What you need to know:
- The increased gassiness may also be due to infection such as amoebiasis, H.pylori infection; hyperacidity, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, poor absorption, constipation, food allergy, illnesses that cause inflammation of the lining of the intestines, intestinal obstruction, problems with the movement of the intestinal muscles, problems with other abdominal organs like the kidney, liver or spleen, and in rare occasions, abdominal or pelvic cancers.
- To manage it, eat slowly, take smaller portions of food and avoid fatty foods and any other foods that increase the gas.
For the last two weeks I have been having a lot of gas in my stomach, which is not only uncomfortable, but also embarrassing. I still have appetite and I don’t have any pain or any other problems with my stomach. What can I do to reduce the gas?
Having a lot of gas in the stomach is called bloating. You feel full, uncomfortable, pain and the tummy may appear bigger than usual. It can be caused by overeating, eating too fast, eating very fatty foods, drinking through a straw, chewing gum and taking carbonated drinks like soda. Some foods can also cause gassiness, like beans, lentils and other legumes, cabbages, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and artificial sweeteners like sorbitol. For people who are lactose intolerant and have trouble digesting milk, taking dairy products can also cause a lot of gassiness. Smoking can also lead to bloating.
The increased gassiness may also be due to infection such as amoebiasis, H.pylori infection; hyperacidity, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, poor absorption, constipation, food allergy, illnesses that cause inflammation of the lining of the intestines, intestinal obstruction, problems with the movement of the intestinal muscles, problems with other abdominal organs like the kidney, liver or spleen, and in rare occasions, abdominal or pelvic cancers.
To manage it, eat slowly, take smaller portions of food and avoid fatty foods and any other foods that increase the gas. You can keep a food diary – record what you eat each day and monitor your symptoms to see which foods may be worsening the symptoms. You can also take simethicone tablets to reduce the gas. Medicine with alpha-D-galactosidase helps to break down sugars in beans and vegetables and reduce the excess gas.
It would be good to visit a doctor so that you can be reviewed and have some stool tests and any other relevant tests done for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
I am 22 years old and I think I am underweight. I know that I don’t eat well because I skip meals, especially breakfast and lunch, or I eat much later when I’m not busy. I snack a lot. I would really like to add weight soon. Please advise.
Lack of appetite can result from having a chronic illness, using medications, psychological issues, stomach problems, hormonal changes, thyroid disease, low activity level, eating alone, unstructured meal times and practices, not being exposed to a wide variety of meals and textures when young or unhealthy snacking between meals.
Gaining or losing weight is easier for some people due to genetics, while for others change of weight is difficult. It is actually healthier to have a body weight that does not fluctuate much. As you grow older, it is easier to add weight as your metabolism goes down. If your weight is consistent at a healthy level and you do not have any other health concerns like getting sick frequently, then there is no cause for alarm. Focus on eating a balanced diet, exercising and avoiding unhealthy practices like smoking or taking too much alcohol.
You need to develop good eating habits, starting with making time for meals. Eat foods that you enjoy; vary the menu; eat with family and friends; do not skip meals and have small, frequent meals. Consider taking nutritious drinks like fruit smoothies, protein shakes, milk and juice. Also, start exercising, which will increase hunger. There are also appetite stimulants that are sold over the counter in pharmacies. It may also be beneficial to have a medical checkup to rule any other causes of low appetite and/or weight.
Dear doctor, I am looking for a doctor who can treat my ears for selective hearing problem and noise. Can migraine headaches affect the ears? Please doctor I am desperate. I need expert treatment.
As part of a migraine, it is possible to experience symptoms related to your ears. The migraine may affect the vestibular system, which is a sensory system in the ears that helps with coordination and balance. If the vestibular system is affected, (sometimes referred to as vestibular migraines), the symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, loss of balance, sensitivity to sound and light. Less frequently, the migraine may affect the auditory system and may lead to temporary hearing loss, tinnitus (hearing sounds in the ear), or feeling like the ears are full. This is sometimes referred to as a cochlear migraine.
The ear symptoms may or may not be accompanied by a severe headache.
There is no exact known cause of migraines though there are possible triggers and risk factors such as sleep deprivation, low blood sugar levels, noise, stress, environmental changes, hormonal changes and some foods and drinks.
In most cases, treating the migraine also clears the ear symptoms. However, it is advisable for you to be reviewed by an ear, nose throat (ENT) specialist and an audiologist to examine the ears to establish the extent of the hearing loss and the tinnitus and if there are any long term effects, and advise accordingly.
It would also be advisable to be seen by a neurologist for thorough evaluation and treatment of the migraines. There is also medication that help to prevent or reduce the occurrence of migraines such as flunarazine. You can find ENT specialists, audiologists and neurologists at most county referral and national referral health facilities.
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