Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 8, 2007

Headaches may spell trouble

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:41 am

NST: BATU GAJAH: Do not treat headaches lightly as they might be symptoms of serious health problems such as hypertension and diabetes.
“Usually people will just take a Panadol and dismiss it, but a headache could mean many things, such as failing eyesight, high blood pressure, or an imbalance in your electrolytes,” warned Batu Gajah Hospital director Dr Premavathy Balakrishan.
Speaking at a health carnival at Kampung Bemban near here yesterday, she said three local residents who had been ignoring their headaches were admitted to the hospital yesterday after checks revealed that their blood pressure and sugar level were dangerously high.
“They are lucky to be alive,” she said, adding that some cases could lead to kidney failure.
Headaches, giddiness and nausea are usually associated with hypertension and diabetes, which are closely related to high cholesterol levels.
The day-long health carnival was organised by the Perak Health Department with the co-operation of the Kinta health department and the Batu Gajah Hospital.
Pharmacy enforcement officer Zulkhairi Mohamed Daud warned the public against buying cheap ubat papan (small doses of medicine stapled to a cardboard and usually hung up for sale) as they were not made from herbs as claimed but contained steroids.
“The medicines may help with backaches and joint pains in the short term, but in the long term, they will damage the kidney or liver,” he said.
The medicines, sold at RM1 or RM2 for a small bottle, usually target elderly folk in rural areas. They claim to cure arthritis or possess aphrodisiac qualities extracted from Tongkat Ali.
Zulkhairi said ubat papan was not among the registered traditional medicines recognised by the health authorities.
Hundreds of residents were present at yesterday’s health carnival, as some 250 staff from the hospital and the health department converted the multipurpose hall into a “mini hospital”, offering free health checks and consultations with general practitioners, surgeons, dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and dentists.
The carnival was launched by Tronoh state assemblyman Datuk Lee Kon Yin.

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