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Don’t stop statins stat

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Secondary dyslipidemia, caused by obesity and diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome will disappear when the primary illness is adequately treated.
Secondary dyslipidemia, caused by obesity and diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome will disappear when the primary illness is adequately treated.
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Dr Gita Mathai   |   Published 06.04.22, 12:40 AM

My cholesterol and triglycerides are very high. I tried dieting and exercising. Dissatisfied with my efforts, my physician made me start atorvastatin. After a few months, my values came down but I was asked to continue the medication. I don’t like to take medicines. Now that my values are normal, can’t I stop?

Primary dyslipidaemia is genetic and shows up after a certain age. As with diabetes, lifestyle modifications can control it but, eventually, you may have to go on medications for the rest of your life. In your case, the levels seem to have gone up when you stopped the medication. You could try not remaining seated at a stretch. Get up and walk around intermittently.

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Secondary dyslipidemia, caused by obesity and diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome will disappear when the primary illness is adequately treated.

Increasing your consumption of flaxseed,  garlic and ginger may help.

Belly button odour

I have a bad smell coming from my umbilicus or belly button.

First, check if there is a purulent discharge. If that is not the case, it may be due to soap and water getting stuck inside. This is commoner in diabetics. Clean out your umbilicus using a bud and a solution of 25ml water and 5ml hydrogen peroxide. Dry out the umbilicus thoroughly if necessary using a hair dryer. Do not use talcum powder. If there is no improvement after a week, consult a physician.

Quick exercise

I want to exercise but because of my work I keep irregular timings. Most exercise schedules require at least a 40-minute window. Unfortunately, I have only 20 minutes to spare.

You could try HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Run in place or skip fast for one minute. Then rest for a minute. Keep doing this for a total of 10 minutes. After that, do stretches for five minutes. Don’t forget to wear the correct sort of footwear.

Itchy hands 

My hands and feet keep itching all the time. It is rather unpleasant.

Check to see if there are any scaly discoloured bumps, burrows or patches. See if it occurs after you touch something (contact allergy). If there is nothing, then try moisturising your skin regularly with liquid paraffin. If this does not help, you perhaps need some blood tests to check your lipid profile, thyroid and sugar levels.

Anger issues

I get very angry around ten days before my periods are due. I fight with everyone — my husband, children and colleagues.

You may be suffering from PMS (premenstrual syndrome because of the hormone changes in your body. It is good that you have recognised this before it got out of hand. You can try some simple natural remedies, including sleeping for 7-8 hours, avoiding caffeine and salty food,  exercising regularly and doing meditation. Some women find ginger tea and supplements of calcium and Vitamin B6 helpful. Acupressure (not acupuncture) may also be beneficial.

If none of these work, you may need to take a small dose of antidepressants.

Power nap

I do not sleep more than six hours at night, so I need to take a break in the afternoon to function.

In many cultures, a siesta in the afternoon is an accepted way of life. It refreshes your brain. The best time is between 2 and 3pm. That is early enough to prevent insomnia at night. Don’t, however, sleep more than 20-30 minutes.

The writer is a paediatrician with a family practice at Vellore and the author of Staying Healthy in Modern India. If you have any questions on health issues please write to yourhealthgm@yahoo.co.in



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