Dr. David Soria – Jellyfish & Bee Sting
Keely: It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time to answer some common medical questions, and joining us is News Channel 5’s medical specialist, Dr. David Soria. He’s the chief of emergency medicine at Willington Regional Medical Center. Thank you for being in our news room with us today.
Dr. David Soria: You’re welcome. Good to see you, Keely.
Keely: Well, here’s the first question for you, this happens a lot in South Florida, folks get stung my jellyfish. What’s the best way to stop that pain?
Dr. David Soria: It sure does happen a lot. Matter of fact, if you’re a Floridian or like to frolic in the ocean at all, it’s something that you absolutely should know how to treat. And I want you to remember a couple of things. One is rinse, scrape, and soak. And what I want you to do when you rinse is I’m not talking about freshwater. Matter of fact, freshwater will make it worse. You want to use vinegar or isopropyl alcohol. You want to soak it for about 20 to 30 minutes. That will help deactivate the pneumatocysts.
Once that occurs, then you take a straight edge like a credit card, and you scrape the area, and get all those stingers off. Once that’s done, you need to soak it in hot water. Not scalding water, but warm enough to really feel the heat. And do that for again, about 20-30 minutes. It’ll feel much, much better.
Another thing that actually works is ammonia, so about 4:1 water with ammonia. Works real well, decreasing itching and the pain.
A couple things I want you to keep in mind. First of all: do not rub the area. The first thing you want to do is when you get stung, you want to reach up and rub it. It’ll make things a lot worse. Don’t do that.
And despite a lot of people’s belief, urine on the sting does not work. Do not use that. Okay? Remember these things and you’ll do much better in the ocean.
Keely: Okay, we talked about this kind of last week. We talked about food poisoning, lots of folks go to barbecues seemingly every weekend. Now, we’re not talking about food poisoning. We want to know what kinds of food cause heartburn, because we have to know this before we head out to those barbecues this summer!
Dr. David Soria: You bet, you bet. A lot of times over the summer, we tend to alter what we end, those foods can definitely contribute to that. Two things cause heartburn. One is increased acidity in the stomach, and the second is foods that can actually decrease the tightening of the sphincter that holds food in the stomach.
The types of foods if you have heartburn I want you to avoid are as follows: avoid greasy foods, fatty-type foods. Butter, margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise.
Keely: The good stuff.
Dr. David Soria: Yeah, you bet, unfortunately. I want you to avoid chocolate. Even better stuff. Avoid things like spicy foods, citrus-based foods like tomatoes or even orange juices and then avoid certain beverages, caffeinated beverages, alcohol and carbonated beverages. All of those can contribute to heartburn.
But it’s not only what you eat, it’s also when and how much. If you eat before you go to bed or before you lie down, that gravity can pull that acid up into the esophagus and cause heartburn.
And it’s also how much you eat. You fill your stomach, pressure up into the esophagus, burning sensation. Try to avoid those things and you’ll do a lot better at those barbecues this summer.
Keely: So let me get this: we can have a salad. Or a tofu burger at the barbecue.
Dr. David Soria: That’s exactly right. Just don’t put any dressing on it, Keely.
Dr. David Soria: Just the lettuce.
Keely: Just the lettuce! All right, we’ll just have cucumbers. Thanks a lot, Dr. Soria. We appreciate you coming in.
Dr. David Soria: You bet, you’re very welcome.
Keely: And if you have a question for Dr. Soria, you can send it in, by going to our website WPTV.com and clicking on the Health Links, scroll down on the right-hand side and that’s where you’ll see the form to write in your question. You have just ruined all of our barbecue outings for the week, but we love you anyway.
Dr. David Soria: I apologize, but at least you’ll be healthy!