Daily Health Tips: Teething And Constipation

Q: Evening Dr. Please I want you to tell me what to do. My baby is five months and three weeks and two of her teeth are coming out but the problem is she has not been defecating very well since the upcoming of the teeth. What should I do, Doctor. I am scared and she was eating very well                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A: Babies start teething at different times. On the average, most children start teething at 6 months. Some start earlier than 4 months (as early as 2 months) and some others may wait up to a year or even after, to start the journey. Some children are even born with one or two teeth. These are called natal teeth. Some children also develop their own teeth within the first four weeks of life. These are called neonatal teeth. Natal and neonatal teeth can cause problems with feeding and may even be swallowed. The pediatric dentist will decide whether to remove them or leave them alone based on factors like whether the teeth are loose, excess etc. So, your child is well within the expected time to develop teeth.

Now as to not defecating….you didn’t note whether your baby is being exclusively breastfed or not. If your baby is exclusively breast fed (as he should be from birth to 6 months of age), the baby can sometimes go days without defecation and is due to the fact that practically all the nutrients in breast milk are completely absorbed during each feed, such that there is little or nothing to excrete. However, it is expected that when baby does poop, the faeces should still be soft in consistency as opposed to hard, dry, pellet-like stool as occurs in constipation. If the stool is hard with exclusive breast feeding (?), please visit your baby’s pediatrician.

Formula fed babies, on the other hand, suffer from constipation because it is more difficult for a baby to digest formula than breast milk.

If your baby is dehydrated, perhaps from not taking enough fluids as may occur if she has a cold and is refusing feeds due to difficulty with breathing when feeding, ‘constipation’ may also occur. Other causes include food allergies and/or introduction of complementary fees as the body learns to handle these foods.

If your baby is on exclusive breast-feeding, passing out dry, hard stools is unlikely. For formula feeds, try to give your baby more water and be sure that you are adding the right amount of formula to make the baby’s meals. If this continues, please see your baby’s doctor.

Have a great weekend, everyone 😀


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Leverage your strengths for a more positive life – Harvard Health

Ever thought of a footballer’s life? He gets paid doing something he loves…something he could very well do for free! That’s his strength…his amazing ability to play soccer. What is your strength? Find it, leverage it and live/work more positively.

Read more here: http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/leverage-your-strengths-for-a-more-positive-life

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Daily Health Tips: How Do I Clean My Dirty System In Pregnancy?

Q: Good evening Dr. I really need your help. I’m six weeks pregnant and my system or rather stomach is so dirty in our language we call it (nyoko). So I’m struggling I feel like throwing up every day and nothing comes out. My lips gets dry I feel disgusted at everything I can even stomach anything unless if it’s chilly and the disadvantage is I get heart burns. PLEASE HELP ME WHAT MUST I TAKE TO CLEAN MY STOMACH WITHOUT DISTURBING THE PREGNANCY. I CAN’T KEEP SPITTING SALIVA OUT ALL DAY. MY STOMACH IS DIRTY PLEASE HELP .I CONSULTED BUT THE DR DOESN’T WONNA PRESCRIBE ANYTHING FOR ME. PLEEEEEEEEEAAAASSSEEEE HELP ME


A: Hello, thanks for writing in. I had responded to this question a couple of weeks ago but because I wondered how many people believe this ‘nyoko’ thing, I will repost.


Please understand that pregnancy comes with various symptoms, typical of which is throwing up or feeling that you want to throw up. Your heart burn is due to the hormones of pregnancy and your lips are dry, probably because you are not taking enough fluids.


Please see below, normal symptoms of pregnancy and the red flags (symptoms that should make you show up in the hospital immediately).


Breast tenderness: this is inevitable as your breast ducts prepare for the job of lactation. Bra sizes could go up from 1 to several sizes up. Be sure to get a good support bra and keep going up sizes as your breast size increases. This will help reduce sagging.


Discharge: A thin milky discharge is normal during pregnancy. But if this becomes yellow, greenish or foul smelling, please see your doctor.


Heart burn and Constipation: These happen due to one of the hormones produced during pregnancy. The antenatal vitamins also play a part in worsening constipation J


Frequency of urination: As the baby grows in the uterus, it presses on the bladder making you feel like urinating more often.


Tiredness: As your body works overtime to support a growing life inside you, you would feel exhausted.


Food cravings and aversions: Well, I certainly had loads of aversions with my first pregnancy. I can’t remember any cravings as I couldn’t get any food to stay down. However, some people develop a craving for the oddest, craziest foods when pregnant. Go easy on eating for two though…the healthy living dictum of eating loads of fruits/vegetables and low calories does not change during pregnancy. The more you gorge or give in to the food cravings, the more work you have to do to get it off after the baby. However, if you find yourself craving things like clay, sand etc, please see your doctor as it could be a sign of iron deficiency anaemia.


Morning sickness/nausea: This is due to the hormones of pregnancy (again!). This may be mild or so severe that the person actually gets hospitalised. If your nausea is severe, please see your doctor. But generally, you can help push this back by eating some bland food especially in the mornings when it is worse like crackers or cheese.


So, as you can see, most of the symptoms you have complained about can be explained away by pregnancy! J


Now for the red flags…these have to be heard and checked out by your obstetrician immediately:

Significant bleeding. If you’re not sure what is significant and what’s not, please see your doctor all the same. Better safe than sorry.

Severe abdominal pain: This could be a sign of a threatened miscarriage

Severe nausea/vomiting: This could lead to dehydration which could affect the baby adversely

Severe dizziness

Too little weight gain or too much weight gain: Try to keep weight gain between 11 to 15kg during the pregnancy. Your doctor could have recommended more or less depending on your pre-pregnancy state.

Pain or burning sensation when urinating: This could be a urinary tract infection. It needs to be dealt with.

Vaginal discharge: Foul smelling, yellow or greenish colour could indicate an infection and could affect your baby.

High fever: This could signify an infection.


As for what you can do about the morning sickness, here’s a post I had done on this recently.


The standard teaching is to try eating some bland foods like Crackers biscuits or dry toast. That personally didn’t work for me. I preferred tart things…which some may want to avoid. I loved lemons during my pregnancies. They were the one thing guaranteed to ‘wake up’ my mouth and chase nausea far away. I also had a particular brand of very tart bubble gum, I indulged in 😀 These were key for me because, though I didn’t have the real bad case of morning sickness that sent you to the hospital, brushing my teeth in the morning always sent me into a bout of retching/vomiting. So, I always had a ready supply of the gum or lemon/lime to pop into my mouth once I was done brushing/retching! Not a very pleasant memory ;D

So, if lemons work for you to prevent nausea, go for it. Remember that moderation is key. A few drops (one or two) in a glass of water are enough to provide that tart kick that sends nausea far away. There is a catch here though…remember the heart burn associated with pregnancy. The acid content of lemon might make the heart burn and any pre-existing gastro-esophageal (stomach and esophagus/gullet) problems worse. So, this is all the more reason to be very moderate or stop if it exacerbates an already bad case of heartburn. Wherever and whenever in doubt, please be sure to see your doctor.

Other tips:
• Eat little amounts of food frequently as an empty tummy increases the likelihood of throwing up. Remember this is not an excuse to binge and over eat 😀
• Avoid fatty and greasy foods.
• Avoid smells that trigger nausea
• Cold foods may be preferable to hot as the former does not give off smells that may cause you to feel queasy.
• Get loads of fresh air and rest
• And drink sufficient fluids daily

So, kindly do not clean out your stomach not now or in the future. With your pregnancy, please see your doctor if you have any concern(s). When you have your baby, the same rules apply. For my thoughts on a related topic, please click on the link below:



Have a good night, everyone J


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Daily Health Tips: Don’t Judge The Depressed!

A few weeks ago, I was at the bank to pick up my debit (ATM) card. The ladies who handed it over to me told me I didn’t need to change my PIN and I could go ahead and use it immediately. I took their advice and returned to the supermarket where I was before I realized I didn’t have cash and had an expired card (that’s story for another day). Long story short, I got there, couldn’t use the card as transaction was declined several times. The Contact Center asked me to visit any of the bank ATM points and change my PIN. I got to one, joined a long queue and when eventually it got to my turn, I was told I had tried a wrong PIN the maximum number of times for one day! Can you beat that?

I nicely turned away and started walking towards my car, planning what I was going to say to the poor customer care executive that would pick my call. Before I could take the first few steps, a ‘gentleman’ called up to me and told me, ‘Madam, that’s not the way! You gave up too quickly. You should have tried again. ‘They’ asked you a question and instead of you to answer the ‘machine’ you got angry and left.’ See my life! There was I minding my business and trying to contain my anger with my bank and there was someone offering advice on a matter he didn’t know anything about. First of all, he must have been paying an unhealthy ‘close’ attention to my transaction and secondly, ‘what is his business?’ I actually stopped to ask him how he was so sure of what he was saying and he told me, ‘because I was watching you!’. My dears, I just turned and walked away. I just felt, I didn’t have the energy to add him to my list of issues for that day.


I got into my car and decided to call the Contact Center before leaving. Perhaps, they could come up with a miracle that would enable me still get cash from the ATM. In the middle of waiting for that call to be picked up, that ‘gentleman’ finished his business at the ATM and then made a beeline to my car, gestured for me to wind down. I still cannot understand what sort of jazz the guy used on me, because I actually wound down my window and then proceeded to listen to him lecturing me about what buttons to press in response to ATM prompts! Did I have moron written on my forehead?! When I’d had enough, I motioned for him to kindly go and lecture another poor soul!


Why am I whining about this now? It’s been weeks! I’m whining about it in the light of the event that happened a few days ago. A fellow Nigerian like you and I, for whatever reason took his life…and as is usual with us, we have taken on the role of judge and jury. We speak to matters we do not know, do not understand and have no inkling as to how they came to be. We talk authoritatively about these matters and don’t care to ask questions about whether our opinions are predicated on facts or fallacy. I didn’t see much sympathy or understanding from people. The first set of comments I saw pointed to the fact that his wife must have been ‘something’. It turns out the gentleman was not married! Then, there were insinuations that he must have been the quiet type, not sharing his thoughts with other people. It turns out the guy was not necessarily introverted. I haven’t seen the next set of theories!

Guys, let’s get this…mental health problems exist. They affect the seemingly normal and the not so normal. Being classified as one of the happiest people on earth does not make us immune the effects of depression and it certainly does not give us the right to judge people who are depressed, going through stuff or just going through life! Actually, it just doesn’t give you the right to judge and assume…like the gentleman that was giving me lectures without knowing nor understanding what my real problem was…not that it was his business, anyways!


And now, a refresher course on depression….

Depression is a mood disorder that is beyond the ordinary ups and downs experienced daily. It is a serious health concern. Some people have described depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. Can you imagine how that feels? Surprisingly though, some depressed people actually don’t feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic; men are more likely to feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
Do you wonder how people get to this ‘black hole’ of depression? Here are some issues that can lead to depression:

  •  Conflict. The presence of conflict in any area of our lives could lead to depression,.
    •    Death or a loss of a loved one, naturally leads to grief and sadness. This however, increase the risk of depression.
    •    Genetics. Studies have not been able to conclusively show how this contributes to the disease, but a family history of depression may increase the risk.
    •    Major events. I’m sure we can all understand how losing a job or income, getting divorced, or retiring would lead to depression. But what do say when the opposite is the same? You would think that events like starting a new job, graduating, or getting married would make you excited and raring to go, yes? On the contrary, it could lead to depression.
    •    Other personal problems can lead to depression and they include, the feeling of social isolation for whatever reason

Depressed people usually lose interest in daily activities. They have no interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. This person clearly loses the ability to feel joy and pleasure.

There is a bleak outlook on life. It appears that everything is bad, getting worse and will never get better. There is an increasing feeling of helplessness and hopelessness

There is a change in weight or appetite. This could be in either direction as a result of differing effects in people: it could lead to increased appetite and subsequent weight gain in some and reduction in appetite and subsequent weight loss in others.

Depression again affects different people differently here and thus could lead to inability to sleep or over-sleeping.

Tolerance level of depressed people is usually low and so they tend to snap at little issues, feel irritable, restless, angry and oftentimes, violent.

Unfortunately, it may not always be possible to prevent depression. But some strategies may be helpful.
•    Know your personal risk of depression. If you have a family history, you are more at risk.
•    Develop a strong social and spiritual support system. Join activities in clubs, churches, art centers etc.
•    Exercise regularly and reduce your stress. If the latter is not readily viable, improve on your stress coping mechanisms.
•    Get treatment for alcohol and drug abuse if this is a problem for you.
•    Eat healthy and get the necessary amount of sleep daily (7 – 8 hours)

  • Please see your doctor as soon as possible. There are medications for depression, depending on the findings of your doctor. Don’t be embarrassed to seek help.

If you do not have this problem but observe a friend going through this, please help. Provide a listening ear, do not be judgmental and help the person seek help too, where possible.

How else do you think you can help people dealing with depression? Grandmothers in Zimbabwe are using ‘friendship chairs’ to help people dealing with life’s issues. Read more about it here http://www.aljazeera.com/video/news/2017/03/grandmothers-fight-depression-zimbabwe-170314082121081.html

What can you do?

Have a good night, y’all 😀



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Sharpen your cooking skills and improve your diet (and even your social life) – Harvard Health

Dancing is a universal human experience. We dance to express joy, celebrate life events, and enact religious and cultural rituals. Dance also has physical and cognitive benefits that may exceed those of other forms of exercise.

Read more at http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sharpen-cooking-skills-improve-diet-even-social-life-2017030311204

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