alexa Doc, why does my brother keep having convulsions? - Daily Nation

Doc, why does my brother keep having convulsions?

Why does my brother have convulsions?

A convulsion or a seizure occurs because there is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain

Dr Flo,
I need your help. My brother keeps convulsing without a fever even under medication.

Dear Mika,

A convulsion or a seizure occurs because there is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain lasting for a short while. In children between six months and six years, the most common cause of convulsions is a fever. These convulsions usually stop when the child is over seven years of age.
Convulsions can also occur due to other illnesses, brain injury, brain tumour, poisons, blood vessel problems or developmental disorders like cerebral palsy. Blood sugar problems, lack of oxygen and psychiatric problems can also cause passing out. Epilepsy, a condition where there are repeated seizures for a long time — some times lasting up to adulthood — can also be a cause. Sometimes, the cause of the convulsions may not be known.
Your brother needs to be followed up by a neurologist, so that he can get an accurate diagnosis after necessary tests and he can get medication to control the convulsions and prevent them in the future. The medication is adjusted and/or added until the convulsions are controlled.

Dr Flo,
I am a married man and I am 47 years old. I have been suffering from erectile dysfunction for 10 years. Please advise me and if possible help me get a doctor.

Dear K M,

Having a problem with achieving an erection once in a while is not a cause for concern. You might have low libido, which means there is a decrease in desire for sexual activity, which can lead to a problem with achieving an erection. If it persists, it may be due to psychological issues caused by excessive masturbation or relationship issues, performance anxiety, stress, anxiety, depression among others. You might also be having a physical problem that is affecting the quality of your erections such as obesity, alcoholism, smoking or other drugs and reduced testosterone levels. Erectile dysfunction is also known as impotence, though it does not mean that someone is infertile.
It would be advisable to be reviewed by a psychologist and a urologist. You can get a urologist at any of the big public and private hospitals. Also, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep (seven to eight hours a day), avoid alcohol and cigarettes, and find a way to manage the stress. You may also benefit from pelvic floor exercises: contract the pelvic muscles for about 10 seconds, 10 times in one set, 6 to 10 sets in a day. To identify the specific muscles, stop the urine mid flow when you are urinating.

Dr Flo,
During a recent visit to a physician, I was diagnosed with hypertension and the doctor prescribed some medicine. What are the implications of high blood pressure on body metabolism in areas such as functioning of the heart and kidney. Usually, doctors insist on monitoring blood pressure. Why this insistence? Also, why are hypertensive patients cautioned on salt intake?

Alnashir Walji

Dear Alnashir,
The blood pressure reading is a measure of the force at which your heart is pumping blood, and the resistance to the blood flow within the blood vessels. These two measures give the two figures we use for blood pressure reading. Normal blood pressure is between 90/60mmhg and 140/90mmhg. Anything above 140/90mmhg is considered high blood pressure.
In a few people, about five to 10 per cent of those with high blood pressure, there is an exact cause for it such as kidney disease, hormonal disorders, pregnancy, anaemia, tumours, drugs or some medication. For this people, once the cause has been identified and dealt with, then the blood pressure problem can be sorted out.
In a majority of the people, about 90 to 95 per cent of those with high blood pressure, there is no known cause of the pressure going up. It goes higher with age, and by the time it is being said to be high, it has been rising slowly over many years and continues to do so. There are some things that are associated with this rise such as age (being over 40), being male, being African, having a close relative with high blood pressure, high-salt, high-calorie, high-fat diet, lack of exercise, obesity, taking too much alcohol, smoking and a stressful lifestyle. Because the blood pressure rises over many years, it is not possible to cure it with medication taken for a short time. This is because the changes in the vascular system are not reversible.
Unfortunately, most of the time, you cannot tell that your blood pressure is high unless it is measured. Therefore, you may be feeling fine, but the blood pressure is high and it continues to cause damage to the blood vessels and can cause stroke, heart disease, kidney failure or even loss of vision.
To prevent this long-term effects, you are put on medicine to lower the blood pressure to normal levels. If the blood pressure readings are normal, then the medicine is working. If you stop the medicine, the blood pressure goes back up, which is why it is very important for you to keep taking the medicine. It’s not enslavement, it is life saving.
In addition, reduce the amount of salt in your diet, reduce the amount of fat and starch in your diet to healthy levels, reduce alcohol intake, stop smoking, reduce weight to healthy levels, exercise, eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, have enough sleep and manage stress.

Send your medical questions to [email protected] for free expert advice