Chatting with Dr. Oz part 2

Dr. Oz has tips and adviceRecently, I had the opportunity to chat with the surgeon and author, and  TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz, on a conference call with other journalists and bloggers. I was able to ask the host of the Dr. Oz Show the questions DolceDolce readers always ask me.

Here, in part two of that conversation, Dr.Oz talks more about weight loss and health issues. He also discusses marriage, relationships, and some very personal advice he gave his own daughters.
Dr. Oz on weight loss
Dr. Oz: The Just 10 challenge was organized around the concept that if we can keep you a couple of simple habits that you can reduce to practice, that you like and enjoy, and can stay with then effortlessly without struggling too much, you will be able to shave off the 10 pounds that we are addressing. And your point is an excellent one; not all the tips work for everybody, depending on your job, your metabolism, and all the other things going on in your life. It may be easier for some than others, but what we’re trying to do is establish new foundations for your health and — an example — we asked people not to eat late at night because we know that if you go to bed a little light you’ll sleep better. But in addition your caloric intake the next day is not based on what you had for dinner the night before.
You’re going to wake up in the morning usually hungry anyway, so if you can eat your meal at 6 and avoid having another snack at 9 when you go to bed at 10:30 or 11:00, you’ll be able to sleep through the night, get up in the morning and then restart the clock again. And we focus on the fact that we just want you to shave off 100 calories, that’s it, just 100 calories every day from what you used to eat and there are many little tips of doing that. Another one I’ll give you just quickly is you don’t want your snacks to be larger than the size of your hand. And the reason for that is we want you to snack because you want to snack, but we don’t want you resenting the fact that you’re on a program. But after you’ve had a handful now you’ve sort of satisfied your hedonistic desire to taste it, drink a glass of water, wash that taste out, and then go back to living your life in a normal way without thinking about the chocolate anymore. And these tips across the board have been effective in getting people to understand these lifestyle changes don’t have to be onerous. And if you understand the Biology of Blubber, the simple things that govern how we gain weight and maintain weight… you will be able to add things to the program to suit your needs, for example more fiber at breakfast, which we know keeps you satiated throughout the morning.
Making sure that you have snacks throughout the day so you never have ups and downs in your satiety level, which makes you think more about food — and I’ve got to say every long-term trial that’s been done that has shown success for more than two years — they have been based on these types of simple principals. It is why thin people are able to stay that way even though heavy people think they’re lucky. There’s more to it than that.
Then one last point … 5% of the population has genetic issues that really do
make it difficult for them to lose weight. For that small percentage I would have a
doctor evaluate you to make sure your hormones are in the right place. You know if
your thyroid hormone is depleted or your not making any testosterone, or if you’re
lacking in leptin, all of these hormones can lead to obesity and it is worth checking to
(make) sure it’s not happening.
Dr. Oz on the thyroid
Dr. Oz: … There are about 45,000 cases (of thyroid cancer) this year, new cases, in America, three-quarters of which are women and the chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer today is probably twice what it was in 1990. And in part we believe, and listen carefully because you’ll get agitated and frustrated when I tell you this, but we believe this in part (is) because of x-rays, specifically dental x-rays. And we know that if you get five dental x-rays you will quadruple the risk for getting thyroid cancer. CT scans also expose you to thyroid disease. And I must say I’m a little concerned about the x-ray machines that are now brought into the airport security, because although everyone tells me that they are low doses and they’re safe, you know, that’s what we thought about dental x-rays. So I think that the thyroid gland is a very sensitive gland, it’s the canary in the coal mine so to speak of our organs. And the fact that we have this increased incidence makes me concerned we have got problems. In terms of empowering issues, besides always insisting that you have a thyroid guard, a radiation shield on your thyroid when you have a dental x-rays which are sometime necessary. I would also advise women to take vitamin D, which we believe reduces the incidence of auto-immune attacks on the thyroid gland and might reduce the epidemic of hypothyroidism in the country.
Dr. Oz tells you what your tongue says about your health
Dr. Oz: With regard to the tongue, there are a couple of things that are worth mentioning. There’s something called a geographic tongue where you actually have blotches … areas of the tongue that are irritated and often the sides of the tongue. There are pictures of these on Google and elsewhere that are pretty impressive, but they are either often due to nutritional deficiencies. Beefy red tongues are from vitamin B deficiency. And my favorite, the hairy tongue, the papillae of the tongue, the actually sight hairs, they will actually grow and look like hairs if they are not cleaned. So normally when we eat we wear them down, but people who have poor dental hygiene will sometimes grow these little hairs, they almost feel like fur on their tongue and you have to scrape your tongue to get rid of them.
Dr. Oz on marriage and fidelity
Dr. Oz: Well in the animal kingdom it is very common for males and females not to bond for life. It’s a norm that they don’t, and there are even some cases where we’re pretty sure that there are actually infidelities occurring. And of course, proving this and putting a moral context to it is not fair, because in the animal kingdom there are different rules of engagement, so it’s hard to translate it directly. But it’s not unreasonable for anyone on this call to think that there’s a natural inclination for males and females to stray. But part of what’s made humans such a cool species is that we have been able to break rules from the animal kingdom. And one of the most important ones is trust and the ability to create a long-lasting relationship. We have over and over again demonstrated it correlates with longevity. Pay attention to the important things in life, which at the top of that list is the family relationship and the covenants you have with each other, is critical to the survival of our species. It always has been, it is what allowed us to come out of Africa 50,000 years ago and settle the entire world. And when we are at our best we pay attention to these covenants. We don’t make them rules that bind us and hold us from living life, we make them supportive, lessons that allow us to live life to the best and I think that where marriage ought to live.
Dr. Oz on how children can change a marriage
Dr. Oz: … Well you know there’s a couple of things that happen. When women
bear a child, especially the first child of a marriage, the father will often start seeing his wife as a mom rather than his lover… And that’s an understandable transition. There is something so sacred about a baby coming into existence. And the preciousness of that being gets in the way sometimes of the sexual relationships that we have that got us there in the first place. And so that needs to be clear to both father and wife, that they are there for each other and they have to support each other throughout that process.
And I remember I was doing an operation — I still do heart surgery — and so I was taking care of this guy and his wife was 24 weeks pregnant. And at 24 weeks, the baby is barely viable. I mean most of those kids, 50/50 will make it, maybe a little more. But it’s tough, and so before I went into the operation I had to ask the husband in private a very direct question. I said to him that he’s got two relatives on the table with me — you know his wife and to be born child — I said there is going to be a time probably in this operation where I’m going to have to make a decision that benefits one over the other. She had a mitral valve that had torn, so I had to do the heart surgery on her. And I said what’s your choice? And he said there’s no question about it, I married my wife, I know who she is. My child is, although I love the unborn baby and would love to have the baby, my loyalty is to my wife. And that’s what I think was the right answer in that case. And when we did the operation we paid attention to the mom and the child. But when the crisis occurred, we favored the mom a little bit. It turned out fine. The baby was born a couple of weeks later and everything worked out well. But that’s the ultimate decision you have to make in a family that’s just had a new child. Another thing with children, of course, (is) actually one of the benefits. The nice thing about a child is a child doesn’t care what you’re studying tomorrow. The child cares about now. So when you come home and you’ve had a difficult day — in my case if I’ve lost a patient or the show tapings didn’t go well — and when I get home and they want to play horsy. You know, it just changes your balance. You don’t care about the other things. It’s a very grounding experience.
Dr. Oz’s advice to his own daughters
I asked Dr. Oz what advice he gives his own daughters. I know my father was a strong influence on me.
Dr. Oz: Well the first important observation as a father is that your teenage daughters generally don’t care what you think. So you have to sort of insert yourself into their lives innocuously, and then over time sometimes they’ll open up. One very good way of doing that is to walk into their room and just sit there. I know that sounds crazy, but after you lie there for a while they’ll tell you that they don’t want you there. They’ll ask why you’re here and then after a few minutes they soften up and then they’ll say something, and then something else. When they were little girls, I used to always tell (them) bedtime stories because I knew that at night, when they were about to fall asleep, is when their guard come down. They begin to release and relax, and then you can actually start to tell them stories, fables and insights that might influence in a subtle way how they think about the world.
So what are the messages I tried to deliver them? First I emphasize that the smartest
thing that I ever did, the best thing that ever happened to me, was marrying their
mother, Lisa. I want them to hear that over and over again because it is a huge
bungee cord jump when you make that decision, male or female. Too often now, we
have people who are arguing about the hassles of marriage. And the beauty of
marriage is often not readily apparent to kids because they remember the conflicts
more then the bliss. So I emphasize that to them.
My eldest daughter Daphne, who just turned 24,  just got married this summer… I told her when she was a little girl — and I tell her sisters — that I think getting married at an early age is a very wise thing to do. It gives you a lifelong partner, before you started getting jaded and change your mind and start feeling the pressure of getting married. And start to think that you’re going to marry the perfect person if you just wait long enough, and then you feel the time pressure because you never found that person. Just recognize that there is no perfect person for you. You’re going to find someone that you have an emotional and physical connection to that you love, but for good or for bad, they’re not the perfect person for you. You’re going to make them the perfect person for you either by changing yourself or changing them. And it’s that coming together that makes marriage a remarkable event. That’s why arranged marriages for so many years — I’m not arguing to arrange marriages — but that’s why arranged marriages were often such an effective way of binding people because if the families got along, at least you had a social glue to get the couple to make peace when conflicts occur which happens anyway. And so I wanted them to be comfortable making the decision to get married early, and not sense that that’s not the norm anymore. Because, you know, Daphne’s the first in her group (who) went to Princeton, of her graduates to get married. So they were all at the wedding. You know she must have had like 12 or 14 bridesmaids. I lost track.
And so as they were all sitting around talking about this, I noticed that none of them
were married yet. It did, I think, make a lot of people comfortable over time to see that, you know, it’s a choice you make and you live with it. And some of her classmate won’t get married for another decade. Some of them will never get married, but I didn’t want her to have pressure either way. When she found the right person, pull the trigger and she doesn’t have to wait. There’s no benefit to that and there’s no penalty if does find the right person either.
I also asked Dr. Oz about his concerns regarding mineral make-up. He has expressed concerns about these products on his show. He mentioned becoming concerned after seeing his daughters use these products.
Dr. Oz: Yeah I’m concerned about a lot of the cosmetic changes that girls want to put themselves through. You know, especially the hair bleaching which doesn’t have a long-lasting effect, but does destroy your hair. I begged them not to get tattoos which they’ve all abided me by. I said you’re welcome to pierce things if you want because that’s removable, but tattoos you’ll live with for your whole life. I don’t want you making a decision at 17 that’s going to be one you’ll regret because I take tattoos off and it’s not easy to do.
You know from patients of mine, but the mineral makeup is an example where you
don’t think it’s a problem. But if you’re putting that stuff on and you’re inhaling it, same goes for the iris dilating contact lenses that we did a piece on, Lady Gaga apparently made a video where she had really big irises, they did it through digital manipulation, but the argument was that some people though she had these iris-dilating contacts, they make your eyes look bigger.
Well in the East, in Asia, Japan, China, it is very commonly-used, and these things are really detrimental to you. I mean putting anything in your eye can be dangerous, even a contact lens. Again you can’t say that as you know, you can’t say ‘kid you’re being foolish…’ So instead I just say ‘listen you know, let me just show you a couple of things.’ I don’t tell them, I show them. Usually they reject my advice and then a couple of weeks later, it comes back. And they feel like they’ve actually heard it and now they’re accepting of it.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is the Emmy Award-winning host of the Dr. Oz Show.  He is also the co-author of the best-selling new book series, “You” by Dr. Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen.