TODAY   |  March 12, 2013

Diet, drugstore, doctor? How to cure what ails you

We all have common ailments that bother us from time to time, but figuring out the proper treatment can be overwhelming. Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom explains how to know whether you need a diet change, a drugstore cure, or a doctor.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on be well, be healthy, treating common ailments with the three d's -- diet, drugstore or doctor. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> we'll help people make the right choices. often when people have common ailments -- and not major issues -- they don't know what to do. you focus on diet, drugstore and doctor.

>> better health relies on knowing yourself. if you have common ailments think about, is it my diet? maybe i can do something from the drugstore. if i need to, take this ammunition to your doctor and say, i have tried x, y, and z to help your doctor make a faster diagnosis saving you time and money.

>> let's talk about insomnia. what diet strategies do you do with lack of sleep?

>> if you can't fall asleep, stay asleep or you wake up all night. first look at your caffeine intake. that doesn't mean cutting out coffee in the morning. if you're sensitive cut out coffee, cola.

>> alcohol?

>> alcohol is something else. people think it will put them to sleep but it gives you interrupted sleep, waking up all night. have your alcohol earlier in the evening. and a glass of water. some people hydrate constantly. don't hydrate before bed or you will wake up to go to the bathroom all night.

>> people eat a heavy meal before going to bed.

>> when you hear a snack before bed, that's not terrible. but you don't want a giant heavy meal. it will lay in your stomach, not digest and you will have trouble sleeping .

>> what over-the-counter things can you use if you're having a lack of sleep for a longer period of time?

>> if you have changed your diet and it's not helping look at analgesics that say p.m. it hads a common antihistamine. the bottle says as needed for a week or two. it is not for long-term health. if it helps you get over what you're struggling with, it's a good thing.

>> you can use fragrance?

>> there is a newer age thing especially lavender linked with the ability to fall asleep. some supplements you can use with care. check with your doctor first. valerian or melatonin.

>> you go to the doctor when you're not sleeping and it's hurting you.

>> if none of these things help see your doctor. it could be undiagnosed anxiety, depression, restless leg , sleep apnea . you want to get these things taken care of.

>> excessive sweating , a common problem.

>> right.

>> starting with diet. what are things to eliminate in food?

>> something people are surprised is sometimes you sweat when you eat spicy food . that's a good thing. cook with less spices. if you're ordering in an asian restaurant and 1 to 10 is the spice. don't go higher than 5 a. not drinking soups and hot drinks that are too hot. that will make you sweat as well. your body temperature goes up.

>> all right. drugstore solutions.

>> you can sweat in different places. some people have hand sweating, underarms. you can get heavy duty anti- anti-perspirants. not just deodorant.

>> that just stops the odor.

>> you can use wipes throughout the day. good old fashioned powder or corn starch does the same thing.

>> and what's the solution of the doctor?

>> going to the doctor is important. excess sweating can be diabetes, thyroid disease . important things to take care of. there are over-the-counter products that are lower dose than prescription medication your doctor can give you.

>> quickly if we can, next this is for headaches. a lot of people experience headaches. diet.

>> there is a lot of room. sometimes you're thirsty. drink something. you may have skipped a meal and you're hungry. there are compounds in red wine and aged cheese that can give you a headache. tyramine. think about your caffeine. not having caffeine can give you a headache.

>> obviously the solutions would be at the drugstore --

>> avoid the pm ones. if you have a sinus condition you could have a headache. there are pads to help ease that. it might be visual. you could have eyestrain. think about reading glasses.

>> check with your doctor for stress and other issues. thanks so much.