Can I drink coffee at 65?

I have been drinking coffee since I was in my twenties. Apart from the aroma which I love so much, the stimulating effect of the drink is good for my accounting job. I want to know if the drink is good for me at 65 years of age.

—- Joel (by SMS)

While caffeine is not bad for the elderly in low levels, those who drink more than four cups of coffee daily can experience anxiety, headaches, restlessness and heart palpitations. Too much caffeine overstimulates the nervous system, leading to jitters, an upset stomach and elderly sleep issues. Therefore, if you must take coffee, it is better to take the decaffeinated brand in moderate portions of one or two cups a day.

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 My problem with asthma

My asthmatic attacks have defied the use of my regular drugs and inhaler. Kindly let me know what to do.

—- Jimoh (by SMS)

Since your asthma has defied regular medications, it is most likely that your body has changed in its reactions to the ailment and the medications you are using to manage it. Therefore, it is important for you to see your doctor for a proper check-up. The exercise will help in the review of your medications and other preventive methods against the asthma.

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A swelling in my neck

I am a 40- year old Civil Servant. I noticed a swelling in the right side of my neck about two months. Even though the swelling is not disturbing me in any way, I don’t like the sight. Kindly advise me on what to do as I don’t like any kind of operation.

— Ike (by SMS)

It is usually advisable for any suspicious swelling to be removed for proper pathological examination. This can be done through the removal of just a small bit of the swelling (Biopsy). It is only when the Biopsy report shows that the swelling should be removed that a surgical operation can be undertaken.

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Is honey better than sugar?

I have been asked to substitute sugar for honey. However, the two taste the same to me. I will like to know if actually honey is better than sugar.

—- Mercy (by SMS)

Apart from having a lower GI value than sugar, meaning that it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly, honey is sweeter than sugar, so you may need less of it than sugar. However, since honey has slightly more calories per teaspoon so it’s wise to keep a close eye on your portion sizes. Using small portions of honey is therefore advisable if you want it to be better than sugar.

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Can I dye my hair?

I am in my late 50s and I noticed that my hair is already getting very white. My barber suggested that I dye my hair but I am afraid if the chemicals in the hair cream will affect me in the future. Kindly advise.

— Oluseye (by SMS)

It has been confirmed that chemical-laden hair dyes can irritate your scalp and cause hair thinning or loss in some people. In addition, while some experts believe that the chemicals in the dye may be harmful when used regularly, the truth is that the long-term health effects are not yet known. Therefore, to be on the safe side, it is advisable to reduce the intensity and regularity of hair dyeing in order to avoid any harmful effect.

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Is this epilepsy?

My 5-year old daughter who was otherwise healthy had convulsions and fits for the first time two weeks ago. Although she recovered from the Convulsion within a few minutes, I am worried in case what he has is Epilepsy. Kindly advise me.

— Worried Mother (by SMS)

Since your daughter was well before the convulsion, epilepsy cannot be ruled out. Having said this, I will suggest a visit to a Paediatrician who will run some tests for daughter.

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Are vitamins very useful?

My 3-year old son doesn’t like to eat. He is now looking small for his age. I want to start him on Vitamins but some of my friends told me that Vitamins are not very effective. They want me to force him to eat. What do you think?

— Ada (by WhatsApp)

Even though a lot of people consume Vitamins on a daily basis, recent scientific research has confirmed that many of the Vitamins we consume are not very helpful. For this reason, I will also advise that instead of piling him up with Vitamins, it is better to encourage him to eat fresh food items. You can do this by giving him his preferred food items.

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I need hearing aids

At age 75 years, I am in good health. However, my hearing is getting worse by the day. My friends have suggested that I use hearing aids. Kindly let me know where to get good and affordable hearing aids.

— Goke (by SMS)

Although hearing aids are very useful for the treatment of poor hearing, it is not in all cases of poor hearing that hearing aids are useful. In view of this, I will advise that you see an expert in hearing problems (Audiologist) for a proper examination before knowing whether or not you will need hearing aids. Fortunately, there are affordable hearing aids in the market.

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