Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ask Dr. John: Garcinia cambogia, itchy throat

Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. 9NEWS at 8 a.m. 04/09/14.

Dr. John Torres 10:46 a.m. MDT April 9, 2014

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KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a Garcinia Cambogia Extract medical question for Dr. John, send it to mornings@9news.com and make sure to have Ask Dr. John in the subject line.

Question #1

Hi, I heard you recently talking about Garcinia Cambogia. I am a nursing mother, is it safe to take while nursing? Or will it be bad for my baby? Thanks! Katy

Answer

Garcinia cambogia is a fruit extract that's currently being touted as the new weight loss darling. It contains an ingredient known as hydroxycitric acid, HCA, which in mice has been shown to help them lose weight. Unfortunately in human studies the results have been mixed with some studies showing a weight loss, others not showing any benefit at all. But this supplement has not been studied in pregnant women or nursing mothers so the best advice is for them to avoid it all together. Garcinia cambogia also can drop someone's blood sugar level so diabetics, especially those taking insulin, need to be extra cautious about this extract because it could cause their blood sugar to drop to dangerous levels. But for most others, it's a safe fruit and safe extract, just one that we aren't sure yet whether it will actually help anyone lose weight or not.

Question #2

What causes an itchy throat, and burning feeling in the chest, and not being able to eat solids because it makes you sick afterwards?? Heather

Answer

Although there are a few things that might cause these types of symptoms the one that seems most likely is known by many names including acid reflux, GERD, or simply heartburn. This happens when acid that is produced in our stomach, and normally stays in our stomach, gets up into our esophagus, the feeding tube. When it enters this area it can cause a burning sensation in the chest, a type of heartburn. If it goes higher into the throat area it can cause a burning and even itching in the throat. Things that make reflux worse include being overweight and smoking. Certain foods can also cause this to happen more often, including fatty foods, chocolate, peppermint and drinks with caffeine. So to can alcohol. So for someone suffering from reflux or heartburn it's best to avoid these foods as much as possible. Some things that help with symptoms include eating smaller meals, not eating just before bedtime and elevating the head of the bed so gravity can help keep that acid in the stomach. And one strange thing that might help some with heartburn is chewing gum on a regular basis. Of course it's always best to make sure reflux is the cause of any type of chest pain and rule out any more serious issues, especially ones concerning the heart.

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