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Thread: Medical Questions with Answers!!

  1. #71
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    Q. Do skin whitening and fairness creams actually work? Aren't they harmful?

    A. If they were really working then the whole of south India which uses tons of such creams would have turned white. Nothing of this sort has happened till now. More often, we see problems related to their use than beneficial effects.

    People sell dreams and the public succumbs to these tactics, which in turn motivates the dream merchants to continue their business. The cosmetic industry is a multi billion industry of the world. The appearance conscious public of the present generation frequently asks the dermatologist for newer anti-aging therapies. Due to this high demand, a lot of hype gets created by the pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies, which promote anti-aging or anti-wrinkling products to patients in a bid to outlive their skin. Along with the presence of Ayurveda, dermatologists in India as well as elsewhere want their share of this big kitty. Present day skin treatments are being targeted at some kind of controlled therapeutic dermal damage and regeneration of new collagen. The often used supplements in these therapies are topical steroids and skin lightening agents, which actually promote skin thinning, thus making it more vulnerable to the environmental insult than a normal skin.

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    Is my husband infected with TB?


    Q. My husband is 34 years of age and weighs around 74 kgs. Since the last one year, he is suffering from fever. Though he feels feverish, but this doesn't show on the thermometer. He feels weak. And also gets throat infections very frequently. He had undergone open heart surgery in childhood. He has got his initial test done in November for Widal, Blood sugar, CBC, ECG, ECHO, etc. All were OK. Now the doctor has suggested for a second round of tests. The results show that his CBC count is okay, but ESR is 20. He has under gone Mantoux test which has shown 8mm. The blood culture record for 48 hours is negative, TB IgM is 0.18 but TB IgG is 272 (which is positive). What does this signify? Is he infected with TB? If yes, will it be curable and will it affect our baby, who is expected soon? Should he go for a CT scan also?

    A. It is unlikely to be fever if the temperature has been recorded between 36.7 and 37.1 degree C. Have different thermometers been tried to confirm if he actually has fever? The feverish feeling along with weakness for nearly one year could be due to many factors including diet, exercise, workout, occupation, etc. ESR of 20 mm is slightly raised but does not have much significance since it is an acute phase reactant and is non-specifically elevated in a large number of conditions. Also, blood for this test has to be collected in the fasting state to minimise false positives. Mantoux reading of 8 mm is negative from the patient's perspective in endemic countries like India, though would be considered positive for epidemiological reasons, and can be explained on the basis of BCG vaccination. TB ELISA is a non-specific test with poor diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity and specificity. A negative IgM with a positive IgG may indicate exposure in the past, and that would be true for the majority of population in endemic countries like India. An x-ray of the chest is definitely indicated and a CT scan may be done if the x-ray is inconclusive. It might be worthwhile to re-evaluate the symptoms in detail by a physician, keeping diet, exercise, occupation, psychosomatic features, etc in mind. It could also be initial phase of myopathy, myasthenia gravis or post-viral fatigue syndrome.

  3. #73
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    Am I taking the right medicines for tinnitus?


    Q. I am a 50 years old male. About 4 months back I had developed tinnitus in my left ear (but no hearing loss). I feel that it could have happened after doing oil massage in the head. But I am not very sure of this. However, an ENT Doctor has prescribed the following medicines to be taken for one month: Cyclospasmol, Ascazin and Anxit. Could you please tell me is this medication is fine? Would there be any side effects of taking these medicines?

    A. No medication is guaranteed to cure tinnitus. Your ENT specialist must examine your ears and hearing to look for any obvious factor. In the absence of any obvious cause, the best way forward is tinnitus retraining therapy - i.e. distraction, use of background sound, relaxation and you must try not to pay too much attention to it. Vitamins, and some herbal remedies like Gingko biloba may have some positive effect.

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    Why am I getting headache on wearing spectacles?


    Q. I am a 30 years old female. I had myopia of -6 and -8 around 8 years back. Now, after reaching 30 years of age, it seems that my eyes have again begun to lose vision. My eyes have developed -0.5 power again. On wearing spectacles for this power, I get a severe headache in back of my head (in alignment to ears). Why is it so? I used to wear spectacles earlier, but never experienced such a thing. Should I opt for Lasik or contact lenses? Is there any surety that this problem will not occur on wearing contact lenses?

    A. Lasik does not guarantee that the refractive error will not change for life. It only removes the refractive error present on day of surgery. Use glasses as contact lenses are difficult to fit after Lasik; the headache may not be related to the refractive error.

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    Are the methods for vascular surgery different in India and UK?


    Q. Is there a difference in common vascular surgical procedures performed in India and UK?

    A. There is no difference in the principles of the surgery in India and UK. The operations do, however, differ depending on the facilities that are available in a particular hospital, be it in India or UK. There is, however, a fundamental difference between the two health delivery systems. The various common vascular operations in UK, like surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) and Carotid Endarterectomies, are being nationally evaluated and standard protocols devised and followed. This particular system does not yet exist in India as there is no registry maintained even in certain tertiary centres, hence the audits are either not done or not reliable enough to draw any guidelines for future. We hope that in future that vascular surgeons across India and centres of excellence will find it important to audit their own work.

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    Can I become pregnant with one follicle?


    Q. I am 25 years old suffering from PCOS. I am taking Bigomet SR twice a day and this month I took Siphene 50 mg from the third day to the seventh day. On the tenth day, my doctor said there is only one small follicle. So, there is no great improvement with the tablet. Can I become pregnant with one follicle? If so, what are the chances? The doctor said that if the follicle has no growth on the 12th day from the cycle, then she will start injectables. Should I go by my doctor's advice?

    A. You can conveniently become pregnant with one good follicle of 18-19 mm. If you do not ovulate with 50 mg of Siphene, ask your doctor to increase the dose gradually to as much as 200 per day, and if you still don't ovulate, then you have to go on injectables.

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    Is Disprin good for heart patients?


    Q. Is Disprin good for heart patients? Can Disprin be used instead of Ecosprin on a daily basis?

    A. Disprin and Ecosprin are brand names; both contain Aspirin. It is available in many strengths. Low-dose Aspirin is used to make blood thinner so that it does not clot and is prescribed in conditions such as angina. It is not a tonic and must not be taken without doctors advice, since it cannot be used in some conditions apart from having side effects, special precautions, drug interactions, etc

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