Your Activebeat Expert Questions Answered

We’ve been receiving some really great questions from Activebeat readers about fitness and nutrition-related issues.

I’ve answered some of the recent questions below.

So, let’s get started with our first question:


Name: Daphne

Age of person affected: 42

Comments: How can I get rid of my stomach? I can’t seem to be able to get my flat stomach back?

Hi Daphne,

Many factors can cause a flat stomach to turn into a little bulge, and my recommendation to you would really depend on what you believe is causing your flat stomach to grow. For instance, if it’s a matter of weight gain around the abdomen, then you’d have to strengthen the abdominal muscles with exercise—you could do exercises such as abdominal crunches, planks and leg raises every other day to tone and flatten the tummy.

If you suspect that bloat is the culprit, you will need to focus on diet. Try consuming a clean, natural food diet for a week (concentrating on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, lean proteins and low fat dairy) and shun processed and high sodium foods, which can be full of sugar and high in sodium, causing water retention. Flavor your food with other herbs and spices instead of salt.

Finally, stress can also be a factor that causes an otherwise taunt midsection to bulge a bit. When the body is stressed, it naturally over-produces a hormone called cortisol, which can spur sudden weight gain around the belly. If you’re feeling stresses, drink water to flush the system and try meditation or gentle yoga to soothe your body and mind.

Wishing you good health,


Name: Michael

Age of person affected: 43

Comments: How do you know if a thumb or finger is dislocated and not broken without x=rays?

Hi Milton,

If you suspect your finger may be broken, I’d recommend following up with your doctor first and foremost. However, you can decipher a finger sprain or dislocation from a break like this:

Finger sprains are caused by blunt contact to the hand where a finger bends unusually causing injury to the ligament. Typically pain, swelling, and tenderness will result, but still an x-ray should be performed to ensure that there is no bone fracture.

A finger dislocation is a pretty severe and painful injury and you should go to a hospital or doctor immediately. It occurs when a joint is dislocated (basically the normal alignment of the finger is altered) and the joint must be put back into place so that your ligaments heal properly. Otherwise you may need surgery to repair the injured finger.

Wishing you good health,


Name: Barbara

Age of person affected: 80

Comments: how old is too old for yoga

Hi Barbara,

When it comes to healthy, active living, I’ve believe these two things to be true:

1) Age is just a number and,
2) What really matters is how you feel inside and outside

So if your body is eager for some yoga, do yoga! Not only is yoga low impact on the bones and joints (your instructor can always recommend alternative, gentle asanas or postures that are safe for you to do), it’s a wonderful stress reliever and meditative practice for the mind as well. Yoga re-teaches us to breathe (we hold our breath often and don’t even realize it) and cleanses the body and mind of toxins. Start with a quick consult with your doctor. If you are healthy, there is really no reason why you can’t start off with a gentle yoga practice, such as Hatha style yoga for exercise.

Wishing you good health,


Name: Lisa

Age of person affected: 63

Comments: Uric acid foods to avoid and enjoy and how uric acid affects the body especially the joints

Hi Lisa,

Uric acid is a bodily waste product deposited as needle-like crystals in the joints and/or soft tissues. This typically occurs in those afflicted with Gout. Uric acid crystals cause inflammatory arthritis in the joints, which can lead to intermittent swelling, redness, heat, pain, and general stiffness in your joints, most commonly in the big toe (podagra) for those with gout, or the insteps, ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows.

The good news is that you can control uric acid production with diet and take an active role in treating and preventing your gout. I’d recommend avoiding the following:

  • Cut back on meat and seafood—both contain purines, and uric acid is a byproduct
  • Reducing your consumption of alcohol—especially beer and hard alcohol
  • Ditch the high fructose drinks, such as soda and orange juice

And try incorporating more of these into your diet:

  • Eat low-fat dairy, such as skim milk, low fat yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Other Dietary Considerations
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, folate, fiber and vitamin C to decrease gout symptoms

Wishing you good health,


Name: Donna D

Age of person affected: 50

Comments: Can your thyroid make you real frustrated and angry? It will just happen…then I am all in a bad mood. Go back to the doctor on the 12, but they haven’t got my scan done yet, so I am waiting to be put on some medication. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism…

Hi Donna,

In my research I’ve found that yes, thyroid issues can most definitely affect your mood —causing anxiety, nervousness and even depression, which can lead to feels of anger and frustration if you feel like you have no control or understanding of your health issue. Typically, the more severe your thyroid issue is; the more severe your mood swings can become.

With hyperthyroidism (or an overactive thyroid) as you’ve been diagnosed, you probably feel nervous or restless, which causes this irritability. I know it’s adding to the frustration to wait on your appointment on December 12, however, a doctor can prescribe the proper prescription medication to treat hyperthyroidism. This medication blocks your body’s ability to produce new thyroid hormone, which will greatly improve your emotional and physical state. Hold in there, relief is coming!

Wishing you good health,



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Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.