Ask the Experts

From pediatric questions to general medical queries, our panel of experts is here to answer your questions…


Question: Sometimes my teenage daughter gets a sharp pain in her chest which the doctor diagnosed as growing pains. Is this related to the heart?

Dr. Mohamed Shehata, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist responds, “Chest pain in teenagers can be related to many etiologies. Fortunately, more than 90 percent of
these pains are not related to heart problems. For example, these pains might be related to indigestion or respiratory problems. Heart problems associated with chest pain in teenagers mostly include inflammation of the pericardial sac surrounding the heart or the presence of valvular malfunction. However, the term `growing pains` described in teenagers is mostly caused by costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the joints between the breast bone (sternum) and the ribs. In younger children, this costochondral area is soft or cartilaginous. With puberty and growth, this soft area calcifies, making it harder and for some reason, this area may become irritated (or inflamed), resulting in pain and tenderness. So, this type of chest pain is basically not related to the heart and can be simply relieved using traditional analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications.”


Question: Whenever I eat chocolate or have coffee, a few moments later I suffer from a migraine. Is there a link between food and a migraine? Dr. M. Srinivas Mallya, Specialist Neurology and HOD of Neurology responds, “Yes, there is a link between migraine and food as a trigger. About 30 percent of patients’ report a food trigger. Apart from chocolate and coffee, other common food triggers include citrus fruits, nuts, onions, MSG, nitrites found in cured or processed meats, and dairy products.”


Question: I just turned 35 and my wrinkles are becoming prominent. I am not necessarily in favor of Botox yet; what are other options? Dr. Sanjay Parashar, Consultant Plastic Surgeon explains, “It’s the process of aging. Based on your genetics, lifestyle, diet, and skin regime, the signs of aging can appear as early as age 30 for some. Wrinkles are caused by the overuse of facial muscles (the 11 lines on your forehead and between your eyes), due to excessive frowning, or long horizontal lines on the forehead due to stress. Skin dehydration and excessive sun exposure are also contributing factors to wrinkles. I understand you are not in favor of Botox, but it is definitely one of the best solutions for wrinkles. It is helpful in relaxing the overused muscles and hence, stops the formation of wrinkles.” “I understand that Botulinum injections have had myths including a frozen look or unnatural facial expressions. But that is due to its excessive use, particularly by inexperienced experts. New techniques of treatment include –‘Baby Botox’ (also known as Micro Botox) which is a new way of treating the wrinkles subtly and with natural facial expressions. Alternative methods include facial yoga to help break the habit of muscle overuse. Other simple measures include the use of a proper moisturizer to keep skin hydrated and at the same time, repairs damaged skin. Vitamin C serum works as an antioxidant for skin cells and repairs wrinkles. Other ways of reducing wrinkles include medical peelings and laser therapies. Some also benefit with treatments such as PRP for the face, medical facials such as Vivace, and also hyaluronic fillers. Early management of aging is extremely important. Times are changing and medical science has provided many tools and technology, which when used properly, can slow down aging. Adapting to them early helps substantially and delays the hard measures used to fight aging, for example, with a facelift. Find a good doctor as he can examine the real cause of your wrinkles and advise appropriately.”

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