Doctor Hour To The Rescue For All Your Health Concerns
As women, we often have health concerns that we feel are too small to require a doctor’s appointment yet significant enough to require consultation. It was from this need that we at SHEROES decided to have live sessions in the Health Community. We call it Doctor Hour. The community is notified when a doctor or health expert would be available and they can ask their questions which are addressed in real time.
We recently conducted a Doctor Hour with Dr Michelle Frank. Within 15 minutes of notification, about 50 questions popped up. While this kept our expert on her toes to answer all the queries, it was definitely satisfying to know that several women have their medical queries, which they would otherwise overlook, addressed.
Here are some concerns she helped our community solve. Read on and we hope you may find a solution for any of your worries as well.
Weight management is a concern among women for cosmetic reasons, to begin with, but it has to be a concern for the right reasons. Our health.
Dr Michelle says,
"You have to exercise every day. There is no other way around it. At least 30 minutes every day. Eat more fruits and veggies. Cut out junk from your diet completely. Prepare your own meals.”
She also had specific instructions for people who suffer from bloating or water retention which makes you appear comparatively big to your original weight. “Drink more water, eat small meals and reduce salt. This helps reduce bloating,” she said.
One of our community members who was trying to conceive a baby was also worried if belly fat would be a health concern. "I would recommend losing some weight. Exercise a little every day. There should be no problem in conceiving. But maintaining a healthy weight is always good.” is Dr Michelle’s advice.
On the other end of the spectrum are people who are trying to gain weight. Here’s what the doctor advises them,
"To gain some weight I would suggest eating every two hours. Eat more carbohydrates like brown rice, veggies like cauliflower and cabbage. Eat proteins like eggs, lentils, beans and pulses. Eat breakfast every morning. Drink plenty of milk daily for your bones and overall immunity. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. This helps to increase weight and also tone your muscles.”
Haven’t we had a friend who would bleed for 10 days at a stretch and we would go like, what?! How are you surviving woman? But, this isn’t a joke. One of the community members was seeking relief from prolonged periods. Here’s what Dr Michelle had to say, "Periods should last at max for a week. If it is extending for a period longer than that I would recommend consulting a gynaecologist.”
Some concerns were also raised about the flow. "As long as your periods are regular, fluctuations in the flow is nothing to be concerned about. Sometimes flow can be lesser than usual. If you have heavy bleeding for one day then it is absolutely fine and nothing to be concerned about. It can be less or spotting on the other days. If there is spotting only for one day then you should go to a gynaecologist.” she said.
A member asked about the age of menopause and whether it would be possible to conceive after 40 years of age. "There is no exact age for menopause. It can last between 45-50 years. However, women can get it later as well. If you have regular menses and are healthy, you can definitely conceive at 40 years of age.” she said.
If you suffer from extreme cramps and pain during periods, the doctor said, "You can take a Meftal Spas. You can take up to two tablets a day. If it doesn't work you can consult with a gynaecologist."
In order to prevent vaginal itching and redness, the doctor recommended, "Try to keep the area clean. Change your underwear whenever it is damp. Get sugar levels checked and also consult a gynaecologist for the possibility of fungal infection.”
Another member experiencing irregular periods due to thyroid had put up her query. Dr Michelle advised, "Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight should help you to regulate your periods again. women who opt for a healthy diet and exercise regularly tend to benefit the most especially if they have hypothyroidism. Exercise for at least an hour every day. Cut out sugar, sweets, rice and bread from your diet. Eat more protein and veggies and fruits. Drink plenty of water.”
Along with menstrual concerns, it was heartwarming to see women open up and ask questions about PCOS. Here are some with Dr Michelle’s answers.
Is PCOS related to Ovarian cancer and can it be detected by a pap-smear test?
"PCOS can increase your chances of cancer, but more so endometrial cancer due to the increase in the endometrial layer and the fluctuations in the hormones. But this is very rare and not a common occurrence among women. Pap smear is only to detect abnormal cells in the cervix. It cannot detect ovarian cancer.”
How to treat PCOS and have a healthier lifestyle?
"Women with these conditions have to opt for lifestyle changes. This is because this is a lifelong condition and unless drastic changes are made there is no specific way to control symptoms. The first thing to do is to exercise on a daily basis. In the beginning, 30 minutes is good to start. Then you have to do one hour daily with weight added to the regime. After that, you have to watch your diet. Cut back on rice, sugar, sweets, oily foods and junk food. Eat salads, fruits, yoghurt and nuts more.”
Why are women with PCOS prescribed medicines that are also contraceptives?
"These are to regulate your cycles. Women who have PCOD have to maintain a healthy weight and also take medications as advised in order to get pregnant. Your gynaecologist who prescribed the medications would have told you. Most of the medications especially if they are contraceptives are to be taken only for 21 days. They come in 21-day packs.”
What about pregnancy if you have PCOS?
"It will take some time. It doesn't go away completely. You need to continue exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. As long as your periods are regular your chances of conceiving are higher.”
A community member wondered how to boost her immunity after delivery. "Great question.” Dr Michelle said. "Eat plenty of fruits, veggies drink milk. Also, start with light exercise like walking. Get enough rest and sleep. Drink plenty of water. Reduce stress. Simple things can help boost your immunity.”
Another member complained that she had started to get acne on her chin and nose after delivery. "Have you consulted with a dermatologist? It could be due to the regularizing of your hormones after delivery that usually causes the acne and changes that you observe in skin, hair and other parts of your body.”
She also confirmed that intrauterine contraception such as Copper T had no impact on the physical growth of women.
A new mother wanted to know how to stop breastfeeding her baby.
"Start with one feed at a time. Do not stop all feeding at once. Give her more to eat. She can be limited to two to three feedings per day. Give her cow milk to drink out of a cup. When you make eating an activity she would be more likely to enjoy it. Also, let members of your family give her food. This way she won't associate you with feedings all the time.”
Skin and Hair
Several users complained that they were suffering from rapid hair fall. "Feeling it once in a while is nothing to be concerned about. If it is excessive get yourself checked for possible infection. Try to wash your hair every alternate day. Also, attempt to oil your hair twice a week. Hair fall is normal. Try to reduce stress. It is the main cause of hair fall. Eat more fruits and veggies.” Dr Michelle said.
She also said that mineral deficiencies might cause premature greying of hair. You should take multivitamin supplements and eat more fruits and veggies.
If you have dandruff, the doctor said, "Go to a dermatologist. Wash your hair daily. Also, keep your hair short.”
A member wanted to know how to get healthy skin and relief from her cracked heels.
"Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Drink at least 3 litres of water daily. Soak your feet in warm water with some Epsom salt at least once a week and then scrub it. This helps the texture a lot.”
Aches and Pains
One of the most common concerns among women was that of back pain.
"You need to start doing more stretches and some exercise. Back pain is a common problem among women. It primarily occurs due to inactivity. I would recommend first getting checked by a doctor. After that do start doing some regular stretches and exercises. Do squats and lunges. Get a bed and pillow that will help you sleep better. Sometimes it is more in the objects you are sleeping on than actually anything wrong with you. If you sleep a little crooked in the night, pain is normal and occurs to most people.”
Our laptop ridden lives have made it extremely important to take care of our back, neck and posture. A member who was suffering from extreme pain put up her concern to the doctor.
"If you are reading or using a screen, try to do some slow neck rotations every half an hour. Avoid keeping your neck in the same position for long periods of time.”
A community member was pregnant and said she was experiencing back pains. "Pain in the abdomen is normal during pregnancy. However, if the pain radiates to your back and you are unable to cope with it do consult with a gynaecologist. Pain shouldn't be uncomfortable. If anything is more show it to the doctor.” said Dr Michelle.
For women who want to control their blood pressure, Dr Michelle points out the obvious but something we ignore oh so, conveniently!
"You have to take your medications regularly. Besides you need to follow a balanced diet, reduce weight, exercise, consume less salt and try to reduce stress. Drink plenty of fluids. These are the simple ways to reduce your blood pressure and maintain it at normal.”
If you frequently experience cough, here's what you should do. "Drink warm water. Avoid too many cold beverages. Add some ginger to your tea or coffee. Try to drink more water. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies to heighten your immunity. Also, get plenty of rest. If your cough doesn't subside, consult with a doctor.”
For one of our women, idle time and overthinking was leading to stress and anxiety. Dr Michelle advised her, "You need something substantial to focus on. All of us have things that worry us. It is where we focus this that matters. Find some hobbies, exercise, work that can keep you busy rather than idle to think about such things.”
Lastly, one user felt she was having mood swings which may be depression, “Not necessarily related to depression. Many women experience mood swings close to their menses. If you feel you may have depression there is no harm in consulting with a psychiatrist.” the doctor said.
It was a very productive live session that helped several women get insights into small ailments and how best to counter them.
Sometimes it is the most obvious and matter of factly things that we ignore. Health should be your priority and it falls under self-care. Taking out an hour’s time for your body to work out is not an impossible feat. It is all about priorities and if you make your health a priority it will reflect. It has been long overdue but now is really the time to take charge of your health and define what fitness means to you.
Stay tuned to our Health Community for such health tips from our beloved, Dr Michelle.
B*****Good information 👍
P*****Thanx a ton... really helpful
U*****Thank you for all the Healthy Tips.