Some Health Questions And Answers

Q: I have been losing hair at an alarming rate. I do not want to become bald, as girls don’t seem to like bald men. Please help.

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BALD AND THE BEAUTIFUL: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf

A: Two out of three men become bald by the time they are 50. People normally lose 50-100 strands of hair a day. The loss become obvious when the hair lost is not replaced and 25 per cent of the hair is gone. This may be due to a medical disorder, fungal infection or mineral or vitamin deficiency. A physician will be able to diagnose the problem. These causes are potentially reversible and need to be ruled out and tackled first.

Otherwise, changing your hairstyle, cutting your hair short or wearing a well-fitted hairpiece may help. If you are looking for a more permanent long-term solution, medications like minoxidil or finasteride can be used. Medications take months to act and have to be taken long term. They also have potential side effects. Hair transplant surgery or scalp flap surgery is also popular. Perhaps you could try the Yul Brynner or Andre Agassi look; many women find them attractive.

TB on fingertip :-

Q: I have stiffening of a fingertip. After removing a piece of it, the doctor says it is tuberculosis. Can this be true?

A: TB can occur anywhere and is a great imitator of other diseases. If the doctor has removed a “piece” of it, it probably means he has done a biopsy. The diagnosis is, therefore, reliable. TB is curable, provided you strictly follow the guidelines for treatment. Also, since the disease is confined to your finger, you are not potentially infectious to others.

Night cough :-

Q: My daughter coughs all the time at night. Her nose is also blocked and she is unable to breathe freely. She cannot sleep and neither can we. We have taken her to many doctors and all her tests are normal.

A: Since your daughter does not seem to cough at all during the day even when she is active, it probably means there is something in the room triggering the paroxysms of cough.

Perhaps you could:

Stop using allergens like room fresheners and vapourising mosquito repellents

Not allow anyone to smoke in the house

Vacuum the house regularly

Avoid cotton mattresses.

Also try giving a steam inhalation the last thing at night in addition to her present medications.

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Hepatitis B :-

Q: I developed jaundice six months ago. Now I am Hepatitis B positive. My liver functions are normal. I am 32.

A: Hepatitis B is caused by a virus against which immunisation is available. Unfortunately, you seemed to have missed it.

Hepatitis B can be transmitted by sexual intercourse. If you are sexually active, and your partner is negative, it is important that she or he be immunised immediately. Please use a condom to prevent transmission of the infection. If you have children please check their immunisation status. It would be advisable for you to check your liver functions regularly once a year to ensure there is no deterioration.

Hysterectomy :-

Q: I have been advised a hysterectomy. Will it have any side effects? I am 32.

A: As you are a younger woman, with many years left before you attain natural menopause, your doctor must have considered all options before advising you to have the surgery. A hysterectomy alone without an oopherectomy means that the ovaries will be left behind to produce the necessary protective hormones. They will work for some years.

You definitely need to take calcium supplements. In case of side effects like hot flushes or dyspareunia (painful intercourse), they can be tackled if and when they occur.

Burning sensation :-

Q: I have a burning sensation while passing urine. Please help.

A: This may be a symptom of lower urinary tract infection (in the bladder). You could check your urine and see if there is an infection. Sometimes this occurs because of not drinking enough water, especially in summer. Also, girls sometimes restrain themselves from passing urine as the circumstances are not conducive.

You should always:

Drink at least three litres of water a day

Pass urine before travelling and after reaching the destination

Pass urine during your lunch break. Do not try to wait till you reach home

Pass urine before and after intercourse.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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