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My husband's growing breasts.

WHAT does it mean if a man starts growing breasts? My husband is a slim chap, but over the last year or two he has started to develop something of a bust!

He is in his mid-thirties and is otherwise fit and well, but he is far too embarrassed to see his doctor. What could be causing the problem?

TRUE breast enlargement in men (gynaecomastia) is rare. It is usually due to a hormone imbalance and can be a sign of rare inherited disorders, liver disease, cancer of the testicle or an overactive thyroid.

But prescribed drugs are probably the single biggest cause - the indigestion treatment cimetidine (Tagamet), the heart pill digoxin, and the water tablet spironolactone can all have this worrying side-effect. Heavy cannabis users can also suffer breast enlargement, and it sometimes occurs in youngsters during normal puberty.

Your husband is silly to be embarrassed about seeking help - rest assured his GP will have seen much stranger things!

SMOKE is well known for being more dangerous in house fires than the actual flames. What does it contain to make it so lethal?

THERE are several ways that smoke can kill and disable. It is highly irritant and can lead to dangerous spasms and congestion in the lungs - particularly in asthmatics.

It also contains carbon monoxide, which stops the blood carrying oxygen around the body.

Smoke contains a host of other toxic chemicals, including cyanide (used in the manufacture of many plastic goods), and often kills before its victims are even aware there is a problem, which is why every house should have a smoke alarm fitted.

MY sister is six months pregnant and is planning to have her baby at home. Unfortunately she has just been told that it is lying the wrong way around, and unless it turns she will have to go into hospital to give birth. What is meant by lying the wrong way around?

MOST babies are born head first, and lie head down for the latter part of a pregnancy. But there are always exceptions, and the most common one is when baby lies head up and bottom first - otherwise known as breech.

It is possible to give birth to a breech baby, but it can be more tricky for both mother and child. That is why breech deliveries are best looked after in hospital.

It is much too early to say what is going to happen to your sister, but I would expect about one in three women to be breech at her stage of pregnancy, and if I were a betting man I would put money on her being able to give birth at home.

MY two-year-old grandson has just been admitted to hospital following a febrile convulsion. Does this mean he is at greater risk of developing epilepsy later in life?

CHILDREN under five often suffer from febrile convulsions - fits or seizures brought on by a high fever. At least one in thirty youngsters will have an attack before they start school.

These convulsions are NOT a sign of epilepsy and usually do not mean there is a greater risk later in life. The best treatment is prevention. High temperatures in young children should be dealt with quickly. Remove the child's clothes and give him or her paracetamol (Calpol) or ibuprofen (Junifen).

If this doesn't reduce the temperature within an hour, pop the child into a tepid bath.

TOO much sugar could be bad for your eyes. Scientists now know that cataracts and glaucoma are caused by sugar sticking to proteins in the eye.

Eating a low-sugar diet and less fructose - found in some processed foods and concentrated apple juice - plus taking aspirin and vitamins C and E may prevent damage.

Researchers are trying to find out which amino acids are involved in eye disease in a bid to target treatment.

TREE bark could be the natural way to ward off heart attacks and strokes.

Unlike other common safeguards (such as aspirin), Pycnogenol, made from French pine bark, does not have side effects like stomach problems.

And a single dose of the nutrient is as effective as a five times larger amount of aspirin.

SMOKING could prevent one in 250 women from getting breast cancer, according to a controversial new study.

Canadian scientists found that smoking 20 cigarettes a day halved the risk for women with a certain gene mutation.

But researchers warned against women taking up the weed on the back of these findings.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Porter, Mark
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 31, 1998
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