Q: I am 71 years old and have varicose veins in both legs. They ache, pain, prick and cause me a great deal of trouble. I wear the prescribed stockings but in summer the legs itch unbearably. I take precautions like not standing in one place for a long time. I also keep my feet elevated while lying down. I cannot sleep because of the pain. I saw an advertisement for natural treatment. What should I do?
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A: Compression stockings are effective if used properly. They have to be put on the first thing in the morning and then worn all day. They act by steadily squeezing the leg muscles so that the blood in the veins moves more efficiently. If the pain remains unbearable despite this, there are several surgical treatment options like laser, stripping, clipping, and endoscopic surgery.
Advertisements claiming “unique”, “permanent” or “painless” non-surgical methods or alternative medications to cure varicose veins may seem appealing. But it pays to be a cautious. The results are often unsatisfactory. Clarify health risks, the possible side effects and costs before actually undergoing any procedure or taking any non-prescribed medication.
Q: My mother has cervical cancer and I am worried that I may get it too. What can I do?
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A: Breast and ovarian cancers are associated with changes in certain genes (BRAC1 and BRAC2) which can be inherited, but cervical cancer does not fall in this category. It does not run in families. The main risk factors for the development of this cancer are sex at a young age, multiple partners, smoking and infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV).
• The best protections against cervical cancer are:
• protected sex using a condom
• not smoking
• having a regular cervical smear (pap smear) once every three years if you are under 50 and every five years after that.
Immunisation against HPV is now available and can be given from the age of nine years.
You may click to see:->Womens Health Issues
Q: I have been married for nine years and am 33 years old. I was found to have bilateral hydrosalpinx. I want to conceive. Doctors are suggesting IVF ( in vitro fertilisation) by clipping both the fallopian tubes. Is there any other way?
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A: The fallopian tubes carry the egg to the uterus. In bilateral hydrosalpinx, both the fallopian tubes are blocked with fluid. This greatly reduces the chances of a normal pregnancy. If an egg is fertilised, there is a good chance that it may be unable to proceed further and remain and develop in the tube itself. This is called an ectopic pregnancy and is dangerous. By clipping the tubes and placing the fertilised egg directly in the uterus, the doctor is ensuring that this does not occur and that the pregnancy proceeds smoothly.
You may click to see:->http://hissciibbio.tumblr.com/
Q: I cannot urinate immediately when I feel like doing so. There is a delay during which I have to strain and concentrate. There is no pain. I did not have this problem earlier. I was told that I have developed a large bladder capacity and that there was no need to worry.
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A: The bladder does not suddenly enlarge. It is likely to do so if there is an obstruction, like an enlarged prostrate, in the outflow tract.
Straining to pass urine shows that this must be the case. It can eventually cause a backward flow of urine into the ureters (tubes arising from the kidney) from the bladder. This will cause urinary tract infection. The condition needs further investigation, with an ultrasound of the abdomen and X-rays. It cannot be dismissed lightly. You need to see an urologist.
You may click to see:->Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Q: I am a 19-year-old girl and my 50-year-old father has got a bald patch over his head. Will I develop one too?
A: Baldness occurs through the expression of a gene carried on the X chromosome. Women receive two X chromosomes, one from the father and one from the mother. Even if one chromosome (from the father) carries the gene for baldness, it is balanced by the other normal gene. Women are also protected to some extent by their female hormones. They can become bald or lose hair after menopause if both their X chromosomes carry the baldness gene. It is usually a much milder form than that which occurs in men.
Can’t eat bananas :-
Q: My 17-year-old daughter always has palpitations if she is forced to eat bananas. Why?
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A: Bananas contain a chemical called serotonin. Some people can have an allergic reaction to serotonin and develop symptoms like abdominal pain, cramping and palpitations. Most food allergy or food intolerance reactions usually happen within a few minutes to a few hours after eating. Most mild to moderate reactions last less than a day. Sensitivity and its symptoms can increase over time unless bananas are avoided.
Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)