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Health Problems & Solutions

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Help, I’m claustrophobic
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Q: I am a 53-year-old man with no illnesses. I have been suffering from claustrophobia for a long time. I cannot ride an elevator, travel in tube rail, enter a tunnel or sit in a confined space. I cannot bear to have the window closed. My office is air-conditioned, because of which I took voluntary retirement. I feel miserable. Is there any remedy?

A: Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder which produces an intense and irrational fear of enclosed spaces. It is common, affecting 3 to 5 per cent of the population. A person suffering from claustrophobia may panic when inside an elevator, an aeroplane, a crowded room or any other confined area. Once a person has experienced a number of panic attacks, he or she becomes increasingly afraid of experiencing another. Such people start to avoid situations that may bring on the attack. However, any coping technique that relies solely on avoiding these situations can only make the phobia worse. It is also not feasible. Anticipation of confinement intensifies the feelings of anxiety and fear. Psychological methods are used for the treatment of claustrophobia. Sometimes medications are also needed. Successful treatment requires six to eight weeks.

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Planning a baby

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He refuses to eat

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Q: Our son is 18 months old and does not eat any of the baby foods like Ceralac and Farex. We even imported some ready-to-eat Heinz products but he does not like them either. Please help.

A: It is better to put the child on a normal diet and have him sit with the rest of the family for meals. You may need to reduce the amount of spices in the food so that he can also enjoy it. Allow him to try and eat on his own, while you break the food into small pieces and feed him with a spoon from the side. Cut the milk intake to 400 ml a day. Do not top up meals with milk, or else he will get the idea that he does not need to make an effort to chew solid food. Many children do not like the synthetic taste of precooked weaning foods. Try tasting it. You may not like it either.

I have emphysema

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Q: I smoke around 30 cigarettes a day. A few days ago, I had great difficulty in breathing and the doctor says I have “emphysema”. What can I do?

A: Emphysema is a chronic disease of the lung that causes shortness of breath. It occurs when the lung tissues necessary to support the physical shape and function of the lung are destroyed. Treatment for emphysema depends on the severity of the ailment.

In your case the damage seems to have occurred because of cigarettes. Immediately stop smoking (and not reduce the number of cigarettes). It is difficult to quit “cold turkey” but you do not really have an alternative. Medications can be used to improve the functioning of the lung by opening up the passages. These are best given by inhalation, either by using inhalers with a spacer or by home nebulisation with a machine. Bronchodilating tablets may also be required. If the blood oxygenation is not satisfactory, oxygen may have to be given. Antibiotics need to be taken only if there is an infection.

Heel pain

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Q: I have terrible pain if I rest my heel on the ground. An X-ray showed a “calcaneal spur”. The doctor has recommended surgery, but I do not want it.

A: No one knows why a heel or calcaneal spur occurs. Excessive friction on that part of the bone seems to result in such a condition. It is more likely to occur in athletes, especially if they do not stretch before and after activity, and overweight people.

Soft cushioned footwear supports the foot and reduces the pain. Regular physiotherapy usually helps. If the pain is unbearable and persists even at rest, injections of corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory medications into the affected area can be tried. Surgery should be considered a last resort.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

 

 

Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Anxiety Disorders

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Temporary feelings of nervousness or worry is stressful situations are natural and appropriate. however, when anxiety becomes a general, response to many ordinary situations and causes problems in coping with normal, everyday life, it is diagnosed as a disorder.

Anxiety disorders occur in a number of different forms. The most common is generalized anxiety disorder or persistent anxiety state, characterized by excessive and persistent anxiety that is difficult to control. Another type of anxiety disorder is panic disorder, in which there are recurrent panic attacks of intense anxiety and alarming physical symptoms. these attacks occur unpredictably and usually have no obvious cause. panic attacks may also feature in generalized anxiety disorder. In another type of anxiety disorder known as phobia, severe anxiety is provoked by an irrational fear of a situation, creature, or object.

Generalized anxiety disorder affects about 1 in 25 people in any one year in the us. The condition usually begins in middle age, and women are more commonly affected than men. sometimes anxiety disorders exist alongside other mental health disorders, such as depression or schizophrenia.

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What are the causes?
An increased susceptibility to anxiety disorder may be inherited or may be due to experiences in childhood. for example, poor bonding between a parent and child and abrupt separation of a child from a parent have been shown to play a part in some anxiety disorders. Generalized anxiety disorder may develop after a stressful life event, such as the death of a close relative. however, frequently the anxiety has no particular cause. Similarly, panic disorder often develops for no obvious reason.

What are the symptoms?
People with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder experience both psychological and physical symptoms. However, in generalized anxiety disorder, the psychological symptoms tend to be persistent while physical symptoms are intermittent. In panic, attacks, both psychological and physical symptoms come on together suddenly and unpredictably. The psychological symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:

· A sense of foreboding with no obvious reason or cause.
· Being on edge and unable to relax.
· Impaired concentration.
· Repetitive worrying thoughts.
· Disturbed sleep and sometimes nightmares.

In addition, you may have symptoms of depression, such as early waking, or a general sense of hopelessness. Physical symptoms of the disorder, which occur intermittently, include:

· Headache.
· Abdominal cramps, sometimes with diarrhea and vomiting.
· Frequent urination.
· Sweating, flushing and tremor.
· A feeling of something being stuck in the throat.

Psychological and physical symptoms of panic attacks include the following:

· Shortness of breath.
· Sweating, trembling and nausea.
· Palpitations.
· Dizziness and fainting.
· Fear of choking or that death may be imminent.
· A sense of unreality and fears about loss of sanity.

Many of these symptoms can be misinterpreted as signs of a serious physical illness, and this may increase your level of anxiety. Overtime, fear of having a panic attack in public may lead you to avoid situations such as eating out in restaurants or being in crowds.

What might be done?
You may be able to find your own ways of reducing anxiety levels, including relaxation exercises. if you are unable to deal with or identify a specific cause for your anxiety, you should consult your doctor. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after a first panic attack to prevent repeated attacks. There are several measures you can try to help control a panic attack, such as breathing into a bag. For any anxiety disorder, your doctor may suggest counseling to help you manage stress. You may also be offered cognitive therapy or behavior therapy to help you control anxiety. A self-help group may also be useful.

If you are coping with a particularly stressful period in your life or a difficult event, your doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine, but these drugs are usually prescribed for only a short period of time because there is a danger of dependence. You may be prescribed beta-blocker drugs to treat the physical symptoms of anxiety. If you have symptoms of depression, you may be given antidepressant drugs, some of which are also useful in treating panic attacks.

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In most cases, the earlier that anxiety disorders are treated, the quicker their effects can be reduced. Without treatment, an anxiety disorder may develop into a life-long condition.

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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Resources:

http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=24

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