Daily Health Tips: Ear Infections

chatwithketch

Q: How do I stop pus from the ear?

A: Thanks for writing in.

Ear infections could lead to discharge of pus from the ear:

Otitis media

Otitis media with effusion

Otitis externa (swimmer’s ear)

In otitis media, there is an infection of the middle ear and happens when an upper respiratory tract infection introduces bacteria into the ear. The infection could also be viral. Fluid builds up in the middle ear.

In otitis media with effusion, pus forms as the body tries to fight the infection. This leads to more fluid collection and this pushes against the ear drum. This pressure can build up to the extent that the ear drum ruptures, leading to drainage of pus. With this, the symptoms of pain and problems hearing, disappear and the infection clears.

Middle ear infections are common in children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years, children who…

View original post 529 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daily Health Tips: Appetite Loss In Pregnancy

chatwithketch

Q: Hello Doc, l am 1 month pregnant now but I have been experiencing loss of appetite. So please may I know what food do pregnant women eat? Thank you.

A: Early pregnancy can be a trying time for a number of women as they go through tiredness, breast tenderness, loss of appetite, nausea etc

Loss of appetite may be due to the nausea of early of early pregnancy where it appears the tummy cannot seem to keep anything down. If you feel nauseous, the following tips may help:

The standard teaching is to try eating some bland foods like Crackers biscuits or dry toast. That personally didn’t work for me. I preferred tart things…which some may want to avoid. I loved lemons during my pregnancies. They were the one thing guaranteed to ‘wake up’ my mouth and chase nausea far away. I also had a particular brand of very…

View original post 397 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daily Health Tips: Still On Handwashing…My Experience

chatwithketch

I was in church on Sunday….unfortunately, not early enough to snag my favourite seat in the house. There’s really nothing special about the area I like to sit in…just that I like the aisle seat. As I got to church this Sunday, this seat had been occupied by a young lady.

As I sat down, I started to fan myself…all of that racing from the car park to the church was taking its toll! The young lady in question turns to me and informs me that she’s cold and so I was to stop fanning myself! And I looked at her like, ‘can’t you see what I am dealing with here?’ I answered with, ‘But I’m hot’. I however, proceeded to change the general direction of my blowing such that it wasn’t getting to the left (hopefully) where she was seated. So, all in all, it wasn’t a great start…

View original post 458 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Pregnancy Changes

Q: Good evening Dr, please why does my breast remain the same even while pregnant and any solution to flattened breast? Thanks

A: Thanks for writing in. Pregnancy affects different people differently, you know. Some people will feel that their bust doubled in size immediately and for others, it’s the opposite J

Please see below, normal symptoms of pregnancy and I’ve also thrown in a bonus…the red flags (symptoms that should make you show up in the hospital immediately).

Breast tenderness: this is inevitable as your breast ducts prepare for the job of lactation. Bra sizes could go up from 1 to several sizes up. Perhaps yours went up just one or perhaps even just remained the same. It is not abnormal. If it does start to increase, be sure to get a good support bra and keep going up sizes as your breast size increases. This will help reduce sagging.

Discharge: A thin milky discharge is normal during pregnancy. But if this becomes yellow, greenish or foul smelling, please see your doctor.

Heartburn and Constipation: These happen due to one of the hormones produced during pregnancy. The antenatal vitamins also play a part in worsening constipation J

Frequency of urination: As the baby grows in the uterus, it presses on the bladder making you feel like urinating more often.

Tiredness: As your body works overtime to support a growing life inside you, you would feel exhausted.

Food cravings and aversions: Well, I certainly had loads of aversions with my first pregnancy. I can’t remember any cravings as I couldn’t get any food to stay down. However, some people develop a craving for the oddest, craziest foods when pregnant. Go easy on eating for two though…the healthy living dictum of eating loads of fruits/vegetables and low calories does not change during pregnancy. The more you gorge or give in to the food cravings, the more work you have to do to get it off after the baby. However, if you find yourself craving things like clay, sand etc, please see your doctor as it could be a sign of iron deficiency anaemia.

Morning sickness/nausea: This is due to the hormones of pregnancy (again!). This may be mild or so severe that the person actually gets hospitalised. If your nausea is severe, please see your doctor. But generally, you can help push this back by eating some bland food especially in the mornings when it is worse like crackers or cheese. 

So, as you can see, most of the symptoms you have complained about can be explained away by pregnancy! 

Now for the red flags…these have to be checked out by your obstetrician immediately:

Significant bleeding. If you’re not sure what is significant and what’s not, please see your doctor all the same. Better safe than sorry.

Severe abdominal pain: This could be a sign of a threatened miscarriage

Severe nausea/vomiting: This could lead to dehydration which could affect the baby adversely

Severe dizziness

Too little weight gain or too much weight gain: Try to keep weight gain between 11 to 15kg during the pregnancy. Your doctor could have recommended more or less depending on your pre-pregnancy state.

Pain or burning sensation when urinating: This could be a urinary tract infection. It needs to be dealt with.

Vaginal discharge: Foul smelling, yellow or greenish colour could indicate an infection and could affect your baby.

High fever: This could signify an infection.

As for what you can do about the morning sickness, here’s a post I had done on this recently.

The standard teaching is to try eating some bland foods like Crackers biscuits or dry toast. That personally didn’t work for me. I preferred tart things…which some may want to avoid. I loved lemons during my pregnancies. They were the one thing guaranteed to ‘wake up’ my mouth and chase nausea far away. I also had a particular brand of very tart bubble gum, I indulged in  These were key for me because, though I didn’t have the real bad case of morning sickness that sent you to the hospital, brushing my teeth in the morning always sent me into a bout of retching/vomiting. Therefore, I always had a ready supply of the gum or lemon/lime to pop into my mouth once I was done brushing/retching! Not a very pleasant memory ;D

So, if lemons work for you to prevent nausea, go for it. Remember that moderation is key. A few drops (one or two) in a glass of water are enough to provide that tart kick that sends nausea far away. There is a catch here though…remember the heart burn associated with pregnancy. The acid content of lemon might make the heart burn and any pre-existing gastro-esophageal (stomach and esophagus/gullet) problems worse. So, this is all the more reason to be very moderate or stop if it exacerbates an already bad case of heartburn. Wherever and whenever in doubt, please be sure to see your doctor.

Other tips:
• Eat little amounts of food frequently as an empty tummy increases the likelihood of throwing up. Remember this is not an excuse to binge and over eat 
• Avoid fatty and greasy foods.
• Avoid smells that trigger nausea
• Cold foods may be preferable to hot as the former does not give off smells that may cause you to feel queasy.
• Get loads of fresh air and rest
• And drink sufficient fluids daily

Have a great day, everyone 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Are These Normal?

Q: My son is a month and two weeks old. Ever since he was born, he grunts, fusses, kicks, punches, makes cry face and other funny faces when trying to pass gas and poop. He does it every day throughout the day. For example, he was just lying with me, he started stretching his legs out, making cry/fussy noises and pushing hard, all of a sudden, i hear the loudest fart and then he stops. I feel bad for him and I feel like since newborn poop is watery, it should not be a challenge to him. He also rubs his face, pulls his legs, stretches them out too as well as his hands, and makes groaning noises in his sleep. Please are these normal???

A: Thanks for writing in dear. The first thing to do when you are not sure what is wrong with your baby is to go see the paediatrician (the baby’s doctor). It is better to be safe than sorry.

The good news is that your baby makes stool and farts (?) normally.

The stomachaches that babies have (colic) can be very distressing for a parent to watch but perhaps understanding what it is about may be helpful. Colics usually start occurring in some children between 3 to 6 weeks of age and disappear between the 3rd to 4th month of life, without any treatment. So, your baby fits right into this age group. Unfortunately, we still do not really know what causes these colics and why some babies suffer from it while others do not. However, it has been found to occur more in first born babies (whether boy or girl), formula-fed babies and can also be associated with the diet of a breastfeeding mum.

Some modifications may help reduce their severity:

§  Be sure to burp baby after each feed

§  Hold baby and gently rock her after a feed

§  Hold your baby upright during her feed

§  Check your diet: reduce caffeine-containing foods and sometimes, it may be the dairy in your diet that you baby is reacting to. Taking dairy off your diet for a week or two may lead to improvement in symptoms.

Remember to see your doctor where in doubt, especially if this continues past the time noted above.

Just a note about gripe water which a lot of people want to give their babies when they have this condition….honestly, the benefits are more in our imagination than in actual fact 

So, with or without gripe water, this colic shall pass

Have a great night, y’all 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Pain And Bleeding During Sexual Intercourse

Q: Morning Doc. Kudos to you and well done. My question is that I have been facing some difficulties with my wife. She just came back from travelling 2 days ago & each time I tried to have sex with her, na wahala….because when I penetrate inside her, the next thing I see is blood coming out as if she’s a virgin. And that will just be the end of the fun because I get scared whenever it happens. Please what can be the cause and what’s the possible solution to it? Thanks and please replyy

A: Thanks for writing in.

There appears to be two problems: pain during intercourse and bleeding during sexual intercourse.

Pain during sexual intercourse is more common with women but can also happen in men. This condition is called dyspareunia in medicine.

Dyspareunia is a condition in which one experiences pain during or after sexual intercourse. In women, the cause may be due to:
• Vaginismus: a condition in which the vaginal muscles go into spasms when an attempt is made at penetration.
• Lack of adequate lubrication eg due to hasty foreplay etc
• Infections of the vagina (like candidiasis as mentioned in the question) or urinary tract can also cause pain during sexual intercourse.
• Injuries/wounds to the vagina
• Emotional issues like stress or emotional disconnect from partner.
• Fibroids around the vagina or cervix

Treatment depends on cause. If due to infections, they have to be treated. If it’s due to lack of lubrication, that has to be handled. Some lubricating gels may be suggested. If no physical cause can be seen and the problem appears to be emotional, some counseling may be required. Understanding that when people get married, they are actually two ‘strangers’ trying to get to know each other, should form part of the incentive for slowing down and trying to find out what pleases each member of the union.

The cause of vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse depends on the woman’s age:

For women who are not yet at the age of menopause, the cause of vaginal bleeding is usually from the mouth of the womb (the cervix). However, this can also occur once in a while even when there is really no cause and may not be a cause for concern. It is important, though to get a pap smear done to rule out cancer of the cervix.

Examples:

  1. Inadequate lubrication during sexual intercourse
  2. Friction during sexual intercourse
  3. Inflammation of the cervix
  4. Genital sores from sexually transmitted infections
  5. Normal bleeding before or after a menstrual period

After the age of menopause, vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse could also be from the mouth of the womb (cervix). Other sources of this bleeding could be from the womb (uterus), the opening of the vagina or the opening of the bladder.

Examples:

  1. Inflammation of the vagina
  2. Vaginal dryness
  3. Vaginal atrophy

So, I will suggest a little patience before sexual intercourse to get your wifey in the mood. I understand that she’s probably been away for a while and so the delayed gratification may be playing a part in this issue  Take a moment to get your wife emotionally ready before you get into the physical 

Your wife may also have some things on her mind..perhaps she’s worried about something? Take the time to find out.

If this continues, however, please get her to see a gynaecologist.

Have a good night, everyone 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Suicide Can Never Be An Option

Q: Please help me out because I am tired of this life already. Sometimes I will be thinking of suicide. I have been going from one hospital to another complaining of frequent urination, and each time i urinate I feel as if I am losing my energy. I feel dull. It is even affecting my speech making me to stammer whenever I want to talk, I have lost so much weight, always feeling headache if I am hungry. it has even made me to develop ulcer. I am just tired. I don’t know what to do again. It’s even causing me chest pain, increased heartbeat, thirst, hunger. I have done so many tests. They told me they can’t find anything including urea, c&s aerobic bacteria, electrolytes, creatinine, ECG, kidney test, FBS. They can’t find anything. For some months now, I have noticed that I urinate more whenever I eat anything carbohydrate. Once it’s carb, I will be urinating, feeling hungry and thirsty with headaches. So, the only food I consume every day is beans- morning, afternoon and night. If I try carbs, I will start feeling terrible. The worst is minerals (soda). If I take them for 2 days, I will be feeling headache and more urine. Please what could be the problem? I can’t even gain weight anymore. My skin is so dry, I am always feeling warm, feeling like staying inside water without coming out. Sometimes I get tired of eating only beans but if I try carbohydrate food, I will start feeling bad. I am currently using ciprofloxacin. If I don’t use it for 1 or 2 weeks, I will start feeling like I have malaria. Please help me. I can’t even think straight, always making me feel moody, I can’t socialize with my friends anymore please doc

A: Hello dear! So sorry to hear about what you’re going through. My heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you.

But, suicide is not the answer. You will just be creating a cycle of pain – leaving other people in pain as they mourn your death…God forbid!

The symptoms (frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue and weight loss) that you describe could be due to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Have you visited a specialist hospital? Or did you go to labs for tests and treatment? My recommendation, even if you had visited a hospital before now, is to go to a specialist hospital (like a Teaching Hospital). I am sure that when you give your symptoms they will refer you to an endocrinologist, who will take a proper history and speak to next steps.

There is always a solution to any problem life throws at us…never give up hope. Never lose faith. Help is close by. Some tips to help you:

•    Develop a strong social and spiritual support system. Join activities in clubs, churches, art centres etc.
•    Exercise regularly and reduce your stress. If the latter is not readily viable, improve on your stress coping mechanisms.
•    Eat healthy and get the necessary amount of sleep daily (7 – 8 hours)

I have also shared the phone numbers of some Suicide hotlines on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/healthylivingwithdrketch) if you need to talk.

Should the issue actually be Type 2 DM, here’s what you should know.

Usually starchy foods we eat are converted to glucose. The body, in response to the presence of glucose in the blood, releases insulin from the pancreas. The insulin helps the glucose to move into the cells where it is needed. In type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, the cells no longer respond to the insulin prod (stimulus. The latter is called Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

People with Type 2 DM can control their DM using a combination of diet and exercise (staying lean and staying active). With time though, they may require oral drugs and/or insulin.

Now, how do we make exercise a part of our day? You need at least 30 minutes daily. The requirement per week is 150 minutes and so you could do 30 minutes on 5 days of the week or 1 hour on 3 days of the week. Just break it up and find ways of doing the things you love in a more active way. Activity/exercise ideas are pillow fights, arm wrestling, taking walks, dancing, joining a gym, jumping jacks during commercial breaks etc. At work, being more active speaks to getting up and walking on the spot whenever you get a phone call, walking to the printer to pick up documents and walking to colleagues’ desks to ask questions/confirm issues, walking over to the bank ATM instead of driving there, using the stairs and not the elevators, installing an exercise/activity reminder on your computer to remind you to get active if you forget to do any of the above 😀

How can we make healthy foods the easier choice? Surround yourself with the right foods. Fresh fruits, veggies, dried fruits (which can also be added t nuts), nuts, dairy like yoghurt etc Then make the right choices. It’s one thing to buy up all the healthy things that have been suggested, it’s another to eat them and not reach for the doughnut that your colleague just brought into the office. In our high powered, we-are-all-busy-racing-to-somewhere world, eating breakfast may sound like a luxury, few can afford, but guess what? Studies have shown that eating breakfast may reduce the risk of obesity and Diabetes. So, whether you’re skipping breakfast because you think you don’t have time or because you want to lose weight by kipping meals, it’s bad news. So, how can you ensure that you’re not only eating breakfast but eating the right foods? A dietitian should be able to provide practical guides for the right diet to eat.

Here are our tips for eating a healthy breakfast on the run:

Oatmeal is always a great idea. Rich in fibre which reduce cholesterol and help protect your heart and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. If you’re not a huge fan of oatmeal, you could sprinkle some cinnamon on it and be sure to take with skimmed milk. Another idea for oatmeal I learnt from a chef is overnight oats. Soak your oats with milk and unsweetened yoghurt overnight (just enough to cover the oats). Cover and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning, bring out and sprinkle some cinnamon, add some apple or banana slices, a couple of nuts (optional)…and you’ve got a delicious bowl of healthy deliciousness in your hands! Some whole wheat/grain cereals (unsweetened) also not go amiss. Whole grain bread with peanut or almond butter (peanut butter is just ground up peanuts or groundnuts), an egg with a cup of fresh juice or some fruit slices also sounds good If you want to go for a smoothie, be sure to add some veggies (carrots, a handful of green leafy veggies etc) to ensure it is super healthy and not just another sugar rush 😀

All the best. Please let me know how it goes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Body Odour

Q: Please Doc, my 8year old boy has started having this odour especially when he sweats. Please, what can I do to stop this or is it normal because when I checked his armpit I found some hair coming out? Please I need answers ASAP. Thanks

A: Thanks for writing in. Is this normal? Well, from around the age of 8 to 10 years, children begin to sweat a little more and of course with the sweat comes the possibility of body odour. So, this is the time to teach him some hygiene lessons that will be helpful forever 

He needs to take a shower twice a day or failing that, at least once a day. This helps wash away sweat as well as reduce the number of bacteria on his skin.

Most people don’t know but sweat on its own is virtually odourless. But when bacteria that live naturally on your skin mix with sweat, they multiply quickly and become smelly.

Teach him to towel off after a bath or shower. He needs to pay close attention to areas where he sweats a lot. Sweat causing bacteria love moist areas.

Get him a deodorant or anti-perspirant to use on his underarms twice a day, in the morning and the evening. Deodorants do not actually prevent sweating, but they mask the smell of bacteria on the skin. Now that he has underarm hair, he has to shave that and groin area hairs frequently as they trap sweat and encourage smells.

Change undergarments frequently. Honestly, panties and underpants should be changed whenever you take a bath. And please remember to wash the discarded ones when you change.

When sweating heavily or in very hot weather,  he should change clothes frequently…and it’s important to wash those sweaty clothes before wearing them again! Fresh clothes help keep body odour down.

Teach him to change his socks too, especially if he tends to have foot odour. Deodorant powders or detergent based running shoe cleaners used in shoes are useful.

Be sure to reassure him that this is all part of growing up and as is usual with this process, he has new responsibilities that go with this stage 

Have a good night, y’all 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Underarm Painful Lump

Q: Evening Dr. Please kindly assist. I have a thing under my right armpit. I don’t know whether it’s a folliculitis or a boil. It hurts and it’s affecting my arm. Which home remedy should I use or must I go and see a doctor. Your help you’ll be appreciated!

A: Well the first thing to do is to figure out what this painful lump is.

The more common causes/triggers of painful lumps in the armpits, include:
• Deodorants: These can cause skin irritation which can lead to boils. The delicate and sensitive skin of the underarms and the sweat that can accumulate there making it a rich culture medium for germs are factors that have been implicated. Solution: You may have to try another one…find one without fragrance or perhaps, formulated for sensitive skin. Reading the labels will provide this information 

• Shaving: A lot of people can identify with this…bumps in the underarm after shaving. This can happen if you do not shave properly. Shave along the direction of growth of the hair. Try shaving after taking a bath when the hair is moist and the skin hydrated. If this does not suffice, you may have to find alternative means of removing underarm hair eg depilatory cream.


• Infection of the hair follicles from cuts or injuries to the underarm, or from friction caused by wearing tight clothing. So, be careful while shaving and try to wear clothes that are more loose fitting (especially under the arms) and/or focus on fabrics that can ‘breathe’ like cotton


• Dirt or debris from excessive sweating can clog up hair follicles leading to painful lumps. Personal hygiene is key. Don’t be miserly with bathing and be sure to ‘take care’ of the underarms and other areas like the groin that tend to accumulate sweat and raise a stink 

• Infections due to viruses or bacteria.

• Cancer of the breast may also present like this.


I hope this helps. Keep checking your breasts and if you notice anything suspicious, please see your doctor.

Have a great night, y’all 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: What Is The Cause Of This ‘Stomach’ Ache?

Q: Greetings Dr. Please help advice me. I am 21 weeks pregnant. I had a cervical stitch at 15weeks because of threatened miscarriage. Now I usually have stomachache especially when I lie on my left and right sides but a bit comfortable when I lie on my back but of which I know it is not the best position. Dr. is the regular stomachache normal or it will cause a problem? And what about lying on my back?

A: Hi dear, thanks for writing in.

Abdominal pain in pregnancy may or may not be serious.

Harmless causes include:

·      Constipation

·      Gas

·      The growing womb (uterus)

·      Braxton-Hicks contractions (these are ‘fake’ contractions preparing the womb for the main even :D)

Serious causes of pain during pregnancy include:

·      Ectopic pregnancy. To learn about ectopic pregnancy, please click on this link https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/08/07/daily-health-tips-what-are-my-options-after-ectopic-pregnancy-and-failed-ivf/

·      Pre-term labour. To learn about this, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/07/28/daily-health-tips-am-i-leaking-amniotic-fluid-liquor-amnii/

·      Miscarriage. To read more on miscarriage, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/07/23/daily-health-tips-im-scared-of-getting-pregnant-after-two-miscarriages/

·      Placental abruption. To learn more, click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/03/26/daily-health-tips-placental-abruption/

·      Urinary tract infection. To learn more, please click on this link https://chatwithdrketch.com/2016/02/19/daily-health-tips-re-visiting-chronic-utis/

·      Pre-eclampsia. To learn more, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/10/23/daily-health-tips-protein-in-urine-during-pregnancy/

Having said all these, you probably have no way of knowing what is harmless or not. So err on the side of caution and see your doctor if ‘it just doesn’t feel right’.

You should see your doctor immediately so you can stop lying on your back In the first trimester, if you’re used to sleeping on your back, 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.

I hope this helps.

Have a great weekend ahead, y’all 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment