Journalism in the service of society

What causes dementia?

MY 80 -year-old father was recently diagnosed with Dementia. Kindly let me know what causes the ailment and how it can be handled.

—Ibrahim (by SMS)

According to the World Health Organization, there are currently 55 million people worldwide living with dementia, with nearly 10 million new cases being diagnosed each year. To lower the risk of dementia in a population, researchers must understand what causes dementia. Several studies have looked at the association between psychological distress—an umbrella term that encompasses symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress—and dementia. However, the link between the two remains unclear. Other studies have found that anxietyvital exhaustion, and psychological stress are associated with a later onset of dementia. However, at present, the mainstay of treatment is symptomatic management. In this regard, important management protocols include Medical and Non- Medical therapy including nutrition and exercises.

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How to lose weight

I am a 35-year-old Politician who is on the fat side. I have tried every method of losing weight such as fasting, exercises and the rest without any luck. Kindly advise me on what to do.

— Denton (by SMS)

T​here has been extensive research on different weight-loss methods and their effectiveness. While Intermittent fasting (IF) is a popular component of weight loss diets, researchers are still working to understand its benefits and drawbacks. A recent study found that the frequency and size of meals had a more significant impact on weight gain than the time window of eating. The results indicate that restricting eating to certain times of day with intermittent fasting may be ineffective for people to lose weight in the long term. Coupled with regular exercises, this method could be very effective.

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How to slow down aging

I am a 65- year old man. I am wondering how I can slow down my aging process so that I will enter my 70s in good health.

–Bitrus (by SMS)

There are several ways in which we can slow down the aging process and maintain good health as we age. One way is by following a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can help to reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Another way to slow down aging is to engage in regular physical activity. Exercise can help to boost the immune system, improve bone density, and maintain muscle mass. It can also reduce the risk of developing age-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition to diet and exercise, it is also important to practice stress management techniques and get enough sleep. Chronic stress and sleep deprivation can contribute to the aging process and increase the risk of age-related diseases. In conclusion, aging is a complex process that is influenced by multiple factors, including genetics, environmental exposures, and lifestyle choices. By following a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, practicing stress management techniques, and getting enough sleep, we can slow down the aging process and maintain good health as we age.

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Surgery for cataracts

I am scheduled for surgery in two weeks to remove my cataracts. Kindly let me know what to expect during surgery.

      —  Steve (by SMS)

During cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed, and a clear artificial lens is usually implanted. In some cases, however, a cataract may be removed without implanting an artificial lens. Surgical methods used to remove cataracts include: Using an ultrasound probe to break up the lens for removal. Cataract surgery takes 10 to 20 minutes to complete, depending on the severity of the condition. You should also plan to spend up to 30 minutes following the surgery to recover from the effects of the sedative. Cataract surgery is not painful. While patients are awake during surgery, there is little or no discomfort involved. A mild sedative may be administered before the surgery, which calms the nerves, and eye drops are used to numb the eye.

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Recurrent vaginal boils

I am a girl of 16 going to 17. My problem is that I have recurrent Vagina boils. When one bursts, another one will come up in a few days- time. In addition, I also have a swollen lymph node on my neck. Kindly let me know what to do about his.

— Sheifat (by SMS)

 Infections, such as boils, abscesses or skin infections can cause swelling in the linked lymph node. For example, if there is a major infection of the hand, there may be swollen glands at the armpit. Infections are the commonest cause of swollen lymph nodes. A recurrence of Boils could be due to some underlying medical issues such as Diabetes Mellitus, HIV/AIDS among others. It will therefore be advisable for you to see a Medical Doctor for a complete check-up and Laboratory investigations in order to tackle the underlying problem if any.

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Fasting and kidney damage

Is it really true that Fasting can damage the Kidneys? I fast regularly and will not like to stop the practice even though I am currently 65 years of age.

— Emeka (by SMS)

Experts have confirmed that fasting causes increased levels of Kidney Stones which is potentially damaging to the kidneys of people with Diabetes mellitus, gout and in the elderly. It is for this reason that people who undergo long term fasting especially elderly ones like you are advised to drink water when fasting.

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Daily bathing and skin damage

I recently read in a Health Magazine that daily bathing with soap can damage the skin. Kindly advise me on this.

—-Ibukun (by SMS)

Skin experts believe that most people do not need more than one shower a day. However, sometimes, there is a need to clean your body more than once a day, such as if you engage in a sport or activity that causes you to sweat. You should shower when finished. What may be bad for your skin is daily scrubbing and washing with soap. This is because washingand scrubbing removes the skin’s oil and healthy bacteria, and it can become dry, irritated and itchy . Dry, cracked skin can allow bacteria to get through, causing infections and allergic reactions.

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Addicted to fast food

As a busy young Executive, I am always on the move. Because of this, most of my food consumption is from Fast Food outlets. My friend who is a Medical Doctor recently warned me against this habit. Kindly advise me on how to handle it.

—- Greg (by SMS)

Fast food is readily available in many countries in the world as a quick and convenient meal choice, but it can be unhealthy to eat this type of food regularly. This is because, Fast food poses certain health risks when consumed regularly, and experts are working to understand its full risks, particularly regarding liver health. A​ recent study found that consuming 20% or more of daily food intake from fast food sources can increase the risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The risks for developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may be highest for people with obesity or diabetes, the research notes. The researchers found that consuming 20% or more of daily calories from fast food can increase the risk of developing fatty liver disease, also known as steatosis. In addition, food served at fast-food restaurants is often high in fat, calories, and sugar but low in nutrients and fiber. While eating the occasional fast food meal isn’t a problem, consuming it regularly may raise your risk of obesity, heart attack, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and other health issues. To decrease your fast food consumption, start small by cutting down the number of days you are consuming it. For example, if you are eating fast food five days per week, cut it down to three days per week; and keep reducing the number of days each week or biweekly. Eat balanced meals: Be sure your meals are complete with a carbohydrate/fiber, protein, and fat. This will balance your blood sugar, reduce cravings, and help you feel full and satisfied.

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