You Wanted to Know: Losing Weight at Any Age

Scales for determining the weight of the body.

I talk a lot about weight loss on the show, and for good reason. The average American waistline has been increasing year after year, with almost 70% of us now overweight or obese. But losing weight is hard. Millions of Americans struggle every year to drop weight and keep it off, even when they know that doing so is the best thing for their health.

Finding out how to drop the weight for good can be a long and arduous process, which is why I wanted to answer Tasha’s question this week:

28 too late

You Wanted to Know: Walking Pneumonia

sick woman with cough in bed

The cooler weather is here to remind us that flu season is around the corner. And while we should all be going out for flu shots to protect ourselves from the flu virus, bacterial pneumonia is a more insidious side to the cold weather that can also show up around this time.

Pneumonia is common and dangerous among older adults, but younger people can get it, too. One of our viewers asked me for more information on the risk factors for pneumonia and how you can protect yourself from repeat infections:

Pneumonia

You Wanted to Know: A Broken Heart

Felt heart

No one enjoys having their heart broken. But for some people who have experienced an emotionally traumatic event like the loss of a loved one or a break up, a “broken heart” can become a medical problem in addition to an emotional one. One of my viewers, @Just_Me_4_Him, asked me about this unusual phenomenon on Twitter



You Wanted to Know: Prenatal Vitamins for Hair


Prenatal vitamins are a must for pregnant women who need higher amounts of vitamins and minerals like folic acid and iron to keep their growing babies healthy. Taking these vitamins can also be a good idea for women who are trying to conceive, since certain developmental problems may develop very early on in a pregnancy, possibly even before a woman knows she is pregnant, and can often be prevented by sufficient amounts of folic acid. However, some women who aren’t pregnant or even trying to get pregnant choose to take prenatal vitamins for other, more cosmetic reasons – but is this a good idea and is there any evidence to back it up? That’s what Teresita wants to know: 



You Wanted to Know: Pancreatitis

Young woman in pain

Acute pancreatitis is usually hard to miss, with severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and often a fever. It’s also important not to miss it, since leaving it untreated could lead to dangerous complications and even death. Plus, in some people, pancreatitis may cause inflammation that does not heal or that may worsen over time, leading to chronic pancreatitis. One of my viewers asked me about ways to avoid this painful disease: 



You Wanted to Know: Calcium


Today I want to talk about one of the body’s most important (and one of my favorite) minerals: Calcium.  Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and serves many crucial functions, including building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, making muscles and nerves work, clotting blood and keeping your heart beating regularly. Without calcium, we wouldn’t be able to live. One of our viewers, Jade, asked me about this important mineral on Twitter



You Wanted to Know: Colon Cancer Screening Options

Rare Diseases Are Hard to Overcome

Though none of the screening options to detect colon cancer are particularly fun, they are some of the most important and scientifically proven things you can do to safeguard yourself from this second-leading cause of cancer-related death. There are several different options for colon cancer screening, including colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs). One of our viewers asked me on Twitter about the best way to choose between these screening tests.



You Wanted to Know: Muscle Cramps


Whether it’s the excruciating pain of a charley horse or a dull, achy pain in your neck, nearly everyone has had or will experience a muscle cramp at some point. These sudden, involuntary muscle contractions usually only last a few seconds to 15 minutes, but they can be temporarily debilitating. One of our viewers, Alex, is looking for solutions: