Your Questions Answered!

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What is Rolfing? Is it something that could help ease muscle tension?

If you're plagued by muscle pain, Dr. Oz recommends a technique called Rolfing, which he describes as "even deeper than a deep-tissue massage."

This technique, which was developed by Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf, aims to separate bound-up connective tissues (or fascia), which link the muscles. "Rolfing literally releases the joints," Dr. Oz says. "When you talk to folks about the impact it has on them, a lot of them just stand taller. A lot is just freeing you up to live the way you're supposed to live."

The last time Dr. Oz was on set, Oprah agreed to get acupuncture. Now, it's Dr. Oz's turn!

Dr. Oz volunteers to get Rolfed to demonstrate its medical benefits. Certified Rolfer Jonathan Martine says this massage method works with the body instead of on it. "What I'm looking at doing here is releasing the fascia, which is the wrapping around the muscles," he says.

The procedure may seem painful, but Jonathan says he works within the body's limits. "If I'm trying to force you into position to be upright, and you're not ready to be there, it's going to be challenging," he says.

You don't even have to strip down to have this procedure. "We work at a level of comfort for the client," Jonathan says. "I work with people in a bra and underwear or running shorts. I worked with a rancher from Nebraska that had his clothes on for most of the sessions."

Is it safe to hold in gas for long periods of time?

Flatulate, fart, toot, poot…no matter what you call it, you can't avoid it. In fact, Dr. Oz says men and women pass the same amount of gas every day.

In one day, almost a half liter of gas escapes the body in little aliquots, he says. So even if you think you're holding it in, the built-up gas will be released while you sleep.

Holding in gas isn't dangerous to your health, but Dr. Oz says it can cause unnecessary stomach cramps and pain. "You shouldn't bother [holding it in]," he says. "Let it come out when it's supposed to come out. Be smart about it. Do it in a place that's airy enough that you're not going to hurt your family and friends."

Scared of causing a stink? Don't worry…Dr. Oz says keeping gas all bottled up won't make it smell worse. Blame the foul odor on the foods you eat. "Beans give you a lot of gas," Dr. Oz says. "But beans don't make gas that smells bad. Meat, eggs [and] cauliflower—the leftover from these foods have sulfur in them, and they form methane gas."

The more sulfur there is in your diet, the more likely you'll be blaming the dog.

Is vacation constipation normal? Does it hurt my body to hold in poop for so long?

Escaping to a sandy beach or traveling through Europe may seem like a relaxing way to spend your vacation, but there's one part of your body that may be on edge until you return home.

Many people complain of constipation when they travel. Dr. Oz says this common problem is known as "safe-toilet syndrome."

"What happens is you go out on the road, and you get into an environment that's not as safe," he says. "Humans, in order to go to the bathroom, have to allow their autonomic system—the autopilot of our body—to go into relax mode. It's the only way that you can go to the bathroom. … So when you leave the comfort of your home, you get into an uncomfortable situation where you just don't ever relax."

Two other factors can contribute to vacation constipation—lack of fiber in your diet and not drinking enough water. "That one-two punch really stops you up," he says. If you're traveling to another time zone, a confused body clock might also be to blame.

If you're experiencing chronic constipation, Dr. Oz says it could be a symptom of something more serious, like cancer or irritable bowel syndrome. "The one we fear the most is cancer, because sometimes cancer can block off your intestinal track and you can't go to the bathroom," he says.

"But the much bigger cause is something called irritable bowel syndrome. … If the gut doesn't speak to the brain correctly, then we have the syndrome called irritable bowel."

What is a neti pot? Can it help with allergies and sinus problems?

It may look like a watering can or a genie bottle, but a neti pot—or "nose bidet"—may actually be the answer to your sinus woes. For thousands of years, Dr. Oz says people have been using similar devices to wash out their noses.

By pouring warm water from the neti pot into your nose, you can stimulate your sinuses and help clear out mucus. If the fluid builds up in your sinuses and causes pressure, you will experience pain, Dr. Oz says. This condition is known as sinusitis—inflammation of the sinuses.

"A lot of folks that have allergies, who have sinusitis, that have conditions that we treat with medications are equally well treated by actually washing the areas of your body," he says. "When you think about it … you wash your underarms. You have bidets. Why wouldn't you wash a pretty important part of your body, your sinuses, in the same fashion?"

If your sinuses are working normally, they will clean themselves. "That's why you blow your nose," he says.

Before you try pouring water into your nostril, Dr. Oz offers some neti pot pointers. First, mix warm water with a quarter teaspoon of non-iodized salt.

"You never want to wash [human] tissue without having saltwater in them," he says. "Your own cells like it more."

Dr. Oz says washing out your sinuses with regular water can be irritating. Cold water may make you feel like you're drowning in a pool.

Amy, an audience member who suffers from sinusitis, demonstrates the proper way to use a neti pot. "I thought it would feel like drowning, but it feels good," she says.

It may look strange, but Dr. Oz says this treatment may be more effective than medication. "The [ear, nose and throat] doctors who are specialists in this area will often say this is a better treatment than a lot of the other drugs that we try to offer folks, because it mechanically cleans out the problem," he says.

Neti pots are available at health food stores and most drug stores.

After sex with my husband, parts of my body get numb, red and irritated. Could I be allergic to his sperm?

While the medical community once thought this wasn't possible, Dr. Oz says they have recently reconsidered. However, it's not her husband's sperm that she is most likely allergic to, but rather the proteins in his semen. "The allergy can sometimes cause a systemic response like hives and a feeling in your eyes and your mouth that you're not quite right, but a lot of times it will be very local," Dr. Oz says. "You'll get irritation around the va-jay-jay."

Dr. Oz says that the best way to cure this allergy is through safe sex. Simply using a condom should prevent the allergic reaction.

In some women, an allergy to semen could be a sign of something much more worrisome. "The woman has antibodies against the male sperm," Dr. Oz says. "They see the sperm as an invading army of bacteria, and they start to kill it." He says this can lead to future fertility difficulties.

Occasionally, a liquid forms in my belly button that has a strange odor. Why does this happen and how can I prevent it from happening again?

If you find you've got a smelly belly, start contemplating your navel.

If you have an "outie," Dr. Oz says you could have a small hernia that's been there since your birth. Normally with an outie, there's no consequence and nothing needs to be done. But if it regularly becomes infected and there is a "creamy and constant" discharge, Dr. Oz says you should speak with your doctor.

"Remember your entire bowel system was connected to your mother through that one little hole," he says. "So if it doesn't heal all the way when you're born, you can have a little bit of tissue in there that will continue to accumulate fluid and it will push it out."

One thing you absolutely should not do is use rubbing alcohol to clean that wound…or any wound, for that matter. "When you have a wound of any kind in your body, you never want to put a solution in there that you wouldn't put in your eyes," Dr. Oz says. "What happens when you use alcohol is you kill 50 [bad] bacteria, but you kill 500 million of your own defender cells. You want to use solutions that your body likes so you help the good guys."

Instead of a harsh cleanser, Dr. Oz recommends using a salt solution like the one used for the neti pot: about a quarter-teaspoon of salt mixed with warm water.

Am I doing any damage to my hearing by cranking up the music in my earbuds?

The good thing about personal music players and their headphones—especially those ubiquitous white earbuds—is that you can groove in the gym or rock out at the market.

The bad thing about them, Dr. Oz says, is that they will almost certainly damage your hearing if you listen for too long or crank up the volume too high. "If you're exposed to a noise as loud as a city street for more than an hour at a time, it's dangerous," Dr. Oz says. "Think about this: When you wear your earphones, you [could] generate noise that's loud enough to drown out the city street."

Prolonged exposure to loud noises—including piped-in music—shakes up the bones in the middle of your ear and overstimulates the tiny hairs in your ear. Dr. Oz compares these overstimulated hairs to the bristles on a worn-out toothbrush. That loud music can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus—a permanent ringing in the ears. "Any time you hear a little ringing in your ears," Dr. Oz says, "you had it turned up too loud." To be safe, he says you shouldn't ever turn the volume up to more than 70 percent of the maximum.

Loud noise may not only leave a ringing in your ears—it could take years off your life. Dr. Oz says a recent study in Germany suggests there may be a connection between loud noises and heart problems. "Women had a 50 percent increased chance of having a heart attack if they were exposed to a lot of noise all day long, especially at home," he says. Though Dr. Oz says the reasoning behind this isn't known for sure, researchers believe that the added stress of being around loud noises creates more heart-damaging anxiety. "Although you don't realize it, your body does. And it doesn't react to it on the right way."

I've tried everything from repeated washing to open-toed shoes, but the smell is still horrible. What can I do about my stinky feet?

It's no surprise that so many people's feet smell. After all, Dr. Oz says, there are a quarter-million sweat glands on your feet. "You can generate about a half a liter of sweat from your foot in a day. It really does make a lot of juice."

But that sweaty foot is not the direct cause of the stink. After all, sweat is sterile. That pungent smell is actually caused by fungus or bacteria—such as athlete's foot. "Take your shoes off and look to see if you've got a little bit of a pitting on the bottom of your foot, on the sole. The pitting is … almost like little pinholes in the bottom of your foot, and it usually is a little bit white. That's an example of a fungus infection," Dr. Oz says.

So how can you get rid of the bacteria? Dr. Oz's remedy has a cure in the bag. Brew up some mild iced tea and put your feet in it for about 30 minutes a day for a week. "The tannic acid in the tea will actually tan your foot a little bit, which will dry it out," he says. "That's helpful in reducing the amount of sweat, and the odor as well."

Is talking on my cell phone a lot bad for my health?

No one knows for sure what the long-term effects of cell phones on brain cells will be. "But my personal belief, based on some data that shows that brain cells are affected by the cell phone—if you look at the brain cells on the right side of your brain versus the left side, when you're listening with the cell phone on the right side, they're a little different—we may actually find some problems down the road," Dr. Oz says.

What about cordless cell phone receivers? While these do reduce the amount of energy from the cell phone that reaches your head, their effects are also unknown. "They're probably beneficial, but they're receivers and so they might receive other energy from other places as well. We're not quite sure on those as yet," Dr. Oz says. "But I wouldn't throw my cell phone away. I have one, but I think for a lot of us we ought to think at least about how much we're on the cell phone."

Instead, Dr. Oz says the safest solution is using the speaker phone option. "The reason for that is the distance that you hold the phone away will cut the amount of energy [reaching your brain] by a quarter. So it's a lot if you can pull it farther from your head." Or, even better, he says to stick to the land line if you can.

When I get out of the shower, I'm sweating within minutes—even in an air-conditioned room. Why do I sweat so much?

Dr. Oz says there are at least three things that could be causing so much sweat. "You have to make sure your thyroid gland is normal," he says. "If your thyroid is working overtime, it will make you sweat a little bit." Dr. Oz says that thyroid issues are the most common hormonal problem in America. If you are feeling a bit off, your doctor can check it with a simple blood test.

Another cause of excessive sweat could be the presence of toxins—such as mercury—in your body. That sweat is your body's way of ridding itself of the toxins.

The third possibility? High blood pressure. If you do have high blood pressure, Dr. Oz says the danger lies in more than what an antiperspirant can cure.

While optimal blood pressure is 115 over 75, Dr. Oz says the average American's blood pressure is 130 over 85. "And what happens to the average American? We die of a heart attack," Dr. Oz says. "You don't want to be average, you want to be optimal. You want to do the right thing.

"Do you know why African-Americans have high blood pressure?" Dr. Oz asks Oprah.

"The reason why African-Americans have higher blood pressure, Dr. Oz, is because during the Middle Passage [when Africans were taken as slaves to America], the African-Americans who survived were those who could hold more salt into their body," Oprah says. "And those who didn't survive were the ones who couldn't hold more salt into their body."

"I'm off the show, you don't need me anymore—that's perfect!" Dr. Oz says.

Normally, Dr. Oz is ready to answer your biggest health questions—no matter how embarrassing. Now the tables have turned, and Dr. Oz is asking you.

You've been to Dr. Oz's "classes"…but how well have you paid attention?

Just want a refresher course? Follow along and get the answers.

Question 1: What shape should your poop be?
A) Pancake-shaped
B) S-shaped
C) Pebble-shaped
D) I refuse to look.

The correct answer is B.

"It is supposed to be S-shaped, and for a very good reason," Dr. Oz says. "Poop, before it comes out, gets stored in the bottom of your rectum. And if it's unable to be stored there and achieve that shape, it means that your waste is not working well.

"Now we joke about this a lot, and that's all fun and good, but the reality is it's one of the best ways for us to audit how you're doing. If we don't know what's coming out of you and if you're not keeping track of it, we can't figure out [if] the machine's working the right way."

Question 2: How much fiber should you eat every day?
A) 10 grams
B) 15 grams
C) 25 grams
D) 55 grams

The correct answer is C.

While people should be eating about 25 grams of fiber a day, Dr. Oz says the average American gets only 10 grams of fiber a day. And if you're not getting enough fiber, it will be difficult to get that S-shaped poop.

If you're looking to increase your fiber intake, don't do it all at one meal. Instead, try to get in meals throughout your day. "Obviously you can get them through the vegetables and fruits that you eat," Dr. Oz says as he points out several fiber-rich choices to Oprah. Other foods that are good sources of fiber include whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, steel cut oatmeal, peas and lentils.

"Recognize we don't have a main course item here, right? Our fiber comes from around the main course. … This meal right here has 25 grams in a day. So it's not magic."

Question 3: When have you had enough water?
A) When you have to go to the bathroom about every 30 minutes
B) When your urine is clear enough to read through
C) When your urine is odorless
D) When you feel slightly bloated all the time

The correct answer is B.

The purpose of urine is to get rid of waste, like nitrogen, through urea, Dr. Oz says. Clear urine means that you've gotten enough fluid to wash it all out. "If you can't [read through it], that means the urine has been concentrated a bit," he says.

Water is important for more than just flushing waste out of your system. Dr Oz says it also allows chemical reactions in your body and helps blood reach capillaries to bring in more nutrients.

"Not having enough water gets the whole system to become sluggish, including your bowel," Dr. Oz says. "One of the best solutions I have found for constipation is water, just because you can mix it up a little bit and get it going."

Question 4: What is the most dangerous fat on your body?
A) The fat in your thighs
B) The fat in your buttocks
C) The fat in your belly

The correct answer is C.

"The thighs will cost you a few dates, but it's the fat in your belly that we worry about," Dr. Oz says.

When the fat is stored in your stomach, your body has easy access to it, Dr. Oz explains. The fat then creates an inflammatory process that irritates your arteries and puts you at risk for blocked arteries.

Question 5: Which of the following stores fat?
A) The sciatic nerve
B) The omentum
C) The duodenum

The correct answer is B.

The omentum is the fat organ connected to your stomach that only has one purpose—catching and storing fat.

Once your omentum becomes large, can you shrink it? "Absolutely. That's the whole purpose of the omentum," Dr. Oz says. "We're born with omentums that we can store fat in, so we're supposed to be able to have it get bigger and smaller."

Question 6: What are flavonoids?
A) They shrink hemorrhoids.
B) They're on your tongue.
C) They're near your adenoids.
D) They're in foods that contain antioxidants.

The correct answer is D.

Flavonoids are found in food—in things like teas and dark-colored berries. They're similar to vitamins and are important in maintaining health—studies have suggested an association between diets high in flavonoids and a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. "They're what gives a lot of foods we have color," Dr. Oz says. "They're particularly effective at helping the body get rid of toxins that affect us."

Question 7: Which of the following is most important to determine if you're aging well?
A) Blood pressure
B) Cholesterol
C) Your weight
D) Your heart rate

The correct answer is A.

Dr. Oz says that while many people worry more about weight and cholesterol, your blood pressure is actually the most important measure of your health.

Dr. Oz compares cholesterol's role in repairing arteries to the way plaster is used to fix a hole in a wall. But what causes the holes in your arteries in the first place? "Blood pressure … drives the holes in our arteries that we then have to fix with cholesterol. … So if we don't have the holes, we don't have to worry about it."

Dr. Oz says elevated blood pressure—the optimal number is 120 over 80—could take as much as 10 years off your life. If you have high blood pressure, Dr. Oz says it's important to follow all of your doctor's orders about salt intake, diet and drugs. "But of course, nothing's as good as exercise," he says. "That's really effective in getting blood pressure down."

Question 8: Impotence could be a sign of what health problem?
A) Liver problems
B) Heart disease
C) Iron deficiency
D) Underactive thymus

The correct answer is B.

Erections happen when arteries in the penis dilate and blood flows in. This dilation is caused by the release of a gas called nitric oxide. "If you don't have enough of that gas [to have an erection], it's not present in other places either—including your heart. It's one of the first signs that the heart is having hardened arteries."

In fact, Dr. Oz says that drugs that treat erectile dysfunction stimulate chemicals that ultimately release nitric oxide. "That stated," Dr. Oz says, "the best solution is to keep your nitric oxide levels healthy. And the way for us to do that is to keep our arteries healthy."

Question 9: What day and time do most people have heart attacks?
A) Monday morning
B) Tuesday afternoon
C) Saturday night
D) Sunday brunch

The correct answer is A.

As the blood courses through an artery in your heart, plaque can build up on the walls. Sometimes, the plaque ruptures, leaving a raw surface exposed, Dr. Oz says. Platelets in the blood begin to form a scab over the rupture, which can lead to a blockage that causes a heart attack.

"That's why Monday mornings are worrisome to us, because it's a time of change, a time of stress," he says. "It's a time when that plaque is more likely to rupture and result in a heart attack. It doesn't take days to occur. It takes minutes, maybe hours to occur."

Question 10: According to Dr. Oz, how often should you have sex?
A) Once a week
B) Twice a week
C) 10 times a month
D) 200 times a year or more

The correct answer is D.

"If you have more than 200 orgasms a year, you can reduce your physiologic age by six years," Dr. Oz says. He bases the number on a study done at Duke University that surveyed people on the amount and quality of sex they had. "They looked at what happened to folks that are having a lot of intercourse over time, and the fact is, it correlated."

Among the benefits of having sex often, Dr. Oz says, is that it can prove that your body is functioning as it is supposed to. "But in addition, having sex with someone that you care for deeply is one of the ways we achieve that Zen experience that we all crave as human beings," he says. "It's really a spiritual event for folks when they're with someone they love and they can consummate it with sexual activity … seems to offer some survival benefit."

Question 11: The best cure for a jellyfish sting is…?
A) Urine
B) Meat tenderizer
C) Vinegar
D) Fresh water

The correct answer is C.

Dr. Oz says the best thing to do for a jellyfish sting is to wash off the affected area and then apply vinegar. "When you're stung by a jellyfish, it actually puts a little venom in you, so the best thing is to wash it off with saltwater, not fresh water, because that makes the sting worse," Dr. Oz says.

If you don't have any vinegar handy, Dr. Oz says urine can help the sting site, but it is not quite as acidic as vinegar and therefore not as helpful. "[Acidity] actually deactivates the toxin. And then if you need to, you can actually shave the site and those little specks [left by the sting] will come out, and you can pull them out if you need to."

Question 12: What is the best way to remove a tick?
A) Burn it.
B) Pluck it.
C) Suffocate it in petroleum jelly.
D) Apply nail polish remover, then ice.

The correct answer is B.

Dr. Oz says ticks are one of the leading carriers of diseases in the United States, causing tens of thousands of people to contract Lyme disease each year. The safest way to remove a tick from your body without exposing yourself to diseases, Dr. Oz says, is simply to pull it out.

"It's actually the most common reason that we get bad problems resulting from insect bites," he says. "The tick has in itself viruses and other contaminants that are quite detrimental to our well-being. So if you try to burn it … or put gasoline on it, it actually irritates the tick. So what does the tick do? It regurgitates the fluid back into you."

To avoid the tick releasing its germs into your body, Dr. Oz says to remove it without bothering it. "Get your tweezers, flip the tick upside down, grab the mouth of it and pull hard," he says. "Don't twist it. Just pull it, because the barbs go straight in."

If the tick's head remains in your skin after you remove its body, Dr. Oz says not to worry—the saliva and viruses are contained in the tick's body. "If you want to get [the head] out like a splinter, then get it out," he says. "But I'll give advice for moms out there—if your kid has a little bit of the head left in, the body will push it out by itself. I wouldn't strap the kid down and go after the head of it. That's not where the infection is. The infection was the body that's already gone."

Question 13: Why do some people attract mosquitoes more than others?
A) The scent of perfume, deodorant or lotion
B) Genetics
C) Your diet
D) All of the above
E) None of the above

The correct answer is D.

"Genetics is probably the most important driver of whether a bug likes you or not," Dr. Oz says. "But there's no question that the scent of perfume or deodorant [is also a factor]."

One feature that might actually repel mosquitoes—which also can carry diseases such as malaria—is body hair, Dr. Oz says. "Mosquitoes don't like the hair," he says. "Plus, when the mosquito lands, I can feel it before you can [because of the hair on my arms]."

Question 14: What is Dr. Oz holding?
A) A kidney stone
B) A gallstone
C) A ganglion cyst
D) A ball joint from the ankle

The correct answer is B.

Dr. Oz says gallstones can come in a variety of different colors and shapes, depending on what substances they contain, such as red blood cells or cholesterol. "They're made from different materials, because your gallbladder cleans a lot of material out," he says. While some are round, Dr. Oz says others form in the shape of dice if they are pushed together.

While he says larger gallstones are not dangerous, the smaller ones can cause problems. "They actually travel into the main duct that drains your liver, and they can block off the pancreas and the liver. That's when you turn yellow and get pancreatitis," he says. "So these things, although they're beautiful, can be dangerous."

Question 15: What causes "brain freeze"?
A) Dehydration
B) Immune system
C) Cold temperature and lactic acid
D) Dilation of arteries

The correct answer is D.

If you are among the 30 percent of people who get headaches when they eat ice cream too fast, Dr. Oz says the dilation of your arteries is to blame. "When you eat ice cream, it actually stimulates the back of your mouth because it's cold and the arteries spasm," he says. "But after they close down, they relax, and that lets too much blood go to your brain, and you get the headache."

How do you get rid of the painful ache? Dr. Oz says you should hold your tongue at the top of your mouth to warm it up between bites of ice cream.

Question 16: What is the body part pictured above?
A) The liver
B) The appendix
C) The spleen
D) The kidney

The correct answer is C.

Located on the left side of your abdomen, Dr. Oz says the spleen helps the immune system function better. "If you can feel your spleen, that means you probably have an infection," he says. "Mononucleosis does that, and illnesses that draw on your immune system."

According to Dr. Oz, people often damage their spleens when they have car crashes or sports injuries. "It's so rich in blood. It's an extra reservoir of blood for us," he says. "So when we fracture it, it starts to really bleed a lot, and that's one of the reasons we have to operate on folks."