Health Problems & Solutions

Few Health Questions & Answers

Jog past the pain:

 Conditioning of muscles before exercise reduces pain.

Q: I want to exercise, but when I jog my leg starts paining. The pain disappears after taking some rest. I do not smoke or drink. What is wrong with me?

A: This is a typical case of shin splints. This occurs owing to the entrapment of the shin muscles under the non-yielding ligament near the ankle. Exercise makes the muscle expand and since it’s held down firmly, it hurts. As the expansion subsides with rest, the pain disappears. Conditioning of the muscles prior to exercise with warm ups and stretches prevents this. Also, if you persist with the exercise this pain will disappear. You have to jog past the pain….CLICK & SEE

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A rare problem

Q: I have congenital absence of nipples. What kind of problems may arise because of this?

A: The absence of nipples is clinically known as athelia. It’s a rare condition. Athelia may be associated with abnormalities in other areas like the chest muscles or fingers. It may also occur as a part of a generalised disorder called ectodermal dysplasia, which affects the skin. It can be associated with premature aging. The defect usually occurs in the sixth week of foetal development. The breasts may be small, underdeveloped or absent. It may also be associated with an absence of sweat glands, coupled with the inability to sweat and heat intolerance. The condition is not dangerous or life threatening. Surgical reconstruction can be done for cosmetic reasons.

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Gall stones

Q: I had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy two months back for a gallstone problem. The doctor told me that the gall bladder had been removed with multiple stones and advised me to eat a normal diet. Is it possible for the stones to form again? Some of my friends got stones after a year or two of being operated. Can I eat tomatoes? What type of diet should I have?

A: Once the gall bladder has been successfully removed you cannot develop gallstones again, as there is no gall bladder for the stones to form in. Perhaps your friends developed stones in the kidney the second time. Kidney stones can recur. You can eat tomatoes, but should cut down on oily food. Small frequent meals are best for you.

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Fungal infection

Q: I have itching in my groin area. After I scratch it becomes black and ugly. Please advise.

A: This is typically described as dhobis itch. It is a superficial fungal infection. It sets in as the groin area perspires and the sweat can’t evaporate because of tight synthetic pants. You should bathe twice a day with Neko soap. Wear a dhothi and no underclothes at night while sleeping. Apply a fungicidal ointment without steroids twice a day. This has to be continued for at least one and a half months.

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Healthy diet

Q: I have gout. What diet should I follow?

A: Avoid foods high in purines like livers, brains, kidneys and mackerel. Limit animal protein in your diet to not more than six ounces of lean meat, poultry or fish a day. Alcohol, especially binge drinking, should be avoided.

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Digestion trouble

Q: I am 20 years old. I have to go to the toilet twice before I leave for work. I also suffer from bloating. On having rich food, I have to go to the toilet more frequently. Please advise.

A: Many people have trouble in digesting rich food, wheat, pulses and milk products. Small quantities can be digested, but large amounts often overload the enzyme system in the intestines. Fermentation of these foods causes bloating, intestinal hurry, frequent visits to the toilet and discharge of foul smelling gas. Cut down on such food and you can also take enzyme capsules for better digestion. Exercise helps to regulate bowel habits. Aerobics, walking or running for 40 minutes a day will help. Do stomach crunches — about 20 a day. A well-toned abdomen prevents bloating and helps the intestines function efficiently.

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Lump in breast

Q: My wife had developed a lump in her left breast two years ago. We went to a doctor who wanted to poke it with a needle. We refused and went for homeopathic treatment. The lump is bigger now, but it does not pain. There is now another lump in her armpit. She is 42 years old. We do not have any children. What should we do now?

A: The doctor wanted to do a FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology). That is a non-invasive way of getting tissue to arrive at a pathological diagnosis. Breast lumps have to be taken seriously for all age groups but particularly so in older women. The lack of any pain is a sinister sign. You need to get the lump evaluated immediately by a surgeon. You need to follow the doctor’s advice. After all, doctors can only tell you the diagnosis and recommend a line of treatment. They can not always tell you what you want to hear.

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Dr Gita Mathai is a paediatrician with a family practice at Vellore. Questions on health issues may be emailed to her at

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)


Why do we stop growing after a certain stage?

When certain aquatic plants keep growing throughout their life, then why do we terrestrial animals stop growing? Well, a simple explanation is that that all animals, including humans, have evolved such that they stop growing at a size that balances energy efficiency and their competitive needs as they struggle to survive.

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In humans, genes determine the growth pattern and height that one attains. Growth is said to occur when cells called chondroblasts multiply, adding cartilage to the ends of bones. Cells called osteoblasts then deposit calcium and other minerals in the cartilage and turn it into new bone tissue. As the deposition of calcium and minerals goes on, bones become longer and you grow taller. Toward the end of puberty, your body produces lots of oestrogen and this inhibits chondroblast proliferation thus slowing down the addition of new cartilage to the ends of your bones. When all the cartilage in the active growth area is calcified, you stop growing.

The overproduction or underproduction of certain hormones (bio-chemicals released in our body) or the inability to respond to them can affect growth, making it above or below normal. Gigantism is caused by the overproduction of the pituitary growth hormone, whereas severe short stature is often caused by the body’s inability to respond to this and other growth hormones.

Another interesting theory to explain this issue is that terrestrial animals have to support their weight without any help. Therefore, we have been designed to stop growing to protect our bodies from becoming bigger than we can manage.

According to space researchers, if you travel into space, you will  grow irrespective of your age. Although the effect is temporary, you can actually grow by as much as eight centimetres while in orbit, they say. This is due to reduced gravitational force acting on your body. As a result, the spinal column stretches out a bit thus making one taller. This phenomenon is also visible when you are asleep. If you sleep horizontally, you will actually be a little taller in the morning since gravity is unable to compress your spinal column until you stand up.

Source:The Telegraph ,Kolkata(India)