Kill a mosquito with a sledge hammer? Heck, yes!!

Today is World Malaria Day with the theme, ‘A push for prevention’
Do you know how to prevent malaria? Do you actively practice it? Do you get tested before getting treated for malaria? Do you finish your malaria medications…or do you leave them once you feel better? Questions, questions!
The post below still addresses what you can do to join the fight to prevent malaria. Enjoy!

chatwithketch

It was world malaria day, last week. WHO essentially set out that day for everyone to sit up and pay attention to the ills of malaria. A lot of corporate bodies marked the event with information on malaria in print and electronic media; with events organized to discuss the way forward and ponder on the theme: invest in the future; defeat malaria. Foreign scientists used the opportunity to let us know the journey so far in the creation of a fool proof malaria vaccine. NGOs shared out mosquito nets to anyone who showed up for their events. Awesome, you would think. And it is!

The fight against malaria though should go beyond the rhetorics and big gestures whenever there’s an event decreed by a world body. It is a clear and present danger and if we are to believe the statistics of the global fund on malaria, every 30 seconds…

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Daily Health Tips: Meningitis

Today is World Meningitis Day. The theme for this year is ’24 hours; trust your instincts’. Learn about the symptoms/signs and trust your instincts if you suspect this in anyone. Better safe than sorry
In honour of this day, I repeat my post on meningitis 2 weeks ago. If you missed it, take a read. If you read it, be reminded!

chatwithketch

Hello everyone. I trust y’all had a great week. As I promised earlier in the week, I will be writing on meningitis today. Everyone has heard, I believe, about the outbreak in Nigeria and the fact that deaths have been recorded. What appears even more scary is the fact that it is moving from the north to the south. So, this information pertains to everyone and should be taken seriously.

Cerebrospinal meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord known as meninges. The infection could be bacterial, viral or fungal. The infection making the rounds in Nigeria is linked to the organism, Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus). This causes an upper respiratory tract infection, which can also cause meningitis when it enters the blood stream. It is a droplet infection and very contagious, spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, sharing utensils, toothbrushes and cutlery. Thus, conditions of overcrowding may…

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Food Contamination In The Kitchen

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And…It’s A Weekend!

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Harnessing the upsides of stress – Harvard Health

There is good stress…and then there is bad stress. Want to know how good stress helps you? Read! 🙂

http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/harnessing-the-upsides-of-stress

Have a great weekend!

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Daily Health Tips: Menstruation

Q: Hello ma’am, throw more light on menstruation

A: The uterus (womb) usually prepares to receive a fertilized egg every month and when that fails, the thickened lining of the uterus, which had prepared to receive a baby, is shed. That is what comes out as menstrual blood.

Usually, this blood does not contain clots as anti-coagulants in blood ensure that this doesn’t happen. However, if the blood is flowing faster than the anticoagulants can work, then clots appear. This would usually happen on the heaviest day of the flow. So, clots do not necessarily suggest a problem.

But, if this appears to be the case on all or most days of the period, or you find that you’re using a sanitary towel per hour for several hours, please see your gynaecologist. Conditions that may lead to excessive bleeding and therefore, clots in blood during a menstrual period include a miscarriage (of a pregnancy), fibroids, dramatic recent weight loss, thyroid problems, large uterus etc If this is further accompanied by feeling of faintness, tiredness and paleness, you should head to the hospital immediately.

Cramps usually occur as the uterus tries to get rid of the foreign body, in this case, blood within it. Cramps appear, sometimes, to be more of an issue for some girls than the actual menstruation itself. For most girls, in the first few years of starting their periods, they usually do not have cramps and when these cramps eventually start showing up, they usually last for a few days.

Some time-tested remedies include hot baths, hot water bottles applied to the area of pain and pain relief using over the counter analgesic drugs may be helpful. If analgesics have to be taken, these should be started as soon as the cramps start or even as soon as period starts in order to be effective. Remember not to exceed recommended doses.

Also stay away from alcohol and caffeine, which worsen cramps.

Avoid salt and salty foods and alcohol during your menstrual periods as these cause your body to retain more water and worsen bloating.

Drink a lot of water and complex carbohydrates. They reduce water retention and fill your tummy without being unnecessarily heavy.

For more posts on menstruation, please click on the following links:

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/07/13/daily-health-tips-video-adolescent-questions-about-menstruation/

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/04/12/daily-health-tips-foods-to-avoid-when-on-your-menstrual-period/

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/03/11/daily-health-tips-why-do-i-have-heavy-menstrual-flow/

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/12/11/daily-health-tips-does-cold-water-worsen-menstrual-cramps/

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/05/04/daily-health-tips-does-my-sugar-craving-worsen-menstrual-cramps/

https://chatwithdrketch.com/2013/11/22/daily-health-tip-menstrual-cramps/

Enjoy!

Have a great weekend y’all 🙂

 

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Daily Health Tips: What Is The Cause Of Heart Enlargement?

Q: Hello doc, please my friend is seriously ill and the doctor said that it’s enlargement of the heart. Is it reversible? I’m very confused

Q: Please Dr., what could be the cause of heart enlargement?

A: Thanks both, for writing in.

Cardiomegaly is the medical term used to refer to an enlarged heart. This is the sign of a disease condition and could be permanent or temporary. A good example of a reversible cardiomegaly is the enlargement associated with pregnancy.

The causes of heart enlargement include:

High blood pressure….the usual suspect! This condition causes the heart muscle to work harder to pump blood thus enlarging the muscle.

Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy): This causes stretching, thickening or stiffening of the heart muscle.

Heart valve disease: Damage to the heart valves that keep blood flowing in the right direction, can lead to heart enlargement.

Anaemia: Insufficient quantity of red blood cells to carry oxygen round the body, can lead to the heart pumping more blood to make up for the oxygen lack, leading to enlargement of the heart muscle.

Pulmonary hypertension in which there is an increased blood pressure in the artery that links the heart and lungs can lead to the heart pumping harder to move blood between both organs. As with other conditions, increasing the work of the heart, would lead to enlargement.

Other conditions like thyroid disorders and excessive iron in the body can also lead to heart enlargement.

Cardiomegaly seen in athletes and pregnant women may be viewed as normal as it is the increased physiologic demands of these groups that lead to an enlarged heart.

People who are more at risk of cardiomegaly usually have a family history of the diseases above, have had a heart attack, were born with a congenital heart defect, are hypertensive or have blocked arteries.

People with enlarged hearts may not have symptoms at the beginning but may manifest some symptoms later depending on the severity of the problem. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the ankles and legs
  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness

Treatment depends on the cause.

  • Medications may be used eg those used to reduce blood pressure
  • Surgeries may be utilized eg to repair heart valves

Some lifestyle modifications may also be helpful and they include:

  • Eating healthier
  • Exercising in moderation (be guided by your doctor)
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing stress
  • Controlling underlying conditions like diabetes and hypertension

So, your friend needs to have a counseling session with his/her doctor to find out the cause and treatment options available to him/her. This will speak also to whether his/her condition is reversible. The lifestyle options can be started right away.

All the best.

Have a good night everyone 🙂

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