Health
Verdict: Soy is very beneficial for heart health.
Ms. Kirkpatrick explained that soy is high in fiber and supports healthy blood pressure levels. The big question about soy and heart health is its effects on LDL, or lousy, cholesterol. Ms. Kirkpatrick said a soy burger is a healthier choice over a beef burger.

Dr. Oz The Truth About Soy #3: Soy Is Bad For The Thyroid
Verdict: Soy does not cause hypothyroid concerns.
Women who have a thyroid condition and are on thyroid medications may need to limit or cut out soy. It may be that these folks need separate the taking of their meds and eating soy. It's important to talk to a doctor about each individual situation and how soy may interact with doctor recommended therapies.

Dr. Oz: Good Soy vs. Bad Soy

To help sort out which soy products are good which are maybe not as good, Dr. Oz created a soy spectrum to illustration.

Dr. Oz: Soy Spectrum - Worst
The worst forms of soy are isolated soy proteins found in energy bars which also contain refined flours and sugar. Soy protein isolates are a highly refined form protein and the worst source of soy.

Soy burgers fit in between soy protein bars and soy chips. Soy burgers contain lots of processed ingredients. Ms. Kirkpatrick called soy burgers a ghost of a heath food as they seem like they are a healthy food but it's really not.

Soy chips aren't much better than a potato chip because they contain refined flours and high amounts of salt.

Dr. Oz: Soy Spectrum - Mid
In the mid range of the Dr. Oz soy spectrum is tofu and edamame. These are better sources as they are in their whole form and these are the types of soy products that Asian cultures eat.

Soy milk falls between the mid and the best forms of soy. There are many soy milk options on the market and some are better than others. Look for soy milk made from fresh whole soy beans. Avoid soy milk products with added sugars such as brown rice syrup or evaporated cane juice.

Dr. Oz: Soy Spectrum - Best
The best forms of soy are the fermented forms: tempeh and miso. Both tempeh and miso support digestion and allow for more nutrients to be digested.

Ms. Kirkpatrick said eating one to two servings of good soy products a day is consistent with great health benefits.

Dr. Oz: Holiday Shopping Health Hazards

Does holiday shopping give you a migraine? How about aching muscles and sore feet? While shopping this holiday season avoid the pitfalls and health hazards to stay healthy and safe this year.

Dr. Oz Holiday Shopping Hazard #1: Heavy Packages and Bags
How do you carry all those shopping bags? A Dr. Oz fan invited to the stage gathered several shopping bags and carried them all in one hand.

If you were given two barbells how would you carry them? You would hold one in each hand so the weight is balanced. So why don't we create balance when juggling those bags of goodies?

Dr. Oz had her stand against a wall that had horizontal and vertical lines. Dr. Oz then placed tape on her body, face and shoulders, to give a perspective of how she carries her self while she carries all those shopping bags. She gathered the bags again then stood against the wall. She was leaning severely to one side which can cause strain and pain in the neck, shoulders, back and the hips too.

To support those aching muscles, Dr. Oz recommended applying castor oil to the muscles, then cover the skin with plastic wrap and put a heating pad, set to low, on top to relieve aches.

Dr. Oz Holiday Shopping Hazard #2: Standing In Long Lines
After a long day of shopping you may feel like you ran marathon. Swollen feet and aching legs could be your present after standing in all those check-out lines.

Walking naturally massages the leg veins and encourages circulation however when standing that circulation doesn't happen and can lead to pooling of blood in the legs and feet which cause pain and discomfort.

Dr. Oz says that when standing in line waiting, to stand on one foot and rotate the other foot in a circle going one direction then the other direction. Switch feet. Doesn't take any extra space to do this and it won't make you lose your place in line either. 

Dr. Oz: Fans Share Holiday Prep Tips

There's so much to do during the holidays so Dr. Oz asked fans to share their short-cuts and time-saving tip to help make holiday prep go a little easier.

Dr. Oz Holiday Prep Tip #1: Peeling Potatoes
Dana said she saves time on peeling potatoes by boiling the tubers then plunging them into ice water. This process allows for the skin to come off easily. Dr. Oz said he's been doing this with beets. It's so easy, everyone should do this, he exclaimed.

Dr. Oz Holiday Prep Tip #2: Cleaning Short-Cut
Mia shared her cleaning short-cut for streak-free and lint-free windows and mirrors. Use a coffee filter instead of a cloth or paper towel.

Dr. Oz Holiday Prep Tip #3: Wrapping Tips
Susan is a master at wrapping holiday gifts. The more organized you can get the easier the process will be. She likes to use a paper towel holder to keep all her ribbons in one place. A tool belt filled with the necessary wrapping tools such as scissors, bows, tape, and tags keeps everything you need in easy reach.

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

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