Ask the Doctor: Headaches, carbonated drinks, heart health

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 1:05 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every Tuesday on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1 (from Martha): “I don’t like taking medicine if I can help it. What is the best natural way to get rid of a headache?”

DR. BOB: “Headaches can be a tough thing to treat because they can be caused by different things.

Many headaches have a connection to stress and muscle tension. Therefore, if you can reduce stress and tension, this may help your headache.

Consider taking a warm bath or getting a massage of your upper back. Sometimes just taking a nap will help improve a headache.

Occasionally a headache can be related to being dehydrated. You could try drinking an electrolyte containing drink such as Gatorade Zero.

Question #2 (from Christine): “I love drinking club soda, but I was recently told that it is bad for women because the carbonation makes your bones weaker. Is this true?”

DR. BOB: According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, there is no evidence that carbonation is harmful for bone health.

I think carbonated water is a good option for adults to drink. Really, for adults, we shouldn’t be drinking anything but water, or unsweetened tea or coffee. Adding calories to drinks contributes to weight issues.

At the same time, it can be tough just to drink plain water all day. Adding carbonation can make it more palatable and allow people to avoid soda, juice, or milk.

So, go ahead and enjoy your club soda!

Question #3 (from Jacob): “I have a history of heart issues in my family. What can I do to make sure my heart stays healthy?”

DR. BOB: This is a great question that really applies to everyone, whether they have a family history of not.

I would encourage you to look into the heart health diet. It emphasizes eating whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, and lean meats such as chicken and fish.

It is also important to try to do 150 minutes of exercise weekly. Smoking is a major contributor to heart problems, so avoid cigarette smoking.

Finally, it is important to see your doctor to be screened for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

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