Some Medical Questions And Answers By Dr.Gita Mathai

How much can I drink?

Q: I like my drink in the evening and I don’t think it does any harm to me or anyone else. However, I do not want to wind up an alcoholic. What are the safe limits? Some guidelines say one drink, some two. The exact quantity (small or large pegs) is not specified.

Current guidelines state that men should consume no more than three or four units of alcohol a day; women should consume no more than two or three units. The limits for women are less than for men because their body composition is different with more fat and less muscle. Some physicians feel that these limits are too high. They think it should be reduced to three units a day for men and two units a day for women. Two days a week should be drink free.

A unit is not the same as a drink. Most alcoholic drinks contain more than one unit. A premium pint of lager, bitter or cider (5 per cent alcohol), contains 3 units. A large 250 ml glass of wine (12 per cent) contains 3 units, a large double measure of spirits (2 x 35ml at 40 per cent) contains 3 units.

The long-term effects of uncontrolled drinking include cirrhosis and mouth, esophageal, liver and breast cancer. The risks are increased if drinking is combined with smoking.

Also, even controlled drinking takes its toll on the wallet. Your family may not be happy with the money you spend on your “social drinking”. Always remember, no matter how sober you feel, drinking and driving can be a fatal combination.

Itchy vagina

Q: I have repeated attacks of itching in my vagina. I am 27 years old. Please advise.

A: You probably have an infection caused by an yeast called Candida. It tends to occur in overweight people, in pregnancy, or if you or your partner have diabetes or HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection. It occurs if the normal bacterial flora of the vagina changes. This can take place after treatment with certain antibiotics, corticosteroids or hormones. It occurs in some women when they take oral contraceptive pills.

Correction of any underlying precipitating factor will reduce the recurrences. Treatment of the infection is simple. Oral antifungal agents (usually single dose therapy) can be used. Vaginal tablets or pesssaries can deliver the medication directly to the source of infection.


Q: I feel giddy and dizzy and sometimes I feel I am going to vomit or lose my balance and fall down. I am very worried.

A: I think you are describing vertigo, a sense that the room is spinning around you. It can occur normally if you suddenly change the position of your head relative to your body. If it is frequent and recurrent you need to have it evaluated by an ENT (ear nose and throat) physician. You also need to have an X-ray of your neck bones. A physician can also do relevant blood tests to rule out anaemia.

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There are several possibilities like benign positional vertigo, inner or middle ear infections or Meniere’s disease. Some of these require medication. Others need positional exercises.

Treatment of the disease will remove the precipitating factor and cure you.

You may click to see also:->An article on Giddiness

Dry, itchy skin

Q: I have very dry skin that is also very itchy. If I scratch, it sometimes bleeds and becomes infected. The dermatologist says I have icthyosis and that I must apply oil. If I stop, my skin becomes dry and itchy all over again.

A: Icthyosis is a hereditary condition of the skin. It can be mild or severe. You need to apply oil regularly as your skin requires a lot more oil than those of other people. A small quantity of a mixture of 500 ml of coconut oil, 500 ml of sesame oil and 100 ml of olive oil can be applied half an hour before bathing. A tablespoon of coconut oil can also be put in the bath water. A non-drying emollient soap like Dove or a glycerine-based soap like Pears will help to keep the skin moist. Baby oil or Vaseline can be applied at night. Both these will not stain the bed clothes.

You may also click to see:->

Winterizing Dry Itchy Skin

8 Home Remedies for Dry Skin

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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5 thoughts on “Some Medical Questions And Answers By Dr.Gita Mathai”

  1. I am a diabetic since last 20yr. Now I am 67 yrs old. I take glimperide 2mg + Metformin hydrocloride-1mg SR before breakfast. I walk for 40 minutes in the morning.I try to avoid sweets and sweetened dishes as much as possible.I take piocon 30 before dinner and metformin hydrocloride, gluformin XL1000 after dinner.These medicins are as per doctor's prescription.But my fasting glucose is around 200mg/dl ant PP 270mg/dl since a few months.My HbA1c is 7.3%.
    Is there any other medicine other than glimperide,metformin and pioglitazone, which can control the glucose percentage of a type II diabetic with Dislipidemia? Pl. advice.

  2. I am 35years old. I am pregnant for 2 months. I am having nosia sometimes. What type of food I have to take. I am non veg. Before 3months I had miscarriage when I was 3 months pregnant. What type of precautions I have to take?

  3. TAPATI SARMA 06 JUNE 2016 1600 HRS.
    MAX IT GOES TO 9.2

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