i'm jamie colby. good news, time for "sunday housecall." >> hello, and welcome. i'm eric shawn. joining us as always, dr. david samadi, chairman of urology. >> and dr. marc siegel, associate professor of medicine. author of "the inner pulse, unlocking the secret code of sickness and health." >> we begin with something that's really important. have you heard about the meningitis outbreaks at some college campuses? now a fourth student has been struck by meningitis at the university of california santa barbara. it's a similar strain, they say,
of the disease that sickened eight people already at princeton university in new jersey. dr. samadi, how dangerous is this? first, how is meningitis spread, and you think it could be scary if it gets on a college campus. >> frightening. >> yes, frightening, not only because of the disease by itself, but the fact it's been around since march and it hasn't gone away. usually, they have a short period and they disappear on its own. the fact it's gone from princeton to santa barbara is that's a reason why cdc made an unprecedented decision to bring in the vaccines from europe, to really, against fda approval, to see if we have to vaccinate our teenage and college students. meningitis is really the inflammation of the lining around the brain. brain and spinal cord are surrounded by fluid called cerebral spinal fluid. mugings is a cover, a lining over it. when you have an infection, back
tearious, with bacterial meningitis, viral, 10% die quickly despite the fact you're healthy. what do you look for? headache, high fever, and the one that's very concerning, stiff neck. that's a red flag and doctors will pay attention. how does it spread, you ask? social events, bars. basically, cough droplets, respiratory droplets, coughing, sneezing, kissing on campus, sharing beer cups, et cetera, be careful. and if you have symptoms, we need to treat you with i.v. antibiotics. come in for a checkup. >> let's say you're a parents or you're in college. stiff neck, high temperature. how do you jump on it fast? >> number one is fatigue, also. fatigue, and a very, very dark rash you see characteristically, also the headache. your sensitivity of light. it can be all over the body, but usually you look for it on the extremities, a very dark red rash. what's actually happening, the reason this is happening is we have been vaccinating in 37
states. it's mandatory or practically mandatory to vaccinate against strain c, but strain b of the meningitis has been all over europe and now it's starting to come here. the two, one in santa barbara and one in princeton, have different dna, so it doesn't look like it jumped from one place to the other, but it's not a coincidence we're seeing strain b. there was a vaccine developed in australia. the cdc got approval from the fda to use it in this case at princeton. they're going to offer it to 6,000 people this month. it's a good idea with the holidays coming up. even though this is a very rare thing and even though it's hard to spread, you have to have close contact, which is why it spreads at college. people are buddying up, kissing, shares god knows what. >> colleges years ago, marc, required that students get the meningitis vaccine before they started college. you're saying this strain doesn't respond to that vaccine. >> that's exactly the point, dr. colby.
that's the point. >> where did it come from? >> europe. in fact, we're down to 2,500 cases in the u.s. per year of the other strain because of the vaccination policy you talked about before you go to college, you get that vaccine. this strain is emerging now because the vaccine is only around in europe and australia. the vaccine that the cdc is offering is quite safe. i have a feeling it's going to be coming more and more in general usage. everyone should get it at risk. we get a million questions and we're going to get them today. what about some child going home for the holidays inthe chances are slim, but meningitis can last for a week before you see symptoms so it's theoretically possible. >> part of the problem is the symptoms are common, close to a regular cold. people will wait thinking it's a regular cold that's going to go away. if you have stiff neck and severe headache and high fever, that's a sign you need to see someone quickly. >> it's 10% deadly if it's not caught right away. you can get paralyzed from it, a lot of long-term complications.
>> i'm glad you sta it because this is a serious topic. parents should make sure their kids are okay over the holidays. >> act on it. >> thanks so much. i wanted to get to this topic, too. another really important one because a lot of us take vitamin d. it does play an important role in maintaining our bone health, but there's a new study that claims not having enough of the vitamin may actually cause serious damage to your brain and other organs. wow, it's sounding like d is becoming the new fish oil. >> i love vitamin d. i think vitamin d is a super vitamin. that's the one thing i check in every single patient. we live in a northern climate, and i check 25 hydroxy d. that's what we check in the doctor's offices. i'm finding an epidemic of vitamin d deficiency, especially in older patients, and where put them on vitamin d 3, and then i follow the level because it's been shown to be associated not only with bone health, but with heart health.
there's some evidence there's a risk of colon cancer if you don't have the right amount of vitamin d. depression with not enough vitamin d. now, this study, i think we would find this in people, too, if you're vitamin d defishanp, u wouldn't think as clearly. some of the diseases we're going to talk about later, those can be mimicked by a vitamin d deficiency. i call it a supervitamin or a pro ormoan. almost more of a hormone than a vitamin. >> eric would want people to ask, you have to ask for a vitamin d test. it's not part of the standard blood panel. this is kind of scary. is there anyone who shouldn't take vitamin d? >> as a nation, almost a 30 of the country are vitamin d deficie deficient. you get your vitamin d from exposure to the sun. there's been so much sunscreen and great for skin cancer, but now we're not getting enough vitamin d. you neat 10 to 15 minutes of sun
and then you get 10,000 units. vitamin d, as marc mentioned, it should be looked upon as a hormone. we don't think of it as a vitamin for bone health. we see a lot of studies that it affects your cognitive, your tired, your autoimmune disease, so you need to know your 25 hydroxy vitamin d. if it's over 50, we like it to be around 50 to 80. when you get your blood test, ask the doctor, what is my level? between 50 to 80 is a good one. you're okay. if it's between 30 to 50, you need to supplement. certainly, if it's below 30, you're in trouble. normally, people go for about 1,000 to 2,000 units. i personally sometimes take 5,000 when my level comes down, to catch up, and then you can get it in different forms. we like vitamin d 3, which gets absorbed -- it absorbs calcium and it's really healthy. we'll talk more about this when it comes to autoimmune disease. it reduces some of what we call
the inflammation, which is really going to help you with the autoimmune disease. >> one thing about vitamin d, you also can find it in oily fish like sardines, in eggs, and in fortified milk and now in orange juice. what david was saying about, you can get it from 15 minutes of sun exposure. i want to caution people. but ask your doctor if you can have sun exposure or not. we might want you to get it from food, from supplements, or from the sun exposure, but you have to be careful. david's point is excellent. the dermatologists have done a lot to cause me a vitamin d deficiency epidemic in my practice because of the sunscreen and staying out of the sun has made an impact. >> low vitamin d is a secret that a lot of people don't know, and there's no way in the world that people are going to gobble all these sardines. seriously -- >> with all due respect to the
sardines. you're right. >> there's only so much you can take. >> check levels. >> and you can't take too much of this, so it's fat soluble. >> you cannot. >> you cannot. talk to your doctor. get to a level, and you'll feel so much better once you have it. >> i love the fact you say ask your doctor. we're going to make a list about everything you ask. you go to the doctor and they think they know what to give, so ask for vitamin d. much more coming up, including autoimmune disease. affects millions of people across the country. if it affects you, you want to hear the latest on what the doctors have to say. stay with us on "sunday housecall." and ah, so you can see like right here i can just...
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americans. now there's some new ways to treat that. dr. samadi, what is autoimmune disease? >> it's basically our immune system working fine, working correctly, but attacking the wrong target, which is our own organs. with type one diabetes, you see our immune system goes after the pancreas. but it should be changed to syndrome because it's not one disease. between celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, there's a whole series of autoimmunes that everyone wanted to hear and that's why we're doing this. the cause behind this could be viral. people have talked about epstein barr virus, could be bacterial, could be some of the heavy metals we have in lipsticks and all these other things or the toxic food we have and use. what do doctors do? when they come to me, i don't see a lot of them, but they usually give steroids. they want to reduce the amount
of inflammation. that's temporary, only taking care of the symptoms, but the truth is our diet is not so healthy, we talk about sugar. i made a list of things people need to know. i'll go through this really fast, new treatment, you need to get rid of dairy foods. dairy, cheese, milk, and other things, causes end otoxins. get rid of transfats. marc has talked about this. no gluten, which jamie agreed with that. get rid of sugar, no red meat, and no processed foods, fast foods, fried foods, stick to healthy vegetables and fruit. add tumarek to your diet, which reduces inflammation, and finally, vitamin d. >> that's a great list, but marc, realistically -- >> it's not so bad. >> people are going to eat what they want to eat. how do you deal with it in. >> the first thing to figure out is what's causing it and what do you have? they're not the same. i agree with fresh foods and
keeping foods out that are processed that can trigger your body to make antibodies against itself. it's your body using its own immune system to attack itself. that's what all autoimmune disease is. with multiple sclerosis, which is a big one, it's probably a post viral syndrome where a virus causes the immune system to attack. interestingly enough, there's research in atlanta where they're taking your own immune cells, washing them down, cleaning them, and putting them back in to fight off the an antibodies. in other places, they're using probiotics. in montana, they're using probiotics. the goal is to get the immune cells from attacking your own body. as david mentioned, prednisone is our staple, but even more -- >> a steroid, right? >> yes, but even more of a staple is gamma globulin where we take antibodies and use them against the antibodies you're
making in an attempt to stop the immune system from attacking itself. number one on this is diabetes. type one and type two diabetes have a component of your antibodies attacking themselves. we'll talk later about diabetes in a different way, but your antibodies attacking themselves, your body, is a part of diabetes. >> i want people to know that steroids is not the answer. you don't get better with steroids. if you don't take care of the underlying problem, which is for example, diet soda. we talk about diet, so t soda. that causes multiple sclerosis unless you change your lifestyle, and you're not going to really make any difference. this is all band-aid therapy. >> suppressions are not the cure. they're the treatment, and they're necessary if the immune system gets out of wack, but we have to get to the cause. >> i'll ask you, doctor, i am what i eat? >> but the doctors will accept even small changes in your diet.
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uehayou urine. i look for protein or glucose. blood, something called microscopic, meaning your urine is not turning color. both can occur without any other symptoms. you might have an infection. i give you and antibiotic. if it goes away we're reassured. if it continues i have to send the patient to a urologist. it could be cancer, a kidney stone or exercising too much or sexual activity. a lot of things causes blood in the urine. when it persists it has to be worked up. >> when a patient like this comes in the first thing is he or she a smoker or not. smoking is a major risk factor for bladder cancer and for kidney cancer. so as a urologyist i think about
kidneys. kidney cancer. kidney stone. and also there could be some tumor in the lining of the actual kidney, which is also as a result of smoking. now, you want to also look at the urine, make sure there's no lesions. when it comes to the bladder you worry about bladder stone, enlarg enlarged prostate. i have to scope in here to rule out bladder cancer. that's a full work up of the entire urinary system. what i'll tell you if you have any pain, any burning, probably it's a urinary tract infection. see a urologyist. >> internists should be screening for this. get your blood and urine. blood will connect with the urine.
>> get a full work up on that one. doctors, thank you. >> it's the season to indulge and lots of treats for sugar. coming up you want to hear the doctors' advice as we head into the holidays. suffering from the flu is a really big deal. with aches, fever and chills- there's no such thing as a little flu. so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so call your doctor right away. tamiflu treats the flu in people 2 weeks and older whose flu symptoms started within the last two days. before taking tamiflu tell your doctor if you're pregnant, nursing, have serious health conditions, or take other medicines. if you develop an allergic reaction, a severe rash, or signs of unusual behavior, stop taking tamiflu and call your doctor immediately. children and adolescents in particular may be at
. back now with sunday house call. warning about diabetes. have you heard the centers for disease control says over the next few decades one in three people they say will be diagnosed with diabetes. how do we prevent that if we can? >> stay away from sugar. we talked about this many times. i just mentioned it. we're consuming about 30 tea spoons a day in america. women should be taking a sixth of a tea spoon a day and men should be take a ninth of a tea
spoon. what's happening our food chain system is completely poison. i said this many times before. the reason is because over the last two decades we cut the fat so we became a fat free nation. and the food doesn't taste good any more. what do you do with it? add more fructose. high fructose, corn syrup and all of this is the reason why we have formation of diabetes, increasing insulin, cell division and cancer, perhaps which we can't prove now but that's coming. what i will tell people cut your sugar and, unfortunately, eric it's all over our food. in bread, in soda. you can't avoid it. where you can -- >> even in fruit. the fruits, actually, that's a healthy one. but you want to make sure you don't take some of these genetic changes food that we see. so be careful about the amount of sugar you take. >> good advice. >> you mention there's so much sugar. not justin sodas and all that but the whole wheat bread. look what's on the ingredients, some bread that looks healthy
starts with sugar. >> skim milk has sugar. >> i want to emphasize this points. it's not just the sugar or cupcakes it's the bread and grains you're eating, even in tomato sauce. we want tomatoes. look at the label to see how much sugar involved because you know what your body does? it's very simple. your pancreas is a motor. it's producing in sue lynn. the more sugar you give it the harder it has network. the more sugar you give it the more weight you gain. you get obese, you don't have enough insulin receptor, your insulin is working harder and harder to do the same job. it's putting you at risk for heart disease and a stroke. there's a direct correlation between how much carbs you eat.
>> how about whole wheat pasta? >> the amount you're taking in, can you have a little pasta nobody will fault you but it's additive. look at the size of the soda. look at the sugar. what if i use some of these artificial sweeteners that's not good for you either. >> sugar is sugar is sugar. before we go, and i'm shocked skim milk has sugar in it. you have a very special interview tomorrow. >> this week i've started to interview vice president cheney's cardiologist. and about how the medical technology came out just in time to save him each time, whether it was a stint, whether it was an implantable defibrillator and now a heart transplant. we'll talk about it next week. >> he teetered on the border. amazing. we can't wait to see the
interview. thank you so much, doctors. that will do it for us. we hope you learned a lot. we hope you'll have a healthier week. >> watch that sugar say the doctors. >> have a great sunday. "mediabuzz" is up next with howard kurtz. here's howie. >> martin bashir resince under pressure at msnbc saying he deeply regrets his disgusting comments about sarah palin. why did it take so long for the talk show host to pay a penalty. could he have kept his job if msnbc moved quickly to suspend him. president obama tries to boost his sagging fortunes by turning to chris matthews and msnbc. >> how do we get back to that confidence that we can solve our manmade problems and other problems? >> why was the host of hardball playing such softball?