Ask the doctor

Why do I feel dizzy so often nowadays? Dear Doctor; Of recent, I have developed a tendency of feeling dizziness sometimes and everything seems black for a few seconds. It happens when I stand up. Initially, I thought it was lack of enough water when I nearly blacked out while standing up from my seat. But when it recurred several times during the day, I feel something is not right. Edgar, 69.

Why do I feel dizzy so often nowadays?

Dear Doctor;

Of recent, I have developed a tendency of feeling dizziness sometimes and everything seems black for a few seconds. It happens when I stand up. Initially, I thought it was lack of enough water when I nearly blacked out while standing up from my seat. But when it recurred several times during the day, I feel something is not right. Edgar, 69.

Dear Edgar,


at your age there can be several causes for dizziness. Cervical spondylosis, transient ischemic attacks, low blood glucose levels, varicose veins, peripheral vascular disease are some of the common causes which can cause dizziness by different mechanisms. You need to get your blood pressure and sugar checked. If you drink or smoke, it is time to quit the habit.

A CT scan of the brain can show diminished blood supply in some area, if that has occurred due to clot in any of the blood vessels of the brain. Drugs that suppress dizziness such as cinnarizine can also help you. Whenever you feel dizzy, try to remain in that position for few seconds if possible. Gradually, the body would get adapted and attacks might become less frequent.

Is my son at risk of rabies?

Dear Doctor;


My baby ate a lollipop that was licked by my neighbour’s dog. I am scared he could get rabies. I don’t know whether or not the dog was vaccinated against rabies. What should I do? Worried Mother.

Dear Worried Mother,

usually rabies occurs when rabies virus is passed from the saliva of an infected dog to another mammal usually through a bite. But other routes for infection though very rare do exist like through mucous membrane of oral cavity. Moreover, if the vaccination status of the dog is uncertain, it is better to get the baby vaccinated. Some studies suggest that even if the dog is vaccinated, after dog bite or any possible exposure to rabies virus, vaccination should be done. Because if there has been a long gap after vaccination of the dog, the level of antibodies providing immunity against rabies (induced by rabies) can decline. Best way for you is to consult a pediatrician and decide about the baby’s immunisation. 

Does blood clot in the leg require surgery?

Dear Doctor;


A sportsman in Uganda I know died from a blood clot in the leg a few years ago. Now another friend here has a blood clot in his leg. People say that they might have to cut it off for him to survive. Would the blood clot ever end? What causes it and why would a sportsman who is ever exercising get a blood clot? Jean d’Admour, Kimironko.

Dear Jean d’Amour,


Blood clots form in the legs because of many reasons. In an elderly bed ridden or any very sick person, it can occur due to stagnation of blood in legs and poor  return  of blood to heart. Sportsmen are at risk of blood clots in legs due to invisible injuries in muscles and or soft tissues of legs where a clot forms to plug the injury. Smoking tobacco or using alcohol in excess are other risk factors for clot formation either in heart, brain as well as legs. A sportsman needs to do proper warming up exercises before starting playing. Any pain or tightness experienced in legs should be immediately taken care of. Blood clot formed is curable in early stages,

But if it persists, there is risk of a piece breaking and passing on to heart or brain. If gangrene has set in the foot or leg due to the clot obstructing a major blood vessel, amputation remains the only treatment.

What should I do for my low mood?

Dear Doctor;


Ever since the woman of my heart got engaged to another man, I have been feeling terribly low at work. Until last week, we were workmates. I can’t seem to concentrate on anything. Wherever I go her face remains in my mind. I feel rejected and down. I have big dreams, which need a lot of concentration and focus and I need to come out of this low mood. My work is suffering. How can I get out of this emotional quagmire? Paul K. 28, Kacyiru.

Dear Paul K,


You have my sympathies, but a woman who has not been loyal to you, does not deserve to be remembered by you as well. Maybe she was not in love seriously and was just by-trying to hook a suitable man to have a comfortable life. At 28, you have ample opportunities to find a true soul mate. It is also the time to groom and raise your career. Focus your time and energy on improving your career. Keep yourself busy in any leisure time available with creative past times. Never be idle for a moment even. Very soon not only her face but even the memory will fade from your mind.

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