My son was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) two months ago and has been taking medicine since then. I want to know, are there any long-term effects associated with taking ADHD medications? If so, what are they?
ADHD medications can affect children differently, one child can respond well to one medication but not to others. Side effects such as decreased appetite, sleep problems, headaches, rebounds, tics, irritability and delayed growth have been witnessed in the patients. It is important for parents to work with their healthcare providers so that the right decision can be made between potential benefits and side effects of medication.
I have always had a migraine problem and have been taking medicines to keep the pain under control. Apart from that, what alternative therapies can be used to treat migraine?
The available complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for migraine are—physical therapies like EMG(electromyographic biofeedback), botox, stress management, acupuncture, massages and herbs; but the most important is diet and pharmacological therapies like Riboflavin, magnesium, Coenzyme Q10, Fish oil (omega 3 fatty acid).
My 5-year-old daughter has asthma. What is the long-term effect of using an asthma preventer? I heard that using it for years might cause bone shrinkage. Is it true?
The use of oral steroids is a well-known risk factor for osteoporosis (bone shrinkage) and fractures, but the effect of inhaled corticosteroids on bone mineral density (bone health) is minimal.
I experience a burning sensation in my stomach. Many people told me to go gluten-free. Will doing that help me out in the long run?
Other than its beneficial effect in patients of a disease called Celiac disease, a gluten-free diet has also shown benefits when treating problems related to digestion, cholesterol levels and preventing certain cancers. However, it is important to find out the cause of the burning sensation in the stomach first.
I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes quite some time back. What alternative therapies apart from regular medicines I can incorporate to keep the future chances of diabetes at bay?
The good thing about pre-diabetes is that it can be reverted. Primarily lifestyle modification in terms of a healthy diet and exercise is the key. For some patients, pharmacological treatment may be required. Always keep your weight under check and practise a healthy lifestyle to prevent yourself from turning into a diabetic and also to reduce the risk associated with pre-diabetes.
I have lost 20 lbs., but I am afraid that I will gain it back like I always do. Is there anything can I do to help keep this weight off for good?
Diet and exercise are the two important pillars that can help achieve and sustain weight loss. Since you have already attained weight reduction, now for the second phase to sustain, it is your dedication and discipline in terms of diet and exercise that will give you the best results.
The answers are provided by Dr Shweta Chopra, Consultant Endocrinologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad.