Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama today:
ASK THE DOCTOR - Dr. Mustafa Ahmed specializes in structural heart disease at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. He took viewer questions about heart health. He also discussed heart health, structural heart disease and innovative techniques for structural heart intervention/surgery. Heart health is a big deal, and everyone knows someone affected even if they aren't themselves, whether it's high blood pressure or a structural heart problem that needs an operation. It's the biggest killer in the United States. In the U.S someone has a heart attack every 30 seconds and every minute someone dies from heart related disease. Heart disease claims more deaths than all forms of cancer combined.
Your cardiology expertise falls in the category of structural heart disease. In structural heart centers, doctors evaluate and fix heart problems from simple to very complex. Structural heart is basically a large variety of conditions that are not related to coronary disease and the mainstay of a structural heart program is valvular heart disease. Doctors see patients with conditions from a heart murmur and to multiple holes in their heart. Advancements in technology mean they can fix things through the smallest of holes often avoiding the need for high-risk heart surgery. The variety of treatment options has exploded, for example the use of an umbrella like device to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, fixing holes in the heart with devices implanted through the leg, and now fixing heart valves without the need for open-heart surgery in suitable patients.
ZOO CREW - Mickey visited with Marcia Riedmiller from the Birmingham Zoo to learn more about the giraffes. For more information, visit birminghamzoo.com.
JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh hung out with kids at the Living River Camp! It is a new facility on the Cahaba River run by the Shepperds and Lapsley Presbytery of Central Alabama. He checked out all the fun activities they were doing while learning about their faith. For more information, visit livingriver.org.
BETH K - As temperatures increase, so should your fluids! As we head into the dog days of summer, we need to pay close attention to our hydration. But do you really need to guzzle 8 cups a day? Our bodies lose water every day through the kidneys in the urine, from the lungs when we breathe, and through sweating. The typical person does lose about 8 to 12 cups of water a day through these routes but, as it turns out, there are many ways you can replace that loss. UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin advised us on how to restore water!
- Milk & Juice: When you drink milk or juice not only are you getting vitamins, minerals, and in the case of milk, protein, you're also replacing water loss. Both milk and juice are over 80% water so they can really make a dent in body water needs.
- Soda. Even soda can help you rehydrate – it's mostly water. Your best bet is diet sodas so that you're not adding in unnecessary calories.
- Fruits & vegetables. Fruit & vegetables contain a lot of water. Strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach, & broccoli are particularly high at over 90% water. The water content of most other fruits & vegetables is over 80% so they are also good sources. For many people, fruits & vegetables can contribute 1/3 or more of their daily water needs!
- Other foods. All foods contain some water, but notable water contributors include yogurt, cottage & ricotta cheeses, fish, chicken, and pasta.
- Coffee & Tea. These two always surprise people because many people are led to believe that the caffeine in caffeinated beverages makes them lose all the water in the beverage & then some causing an overall water deficit. Not so! Yes, it is true that caffeinated beverages are not as good as non-caf in helping you hydrate but you still get some hydration effect. In other words, you urinate a little more with caffeinated beverages but remember, you getting a lot of water in that coffee, tea, or soda and you retain over 50% of it. Researchers have also shown that most people adjust to the caffeine level in their drinks so over time, so the caffeine does not have as much of an effect on your body. After about 3 to 5 days of drinking caffeinated beverages, the body adjusts and there is no additional loss of urine when compared to decaffeinated beverages.
-Water: Water is the best hydrator – it empties from the stomach quickly and makes its way to the large intestine where it can be absorbed quicker than the other fluids.
Thirsty? Thirst is actually a pretty good guide to whether or not you need more fluids – except in older people. Check Your Urine. The best way to tell if you are getting enough fluids is to check your urine. If you are well-hydrated, your urine will be very pale. If you need fluids, the urine is dark yellow and low in amount. While drinking water is still a good idea, you don't have to feel like you're drowning in it or lug a massive, back-breaking water jug around all day long. All beverages except alcohol count toward your total 8 to 12 cups and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables will also help keep you hydrated.
Can you get too much water? Surprisingly, yes! People who chug water excessively can actually dilute out their blood sodium levels to a dangerously low level. The fancy name for this is hyponatremia. Some of the symptoms can mimic dehydration – muscle weakness, muscle cramps, confusion, and decreased consciousness. It can result in death.