Health tips – No magic pill for weight loss, says Dr Gita Mathai in her weekly column

I plan to take medicine to lose weight. are there any side effects?

All medicines have side effects. Diet pills are often used to control sugar in people with diabetes. They control appetite and may even develop an aversion to food. On the downside, if you haven't lost at least 4% of your body weight after 12 weeks, it's less likely to work for you.

They can produce side effects such as liver and gallbladder disease, low blood pressure, and depression. Sometimes subcutaneous fat is lost, especially in the face, leading to premature aging.

Consult your physician; do not buy these medications over the counter. A combination of a calorie-controlled diet and exercise may achieve results without drugs.

SIBO diagnosis

I have frequent watery diarrhea every night. After extensive investigation and endoscopy, I was diagnosed with SIBO (Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth).

This happens because of previous surgeries that have altered the anatomy of the bowel, diverticular disease, blind loops of the bowel, diabetes, and various other conditions. It can be challenging to treat. In addition to diarrhea, it can eventually lead to vitamin deficiencies.

Avoid all milk and dairy products. Do not eat any form of wheat. Take one tablespoon (30 ml) of homemade curd in the morning on an empty stomach. This will repopulate your gut with good bacteria and may help reduce the frequency of diarrhea.

low fever

I have had a low-grade fever of 38°C for 10 days. I feel very tired.

A persistent low-grade fever can be a symptom of many medical problems, such as urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, autoimmune diseases, or thyroid problems. Before starting treatment, you'll need a complete physical exam and blood tests to make a proper diagnosis.

folic acid

I plan to get married in a month. My friend told me I need to start taking folic acid.

It is recommended that you take folic acid daily while you are trying to conceive (preferably before three months) and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Folic acid helps prevent congenital disabilities caused by neural tube defects such as spina bifida. While green leafy vegetables do contain folic acid, it can be difficult to get the amount you need from diet alone, especially as folic acid requirements increase during pregnancy.

natural detox

I want to detoxify my body and remove harmful chemicals. I was told that I can buy a solution in the market to do this.

Detoxification has become a fad. There are various “redimix” solutions on the market, which can be purchased over-the-counter. Some are good and some are not safe, even if they are endorsed by celebrities. They may be made from fruit and vegetable juices, but they can still cause diarrhea and even kidney problems, especially if taken for three days or more in a row.

You can do a natural detox by taking a scoop of homemade curd on an empty stomach and alternating it with half a lime squeezed into a glass of water. This might work slowly but won't hurt.

sports performance

I run in the morning trying to improve my speed and endurance. I don't want to take the supplements they give me at the gym.

Coffee is an excellent supplement for boosting energy and performance. Athletes reported a 5% improvement in performance after 45 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee. It appears to increase muscle efficiency enzymes. If you add a banana too, you're also providing yourself with slow-release energy and potassium. This will help fight fatigue.

The author practices family therapy in Vellore and is the author of “Staying Healthy in Modern India”. If you have any queries on health matters, please write to yourhealthgm@yahoo.co.in

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