Monday, 30th October 2017

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Don’t panic

Also, reduce your intake of coffee, tea, cola, sports drinks and alcohol

By Dr. Gita Mathai
  • Published 1.10.19, 10:23 PM
  • Updated 1.10.19, 10:23 PM
  • a min read
You may be having a “panic attack" Shutterstock

Once or twice a week, I suddenly can’t breathe. I choke, my heart beats fast and I feel I am going to die. I had extensive heart evaluation but they found nothing wrong. The medicine they gave me for my symptoms just makes me sleepy.

You may be having a “panic attack”. Once you have been reassured that this is not a heart attack, you can lessen the symptoms by touching a wall or some other object near you, holding on to it, breathing deeply and talking loudly to yourself. Also, reduce your intake of coffee, tea, cola, sports drinks and alcohol. Join a yoga or meditation class. And do not discontinue any medication without your doctor’s permission.

Pot belly

I have an embarrassingly large potbelly. My father has one too.

Storing excess weigh around the belly can be genetic. Even so, it is possible to try and combat it with a healthy calorie-restricted diet, weight management, core-strengthening exercises and at least 40 minutes of aerobic activity.

Waist size

What is the ideal waist size for a fit person?

In women, the waist should be a maximum of 35 inches and in men 40 inches. It is better to also calculate your BMI (body mass index) which is weight divided by height in metre squared. This should be around 23 for a fit person.

Eyelid twitch

My eyelid feels like it has a mind of its own. It twitches. It is quite embarrassing.

“Myokymia” is the medical term for randomly-occurring twitches in the eyelid. It is harmless. It can be precipitated by stress, fatigue and too much caffeine. Try applying an ice pack over the affected eyelid.

Pimple scars

I had a very bad case of acne as a teenager. Now I have ugly scars on my face.

There are several treatments for acne scars. Creams and gels can be prescribed by dermatologists. Masking makeup can also be used. If the scars are deep then laser treatment or injections into the scars may be considered.