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Birth control jag has me in panic.

Byline: Dr Gareth

Q I RECENTLY went on to depo provera, the birth control injection, as I kept forgetting to take my pill. My worry is, I was in the shower the other day and I noticed white fluid coming from my nipple. Can the jag make me produce milk?

A YOU are describing a symptom called galactorrhoea. This is when the breasts produce milk in a woman who is not pregnant. Obviously you need to take a pregnancy test first.

Rarely medications such as including depo provera, can cause a small amount of milk production which is nothing to worry about.

But in some cases a disturbance in the hormone levels from the adrenal glands, the thyroid or the pituitary can also cause this. Go to your doctor for a blood test.

Q I KEEP getting red and itchy eyes. My doctor says it may be blepharitis. What is this?

A BLEPHARITIS is an infection of the eyelids. It is commonly caused by a fungal infection a bit like the one that causes dandruff.

You need anti-fungal and antibiotic drops. Wash your eyelashes twice a day with a diluted solution of baby shampoo and warm water.

Use a warm, clean facecloth and a cotton bud to make sure you get to the base of the hairs. This dislodges the build-up that causes the inflammation.

Q I CRACK my fingers and my girlfriend claims I will get arthritis.

A THE short answer is no. There has been no evidence to show it causes arthritis. In fact, one doctor even cracked the fingers on one hand only for 20 years and found there was no difference between his hands after all that time.

Q EVERY morning when I wake up my back is in agony. It takes a few hours for the pain to go away. Is there anything I can do?

A IT sounds as though you need a new mattress. If your bed doesn't give your back support then you get strain on the lumbar muscles that support the upper half of your body.

You could also try a lumbar support on your office chair and try a yoga or Pilates class.

Q MY boyfriend used to use drugs and has been diagnosed with hepatitis C. I am worried for him and also worried I might catch it. How is it passed on and what will happen to him?

A HEPATITIS C is very common among intravenous drug users. It is spread through blood contact, which can include sexual intercourse and sharing razor blades and toothbrushes.

Usually patients are followed up at a specialist clinic where their liver function is monitored.

About 80 per cent will go on to have chronic liver problems and if the disease becomes active they can be treated with medication such as interferon and Ribavirin.

Why don't you suggest you go to his next appointment with him?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 20, 2008
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