Category Archives: Health

Coping with asthmatic conditions

Coping with asthmatic conditions

Asthmatics should avoid factors that trigger symptoms

By Paul Adunwoke


Consultant physician and pulmonologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Lagos State, Dr. Michele Dania, in this interview with PAUL ADUNWOKE, spoke on how to manage asthma.

What should the public know about asthma diseases?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease usually, characterised by difficulty in breathing. In addition to this, there are other symptoms such as noisy breathing, chest pains and persistent coughing. Usually, these symptoms are not there permanently, but occur at night, or in the mornings. Asthma is treatable, but for now, there is no cure for it, even though people living with it can live well if it is properly managed.

How frequently can these signs and symptoms come around?

This will always occur differently in patients. While some patients cannot breath well, in other words, experience shortage of breath, or even noisy breathing, which would be episodic, others would feel as if they are not breathing enough air, as well as, experience cough that is productive.

Most times, you can identify some of the things that trigger symptoms. They include, exposure to strong fumes, perfumes and dust. Some females have it triggered after a cooking session in the kitchen, while some children begin to pant after an exercise session or running. Actually, asthma was derived from the word panting, so, most times asthma patients pant whenever they feel the symptoms.

For patients, what should be the next logical step e after noticing these symptoms?

The patient needs to visit a hospital right away. The reason self medication is not allowed is because the patient needs to have a test to confirm that it is asthma. This is so because there are other sicknesses that present with similar symptoms. It is after a proper diagnosis, through tests that drug administration would commence. However, we have different categories of medications for this ailment. This includes reliever medication, which is the medication that can relief the symptoms at a particular point in time. There is also controller medication. This is used to prevent frequent attacks. Usually, because asthma is a disease that affects airways, these drugs are given through inhalers, rather than tablets. Though tablets are available and cheap, but they have more side effects, but the side effects of inhalers are less, even as inhalers are more effective.

What age is at risk of coming down with asthma?

One can develop asthma at any age in life. We have allergic and non-allergic asthmas. Allergic asthma is most common in children, and they begin to have the symptoms at the age of two. We have adult-onset asthma, which occurs in old people. So, people develop asthma at early age, middle age and at old age. There is also occupational asthma, which occurs when people are exposed to some allergies at work. For instance, exposure to flours, detergents and dusts. This set of people are disposed to developing asthma later on in life.

What are the preventive measures to take?

Asthma is a disease that has different components; part of it is genetic, while the other part of it is environmental. Genetic asthma cannot be prevented as these are people who have a family history of asthma. However, environmental factors can be prevented. For instance, cigarette smoking has been associated with asthma. Not those who are smoking, but those who are exposed to second-hand smoking, So, we advise people to stop smoking not just for their sake, but for the sake of their children. Pregnant women that smoke, expose their unborn children to the risk of developing asthma. Now, there is an upsurge in the epidemic of obesity, and obese people are predisposed to asthma. So, there is need for us to control smoking, obesity and indoor air pollutions. People are advised to keep their houses clean to avoid cockroaches, houseflies and those living with asthma should avoid things that trigger symptoms.

Asthma patients should avoid strong smells and certain drugs that can trigger symptoms. It is also very important to notify a doctor or pharmacist so that such persons can be spared certain drugs. Since exercise can sometimes trigger asthma, persons prone to suffering this, need to use one or two of their inhalers before they exercise.

Quality of air in factories should be controlled, and workers wearing masks at workplace should be sensitive about environmental exposure.

Smoking

Those who are exposed to second-hand smoking are those who are not smoking, but live or work in environments where they inhale involuntarily, smoke from tobacco being smoked by someone else. Persistence exposure to second-hand smoking can also cause asthma because cigarette has dangerous particles. After inhaling this smoke for a long period of time, a non-smoker can also develop similar diseases and symptoms like a smoker.

Does stigmatisation have any effect on those living with asthma?

Yes, truly there is stigmatisation among those living with asthma. For instance, colleagues always see children who have asthma as being lazy. When it is time for sports, such children cannot participate actively in the exercises and sometimes miss school altogether. When this happens, they are not seen as being serious. The same applies to adults who have asthma, and cannot work as much as their colleagues who do not have, just like women who are down with asthma cannot carry out domestic chores as they should, especially when it is time to sweep or cook.

Stigmatisation against asthma patients leads them to hide their diagnoses, and makes some patients not to go out with their inhalers. This might expose them to severe attacks that might lead to death. So, people should stop stigmatisation of asthmatic patients who use their inhalers in public.

Again, some people believe that asthma is a spiritual problem. This is a major challenge that we face in counseling and treating asthma. Unfortunately, this might lead some patients not to adhere to doctors’ advise, by refusing to take their drugs. This development can also lead to more attacks, complications and eventually death before help gets to them.

Are there foods that can help prevent asthma?

Generally, what we advise is healthy eating. Of all the foods we have, none of them has been improved to the point of saying that once you eat this type of food asthma is cured. So, we advise people to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables because research has shown that people low in Vitamin ‘D’ can be exposed to asthma because this is an environment where we have a lot of sunlight. I do not think that is a major challenge though. Sometimes, we advise people to stay away from certain food because there are some people who live with asthma and have concomitant food allergy. These people may notice that when they take milk, particularly cow milk, peanuts and shellfish and others, they begin to have attacks. Based on this and other factors, we say that generally, people should eat healthy.

We also encourage exclusive breastfeeding because breastfeeding reduces the chances of children having diseases generally.

What is your general advise to asthmatic patients?

They should know that they could also live healthy. They need to be faithful in taking their drugs and visit their doctors when necessary. They should not see asthma as something that would stop them from achieving their dreams.
Culled from The Guardian

Tips to keep rats away from your house

Tips to keep rats away from your house

To keep these pests out of your house, you need to deprive them of what they want most: food and shelter. Here are a few tips to keep rats away from your house, according to
homeremedyhacks.com:

Cover your trash: Make sure your garbage cans have snug lids and are made of metal. If you have to use plastic trash cans, make sure that there are no holes in them.
Store your pet food: Rats love pet food. If you feed your dog outside and leave food out, you’re inviting every pest in the neighbourhood to visit. Store pet and bird food in glass or metal containers with tight lids


Pick up fallen fruits: If you have fruit or nut trees, clean up any fruit that falls on the ground.

Clean up your garage: Lawn seed, tulip bulbs and bone meal are food sources for mice and rats. Store them in metal or glass containers with tight lids.

Don’t store firewood in your garage because it is a potential nesting site. Organise and store boxes off the ground to eliminate places for mice or rats to burrow.

Use peppermint oil: Peppermint oil can be used to prevent rats as they can’t stand its pungent smell. All you have to do is dip some cotton balls in the oil and place them in the rat-prone area. It will surely give satisfactory results. Alternatively, citronella and castor oil can also be used.

Owl’s feather: Owl’s feather will scare the rats and force them to run away. Try placing some owl’s feather inside the holes of these intruders. Alternatively, if you can’t find one, keep some plastic snakes in your garden to get rid of rats in the yard.

Pepper: The pungent smell of pepper makes it hard for the rats to breathe and threaten their survival. Simply sprinkle some crushed pepper around the corners and the holes where they reside. You will notice positive results. Repeat the process if necessary. Onion also works. Just slice an onion and keep it inside or near their holes.

Human hair: This may sound weird, but rats can’t bear the sight of the human hair. Clip a few strands of your hair and throw them into the holes or places the ‘unwanted guests’ tend to visit the most. As the rats eat the hair, they will die.

Sound: Sound not only hurts them, but also makes their ears bleed. A sharp noise-making sound box is all you need to make them run away.

Health benefits of wheat

Health benefits of wheat

Wheat Controls obesity

Wheat has a natural ability to control weight in everyone , but this ability is more pronounced among women .

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown through research that whole wheat, rather than refined form , is a good choice for obese patients .

Women who consumed whole wheat products over long periods showed considerably more weight loss than the others subjects. Improves body metabolism: Saturated and trans fats increase the chances of cardiovascular diseases, while omega -3 fats decrease cardiovascular disease risk .

Whole grains like wheat are immensely effective on patients with metabolic disorders. Common types of metabolic syndromes include visceral obesity , also known as the “pear shaped” body , high triglycerides , low levels of protective HDL cholesterol , and high blood pressure .

It protects against all of these conditions . Research has shown that foods made from refined grains not only tend to increase weight but they also increase the hazards of insulin resistance .

Doctors recommend eating whole wheat bread and other fibre -rich foods . The majority of fibre works to help the digestive process in the body and improve the overall metabolism .

Having a whole wheat diet is probably the most effective , quick , and enjoyable way to reduce metabolic syndrome , but also to stay slim and healthy throughout your life .

Prevents type 2 diabetes:

Wheat is rich in magnesium , which is a mineral that acts as a co -factor for more than 300 enzymes . These enzymes are involved in the body ’s functional use of insulin and glucose secretion .

The FDA permits foods that contain whole grain by at least 51 per cent weight and are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol , which means a lower risk of coronary ailments and certain types of cancer.

Moreover, regular consumption of whole grain wheat promotes healthy blood sugar control . People who suffer from diabetes are able to keep their sugar levels under control by replacing rice with wheat in their diet .

Reduces chronic inflammation:

The betaine content of wheat is what aids in the prevention of chronic inflammation. Betaine is usually found in whole wheat, beets and spinach . Inflammation is a key constituent in most types of rheumatic pains and also some rheumatic diseases.

Thus , it is a good idea to eat a healthy amount of whole wheat food products that will actively reduce inflammation. Consumption of betaine affects a number of aspects in our body chemistry that assures a lower risk of chronic inflammation and other ailments like osteoporosis, heart disease , Alzheimer’ s disease , cognitive decline , and type -2 diabetes .

Prevents gallstones:

In various surveys by the American Journal of Gastroenterology , it has been proven that breads and cereals made from whole wheat help women to avoid gallstones . Since whole wheat is rich in insoluble fibre , it assures a quick and smooth intestinal transit time and lowers the secretion of bile acids. Excessive bile acids are a major cause of gallstone formation . Moreover, a high intake of wheat increases insulin sensitivity and thereby lowers triglycerides or fat in the blood .

Besides wheat , you also get insoluble fibre from the edible skins of fruits and certain vegetables like cucumbers , tomatoes and squash , berries , apples, and pears.

Beans also provide both insoluble and soluble fibre .

Protective against breast cancer:

Research at the UK Women ’s Cohort Study found that a fibr -rich diet is extremely important for women to keep breast cancer at bay . Foods from whole grains like wheat and fruits provide significant safeguards for pre -menopausal women against breast cancer .

Studies say that around 30 grammes of wheat consumed daily is enough for women to reduce the risks of breast cancer .

Reports say that pre -menopausal women who have consumed wheat had a 41 per cent reduced risk of breast cancer in comparison to others who ate other forms of fibre.

Prevents childhood asthma :

The American Lung Association says that around 20 million Americans experience some form of asthma . Studies have stated that whole grains and fish in the diet can lower the chances of childhood asthma to a great extent.

The International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood proved through numerous studies that a wheat -based diet has the capacity to lower chances of developing asthma by almost 50 per cent .

During the survey , the wheat diet was increased considerably and the mothers were given special diets high in fish and whole grains; this showed an almost 66 per cent reduction in the possibility of becoming asthmatic . Organicfacts.com

​ABC of Lassa fever

ABC of Lassa fever

The ‘multimammate rat’ called Mastomys natalensis which has many breasts and lives in the bush and around residential areas is the reservoir host of Lassa fever.

The virus is shed in the urine and droppings of the rats, hence can be transmitted through direct contact, touching objects or eating food contaminated with these materials or through cuts or sores.

The onset of the disease is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, muscle and joint pains, prostration and malaise.

After a few days, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough and abdominal pain may follow.

“In severe cases facial swelling, fluid in the lung cavity, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop; shock, seizures, tremor, disorientation and coma and death may be seen in the later stages.

Two die as LUTH confirms Lassa fever outbreak in Lagos

Panic as LUTH confirms Lassa fever outbreak in Lagos

By Chukwuma Muanya, Assistant Editor | 

• Resident doctor infected, isolated in hospital’s ward

There is the fear of an outbreak of Lassa fever in the country as the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) yesterday confirmed that two patients treated have died within a few days of admission in the past one week.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, told journalists that the two patients who were at the advanced stage of the infection died despite efforts to save their lives.

“The first was a 32-year-old pregnant lady with bleeding disorder who died after a stillbirth. Post-mortem examination had been conducted before her Lassa fever status was eventually suspected and confirmed. No less than 100 different hospital workers exposed to this index case are currently being monitored,” he said.

Bode, who is also a professor of paediatrics, said a resident doctor from the Department of Anatomic and Molecular Pathology who took part in the autopsy was later confirmed with the disease and is currently on admission and responding well to treatment at the Isolation Ward of LUTH.

The CMD who visited the Isolation Centre yesterday in the company of his top management staff assured doctors of the hospital’s full support.

The paediatric surgeon enjoined all LUTH workers to maintain a heightened level of alert in the wake of this new outbreak and observe universal precautions in handling all suspected cases of this viral hemorrhagic fever.

He urged Nigerians to notify the response team in LUTH in case of any suspected case of Lassa fever through the following phone numbers : 08058019466, 08058744780, 07035521015 and 08023299445.

The medical expert noted that LUTH has always worked closely with officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health in handling a number of diseases of public importance such as rabies, cholera, Lassa fever and the recent diarrhoea disease at the Queen’s College. He said both the Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health have responded swiftly to contain the current Lassa fever outbreak by mobilising human and material resources to trace the sources and extent of the disease, follow up on potential contacts, identify early and test suspected cases.

The LUTH boss said there were adequate materials for the containment of the disease while drugs have been made available to treat anyone confirmed to have it. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Nigeria has also been contacted and two other suspected cases from Lagos State are also currently admitted and quarantined while confirmatory laboratory tests are ongoing.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of two-21 days duration that occurs in West Africa. The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces. Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures.

Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well. The overall case-fatality rate is one per cent. Observed case-fatality rate among patients hospitalised with severe cases of Lassa fever is 15 per cent.

It has been shown that early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival.

The virus is zoonotic, or animal-borne. About 80 per cent of human infections are without symptoms; the remaining cases have severe multiple organ disease, where the virus affects several organs in the body, such as the liver, spleen and kidneys. Lassa fever is a significant cause of severe illness and death.

According to the WHO, the reservoir or host of the Lassa virus is the “multimammate rat” called mastomys natalensis which has many breasts and lives in the bush and around residential areas. The virus is shed in the urine and droppings of the rats hence can be transmitted through direct contact, touching objects or eating food contaminated with these materials or through cuts or sores. Transmission also occurs in health facilities where infection prevention and control practices are not observed.

A WHO fact sheet on Lassa fever noted that it occurs in all age groups and both sexes. Persons at greatest risk are those living in rural areas where mastomys are usually found, especially in communities with poor sanitation or crowded living conditions. Health workers are at risk if Lassa fever is not suspected or while caring for Lassa fever patients in the absence of proper barrier nursing and infection control practices.

According to the WHO, the onset of the disease, when it is symptomatic, is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, muscle and joint pains, prostration and malaise. After a few days, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, and abdominal pain may follow. In severe cases facial swelling, fluid in the lung cavity, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop. Protein may be noted in the urine. Shock, seizures, tremor, disorientation, and coma may be seen in the later stages. Deafness occurs in 25 per cent of patients who survive the disease. In half of these cases, hearing returns partially after one – three months. Transient hair loss and gait disturbance may occur during recovery. Patients may die from shock.

The only known specific treatment for Lassa fever is Ribavirin which may be effective if given within the first six days of illness.

It should be given intravenously for ten (10) days. Supportive treatment should include; Paracetamol, Vitamin K (Phytamenadione), Heamacel, Ringers lactate, antimalaria and antibiotics- start by I.V. If patient is severely anaemic, consider transfusion.

Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine that protects against Lassa fever.

According to the WHO, prevention of Lassa fever relies on promoting good “community hygiene” to discourage rodents from entering homes. Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home and maintaining clean households.

Before now and besides Lagos, active transmission of Lassa fever has been reported in five states (Bauchi, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, and Plateau) in the past three weeks. Altogether, 13 new suspected cases were reported from four states during the last week of July: Plateau (five), Ondo (five) Bauchi (two), and Ogun (one), including two deaths.

Nigeria is one of several West African countries in which Lassa fever is endemic, with seasonal outbreaks occurring annually between December and June. In 2016, the country reported 273 suspected cases and 149 deaths (case fatality rate 55 per cent) from 23 states. In 2017, Benin, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, and Togo experienced outbreaks that have since been controlled.

The current outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria, however, is continuing beyond the normal season.

This persistent Lassa fever outbreak comes against the background of a protracted humanitarian crisis in the northern part of the country, as well as outbreaks of cholera and hepatitis E.

Source: The Guardian

Tackling prostate issues in men

Key Points on Prostate Issues with Men

​The prostate is an important part of the male reproductive organs. It is so vital that it does not only affect one’s ability to reproduce, it has a great effect on one’s sexual life. A defective prostate can turn one from hero to zero husband.

The worse part if it is that most men suffering from the condition hide it from their spouses and close family members.

Certainly your private areas are your private issues. But the key thing is the boldness to speak out early and seek medical help.

What is the prostate?

It’s true that prostate problems are common after age 50. The good news is there are many things you can do.

The prostate is a small gland in men that helps make semen. Located just below the bladder in front of the rectum, it wraps around the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. It tends to grow larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause a number of health issues.

About 17% of men over the age of 60 experience some form of urinary incontinence. In many cases, urinary incontinence in men is caused by prostate problems, or the methods used to treat prostate problems.In some cases, men can experience the same types of incontinence as women, and for the same reasons. However, one of the major contributing causes to incontinence in men is prostate problems. According to the National Institutes of Health, “The prostate is a male gland about the size and shape of a walnut. It surrounds the urethra just below the bladder, where it adds fluid to semen before ejaculation.”

The prostate grows naturally with age, usually without problems. In some men, the enlarged prostate compresses the urethra, making urination difficult and causing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH symptoms include: Urinating frequently, especially at night.

Symptoms of Prostate Problems to act quickly: See your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms:

• Frequent urge to urinate

• Need to get up many times during the night to urinate

• Blood in urine or semen

• Pain or burning urination

• Painful ejaculation

• Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area, or upper thighs

• Dribbling of urine.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is common among American men. Your chance of getting prostate cancer may be affected by your:

• Age. Men age 50 and older run a greater risk.

• Race. Prostate cancer is most common among African-American men, followed by Hispanic and Native-American men. Asian-American men have the lowest rates of prostate cancer.

• Family history. If your father or brother had prostate cancer, you are more likely to have it, too.

• Diet. The risk of prostate cancer may be higher for men who eat high-fat diets.

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

To find out if prostate symptoms are caused by cancer, your doctor will ask about your past medical problems and your family’s medical history. Your doctor also will perform a physical exam. During the exam, your doctor will put a gloved finger into your rectum to examine your prostate to check for:

• The size, firmness, and texture of the prostate

• Any hard areas, lumps, or growth spreading beyond the prostate

• Any pain caused by touching or pressing on the prostate

• You may be asked to give a urine sample for testing. Your doctor also may do a blood test to check the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. PSA levels can be high in men with an enlarged prostate gland or with prostate cancer. You may also need an ultrasound exam that takes computer pictures of the prostate.

If tests show that you might have cancer, your doctor will refer you to a specialist (a urologist) for a prostate biopsy. The doctor will take small tissue samples from several areas of the prostate gland to look for cancer cells.

• Treating Prostate Cancer

Treatment for prostate cancer depends on whether cancer is in part or all of the prostate, or if it has spread to other parts of the body. It also depends on your age and overall health. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment choice for you and the possible side effects of treatment. You may want to ask another doctor for a second opinion.

Options

• Watchful waiting, also called active surveillance. If the cancer is not causing problems, you may decide not to get treated right away. Instead, your doctor will check regularly for changes in your condition. Treatment will start if the cancer begins to grow.

• Surgery. The most common type of surgery removes the whole prostate and some nearby tissue.

• Radiation therapy. This treatment uses radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The radiation may come from an x-ray machine or from tiny radioactive pellets placed inside or near the tumor.

• Hormone therapy. Men having other treatments, like radiation therapy, also may be treated with drugs to stop the body from making testosterone. This is done if it seems likely that the cancer will come back. Hormone therapy also can be used for prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate.

PSA Testing

Until recently, many doctors encouraged yearly PSA testing for all men beginning at age 50, or even earlier for men at high risk of prostate cancer. As doctors have learned more about the benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening, they have begun to caution against annual PSA testing. Talk with your doctor about what is best for you.

Yearly PSA testing in men without symptoms is generally not recommended. However, in men who report prostate symptoms, PSA testing (along with digital rectal examination) can help doctors determine the nature of the problem. In men who have been treated for prostate cancer, the PSA test may be used to see if the cancer has come back.

Non-cancerous problems

Here are some examples of non-cancer prostate problems:

1. Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is very common in older men. It means your prostate is enlarged but not cancerous. Treatments for BPH include:

Watchful waiting, also called active surveillance. If your symptoms are not too bad, your doctor may tell you to wait to see if they get worse before starting treatment. Your doctor will tell you how often to return for checkups.

Medications. Medicines can help shrink the prostate or relax muscles near your prostate to ease symptoms.

Surgery. If nothing else has worked, your doctor may suggest surgery to help urine flow.

Other treatments. Sometimes radio waves, microwaves, or lasers are used to treat urinary problems caused by BPH. These methods use different kinds of heat to reduce extra prostate tissue.

2. . Acute bacterial prostatitis usually starts suddenly from a bacterial infection. See your doctor right away if you have fever, chills, or pain in addition to prostate symptoms. Most cases can be cured with antibiotics. You also may need medication to help with pain or discomfort.

3. Chronic bacterial prostatitis is an infection that comes back again and again. This rare problem can be hard to treat. Sometimes, taking antibiotics for a long time may work. Talk with your doctor about other things you can do to help you feel better.

4. . Chronic prostatitis, also called chronic pelvic pain syndrome, is a common prostate problem. It can cause pain in the lower back, in the groin, or at the tip of the penis. Treatment may require a combination of medicines, surgery, and lifestyle changes.

It is quite clear that if you value your life and need fulfilment, seeking early. medical interventuon would save you a lot of pain.

What to look out for

1. Symptoms of enlarged prostate can include:

2. A weak or slow urinary stream.

3. A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying.

4. Difficulty starting urination.

5. Frequent urination.

6. Urgency to urinate.

7. Getting up frequently at night to urinate.

8. A urinary stream that starts and stops.

9. Straining to urinate…
Culled from ThisDay

​Eight signs your body is crying for urgent attention

Eight signs your body is crying for urgent attention

The human body has been described as a perfect mechanism where lots of things happen at the same time .

More often than not , the human body gives signs to indicate that it needs help , but you need to know what each sign means to enable you take charge and seek medical attention as necessary .

Here are eight warning signals you should always take note of, according to online platform , Bright Side . Pay attention to sign # 7 .

• Insomnia , irritability and leg cramps . Your body needs magnesium and potassium , which can be found in tomatoes , bananas , spinach and oranges .

• Dry skin may signify a lack of vitamin E . So , eat more vegetables , nuts, oil and fish . Don ’ t use soap , scrubs or exfoliating masks. Instead , use creams with greasy base . Again , don ’ t take a bath for more than once a day ; and stay in a cool environment .

• Sweet tooth . A strong desire to have something sweet might be indicative of stress , depression , or exhaustion . In this case , your body is asking for glucose , which is derivable from chocolate and honey .

• Desire to eat ice. If you find yourself wanting to eat ice , then you may have anaemia as a result of iron deficiency . So , eat beef and eggs. But it’ s still better to see your doctor if the desire is accompanied with lack of energy .

• Bleeding gums . A bleeding gum is a tell – tale signs of Vitamin C deficiency . Include the following in your foods: citrus fruits such as oranges , spinach, green /red bell peppers , tomatoes , cabbage , cauliflower and broccoli .

• Fragile nails and hair. Your body is telling you that you ’ re deficient in vitamin B. So , drink more milk, eat mushrooms .

Yo can also make a health drink with a combination of orange , lemon , avocado , herbs and banana .

• Rings around the irises . The iris is that part of the eye that determines the amount of light reaching the retina .

Rings may appear around the iris among those who are 50 and older , which is normal . However , if it appears in a younger person , it is a sign of high cholesterol level and you must see the doctor .

• Greek foot — otherwise called Morton ’ s toe — is a syndrome where you have a longer second toe on your foot. This could be a result of callusing or discomfort on the ball of the foot at the base of the second toe . You will need to watch the style of footwear you choose .