Alcohol and Fertility
When fertility clinics are doing very good business, it is worthwhile to look for avoidable preventive measures for normalising fertility. Although it might break the rice-bowl of these clinics, it would be good for mankind. Alcohol intake, as little as 14 units in a week, during the time when the lady is trying to get pregnant, might significantly reduce her chances of getting pregnant. This is a result of a large cohort study. If I were to advise in an editorial in the same journal (wishful thinking), I would have said that alcohol damages every single human organ, the dose notwithstanding and, as such, doctors must discourage people from drinking alcohol routinely. Ranging from cardio-myopathy and sudden death, to cancer and now fertility, alcohol is a curse. Yet, we encourage alcohol intake socially. Some doctors, even today, tell their patients that alcohol, in small doses, is good for heart health. In fact, female alcoholism can adversely affect the menstrual cycle and male alcoholism could reduce the sperm count!
Patients with Cancer at Risk during Diagnosis
Cancer is a difficult disease for the patient; but recent studies have shown that medical diagnostic interventions may often make them more miserable for due to injuries. Among 720,901 patients, there were 7,306 who suffered injuries from medical complications and drug treatments, and 8,331 who had injuries resulting from accidents and self-harm that resulted in hospital admission during the diagnostic period. These were Swedish patients. Central nervous system and colorectal cancers had 14% increased risk and the risk, to a certain extent, depended on the socio-economic status of the patient!
Psychiatric side-effects are also noted during investigations and, later, on chemotherapy, in addition to physical injuries that could be quite serious. Investigations should be done, especially the invasive ones, only when it can give more information for better management.
Concerns over Skin Bleaching
Black is beautiful is an old adage; but, these days, everyone, including men, is desperate to become fairer. We see that many people, many in the film industry, have suddenly becomes very fair. A dermatologist in England did a study to show that one of the common ingredients of the fairness treatment, internally and locally, is glutathione.
Ophalia Dadzie, a consultant dermatologist at Hillingdon Hospital and the director of London Ethnic Skin Ltd, has discovered serious side-effects after intravenous (IV) use of glutathione along with local use. Most of these are done in beauty parlours where even the hygiene of IV injections is seriously compromised. Potential adverse side-effects include toxicity of the nervous system, kidney and liver, headaches and, rare, but serious, skin conditions such as Stevens Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. She is asking for strict regulations to avoid serious damage. God only knows how many people have come to grief in India. Let us do a survey and build some guidelines sooner rather than later.
US Surgeon-general, Dr Vivek Murthy, Warns against Painkillers!
In a historic first in the USA, the surgeon-general, the most powerful Federal government officer, has sent letters to 2.3 million doctors there, asking “for their help to end the epidemic of prescription painkiller overdose deaths.” The landmark letter is a signal to doctors across the country that it is time for something to be done about the growing opioid painkiller problem in America.
A humane Indian-born doctor from Karnataka, Dr Murthy, wrote a sensible article a month ago about the sad state of affairs in the medical field in that country run by the moneybags. Readers of my column would remember my fight against these menaces, for decades. I am happy that a fellow Indian-born surgeon-general has echoed my sentiments. In his letter, Dr Murthy discusses how many doctors have been incorrectly taught that opioids were not addictive “when prescribed for legitimate pain.” Dr Murthy goes on to lament that many doctors were “encouraged to be more aggressive about treating pain.”