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Health Articles

Getting enough good-quality sleep is essential to staying healthy and aging well. Sleeping tablets should not be the first option as they can have many side effects.

How old are you? And how old do you think your lungs are?

Most people believe there is only one answer to both questions. But, if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), your lungs might very well be in a state of health that belongs to someone far older.

For example, you may have the body of a 40 year old, the mind of a 24 year old, and yet the lungs of a 60 year old.

Allergic Rhinitis is the most common chronic allergic disease in children and accounts for 50% of childhood rhinitis . It significantly affects the child s quality of life, and may worsen asthma, ear infections, eczema and sinusitis.

Typical symptoms include sneezing, blocked nose, excessive nasal discharge and/or itching. These symptoms may last from a few hours to a few days. Children may also experience the following:

One of the most distressing signs of aging has to be the deterioration of eyesight. And don't think that it only happens with both eyes - sometimes, a gradual loss of sight in one eye only can be more distressing than losing both in one go.

Here's a quick look at what can happen. Keep an eye out for warning signs and don't overlook the importance of seeking early treatment!

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which transmits signals from the eyeball to the brain. Glaucoma occurs because the optic nerve becomes damaged.

Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that 4.5 million persons globally are blind due to glaucoma . In Singapore, glaucoma is a relatively common condition, affecting 3.2 % of our population.

To have a baby you must make love, and that moment when sperm fuses with egg is called conception. But well before the moment of conception ever takes place, your body has to be well-prepared for it - from the beginning, and throughout as well. And that begins with your nutritional status.

Maybe it’s the time to forget Western medicine and try some arcane Asian alternatives instead to cure your broodiness. You can simply follow Asian traditional wisdom to increase your chance of pregnancy.

Blood in the stools signifies bleeding somewhere along the digestive track. Very small amounts of blood in the stoolsare not visible to the normal eye and it may be months before a polyp (benign growths) or maglignant tumours are noticed. Hence, the importance of an FOB test.

When you experience abdominal discomforts, bloating after eating a particular food, alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea, or a sensation of incomplete bowel clearance, you may have irritable bowel syndrome.

These symptoms are very real, though not life-threatening, and is not exactly clear how an individual develops IBS. Psychological, hormonal, genetic and stress factors all play a part, as may food intolerance, yeast overgrowth in the intestine, overly sensitive nerves in the bowels and even having inadequate rest.

Coughs can be categorised into two groups: dry (unproductive) and wet (productive). Which one have you got?

People who have become experts at avoiding the above signs of flu or cold say they can stop the rest of the cold train from pulling into their station. And the first thing they recommend is to give your body a break when you start feeling under the weather.

A patch test is performed when a contact allergy is suspected. A panel of common allergy-causing chemicals are pasted onto a person’s back then kept on for 48 hours before removal. Any reaction to a particular compound is then read and interpreted.Patients can also bring in their own products that they suspect might be causing the problem.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that appears as scaly red rashes all over the body. While it commonly affects the scalp, elbows, knees, buttocks and trunk, the face is fortunately less commonly involved. The severity of psoriasis often varies from individual to individual, but for most cases common symptoms include: persistent itching of the skin, pain and constant shedding of the topmost layer of skin.

While circulating testosterone in men declines with age, this is not significant in most men and therefore their testosterone level remains within the normal range. However, in some individuals this physiologic decline may be associated with symptoms similar to those of hypogonadism in young men, such as sexual dysfunction, muscle weakness, obesity, osteoporosis, hot flushes, insomnia, fatigue, poor concentration and depression.

Obesity is a chronic disease that has been rising in prevalence worldwide, especially in countries which are increasing urbanized. One in nine Singaporean adults aged between 18 to 69 years were obese in 2010, and Singapore's obesity rate is increasing at about 1 per cent per year according to our National Health Survey data. This gives rise to great concern as a population and to each individual at risk, because obesity is associated with many health issues. It is associated an with increased rate of death from all causes and from cardiovascular disease, and consequently a reduction in life expectancy.

Since the inception of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in 1989, there has been a steady evolution of procedures and techniques. Associated with the advancement in technology is also a deluge of new technical terms. Many general physicians (GPs) and non-surgical specialists have often asked me about the new terms.

Patients who are net-savvy are also turning up in their doctors' offices with articles and printouts containing ill-defined terms. In this article, I shall try to clear the air on some of the more commonly used terms.

In the 1950s, with the development of blood transfusion, antibiotics and intensive care units, the main thrust in the surgical world was ego building – who can do a more radical operation without killing the patient. Now, there is a different dimension to that same motivation factor – who can do the biggest operation through the smallest incision or no incision at all.

Heart disease is the number one killer in most developed countries and in Singapore it is the number two killer. One of the most important component of heart disease is the heart attack. In at least 50% of instances of heart attacks, there are no prior warning signs.

The most common symptom that my patients worry about is chest pain. The causes of chest pain are protean and I feel that we tend to quickly dump it into a trash bin once we have ruled out a problem with the heart. We do not spend enough time to study it enough to exclude the possibility that there could be other causes which are not life threatening that can be treated.

I have observed that many of my friends and patients would not hesitate to pop supplement pills in the belief that they are getting many good health benefits. This belies the fact that most health supplement shops are doing well and many large department stores have counters peddling all these supplements. You can even buy supplements direct from the United States via the plethora of websites that have mushroomed. This is probably a multi-billion dollar industry.

WHO COMES TO YOU? Anyone with acute, chronic or cancer-related pain, from spinal pain and chronic neck pain to sciatica, chronic headaches, musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia and post-surgical chronic pain. Though many of our patients are middle-aged or elderly, we're seeing more younger patients, too, especially the new "weekend warriors" who are becoming involved in marathons and triathlons. Some come to us directly; others are referred to us by sports medicine specialists to perform more complex injections and nerve-blocking procedures.

Every year since 1988, we have been commemorating World AIDS Day, but the stigma and discrimination surrounding AIDS and HIV continue to prevail worldwide. Thanks, however, to some few good men who choose to venture where few men dare to tread - opting to spend their time and effort treating, managing, preventing, and spreading awareness on HIV and other infectious diseases - people tend to understand little by little about these dreaded conditions.

Take a quick look around the room before you read this. Wherever you may be, 60-90% of people around you would have experienced low back pain at least once in their lifetimes, with another 20-30% experiencing it on a recurring, chronic basis. Increasingly, it is recognised not only as being a major health problem, but also an economic one.

Even my medical colleagues ask me what I do and what is sports medicine, what is a sports physician? I tell them that it basically deals with the same system as orthopaedics - the musculoskeletal system, our bones and muscles and joints. But the approach in sports medicine is vastly different from the conventional approach found in most other disciplines of medicine.

Our knees are one of the most important joints in our body, playing a critical role in all movements that carry our body weight. They are absolutely essential in enabling us to walk, run, jump or stand up from a sitting or squatting position, which is why life with knee osteoarthritis can be very limiting.

You might have grown up thinking that old people are grumpy and love nothing better than to complain about aches and other physical ailments to anyone who would listen. Actually, you may have to rethink that. Some old people are grumpy and complainey because that is in their nature, but usually, it’s because they are probably suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, and the pain irritates them to the point of permanent crankiness.

No, it isn’t natural at all. That’s a myth. You see, in about 5% of hypertensive cases, the cause of elevated blood pressure can be attributed to a specific condition or illness such as kidney disease or a structural abnormality of the aorta. Such cases of secondary hypertension can usually be cured by appropriate medical treatment.

But for the majority of hypertensive patients however, no explanation for their high blood pressure can be found. This form of hypertension, also known as primary hypertension, has been shown to be caused by a combination of hereditary and lifestyle-related factors such as excessive salt and fat intake, obesity, stress, alcohol consumption and smoking.

Our body usually takes the sugar we digest and breaks it down to a simple sugar, known as glucose. The pancreas has the job of producing insulin in the right amount to maintain constant glucose levels in the body.

However, when your pancreas is not producing enough insulin, to help glucose enter your body’s cells, or when the produced insulin does not work properly (insulin resistance), there is too much glucose in your blood and you get diabetes.

Post-workout pain in our muscles is familiar enough to anyone who has ever train hard for aerobic sports such as running, swimming, or even the national IPPT. The pain can be unintentionally hilarious, as you’ll find yourself screaming with every attempt to bend your legs while walking down stairs, for example. Other common signs that go along with muscle soreness include:

• Sudden drop in ability to run 'normal' distance or times
• Inability to relax, twitchy, fidgety

Colon cancer, sometimes also called bowel cancer, is the second most common cancer in Malaysia. This is according to the National Cancer Society of Malaysia. In Singapore, it is the most common cancer. In fact, based on the latest figures from the Singapore Cancer Registry, there was a 19% increase in new cases. And the figure is expected to rise as the society becomes more affluent. This is because some of the factors that predisposed to colon cancer are usually seen in more developed economies, like rich food, red meat, sedentary lifestyles, diet low in fibre, obesity and smoking. However, it is not all gloom and doom. With advances in medical science, there are some recent good news related to the fight against colon cancer. 3 pieces of good news to be exact

The Good Life is for:

  • Better health
  • Longer life
  • Freedom from financial worries as you grow old
  • A fun way of staying healthy
  • Access to doctors who want to partner with you in keeping you well