Q: We have one child and do not want any more. I don’t like to use condoms, take hormones or have an IUD (intra uterine device) inserted. Can I use the I-pill regularly?
A: Emergency contraceptives actually contain higher doses of hormones than regular oral contraceptive pills. It is alright to take them occasionally, for contraceptive failure or rape. Regular usage as a method of contraception results in side effects such as bleeding, change of cycle dates, nausea, headache and breast tenderness. Eventually, despite emergency contraception, ovulation may occur resulting in pregnancy. If you don’t like any of the usual methods of contraception, you could try withdrawal, though that has a 60-70 per cent failure rate. Alternatively one of you could opt for a permanent method like sterilisation.
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Q: I love to crack my knuckles but someone told me that it causes arthritis. It has become a habit so I keep doing it!
A:Tiny air bubbles get trapped in the joint space and these burst producing the sounds. It does not cause arthritis. That is an old wives’ tale, probably propagooated by people who cannot bear the popping sound.
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Q: I get headaches once or twice a month. After checking my eyes, sinuses and doing a CT scan, the doctor said it is migraine.
A: Migraines are fairly typical and can be suspected clinically. Sometimes they start with a strange sensation or an aura like bright lights, which can last for up to an hour. The headache itself usually lasts for 4-72 hours and can end in vomiting. If you get the headaches only once or twice a month then you can take the medication that the doctor prescribed at the time of the headache. Some people need continuous maintenance treatment to prevent the headaches. In addition, lying down in a dark quiet room, applying hot and cold compresses to the forehead and temples and having a cup of coffee can help to reduce the intensity and duration of the headache.
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Q: I have bad breath and I am very conscious of it. I feel people move out of the way as I approach. I use mouthwash and floss regularly but it does not help.
A: You need to consult a dentist to see if you have cavities or gum disease. If this is not the case, bad breath can be a symptom of tonsillitis, sinusitis, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. Sometimes it is what you eat — such as garlic and other spices in your food — which contributes to the smell.
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Wash it off:-
Q: My scalp itches a great deal.
A:An itchy scalp may be due to dandruff, lice, seborrhic dermatitis, eczema or simply not washing your hair at least every other day. You need to show it to a dermatologist. Dandruff usually responds well to OTC shampoos. It is better to buy two different brands and alternate them.
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Q: I have ugly varicose veins in both my legs. What can I do?
A:Wear compression stockings during the day. When sleeping, elevate feet above the level of the heart. If the veins are cosmetically unappealing, or there are ulcers or clots, surgery, laser treatment or sclerotherapy can be considered. Walking and stretching regularly can prevent varicose veins from developing.
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Sources: The telegraph (Kolkata ,India)