Mum’s milk, please :-
Q: I had a caesarian for my first pregnancy. I plan such a delivery for my current pregnancy too. Last time I was unable to breast-feed the baby. I do not want that to happen again.
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A: If you are committed to breast-feeding, you will surely succeed. It does, however, take a little longer for the milk flow to become established after a caesarian. Ask for the baby and hold him or her as soon as possible after birth. Establish skin-to-skin contact and give the baby a chance to nuzzle at your breast. Try to breast-feed early and often. Take only non-sedating painkillers for the postoperative pain, because if you are drowsy you will not be able to hold the baby properly.
Q: My 12-year-old son develops a blank stare and then starts to attack everyone around, beating and biting. Later he seems to have no recollection of what happened.
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A: Your son may be having seizures (epilepsy). Unfortunately, people associate seizures with violent movements of all four limbs and loss of consciousness. This is not the case. Seizures may take many forms and manifest themselves as repetitive, incomprehensible, unrecollected actions. Consult a neurologist who may advise an EEG to record the electrical signals from the brain. Seizures can be treated and controlled with proper medication.
Nodes in neck :-
Q: I developed swellings on the right side of my neck around two years ago. It was diagnosed as tuberculosis (TB). I underwent treatment as prescribed for four months. The swellings have reappeared. They are not painful. I am scared it might be cancer.
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A: TB is very common in India. Any part of the body can be affected. The nodes in the neck are frequently infected. The diagnosis is made with fine needle aspiration cytology, by taking a little fluid from the swelling with a syringe. The appearance of TB is fairly typical and very different from cancer. The infection usually requires short-term intensive chemotherapy for six months. In the first two months isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol or streptomycin is given, followed by isoniazid and rifampicin for the next four months. The rifamicin has to be taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Not a single dose of medication can be missed. Some patients need to have the nodes removed surgically despite adequate medication. Also, you seem to have taken the medication only for four months instead of six. That may explain the recurrence.
Pain in scrotum :-
Q: I am 25 years old. I have pain in my scrotum on one side. I went to the doctor and he said it is “epididymitis”. He also asked a lot of questions about my sex life. Since I am not married I was embarrassed and did not go back.
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A: Epididymitis is common in young men between 20 and 40. It is caused by bacterial infections, TB or STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). It can occur after a urinary tract infection. That is the reason for the queries on your sex life. Depending on your answers, he needs to make a selection of antibiotics for treatment. The important thing is to take the entire course of antibiotic in the dosage prescribed.
Fit but fat :-
Q: I am very fit but everyone says I am fat. My weight is 88 kg. My height is 1.54m.
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A: Weight divided by height in metre squared should ideally be 23. Yours seems to be around 37. Though you may be fit and energetic, technically, you are obese. Unless you lose the extra weight, you are in danger of eventually developing other illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
Loosing weight is an uphill task. The important thing is persistence. You need to have a negative calorific balance to lose weight. Eat a diet of 1,500 calories. Exercise by walking for two hours a day. Do some yoga and other core strengthening exercises. This way, you will lose around 700 calories a day. To lose 1 kilo, you need a negative balance of 7,000 calories.
Anal fissure :-
Q: I developed recurrent painful swellings near my anal opening. They burst and now discharge pus. The doctor said it is a fissure and that I need surgery. Please advise.
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A: Fissures tend to recur because the drainage of the pus from the initial lesion is never complete unless the entire area is laid open surgically. Medicines (allopathy or homeopathy) will not cure the problem. Until a date is fixed for surgery, take sitz baths morning and evening. Make sure you are not constipated — eat four to five helpings of fruit and vegetables every day. Also take isabgol husk — two teaspoons dissolved in a glass of water — every night.
Source: Tne Telegraph (Kolkata, India)