Are moles always harmful? 

Ans: No Moles are not harmful always. But if they suddenly start increasing in size, number, start paining, itching, then it is a cause of concern.

What is your advice for varicose veins if they are not painful? 

Ans. Avoid long hours of standing, elevate the foot by putting cushions under it while sleeping and wear compression stockings.

How do you convince someone to a health check-up? Is it mandatory annually? 

A health-check is not mandatory if you don’t have any symptoms. Said that, periodic check helps you nip any looming health issue in the bud.

Health check-up is essentially needed:

-When you are sick

-When you have a symptom that could mean illness -To manage chronic and ongoing conditions -To check on effects of medicines

– To help with risk factors like smoking and obesity

– For lifestyle issues like family planning

– For other reasons that are based on your individual needs

How do we build immunity in the pollution scenario? 

Ans. Avoid smoking, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet with a lot of antioxidants to build resistance against the effects of air pollution. The polluted air we inhale introduces harmful chemicals into our lungs. The protective antioxidants present in the lining of our lungs fight these chemicals out.

Eat Vitamin C rich foods like chaulai ka saag, parsley, drumsticks, guava, citrus fruits. Vitamin C is the single most potent antioxidant of the body.

Vitamin E in our diet comes from sunflower oil, safflower oil, olive oil, fish, basil, etc. Beta-carotene present in amaranth, coriander, fenugreek, spinach, carrots, etc. help in controlling the inflammation. Omega 3 fats in walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, kala chana also protect the body against the detrimental effects of pollution.

My child’s nails grow at an alarming speed- should I be worried?

Ans: You have not mentioned the age of your child. Nail growth depends upon the age and health status. The fingernails of children can grow about 50 % faster as compared to the adults. This is mostly because of better protein accretion and increased secretion of growth hormone at this age. This is one of the reason that they sometimes develop a habit of biting their nails. So, you really should not be worried even if you have to cut their nails every alternate day.

I am suffering from PCOD for 6 years and it is only when I can complete my medication course for the month (contraceptives) that I get my periods. I have also gained a lot of weight because of that. I am not taking any medicines for a year now because of its side effects and hence have stopped getting periods. Is there any alternative therapy for this? I have been suggested oophorectomy as I have sleeping ovaries.

Ans: Polycystic ovarian disease is characterized by Chronic ovulation Chronic hyperandrogenism (increase in male hormone). An increase of male hormone is mainly because of an altered ratio of LH and FSH, LH being a stimulator of male hormone production. It affects ovulation and leads to hirsutism, acne and menstrual irregularities. It decreases insulin sensitization, leading to obesity. Reversal of LH / FSH ratio and sensitization of insulin is possible with regular exercise and modified diet. Ovaries start ovulating resulting into regular menses, reduction of acne and weight reduction. Regular menstrual bleeding is important to prevent the risk of endometrial cancer. Either you should take regular OC pills or progesterone-induced withdrawal bleeding at regular intervals i.e. every 45 -60 days. If your goal is to conceive, ovulation induction along with insulin sensitizer tablets should be the line of management. A balanced diet and regular exercise is the key to correct PCOD.

How important and safe are cervical cancer injections for a 10-year-old girl?

Ans: Cervical cancer vaccine against human papillomavirus is to give immunity to our body to fight against exposure to HPV virus during sexual contact. Antibodies should be available in our body before the exposure. As we are aware that our preteens are at risk of HPV, exposure at an early age due to various sexual behavior, we should provide them immunity against this virus at an early age of life. Moreover, at an early age, the body generates a better immune response and we need to give only 2 doses, 6 months apart in younger teens i.e. below the age of 15.

Until what age do growing pains in kids occur? My daughter is 10 and she still complains of pain in leg and knee of and on. Her physical activity comprises of dancing, swimming and some football (minimal)

Ans: Growing pains are cramping, muscle pains in both legs. They usually start in early childhood, around age 3 or 4. They appear again in kids aged 8-12. The pains usually occur in the late afternoon or evenings. The activities you have stated are good and she should continue with those.  Growing pains are real but essentially harmless. She will soon outgrow them.  The following things may ease the discomfort and help your daughter feel better.

  • Massaging the legs
  • Stretching the leg muscles
  • Placing a warm cloth on the sore leg
  • If the pain does not get better, please contact your pediatrician.

How does a girl’s physical development relate to her period? My 10-year-old is undergoing the same so wanted to know how soon would her menstrual cycle start?

Ans: Young girls on reaching puberty, starting to develop breast buds as the first sign of pubertal growth, followed by axillary hair, pubic hair and growth spurt in height. First menstrual bleeding starts a couple of years later. They grow in height for 1 or 2 more years after the onset of menarche.

How does one handle mood swings during puberty?

Ans. Mood swings are a normal feature to happen during puberty /teenage. This is the time when they assert their personality and individual spirit. The best way to handle it is with great tender loving care. Lots of counseling in a very non-judgemental manner is needed. Channels of communication should be open at all times and it is very important to lead by example. Sometimes the logic and reasoning do not work, so it’s important to handle the discussions/situations very tactfully.

What to expect at a premenopausal stage, how to combat them, diet changes etc.

Ans: Perimenopausal women generally face issues like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, depression, etc. It is very important to continue a healthy lifestyle with a diet rich in antioxidants, Soya products, no smoking/drinking, regular exercise and relaxation techniques like meditation. We sometimes prescribe some supplements to help through this phase. Occasionally, hormone replacement therapy (HRT0 may also be needed, so you must visit your gynecologist if you are troubled by these symptoms. Calcium supplementation is given to prevent osteoporosis.

I am 37 yrs old…I experience swelling in pain unilaterally on my pubic region for 15 days post periods. I am diagnosed with endometriosis and I am presently on Dinogest 2mg once a day…My question is: should one go for surgical removal of the endometrial growth? Or is it better to manage it with medicines? Do they reoccur? I am not planning to have a second child.

Ans: Endometriosis is a chronic problem which keeps recurring. It is generally well controlled with medicines unless there is an endometriotic cyst or nodule, or if a woman is planning a pregnancy. But since you are not planning a pregnancy, give at least 3 months for the medicine to act. If there is no decrease in the size of the cyst/nodule then you could consider surgery. But you still need to continue medication after surgery so that it doesn’t recur.

The questions asked by our community members have been answered by the doctors of CK Birla Hospital for Women