Health Problems & Solutions

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Say no to performance drugs :-
Popular Spanish athlete Marta Dominguez who is allegedly involved in a doping ring.
Q: I am an athlete competing at the district level in shot put and hammer throw. My coach says I am not performing to the best of my potential and that this is because I am not taking “supplements”. I saw some competitors injecting themselves a few hours before the finals. Others were taking tablets. My coach wants me to do this too.

A: The supplements your coach suggests are probably anabolic or androgenic steroids. They are abused by people in sports and bodybuilding. They can be detected in urine tests. If caught, the athlete is stripped of the medal and may be banned from the event for several years.

Performance enhancing steroids cause side effects like liver damage, jaundice, high blood pressure, rise in LDL (or “bad” cholesterol), renal failure, acne and tremors. In men, they may also cause shrinkage of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, development of breasts and increased risk of prostate cancer. They affect the brain, causing mood swings, and aggressive and psychotic behaviour. They may eventually result in addiction.

You should just perform to the best of your natural ability and also concentrate on your academic performance. You can then study sports at the college level and become a sincere and principled athletic coach to other youngsters.

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Q: My son was born through normal delivery, but his penis was bent sideways. The doctor says it requires surgery. I am worried.

A: Your son has a congenital condition called “chordee” where the shaft of the penis is bent. It may be an isolated defect. The reason for its occurrence is not known. Surgical correction by a paediatric surgeon is advisable between the ages of six months and a year. Following it, the penis becomes straight and normal so that the child can stand and pass urine. His sex life, too, will not be a problem.

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Q: My tonsils and adenoids were removed when I was six years old. I suffer from frequent coughs and colds. Although there is no sore throat, the situation is pretty bad. I feel I have no immunity.

A: The tonsils are composed of lymphoid tissue. They stop a bacterial or viral infection at the throat itself, preventing it from proceeding to the lungs. Tonsillectomy is advised if the tonsils are too large and are frequently infected. There are no serious ill effects from the removal of these glands. Immunity is not permanently compromised.

Awake at night:-
Q: I am 76 years old. I have mild hypertension which is controlled with medication. I have difficulty falling asleep and then wake up by 3 am or 4 am. I lie in bed till the rest of the house wakes up. Can I take medication?

A: As people get older their sleep pattern tends to change. They sleep less and wake up early. It is better to manage as long as possible without medication. All sleeping tablets are addictive, though some less than others. Try to sleep an hour later at night. Fill that time by reading or watching television. Do not sleep in the afternoon. Walk for 40 minutes morning and evening.

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Q: My child coughs whenever she lies down. I have tried all kinds of cough syrups but nothing works.


A:Sometimes the child may have a “post nasal drip”. This means the discharge irritates the throat as soon as the child lies down. It can be tackled by administering saline nasal drops at bedtime and an anti histamine an hour before bedtime. Also, check if there is something in the house or bedroom irritating her respiratory system like mosquito repellants or room fresheners.

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Q: How much calcium does one need daily?

A: Four to eight-year-olds need 800mg, nine to 18-year-olds need 1,300mg, 19 to 50-year-olds need 1,000mg, and those above 50 need 1,200mg. Pregnant or lactating women require 1,000mg every day

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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