| Diets play a big role in checking hair loss and constipation
Q: I am an 18-year-old boy. I am suffering from excessive hair because of dandruff. I am afraid that this may be due to the high iron content in the drinking water in our locality. Moreover, my face was marked by acne and pimples a year ago. These eventually disappeared. Suddenly they have started reappearing on my face. I am very concerned. Are there any remedies against my ailments'
A: I am sorry I canít help you much with the problem of high iron content in drinking water. You can perhaps switch to drinking mineral water. This may help. Dandruff can cause hair loss, but there is a good remedy. Make a mixture of 500 ml of coconut oil, 500 ml of sesame oil and 100 ml of castor oil. Rub this mixture on your hair and leave it for half an hour. Next, ground some henna leaves and apply the paste on your hair. Then wash your hair with natural shikakai powder. If all this sounds too complicated, you can alternatively use Johnsonís baby shampoo, or Selsun shampoo, or Himalaya Dandruff Control shampoo twice a week. Apply Johnsonís baby oil to the head after taking a bath. Flakes of dandruff can cause acne, so curing it may automatically take care of the other problem. You can also wash your face with a wet towel and Neko soap thrice a day. You should also apply five per cent of persol ointment on the pimples at night.
A healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables will also help you against acne. Moreover, foods with high calcium content will check excessive hair fall.
Q: I got married a year ago and since then have been living in my in-lawsí home in West Bengal. Prior to my marriage, I was living in Assam. My problem is that after coming to my in-lawsí house, I have started suffering from acute constipation. The problem, however, vanishes whenever I go to my home in Assam. At those times, I have regular bowel movements without taking any medicines. I have now started taking Isabgul. Please advise me.
A: Constipation is a symptom, not a disease. Some people think they are suffering from constipation if they do not have bowel movements every day. However, normal bowel movements may vary from three times a day to only three times a week, depending on the person. Constipation is actually defined as having bowel movements less than three times a week. Almost everyone experiences constipation at some point in his or her life. Most of the time constipation is temporary and not serious. Generally itís caused by a poor diet. Your diet probably has not enough fibres or you may be consuming too much of milk. Other causes of constipation are lack of physical activity, certain medicines, irritable bowel syndrome, ignoring the urge to pass stool and dehydration. In most cases, following a few simple tips helps relieve symptoms and prevent the recurrence of constipation. These are eating a well-balanced and high-fibre diet that includes beans, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. One should also drink plenty of liquids and exercise regularly. You should also set aside time after breakfast or dinner for undisturbed visits to the toilet and donít ignore the urge to pass stool. You should also continue taking Isabgul. I hope all this will help you.
Q: I am a 30-year-old man. I am five feet eight inches tall and weigh 58 kg. I have been suffering from flatulence and belching for the past three years. A health check up showed that I had dyspepsia. What should I do now'
A: Please eat two yellow bananas and increase your fluid intake to four litres daily. You should also stop having milk and milk products like butter, cheese and ghee. You should, however, take a tablespoon of curd (freshly made) every morning on an empty stomach. You should also stop eating wheat or wheat products, sugar, glucose, and cold drinks. In addition to these steps, you should jog daily for 40 minutes and practise yoga for 10 minutes. You can join a yoga class or go to www.yogajournal.com to find the correct asanans. Hope this will help you.
Q: I am 20 years old and have been regularly going to a gym for almost a year now. However, my weight is only 54 kg and I have a thin body structure. Please advise me how to improve my health and physique
A: People usually want to lose weight, but on the contrary you want the opposite result. To do this, you have to increase your consumption of calories and proteins. A weekly guide is available on www.bodybuilding.com , which can help you with tips on proper exercises and techniques. Wishing you all the best for a healthy life.
Dr Gita Mathai is a paediatrician with a family practice at Vellore. Questions on health issues may be emailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org