Q:I suffer from hyperhidrosis; my underarms as well as palms and soles sweat excessively.
Ans: :Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating affects 3 per cent of the population. It usually starts in the teenage years and can affect the underarms, whole body, palms or soles. Investigations are needed to rule out diseases and endocrine problems. Treatment of the specific disorder cures the condition. If no reason is found, then bathing twice a day and applying anti-perspirants may help. Other alternative treatments are anticholinergic medication, iontophoresis (an electrical procedure), injections of botox, lasers or surgery.
Q:My mother had a stroke, following which she has weakness of the left side of her body. Will she recover?
Ans: :Recovery from a stroke can start quickly during the first few months and then continue for two to three years. It is best to have proper physiotherapy in the initial days as qualified therapists can electrically stimulate muscles and nerves. This helps prevent stiffness and contractures. In addition, exercises for strength, mobility training, range of motion and balance are important. Any factors responsible for the stroke should also be aggressively treated.
It is important to maintain a positive attitude and encourage your mother.
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Q: I was dancing when I developed a sudden pain in the right knee. I could not walk. The doctor took an X-ray and said my patella is dislocated. Is it serious?
Ans: The patella is a small bone in front of the knee, which lies in a groove on the thigh bone (femur). Dislocation can be complete or partial. It occurs when the patella shifts from this position.
As soon as the injury occurs, rest the knee, and apply ice every 10-15 minutes till the pain reduces. After that you may need a knee brace to hold the patella in position. The quadriceps muscles in the front of the thigh are probably weak. Physical therapy is needed to strengthen these and hold the patella in position, otherwise the chance of recurrence is high.
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Q: I have neck pain a lot of the time but never on Sundays, my weekly off. I spend a lot of time on the cellphone at work.
Ans: :Sometimes, when you need to multitask, you may bend your neck and balance the cellphone at a very awkward angle. Also, people often look downwards at the cell phone. Take a two-minute break every half hour to stretch the neck and shoulder. Jog for 30 minutes in the fresh air every morning. Apply a capsaicin containing ointment to the neck when it hurts and then apply ice. Take a mild painkiller such as metacin to relieve the pain.
Q:I crave chocolate, ladoos and sometimes chips. Once I start eating them, I cannot stop till I feel sick.
Ans:Don’t buy those snacks. If they are not there in your fridge, you are unlikely to actually go out and purchase them. Drink a glass of water when you feel the craving. Check if the cravings occur when you are anxious or depressed. That is the body’s way of building up mood elevating chemicals. Talk to a friend or relative instead.
Resources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)