TODAY   |  April 17, 2013

How to cure what ails: Diet, drugstore, or doctor?

TODAY nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom shares the best ways to treat common ailments such as bad breath, thinning hair, and dry skin.

Share This:

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

>>> diet and nutrition editor.

>> nice to see you al.

>> a lot of times you have common ailments, should i see the doctor, is it something i can get out of the drugstore.

>> save yourself time and money. start with the easy things, go from diet to the drugstore and if you need to, see your doctor. you need this as evidence as what you try to do. take control of your health.

>> start with bad breath .

>> big problem for a lot of people. first is what you're eating. onion, garlic, scallions, these things keep recycling in your mouth and that's a big problem. avoid them all together. another thing is dry mouth . your mouth gets drier, drink water, keep flushing out the bacteria and also parsley is nature's normal breath freshener. it's not just on the plate for nothing. then head to the drugstore because something that you can do to prevent dry mouth , sugarless gum or mints and look at your oral hygiene . if you haven't changed your toothbrush in a year, every six months you need to do this.

>> i do it every month.

>> even better. but these are the things, i don't know if you've seen this tongue scraper , your tongue is a big contributor to bad breath so when brushing your teeth use that tongue scraper .

>> things still persist, what do you do?

>> then go to your doctor. it could be an index of digestive problems or diabetes or something that you see your dentist for, for gum disease .

>> next problem something i'm passed worried about, thinning hair.

>> not your problem but a problem for millions and millions of people. we're not talking about male pattern baldness but your hair gradually thins. one the biggest problems is not enough protein. you need about half your body weight so you have to load up on protein and also on orange vegetables and fruits that have a lot of vitamin a. you need lean protein, it can come from dairy and eggs and that can promote it.

>> what you find at the drugstore?

>> heading to the drugstore you can't be eating all day you can use supplements, protein supplements or vitamins and minerals that don't replace, they supplement food, but all kinds of temporary products that can thicken your hair shaft, make them look thicker and there's something that maybe you knew about, monoxydil, monoxydilmonoxydil, rogaine, they're temporary. use a loose head band because pulling it back can contribute to that as well.

>> you need to check with your doctor because it can be an indicator of other problems.

>> these are temporary measures. this can be thyroid problems, heart problems , auto immune diseases and don't forget, stress, anxiety and depression, often thinning hair is a big sign of that so that you're stressed you want to visit and see your doctor.

>> dry skin .

>> people have this year round. one of the biggest reasons comes from the diet, not enough fat. we're fat-phobic. heart healthy kinds, olive oil , salmon, nuts are a really good souf source in the diet. dpl gluten sensitivity is not just stomach upset. it's also dry itchy skin.

>> what about water?

>> you really need to hydrate. you're moisturizing your skin from the inside to the out.

>> topical stuff.

>> topical stuff is temporary and if your body is wet out of the shower mixing in the moisturizers are a good thing but every day and regularly.

>> if these don't work, you got to check with your doctor.

>> you have to check with your doctor. these can be psoriasis or eczema, diabetes or a gluten allergy . when you go to your doctor, here's what i did with my diet and from the drugstore, what can you help me.