‘ Pain makes us human. It is a bell, fine-tuned by evolution, that often rings in moments necessary for our survival. Because of pain, we can receive warnings that trigger the reflexes to escape potential danger. ‘
Dr Ketch. Please I need help. My teeth are paining me and I tried different
kinds of toothpaste. They are not working
A: Tooth aches are
mainly due to tooth decay which may give rise to a hole (cavity) in the tooth
as is being experienced by the person who asked the question above.
How does a tooth get to the point of a cavity? There are
bacteria that live naturally in the mouth. When we eat foods rich in sugar and
starch, the bacteria act on these foods and produce acids. These acids can eat
away at the enamel covering of teeth. If these foods are eaten often, serious
damage can be done to the teeth leading to the formation of cavities and
subsequent decay as the acid eats its way through the enamel and may even get
to the nerve ending! Imagine the quantum of pain, this person will experience!
What to do? You need to see your dentist asap. In the meantime,
gargle with warm water and take some analgesics. Remember not to go over the
recommended dosage. Use dental floss to remove food debris in between teeth.
To prevent this, be sure to remember and follow the rule of
twos: brush your teeth twice a day, brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes
(brushing up and down in circular motions) and see your dentist at least twice
a year. Use fluoride-containing toothpaste. How do you find this? Walk into any
shop or supermarket and read the ingredients on the pack. If it states that it
has fluoride in it, you’re on the right path Limit your intake of sugary
substances…make them occasional treats and if you do take them, please rinse
out your mouth or better still, brush your teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth
last thing before you go to bed. If you eat afterwards and take in sugary
stuff, the acid produced really has time to eat away at your teeth while you’re
sleeping as a result of the fact that less saliva is produced.
Dr Ketch, I have a question. How soon after giving birth can I have sex again? My partner seems
very impatient to me. Our baby is only a month old now,
question 😀 The honest answer is, as soon as you and your spouse feel
up to it. Usually, 6 weeks is advocated at which time the woman would have had
a post-natal check. However, there is really no scientific basis for this
and the time a woman feels like intimacy could differ from woman to woman. Some
women feel ready earlier and some much later. Bear in mind that there are new
issues contending for attention here…namely the new baby who requires a lot of
attention, the overwhelming emotion of being in charge of a new life especially
for new mothers, the sheer exhaustion after looking after the baby’s needs and
sleep deprivation, the pain of vaginal suturing, if the woman had a tear, the
dryness of the vagina at this time etc. We could go on and on! So, with all
these, it may be difficult to feel really sexy…trust me, I know 😀
So, what’s the way forward? New mums, get as much help as you
can so that you don’t feel exhausted every night. Also, rest whenever the baby
is taking a nap. Perhaps, timing for intimacy can also be re-scheduled to other
times…maybe mornings while the baby is still sleeping etc. Then again, you
don’t have to wait for full sexual intercourse to be intimate. You can start
off with cuddling and then move on to more adventurous things. Lubrication may
also be a great idea to help with vaginal dryness. To help restore muscular
tone to the vagina, pelvic floor exercise (Kegel exercises) should be started
as soon as possible. The exercise mimics the movements we make when we want to
stop the flow of urine. Try holding this for about 10 seconds and then doing
about 10 repetitions per set. Try about 4 to 6 sets per day and increase this
as you feel ready.
Remember birth control even if you’re breastfeeding exclusively.
You don’t want to get pregnant while nursing a baby, right? 😀
Q: Please, I need to know about gastric ulcers and can it be cured?
A: Gastric ulcer is a type of peptic ulcer and this condition is often confused with Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Gastric acid is secreted normally in the stomach to help the process of digestion. Peptic ulcer is a sore in the stomach, esophagus or duodenum and occurs when there is either over-production of this gastric acid in the stomach or reduction in the quantity of mucous that protects the stomach from the acid. Infection with an organism, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) has been found to be a cause of peptic ulcer.
GERD, on the other hand occurs when stomach acid backtracks into the esophagus causing heart burn.
In the past, it was thought that spicy foods caused peptic ulcers. However, there’s no evidence to support this, though spicy foods can certainly make the symptoms of ulcer…
A couple of years ago, I remember complaining to a friend of mine about all the things I had to do and how there weren’t enough hours in a day to deal with them all. On that day, I specifically needed to buy meat, which would have meant a trip to the market and I didn’t have that time. She suggested some guy that she knew supplied meat to someone else in the office to come bring some for me. I was sceptical. I was very sure that whatever the guy was bringing for sale was the remnant of whatever had been sold in the market. Reluctantly though, I agreed… it was either that or cook without meat that day which for reasons I will not bother going into today was not going to fly.
And so the butcher came. First, I gave him the once over… you know that…
Q: Hello Dr Ketch, please help. All my life l have been going through 7 days of menstruation period days. Now recently for 4 months back, l started going for 3 days only; on day 3, l will be done. What could be causing this? I’m very worried
A: There are various
shades of ‘normal’ in menstrual cycles with the menstrual flow lasting between
2 to 8 days and the cycle lasting anything from 21 to 35 days. A reduction in
flow (scanty period) is called hypomenrrhea (pronounced hai-po-men-oria) and a
reduction in the number of days of flow to less than 3 days is called
Now at the onset of puberty, the flow and cycle can vary from
one cycle to the other; the same goes for the other extreme of life (old age).
Other issues that can cause a decrease in flow include pregnancy
(the supposed period may be an implantation bleed), crash dieting (when you
want to lose all the weight you added in 5 years in one week :D), intense
physical activity, Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD), imbalance of hormones and
use of contraceptives. Previous instrumentation like Dilatation and Curettage
(D and C), where the procedure was too ‘vigorously’ done can result in a
condition called Asherman’s syndrome which manifests as reduction in menstrual
flow. In the same way that stress can delay a menstrual period, it can also
cause a reduction in flow.
You must work with your gynaecologist in order to manage this.
If the cause is PCOD, focus will be on the treatment; if due to intense
exercise, reducing intensity will be helpful; if due to crash dieting, focus on
eating a proper balanced diet will help etc. Your gynaecologist will carry out
a detailed examination and investigation to arrive at the cause and advice on