Frequently Asked Questions
In the more than 3 decades I have had the pleasure of seeing patients, I have been asked many questions over and over. I thought it might be helpful to write a short article with a few of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s). Here goes:
1. What is the best fluid to keep us hydrated? The answer is simple – water. Just plain water. Not some fancy electrolyte replacement fluid, not Gatorade or Powerade or Kool-Aid or any other “ade”. Some people want to tell you to drink water that is a certain temperature because you absorb it better. Hogwash, just drink water. Water will always be the best method of staying hydrated.
2. Should I put ice on it or heat on it? This question comes in many different forms and under many different circumstances. “I just twisted my ankle, should I heat it or ice it?” “My back is killing me, should I get in the hot tub or put ice on it?” “My shoulder is really stiff and I want to play tennis, should I heat it or ice it?”
The answer to this question is - it depends. If the pain or injury is acute, meaning it just happened, the answer is always ice it. Icing helps to keep the swelling down and will actually speed the recovery of the injured area. Immediately icing an injury will prevent excess fluid from pooling around the injured area. Icing will also help to minimize the bruising in the area.
If the injury or stiffness is chronic, meaning you have had it for a while, then heating the area is usually best. This comes with a major warning though. It is almost always best to ice after activity. This means heating a stiff area or joint prior to activity is best. Then, following the activity, always end with ice. When in doubt, always apply ice.
3. Let a fever run or take aspirin to bring the fever down? This has been a discussion topic for decades and will continue to be as long as kids have fevers. Even worse when it is an adult that has the fever.
I believe in letting a fever run its course. There are always reasons to break a fever and good Doctor’s advice should be sought, but hear me out. Our immune systems raise our body temperature (give us a fever) to weaken and/or kill whatever bugs that are making us sick. Most illness-causing microbes do not do well above 103 degrees or so. The higher the fever the more the bugs are weakened and our immune system can kill them. Artificially lowering the fever with aspirin or other medications will actually prolong the illness. Fevers also kick disease-fighting white blood cells into overdrive. Let the fever run its course.
4. What is the most effective diet to lose weight? Being a weight loss specialist and working with so many diabetics, I get this question on a daily basis. The answer is not some great secret that only celebrities know about. We all know the best way to lose weight. Good nutrition coming from real food is the simple answer. Getting a balanced intake of proteins, vegetables and fruits coupled with some high-quality supplements is the best way to lose weight. The only reason I recommend any supplements is due to the general lack of some vitamins and minerals in our modern food supply. If we could all supply our own meats, vegetables and fruits from naturally found sources, I would not recommend any supplements at all.
These are just a few of the FAQ’s that seem to be on many people’s minds. I hope this helps. Be Blessed.