#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Blocked Nose!

Question: Dear Dr. Ketch. Thanks for your wonderful advice. God bless. I have a one-year old grandson – very gorgeous and healthy. Thank you Jesus! At this time, he is struggling with a blocked nose and a lot of snot, yellowish in colour. Some runny but also a lot of phlegm that catches in his throat. What can you recommend I give him for it? Thank you.

A: Congratulations on your gorgeous grandchild! I can just imagine your pride and joy! May he grow up to fulfill his destiny!

As a parent, how much more a doting grandparent, it’s very normal for you to feel worried when your baby is ill especially when it appears you’re helpless and really can’t do anything to help him/her.

First, a note about cough syrups which many parents like to give, because the symptoms you described are often associated with cough, too.

First, if your baby’s cough is due to a cold, you really don’t need to give your baby any drug. A cold is a viral infection and once it causes an infection, it will run its course before it stops. And so, with or without drugs, a cold will go. It would usually last for about a week to 10 days and then disappear. There’s no need for antibiotics for a viral infection. Indeed, taking antibiotics when they are not needed leads to antibiotic resistance where the antibiotics can no longer properly do their jobs when they are really needed to fight infections.

Then some of the ingredients in the cough syrups can also cause a baby’s heart to beat faster, may cause convulsions and basically do not treat the cause of the cough. They are actually not supposed to be used for children younger than 2 years of age.
Now, what can you do in the meantime to relieve the blocked nose:
Let your baby sleep in your arms or in a semi-upright position.

You can prop him up with lots of pillows at night.

Offer your baby fluids and use a saline spray to ease the congestion in his nose. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for this.

An air humidifier also moistens the air and makes it easier for your baby to breath. If you don’t have this, you can let your baby breath in steam from a hot shower. This has to be done carefully under adult supervision. An easy way is to run hot water in the shower and walk around with your baby in the bathroom.

A suction bulb can also help remove mucous/snot from your baby’s nose. You can ask for one in the hospital or a pharmacy.

Please see your baby’s doctor if this cough continues and/or your baby develops a fever and the symptoms persist after 2 weeks. If your baby also has difficulty breathing, cannot breath or feed, you should also see his/her doctor.

All the best!

Have a great week ahead!

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: I’m A Hairy Lady – Help Me!

Q: Hello Dr. I hope this finds you well. I’m a twenty year old lady and I’m very hairy…it’s even on the chest area. I was told it’s because of some steroids I took as a child for severe eczema I had. Can this be treated and how? Thanks, hope to hear from you soon

A: What you’ve described sounds like hirsutism which is a situation in which there is excessive hairiness in a woman in places like the face, chest and back. Funny enough, growing up, very hairy ladies were considered pretty special…In a good way 😀

This situation can be caused by any situation that increases the male sex hormones (androgens) or increases the response of hair follicles to androgens. Some conditions that can cause this include Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or from taking medications such as prednisone (a steroid) over a long period as appears to be the case here, some drugs, obesity etc It is more likely in people who have a family history of this and in people of Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern origin. This can also be found in women with no risk factors and women where no specific cause can be found.

If specific causes are found eg obesity or PCOS, these should be addressed.

As you may have found out, permanent methods of getting rid of the facial and other unwanted hair like laser treatment (which does not destroy the hair follicles) and electrolysis (which destroys hair follicles but may leave small scars on face) are expensive with laser being more popular and more expensive.

Mild cases of hirsutism can be dealt with by shaving, waxing, plucking or using depilatory creams…much as you would take care of underarm hair.

Birth control pills used over a period of 6 to 12 months may improve this condition by helping reduce the effects of androgens and reducing the production of more sex hormones. Anti-androgen drugs can also be used.

So, make out time to go find a gynaecologist as soon as you can and discuss this. He will carry out a detailed investigation and then confirm treatment options that would work best for you depending on his findings eg whether the contraceptive pills are an option for you etc

Until you’re able to do that, you may have to keep shaving, plucking, waxing or using depilatory creams. As soon as you can afford it, laser treatment should be considered.

Have a great evening, y’all 😀

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Arthritis

Question: Good evening, Doctor. For some time now, I have been having swollen knee. It comes and goes.  The last time it happened, I visited the hospital, doctor said it arthritis. I was treated for malaria, I took injection that will make me urinate more, and he said I should stop salt.  The knee went down. Now since Friday, it came with full force, I can’t walk, have been using stool to walk. Yesterday I began to walk though with support. I’m treating it this time in a traditional way but it’s paining me. The knee is heavy, I cannot bend it. Please is there anything I can do and can I massage it like bending the knee? Please help me.

A: I believe that a doctor made the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis and that’s why you are sure that’s what you have. Over time, I have heard people use the term rheumatism (which is a lay term that is not really used in the medical world anymore) for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. I will briefly describe both conditions.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune condition. This means that in this situation, the body no longer recognizes components of itself and its immune system begins to fight itself. In other words, the body launches a war against itself!

In this instance, the body’s fight against itself leads to joint pain, swelling and stiffness, especially in mornings and can lead to permanent damage. It affects multiple joints, can involve multiple organs (eg lungs, heart, eyes etc) and there are usually nodules (small lumps known as rheumatoid nodules) found under the skin, especially the elbows. Some people are lucky and have long periods between flare-ups; others are not and have symptoms often. This disease is more common in people aged between 40 to 60 years, women and if a family member has it, it’s more likely one may also have it.

There is no cure as it is not clear why the body turns on itself. The focus is on management of the symptoms: Physiotherapy to keep the joints supple, medications to take care of the pain and inflammation and sometimes surgery for joint repair or replacement.

For anyone who has this condition, be sure to take your medications, eat healthy, exercise and learn to relax 😀

Now to osteoarthritis (OA), this is a more common type of arthritis. It would usually occur due to wear and tear (ageing) of the cartilage at the end of bones which allows free movement at the joints. The knees, hips, neck, lower back are usually affected and symptoms would include stiffness, pain and swelling. This disease is common in older people, women and the obese (clearly, being obese puts more stress on the weight bearing areas of the body like the knees etc), some types of occupation eg people who carry a lot of heavy loads are more likely to have osteoarthritis of the lower back. A family history of OA puts one at risk and having some diseases like Diabetes Mellitus makes one more at risk.

Where this disease affects the knee, it can lead to bow-leg and limping as the cartilage continues to wear away with even more wear and tear. Just like for RA, there’s no cure. Focus is on limiting pain and maintaining joint movement.

Treatment includes pain relief (using drugs in the class of ibuprofen or Paracetmaol), physiotherapy and sometimes, surgery. Injection of steroids into the joint space of affected joint has also been found useful but cannot be given too often.

Just like for RA, exercise, eat healthy, keep a healthy weight, use support (like walking stick) if need be etc

I hope this was helpful.

Have a good night, everyone 😀

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5 truths about protecting your eyes – Harvard Health

Carrots and green veggies – which are better for the eyes? Should I read with bright or dim lighting? Is there such a thing as taking a break from prescribed glasses or contact lenses to rest the eyes? :O Can I exercise my eyes? Will the exercises delay the need for glasses? And is staring at a computer screen all day really bad for your eyes?

Well, I’m sure y’all think you have the answers to these questions but you could be very wrong! 😀 Read!


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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: What Causes Heart Failure?

 Q: Please Dr. What causes heart failure – I mean pains in the heart?

A: Hey! Thanks for writing in.

For the record, chest pain does not necessarily mean heart failure. But it’s always a good idea to check out chest pain in the hospital. Better safe than sorry 🙂

‘Despite the name, heart failure does not mean the heart has failed completely. Instead, it means the heart isn’t pumping efficiently enough to meet the body’s need for blood.

When the body first detects that it’s not getting an adequate blood supply, it tries to compensate. Stress hormones rise, pushing the heart to beat faster and harder. Blood vessels narrow in an effort to keep blood pressure stable. To keep blood flowing to the heart and brain, the body diverts blood away from less important tissues. The body also retains sodium and fluid in an attempt to supplement the volume of circulating blood.’

For more, please click on source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/what-are-the-symptoms-of-heart-failure

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: I’ve Tested Negative But Could I Be Positive?

Question: Hey Doc. I’m living a stressful life as well anxiety is killing me every day. I slept with this guy since 2016 and I don’t know his HIV status. So, I heard he was dating a girl living with HIV. I confronted him and asked him whether he’s HIV+ or not .So, he said NO, and last year I even found an HIV self-test in his room but never asked him anything about it. So now that we broke and lost our child, I’m living a stressful life. I’ve tested Negative ever since 2017 up until this year Jan. I really need your advice DOC. Coz anxiety is killing me and this guy, I know for sure he’s HIV positive.

A: Thanks for writing in.

It is not clear to me whether you are still having sexual relations with him or not.  If you have tested negative for six months after exposure, then you may not need to worry especially if you have been tested in a proper laboratory and if you have not engaged in any risky behavior since then. However, if you have continued to have sexual relations with him or have exposed yourself to risky sexual behavior, my first advice would be to get tested immediately. Post exposure prophylaxis may be recommended by your doctor. These drugs used to treat HIV are usually taken daily for about 4 weeks to reduce chances of becoming HIV positive.

Having said that, the length of time before a subject tests positive to HIV following exposure (sero-conversion), known as the window period would depend on the type of test done.

An antibody test can read positive from 3 to 12 weeks, if there is sero-conversion. An antibody is a disease-fighting protein produced by the body in response to an infection (HIV infection, in this case).

A combination antibody/antigen test (which detects both antibody and antigen…which is a part of the virus) can read positive from 2 to 6 weeks after exposure, if there is sero-conversion.

A Nucelic Acid Test (NAT) can detect HIV infection in the blood from 7 to 28 days following infection.

Generally, if the initial test is negative, a repeat test is done 3 months after the exposure to ‘close the window’. Some may stretch this to a further screen after 6 months. Be guided by your doctor.

All the best!

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Safe To Sleep On My Tummy?


Q: Hello Doctor. ..is it safer for a pregnant women to sleep on her tummy?

A: Congratulations on your pregnancy! In early pregnancy, there’s nothing really wrong with lying on your tummy….that’s if you feel comfortable. As your pregnancy progresses, you will definitely not be able to do so again. So, if this is your guilty pleasure, enjoy it while it lasts. Generally, in the first trimester, if you’re used to sleeping on your back or tummy, you can continue. However, as you get into your second trimester, it is fact that pregnant women should not sleep on their backs especially close to term. This is because the woman may feel dizzy as the growing uterus puts pressure on the vein that returns blood from the body making the woman feel dizzy on getting up and the baby may also not get enough nutrients from the placenta in that position.

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