Brief summary of show:
In this week’s episode, I sat down with Dr. Jill Grimes, MD, FAAFP, a nationally recognized medical media expert, award-winning author, and proud mom of two awesome collegiate daughters.
After two decades of private practice, Dr. Grimes now splits her time between writing, speaking, vaccinating, and seeing patients. She also enjoys speaking at American Academy of Family Physicians, Pri-Med®, and Harvard Medical School conferences.
Listen in as we talk about:
What rebound partying is
How to talk to your kids about partying and alcohol consumption
Tips to empower our kids to take care of their health
Dr. Jill’s top things every kid should know about their health
Resources mentioned in the episode
Connect with Dr. Jill
Connect with Me
[00:02:31] Dr. Jill's biggest concerns with school right now
[00:05:12] Conversations to have with your kids around partying and drinking
[00:11:15] Preparing our kids to manage their own health
[00:18:46] Why modelling behaviors for our kids is so important
[00:20:20] The importance of being mindful of the friends you hang around with
Full transcript of episode:
[00:00:00] Natalie: Hi, everybody hope you're having a great week. I get a lot of requests for more medical topics, health topics, also parenting topics. So I'm combining those today. And the topic of the podcast is on preparing our kids for a healthy future, especially our young adults. And my guest is Dr. Jill grime. She is a family position and award-winning author media medical expert.
[00:00:21] You've probably seen her on national show. Fox news, CNN, CBS, ABC radio programs as well. She's terrific. We're going to talk about things like rebound, partying. What is it, parents you need to know about this and you need to talk to your young adults about this also what's in a first date. Do your kids know, do they know how to use a first aid kit?
[00:00:43] How much are you doing for your young adults and how much are they doing themselves for themselves and for their health? A lot of great topics today. I know you're going to love this interview and I want to remind you before we get started, go to my website. You'll see more on this interview. Also some other blogs and, uh, while you're there, sign up for my newsletter where I put out a weekly newsletter with more information, I do sound a little bit stuffed up today.
[00:01:09] It's only a cold. I promise here's my interview with Dr. Jill Grimes.
[00:01:16] Natalie: Are you looking for more energy? If you're like me, the answer is always yes. Being a working mom. I do everything I can to eat healthy, get enough sleep, be more present for my kids. But you know, I've come to realize that I actually have to do even more. And I have found that taking electrolytes and immune building supplements that has helped me more than anything.
[00:01:36] I put that electrolyte powder in my water every morning. It tastes like lemonade. It's really good. And doing this first thing in the morning, it helps me throughout the day. Now the line of products that I use is from seeking health. I've tested them, I believe in them. And I now recommend them to my listeners and viewers.
[00:01:53] You can find a link in the show notes, or you can go to seeking help. Dot com that's their website and use the promo code, Natalie at checkout, you'll get a discount. I, by the way, we'll get a small cut, but this in no way will cost you any more. And you're supporting this show and my efforts to help people live healthier lives.
[00:02:12] Again, it is seeking health.com. Use the promo code, Natalie. Dr. Jill joining me now. And I've been looking forward to this conversation, Dr. Jill,
[00:02:21] let's go straight into where kids are today and I'm talking about really high school on, into college, their mindset, and what you're seeing, what your concerns are.
[00:02:31] Jill: Sure. The biggest concern I have right now is something that's always my concern at the start of any semester, but even more so in the setting of our pandemic that we've been in.
[00:02:40] And that's what I call rebound partying. So there's that urge to not just party, but party really hard. Because they haven't been able to, and that can take many forms, but really the, you know, the most common thing that we see of course is alcohol and, um, pot factors in whether that's legal or not in your state, but it's really concerned about kids that are over-drinking.
[00:03:06] Anyone going off to college, especially for the first time, whether they're freshmen or whether they just haven't been on campus yet because they were at home last year. There's always, there's always, you know, social anxiety and pressure to fit in. And a common way of coping with that when they're out at parties is of course to have a drink.
[00:03:25] But the problem is, and this is going to make me sound a little old back in the old days, it used to be, have a beer. There's that level of a little bit of alcohol in your system. The more common thing now is doing shots. And the problem with that is that people do multiple shots. It raises their blood alcohol too quickly.
[00:03:41] They don't get any of the feedback saying they're having too much alcohol until all of a sudden it hits them. And then we're in a dangerous situation. So that's one of my biggest concerns, right?
[00:03:51] Natalie: Yeah and understanding, I mean, frankly, a lot of kids, although they shouldn't be drinking in college before they're 21, they are, and they don't understand, as you just said, the level of danger in different types of alcohol, what's a beer versus what's wine versus a shot.
[00:04:07] they have no idea
[00:04:08] Jill: and quantities. College students still do drink and the cups, not, not in a nice wine glass with a four ounce pour it's. It's
[00:04:18] Natalie: interesting. You talk about this rebound though. I, I hadn't really thought about that for adults too, but especially kids who have been so confined and they are like feeling this freedom for the first time in a year, especially if they're off at college and their parents aren't around and they're like freedom friends, and there's just that tendency to just go all out.
[00:04:40] Jill: Exactly. And if going all out means that you're dancing and having fun and being safe, knock yourself out. That's great. But again, One of the big things we see is just different mind-altering substances, whether that's pot or alcohol. And again, the, especially at the beginning of the semester, new friends, new situations on their own testing, the waters, and, you know, there's the classic preacher's kid who came from a very strict family and then gets to college and goes crazy.
[00:05:12] Uh, you see all different varieties. Yeah. But I think it's really important as parents, what we can do to help our kids is to have some conversations about things like, Hey, what's your exit strategy? What do I mean by that? That, you know, do you have a code word with your friends? If you're feeling uncomfortable, if you feel like you're being pressured to drink, or if you are drinking and you drank too much, do you have something that will help you leave, in a socially acceptable way that you feel.
[00:05:41] Comfortable with, for a lot of people, that's a code word, other people, one, one strategy that I, uh, that actually came from a college student focus group that was talking about this problem. They said, uh, one girl said, I just spill a drink on myself. And I'm like, oh no, my shirt, I gotta go. I gotta go. Yeah.
[00:05:58] And so, and you can do that for a friend as well as yourself. If you see someone that is getting in too deep, there they're clearly getting intoxicated or drunk. Yeah, sure. Well, maybe not the row, but yeah, you can pass your bump into them and, But I think having those conversations is really important.
[00:06:17] And I will say also there are kids that choose not to drink, but feel very pressured either to drink or to get a fake ID. I know it's a big social thing to go out, but it depends where you are. Some places you have to be 21 to even go in. And so there's a lot of kids who get fake that fake ID and which I do not recommend of course.
[00:06:40] Um, but there's, there's a, there's a peer pressure issue about that. And that creates a lot of.
[00:06:45] Natalie: How do you, oh, okay. So you're a doctor. I know you're going to tell us what's right. And what's healthy, your mom as well, and an author. How do you, I want to talk about the drinking first of all, because I am really big on not admiring the problem.
[00:06:58] There is a problem. We can't just look at it and say, it's problem. So you CA you gave me one strategy there, and that is to have a code word, and also. Spill the drink accidentally, but what else can we do? Like in my mind, you know, I've got, I've got one daughter at college about one that's a senior in high school.
[00:07:17] And in my mind, it's never too late to have those conversation. Never too late, even though they're off, you got the phone, you've got FaceTime and sometimes those conversations are, I just need to talk to you about something and then you'll get the mom. I got it. It's okay. It's cool. No, no, I really need to talk to you about something.
[00:07:33] Just listen to me. What would you say as a mom, as a doctor? How do you introduce that conversation without, without seeming like, you know, the, the pushy or that overkill, forced parent.
[00:07:45] Jill: Well, you could say, Hey, I was listening to this podcast. Have you heard of anyone ever doing that seriously? It's the intro and this is part of why I tell stories in all the books that I write.
[00:07:57] And when I, and when I speak, I tell stories so that people can go out and say, Hey, I heard this story, you know? And then, because that's way more interesting than the statistics. Yep. Yeah, it is. Yeah, but I will say one interesting statistic that is also kind of a story, I guess, is that, if you ask college students, there've been all kinds of studies about this.
[00:08:15] It's really interesting. If you ask a given college student, you say, Hey, what percentage of your peers of other college students, do you think drink alcohol or have sex or smoke pot? And the interesting thing is they all think it's more people doing it. That actually is because a third of college students choose not to drink all the way through college and a third drink too much, and a third drink kind of responsibly.
[00:08:41] So it's not everybody, but there are certain cultures and I don't want to pick on Greeks, but the reality is in the Greek system, many parties are structured with drinking. And so. In certain cultures, students will look at me like I've grown a third head. If I tell them that a third of college students don't drink, but every single one of my friends gets drunk every single weekend.
[00:09:04] It's not okay. And talking about, I think everyone knows about concussions now. You know, we hear a lot about professional football players and people understand that multiple concussions are bad for your brain. That is not a good thing longterm. Well, now let's shift to college students and attitudes about drinking in the subset of college students that blackout drink.
[00:09:28] So they drink until they pass out, which blackout drinking actually means. You don't remember it. It doesn't necessarily imply that you passed out, but at any rate, if they're in a culture of that and they tell me, oh no, you know, Good. I got blackout drunk every weekend. And you say, well, I want you to think about that as a concussion, would you think that's okay if someone was out getting their head bashed every weekend and that as so many times, like the light bulb goes on and they're like, oh, well, that's interesting.
[00:09:59] I never thought about it like that. so, That's how I would introduce it. It's talking about either a story or a podcast or something that you heard, or just ask, just listen, just say, Hey, how do you feel? Are you feeling pressured to drink or maybe it's smoking pot or, or whatever, you know, what, what percentage of your friends, do you think are over-treat.
[00:10:22] Natalie: well, and it we're gone are the days of avoiding these topics as parents just hoping that they're going to be okay. I mean, it really is like just listening, just listening and introducing the topic, without preaching, because. That's when they're just in my experience. That's when they're just going to tune you out.
[00:10:42] You're done not hearing you so listening. okay. Great advice. I appreciate that. Let's, let's talk about other things that you see as high schoolers going into college, but young adults, I should say, are experiencing that. We need to, that we need to worry about we're in, a different level of health and immunity and needing to have strong immune systems.
[00:11:04] But what advice would you have since mostly we're talking to parents, there might be some young people out there listening, but mostly we're talking about parents in advice that you would have for them and helping them.
[00:11:15] Jill: Well, I think it's really important to send our young adults off, out into the wild blue yonder, prepared to, to advocate for their own health and prepare to access the healthcare system.
[00:11:28] So what does that mean? First of all, that means if you've got a high school senior or, or you've got any, a young adult in, in high school, this is the time now. To the next doctor's appointment. They have, maybe they wear glasses or contacts and, you know, they need to get their annual appointment or maybe they need to see their family physician, have them schedule the appointment.
[00:11:48] And then when you go sit and scheduling now, honestly the best thing to come out of the pandemic is some of the telehealth stuff and how everyone now is so much more comfortable accessing, scheduling things online. And so that's less of a challenge. I think. but Think about the last time you filled out a health form when you had a new doctor and I mean, just, the insurance part and like who's the guarantor, what does that mean? Wait a minute. I need to know my dad or my mom's social security number. Right. So if they have the opportunity. Sitting next to you to fill out that form.
[00:12:19] It's really good to do that a couple of times, at least before they're off on their own and doing it for the first time when they're sick or injured. So that's one thing I would say. The next thing I would say is literally have them take a picture of their health insurance cards and favorite it on their phone.
[00:12:37] And frankly, you should do the same. So we all have that on our phones, whether it's for ourselves or whether it's when they call us. Cause I still can't find it. And because that's, when, again, when you're sick or injured, You're scared or uncomfortable. And so the fluster of not having that health insurance card before you ever get into, see me, you have to talk to the receptionist out front and get logged in and do all that paperwork stuff.
[00:13:03] So starting off anxious, because you don't know how to do that. It's not a good start.
[00:13:08] Natalie: I'm a, I'm a huge believer in preparing for anything is what makes you successful with it. So you know what it is, you know where to go, you know how to call, you know, how to show up. And you're not nervous about that.
[00:13:20] What are some of the typical problems that you see, with young people that they don't know how to deal with? I know you, you talk about recently, about having a first aid kit, you know, my kids will come and say, do you have a bandaid? Don't be like, oh, you know where the band-aids are, but what are some of the typical things.
[00:13:35] We might not think about kids needing to know for themselves.
[00:13:39] Jill: So they need to know about it. Tylenol and Advil. Right? Right. So when do you take which one? and they need to know how many to take. I can't tell you. And th and don't dry swallow it, no dry swallowing. If you, if you just pop a pill in your mouth and dry, swallow it without drinking, it can actually irritate your esophagus.
[00:14:02] It doesn't permanently get stuck there, even though it feels like it, but you can actually get like a scrape on your esophagus that makes you miserable. So please teach them not to do that, but they'll hear someone, you know, someone in there, but they, they sprained their ankle. That's something we see all the time.
[00:14:16] Some says, oh yeah, take, take four or five Advil. Like Two is good and you know, so that they know when to take it and, you know, and yes, it is written on the Advil. But when they've asked mom a thousand times, Hey, you know, I got a headache. Right. You know, so they should know that they should know, um, Basically, you know, what do you do for a cold, you know, when you have a stuffy nose and I know that's a little difficult right now in the time of COVID.
[00:14:44] So perhaps that's not the best
[00:14:45] Natalie: example, but that's actually it's good example because it's like some of the common things that we might worry about now as being something bigger. So let me ask you this. When do you need to see a doctor? When is it like I'm fine. Like, I can't tell you how many times my kids will be like, no, I'm good.
[00:15:01] I don't, I don't need to see a doctor. When do you need to go to the urgent care or see it?
[00:15:06] Jill: Right. So, uh, it depends what we're talking about. And, um, not to tout my own book, but this is literally why I wrote my book is because for something like you have, you, you, you tripped stepping off the curb and you think you have a sprained ankle, you know, do you need to get an x-ray?
[00:15:22] Do you need to go? Well, if you can't bear weight on it, you need to be seen that's an automatic. If you can't take three steps, Do you need to be seen and, um, for if, if you are throwing up. The point you need to be seen is it if you can't stop throwing up or you can't, you can't get any liquid down and it's been more than an hour, you know, and you're, you're just miserable.
[00:15:45] So, um, well, you don't need to be seen right at an hour, but that's, you know, that's when you need to call and, and all of the college campuses have PR I mean, 99% have a 24 hour nurse. So you don't have to make that decision yourself if you're not sure if you've got a really bad sore throat and you're not sure what to do about it, call the nurse hotline and talk to somebody and let them talk you through it.
[00:16:07] And they will also tell you what steps you can do on your own. this year is going to be challenging with COVID because like I just said, you don't, we coulds don't need to come in. However, and in this day and age you probably need to be tested. So if you've got sniffly, sniffly, cold symptoms, Do you need to be tested so that we're not spreading COVID.
[00:16:26] Natalie: Yeah. it's just a different day and age of knowing when to see someone. But I, I have a general rule in my family and I was telling my kids this they're like, it's good. My, my, my daughter had a, uh, she's a dancer and she had a sore knee and the sore knee went on and on and on. And I said, we're going to go see someone.
[00:16:43] And she's like, no, it's really not that bad. And I said, you know, my general rule is, if you have to think about it at all, See a doctor, because the thinking about it sometimes is more weight on your shoulders than just knowing for sure if it's a real problem or if it's strep throat or if it's just get it off her off of your shoulders, like just take that one visit and then you don't have to think.
[00:17:05] I think that's great.
[00:17:06] Jill: My general rule. I like that rule. I like that a lot. And I do want to say. Kids will frequently. a lot of this depends how you grew up in your household. Some households, the second you have a headache, Hey, take a Tylenol or an Advil. Other households you got, you know, you gotta be deathbed before you take anything.
[00:17:23] but I want to be sure as parents that we're telling our kids, if you are happy, Anxiety, if you can't sleep at night. So what we see is kids coming in saying, I can't sleep or they have stomach ache or headache. Um, they don't come in necessarily saying they have anxiety, but they, they haven't been able to sleep and they've tried everything and, you know, but it's because their brain won't shut up because they're having maybe testing anxiety.
[00:17:49] And so that is a valid reason to go to the doctor. Please let your kids know that we see that we treat that and there's things we can do. besides sleep medicine, you know, there's a lot of behavioral modifications we can do to help them. And what's not good is to wait until you've had crisis level, whether that's with, uh, you know, getting dehydrated and from, from drinking too much.
[00:18:11] So you really do have a hangover and you're miserably. You've got alcohol toxicity and you're throwing up and you're. Do not. Wait if you have a question, if you think you might need to be seen call. Yeah.
[00:18:23] Natalie: I think that's great advice for, for us to pass along to our young people. And, and frankly, I like to say, and it comes up almost every podcast is we're modeling this to them.
[00:18:34] If they have watched us struggle through headaches or anxiety or whatever, then they're going to say, I'm good. I can tough it out. So although we have to do what we say and what we preach.
[00:18:46] Jill: That's the hard part we absolutely do. And that includes things like prioritizing sleep and exercising and doing those things and eating well.
[00:18:58] You know, we can't tell them stuff and then model the opposite.
[00:19:03] Natalie: Yeah. Well, I know your book, um, college student health handbook. It talks a lot about college, but really what you're saying through a lot of this is that we have taught them a lot of that along the way. And our high schoolers or middle schoolers, I've got an 11 year old too.
[00:19:18] And I have to be sure he sees me doing these things because by the time they've gotten to college where we're backpacking.
[00:19:25] Jill: Exactly, but it's never too late. It's never too late. I, you know, for a lot of things, think about all the risky behaviors in college, right? Okay. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
[00:19:35] So, you can have had this behavior for your first semester or your first week, and you can say, you know, I don't like that. I don't like me like that. I don't like how it makes me feel, physically or emotionally. And you know what I'm going to, I'm going to change that behavior. every day, you can.
[00:19:52] Change and make that, the new you, yeah.
[00:19:55] Natalie: You can also choose who you hang around. And that's a big one in my family is, you know, like, like you mentioned in certain cultures, like if that's who you're hanging around, that's probably who you are going to become. And I was, I, my kids are so tired of all my sayings, but hopefully somewhere along the way, they're remembering.
[00:20:13] They're tired of it, but if we continue to say it, and one of mine is that you become who you hang around. My mom always used to say birds of a feather
[00:20:20] Jill: flock together, and they judged you're judged by the company. You keep. Yeah. And now I think
[00:20:28] Natalie: I can be different. Yeah. They can go off and drink and I'll be the one who doesn't, but that's really hard.
[00:20:33] You're setting yourself up to be an outcast. So find the people you want to be like
[00:20:38] Jill: and hang around them. Excellent. Totally agree. A hundred percent.
[00:20:42] Natalie: Well, okay. I've gotten so much out of this. I've learned a lot. Um, I'm going to call my daughter in college just as soon as we're done, but I'm going to talk to my Saturday
[00:20:50] Jill: school.
[00:20:51] I was, I was talking to someone and I heard that this
[00:20:54] Natalie: really great tip. Yeah. I have a couple of questions that I like to ask of successful people and of my podcast guests. So I appreciate you. Um, Questions for me and letting me learn from you. And the first one is, what is your favorite tool for productivity?
[00:21:12] You're a doctor. You're a mom. It doesn't have to be technology. What would that favorite tool?
[00:21:17] Jill: I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but my favorite tool is doing phone meetings while walking, because you know, I have found myself having more and more and more phone meetings. And if I am seated, I'm sitting.
[00:21:32] And so just to allow myself to get fresh air and to be walking and talking. That's my tool for
[00:21:38] Natalie: both a hundred percent. Oh, I love that one so much. I do my daily about, about an hour walk. And if I'm not talking to someone on the phone, utilizing that time wisely, I'm listening to podcasts. So I feel like I'm able to multitask and do all of that.
[00:21:52] And that multitasking, I feel like is healthy. Some multitasking's not exactly. Yeah, totally. That's a good one. I love it. Okay. And then my second one is when did you know your purpose? Maybe it's changing. Mine has kind of changed with the second career in podcasting, but when did you know your purpose and what.
[00:22:11] Jill: Well, I knew that I wanted to be a doctor from a young age and it's really, for a silly reason, I had straight A's and a C in handwriting, true story. And I was in fifth grade. My teacher pulled me aside. She's like, oh, that's okay, Jill, you can be a doctor. Yeah, my handwriting has not improved by himself. I work at it.
[00:22:29] I do work at it, but it doesn't matter because now everything is electronic, so that's all good, but I let you know, I liked science. I liked math and I liked people and I was wanting to help people. And, um, at the time I didn't have any, my dad was a professor, uh, of business So education was important, but I didn't really have doctors in the family, but actually my sister is a doctor also, and I have a brother who's an engineer.
[00:22:49] And so anyway, that just cut it, but you've also kind
[00:22:52] Natalie: of pivoted a bit from a private practice. And tell me about it.
[00:22:57] Jill: So I found in my private practice, I was in private practice for 20 years and I got really frustrated with, um, I I'm all about prevention. So I, I, I love helping people change behaviors and prevent things, and whether that's diabetes or hypertension or sexually transmittable infections.
[00:23:20] And so something I kept seeing over and over. Over the years and I have a very, well-educated population and, everyone was continually surprised when they got an STD and. The doctors and, you know, we would, we would be talking in our, you know, offsite, oh gosh, it was heartbreaking this person. So, so upset, you know, and how did they not know this?
[00:23:42] At the same time Grey's anatomy was super popular and people were, remember the whole story of Grey's anatomy literally asked me questions about, you know, Dr. McDreamy doing something in the ER or whatever. And so I thought, well, what if we just like shared those stories and I'll make like this little office pamphlets.
[00:23:57] So I wrote a story, made a little pampered. And it, and it works. And so then I wrote another little pamphlet and I wrote a series of pamphlets that ended up becoming a book. And then I thought I could just have somebody sell the book. And, I would go on being a doctor, but the publisher had different idea about that.
[00:24:13] So then I got my media training and started doing radio and talking and, um, and I found that I really enjoy talking to big groups and particularly talking to young people because. There's so much is preached at them. You know what you said early really hit home with me. And I don't, I really try not to preach, you know, I just want to talk about, Hey look, this is, these are the medical consequences of this action.
[00:24:34] whether that is eating poorly or not sleeping or risky behavior and just lay it out there. And so that people can understand. The natural consequences and make choices about what behaviors
[00:24:45] Natalie: they want to change. I love it. I love the pivot that you made and it's hard. I know from myself making a pivot to have the courage to do that.
[00:24:54] When you have a, you have a secure thing that works really well, but you feel a higher calling. You feel like maybe I could do this in another way. So I love that you did that and you're still right. Yeah. And making the time to do things like this. I just really appreciate it. And thank you for your time coming on the podcast, where can people find you?
[00:25:15] So I want them to be able to find your books and your information.
[00:25:18] Jill: Sure. So, everything for me is Jill Grimes MD. So my websites, Jill grinds MD my Twitter handle. I'm really not very good on Instagram, but I am technically on there. Jill crimes MD and. My book, the ultimate college student health handbook, your guide for everything from hangovers to homesickness.
[00:25:35] first try your local bookstore. Let's support them, but, uh, it is also on Amazon and frequently on sale there.
[00:25:42] Natalie: Fantastic. Good. Well, we appreciate it. Good to see you today.
[00:25:46] Jill: Thanks so much for having me.