Get Healthy, Stay Healthy with Pfizer's Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, offers important information for maintaining your health. For more information from Dr. Lewis-Hall, visit:

ESRD: Life on the Kidney Transplant List

Monica is suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and is currently undergoing dialysis while awaiting her third kidney transplant. She says although she may look healthy on the outside, she struggles with physical and emotional challenges.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, explains what life is like for those on the kidney transplant list.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Pam says she has been living with rheumatoid arthritis for more than 15 years. At one point, she was virtually bed-ridden for two years. Pam says people still don't understand how debilitating the condition can be. They brush it off as "just arthritis" — like it's just a bum knee or sore back.

Pfizer's Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall discusses rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and the importance of early diagnosis.

Social Stigmas of Seizures

Brie has been living with epilepsy, a seizure disorder, most of her life and says she has been called everything from learning disabled to possessed. She says it's frustrating how misinformed people are about her illness.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, discusses the social stigmas surrounding seizures.

For more information on epilepsy and other health topics, visit:

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Imagine not being able to leave the house because your illness keeps you locked in your bathroom. Diane, who suffers from a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease called Ulcerative Colitis, says she has been dealing with this drama for 10 years. She says it has taken a toll on her physically, emotionally and financially, and it's frustrating that people don't understand the gravity of her disease.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, discusses IBD, a serious but often misunderstood condition.

Managing Chronic Pain

Mary says she has been living with chronic pain for several years and has trouble performing simple tasks like opening jars, writing letters and even shaking people's hands. She says she has been managing the pain with over-the-counter medications, but she would like to find a more effective method of relief.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, discusses treatment options with Mary.

Managing Menopause

Jeannie says she's living in menopause hell! She says her symptoms run the gamut: Hot flashes, mood swings, forgetfulness, restlessness, weight gain and low sex drive. Jeannie says all of this has taken a toll on her — and on her newlywed marriage to her husband, Joe.

Pfizer's Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall discusses the symptoms of menopause and separates fact from fiction.

Fear of Getting Old (FOGO)

Randi says she is terrified of getting old and admits she will do almost anything to look and feel younger, including using all kinds of make-up and creams — and even raiding her daughters' closets! How can she overcome her FOGO?

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, shares tips for looking and feeling great — at any age!

We're challenging people to face their fear of getting old, or FOGO, by tweeting @DrPhil and @GetOld using #FOGO. Visit for more information about what you can do to age well.

"My Secret Illness"

Seger, 26, says she has been struggling with severe plaque psoriasis for almost seven years. She says she quit her job as a cosmetologist because of the skin condition, which makes her feel like she has to hide from society. "I think and obsess about it all the time," she says. "I'm teaching my daughter that everyone is beautiful, inside and out, and I wonder how I can be a good role model, when I don’t feel that way about myself."

What is psoriasis? And, how can it be treated? Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, explains.

Dementia and Driving

Terry wants to know how to tell her 86-year-old mother, who has dementia, that it’s time to stop driving. Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall explains what dementia is, how to recognize the signs that it may be time for a parent to give up driving and how to start the conversation. 

How do you know when it’s time to take the keys away from a parent with dementia?

Quitting Smoking

Loree says she started smoking when she was 12 years old and has tried to quit at least 30 times. She says smoking rules her life, and she wants help quitting this deadly addiction before it becomes a deadly diagnosis.

Loree explains the power her smoking addiction has over her. And, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall offers advice for how to successfully quit smoking.

Fibromyalgia: An Invisible Illness?

Twenty-five years ago, Crystal, 41, says she started experiencing mysterious pains and intense bouts of fatigue, which she couldn't explain. When she was 27, she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. "It feels like my muscles are actually being pulled off my joints," she explains. "The pain is usually around a seven, but when I have a migraine, it goes right up to a 10. I wind up in the ER three to four times a year." Crystal says she believes her disease contributed to breaking up her first marriage, after 11 years. She's been married to her current husband, Ryan, for seven years and says her Fibromyalgia continues to present challenges.

Ryan admits that dealing with Crystal's illness can be frustrating. "I work out of town during the week, so I'll be on my way home, and she's tired. She's done. She's in bed. I'm thinking, 'Oh, no, not again,'" Ryan says. "It really does bring me down, and it puts me in a bad mood."

Crystal explains that it took her many years — and going to many different doctors — to finally get properly diagnosed. "It was nice to put a name to it, and then I could stand up and say, 'I'm not crazy,'" she says. But Crystal adds that it's disheartening to know there's no known cure for Fibromyalgia. "I don’t feel like I’m living," she says. "I just feel like I’m existing, and that’s not a good place."

Pfizer's Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall discusses the symptoms of Fibromyalgia — and gives tips for managing the silent but painful disease.


Brettania says for the past decade, she has spent countless hours on the Internet, obsessively looking up symptoms and diagnosing herself with various illnesses, including a brain aneurism, throat cancer and liver disease. She’s convinced she has had every disorder in the book, yet she admits she’s too scared to see a doctor for confirmation. Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall offers help to Brettania to overcome her Internet-fueled hypochondria, known as “cyberchondria.” What’s at the root of her anxiety? And, should you turn to the Internet for medical questions? For more information, visit

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall and Dr. Phil offer Brettania advice to help her with her anxiety and take charge of her health.

Avoiding the Doctor

Cindie, 42, says that she had a major health scare 15 years ago when precancerous cells were found in her uterus after the birth of her third son. She says she had the cells frozen and from that point on, she put her health on the backburner because of a divorce, raising a newborn son and finding a job. Now, Cindie says that she avoids routine tests like pap smears and mammograms, because she’s terrified about what doctors might find. "It’s been 17 years since I’ve been to the doctor for a regular checkup," Cindie admits. "I'm afraid because it's been so long," she says. "It's just that fear of the unknown for me."

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall explains that many people have fears about health issues — and avoid checkups and tests as a result.

Dr. Freda-Lewis Hall offers tips for facing your fears and taking charge of your health. Will Cindie agree to get her first mammogram ever?


Noel confides that she has struggled with depression since her grandparents passed away exactly a year apart from one another, in 2006 and 2007. She says that her condition is taking an emotional toll on her marriage to her husband, Don, and she desperately wants to find relief. She explains that she's seen several therapists, tried 17 different medications and has even had electroshock therapy, but so far, nothing has seemed to help. "My depression got so bad that I couldn’t even get off the couch," Noel recalls. "All I did was sleep. I barely ate. I never went outside." She says that she's doing better now, but still feels like a burden on Don.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall explains that depression is a serious and common illness, which affects women more often than men. It is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental and other factors, in addition to a trigger, such as the death of a loved one. "To really look for treatment is the important key," she says, "because unless you do that, depression can worsen or lead to other physical and mental health problems."

How can you distinguish sadness from depression? And, what are some treatment options? Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall explains.

Understanding Obesity

Pfizer’s Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D. explains obesity and how you might be at risk — and not even know it.

Do you have any of the obesity "wake-up whispers"?

What Does Obesity Look Like?

Quiz: Which of these three people
are considered obese?


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