DON’T IGNORE SNORING:
Q: My husband snores loudly. Is this a sign of heart disease?
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A:There are several subtle signs that can signal heart disease. Snoring and repeated episodes of sleep apnoea is one of them. The others are acanthosis nigricans (dark patches of velvety skin in the neck, armpit and groin), swelling of feet and giddiness or breathlessness on exertion such as walking. It is better to evaluate your BMI (weight divided by height in metre squared), check your blood pressure, blood sugars and lipid profile, and start a regular exercise regimen.
Q: I feel tired and sleepy after meals, particularly after breakfast.
A:You may be suffering from post-prandial hypogylcaemia, a condition where the sugar levels in the body drop after eating. You may not be a diabetic and when tested, your blood sugars may be in the normal range. This condition is precipitated by eating foods high in carbohydrates. It also occurs after stomach surgery and in kidney disease. Symptoms will improve if you limit your intake of starchy foods, eat small frequent meals and add plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Q: My mother broke her femur. It has been surgically fixed with screws, but she walks with the help of a walker. How long does this have to continue?
A:Take her for regular physiotherapy so that her leg muscles get strengthened with scientific exercise. Then, once the muscles are strong enough, (usually the physiotherapist works towards grade 4-5 power) she can dispense with the walker. If she tries to walk with weak muscles and no support, her leg can buckle, she can fall and injure herself again.
Q:My lips are black in colour. I wear lipstick to hide this, but they are getting darker.
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A: Lips can darken because of photosensitivity, as a reaction to the chemicals in the lipstick used, or if you are inadvertently consuming heavy metals (which are ingredients in certain ayurvedic preparations. To lighten the lips naturally, add a few drops of lemon juice to plain paraffin wax and apply every night before sleeping.
DRY PALMS :
Q: My palms are dry and chapped. The corners of a few of my nails are red and painful.
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A: This can happen if you wash dishes and clothes with detergent powder. Invest in a pair of rubber gloves and use them whenever you have to immerse your hands in water. Moisturise your hands for 15 minutes before a bath with coconut oil. Apply paraffin oil to your hands at night.
Q: My mother developed lung cancer and died. I cannot understand why as she never smoked.
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A: Lung cancer can also affect people who have never smoked. That is because they may have been exposed to second hand cigarette smoke from other members of the family, live in areas with high levels of pollution, are exposed to asbestos dust or do not exercise regularly. Avoid these risk factors, and hope for the best.
Resources: The Telegraph (India, Kolkata)