In this column, the leading specialist doctors answer your health and wellness queries. If you have a health question that needs an answer please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. I am Fouzia, 25, having menstrual delays, weight gain and abnormal hair growth on my face. I have severe hair fall and acne also. Please suggest some treatment.
Fouzia, you need to do some investigations to rule out polycystic ovaraian disease. A detailed hormonal work up is to be done. In the meanwhile please do lifestyle modification including exercise. Take more of fresh vegetables and fruits. Avoid junk food. Consult an endocrinologist to start medications.
Q. I am Asiya, 28. Six months ago, I was diagnosed with Graves’s disease. I am taking neomercazole tablets and am feeling better. But I’m worried whether I have to take lifelong medications. Please advice.
Dear Asiya, Graves’s disease is perfectly treatable condition. You will have to take medications for at least 16 to 18 months. Usually the disease goes in remission after that. Check your thyroid functions after every 3 months. The dose of drugs will be decreased depending on the response. Do take good dose of calcium and vitamin D supplements as well.
Mohammad Hayat Bhat
MD, DM (Endocrinology) PGI
Lecturer, Department of Medicine, GMC Srinagar
Phone: 09419006364, 09419009166
Q. My wife is 47-year-old. She recently felt a swelling in her left breast, roughly like a walnut. We consulted a doctor who advised surgical consultation. What should we do as one of the cousins was diagnosed to have breast cancer?
We have to consider this type of case to be strongly suspicious for malignancy due to the family history of breast cancer. She has to be assessed by three parameters. The first and foremost is a proper clinical examination done preferably by a surgeon specialist to define the characteristics of this breast lump. The second modality of assessment will be done by an ultrasound or a digital mammography of the breast. The third step will be performing a FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) performed by a pathologist. Once the triple assessment is complete, only then can a firm diagnosis of this breast lump be given and a plan formulated for treatment of your patient. Kindly consult our surgical OPD at SMHS hospital at the earliest.
Q. Dear doc, I’m 37-year-old male with weight of 130 kgs. I have diabetes and frequent joint pains. Is there some way of losing my weight as I am very strict with my diet and try to exercise as much as possible? Please help.
Furqan Ahmed, Shopian
Dear Furqan, I’m sorry to hear about your condition. Unfortunately you have not mentioned about your height as that could be useful in calculating your BMI (body Mass Index). You have to consult an endocrinologist who will assess this and give you proper advice about your excess weight. The current pyramid for managing patients such as you starts with lifestyle modification and healthy diet. The next step will be use of medications which will decrease your appetite. However, if these measures fail then we can help you with bariatric/metabolic surgery which is the last resort for patients who are unable to lose weight.
Please consult our surgical OPD on Thursdays for further guidance.
Dr Iqbal Saleem Mir
Associate Professor, Head Unit 4, Postgraduate Department of Surgery Govt Medical College, Srinagar
Q. I am a 23-year-old Female pursuing Masters in Chemistry at the University of Kashmir. From last 5-6 years, I have been repetitively cleaning my hands after touching any object and have persistent thoughts about having my hands dirty. I spend about 3-4 hours a day in this washing behavior. Only after getting fully convinced that everything is as it should be, the same thought comes to me that I should clean my hands again because if I don’t, my hands would get laden with germs. Nowadays I even avoid shaking hands with my colleagues which has led to my social isolation. Is this repetitive cleaning behavior a psychiatric disorder, and how can I deal with this?
This is an anxiety disorder known as Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is the fourth commonest mental disorder having prevalence of about 2 percent, but patients do not visit a psychiatrist owing to secretive nature of illness. OCD has diverse symptoms characterized by repetitive thoughts, checking things repeatedly or performing certain routines repeatedly. Common activities include repetitive washing, checking, counting etc. Some persons get repetitive blasphemous thoughts. A person suffering from OCD has little control over these thoughts and these thoughts or activities occur to such an extent that a person’s life is negatively affected.
There are two types of treatment for this condition; one is a form of psychotherapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the other is with the help of certain medications. Most of the patients are able to function well when they comply with treatment prescribed by psychiatrists.
Dr. Arshad Hussain
Associate Professor, Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital