Some Health Quaries & Answers

Paranoid uncle:

Q: My uncle has started to suspect that everyone is against him. It started with his job where he felt he was being victimised. He then decided that the rest of his family (wife and children) is poisoning him. He has also become involved with a woman in his office, who encourages his beliefs and wants to cut all of us out of his life.

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A: It sounds like your uncle is slowly becoming paranoid, suffering from delusions and maybe becoming schizophrenic as well. This is very difficult to treat as he will suspect that the medication is poison as well.

The “other woman” may be mildly schizophrenic herself. People with these illnesses tend to gravitate together. She may have an ulterior motive for encouraging your uncle’s beliefs. You could try to speak to him and try to encourage him to see a psychiatrist.

Preventing pimples
Q: I have pimples on the back below the neck. It looks ugly when I wear low-necked outfits. I have tried prickly heat powder to no avail.
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A: Pimples or acne on the back of the neck can be itchy and leave disfiguring dark scars. It is aggravated by dandruff. Anti dandruff shampoos will help. Also, do not use powder. Talc blocks the pores and makes the pimples worse. Try to use soap with the correct TFC (total fat content) and TCC (tricholorohexidine) like Neko. If applied using a loofah, it kills the skin bacteria that aggravate acne.

Relief from arthritis
Q: I have arthritis and I have been prescribed capsules containing chondroitin sulphate. Will it help?

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A: Chondroitin sulphate is a natural ingredient found in joint cartilage. The question of whether it actually reaches damaged cartilage and repairs it is not proven. Many people who take it feel that it does reduce the symptoms of arthritis. It has to be taken for 3-6 months before its effects are seen. It needs to be taken 2-3 times a day or as recommended. It is relatively expensive. It is often combined with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and physiotherapy. It is difficult to say exactly which of these three ingredients plays the maximum role in reducing the arthritis.

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Pop a pill daily
Q: I have mild hypertension and have been prescribed 2.5 mg of amlodipin once a day. I check my BP myself with an electronic machine. Whenever I find it is normal I stop the tablet. I take it again only if I have a headache or the reading is high. Is this all right?

2.5 mg of amlodipin>.…..

A:
Once hypertension has been diagnosed and the treatment started, you have to take the medication every day at the same time, as this particular drug acts for 24 hours. Once you start the treatment the blood pressure will get controlled. Even if you stop the tablets the BP (blood pressure) will remain under control for 2-3 days before it starts to rise again. Therefore, you can’t start and stop medication based on headaches and BP readings. Unlike diabetes where the sugars are controlled on a day-to-day basis, in BP the control is usually monthly. Take the tablets regularly as prescribed to prevent unnoticed elevations in the BP.

Try surgery :
Q: I have an umbilical hernia and the doctor told me that as it is small I can leave it alone. I am 47 years old.

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A: Umbilical hernia is a generic term and can be used for a defect exactly at the umbilicus, or above (paraumbilical). Intestines or other contents from the abdomen can pass through the defect. As long as the contents pass freely there is no problem. However the contents can get stuck as they pass outwards. This compromises the blood supply to that area and it can even be fatal.You are young and healthy. It is probably better to have surgery while there are no risk factors.

Brittle-boned babe :
Q: My daughter who is 18 years old has weak bones and cannot do any work or lift weights. What can I do?

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A: An 18 year old should not have weak bones unless there is an underlying kidney, intestinal, blood or bone disease. You need to get the diagnosis sorted out first. Remove the cause and the disease will be cured.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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