Some Health Quaries & Answers

My heel hurts ….
Q: I had severe pain in my left heel. A doctor administered an injection to the heel. I felt better for about six months but now the pain has returned. Is there a permanent cure?

A: This pain occurs when there is constant friction and irritation to the area where the thick plantar fascia (bottom of the foot) joins the heel bone or calcaneum. After some time the irritation may be sufficient to cause extra bone formation called a calcaneal spur. The pain subsides after an injection of a long-acting steroid into that point, but will recur, necessitating a second or even third injection. To prevent a recurrence:

• Soak your feet in hot water morning and night

• Maintain ideal body weight

• Do not walk barefoot

• Wear soft supportive soles

• Exercise (stretching on the tendons) by standing on your toes and then rocking forwards and backwards, on the heel and toes

If a spur forms, you may be advised surgery.

You may click to see : Heel Pain: Symptoms and Treatment

Cut lip :-
Q: My grandson falls down frequently and cuts his lips. Please advise.

A: Cuts on the lip and tongue can bleed profusely. First, you need to apply an ice cube wrapped in a plastic bag to the area. This will stop the blood flow and help you see the wound clearly. If it is a shallow cut with no food or tooth chip inside, just give the child a little sugar to suck. Saliva contains natural antibodies and the wound will heal by itself in four or five days.

If the wound is deep, lacerated and contains mud, food or a chipped tooth, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

To clean these deeper wounds at home use eye drops, not antiseptic solutions. The latter can irritate the wound. Also, they may contain substances that should not be swallowed.

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If bad breath develops, it means an infection has set in. Consult a doctor immediately.

Teething problem :-
Q: When do I start brushing my child’s teeth and what should I use?

A: A child’s teeth should be brushed daily morning and evening soon after they appear. A soft toothbrush and toothpaste containing 1,000 parts per million of fluoride should be used. Brushing needs to be supervised till they are seven or eight years old.

Life after surgery
Q: I had hernia surgery about two weeks ago. When can I lead a normal life? More important, when can I have sex?

A: Many patients want to know this but hesitate to ask the doctor because they are embarrassed. They then consult friends who have had the surgery and therefore double as experts.

In most cases, you may resume your sex life when the doctor says you can return to normal activity. In the case of a hysterectomy, caesarian or hernia, this may be six weeks or longer. Always listen to your body. If there is pain, particularly at the incision site, stop whatever you were doing and try again after a week.

Head spinning :-
Q: I am 19 years old. Whenever I get up from bed, I feel giddy, like I am going to fall. Sometimes, I also feel that the room is spinning around. I tried to explain this to my doctor, but he says my blood pressure and sugar levels are normal.

A: You may have postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. This is a fall of blood pressure that occurs when there are sudden changes in posture. The diagnosis can be proven by measuring the BP separately in sitting, lying and standing positions. It is often mild and lasts just a few seconds to a few minutes after standing. The body usually adjusts to changes in posture within a few seconds. If there is a delay, it may be due to dehydration, as in your case hypertension and diabetes (the two other common causes) have been ruled out.

Try standing up slowly from a sitting position, allowing your body time to adjust to the postural change. Some yoga exercises (such as crane, tree positions) help if done regularly. You could jog, swim, run or walk for an hour a day. Alternatively, you can take up one of the martial arts.

Foul breath
Q: I feel I have bad breath and that this puts off people I have contact with.

A: You are right about people being repulsed by bad breath or halitosis. It is because bad odours are equated with disease, which our bodies are conditioned to avoid. To know if you really have bad breath, you may ask your parents or spouse. They are the only people who will give you a truthful answer.

Foul breath may be due to tooth decay or gum disease, as well as colds, sinusitis, indigestion and a faulty diet. You must tackle the cause and eliminate it.

Source :The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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