In Summary
  • Even if one may not have been feeling a gassy stomach, there is always some amount of gas in the bowels the reason humans normally pass gas 12-24 times a day. This normal amount of gas may not be felt. However, it will expand during air travel at a higher altitude, leading to being bloated. Here, avoiding gassy foods and drinks before and during the flight can help avert the problem.

I have been found with acute hepatitis B infection yet my wife does not have it. Is it true that herbs can cure Hepatitis B and should my wife also get treatment? Jimmyson,

Dear Jimmyson,
Hepatitis B infection is a viral infection (mainly acquired sexually or from a mother to her unborn child) that may damage the liver and cause death. If your wife is negative for Hepatitis B, you therefore may have got the infection from having unprotected sex with someone else.

After one has got the infection, it is called acute Hepatitis infection and usually does not need drug treatment because in more than 90 per cent of cases, in a healthy adult, the infection will clear within six months failure of which the infection becomes chronic and require treatment.
When one has acute infection, getting lots of rest, having a fat-free diet, and avoiding drinking alcohol, taking unprescribed drugs including vitamins, herbs and antiviral drugs may help the disease heal faster.

Up to 90 per cent of infants getting hepatitis B end up getting chronic hepatitis B requiring that within 12 hours of birth of babies to a Hepatitis B infected mother, the babies are immunised with Hepatitis B vaccine apart from being given Hepatitis B Immuno -Globulin (antibodies).

In this case, should be immunised for Hepatitis B. You should also avoid unprotected sexual intercourse with her.
If she is pregnant, she needs to consult with her antenatal clinic to see whether she can still be immunised during pregnancy because she still is at risk of getting infected and also infecting the baby.

How can I treat common colds in children?

Nowadays, my nursery-going children always return home with flu which has become resistant to Dexamethasone which I have been using without any problems. Is the medicine now fake? Ajok

Dear Ajok,
Dexamethasone is a steroid most abused by Ugandans and it is given for allergies and other conditions, especially respiratory tract infections.

If taken for long, Dexamethasone can lower one’s resistance to infections risking one getting viral infections including herpes Zoster and tuberculosis apart from risking one diabetes and hypertension, obesity, shortening in those still growing and disturbed periods, among many other side effects.
Flu, short for influenza but applied to common colds, is caused by more than 200 different viruses but mostly Rhinoviruses, corona viruses and parainfluenza viruses.
Nursery-school going children are prone to these viral infections which they keep getting from other children who have also not yet developed resistance to them.

Once the children suffer from the most common viruses and develop resistance to them, they suffer less from the common colds, the reason by primary school, common colds have waned.
Dexamethasone may be fake but even if it was working, it requires proper prescription not self-prescription. This is also true about common colds which are viral and may be worsened by dexamethasone self-prescription. Remember that self-medication is dangerous and should be avoided.

How can I tell normal discharge?

There is a sticky yellowish discharge from my private parts to the extent that I have to use a pad. What is the cause? Rivanne
Dear Rivanne

Normal vaginal discharge consists of about a teaspoon a day of white or transparent, thick to thin, odourless or musky discharge produced to keep the vagina moist and remove fluids with wornout cells and excessive bacteria.
It is usual for the discharge to be brown a day or two after your period or a bit yellow. Normal vaginal discharge may, however, vary in amounts depending on the time of the menstrual cycle, sex arousal, use of hormonal contraceptives, menopause, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It is usual to have copious and sticky amounts of discharge at ovulation and this can be tinged red or brown due to associated uterine bleeding or older blood.
Yellow discharge accompanied by pain, itching, rash or sores may, however, indicate a problem, especially an infection including sexually transmitted infections or even cancer of the cervix.

Ugandans believe that lack of sex will make a woman overflow with vaginal fluids but this may just lead to easier sex arousal and therefore more vaginal discharge during sexual intercourse.

How to get rid of gas

When I travel by air, there is a lot of gas in my stomach. Why?
Ezra

Dear Ezra,
Having too much gas in the stomach can cause one to be bloated, (and sometimes stomach pain) but thankfully the gas can be relieved by burping or passing wind. Gas in the digestive system is part of the normal process of digestion although mostly caused by swallowing air when one is eating or drinking. Some foods inherently may have gas while for some that escape digestion, are fermented by small organisms in the big intestines forming more gas.

Air travel is known to be associated with constipation resulting from eating dry snacks and taking less fluids apart from fear to go to toilet. Constipation can cause a gassy stomach.
Also, fear of travel leads to anxiety and stress known to cause a gassy stomach due to air swallowing and worsening irritable bowel syndrome symptoms which include diarrhoea, constipation and a gassy stomach.

Even if one may not have been feeling a gassy stomach, there is always some amount of gas in the bowels the reason humans normally pass gas 12-24 times a day. This normal amount of gas may not be felt. However, it will expand during air travel at a higher altitude, leading to being bloated. Here, avoiding gassy foods and drinks before and during the flight can help avert the problem.