Dr. Oz Is In
After dispensing health advice on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the past five years, Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., is opening his own practice: The Dr. Oz Show. The talk show, which starts September 14, will cover health and wellness topics and include a segment called “Ask Dr. Oz.” As a warm up, Dr. Oz answered questions from Parent & Child readers.
Between caring for my toddler, working from home, and trying to spend time with my husband, I don’t get enough sleep. What’s the best way to catch up?
Allison M., Poulsbo, WA
DR. OZ: It’s not always easy, but napping when your child naps is the obvious answer. Find a cool, quiet, dark room. Darkness cues the pineal gland in the brain to secrete melatonin, which you need for deep, restorative sleep. If you’re significantly deprived, try to nap for about 90 minutes—a full sleep cycle. Getting extra rest within the week helps, but you need 7 hours of sleep a night at a minimum.
After I had my son, my sex drive disappeared. Three years later, it still hasn’t returned. How can I get back to normal?
Denise D., Winter Garden, FL
DR. OZ: Start by communicating with your husband. Sometimes men feel there’s a taboo about going there again after their wife has a child, and sometimes women, if they haven’t lost the baby weight, don’t feel desirable. Either way, you need to build intimacy before you build sexuality. Find ways of showing your love for each other without having to perform, like loving massage. Also, get your thyroid hormones checked. Inadequate thyroid levels can drain your energy for sex. If you don’t feel like it emotionally, try it anyway—having sex begets more desire.
To get a good complexion, which is more important: what you eat or what you put on your skin?
Kim C., Honolulu, HI
DR. OZ: Other than sunblock, which trumps all, what you eat is more important. Your face is a mirror of your inner health, which includes your nutrition. Biotin, a B vitamin that’s found in green vegetables, legumes, soybeans, and nuts, improves skin elasticity and dry skin. Salmon is wonderful for your skin. The chemical that gives it its pink color improves the skin’s elasticity. The oil in pomegranate seeds helps to prolong the life of the cells that make elastin, also improving skin. If you’re going to use a cream, it needs to have vitamin A (Retin A), C, or E in it. Put sunblock on in the morning and then vitamin cream on your skin before you go to bed.
I feel like I have very little energy. Could vitamin B-12 help?
Connie R., Palm Coast, FL
DR. OZ: Yes. If your vitamin B-12 level gets too low, you end up with anemia, which will make you feel tired. B-12 is available only from animal sources, so if you’re not eating enough of the right kind of animal protein, you won’t get much naturally. Also, a few minor problems in your stomach could interfere with your ability to absorb it. There are two ways to get B-12: A lozenge that goes under your tongue or a shot. Obviously the lozenge is easier.
Susan Hayes is a freelance writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is the co-author of 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child.