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Health Talk

HEALTH TALK: Seven myths about sleep

Dr.-Emmanuel

Sleep is a very serious issue for some of us. This will be short and sweet, so stay up and read it tonight and thank me in the morning. 1.    To function best, you need to get eight hours. There’s actually nothing magic about that number. Everyone has different sleep needs, and you’ll know you’re getting enough when you don’t ...

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HEALTH TALK: Can’t handle milk?

Dr.-Emmanuel

If you have difficulty with milk, it may mean that you have lactose intolerance. Also called lactase deficiency, the problem is that you aren’t able to fully digest the milk sugar (lactose) in dairy products. It’s usually not dangerous, but lactose intolerance can give you symptoms uncomfortable enough to keep you clear of the dairy aisles in the supermarket. The ...

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HEALTH TALK: The best and worst beverages for weight loss

Dr. Emanuel.

Many of us watch what we eat but not what we drink when on a diet. This is a mistake. The average American, to use an example, gets 20 percent of daily calories from beverages. Choosing the right drink can tweak your metabolism, curb your appetite, and reduce your total calorie count. Let’s look at some beverages to see which ...

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HEALTH TALK: Seven wonders of water

Dr. Victor Emanuel.

Let’s try to make it short and sweet today, about an important, yet controversial, topic, in terms of what people know and others just believe. Stay Slimmer With Water Trying to lose weight? Water revs up metabolism and helps you feel full. Replace calorie-filled beverages with water, and drink a glass before meals to help you feel fuller. Drinking more ...

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HEALTH TALK: Fibroadenoma

Dr. Victor Emmanuel

DEFINITION Fibroadenomas are solid, noncancerous growths (benign tumors) that often occur in women during their reproductive years. A fibroadenoma is a smooth firm, rubbery or hard lump with a well-defined shape. It moves easily under your skin when touched and is usually painless. Fibroadenomas are more common in women in their 20’s and30’s. Fibroadenomas are one of the most common ...

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HEALTH TALK: So you think you can hold your liquor

Dr. Victor Emmanuel

Those of you with good memories will remember that I have tackled this issue in all its aspects in all of the print and electronic media dating back to 1991. This time around, however, we’ll only deal with some medical issues surrounding alcohol. Matters such as the effect on the family, etcetera are best left to the Social Workers and ...

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HEALTH TALK: Bed-wetting or Eneuresis

Dr. Victor Emanuel

INTRODUCTION Soggy sheets and pajamas, a stained mattress and a bad-smelling room – and an embarrassed child – are familiar scenes in many homes.  But do not despair.  Bet-wetting, or nocturnal eneuresis, is not a sign of toilet training gone bad.  It’s often a normal part of development. It is also know as nighttime incontinence.  Primary eneuresis is the term ...

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HEALTH TALK: Got pain in your heels?

Dr. Victor Emanuel

If your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause severe pain, or if your heel hurts after jogging, you may have a real problem. Most commonly, the pain is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia – the tissue along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. The condition: PLANTAR FASCIITIS. ...

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HEALTH TALK: Pros and cons of coffee

Dr. Victor Emanuel.

Coffee may taste good and get you going in the morning, but how will it affect your health? A growing body of research shows that coffee drinkers, compared to non-drinkers are: • Less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. • Have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes. Some experts say there is ...

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HEALTH TALK: Gas and gas pains

Dr. Victor Emanuel

I’m pretty sure that about nine out of ten patients I’ve ever seen have blamed their symptoms on gas, whether their symptoms have been in their head or their ankle.  About one time out of a hundred, they’re right.  It’s just one of those things that has been passed down through the decades. The urge to pass gas from your ...

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HEALTH TALK: Compulsive sexual behavior

Dr. Victor Emanuel

OVERVIEW I think it’s fair to say that sex crosses just about everyone’s mind at some time, maybe fairly often, and that’s not abnormal. But if you have an overwhelming need for it and are so intensely preoccupied with this need that it affects your job or relationships, you may have a problem. You may spend so much time in ...

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HEALTH TALK: Cancer of the cervix

Dr. Victor Emanuel

INTRODUCTION Cancer of the cervix is one of the most common cancers that affects not only the woman’s reproductive system, but the woman as a whole. A variety of strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection (STI) – we don’t say STD much anymore – are the cause of the majority of cases of cervical cancer. ...

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HEALTH TALK: Chlamydia

Dr. Victor Emanuel

OVERVIEW The Chlamydia organism is actually a bacteria-like microbe that infects the genital tract and spreads easily through sexual contact.  One may not know one has Chlamydia at first because the signs and symptoms of pain and fluid discharge don’t manifest right away, if they show up at all.  In other words, many people experience no signs and symptoms.  In ...

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HEALTH TALK: Got a hangover?

Dr. Victor Emanuel

The Truth about Hangover Cures Myths about hangovers are as varied and as fanciful as the cocktails that cause the dreaded syndrome. From eating pasta at bedtime to popping prickly pear pills, the list of supposed hangover cures warrant a closer look. Learn what works – and what hurts – as we sort through 12 common hangover myths. MYTH: Hangovers ...

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HEALTH TALK: About your drugs

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Those of you who watch television or surf the net will be aware that every now and then, a drug is withdrawn from the market for a variety of reasons. This applies to “prescription-only,“ as well as over-the-counter medications. Your doctor ought to know about these, for obvious reasons, but it would not hurt for you to be knowledgeable about ...

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HEALTH TALK: Deep Vein Thrombosis

Dr. Victor Emanuel

It has occurred to me for some time that very often, when patients have been asked about the conditions from which their relatives died, answers have been given which have been highly suggestive of one of the complications of this problem. That complication is pulmonary embolism, which I will discuss later in this session. DEFINITION Put simply, we are talking ...

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HEALTH TALK: An ulcer is a sore

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Today, we will take a look at PEPTIC ULCERS. WHAT IS A PEPTIC ULCER? A peptic ulcer is a sore on the inside lining of the stomach, duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), or the esophagus (gullet).  When you think about it, it’s just as when you have a sore on your leg or foot or other parts ...

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HEALTH TALK: Ovarian cysts

Dr. Victor Emanuel

One on the most memorable persons in my medical career for whom I have had profound sympathy was a beautiful fifteen year old girl who lost both her ovaries to cysts. I was a medical student and assisted a gynecologist in the operation.  It meant she could not have children and was thrown into artificial menopause.  (Recall my article on ...

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HEALTH TALK: Snoring

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Many of us snore, but almost all of us who do will vigorously deny it except, of course, when we’re caught on tape. OVERVIEW On your part or your partner’s, loud and frequent snoring may seem unavoidable during your nighttime sleep time.  But this nighttime – or daytime, for that matter – annoyance may indicate a more serious health condition, ...

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HEALTH TALK: Whiplash

Dr. Victor Emanuel

DEFINITION Whiplash is a common neck injury that often occurs during rear-end vehicle collisions, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward – similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion. Whiplash injuries can be mild or severe. Treatment typically starts with over-the-counter ...

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HEALTH TALK: Sickle cell anemia

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Many  have been touched by this disease. I’ve seen parents whose only child was a sickler, and having to cope with that child’s death. I’ve seen families that have had to care for two or more sicklers. You will know that a sickler may have many painful crises in his or her life. You will also know that generally the ...

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HEALTH TALK: Appendicitis

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Appendicitis means your appendix has become inflamed and filled with pus. Your appendix is a finger-shaped pouch that projects from your colon on the lower right side of your abdomen. It has no known essential purpose, but that doesn’t mean it can’t cause problems. The main symptom of appendicitis is pain that often starts around your navel and then shifts ...

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HEALTH TALK: Is it a cold or the flu?

Dr. Victor Emanuel

I’m sure this is an interesting question right off the bat, because I know that many of you, and us, use these terms interchangeably. But we always have a lingering question at the back of our minds as to which one it really is? Having said that, it is likely that many of you don’t really care because both the ...

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HEALTH TALK: Tummy trouble? It could be IBS

heallth

WHAT IS IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME? IBS, also known as “spastic colon,” is a common disorder. Most people experience common digestive troubles once in a while , but what sets IBS apart is belly pain and diarrhea or constipation that comes back again and again. Symptoms of IBS The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain accompanied by a change in ...

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HEALTH TALK: Baker’s Cyst

Dr. Victor Emanuel

No, bakers, this has nothing to do with you. It is named after the surgeon, Dr. William Morrant Baker, who first described it. If you feel a bulge behind your knee, and it feels tight in the area, with pain getting worse when you fully extend (stretch out) your knee, or when you’re active, you could have a Baker’s cyst, ...

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HEALTH TALK: Canker sores

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Small, out-of-sight, painful, persistent and annoying.  These terms are descriptive of what are called canker sores or aphthous ulcers.  These shallow ulcers in your mouth can make eating and even talking uncomfortable. They may occur on your tongue, soft palate (back roof of your mouth), inside your cheeks or lips, and at the base of your gums. Canker sores differ ...

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HEALTH TALK: Can’t have kids? Not her, you

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Yes, I’m talking to you men, I guess it’s in our culture, but every time a couple have difficulty having kids, it’s almost always blamed on the woman. I don’t know if there are figures for St. Lucia, but in the U.S., 10% to 15% of couples are classified as infertile, meaning they’ve been trying to get pregnant with frequent, ...

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HEALTH TALK: Bad breath – halitosis

Dr. Victor Emanuel

INTRODUCTION One of the most difficult things to tell someone, such as a friend, is that he or she has bad breath.  And one of the most embarrassing things to experience, I would think, is to see someone reacting to your bad breath, like suddenly pulling their head away from you or speaking to you at an angle. But isn’t ...

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HEALTH TALK: Are colon cleansers safe?

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Ever so often, one of you will ask me, “Doc, what you think about a washout?” And many of you often wonder whether your “lautat” isn’t caused by either dirty blood or a need to cleanse your intestinal tract. According to some alternative health advocates, just as routinely as you brush your teeth or wash your clothes, you should be ...

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HEALTH TALK: Bell’s Palsy

Dr. Victor Emanuel

INTRODUCTION In deciding what to write about this week my mind wandered onto a sweet old lady whom I diagnosed with this condition two weeks ago. For all the world, one would have thought she had a stroke because her face was drawn to one side.  But this was the clincher; only her face was involved, not a whole half ...

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HEALTH TALK: The best and worst beverages for weight loss

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Many of us watch what we eat but not what we drink when on a diet. This is a mistake. The average American, to use an example, gets 20 percent of daily calories from beverages. Choosing the right drink can tweak your metabolism, curb your appetite, and reduce your total calorie count. Let’s look at some beverages to see which ...

Read More »

HEALTH TALK: Is there high blood pressure in your future?

Dr. Victor Emanuel

If you’ve been on planet Earth in the last two years, you could not have missed the buzz words “Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases” in the print and electronic media. The focus has tended to be on diabetes for some reason but, in fact, hypertension is more prevalent and has a higher incidence. I would not wish to minimize the importance of ...

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HEALTH TALK: What causes depression?

Dr. Victor Emanuel

If you get a G.P. (crèole term for heartbreak or when your lover leaves you), lose a job (or can’t find one), lose your house or a family member, chances are you’re going to feel pretty low, down, depressed. This is what you might call exogenous depression, or depression brought about by external factors. In medical lingo, we talk about ...

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HEALTH TALK: Cutting your cholesterol fast

Dr. Victor Emanuel

I’m guessing, not hoping, that by now you know that high levels of cholesterol, and fats (triglycerides) in your blood can lead to clogged arteries, resulting in heart attacks, strokes, other circulation problems and yes, even erectile dysfunction . So, how’s your cholesterol? What used to be o.k. in 2004 (or earlier) is no longer so. Don’t feel too comfortable ...

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HEALTH TALK: Understanding osteoarthritis

Dr. Victor Emanuel

WHAT IS OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA)? It is also called “wear and tear” arthritis or degenerative joint disease, and is the progressive breakdown of the joints’ natural shock absorbers. Discomfort results when you use the affected joints – perhaps an ache when you bend at the hips or knees, or sore fingers when you type. Most people over 60 have some degree ...

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HEALTH TALK: Myths and facts about back pain

Dr. Victor Emanuel

It might be a sharp stab. It might be a dull ache. Sooner or later, eight out of ten (80 percent) of us will have back pain. Back pain is common – and so are myths about them. Let’s try to separate a few myths from facts. MYTH: Always sit up straight to prevent back pain. Okay, slouching is bad ...

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Health Talk: When not to exercise

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Exercise carries great benefits for the body, but it’s not always a good idea. Some aches and pains can make working out a definite no-no. Knowing when to work out or when to wait can be troublesome. You need to listen to your body and cues it gives you and decide if exercise is right at that time. Should you ...

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Health Talk column begins this week

Dr. Victor Emanuel

Health Talk, a weekly column health and wellness, will debut on St. Lucia News Online on Wednesday, August 7, 2013. The author, Dr. Victor Emanuel, is based in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Dr. Emanuel has been an educator of medical professionals, in training and the public, for over 20 years. Each week the column will feature information on diseases, preventative ...

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