#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Non-Surgical Options For Hernia

Q: Good day Dr, please this my room mate is having stomach problem and we went for a test and they said he’s having hernia and we are still in school now without any cash. Please, madam is there any tablet or injections for him before we will be travelling home?

 

A: Hernia is the protrusion of an organ through a defect (like a hole or opening) in the wall of the muscle or cavity which usually holds it in place. There are different types hernias (or herniae) and they include:

Inguinal hernia: The most common type of hernia. It usually happens in situations where the pressure inside the abdomen is increased.

Other hernias include incisional hernia (where a protrusion develops from the site of a previous surgery, especially abdominal surgery), femoral hernia (which has the same risk factors as inguinal), umbilical hernia (common in black children where the umbilicus, aka navel does not form a small ‘button’ on the abdominal wall but protrudes) and hiatal hernia (where the stomach squeezes through a hole meant for the oesophagus (the pipe through which food gets to the stomach).

Typically, all hernias are caused by a weakness in the wall of muscles or containing cavities and an increase in pressure. Examples of activities that increase pressure in the abdomen are long-standing cough or frequent sneezing, carrying heavy loads regularly, straining at stool whether due to constipation or diarrhea etc. The walls of muscles are usually weakened in people who are obese, pregnant women, smokers and malnourished people. It is also more common in men and as people grow older.

What are the symptoms? People with hernia would usually notice a protrusion after a strain eg lifting something heavy or coughing. Sometimes, they are able to push it back. Other times they are not. The worry about hernia and the reason why they have to be treated quickly is that they may strangulate. Yes, just think about the word strangle and you understand what strangulate means J The protrusion may become squeezed by the opening through which it passes blocking off blood supply to the area protruding. Once a part of the body is deprived of blood, it dies. We don’t want that to happen!

The decision as to whether to go for surgery or not depends on where the hernia is located (inguinal and femoral hernias usually need surgery), the contents of the hernia sac and the symptoms. A truss (a supportive device that prevents enlargement of a hernia) may be prescribed by your doctor to help for a short period of time. Typically a doctor will schedule a surgery to repair a hernia. Complaints of pain in a hernia patient may mean strangulation, which need to be dealt with immediately. Umbilical hernia does not usually require surgery as the protrusions usually ‘return’ on their own. If this persists beyond 5 years, then surgery may be needed.

If you do require surgery, you don’t need to fret about it…really. This is not major surgery…it’s intermediate (sort of like half way between minor and major :D). Your doctor will provide answers to all the questions you have and of course, counseling. There are options for laparoscopic surgery which is surgery done through small incisions guided by a camera.

Preventive measures include having a healthy weight, giving up smoking, treating conditions that may lead to long standing coughs, eating healthy to prevent straining at stool etc. These are the self-help options available to you now. I am worried though, about the possibility of strangulation. I suggest that you go to a Government hospital. Consultation fee will be moderate and a doctor will give you a proper diagnosis after examining you.

All the best!

Have a good evening, everyone 😀

 

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Daily Health Tips: Help, Please! I Have Chronic Piles (Haemorrhoids)!

Q: Good day doctor. Please what causes pile. Thank you
This question comes up very often. This post speaks to it.

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Q: Hello Doc. How can one cure a “chronic pile” of long years that has affected the anus to be coming out fully when defecating? Help please!

A: Piles, known as haemorrhoids in medical lingo are swollen veins in the anal canal. They can be internal, external or both internal and external can co-exist. Internal haemorrhoids occur when veins swell within the rectum and external haemorrhoids are found under the skin around the anus.

These haemorrhoids develop when there is undue pressure in the pelvic and anal area as can occur when people strain to pass faeces (if they have diarrhoea or are constipated), in pregnancy (especially the last 6 months), in obese people, people who eat diets low in fibre and people who practice anal intercourse. When women strain in labour, haemorrhoids can also be made worse. For those who love to visit the toilet with their newspapers and…

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Kitchen Hygiene Re-Visited

Do you know that healthy living starts in your kitchen with the little things…washing your hands, how you treat the food you eat etc

Here are some tips to set you on the right road to hygiene and health.

Wash your hands before and after handling food

Use separate chopping boards. 1 for Fruits and fresh vegetable for salads, 1 for poultry, seafood and meats and another for all other produce. This prevents cross-contamination of foods.

Wash your knives, boards and other utensils before using on a different set of produce. Again, this prevents cross-contamination of foods.

Freeze/refrigerate meats you are not going to use immediately.Constantly bringing out your meats, thawing them and then freezing them back again, provides an opportunity for bacteria to thrive. So, if you buy a lot of meat, put them in small packs according to how much you use every time. This way, you ensure that you’re going to use everything in a pack you bring out.

Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetable before cutting and serving. You can use salt and/or vinegar water to wash vegetables

Be sure to wash your kitchen napkins and dish towels in hot water often. I wash mine at the end of the day and next morning they are nice and fresh!

Remember that hygiene is two-thirds of health! So, don’t be caught napping 😀

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Scabies!

As promised, I shall be writing on scabies today.

 

Most people believe that people with scabies are very dirty or have poor personal hygiene. This is not necessarily so as there is no evidence to support this.

 

So, what is scabies? It is a skin condition caused by tiny mites, which burrow under the skin as they feed. They lay eggs under the skin which later hatch and move to the skin surface where they grow into adults. There is a period of about 8 weeks between infection and manifestation of symptoms. Preferred areas of the skin scabies include warm areas like between fingers, under the breasts, around the buttocks, around the waist, inner elbow, knees, other skin folds and between skin and wrist watch straps, bracelets etc

 

Scabies is contagious and thus spread through personal skin to skin contact with infected persons, sexual contact and rarely through shared clothing and beddings. It is very common in child care groups, school classes and readily spreads in families.

 

People with scabies experience intense itching which is worse at night with rashes developing in the areas where the mites have burrowed.

 

Scabies are usually treated using creams and lotions that contain insecticides that kill the mites and their eggs…but you may still experience itching for a couple of weeks.. Your doctor will prescribe these. During treatment, please avoid sexual intercourse, if you have been diagnosed with genital scabies and it is usually recommended that treatment be carried out for entire contact groups and/or families. The ever-trusted calamine lotion can help relieve itching and you could also apply a cool, wet washcloth to affected areas to get some relief. Over the counter anti-histamines will help with the itching too and your doctor will likely prescribe this.

 

To prevent re-infection, wash all clothes, beddings etc used up to 3 days before treatment was commenced, bedding in hot soapy water and dry with high heat. You can use a clothes dryer or outside when it’s very hot. You can improvise using a hair dryer.

 

I hope this helps someone!

 

Have a fab weekend, y’all 😀

 

 

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#HLWDK Our Digital Campaign Winner

Representative of our winner, Opeyemi Morakinyo, picking up her prize from the Samsung office.

Be sure to participate in our quizzes and challenges 

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Diarrhoea And Heart Burn

Q: Good evening Doctor. Please, I have been having a stomach problem for 4 weeks now. Running stomach, heartburn and discomfort. Please, what might be the problem. I am planning to go and do test but I don’t know if I should go I see doctor first. Please, help me

 

A: Running stomach, the runs or diarrhea can be due to several causes which include infections (viruses, bacteria etc), lactose intolerance, some medications, fructose (the sugar found in fruits) in people who cannot digest this, surgery, artificial sweeteners etc. In excessive amounts, coffee (which is implicated in heart burn) can cause diarrhea. The symptoms are loose watery stools which are accompanied by abdominal cramps/pain, urgent need to defecate etc.

 

The major issue with diarrhea is dehydration. This condition is evidenced by dry mouth/skin, excessive thirst, tiredness/fatigue, reduced urination etc. So, be sure to see your doctor immediately if you observe any of the symptoms of dehydration, loose stools continue for more than 2 days, if you have severe abdominal pain, high fever and/or bloody stools. For dehydration, you can mix up a batch of oral rehydration salts and start on this before going to the hospital.

To prevent diarrhea, be sure to wash your hands often, especially before you eat.

Heart burn really has nothing to do with the heart…I bet all of you knew that, aye? It is usually felt as a burning sensation in the chest which feels worse on bending down or lying down. Okay, why and how does this happen? You know that the stomach produces acid to help with food digestion, right? Have you ever wondered, how come this acid isn’t all up in your mouth all the time? Well, that’s because there’s a ‘lock’ or control at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach, which prevents the acid in the stomach from coming back up into the esophagus. This ‘lock’ is called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter. This lock can get strained if the esophagus opens too often or if there is too much food in the stomach…so, if you regularly over-eat, you might want to re-think that 😀 A major no-no is a very heavy meal just before you lie down. It’s almost certain you may have a heart burn 😀

There are also conditions like pregnancy and obesity that make this sphincter stay open for prolonged periods as a result of pressure on the abdomen and there are also foods that encourage this. Examples of these ‘foods’ are fatty foods, alcohol, orange juice, chocolate and coffee, onions, tomatoes, peppermint and spicy foods.

So for the person in the question, I suggest you keep a food diary over a period of time and try to figure out the trigger foods. 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 heart burn 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, the first and best thing to do now is to go see your doctor to get a diagnosis made. If you drink a lot of coffee, you may have to reduce or stop as this can actually be responsible for both diarrhea and heart burn.

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

 

 

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Tips to measure your blood pressure correctly – Harvard Health

We typically advise people to measure their blood pressures at home but sometimes, this makes people to report some false high blood pressure readings! Do you know what could be responsible? Make you just took a cup of coffee before taking the reading. Or perhaps, you were talking and/or gisting with a friend before taking the measurement? Well, read the post below to find out what you could be doing wrong when measuring your BP and get it right! 😀

http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/tips-to-measure-your-blood-pressure-correctly

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