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It could be your kidney

How to keep your balance, sleep troubles, herbal mosquito repellant and other answers to your health queries
Polycystic kidneys can be hereditary

Dr. Gita Mathai   |     |   Published 12.05.20, 04:42 PM

Q: I developed pain in my back. I eventually went to a nephrologist who found multiple cysts in both my kidneys.

A: Polycystic kidneys can be hereditary. As the cysts enlarge they can cause pain, blood in the urine, high blood pressure and eventually result in kidney failure. You need to keep all your nephrology appointments. That way any progression of the disease can be immediately recognised. For the pain, a mild painkiller such as paracetamol, which is not toxic to the kidney, is advisable. If there is no relief and the cysts are large, you may benefit from surgery.

Work on your balance

Q: I am 60 years old and have noticed that, over the past month, I tend to lose my balance at times.

A: Maintaining proper balance is essential because the loss of balance might result in a debilitating fall with broken bones and torn ligaments. The poor balance might be due to weak leg muscles, lack of core strength, ear problems, medications (especially diuretics), inner ear diseases, neck malalignment or lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Once the diagnosis is reached, corrective treatment can be taken. Irrespective of this, it is important to regularly do “balance exercises” such as the tree pose and others that are part of yoga.

Workout at home

Q: I work in an MNC and, out of necessity, I have to work from home. I am getting more work done but my schedule for my personal needs is in chaos. I eat junk food all the time and I just don’t exercise. I have already put on three kilos.

A: Working from home actually requires a lot more discipline than working from the office. Schedules hardly exist. The best thing to do is to run, jog or walk in a figure of 8 in your house or verandah for 30 minutes before sitting down to work (luckily you can start work in your exercise clothes). Then get up every hour and spot jog or walk briskly for a minute. Repeat the infinity figure of 8 walking again in the evening. Don’t store snacks in the house. You can’t eat what you don’t have.

Sleep troubles

Q: I am unable to sleep at night as I have recurring nightmares about fallouts of the coronavirus infection including the death of my family members as well as me. I also worry about finances.

A: You are not alone. Many people have been complaining about disturbed sleep. Try not to disrupt your regular routine. Try to sleep and wake up at the same time. Exercise regularly but try to be done with it two to three hours before your bedtime. Do not nap in the afternoon. Remember that while alcohol induces sleep, it also makes you wake early and unrefreshed.

Avoid caffeinated drinks at least six hours before your bedtime. Try to get an hour or two of sunlight exposure to reset your circadian rhythm and internal clock. Avoid upsetting news bulletins about the spread of the coronavirus close to your bedtime.

Herbal repellant

Q: I don’t like to use the mosquito repellent liquids as I am allergic to them. Is there an alternative?

A: Cut a lime in half, stick 10 cloves in each and place in your house at three feet intervals. The mosquitoes will disappear. These need to be replaced every 12-15 days.

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