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Q: I read that belly fat is dangerous. I have a potbelly. What can I do to lose it?
A: Belly fat is dangerous because it is associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. It is not possible to lose just belly fat.
You need to reduce your intake of calories, (eat 75 per cent of what you are eating now), reduce carbohydrate and increase the fruit and vegetable content of your diet. You also need to exercise — jog, run, walk or swim for at least 40 minutes, five to six days a week. Also, women need to ensure that their waists are smaller less than 35 inches and men less than 40 inches.
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Q: I go for a 40-minute walk every morning, but I feel exhausted at the end of it.
A: Your body probably needs some fuel before your walk, but not a full meal. Eat a banana a half hour before you leave the house. It will provide calories, which are released slowly during the exercise. It also contains potassium and other nutrients that will help with the fatigue.
RED IS DANGER:-
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Q: I am 65 years old. I had a hysterectomy around 15 years ago. Last night, I saw blood in my urine. There is no fever or pain.
A: Painless haematuria (blood in the urine) is a sinister symptom at your age. Most of the harmless causes like stones or infection cause pain and/or fever. Do a routine urine analysis to make sure it really is blood and not some dye you ingested
in the food or vegetables like beetroot. If there is blood then please consult a urologist for further treatment.
REST A WHILE:-
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Q: I got up awkwardly and my knee started to pain. There is no obvious swelling.
A: Rest the knee for two or three days, apply ice packs for 10 minutes every 3-4 hours, bandage the knee with an elastocrepe bandage, and take a paracetemol (500 mg) if the pain is severe. If it is not better after two days, you need to consult an orthopaedic surgeon to see if there is anything seriously wrong with your knee.
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Q: I am on medication for epilepsy and want to stop to become pregnant.
A: If you stop treatment, you might have a seizure while pregnant. This can adversely affect the baby. If you are worried about congenital malformations, the statistics are reassuring. In the general population, the risk for congenital malformations is 2-4 per cent. With anti-epileptic medication the risk is marginally higher, 4-6 per cent. Work closely with your obstetrician and neurologist and follow their advice.
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Q: My right eye twitches and I am unable to control it. This happens several times during the day. Is it dangerous?
A: This involuntary twitching is usually harmless and will eventually stop by itself. It may be caused by fatigue, stress or excessive caffeine. Rarely, it may be due to inflammation of the eyelids, light sensitivity or conjunctivitis. If it lasts more than two weeks, consult an ophthalmologist.
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Q: My teeth are stained light brown. What do I do?
A: All kinds of things can stain the teeth — tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, fruits like pomegranate, betel leaf (pan) and tobacco. You could try brushing your teeth twice a day and rinsing out your mouth thoroughly after eating.
Resources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)