Medical FAQs

Commonly Asked Medical Questions

How to lower blood pressure?

  1. Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline.
  2. Exercise regularly.
  3. Eat a healthy diet.
  4. Reduce sodium in your diet.
  5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  6. Quit smoking.
  7. Cut back on caffeine.
  8. Reduce your stress.

How long does the flu last?

Symptoms usually appear from one to four days after exposure to the virus, and they last five to seven days.

Can humans get infected from novel coronavirus from animal source?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals. Occasionally, people get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people. For example, SARS-CoV was associated with civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels. Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed.

To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Ensure good food safety practices at all times. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.

What are the symptoms of corona virus?

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature) a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual) a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

Can coronaviruses be transmitted from person to person?

Yes, some coronaviruses can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient, for example, in a household workplace, or health care centre.

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies.

How to know I have diabetes?

extreme thirst.

dry mouth.

frequent urination.



irritable behavior.

blurred vision.

wounds that don't heal quickly.

Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar?


feeling tired.


feeling hungry.

tingling lips.

feeling shaky or trembling.

a fast or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)

becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious or moody.

Pneumonia and Covid?

Most people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms like coughing, a fever, and shortness of breath. But some who catch the new coronavirus get severe pneumonia in both lungs. COVID-19 pneumonia is a serious illness that can be deadly.

Common causes of chest pain?

Heart burn or indigestion

Chest sprain or strain

Anxiety or panic attack

Chest infection or pneumonia


Common causes of sore throat?

Sore throats are usually caused by viruses (like cold or flu) or from smoking. Very occasionally they can be caused by bacteria.



Strep throat

Glandular fever

How many calories should I eat per day?

An ideal daily intake of calories varies depending on age, metabolism and levels of physical activity, among other things. Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 for men.

Most common types of headaches?

Sinus, tension, migraine, and cluster.

What is a migraine headache?

A migraine is usually a moderate or severe headache felt as a throbbing pain on 1 side of the head.

How do I tell allergies from the flu?

If you have allergies, you wouldn’t have a fever, you may have a headache. You will not have any aches or pains. Allergies also occur more often being seasonally/repeatedly. Whereas with the flu you will have a high temperature that lasts 3-4 days as well as a prominent headache and this will occur once a year.

Causes of asthma?

Airborne allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander or particles of cockroach waste. Respiratory infections, such as the common cold. Physical activity.

Causes and treatment for ulcers?

Most peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection of the stomach called Helicobacter pylori. This infection is often asymptomatic and can be acquired in childhood. The other cause of ulcers is the regular use of aspirin and anti — inflammatory medicines.

What are the causes of diarrhea?

Alcohol abuse.

Allergies to certain foods.


Diseases of the intestines (such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)

Eating foods that upset the digestive system.

Infection by bacteria (the cause of most types of food poisoning) or other organisms.

Laxative abuse.


What is the treatment for diarrhea?

Drink plenty of clear liquids, including water, broths and juices.

Add semisolid and low-fiber foods gradually as your bowel movements return to normal.

Avoid certain foods such as dairy products, fatty foods, high-fiber foods or highly seasoned foods for a few days.

What is H. pylori?

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that infects your stomach. It can damage the tissue in your stomach and the first part of your small intestine (the duodenum). This can cause pain and inflammation. In some cases, it can also cause painful sores called peptic ulcers in your upper digestive tract.

How do I lower my cholesterol?

Eating a healthy diet and doing regular exercise can help lower the level of cholesterol in your blood.

What causes liver disease?

Regularly drinking too much alcohol.

Being overweight (obese) – this may cause fat to build up in the liver.

Problems with the immune system.

Genes that run in the family.

What causes gallstones?

Gallstones are thought to develop because of an imbalance in the chemical make-up of bile inside the gallbladder. In most cases the levels of cholesterol in bile become too high and the excess cholesterol forms into stones.

What causes abdominal pain/stomachache?

Trapped wind.



Diarrhea or food poisoning.

How to reduce menstrual cramps.

heat – putting a heat pad or hot water bottle (wrapped in a tea towel) on your tummy may help reduce pain. warm bath or shower – taking a warm bath or shower can relieve pain and help you relax. massage – light, circular massage around your lower abdomen may also help reduce pain.

Why is my abdomen distended?

A common cause of abdominal swelling is gas. Swallowing air as part of a nervous habit or from eating foods that are high in fiber can lead to gas production. If you don't release this gas, it can lead to abdominal swelling.

Is painful urination sign of an STI?

STIs that can cause burning or pain during urination include chlamydia. gonorrhea. Trichomoniasis.

Most common types of STI




Genital warts.

Genital herpes.

Pubic lice.



Difference between STI and UTI.

UTI's often have a frequent or urgent need to urinate, a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying, and cloudy, dark, or strange-smelling urine. However, STDs can have additional symptoms that are not present with a UTI.

Appropriate time for delivery in pregnancy.

Most babies arrive between 37 weeks and 41 weeks of pregnancy, usually within a week either side of their due date. Twins and particularly triplets are more likely to be born premature.

Causes of vaginal discharge.

Vaginal discharge is normal – most women and girls get it. It's a fluid or mucus that keeps the vagina clean and moist and protects it from infection.

What are hemorrhoids?

A swollen vein or group of veins in the region of the anus.

Causes of swollen testes.


testicular cancer.

abnormally enlarged veins in the scrotum.

acute inflammation of the testes, called orchitis.

swelling due to increased fluid, called hydrocele.


inflammation or infection in the epididymis, called epididymitis.congestive heart failure.

Types of genital lesions- syphilis, chancre, chancroid, scabies, chlamydia, herpes.

Syphilis - a chronic bacterial disease that is contracted chiefly by infection during sexual intercourse, but also congenitally by infection of a developing fetus.

Chancre - a painless ulcer, particularly one that develops on the genitals in venereal disease.

Chancroid - a venereal infection causing ulceration of the lymph nodes in the groin.

Scabies - a contagious skin disease marked by itching and small raised red spots, caused by the itch mite.

Chlamydia - a very small parasitic bacterium which, like a virus, requires the biochemical mechanisms of another cell in order to reproduce. Bacteria of this type of cause various diseases including trachoma, psittacosis, and non-specific urethritis.

Herpes - Herpes is an infection that is caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV). Oral herpes causes cold sores around the mouth or face. Genital herpes affects the genitals, buttocks or anal area. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD)

Treatment for joint pains.

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren't used to — such as gardening after a winter indoors.

Treatment for back pains.


Back stretches.


Hot and cold packs.


Surgery and procedures.

Nerve treatment.

Spinal fusion surgery.

There are also some specialist treatments that may be recommended if it's thought simple measures are not likely to be effective on their own.

See a GP or a physiotherapist if your pain is not improving despite trying simple treatments.

Why do I have numbness in my legs?

Long-term numbness or a tingling feeling in the legs and feet may be due to conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes, peripheral artery disease, or fibromyalgia. The sensation may be felt in the whole leg, below the knee, or in different areas of the foot.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease in which some of the body's cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells.

Causes of prostate cancer.

It's not known exactly what causes prostate cancer.

Causes of cervical cancer.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Having many sexual partners.


Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) used over the long term.

Engaging in early sexual contact.

What is heart failure?

Heart failure means that the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly. It usually occurs because the heart has become too weak or stiff.

What causes heart failure?

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease and the most common cause of heart failure.

Causes of kidney disease.

The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases.

What is dialysis?

Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. It often involves diverting blood to a machine to be cleaned.

Types of abortion.

An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy.

It's also sometimes known as a termination of pregnancy.

The pregnancy is ended either by taking medicines or having a surgical procedure.

Is abortion legal in Kenya?

Abortion in Kenya is regulated by Article 26(IV) of the Constitution of Kenya, which states that: Abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.

What is testicular torsion?

Testicular torsion occurs when a testicle rotates, twisting the spermatic cord that brings blood to the scrotum. The reduced blood flow causes sudden and often severe pain and swelling.

Symptoms of appendicitis.

feeling sick (nausea).

being sick.

loss of appetite.

constipation or diarrhea.

a high temperature and a flushed face.

What is aflatoxin poisoning?

Aflatoxins are toxins produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus that can grow on pet food ingredients such as corn, peanuts, and other grains. At high levels, aflatoxins can cause illness (aflatoxicosis), liver damage, and death in pets. The toxins can be present even if there is no visible mold on the pet food.

Symptoms of malaria.

a high temperature of 38C or above.

feeling hot and shivery.



Muscle pains.


Generally feeling unwell.

What is cerebral malaria?

Cerebral malaria is the most severe neurological complication of infection with Plasmodium falciparum malaria. It is a clinical syndrome characterized by coma and asexual forms of the parasite on peripheral blood smears.

How does one contract HIV?

HIV can be transmitted during unprotected sex; through sharing injecting equipment; from mother-to-baby during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding; and through contaminated blood transfusions.

How does one avoid child malnutrition?

Plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Plenty of starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, pasta.

Some milk and dairy foods or non-dairy alternatives.

Some sources of protein, such as meat, fish, eggs and beans.

Essential minerals and vitamins.

Vitamin A

B vitamins and folic acid

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K




Other vitamins and minerals include – including beta-carotene, copper, potassium and zinc.

How much protein do I need per day?

Most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day.

How much alcohol should I consume per day?

1 serving of alcohol per day for women and up to 2 servings per day for men.

Causes of depression.

Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.

There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.

The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.

Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.

What is schizophrenia?

Along-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

Is there treatment for bipolar disorder?

The primary treatments for bipolar disorder include medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy) to control symptoms and may include education and support groups.

How do you know if you’re an alcoholic?

A doctor will diagnose alcoholism when three or more of the following have been present together in the past year: An overwhelming desire to drink. An inability to stop or to control harmful drinking. Withdrawal symptoms when stopping drinking.

What is obesity?

The term obese describes a person who's very overweight, with a lot of body fat.

What causes a stroke?

A blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke).

Causes of heart attack.


Ahigh-fat diet.


High cholesterol.

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Being overweight or obese.

Causes of change in breast skin color.

The presence of cancerous cells in the breast can manifest in the form of skin discoloration. If your breasts look bruised or not quite the color they should be, it could be another symptom of breast cancer. Cancer can result in many changes to your skin, not only discoloration.

Causes of breast cancer.

Most cases of breast cancer do not run-in families, but genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase your risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer. It's possible for these genes to be passed on from a parent to their child. The genes TP53 and CHEK2, are also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Why am I short sighted?

Short-sightedness usually occurs when the eyes grow slightly too long. This means that light doesn't focus on the light-sensitive tissue (retina) at the back of the eye properly. Instead, the light rays focus just in front of the retina, resulting in distant objects appearing blurred.

Why am I long sighted?

The eyeball is too short. the cornea (transparent layer at the front of the eye) is too flat. the lens inside the eye is unable to focus properly.

Causes of glaucoma.

dilating eye drops.

blocked or restricted drainage in your eye.

medications, such as corticosteroids.

poor or reduced blood flow to your optic nerve.

high or elevated blood pressure.

What is alopecia?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to come out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The amount of hair loss is different in everyone.

Causes of fungi infection.

Fungal infections can be caused by many different types of fungi. These can be spread between people, or from animals, the soil, contaminated items or floors. Some fungal skin infections, like thrush, are caused when your body's own yeast (a type of fungus) grows more than usual.

Can a fall cause a spinal injury?

A spinal cord injury after age 65 is most often caused by a fall. Overall, falls cause about 31% of spinal cord injuries.

Difference between dental decay and dental caries.

The only difference between the two terms is that dental caries is the dental (or medical) term used to describe the very same process.

Why are my teeth brown?

As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth gets worn away exposing the yellow dentin. Your tooth dentin also grows as you age, which decreases the size of the pulp. The translucency of the tooth reduces, making it look darker.

How to stop nose bleeds.

Sit down and firmly pinch the soft part of your nose, just above your nostrils, for at least 10-15 minutes.

Lean forward and breathe through your mouth – this will drain blood into your nose instead of down the back of your throat.

Why is my neck stiff?

A stiff neck typically is the result of muscles weakening over time from poor posture or misuse.

What causes dry coughs?

Most coughs are caused by colds.

Other causes include:


Heartburn (acid reflux)

Allergies – for example, hay fever.

Infections like bronchitis.

Mucus dripping down the throat from the back of the nose.

Causes of heart burn.

Certain food and drink – such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods

Being overweight.



Stress and anxiety.

Some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers (like ibuprofen)

A hiatus hernia – when part of your stomach moves up into your chest.

How do I stop hiccups?

Some common ways to stop hiccups include:

Breathe into a paper bag (do not put it over your head)

Pull your knees up to your chest and lean forward.

Sip ice-cold water.

Swallow some granulated sugar.

Bite on a lemon or taste vinegar.

Hold your breath for a short time.

Is it safe for mothers with corona virus to breastfeed their babies

According to Unicef, mothers with corona virus can still continue breastfeeding their babies. The only thing that they need to be observe are the 3 Ws where: 1. They Wear a face mask when breastfeeding their babies 2. They Wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after breastfeeding their babies 3.They Wipe surfaces around them with a disinfectant