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Docbeecee Health fact of the day #docbeeceeHFOTD

Docbeecee Health fact of the day #docbeeceeHFOTD

Health fact of the day
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docbeecee Health fact of the day #docbeeceeHFOTD

By Dr Brighton Chireka

#docbeeceeHFOTD. This started on the 1st of June 2016. It tries to cover in just a few lines some health tips. This is to cater for those that do not have time to read long articles or are not interested in the history or the reasoning behind some health facts. The HFOTD is published daily on Facebook page Nothing About Me Without Me

1st June 2016

docbeecee Health Fact Of The Day #docbeeceeHFOTD

By Dr Brighton Chireka

Morning after pill ( emergency contraception)

If you are not planning to have a baby and you have unprotected sex or if your condom split or you have missed your usual contraception pill , you can use a morning after pill or the coil. Please do not delay in taking the morning after pill. Remember levonelle has to be taken within 72hrs of sex and ellaOne within 120 hours (5 days) of sex. The coil can be inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) so you may need to think about getting screened for infection as well.

Have a healthy day! et in die salutis ( salutis means health , die means day , )

2nd June 2016

docbeecee Health Fact Of The Day #docbeeceeHFOTD

By Dr Brighton Chireka
There are lot of myths and wrongly held beliefs about acne ( Pimples)

1- acne is not caused by poor hygiene . In fact, excessive washing may make pimples worse

2- stress does not cause acne

3- acne is not just skin infection . It is caused by interaction of changes in hormones , more oil production, overgrowth of harmless bacteria and inflammation. You cannot catch acne so do not worry . It is not contagious.
4- acne cannot be cured by drinking a lot of water . ( drinking water is good for general health though )

5- no evidence that sunbathing or sunbeds help to clear acne

6 – some think acne cannot be treated . It can be treated – see your doctor .


3rd June 2016

docbeecee Health Fact Of The Day #docbeeceeHFOTD

By Dr Brighton Chireka

Back pain

Symptoms of non specific lower back pain are mainly pain in the lower back area without any other symptoms. Most people find that movement causes pain and resting relieves the pain.

There are some symptoms which should not be ignored so I urge you to see your own doctor without delay if you have back pain and:

* a high temperature (fever)
* Unexplained weight loss
* a swelling or a deformity in the back
* it’s constant and doesn’t ease after lying down
* pain in the chest
* a loss of bladder or bowel control
* an inability to pass urine
* Constant or persisting numbness around genitals, buttocks or back passage
* it’s worse at night
* it started after an accident, such as after a car accident


4th June 2016

docbeecee Health Fact Of The Day #docbeeceeHFOTD

By Dr Brighton Chireka

Let’s look at cough

A cough is a reflex action to clear our airways of mucus and irritants such as dust or smoke. It is a necessary action as it helps us to clear our airways so that we can breathe well.

Dry cough is a nuisance and is usually felt in the throat as a tickle that sets off the coughing. This happens when the throat and upper airways become inflamed (swollen). No phlegm ( thick mucus – makararwa ) is produced. The common cold or flu causes a dry cough because our brain thinks the inflammation in our throat and upper airways is a foreign object and tries to remove it by coughing.
If the dry cough is disturbing your sleep or daily activities and lemon and honey is not helping then one can try cough mixtures and visit their doctors for further assessment.
A chesty cough usually produces phlegm. The cough is helpful, because it clears the phlegm from your lung passages. I would advise against using cough mixtures for a cough that is producing phlegm. This cough is helpful and must not be suppressed but the underlying cause may need treatment and the best thing to do is to see your doctor.
When should you see your doctor?

We know that most of these dry coughs are caused by viruses and are self limiting in that they will clear up within a fortnight or 3 weeks. Having said that there are symptoms which must not be ignored and their presence should prompt one to make an urgent appointment with their doctor.
The following list is not exhaustive but it does include most symptoms that one must not ignore . Their presence means one has to see their doctor without delay.
1- a cough for more than 3 weeks after viral infection

2- a worsening cough regardless of duration

3- cough with breathing difficulties

4- cough with chest pain

5- coughing up blood

6- unexplained tiredness and weight loss

7- sudden onset of night sweats

8- if you are just worried about your cough or if it does not feel right.

5th June 2016

docbeecee Health Fact Of The Day #docbeeceeHFOTD

By Dr Brighton Chireka

Underactive thyroid ( hypothyroidism )


There are the same with so many conditions so they may be missed . Also they usually develop slowly and you may not realise you have a thyroid problem for several years.
Common symptoms include:
* tiredness
* being sensitive to cold
* weight gain
* constipation
* depression
* slow movements and thoughts
* muscle aches and weakness
* muscle cramps
* dry and scaly skin
* brittle hair and nails
* loss of libido (sex drive)
* pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
* irregular periods or heavy periods

See you doctor if you have the above and it’s persistent.

6th June 2016

docbeecee Health Fact Of The Day #docbeeceeHFOTD

By Dr Brighton Chireka

Talking about breast cancer
Early detection is vital in the fight against breast cancer, so it is important to know the warning signs, perform regular self-exams, and learn to identify the causes and symptoms of breast cancer. I would like to encourage all women out there to have an Early Detection Plan as we know that early detection provides the greatest possibility for successful treatment.

When breast cancer is detected early (localized stage), the 5-year survival rate is 98%. This Early Detection Plan includes performing monthly breast self-exams, regularly visiting your doctor for scheduled clinical breast exams, and following your healthcare provider’s recommendations for mammograms, which will depend on your age and health history. A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas.

Remember, if breast cancer is detected late the chances of survival are slim because the cancer cells will have travelled to other parts of the body such as the liver, lung and the bones. In the UK all women between 50 and 70 years of age should be screened for breast cancer every three years as part of the NHS Breast Screening Programme. In USA the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that women ages 50 to 74 should have a mammogram every two years. Women 40 to 49 should discuss risk factors like family history with their doctors in determining the best time to start mammogram screening. Unfortunately some countries do not have screening programmes and in these countries self-examination is the best way forward.


7th June 2016


docbeecee Health Fact Of The Day #docbeeceeHFOTD

By Dr Brighton Chireka

Increase fibre in your diet

diet with plenty of fibre:
Will help to prevent and treat constipation

Will help to prevent piles or anal fissures

May help us to lose or control our weight.

May reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer.

May help to lower cholesterol in blood

May reduce the risk of developing diabetes and help to control our blood sugar levels.


Tips on increasing fibre in our diet
Fibre needs fluid to work, so we must drink a lot of fluids when we eat a high-fibre diet. For adults it is advisable to drink about 8 to 10 cups ( 2litres) of fluids per day . The fluids may include water , sugar free squashes , herbal /fruit teas without sugar.

When you start to increase your fibre in diet , you may have some bloating and wind . Do not worry much as this is temporary . As your tummy becomes used to the extra fibre , the bloating or wind tends to settle over a few weeks .
You can avoid getting wind by increasing your fibre intake gradually for example introducing one new food over a 2-to 3-day period.
A good snack with high fibre in Zimbabwe is the small packs containing roasted peanuts and maize grain.


8th June 2016

docbeecee Health Fact Of The Day #docbeeceeHFOTD

By Dr Brighton Chireka

Skin lightening creams

Skin colour, along with hair and eye colour, is genetically determined by the amount of melanin found in the top layers of skin. Its varied presence – which accounts for different skin colours – is linked to a population’s historic levels of sun exposure. Melanin is produced by melanocytes to protect the DNA of our skin from sun damage.

Skin lighteners contain an active ingredient or a combination of ingredients that reduces the amount of melanin in the skin where it is applied. Excessively reducing this concentration of melanin may increase the risk of skin cancers.

Most skin lightening creams are sold illegally on the black market and can contain toxic substances, such as high steroids, mercury and hydroxyquinone, and sadly many people are typically unaware of the risks. Exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences such as damages to the kidneys and the nervous system, and interfere with the development of the brain in unborn children and very young children. The sad thing is that you don’t have to use the product yourself to be affected.

People – particularly children – can get mercury in their bodies from breathing in mercury vapours if a member of the household uses a skin cream containing mercury. Infants and small children can ingest mercury if they touch their parents who have used these products, get cream on their hands and then put their hands and fingers into their mouth, which they are prone to do.
Steroid creams can be used under the supervision of health professionals to treat skin diseases but skin lightening creams have high dose of steroids and are sold on the black market. Unmonitored use of high-dose steroids in skin lightening creams can lead to many problems such as:

Permanent skin bleaching
Thinning of skin
Uneven colour loss, leading to a blotchy appearance
Intense irritation

Some of the dangers associated with the use of these creams include blood cancers such as leukaemia and cancers of the liver and kidneys, as well as a severe skin condition called ochronosis, a form of hyper-pigmentation which causes the skin to turn a dark purple shade.

Hydroquinone which is found in many creams works to reduce the amount of melanin your skin produces, which in turn makes your skin lighter in appearance. However, doing this makes your skin more susceptible to sunlight that can lead to dangerous sunburns, and over a prolonged period of time, an increased risk of certain types of skin cancer. Also hydroquinone can cause ochronosis and this is difficult to treat as it is permanent turning of skin into a dark purple shade.



These health facts of the day are compiled by Dr Brighton Chireka , who is a GP and a blogger based in Kent in the United Kingdom. Feel free to contact him at info@docbeecee.co.uk and you can read more of his work on his blog at DR CHIREKA’S BLOG
Disclaimer: These facts are for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Dr Chireka has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other healthcare professionals for a diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. Views expressed here are personal and do not in any way , shape or form represent the views of organisations that Dr Chireka work for or is associated with.



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