Ask the Doctor

Dear Doctor;My one-year-old son suffers from hiccups time after time. Sometimes I even give him drinking water but the hiccups won’t stop. What is the remedy for hiccups? Teddy R, Kicukiro.

What causes my child this incessant hiccup?

Dear Doctor;

My one-year-old son suffers from hiccups time after time. Sometimes I even give him drinking water but the hiccups won’t stop. What is the remedy for hiccups?

Teddy R, Kicukiro

Dear Teddy,

A hiccup is a sound-like sensation that occurs when there has been an interruption in the breathing. In most cases it is caused by spasms that cause intake of breath to stop temporarily or intermittently by the closure of vocal cords. In this case, you just engage your body into relaxation or take a glass of cold water a little by little while at rest. Unfortunately, hiccup is a symptom in most cases and there should be an underlying cause. In persistent hiccup, you need to consult a physician to treat the underlying cause. Some diseases of upper gastro-intestinal tract or upper respiratory tract tend to elicit hiccup.


Why am I growing gray hair when aged just 26?

Dear Doctor;

I am 26 and already getting gray hair. It’s a bit worrying for me as I can’t imagine my whole head with gray hair. What causes gray hair at a tender age like mine? Is there any medication or something I can do to stop it from growing besides dying it?


Dear Elijah,

Hair has cells known as melanocytes that generate pigments. The main pigment for colour secretion is melanin. The darkness of the hair will depend on the quantity of melanin produced. When melanocytes stop or reduce production of melanin, hair becomes transparent and appears gray. The root cause for inefficiency of melanocyte activity is a genetical disorder. The only proven solution is to wash your hair with coconut oil for two to three weeks for at least six months.


Is autism hereditary? How about prevention?

Dear Doctor;

My sister gave birth to a child with autism. It’s a rather scary disease and worrying me since I am a mother to-be. Is this disease preventable? If yes, what are the prevention measures?

Yolanda, 26

Dear Yolanda,

The highest percentage of its cause is genetic disorder. However, people need to avoid health hazards such as alcohol and drugs during pregnancy that can lead to their future babies develop autism. Pregnant mothers should be vaccinated against rubella as it tends to cause autism as well.

Do not take drugs during pregnancy unless your doctor approves; this is particularly true for some seizure medications. 

Do not drink alcoholic beverages of any kind while you are pregnant.

If you’ve been diagnosed with PKU or celiac disease, get treatment.

Getting immunised against German measles (rubella) before pregnancy can prevent rubella-associated autism.

If preventing autism in your baby is a goal for you, we suggest starting with a clean environment and using natural (organic) products. 

The best rule of thumb for preventing autism (since we don’t yet have a proven scientific cause) is to do what our ancestors did for all those centuries before “modern” technology and fast food.


Will taking wine affect my baby as I breastfeed?

Dear Doctor;

I am a breastfeeding mother who enjoys my bottle of wine. I kept away from it when I was pregnant but am now back at it. I can’t sleep before taking at least two glasses of wine or a bottle of beer. Will this affect my breast milk?

Redempta, Kabeza

Dear Redempta,

Drinking alcohol during breast-feeding is wrong and this is proven. Alcohol present in breast milk is almost at the same level as that in blood and you are likely to intoxicate your new born or young baby. Also to a certain extent it can inhibit breast milk secretion.


What’s causing me these stretch marks when I have never even been pregnant?

Dear Doctor;

I have stretch marks on my arms and thighs. I find them ugly and I really don’t know why I have them yet I am not even pregnant. What is their cause and cure?

Charlotte, 29

Dear Charlotte,

Pregnancy is one of the health conditions that elicit stretch marks but there are other causes such as hereditary factors, stress as well as changes in physical status. This problem can be cured by a variety of natural remedies.

One of them is the use of Aloe Vera gel product that is used in the treatment of various skin diseases like the stretch marks among others. Due to its healing and soothing properties, aloe vera gel is used to cure stretch marks. The gel is directly rubbed on the affected part of the body and left for a few minutes before cleaning skin with warm water. This method of treatment is less costly and effective.


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