Q. The slightest exposure to the sun leads to an itchy red rash on my body.
Ans: Before going out in the sun, apply sunscreen with an SF factor of at least 15. Also, use a black umbrella and wear clothes that cover most of your skin. Apply ice cubes on the rash as soon as it appears. Then apply calamine lotion. The rashes will usually disappear in 2-3 days.
Q My father has colon cancer and I am afraid that I will get it.
Ans: If your first-degree relatives have colon cancer, you are likely to get it too. You can detect it early enough to have curative treatment, by having a colonoscopy at the age of 50 and every 10 years after that. Also, any suspicious lesions need to be biopsied as soon as they are discovered. You can lessen your risk by maintaining ideal body weight, not using tobacco products in any form, eating at least 4-6 helpings of fruits and vegetables per day, not drinking heavily and exercising regularly.
Q I am four months pregnant but I cannot feel the baby moving.
Ans: The first movements of the baby in utero is known as quickening. They are little fluttering motions and may feel like gas. The repetitive pattern gives new mothers the cue. Most mothers notice these movements by 16-20 weeks. Thin women and those having their second baby may recognise the movements earlier. Since you are worried, go for an ultrasound examination. It will reassure you that everything is normal.
Q I have exams, so I get by on 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Will this damage my health in the long run?
Ans: Lack of sufficient sleep can make you moody, irritable and unable to concentrate or retain what you learn. It also aggravates acne and lessens immunity. In short, make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, otherwise it will be deleterious in the long run.
Resources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)