What you need to know:
- The genetic predisposition accounts for about half the risk for developing alcohol use disorder
- The other half is attributed to the environment
Can genetic makeup predispose one to alcoholism?
Genetics can predispose someone to alcoholism. They also determine other predisposing factors like addiction tendencies and comorbidities like mood and anxiety disorders and personality disorders. Genetics also influences how alcohol affects our organs. Since most of us are raised around our family members, our first and most influential environment is among those who are closely related to us genetically. If they are alcoholic or have other pre-disposing tendencies, this exerts an environmental influence in our behaviour, including the likelihood of alcoholism. The genetic predisposition accounts for about half the risk for developing alcohol use disorder. The other half is attributed to the environment, and how the genetic predisposition interacts with the environment. Environmental factors include socialisation, culture, personality, behaviour, economics, gender, ethnicity and age among others, that may lead to alcoholism.
What is cardiac arrest or a coronary event?
A coronary (event) or a heart attack happens when there is reduced or no blood flow and reduced oxygen going to a part of the heart causing death of the heart muscle. It usually happens over several days and causes a squeezing chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness and nausea. Women may experience pain in the jaw, neck, back or arm. Most of the time, the heart attack occurs due to a clot in heart blood vessels that are hardened by fatty calcified deposits (atherosclerosis). Risk factors include having a close relative who had a heart attack, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and lack of exercise. Stress, exertion and sudden excitement can trigger a heart attack. Severe anxiety can trigger a heart attack, but it can also lead to a panic attack, which may feel like a heart attack. A panic attack starts with a feeling of sudden fear or discomfort, then there is a pounding or fast heartbeat, feeling like you cannot get enough air, sweating, shaking, nausea, dizziness, numbness, fear of losing control and fear of dying. With a panic attack, the symptoms increase then resolve within about 15 to 20 minutes and tests checking for a physical problem are normal.
Cardiac arrest means the heart stops pumping suddenly, there is no blood flow in the body, breathing stops, and there is loss of consciousness, and death if there is no intervention. It could be due to heart problems, severe infection, blood loss, severe trauma, metabolic problems, poisoning among other issues.
I have been married for two weeks now. Sex makes my joints and back ache. My wife also complains of a stomachache. What could the problem be? And how do I solve it?
During sexual activity, there is exertion of the muscles, and there is also muscle tension and release which may all lead to muscle and joint aches. This usually resolves on its own, but if it is persistent, you can benefit from a massage, physical therapy, painkillers or muscle relaxants.
For your wife who has abdominal pain, the emotional reaction, the release of hormones or the muscle tension that occurs during intercourse can all lead to pain and/or intestinal problems. Intercourse can also trigger pain due to problems that were already there like an abnormally positioned uterus, fibroids, ovarian cyst, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, urinary tract infection, intestinal issues like constipation or irritable bowel syndrome. It is advisable for her to see a gynaecologist for proper evaluation, so that if there is an underlying problem, it can be treated.
Where can I go for free Covid-19 vaccination in Nairobi?
The second dose of the free Covid-19 vaccine is currently being given out in some county and national government health facilities. Please note that this is the second dose of the vaccine being given to those who had already received the first one several weeks ago. Vaccination with the first dose had been ongoing in the counties since February and is now over.
My feet and hands sweat a lot. During the hot season, my feet and palms get very cold and sweaty. Due to this, I cannot wear open shoes as my feet keep sliding. When I wear closed shoes, I cannot remove them in public because my feet are smelly. I am very keen on hygiene, drink lots of water and eat right. I have been experiencing this since childhood and I realised one of my daughters (three-year-old) is experiencing the same. How can we handle this?
Sweating is one of the ways the body regulates excessive body heat. When the sweating is too much, it is called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis can affect the whole body or specific sites such as the face and head (craniofacial hyperhidrosis), the palms (palmar hyperhidrosis), the armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis) or the feet (plantar/pedal hyperhidrosis). The excessive sweating is not considered dangerous. The constant wetness of the skin makes it easier to get other skin conditions like fungal infections, eczema and cracking.
The excessive sweating is usually due to overactive sweat glands, due to miscommunication from the nerves. Most people have primary hyperhidrosis, which means that the sweating is not caused by any disease or infection. It may be triggered by a part of the nervous system (neurological hyperhidrosis), by eating (gustatory hyperhidrosis) or have no obvious cause. In secondary hyperhidrosis, the sweating is due to another disease such as a thyroid problem, diabetes, nervous system diseases or some medication. The child of a parent with hyperhidrosis has a 25 per cent chance of suffering from the same. Hormonal changes and emotions can also trigger hyperhidrosis, for example, sweating when nervous.
The condition cannot be cured but it can be managed. You should take a lot of water and wear loose fitting cotton clothing. You can also apply aluminium chloride/chlorhydrate solution to the most affected areas prescribed by the doctor or from a chemist. You can also wear leather shoes and cotton socks, and change the shoes and socks halfway through the day if possible, and change to open shoes once you are home.
If the sweating continues to be excessive, you can see a dermatologist, for iontophoresis, which means that a mild electric current is passed to the most affected area through water. Some medication or injections may also be given by the dermatologist. In case another illness is suspected, the doctor will do the necessary checks to determine this.
Because the sweating may be triggered by emotional responses such as anxiety, it would also be beneficial to learn relaxation techniques.
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