Ask the Doctor: Sore throats, dry skin, & cutting calories

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 3:14 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every week on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1 (from Jen): “I get frequent sore throats but just on the left side of my throat. What could that be?”

DR. BOB: Sore throats can be due to several different causes. Most commonly, we think of infections being the cause.

Infections are typically due to viruses or bacteria. Most of the common cold viruses will cause a sore throat. We also think of things like strep throat as a cause of sore throat.

It is possible that you can have back-to-back infections, which make it seem like you have one all the time. Common non-infection causes include heartburn, reflux, or allergies.

Question #2 (from Beth): “Any tips on fighting dry skin in the winter? I’m constantly putting on lotion, but it doesn’t seem to help much.”

DR. BOB: Unfortunately, there isn’t any magic way to avoid dry skin during the winter. Especially during a pandemic when we are all washing our hands and sanitizing so frequently.

The cold air and the forced air from furnaces add to the problem. Frequent use of moisturizing cream is really the best approach. It is important to make sure you are using cream, not lotion.

One of the best treatments is Vaseline. It is important to apply it regularly through the day.

Question #3 (from Jeff): “How many daily calories do you recommend for someone trying to lose weight?”

DR BOB: Calories are a measure of how much energy is in the different types of food we eat. Fat, protein, and carbohydrates all have different calorie levels.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a blanket recommendation on how many calories you should consume to lose weight. The reason for this difference is men and women require different numbers of calories at baseline. Recommendations also vary based on age.

What I typically recommend to my patients is to try to cut out 500 calories from their diet. This demands some work to figure out how many calories you are taking in on average now. I would recommend using a weight loss app on your phone to determine how many calories you are taking in.

Then, you can find areas to cut out 500 calories. Typically, if you do this faithfully, you can lose a pound a week.

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