Some Health Quaries & Answers

When mamma is at work …..
Q: I am a working woman. I recently had a baby and would like to continue to feed her breast milk. Can I store the milk in the refrigerator?

A: Expressed breast milk (EBM) can be safely used for your baby. It is safer and healthier than cow’s milk or tinned formula. Wash your hands and collect the milk in a sterile plastic bottle with a tight screw-type lid. Label the bottle clearly, with the date and time, so that the oldest milk is used first. Place the bottle at the back of the refrigerator or in the freezer. Do not mix used leftover milk with fresh milk and use it for the next feed.

EBM can be warmed or thawed by placing it in a bowl of warm water. Do not use a microwave for this. Do not boil it. After warming it, do not refreeze and use again. EBM can be stored in the refrigerator for five days and in a freezer for two weeks. Otherwise, it can be kept in a cool place for six hours.

You may click to see :Breast Milk Storing

Stiff hands
Q: I am 55 years old and drive an hour to work. When I reach my office, my fingers become stiff — fixed in a claw-like position — and can’t be moved easily. I also get “catches” in my leg and chest muscles.

A: You need a check up to see if you are suffering from diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. If so, they need to be tackled. If you are overweight, try to reach your ideal body weight. Walk briskly for an hour and do stretches for 20 minutes before going to work. Yoga, particularly suryanamaskar, is ideal. While stretching, concentrate on the hands. Eat four to six helpings of fruits and vegetables daily. Take calcium supplements. If all this does not help, consult a physician.

Hernia problem
Q: My doctor said I have an intestinal hernia. What does it mean?

A: Hernias are of many types. An umbilical hernia occurs at or just next to the umbilicus. Incisional hernias occur at the site of a previous surgical scar. Inguinal hernias are commoner in men and occur in the groin area. If the abdominal wall is lax, the intestines can appear to lie just under the surface of the skin, a condition called divarication.

A weakness or deficiency in the abdominal wall present from birth can’t be repaired except through surgery. Incisional hernias and divarication can be prevented by not gaining weight and maintaining abdominal muscle tone with regular exercise.

Pricking ears
Q: My ears are always pricking. Cleaning them brings out fungus, which forms again becoming worse.

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A: The secretion may not be fungus but discharge owing to an infection, allergy or impacted wax. Fungus in the ear causes pain. Allergic or seborrhic dermatitis is more likely to cause pricking or itching.

You need to consult an ear-nose-throat surgeon to make a diagnosis. Using inappropriate over-the-counter antimicrobial eardrops may make the condition worse. Cleaning the ears may rupture the skin, aggravating the pain and pricking.

High BP
Q: What is BP? How can I diagnose and prevent it? What’s the treatment?

A: BP is short for blood pressure. It should be below 140/90. If it is higher, the person is said to have high BP or hypertension. For most adults, there’s no identifiable cause of high BP. It tends to develop gradually over years. Sometimes, high blood pressure can occur as a result of tumours, defects in the blood vessels, kidney diseases or certain medications.

High BP occurs with increasing age, particularly if one or both parents have hypertension. It is commoner in overweight individuals. Smoking or living with people who smoke also increases the BP. Drinking excessively damages the heart and raises the blood pressure.

If you have high BP, stop smoking and drinking. Do regular exercises, combined with yoga and meditation, and reduce your salt intake. Your doctor will be able to prescribe appropriate medications if it does not fall with these simple measures.

The pill
Q: I take pills for diabetes, hypertension and chest pain. I find it hard to have sex. Can I use Viagra?

A: Viagra is a trade name for Sidenafil citrate and is used for erectile dysfunction, which is probably what you have. It is contraindicated in persons with hypertension, stroke or coronary artery disease, and chest pain due to angina.

It is better to discuss the issue with your physician and see if the medicine is advisable for you. He would also advise you on the dosage and time. Relying on the neighbourhood medical shop for supply and advice might be dangerous for your health.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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