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Dr. John: Breakfast, losing weight, ingrown toenails

9:56 AM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
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Question #1
I never eat breakfast. What is the easiest thing to eat before going to work so my sugar won't drop? Do you have any ideas? Thanks Allison

Answer
Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Not only does it help you "break the fast" from not eating overnight, but it also can help you avoid overeating all day long. Eating a breakfast helps suppress hormones that keep you hungry as the day progresses and that will help make sure you don't overeat later on. But since morning can be a busy time for most of us getting breakfast together the night before might help have something ready when you wake up. If that doesn't work than grabbing healthy foods on the go can assure you get something to eat early on. Consider having muffins, handy fruits like bananas or even smoothie ingredients available. These are things you can put together quickly on your way out the door. Other quick breakfast items could be dry cereal or even left over veggie pizza slices. It's best to avoid foods heavy in sugar or fat and stick with the healthy items for breakfast and all day long.

Question #2
I have been working to reduce my weight for the past few months and am getting close to my goal weight. I am 63 years old and my current weight reduction program includes a balanced diet and aerobic exercise daily plus full body weight training every other day.

Can I add some more muscle mass or tone at my age. I am not looking to pump-up but to have a toned hard body rather than a thin flabby body. Robert

Answer
As we age we all tend to loose muscle mass. This is especially true once we hit our 50s and for women in particular once they go through menopause. Loosing muscle mass can lead to mobility issues later in life, sometimes resulting in devastating falls. Severe loss of muscle mass even has a medical name, sarcopenia. Exercise is a very important tool that helps us keep our muscle mass and muscle tone, especially as we get older. The best exercise for this is the resistance kind. And when it comes to resistance training for muscle mass and tone, how much weight you can lift isn't as important as exercising any particular muscle group until that particular muscle group fatigues. Diet is also important. There is some evidence that vitamin D and protein in the diet can help maintain muscle mass as we age. Testosterone replacement hasn't been proven to help much with this unless someone suffers from testosterone deficiency and that can be measured with a simple blood test.

Question #3
Hi, I have many ingrown toenails on my right foot, and have tried several methods to get them to go away. But recently all of the ingrown toenails came back at once! I was wondering what I should do to get rid of them for good. I heard about a small toe surgery. Is that a better way to go than taking care of them myself? Karen

Answer
Ingrown toenails are very common, especially when they involve the nail of the big toe. Some things that can cause the nail to grow down into the skin instead of straight out like they normally do include cutting nails to short and round. Also, ill fitting shoes or even tight hosiery can contribute to this nail problem. An ingrown toenail can lead to an infection and can become swollen and very painful. At home some things that help include soaking the affected toe, and after the soak trying to roll back the skin that's grown over the nail. If possible, gently lifting the nail that's become buried with cotton wisps or even dental floss can help get it freed. Once the toenail has been taken care of it's important to remember to trim the nail, and all other ones straight across and to not cut them too short. But if home remedies don't work than a doctor can numb up the toe and remove the affected part of the nail. Once this is done the nail bed, where the nail starts to grown from, can be deadened and that will ensure it won't grown back into another ingrown nail. If the infection is bad enough you might also be placed on antibiotics.

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