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Dr. John: Achilles pain, Garcinia Cambogia

10:32 AM, Feb 5, 2014   |    comments
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KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a 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
Good morning, I am a 37 year old female with no real ongoing health issues; however every morning when I get out of bed I have a hard time walking. My Achilles tendons are both stiff and very painful until I am moving around for about 30 minutes. I have been chalking it up to getting older but want to know if there is something I can do to prevent this. Thank you for your time, have a great day.

Answer
The Achilles tendon is located in the back of our heel and is the largest tendon in our body. Its job is to connect our calf muscle to heel bone. Because of how big it is and its location it can suffer from tendonitis. When this tendon becomes inflamed and tender it can cause these types of symptoms. Pain in this tendon typically is worse with the first few steps of the day because it's had the chance to tighten up overnight. This pain usually gets better as the day progresses only to get worse in the evening again, mainly because of all the use it undergoes during the day. Tendonitis, especially in this area, can come about because of overuse or by starting an aggressive new exercise program. A bone spur at the back of the heel might also cause this condition. Some medications, especially certain antibiotics, might cause this type of pain as well. Treatment usually consists of rest, ice and stretching exercises.

Question #2
Dr. John, I am a type II diabetic and currently use insulin to help control my blood sugar. I recently discovered an all-natural product called Garcinia Cambogia, that claims to have a great success in helping folks lose weight without a lot of dietary or exercise changes. Sounds too good to be true. However, I want to make sure that I am not creating other "hidden' issues that I might not be aware of. Many thanks. Signed, Need to lose weight

Answer
Garcinia cambogia is an herb that's touted as one way to help lose weight. But like I talk about with anything you take, whether it's a medication, a supplement or an herb, you need to realize they all come with side effects. In the case of Garcinia cambogia it can alter your blood sugar levels. So for diabetics it can cause issues by making blood sugar levels drop too low. So have a good talk with your doctor before using this herb if you're diabetic since it can drop your blood sugars to dangerous levels if used incorrectly. As far as Garcinia cambogia weight loss benefits, the jury is still out since studies that have looked into this have had mixed results.

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