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How can I improve my overall health?

Dr Monica Mahajan
Associate Director,
Internal Medicine,
Max Hospital, New Delhi

Q: I am a 45 years old unmarried woman, weighing only 48 kg. I follow a healthy diet but don’t gain weight. My skin does not glow at all. Also, I feel heavy stomach after eating as if I have overeaten. Is it a digestion problem? Secondly, my knee joints pain a lot. I cannot stretch out my legs and even cannot sit with folded legs. While travelling whether I am sitting or standing it burns from the thigh to foot. I have shoulder pain too for the last 2 months. I cannot sleep well in the night due to the pain. Lastly, I get headaches for 2-3 months and when it occurs I feel like puking. I am in a clerical/administrative job. Please advise.

A:1. You need to get some basic tests to rule out anaemia, thyroid or sugar problems. A stool sample maybe done to check for worms or occult blood loss. Ultrasound upper abdomen would check for any gallstones in view of your bloating symptoms 2. See a physician for the following: to check for malabsorption and vitamin/calcium deficiency. You need a high protein diet. A dietician may help to prepare the same. 3. Check for arthritis in the knees. You need to do some knee strengthening /quadriceps exercises since you have a desk job and this worsens knee stiffness. Also incorporate neck exercises in your routine. 4. The headache seems like migraine and you can be prescribed medicines for the same. 5. Check if you need reading glasses. 6. Walking will help you eat better and improve other symptoms.