#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Split Stream Of Urine

Hey Doc, of recent, I have been having this splitting of urine which is of concern to me. What baffles me is that it doesn’t happen all the time I urinate, and also it tends to occur less when I am well hydrated. Please your advice will go a long way. Thanks Dr Ketch

A: A split stream of urine is typically caused by urinary obstruction. Some conditions that can lead to this include problems of the prostate gland and urinary strictures.

A urinary stricture is the narrowing of the urethra (the tube that leads urine out of the body). This, naturally, leads to restriction of the flow of urine out of the body leading to a variety of medical problems.

This condition is more common in males than females because of the position of the urethra and although sometimes the cause is unknown, common causes include

  • Straddle injury (falling astride an object),
  • Endoscopy (a procedure in which an instrument called a probe is inserted into the urethra)
  • Prolonged use of a catheter
  • Trauma or injury to the urethra or pelvis
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Cancer of the prostate or urthra
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Previous prostate surgery

The prostate gland is a small organ located just below the bladder. It produces semen and the urethra which transports urine from the bladder and semen from the prostate, passes through the prostate. This organ grows throughout a male’s life and sometimes grows so big that it blocks the flow of urine from the bladder. This condition is known as Benign Prostatic Enlargement or Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. This is more likely to happen as people age and when there is a family history of this.

The symptoms of this are also typical for urinary strictures and include

  • Feeling like urinating very frequently
  • Feeling the need to urgently urinate
  • Not being able to start urinating immediately despite the urgency
  • Straining at urine
  • When the person does start urinating, the flow trickles 
  • Split stream of urine
  • Feeling that the bladder was not completely emptied
  • Urinary tract infections due to the fact that there is always urine in the bladder encouraging the growth of micro-organisms
  • Bladder stones
  • With time, kidney function becomes reduced

These are some of the symptoms that may bring the person to the hospital. The doctor will perform a detailed examination which include a rectal examination and order an array of tests.

Treatment modalities include medications and surgery. The doctor will determine which works best for you.

Prostate-friendly diets include loads of fruits and veggies and less fat in the diet. Exercising daily and limiting alcohol intake are also thought to be helpful.

Having said all this, the first thing you need to do is to go see your doctor and get yourself checked out.

All the best!

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: How Can I Treat Thrush?

Q: Doctor please, how can I treat thrush infection? I’ve taking several antibiotics but they are not working. I keep having white discharge. Please, l really need your help and drug prescription

A: Thrush/candidiasis is caused by an organism called Candida, a fungus (yeast). This infection can result in cheesy white (like ground melon/egusi seeds) vaginal discharge and vaginal itching. This itching can lead to irritation in the vagina which can become further infected by bacteria.

Candidiasis is very common in diabetics (the sugar in their urine makes the vagina a rich culture medium for them) and pregnant women who have altered glucose tolerance. This infection is also common in people whose immune systems are compromised and people who wear tight panties that do not allow their delicate inner selves to ‘breath’. Preferred materials for undies would be cotton and should be loose (I see my fashionistas frowning :D). It also happens in people who take a lot of antibiotics. Normally, some bacteria and fungi (yeast) co-exist peacefully 😀 in the vagina. To encourage this peaceful co-existence, the bacteria produce some acid that hold the yeast in check and prevent their over-growth. When antibiotics are abused, this leads to a situation where the yeast takes over 😀 (almost like a coup, right?). Though this infection can be passed on through sexual intercourse…especially oral-genital contact, it’s not really called an STI because women who are not sexually active can be infected with this.

Treatment is with anti-fungal vaginal tablets and/or anti-fungal cream which can be used for between 1-3 days depending on drug of choice. A single course dose of Fluconazole can also be taken orally. Any of these regimen may be extended if the infection is complicated…let your doctor be the best judge of that 😀

Prevention is targeted at causes:

  • Wear loose fitting cotton undies 
  • Stay away from or limit time spent in hot tubs or saunas
  • Stick strictly with the prescription for antibiotics in terms of quantity and duration
  • Change out of wet clothes eg swim suits as soon as possible

Now, this infection can be treated using oral drugs (tablets to be taken by mouth) (antifungals and not antibiotics) but these are not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Vaginal pessaries and creams are better bets in pregnancy. However, because of the very small possibility of hurting your cervix (the neck of the womb), it is advisable not to use the applicator to administer the pessary. Instead, use your finger to insert the pessary. It may be necessary to continue the drug application for about 6 days as opposed to the shorter 3-day course. Your doctor will confirm diagnosis and advice on medication duration.
For more on candidiasis, please click on the following links:
https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/06/26/daily-health-tips-why-do-i-have-recurrent-candidiasis/
https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/03/07/daily-health-tips-toilet-infection-seriously/
https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/04/27/daily-health-tips-is-vaginal-discharge-normal/

Good night people 😀

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Chest Pain And Difficulty In Breathing

chatwithketch

Q: Hey Doc, I have chest pain since 2 days back and if it becomes severe, my breathing becomes abnormal (difficult breathing). I went to the hospital and was given painkillers. There’s no cough so what could be the problem?

A: Difficulty in breathing could be short term or long term.

Sudden onset of shortness of breath could be due to:

  • Lung problems
    • Asthma
    • Pneumonia
    • Upper airway obstruction
    • Collapsed lung
  • Heart problems
    • Heart attack
    • Heart failure
    • Low blood pressure
    • Sudden blood loss
    • A panic attack
    • Severe allergic reaction

Chronic (long-term) shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing could be due to:

  • Poorly controlled asthma
  • Obesity
  • Heart failure
  • Anaemia
  • Collection of fluid around the lungs

Given the association of this difficulty in breathing with chest pain, I suggest you see your doctor as soon as possible to rule out the causes mentioned above and arrive at a specific diagnosis.

All the…

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Will I Get Pregnant?

Q: Doctor. I gave birth to a baby boy and he is now 6 months and 1 week and I have no menstruation  for the past 6 months. Also after giving birth, I have been a pure breastfeeding mom. My concerned is whether I will get pregnant because this week we made love without anything (protection).  I am only frightened  that I might get pregnant, Doc. I am not ready and more over baby is still 6 months. I am very worried about it. Thank you. Please help me Doc

A: Hello and Congratulations on your new baby!

Return of menses following delivery is varied between individuals. Some women would see theirs a few weeks after, some others after a few months or even a year, while in others there is no return of menses before another pregnancy begins.

Different women also report different changes with their menstrual periods after childbirth. Some report longer periods. Others report shorter periods; some others report less pain and others observe absolutely no change at all 😀

However, the pattern of your menstrual cycle prior to your previous pregnancy (if it was regular or irregular) also plays a role. The duration of your labor and the presence of complications like bleeding after delivery could all play a part in the return of your period. Exclusive breastfeeding and presence of underlying infection also could delay the return of menses. Don’t stress out about this for now…. except if you are really looking forward to another pregnancy soon. If this is the case I would advise you see your doctor for a proper evaluation. Otherwise enjoy your period of no bleeds 😀

And please, discuss contraception/family planning options with your doctor. I’ve had quite a number of people writing in to ask if breast feeding protects against pregnancy and if it was possible for them to get pregnant even before their periods return or if it was safe to breastfeed a baby while pregnant. The answers by the way, are yes to getting pregnant while breastfeeding, yes to possibility of getting pregnant before periods return and yes to breastfeeding while pregnant.

So, could you be pregnant? Only time will tell. If you do confirm that you are not pregnant (after a pregnancy test), then please visit a family planning clinic and start contraception.

How is your week going?

Have a good night, y’all 😀

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Burning Sensation In The Stomach

Q: I’ve noticed that each time I eat snacks especially doughnuts or meat pie or anything fried, I will be feeling burning sensation in my stomach; at the same time making me feeling thirsty always, even after drinking water. I tested positive to H. pylori and I was treated. It’s been over a year now and I don’t know if it is what is still affecting me even with pain, headache or eye pain

A: Thanks for writing in.

There are two conditions that may often be confused, one for the other: Peptic ulcer and 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 worse  Smoking, stress and drinking alcohol are also likely to worsen the symptoms of peptic ulcer. Caffeinated and carbonated beverages may also be culprit.

Ulcers are also common in people who take certain pain relieving drugs known as Non- Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen.

People with peptic ulcer usually complain of burning abdominal pain or even sometimes, chest pain as the pain can be anywhere from the breast bone to the navel…giving room for a wide range of descriptions, typically burning. The pain is usually worse at night or when the stomach is empty.

People with ulcers may vomit blood or pass out fresh or altered blood in stool. For the latter, the stool looks tarry black. Complications of peptic ulcers include internal bleeding, leakage of the acid into the abdominal cavity etc

Treatment is targeted at reduction in acid production, neutralization of acid, treatment of Helicobacter infection, promotion of healing or protection of stomach lining. Your doctor will determine the best option or combination(s) with your active participation, of course

Thus, prevention is targeted at switching pain relieving drugs (if you have an ulcer, please stay away from NSAIDs, reducing your level of stress, stopping smoking and reducing your alcohol intake. Maintaining a healthy diet filled with loads of fruits and veggies, which provide sufficient vitamins to aid healing, is also a good way to go. It is still not very clear how H. pylori infections spread but it is thought to be probably from person to person or from food and water. So, judicious and very frequent, hand washing will certainly help

Does milk help? Well, temporarily but it quickly makes it worse. Milk coats the surface of the stomach, reducing the pain but then stimulates more acid production. Sounds like you can’t win, aye?! ;D

For GERD, there are also conditions like pregnancy and obesity that make this condition worse and there are also foods that encourage this. Examples of these ‘foods’ are fatty foods (as appears to be the case here), alcohol, orange juice, chocolate and coffee, onions, tomatoes, peppermint and spicy foods.

So, I suggest you keep a food diary over a period of time and try to figure out the trigger foods. If you suspect tomatoes, try to confirm this by having a ‘tomato meal’ and watching for heartburn and an unpleasant taste at the back of the mouth. If this is not the issue, perhaps it’s a weight issue or even over-eating.

Treatment is targeted at the acid and healing the esophagus. Remember that occasional heartburn is not regarded a problem but if it happens frequently, like two or more times every week, then it becomes a problem and is now referred to as Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). So, drugs used can stop acid production, reduce acid production and cause healing of the esophagus or neutralize the effect of the acid.

Prevention involves trying to avoid your trigger foods (quite a number are actually healthy maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding heavy meals just before bedtime, try eating smaller meals and avoid tight clothes that may also put pressure on your abdomen.

So, see a doctor first to confirm whether the H. pylori infection is still active and also to understand your new symptoms and then s/he’ll advice on treatment.

Have a fabulous evening and remember…no heavy meals before bedtime 😀

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Common eye problems and how to fix them – Harvard Health

Hey! How was your week? Mine was super busy but super productive too!

Now, have you ever wondered how to deal with all those eye problems that show up at one point or the other? Red eyes, watery eyes, burning eyes etc? Or waking up with eyes that appear to be gummed together! Where did that come from??? Well the article below tells you how to figure out which ones you can fix, how to fix them and when to show up in the hospital! 🙂

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/common-eye-problems-and-how-to-fix-them

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Palate Sores

Q: Dr. what causes palate sores?
A: There are a couple of ailments that can cause sores in the mouth and of course, the roof of the mouth called the palate. They include:
Fever blisters known as cold sores can cause this and the pain associated with this condition is worse when hot, spicy or acidic foods like lemon are taken. They are mostly found around the lips. These sores are contagious but most times clear up without the need for medication. Sometimes, antiviral drugs are administered.
Canker sores are not contagious but just like fever blisters, most times, they disappear without any definitive treatment within a week.

Infections of the mouth (viral, fungal or bacterial), deficiency of minerals, smoking etc are some factors that may causes sores in the mouth and subsequent pain in the roof of the mouth.
To reduce the pain of this or prevent its happening, try these:
• Reduce your intake of foods that precipitate this like spicy or acidic foods
• Reduce your stress levels as this could precipitate conditions like fever blister
• Quit smoking
• Avoid medications that appear to trigger this
• Swishing milk around in your mouth or gargling with cool or salty water is also helpful in dealing with the pain
If these do not work or you find the symptoms worsening, develop a fever or perhaps develop find it difficult to swallow, please see your doctor immediately.
All the best!

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