10 Health Lessons We Learnt From Dr. Mushmoom Khan

From weak immune systems to various hormonal disorders, Mushmoom Khan has met patients with almost every complaint in the book. For all our readers who are suffering from something or the other on the spectrum of women’s health issues, self diagnose is nothing more than a delay to real treatment. No one likes going to the doctor, but we also have to remember reading entries on medical websites doesn’t qualify us as doctors either. Only a professional can give you an in-depth analysis of what’s happening inside your body. Luckily, we had Dr. Mushmoom Khan at Mashion this week. She answered some incredibly complex but common health queries during a live Q/A session, but in case you missed it, we’ve got you covered!

The Ideal Vitamins To Boost Your Immune System

It’s your immune system that keeps you from falling ill by attacking disease-causing microorganisms that invade your system. But sometimes this system can fail and instead start producing antibodies which don’t fight the infections but attack the bodies own tissue. However, this can be avoided with proper care. It’s totally possible to boost your immune system, and according to our expert, vitamin C and multivitamins will do the job perfectly. Vitamin C is said to increase the production of white blood cells in the body. Increase your consumption of citrus fruits since almost all of them are high in Vitamin C. If that isn’t a realistic lifestyle adjustment for you, opt for multivitamins and — but get them approved by a nutritionist first.

GI Motility Changes During Menstruation Are Normal

Gastrointestinal (GI) motility refers to the movement in the digestive system. Normally food moves through the digestive tract by rhythmic contractions, but when someone suffers from a digestive motility disorder, these contractions don’t work the way they should. Many women suffer from GI motility while on their period. However, Dr Mushmoom assures that these changes during menstruation are totally normal. It can be caused by the fluctuations of certain hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and prostaglandins during your cycle. “Prostaglandins are released during that time which may cause an increase in GI motility,” she says.

Don’t Take Endometriosis Lightly

Endometriosis is a disorder where the endometrium – the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus – grows outside your uterus. It is an obviously painful disorder that affects a large number of women. Women suffering from endometriosis usually have lower abdominal pain, severe pain during periods and can also lead to infertility in as many as 30 to 50 per cent of those affected. Symptoms of endometriosis may differ in every individual and some women with the disorder may not have any symptoms at all. Dr Mushmoom suggests consulting an experienced gynaecologist if you suspect you might be suffering from this. “Endometriosis is a very complex disease. One should see a gynaecologist who has experience in it. Symptoms are usually managed accordingly as they can be different in every individual,” she says.

The Must-Have Nutrients For Breastfeeding Mothers

There’s no need to consume any special foods while breastfeeding. All you need to do is follow a balanced diet which contains a combination of healthy foods.  Dr Mushmoom suggests drinking lots of milk, water, and yoghurt. She also advises women to eat dates and calls them a great source of iron and energy. Along with this, include starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, pasta and rice; as well as some protein like meat, fish, eggs, or pulses.

Diet To Control Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol is important for the body as it keeps the walls of your cells flexible, and helps the production of hormones, vitamin D, and substances which help digestion. However, excessive cholesterol can cause various health problems. Cholesterol travels through the blood with proteins called lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout the body: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – the bad and good cholesterol, respectively. A high LDL level leads to the build-up of plaque in your arteries, which causes blockages of blood flow to the heart and can lead to a heart attack. To control bad cholesterol, our expert suggests the following: Exercise, reduce saturated fats (usually found in red meat and full-fat dairy products), eliminate trans fats (also labelled as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil on food items which increase the overall cholesterol level — they are used in margarine and store-bought cookies, cakes, and crackers). She further recommends eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts and flaxseeds, as well as increase the intake of food with soluble fibre like oatmeal, kidney beans, brussels sprouts, apples and pears.

The Case Of Eye Twitching

Eye or eyelid twitching is medically known as Myokymia. It is a repetitive, involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscles. Mild twitches are harmless but can be very distracting, and understandably annoying. However, severe eye twitches called blepharospasm can last up to several weeks and be associated with some type of neurological injury, disease, or a blood flow problem to certain facial nerves. According to our health expert, eye twitching is commonly caused by stress, fatigue, poor sleep, inadequate nutrition, dry eyes, allergies and caffeine. Minor eye twitches can be treated by relaxing your mind, limiting caffeine intake, getting proper sleep, and improving your diet. Eye drops can also be used to slow the eyelids muscle contractions. However, in the case of severe twitching, it’s better to see a doctor immediately.

The List Of Regular Tests

Besides daily exercise and a well-balanced diet, scheduling regular health checkups should also be a part of one’s routine, especially for women. Regular screenings help detect any potential problems early on and have saved many lives. Dr Mushmoom recommends regular blood pressure screening. Even the American Heart Association (AHA) advises adults over 40 to annually opt for it and those with blood pressure levels below 120/80 (mm Hg) should have it checked once every two years, starting at 20 years of age. Cholesterol screenings, anaemia, and thyroid tests, as well as an annual gynaecological exam,  should be a must, according to our expert.

Consult A Doctor For Excessive Hair Loss

Though hair loss is a more prominent problem in men, women also experience extreme hair fall and thinning. Research shows that at least 1 in 3 women will suffer from hair loss or reduced hair volume at some point in their lifetime. It is sometimes genetic which means if your mother, father, or other close relatives have experienced hair loss, you are likely to inherit this degenerative trait too. However, it can be tricky to identify the exact reason for excessive hair shredding as there are so many potential triggers. Dr Mushmoom posited: hair loss can also be due to anaemia, thyroid problems or even PCOS. Therefore she recommends visiting a primary care doctor for regular blood tests.

Body Numbness Can Be Serious

Numbness is an unusual, prickling sensation that can happen in any part of your body, but most often occurs in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. While temporary numbness can be simply due to sitting stationary for too long, the persistence of this symptom for too long could be a symptom of a disease or injury. Numbness is most often caused by damage, irritation or compression of nerves. Diabetes may also cause numbness in the body, but mainly in the feet. Dr Mushmoom calls body numbness a concerning symptom and recommends seeing a doctor right away.

The Key Foods To Overcome Iron Deficiency

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron deficiency is the top nutritional disorder in the world. People with extreme iron deficiency or anaemia have a lower-than-normal level of red blood cells (RBCs) in their blood. This can cause fatigue, weakness and headaches and may also lead to long-term health problems. Along with iron supplements, one can overcome iron deficiency with a few simple tweaks to their diet. According to our expert, iron-rich foods (spinach, beef, nuts, lentils and beans) and foods rich in vitamin C (oranges, tomatoes, berries, kiwi fruit and capsicum) can help in absorbing more iron if eaten simultaneously. Tea and coffee can reduce iron absorption.

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