Quiz: Can you tell where these structures are found in your body?

Take this quiz to asses how well you know the location of structures in your body.

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Take this quiz to test how much you know about Hookah or Shisha smoking.

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Quiz: How much do you know about farts?

We all normally fart every day but do you know farts well enough? Take this short quiz to test your knowledge.

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Quiz: How condom smart are you?

Take this short quiz to assess how much you really know about condoms and their usage.

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Migraine Fact Sheet: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

What is a migraine?

  • A migraine is a type of headache that comes as a throbbing or a pulsing pain usually on one side of the head.
  • They are usually moderate to severe and can last from 2 hours to days.
  • Migraine headaches tend to affect people between the ages of 15-55 years.
  • Some people who regularly suffer from migraines can tell or recognize the factors that cause the headaches such as allergies, light and stress.

What actually causes migraines?

migraine cause is unknown, 25doctors
  • The actual cause of migraines isn't known but they are thought to happen as a result of some abnormal brain activity that causes temporary changes in the chemical balance, nerve signals and blood flow in the brain.
  • Some other possible causes are related to genetic and environmental factors, that is, it could run in a family or be triggered by environmental factors such as poor air quality and lighting.
  • Other triggers include fatigue, stress, hunger or even some types of foods (e.g. red wine and chocolates).

What are the signs and symptoms of a migraine?

  • Migraines could start off with a premonitory phase that could manifest as depression, irritability, mood swings, craving some foods, constipation, diarrhoea and uncontrollable yawning. There could also be sensitivity to smells or noise. This happens one or two days before headache starts.
  • An aura might be felt before the actual headache starts. The common auras seen are flashing or flickering lights, seeing spot or lines in one eye or weakness involving one side of the body. This may last for several minutes up to an hour.
  • A tingling sensation could follow, then numbness and a feeling of loss of sense of position. Speech may also be affected and the head may “spin”.
  • Now the actual headache starts gradually on one side and worsens with physical activity. Unfortunately, some people experience pain on both sides.
  • Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sounds and smells, fatigue and irritability could come with the headache.
  • More symptoms that could follow are diarrhea, blurred vision, tender scalp, sweating, swelling or a stiff neck. In severe cases, light-headedness and fainting could occur.
  • After the pains subside, there may be a feeling of being drained and worn out.
migraine three times more common in women than men 25doctors

Treatment of migraines

  • The treatment depends on the frequency at which migraines come.
  • Some migraine medicines are available to relieve pain. Some medications can be used at home and others require a visit to the doctor.
  • If migraines come constantly for extended days, a preventive medicine may be needed. It would be prescribed by a doctor.
  • Importantly, overuse of medications especially for short term acute migraines should be avoided because it can lead to increased frequency of headaches or even having headaches daily. This type of headache is called “medication overuse headache”.

Lifestyle changes or improvements should be considered. Some suggestions include:

1.    Keeping a regular schedule for eating and sleeping.
2.    Staying hydrated. Drink water.
3.    Avoiding certain foods that have been implicated in triggering the migraines.
4.    Exercise regularly e.g. meditation and yoga.

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Allergy Fact Sheet: Types, Symptoms And Treatment

What is an allergy?

  • An allergy refers to an exaggerated reaction by the immune system in response to exposure to certain foreign substances like food, pollen, dust and household chemicals. 
  • The response is exaggerated because these foreign substances are normally seen by the body as harmless in non-allergic individuals and do not cause a response in them. 
  • In allergic individuals, the body recognizes the foreign substance, and the allergic part of the immune system generates a response.
  • Allergies are very common. They affect about one in five people at some point in their lives.
  • They are particularly common in children. Some allergies go away as a child gets older, although many are lifelong. Adults can develop allergies to things they weren't previously allergic to.
what are allergies 25 doctors

Common allergens

Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens. Common allergens include:

  • Grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (Allergic rhinitis)
  • Dust mites

  • Animal dander (tiny flakes of skin or hair)

  • Food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cow's milk

  • Insect bites and stings

  • Medication – including ibuprofen, aspirin, and certain antibiotics

  • Latex – used to make some gloves and condoms

  • Mould – these can release small particles into the air that you can breathe in

  • Household chemicals – including those in detergents and hair dyes

Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who aren't allergic to them.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction

Allergic reactions usually happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen. Although allergic reactions can be a nuisance and hamper your normal activities, most are mild. Very occasionally, a severe reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.

They can cause:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or blocked nose

  • Red, itchy, watery eyes

  • Wheezing and coughing

  • A red, itchy rash

  • Worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

  • Sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)

  • Itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)

  • Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough

  • A raised, itchy, red rash (hives)

  • Swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face

  • Tummy pain, feeling sick, vomiting or diarrhoea

  • Dry, red and cracked skin

  • Worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

anaphylaxis anaphylactic shock allergy

In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life-threatening. This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to an allergen.

Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:

  • Swelling of the throat and mouth

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Light-headedness

  • Confusion

  • Blue skin or lips

  • Collapsing and losing consciousness

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

How are allergies treated?

The best way to keep your symptoms under control is often to avoid the things you're allergic to.
For example, you may be able to help manage:

  • Food allergies by being careful about what you eat.

  • Animal allergies by keeping pets outside as much as possible and washing them regularly

  • Mould allergies by keeping your home dry and well-ventilated, and dealing with any damp and condensation.

  • Hay fever by staying indoors and avoiding grassy areas when the pollen count is high

  • Dust mite allergies by using allergy-proof duvets and pillows, and fitting wooden floors rather than carpets.

Allergy medications

Medications for mild allergies are available from pharmacies without a prescription, but always ask your pharmacist or GP for advice before starting any new medicine, as they're not suitable for everyone.
They can be taken as tablets, capsules, creams, liquids, eye drops or nasal sprays, depending on the part of your body affected by your allergy.
Treating severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)
If you're at risk of this, you'll be given special injectors containing a medicine called adrenaline to use in an emergency.
If you develop symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as difficulty breathing, you should inject yourself in the outer thigh before seeking emergency medical help.

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How To Examine Your Testicles

You must have often wondered if it is necessary for guys to examine their testicles (or balls). Most men actually touch their testicles in one form or another during or after a shower or while relaxing on their beds. 

It is important for guys to touch (examine) their testicles because they might just be the first to discover an abnormality such as a lump.  Men can have lumps in their testicles and this can sometimes be an early sign of testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer is actually rare, making up just 1% of all male cancers. However, it is the most common cancer affecting men between the ages of 15-35 years.

Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable cancers. Early detection is key, If found early, its survival rate is almost 100%. It is therefore very important that men learn and know how to examine their testicles properly.

men testicular cancer not common

Testicular cancer usually presents as a painless lump or swelling in the testicles. Other symptoms include: feeling of heaviness or ache in the scrotum, and collection of fluid in the scrotum.

Causes of testicular cancer.

The cause is not fully understood but there are some factors that increase the risk of developing cancer:

  • Undescended testicles

  • Family history of testicular cancer

  • Age

  • Race

  • Smoking

  • Infertility


A lump or Swelling in the testes may not be cancerous. Other causes of lumps or swelling in the testicles are:

  • Varicocele

  • Hydrocele

  • Epididymal cyst

  • Epididymo-orchitis

  • Inguinal hernia

  • Testicular torsion

How do you examine your testicles?

The best time to do the self-exam is during or after a bath or shower, when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed.

  • Hold your penis out of the way and check one testicle at a time.

  • Use both hands when you are examining testicle. Hold the testicle between your thumbs and fingers of both hands and roll it gently (with slight pressure) between your fingers.

  • You should be able to feel the epididymis (a sperm-carrying tube), which feels soft, rope-like, and slightly tender to pressure, and is located at the top of the back part of each testicle. This is a normal lump.

  • Look and feel for any hard lumps or smooth rounded bumps or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of the testicles.

testicles different sizes self examination

If you notice any lump or swelling, please see a doctor right away. Although not all lumps are cancerous, you don’t have to wait to see if the lump will disappear. 

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Tongue Piercing – How Safe Is It?

Tongue piercings are quite popular in today's world, however before you decide to get one (and if you already have one), there are important things you need to know.

What is tongue piercing?

  • A tongue piercing is a type of body piercing which is usually done directly through the centre of the tongue.

  • It’s very popular amongst young people including males and females and may be considered as a way of self-expression.

  • Beaded jewellery that may be made of many decorative materials can be worn on these piercings.

tongue piercings takes 4 weeks to heal

Types of tongue piercings

  • Traditional piercing: The placement for a tongue piercing along the mid line of the tongue, in the centre of the mouth.

  • Tongue frenulum piercing: A piercing through the frenulum underneath the tongue. It’s also known as the “tongue web piercing”.

  • Venom bites: Two tongue piercings placed side by side on the tongue.

  • Angel bites: Two piercings in the tongue with one placed right in front of another.

  • Snake eyes: One curved bar going horizontally through the tip of the tongue.

Risks associated with tongue piercings

  • Infection: The mouth is a moist environment loaded with bacteria. The wound created by the piercing encourages these bacteria to colonize and cause infection. In extreme cases, the infection could get into the bloodstream and affect the heart, causing an inflammatory condition called “infective endocarditis”.

  • Swelling: This tends to occur when healing is taking place. It becomes dangerous if the tongue swells so much that it extends to the throat and blocks the airway. This can lead to suffocation.

  • Nerve damage: If done wrongly, it could lead to nerve damage which could lead to numbness of the tongue and loss of ability to taste.

  • Jewellery Inhalation: The jewellery may become unscrewed on one or both ends and can be choked on. The jewellery could be aspirated into the lungs or into the digestive system, causing tears.

  • Damage to gums and teeth: The jewellery can rub against the gums, causing injury. The jewellery could also constantly hit the teeth or fillings in the mouth. This can crack the teeth and make them become sensitive.

tongue piercing health risk infections

If you already have a tongue piercing...

  • Keep the piercing clean and ensure to clean the mouth properly.

  • Avoid touching or turning the jewellery unnecessarily.

  • Avoid sharing jewellery with friends.

  • Be careful while talking and eating.

  • Avoid clicking the jewellery against the teeth.

  • Wash hands before checking the tightness of the jewellery periodically.

  • Remove the jewellery before sporting activities or exercise.

  • Lastly, visit a dentist regularly for check-ups and cleaning.

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Dental Plaque Is Your Enemy

It is a continuous war between the plaque in your mouth and you. Plaques constantly form in your mouth even after brushing your teeth. However, you can’t give up the fight to get rid of plaque because they are more hazardous than you think. 

What is a plaque?

A plaque is a colourless, soft, sticky film or deposit on the surface of the teeth. It is made up of bacteria. If a plaque is not properly removed, it might build up to form a yellowish or creamy deposit on the tooth surface.

dental plaque can cause teeth discolouration and bad breath

The best way to know what a plaque looks like is to scratch your tooth with your fingernail. The yellowish or creamy substance underneath your nail is a plaque. Disgusting right? If the plaque is left alone on the tooth surface by not properly brushing and flossing, it hardens, becoming no longer plaque but a Tartar (or Calculus), which becomes difficult to remove by brushing. These are reasons why dental plaque is your enemy:

  1. It is the major culprit of gum diseases; gingivitis (inflammation of the gum) and periodontitis (inflammation of the supporting tissue of the tooth). It has the ability to produce toxins, which irritates the gum causing it to bleed, hurt, swell or even get infected.

  2. It has the ability to break down any food that contains sugar into acid. This acid in turn attacks the tooth. Repeated acid attack breaks down the tooth surface forming a cavity. This is how tooth cavity or decay known as dental caries is formed.

  3. Due to its pigmentation after left alone for a while, can cause tooth discolouration.

  4. It can cause mouth odour.

  5. The bacteria that makes up plaque might dislodge and travel through the blood vessel into the heart and cause heart problems.

  6. Its ability to cause gum diseases can cause or complicate other health problems such as diabetes, infertility, erectile dysfunction, dementia and respiratory problems.

How to prevent the formation of plaques

Brush two times and floss teeth daily to prevent plaque

The easiest way to combat plaque is by proper brushing for two minutes twice a day (morning and before bedtime) and flossing at least once a day. 

Other methods of preventing plaques from accumulating in your mouth in addition to tooth brushing and flossing are:

  • The use of mouth wash.
  • Eating balanced diet.
  • Regular visit to the dentist (every 6 months).

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Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Early Childhood Caries) Fact Sheet

What is baby bottle tooth decay?

  • This is tooth decay that occurs in little children (infants and toddlers).
  • It is a preventable dental condition that causes rapid decay of many or all of the baby's teeth.

How does it happen?

  • Baby bottle tooth decay can happen when a child's bottled food containing sweetened liquids like formula, milk or fruit juice is left in the child's mouth for a long time.
  • It is also associated with infants and children who are breast-fed or given pacifiers dipped in honey, sugar or syrup for prolonged periods of time.
  • These sweetened foods cling to the infant's teeth, giving bacteria a chance to thrive in the mouth and produce acids that attack the teeth. 
when should a baby first visit the dentist

What are the signs of baby bottle tooth decay?

  • At first, white spots appear on the surface of the front teeth. If nothing is done to treat this, the white spots will rapidly develop into decay.
  • The affected teeth that have decay become darkened (black or brown).
  • There may be toothache and infection could follow.
  • As it progresses, the child could be irritable, come down with a fever, have gum swelling and a swollen face.

How is it treated?

  • The treatment depends on the severity of the decay.
  • It could involve basic steps such as the use of topical fluorides and fluoride supplements (effective when white spots are initially notices at the early stages), diet changes, use of tooth filling materials or crowns to restore teeth, or removal of affected teeth.
tooth decay: babies should not sleep with a sippy cup of milk or juice

How to prevent it?

  • A child’s first dental visit should be on or before the child's first birthday or within six months after the first tooth emerges).
  • Babies' teeth should be protected with fluoride. It can come in water, toothpaste and supplements. A dentist should be contacted to know the appropriate levels of fluoride needed.
  • Modifying baby’s diet by reducing the frequency of feeding with acidic foods like fruit juice. This should be done with advice from the paediatrician.
  • The gums should be cleaned with water and a clean soft cloth until teeth emerge in the mouth. Teeth should then be cleaned with a soft bristled brush.
  • Babies should not be given a bottle or sippy cup when about to sleep, or to fall asleep with. If this is the case already, they can be weaned from this habit by diluting the contents of the bottle with water. 
  • Sweeteners should not be used on pacifiers.


  • Premature or early loss of baby teeth can make a child have speech problems, disarranged teeth, have poor eating habits and can damaged adult teeth.
  • Having healthy baby teeth will bring about healthy permanent teeth.

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Am I underweight, overweight or obese? Find out using this BMI tool.

It’s no longer secret that obesity is a killer. About 2.8 million people die globally every year as a result of being overweight or obese. The World Health Organisation even recognises obesity as a growing global health problem of epidemic proportions. 

Despite being preventable, obesity rates are increasing and doubled between 1980 and 2014. Currently, more than 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight with about 600 million people obese.

obesity statistics global worldwide body mass index bmi

Body Mass Index (BMI)

So how do you find out if you are underweight, overweight, obese or of normal weight? There’s actually an index that WHO recommends called the Body Mass Index or BMI.

Body mass index (BMI) is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

a BMI less than 18.5 is underweight.
a BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 is normal.
a BMI from 25 to 29.9 is overweight.
a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obese.

You can use the tool below to quickly find out what your current status is.

Supplied by BMI Calculator NZ

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Yes, there are people born without fingerprints.

It may be somewhat hard to believe but some people are born without fingerprints.


Normally, humans are born with their fingers and soles covered by ridges called dermatoglyphs. Some people are however born with the absence of these ridges that form fingerprints. This condition is called adermatoglyphia (without dermatoglyphs).

Adermatoglyphia is a hereditary disorder that is very rare. It has been documented only among members of four families worldwide.

Four families no fingerprints adermatoglyphia 25doctors

Fingerprints are unique.

Fingerprints are very unique and are fully formed in foetuses by 24 weeks after a pregnancy is conceived. They do not change throughout life making them very useful and reliable for identification of persons and for tracing criminals. Even a set of identical twins have different fingerprints.

Identical Twins, Same DNA, Different fingerprints 25doctors

Immigration Delay Disease

A Swiss woman was once delayed when trying to enter the United States after she was found not to have any fingerprints. The disorder has even been labeled “immigration delay disease” due to resulting delays from identification challenges at airports and security checkpoints.

Genetic Mutation.

Researchers studied sixteen members of the Swiss woman’s family, six of them were found to have fingerprints while nine of them were found to have none. They found mutations in a smaller version of a gene called SMARCAD1 among those without fingerprints.

Although abnormal fingerprints have been found in people with other disorders like Naegeli syndrome and dermatopathia pigmentosa reticularis, adermatoglyphia itself has not been linked with any serious health issues. It could however be a certain cause for concern for people affected, border agents and security operatives.

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The reasons why you fart and how to control flatulence.

Farting or ‘passing wind’, also referred to as flatulence, is the passing of gas from the digestive system out of the back passage (rectum). Flatus is the medical word for gas generated in the intestinal tract.

How many times a day is normal?

Flatulence is a normal biological process and is something everyone experiences regularly. Some people fart only a few times a day, others a lot more, but the average is about 5 to 15 times a day.

women fart same number of times as men

How are farts formed?

You take in small amounts of air when you swallow food, water or saliva. This air builds up in the digestive system. Gases can also build up when you digest food. Some carbohydrates in food can't be digested and absorbed easily, so they pass down into your colon to be broken down by bacteria, producing gas. The body needs to get rid of the gas build-up by farting (flatulence) or burping (belching).

Why does it smell bad?

Most of the gases we pass are odourless and often released in small quantities. It usually only has a bad smell when it contains gases that smell, such as sulphur.


Chewing gum can make you fart

There are several natural causes of flatulence. Flatulence can also be caused by:

  • Swallowing Air: Excess air can be swallowed by chewing gum, smoking, sucking on pen tops or hard sweets, having loose-fitting dentures or eating food too quickly.
  • Food and drink: Food containing a high amount of unabsorbable carbohydrates include: beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, artichokes, raisins, pulses, lentils, onions, prunes, apples, Brussels sprouts, Bran in cereal, Sorbitol (in sugar free gum) and fructose (in fruit juice).
  • Health conditions: indigestion, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), coeliac disease, lactose intolerance, gastroenteritis
  • Medicines: Some pain relievers such as ibuprofen and laxatives.

When does Farting Become a Problem?

Flatulence can be related to an underlying health problem affecting the digestive system such as recurring indigestion or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

You should visit a doctor if farting is associated with any of the following:

  • persistent abdominal pain and bloating
  • recurring episodes of diarrhoea or constipation
  • unexplained weight loss
  • bowel incontinence (involuntary passage of faeces)
  • blood in your stools (faeces)
  • signs of an infection, such as a high temperature, vomiting, chills, joint pain and muscle pain.

Controlling flatulence.

Flatulence can usually be controlled by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as:
•    avoiding foods known to cause flatulence
•    eating smaller and more frequent meals
•    eating and drinking slowly
•    exercising regularly
There are also some over-the-counter medications that can help if your flatulence is troublesome, such as charcoal tablets or Simethicone.
If your flatulence is related to an underlying health problem, treating the condition may help resolve it.

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How much water should I drink everyday?

There is a popular saying that “water is life”. The body is made of about 60% of water and maintenance of a correct water balance is essential for good health.

Why do we need water?

Water is needed by all the cells and organs in the body in order for them to function properly. It is also used to lubricate the joints, protect the spinal cord, regulate body temperature and assist the passage of food in the intestines. Other benefits include keeping up energy levels and brain function. Water helps to prevent constipation and kidney stones too.

About 60% of your body is made up of water

What is water balance?

Water balance is determined by how much water we take in and how much we lose.

We lose water through:

  • our gastrointestinal tract (faeces) about 200mls
  • kidneys (urine) about 1500mls,
  • skin (sweating) about 500mls
  • lungs (breathing) about 400mls.

Exercise and a hot weather can increase the amount of water we lose.

On the other hand, we gain water by:

  • drinking water.
  • taking drinks like juices, milk and beverages.
  • eating food (there is some water in our food)
  • water-rich fruits like watermelon, pineapple and oranges.

So how much water should I drink daily?

It used to be recommended that we drink eight (8 ounce) glasses of water which is about 2 litres or half a gallon. This is called the 8x8 rule, very easy to remember.

However, this is not a magical formula as there are many factors that determine how much water you actually need to drink. There are certain circumstance that require an increase in water intake. These instances include:

  • participating in strenuous exercise
  • a hot weather
  • breastfeeding mothers
  • or in disease states like diarrhoea.

How do I know if I have taken enough water?

Generally, if you drink enough water, you won't feel thirsty. Also, your urine would be less concentrated- colourless or slightly yellow.

In conclusion, ward off dehydration by making sure your body has the amount of water it needs. Make water your beverage of choice.

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4 reasons why dentists recommend daily flossing.

Flossing is an adjunct to tooth brushing and it is as important as tooth brushing. It helps to remove food debris and plaque that sticks to teeth and gums in between teeth.

It is recommended that you floss once daily. Flossing can be done before or after brushing. Children can also start to floss as soon as they have two teeth touching each other.

These are five reasons why dentists recommend daily flossing;

1.    Effective Cleaning.

When you use floss with tooth brushing, it is more effective than tooth brushing alone. Toothbrushes get to about 65% of the tooth surfaces leaving some areas unclean. The bristles of a toothbrush cannot effectively clean in between teeth especially in people who have tight spaces. Plaque that is not removed becomes hard and very difficult to remove. Flossing helps to clean those surfaces that are hard to clean.

floss everyday brush twice a day

2.    Reduces the risk of gum disease.

Gum disease can be caused by continuous plaque formation on the teeth. This plaque irritates the gum thus leading to bleeding gums, swollen gum, gum pain and even gum infection. Research has shown that daily flossing helps to reduce the problem of gingivitis and the risk of periodontitis.

3.    Eliminates mouth odour.

Food debris that get stuck in between our teeth actually rot after a while and this produces mouth odour. Bleeding gums also contribute to mouth odour. Flossing helps to eliminate stagnant food hence reducing the risk of developing mouth odour.

4.    Lowers the risk of heart disease:

According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), people with periodontal disease (severe gum disease) are almost twice likely to have coronary heart disease. The bacteria in dental plaque can escape into the blood stream, travel through the arteries and result in blood clots that can cause fatal heart attack. Flossing regularly can prevent gum disease, reducing the risk of developing heart disease.

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Appendicitis Fact Sheet: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.

What is appendicitis?

  • Appendicitis is a painful swelling (inflammation) of the appendix. The appendix is a small, thin pouch that is attached to the large intestine.
  • Appendicitis is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain and is generally regarded as a surgical emergency.
appendicitis statistics

What causes appendicitis?

  • Appendicitis is caused when the appendix becomes blocked or obstructed by feaces, enlarged lymphoid follicles and rarely by foreign objects or tumours.
  • This obstruction leads to bacterial accumulation, inflammation, swelling and increased pressure within the appendix.
  • This pressure can cause the appendix to rupture, releasing faeces into the abdominal cavity.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

  • A sharp pain felt around the navel that later moves towards the lower-right side of the tummy.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and or vomiting.
  • Fever.
  • The symptoms of appendicitis are usually vague and are similar with some other diseases.
signs and symptoms of appendicitis

How is appendicitis diagnosed?

  • The doctor would ask about the symptoms and perform a physical examination.
  • While examining the abdomen, appendicitis is usually suspected if the pain worsens when pressure is applied to the lower-right side of the abdomen.
  • A rectal exam, blood tests, urine test, abdominal ultrasound and CT scans may be done to aid diagnosis.

How is appendicitis treated?

  • Surgery to remove the appendix is necessary in most cases.
  • It is safer to have the appendix removed than to risk an appendix rupture.
  • The surgery done to remove the appendix is called appendectomy or appendicectomy.
  • Removal of the appendix does not cause any long-term problems. A person can live a normal life without an appendix
  • Antibiotics also play a role in the treatment of appendicitis.

What are the complications of appendicitis?

  • The appendix could rupture if not treated.
  • A ruptured appendix releases bacteria to other parts of the body, causing peritonitis and can be life-threatening.
  • A ruptured appendix can still be treated by antibiotics and surgery.
  • An appendix abscess (pus collection around the appendix) can also be formed as a result of the body’s response to the infection.
  • If the doctor suspects an appendix abscess, antibiotics may be given first before removing the appendix.

How can appendicitis be prevented?

  • There is no direct way to prevent appendicitis.
  • However, appendicitis is less common in people who have high fibre diets.
  • Foods that have high fibre include fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Pericoronitis Fact Sheet: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is pericoronitis?

  • It is a condition when the gum around a growing or erupting wisdom tooth becomes swollen and infected.
  • It is a dental condition commonly seen in young adults.

 How does it occur?

  • It occurs when the wisdom tooth breaks through the gum (partially erupts), creating an opening for food and bacteria to enter around the tooth, irritating the gum.
why our third molars are called wisdom teeth

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain and swelling around the wisdom tooth.
  • Pain on chewing on the affected side.
  • Soreness around the gum.
  • Difficulty opening of the mouth.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fever
  • In severe cases, pus accumulation around the gum.

How is pericoronitis diagnosed?

  • It is diagnosed based on symptoms and appearance when you visit the dentist.
  • A dental X-ray is usually taken to assess the area and rule out other possible causes for pain, such as tooth decay.

How is pericoronitis treated?

Depending on the severity of the condition, it can be treated by:

  • relieving pain and resolving the infection in mild cases.

In more severe cases;

  • removal of the overlapping gum tissue (the procedure is called operculectomy).
  • removing the wisdom tooth.

How can pericoronitis be managed at home?

  • Keeping a good oral hygiene.
  • Frequent rinsing of the mouth with warm salt water. 
  • Antiseptic mouth rinse e.g Chlohexidene and Oral Pain Relief e.g Bonjela can be used. 
  • Analgesic such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to relieve the pain.
  • Antibiotics prescribed by your dentist or GP (amoxicillin or erythromycin) is used to treat the infection. 

NOTE: If severe or symptoms recur, it is necessary to visit your dentist to remove the gum flap or the wisdom tooth.

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Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet: Risk Factors, Symptoms and Treatment

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

  • Alzheimer's disease is a disease that affects the brain. It is the most common cause of dementia among older people.
  • The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that include memory loss, difficulties with thinking, problem-solving and language. 
  • Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease. This means that gradually, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, more symptoms develop and the disease becomes more severe.

Who gets Alzheimer’s disease?

  • The disease mainly affects people over 65. If people under this age develop this disease, it is referred to as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
  • There are about twice as many women as men over 65 years old with Alzheimer's disease.
  • Someone who has a close relative (parent or sibling) with Alzheimer's when over 65 has an increased risk of developing the disease.
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity in mid-life are all known to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Depression is also risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

  • The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are generally mild to start with, but they get worse over time and start to interfere with daily life.
  • Memory difficulties are usually the earliest symptoms. They later on develop problems with other aspects of thinking, reasoning, perception, orientation or communication.
  • They lose items (e.g keys, glasses) around the house

  • Struggle to find the right word in a conversation or forget someone's name

  • Forget about recent conversations or events

  • Get lost in a familiar place or on a familiar journey

  • Forget appointments or anniversaries.

  • Struggle to follow a conversation or repeating themselves

  • Have problems judging distance or seeing objects in three dimensions, navigating stairs or parking the car become much harder

  • Have difficulties making decisions, solving problems or carrying out a sequence of tasks (eg cooking a meal)

  • Become confused or lose track of the day or date.

  • Some people start to believe things that are untrue (delusions) or – less often – see or hear things which are not really there (hallucinations).

  • Develop behaviours that seem unusual or out of character. These include agitation (eg restlessness or pacing), calling out, repeating the same question, disturbed sleep patterns or reacting aggressively.

How is it treated?

  • There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • However, there are medications used to alleviate symptoms and slow progression of the disease.
  • Many people benefit from exercising their mind with reading or puzzles. There is evidence that attending sessions to keep mentally active helps (cognitive stimulation). 
  • There are many ways to help someone remain independent and cope with memory loss. These include practical things like developing a routine or using a weekly pill box. There are other assistive technology products available such as electronic reminders and calendar clocks.
  • Omega-3 supplements and Ginkgo supplements have not been proven to lower the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.


  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia  and it causes memory loss, difficulty in thinking, language, problem solving, concentration and orientation.
  • Age, Gender, Family history and lifestyle contribute to the risk of developing the disease.
  • There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease but there are drugs to slow the progression of the disease.
  • Leading an active lifestyle that combines regular physical, social and mental activity will help to lower risk.
  • Omega-3 supplements and Ginkgo supplements have not been proven to lower the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

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