Daily Health Tips: Appetite Loss…What Do I Do?

Q. Please Doctor, may I know what food to eat due to appetite loss?

A: Thanks for writing in. The first thing really, would be to find the cause of the loss of appetite. Some people experience this as a symptom of an underlying disease which can range from thyroid problems, infections to cancers. So, excluding all these is important.

Then what to do?
• Eat smaller and more frequent meals/snacks. Some people naturally, ‘freak out’ when they see a huge bowl of food…how much more someone trying to get back into the grove of food :D
• Limit your fluid intake when you eat and much as it breaks my heart to say so, do not fill up on too many veggies. They keep you full but provide few calories…which you need if your appetite loss is leading to weight loss.
• When you do feel hungry, don’t be shy…make up for lost time :D
• Go for visually appealing meals and easy to digest foods like pap (ogi), custard, puddings etc
• If weight loss is a real issue at this time, go for peanut butter spreads on bread, mayonnaise dressings, full cream milk, full fat yoghurt, fried foods etc.
• Exercise is also a great way to work up an appetite at this time.
• If you feel food is bland, try using some spices and experiment with different textures eg some crispy cereal or nuts sprinkled on oatmeal porridge.
• It may also be a good time to experiment with and discover new dishes. All of us are creatures of habit and most tend to stick to the same meals…forever! Switch things around and try something new.

In Nigeria, most people look to a multivitamin to help stimulate hunger…not sure where that teaching came from :D But you do need multivitamin supplementation if your loss of appetite is making you not eat sufficiently. Please let your doctor know if all the tips above do not significantly help so he can prescribe one while figuring out the cause of the loss of appetite.

You would have observed that I was silent on appetite stimulants (medications). They exist but also have side effects that can be a problem. So, please don’t go buying them off the shelf :D
Finally, remember that ‘loss of appetite’ for a few hours (most likely less than a day) is not sufficient excuse to go bingeing on all the high calorie-foods mentioned. Let’s not exchange one problem for another, people :D If in doubt, please see your doctor.

I hope this helps.

Have a good night, y’all :D

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Still On Diet….Who Said Anything About Eggs?

Q: Are eggs healthy to eat?

A: Over the years, we have heard many things about eggs…all of them bad! :D And really, no one is to blame for this because it was found that egg yolks contain a lot of cholesterol. Whaat?! The bad stuff that clogs up our blood?! And so, nobody wanted any part of it. However, recent studies have suggested that the amount of cholesterol in eggs plays a smaller role in increasing our total blood cholesterol than saturated fats present in cookies, pastries, cakes etc. In essence, this means that saturated fats in our cookies et al stand a better chance of increasing blood cholesterol than eggs. That is certainly cheery news.

However, I would say, that just like for seafood, which also has a high amount of cholesterol, if you have high cholesterol levels, it may be wise to limit your egg intake to occasional treats or speak with your doctor before embarking on a binge :D

Generally, one egg per day should be fine for other people.

Eggs are chock full of proteins, vitamins and minerals and have only 85 calories in one. So this is a great idea for people watching their weight to have for breakfast as they also feel full for a longer period. However, it may be a wise idea to switch this up on different days of the week and ensure that we also have fibre at breakfast (like oats) to increase our intake of fibre which helps reduce blood cholesterol. Another option is a boiled egg on a piece of whole wheat toast.

Be sure that your eggs are well cooked. In fact, pregnant women, children, old people and generally, people who are unwell should have eggs that have their yolks and egg whites solid….after cooking, of course ;) Also, store the eggs in their boxes in the fridge and be sure to finish egg dishes as soon as possible.

Have an egg-celent day :D

Q: What about hides and skin (Ponmo)? Nutritious or not?

Q: Please what about eating Ponmo (skin) instead of the red meat?

A: I will start by saying that I know that we all love our ponmo and the delicious succulent texture it has in our mouths, when it has been well boiled and seasoned! It literally melts in your mouth! There’s just nothing like it! Should I be eating it though?

For the details of these diet tips and more, get a copy of the book, Just For The Health Of It.

1) Jumia.com. Just click on this link http://www.jumia.com.ng/jumia-books-just-for-the-health-of-it-with-dr-ketch-179486.html and get a copy. You have the option of paying when the book is delivered to you or paying online. This service is available all over Nigeria.

2) Another option for those in Lagos is Laterna Bookshop on 13, Oko-Awo Close, Off Adetokunbo Ademola Street,. Victoria Island.

3) If you’re outside the country, please visit Amazon through this link http://www.amazon.com/Just-Health-Ketch-Pregnancy-Parenting/dp/9789398026/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426246647&sr=1-1&keywords=just+for+the+health+of+it+with+dr+ketch+olalere+nkechi

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Daily Health Tips: It’s World Malaria Day

When was the last time you fumigated your home???
I remember the last time an estate-wide fumigation was done where I live. Some very harsh, very aggressive chemical was used and most children in the estate ended up with rashes, itching and pain! And that ended it. To your tents, Oh Israel. Everyone decided to start sourcing their own fumigation vendors themselves. So, be careful who you use for your fumigation and enquire what chemicals they will use :)

And so, it is yet another World Malaria Day! Did you just hide a giggle? Well, if you did, you’re not alone. Most people can’t understand why days are ‘dedicated’ to diseases…that’s just morbid, right? Well, maybe not! Let’s reel out some stats to make it real. Did you know that :

Federal Ministry Of Health in Nigeria estimates that malaria is responsible for
60% of outpatient visits to hospitals.
30% of deaths in childhood
25% of deaths in children under 1 year
11% of maternal deaths
Malaria is responsible for
Work and school absences
Low productivity
Poverty

Have you ever thought about it in that sense…the fact that people actually get poor from constantly treating malaria?! It is a fact, especially in resource-poor countries like Nigeria. Human Resource Managers will easily attest to the fact that work absences and low productivity are mainly due to malaria. And so, we’ve got a problem.

In recent years a lot of efforts have been focused on ensuring that proper diagnosis and treatment of malaria is done. That’s for the medics. But how do you join the fight? Let’s give you some tips:

I’m sure you know about insecticide –treated nets…and probably still don’t use them because of the heat :D Well, if you have nets on your windows too and have a good fan (praying that you’ve got electricity to power it), it is not really so bad. Some people react to the chemicals in the insecticide and so for these ones you may want to air the net outside for a couple of days before you start use. To encourage your children to use them, you could work it into the décor of the room and make them look like nice, funky four poster beds!

Be sure to fumigate your house to rid them of mosquitoes and other creepy crawlies. Ensure the vendor tells you what chemicals will be used, how long you need to be away and whether it’s compatible with artwork etc. Cover up foodstuff and take off beddings etc. and then do a major clean up afterwards.
Did you know that the buckets of water used to store water in areas where pipe-borne water is not constant, can be a huge source of mosquitoes? Have you observed them rising from these buckets of water when you approach in the evening? If you have to store water, get covers for them and ensure they are closed all the time.

Did you know that if your bathroom drain is blocked, apart from the fact that it’s unhygienic, the water there also acts as a comfortable home for mosquitoes? So, ensure that your drains are free-flowing with no stagnant water. Keeping it smelling nice and fresh is also a good touch ;D

Did you know that your flower pots with lots of water also serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes? The water used on the flowers should be completely absorbed by the soil with none left on top. Watch out for lazy helps who want to do a month’s watering in a day :D

Did you know that the unwashed drains and gutters outside, bushy lawns, potholes and broken concrete slabs serve as lovely homes for mosquitoes? So, irrespective of the outcome of the of the outcome of the suit as to whether environmental sanitation days are legal or not (for Lagosians), y’all be sure to clean up your environment often.

Did you know that in pregnancy, you should receive, at least, 3 malaria preventive treatments before delivery? Did you know that malaria in pregnancy can lead to low birth weight and increases the risk of death in the baby within the first 4 weeks of life?

For more on this, please click on these links http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/04/25/daily-hesalth-tips-world-malaria-day/ and http://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/03/30/daily-health-tips-is-it-safe-for-me-to-take-fansidar-in-pregnancy/

Be sure to join the fight to eliminate malaria from the world.

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Hygiene Tips Proudly Brought To You By Safeguard.

Hygiene during menstruation

Have you ever had that moment when you happen to catch a whiff of yourself during your period and almost throw up? You’re not alone. It is interesting though that the blood in menstrual flow actually doesn’t smell bad. It is the bacteria in the menstrual flow that actually raise the stench. So how do you deal with this? Here are five top tips to maintain personal hygiene and smell fresh during your period.

• Take a bath regularly. Twice a day would be great or failing that at least once a day. If your flow is heavier than normal, you just may have to increase the frequency. Remember that to wash your delicate inner self where you’re bleeding from, you usually do not require more than water and your hands.

• Change your sanitary towels often. As soon as you notice they are significantly stained, please change them. This should be every 4-6 hours.

• Deodorize. Carry a spare pack of deodorant and use that liberally whenever you have a pad change. Be sure not to attempt to smell like you soaked yourself in a bottle of perfume. It might also be a pointer that perhaps you’ve got something to hide.

• Scrub your hands thoroughly after a pad change. Observe all the rules of proper hand washing. This ensures that you get rid of all the bacteria and may have got on your hands and ensures that you keep the odour level down.

• Dispose of your sanitary towels properly. Do not flush them down the drain and if there is no trash can in the bathroom you are using to dispose of it, have a disposable ziplock bag to put it in and dispose it appropriately as soon as you can. Make sure that this is kept in a zipped up compartment of your bag.

Be confident and enjoy having your period. Remember that you can smell your genitals oftentimes because they are well, practically south of your nose…it doesn’t necessarily mean other people can smell them provided you’re obeying the rules of simple hygiene. And be sure to use an air freshener in the bathroom where you just changed. We don’t want to leave any tell-tale signs or smells now, do we?

For more hygiene info, please visit https://www.facebook.com/SafeguardNG

I hope y’all have had a great day? :D

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Daily Health Tips: Matters Arising From Irele (Ondo State)…Methanol Poisoning

Ever since the Irele, Ondo State incident, I’ve been planning to write a post on methanol poisoning which was found to be the eventual cause of the mysterious deaths.

How does methanol poisoning happen? What’s methanol? How does someone even come across it? Well, methanol is a natural product of the fermentation of grapes or grains to make alcohol. However, when this fermentation is done commercially, every effort is made to significantly reduce the methanol in the alcohol leaving just the ethanol (the normal alcohol found in alcoholic drinks like beer, spirits and wine). The home brewed versions of this drink, however, don’t get the same care and attention and it is really difficult to ensure that the methanol concentration is reduced while not necessarily affecting the ethanol; so it is very possible to have high concentrations of methanol in some of these drinks. Methanol is also found in fuel additives, thinner or paint remover etc

Why is methanol such a ‘bad’ thing? Well, that’s because when taken one doesn’t even have an idea they are taking something that might literally be their last drink. You certainly can’t see it (as distinct from the ethanol) cannot smell or even taste it. So, if you avoid local brews (ogogoro, akpuru-achia, kparaga, shekpe, Sapele water), theoretically, you should be safe even though these drinks are cheap. The problem, however, is the fact that these local brews have sometimes been passed off to unsuspecting customers as the real deal and so, even when some unsuspecting people had thought they were getting the real thing, they were getting Ogogoro :D This happens more commonly in developing countries amongst members of the lower socio-economic class.

That methanol poisoning can lead to death within 24 hours is not news…we all heard what happened in Irele, Ondo State. What symptoms are experienced before this? There is difficulty with breathing, blurred vision and blindness, convulsion, dizziness, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting etc If this poisoning is suspected, please do not make the patient vomit. How does one suspect that this is the problem? Well, most people who drink have an idea what a hangover feels like. If one feels different from a regular hangover after taking alcohol, then this may very well be a plausible problem and the person should see a doctor as soon as possible. The earlier treatment is started, the better.

Treatment is focused on reversing the effect of the methanol (using ethanol or another antidote called Fomepizole), treating symptoms, using a tube to wash out the stomach, supporting breathing etc.

So, as we approach a weekend with lots of parties and owambes, be sure of what you’re drinking! Be careful, y’all and stay safe :D

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Daily Health Tips: Why Do I Have Heart Burn After Eating Chocolates?

What fruits are good for you? Well, citrus fruits like lemons, limes etc can worsen ulcer symptoms. Fruits with low citric acid levels may be okay eg bananas and avocadoes. Start off small and see if that works for you.

In terms of drinks, water would be your best bet :D By the way, I mean plain water, not the flavoured variety ;) If you must, you have to read labels and avoid drinks with citric acid (a lot of drinks have them), avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks etc.
Your diet should really focus on foods with a lot of fibre and less refinement. That list would include veggies, complex carbs, healthy oils and lots of water.

For more information on heart burn and peptic ulcer, please click on the links below:

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/03/04/daily-health-tips-what-foods-should-i-avoid-if-i-have-peptic-ulcer/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/04/24/daily-health-tips-why-do-i-always-have-heart-burn/

Have a good night, people :D

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Daily Health Tips: Chest Pain And Self-Medication

Q. Hello Dr. My question is when I eat I feel like something is hooking me in my chest. A week ago I suffered chest pain but I used tetracycline and Amoxicilin together with Gestid. For now I am feeling okay but it’s only the hooking in my chest. Ii need help on that.

A: Thanks for writing in. As every regular visitor to this page is aware, I always advice that chest pain be checked out in the hospital. Better safe than sorry. It could be nothing (perhaps just muscle pain) or perhaps an anxiety attack or it could be a heart attack!

Your question didn’t give much details. Who prescribed the antibiotics? For how long and at what does did you take them? Do you experience shortness of breath? Did you get any relief with the antacid you took? If you did, it may be related to acid reflux as can happen to people with GERD or even peptic ulcer. In both an acid reflux and a heart-related event, the pain appears to be behind the breast bone. Do you feel better when you change positions? Muscle pain and acid reflux may get better if you change positions but not a heart related ache.

So, as you can see, more questions than answers. Please go and see your doctor immediately.

I must address the issue of antibiotic abuse. If you prescribed this for yourself, I worry that you may not have taken the appropriate dose and for the right number of days. I’ve heard people say things like, I took a capsule in the morning and then in the evening and I was fine! This is wrong and indeed leads to antibiotic resistance such that when there is an actual infection needing these same antibiotics, they just don’t work.

For more on how not to be a pocket doctor and antibiotic abuse, please click on these links:

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/03/03/daily-health-tips-are-you-a-pocket-doctor/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/04/03/daily-health-tips-how-do-i-cleanse-my-kidneys/

Have a good night, people :D

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