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Testicular Self-Examination: How To Do A Self-Exam

The testicles are two small, egg-shaped glands that are part of the male reproductive system. These glands are responsible for the production of both sperm and androgens, primarily testosterone. The testicles are held in a sac called the scrotum below the penis. This is because sperm production requires a lower temperature than that of the human body. While testicles form in the lower abdomen of a male fetus, they descend or drop into the scrotum towards the end of the pregnancy or at least by the time the baby turns 9 months.

Testicles have a firm, yet slightly spongy feel and should have the same firmness throughout. The size of the testicles should also be about the same, although most men may have one that is slightly larger than the other.

While there are minor variations in the way testicles look and feel between individuals, there are certain disorders that change the way they appear. Of these, testicular cancer is a condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Testicular cancer can affect a man or boy at any age, although it is most common in men between the ages of 15 to 44 years. When compared to many other forms of cancer, testicular cancer is fairly rare and is very treatable. Expert urology doctors note that early diagnosis is key to curing this cancer. By starting the treatment at the right time, the risk of death from this cancer is very minimal.

Even so, the success rate of cancer treatment ultimately depends on the cancer cell type that has spread in the testicles and the patient’s general health. With a proper treatment plan, the side effects of treating testicular cancer can be limited. For early detection of cancer, men are encouraged to identify the early signs and learn how to do a testicular self-exam. In this blog, we will learn more about testicular cancer, its symptoms and a step by step explanation on how to perform a testicular self-exam.

Understanding Testicular cancer

Studies show that on average, men wait about five months before seeing a physician with any kind of symptoms. However, if you have a malignant tumour, it may spread during this waiting period. Therefore, it is prudent that you see a urology doctor if you experience one or more of the symptoms below for more than two weeks.

  • A painless lump in the testicle
  • Testicular swelling with or without pain
  • A feeling of weight in the scrotum
  • Pain or a dull ache in the testicle, scrotum or groin area
  • Feeling of tenderness or other noticeable changes to the male breast tissue.

In most cases, a tumour is the first visible sign of possible malignancy. Very few men experience pain at the onset of testicular cancer. So you must see a urologist on noticing any lumps on the testicle.

Lumps, pain and swelling of the testicles may not always be a sign of cancer. You may experience other testicular disorders such as Epididymitis (swelling of the epididymis), Testicular torsion, Inguinal hernia or Hydrocele.

While there is no definitive rule as to who may have testicular cancer, some people may be more at risk than others. Men with father or siblings tested for testicular cancer, with a history of undescended testis before birth or have abnormal cells in the testicle called germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS) are at higher risk of developing testicular cancer. Whether you fall into the risk group or not, men must make it a habit to regularly examine their testicles to catch potential problems and get treatment right away.

Why should you check your testicles for cancer?

Testicular self-exams are very useful in catching testicular cancer early. Men who regularly examine themselves are able to get an early diagnosis and intervention for cancer. Although the survival rates are dependent upon other factors like general health and the cancer cells’ response to chemotherapy and radiation, diagnosing the condition early increases the speed and chances of recovery.

So how can you perform a testicular self-exam? Some of our best urologists in Dubai recommend the following steps:

  • The ideal time to do a testicular self-exam is during your bath. A warm shower will help relax the scrotum and the muscles holding the testicles, which makes it easier to check.
  • Feel your testicles. Start from one side and gently roll the scrotum with your fingers to feel the surface of the testicle.
  • Check for lumps, bumps or any unusual features. As cancerous tumours aren’t painful, you may not feel any discomfort with the lumps if any.
  • Do note whether there are any size changes over time. Although pain is not common, swelling of the testicles and scrotum are telltale signs of a potential issue.
  • Ensure that there is no soreness or heaviness. Repeat the steps by switching sides to the other testicle.

When looking for unusual masses, it is easy to mistake epididymis as an issue. The epididymis is a set of coiled tubes that line the back and top of each testicle, where the sperm mature. It is normal for this portion to feel softer and bumpier than the testicle it’s attached to. Similarly, it is normal to have one testicle bigger than the other or hang lower. There is nothing to be concerned about this anatomical feature.

Urologists also recommend performing a self-exam once a month. Checking your testicles regularly will help you notice even the slightest of changes to them. This way, you can seek medical attention right away if necessary.

What to do if you find something?

If you do find something during your routine check, see a urology doctor at the earliest. Being embarrassed or waiting for other symptoms to occur before taking an appointment may cause cancer to spread. 

During your doctor’s visit, you can expect a medical examination, which may be followed by an ultrasound. Our urologist will do a physical examination of your scrotum, lower abdomen and lymph nodes to look for signs of cancer. He will check for lumps, signs of swelling or any unusual firmness.

You will also have to discuss your personal and family health history with your doctor for a comprehensive analysis. Cases of testicular cancer in the family, history of undescended testicles etc will be taken into consideration before suggesting an ultrasound. Sometimes a blood test to check for tumour markers may also be suggested to rule out any possibility of malignancy,

Fortunately, not all testicular lumps are malignant. Several benign conditions cause discomfort and even threaten fertility like cysts, infection of the testicles, injury, varicocele and hydrocele. On identifying the exact issue, your urologist can recommend the best treatment plan for a speedy recovery.

In case you are diagnosed with cancer, your urologist will work together with an oncologist to find the best treatment plan. This depends on the stage of cancer, the type of cancer cells and your general health at the time of diagnosis. You may require surveillance, surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy as part of your treatment. As some treatments lead to hormonal changes and infertility, your doctor may also recommend sperm banking before its start.


The risk of having testicular cancer or any other disorder differs from person to person. Still, it is important to learn how to do a testicular self-exam, as it helps you notice even the smallest of changes to your body and take the next step at the right time. If you have any concerns regarding your testicular health, visit our urology hospital in Dubai today.

Why You Should Never Take Back Pains For Granted

Back pain can come out of the blue. One minute you might be working away at your desk when you decide to stretch a bit, and the next second, excruciating pain shoots up from your lower back. 

Lower back pain has always been a common problem for midlifers. By the time people are in their 40s, their back muscles have weakened due to overuse or strain, leading to muscular injury, spinal misalignment, and herniated disc. These days, however, back pain is not exclusive to this age group. Many younger adults in their 20s and early 30s are also experiencing back issues due to a sedentary lifestyle and bad posture.

Back pains occur as a direct result of wear and tear of the discs or due to weak back muscles. In this blog, we will discuss the common types of back pains, the symptoms accompanying them, and why it is important to get treated.

Understanding back pain

Back pains are uncomfortable and debilitating- there is no doubt in that. Our best ortho doctors in Dubai comment that it is also one of the most common types of pain that people seek for medical treatment. Back pain can affect anyone, but the risk increases with age. 

There are two types of back pain. The lower back pain is linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, spinal and disc ligaments, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdominal and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar region. The upper back pain, on the other hand, is linked to chest tumors, spine inflammation, and heart disorders.

Of all the back pains, lumbar spine pain is the most common. This is because the lumbar spine has the least structural support all the while enduring the most strain. Due to this, this region is one of the most frequently injured regions of the spine. Back pain is often accompanied by sciatica – symptoms of pain, numbness, and/or weakness that radiate along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the buttocks and leg- which mostly happens due to herniated disc. Here the disc pinches the sciatic nerve, leading to the “shock wave-like pain” that shoots from the lower back down the leg.

But why do people experience back pains? How does someone strain their back so much, leading to pain and injury? Here is how-

The human back is a complex structure consisting of muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, and bones that are all connected, supporting the body and enabling us to move around. If any of these many components face an issue, it can lead to back pain. 

People suffer from damage to these many structural units in different ways. It could be from muscular strain, poor posture, or medical conditions among others.

Most back pains stem from tension, strain, or injury. Muscle spasm, tension, strained muscles or ligaments, damaged disks, injuries, and fractures can occur when people engage in activities like lifting heavy things, lifting them improperly, or making an abrupt movement. 

Bad posture is also another cause of back pains. Adopting a hunched sitting position at work is notoriously known for leading to back injuries in people with desk jobs. Back pain can also occur due to activities that include twisting, bending awkwardly, overstretching, pushing, pulling, lifting or carrying a heavy load, staining the neck, standing or sitting for long hours, sleeping on a poorly supported mattress, etc.

People also suffer from structural problems like ruptured discs, bulging discs, arthritis, osteoporosis, abnormal curvature of the spine, and sciatica that was mentioned before. Kidney disorders like stones or infection can also cause lower back pain.

Several medical conditions lead to back pain as well. For instance, cauda equina syndrome is a condition where the cauda equina bundle of spinal nerve roots at the lower end of the spinal cord are compressed, disrupting motor and sensory function to the lower extremities and bladder. This can cause numbness and dull pain in the lower back and upper buttocks. A tumor on the spine is another condition that can cause unexplained back pain when it presses against a nerve.

When to see an ortho doctor?

Our ortho doctors recommend getting your back pain checked if it is accompanied by other symptoms like fever, radiating pain down the legs, persistent pain, weakness in the legs, urinary inconsistency, difficulty in urinating, or numbness in the back, buttocks, or legs. By closely examining your condition, the doctor will be able to make a sound diagnosis.

You may have to take an imaging scan or other tests if the pain appears as a result of an injury or trauma, is persistent over a long period, or if it’s due to an underlying disorder needing treatment. Generally, an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan gives in-depth information about the state of bones and muscle tissues in the back, including bone defects, alignment issues, slipped disc, nerve damage, etc. The ortho doctor may also ask for a blood test if an infection is suspected.

Treatments for back pain

Once the reason for your back pain is determined, our ortho doctor may recommend specific medication, physiotherapy, or a combination of both. 

As back pains do not respond to over-the-counter medication, stronger narcotic drugs like codeine or hydrocodone may be prescribed for immediate pain relief. However, these are administered strictly under observation. If the pain is due to muscular strain, muscle relaxants are used. 

If the painkillers are ineffective, doctors may recommend cortisone injections- an anti-inflammatory drug- which is injected into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord. Cortisone injection helps reduce inflammation around the nerve roots and numbs the painful areas on the back.

For back pains due to disc prolapse, patients are advised to be put on traction. Using pulleys and weights, the back is stretched out. This helps move the herniated disc into position and relieve pain.

Ortho doctors work closely with physiotherapists to help patients find relief through mild exercises and alternate therapeutic methods. Physiotherapists use heat and ice packs, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation to reach the deep muscular tissues. As the pain improves, the physiotherapists also introduce targeted exercises that improve flexibility, mobility, and strength for the back and abdominal muscles. The patients are encouraged to practice them daily to manage their pain and prevent the pain from recurring.

In rare situations where a patient has chronic back pain as a result of a major injury, ortho doctors may suggest surgical intervention. For instance, a herniated disc that causes persistent pain due to nerve compression can be cured through surgery.

Surgeries like discectomy, vertebrae fusion, artificial disc insertion, and partial removal of vertebrae are done as required, depending upon the situation.

Preventing back pains

To lower the risk of back pains, doctors recommend the following steps-

  • Regular exercise

Exercising regularly helps build muscular strength, improve flexibility, and control body weight. With guided low-impact exercises like core-strengthening and flexibility training, you can ensure that your back muscles, bones, ligaments, and vertebrae are strong enough to withstand daily wear and tear.

  • Diet

Ensure that you are including enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Vitamin D increases calcium absorption, which is in turn needed for bone health. Cutting out junk foods and eating healthy also helps control body weight.

  • Mind your posture

Your posture plays a crucial role in ensuring better body alignment. For instance, when you are standing, ensure that your pelvic is in a neutral position, head facing ahead, back straight and weight evenly distributed on both your legs. While sitting, ensure that your seat has good back support, armrests, and a swivel base. Keep your hips leveled and feet flat on the floor. If you are working using a keyboard, make sure your elbows are at right-angles and your forearms horizontal.

  • Be careful with lifting

When lifting things bend your knees rather than your back. Keep your back straight, and your feet apart with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance. While lifting, tighten your stomach muscles so that your pelvis is pulled in. Most importantly, ensure that you are straightening your legs as you are lifting and not before. Also, do not lift and twist at the same time as it can sprain your back muscles unnecessarily.

  • Invest in an orthopedic bed

When buying a mattress, invest in a good quality one that can evenly support the weight of your shoulders and buttocks. And make sure to use a pillow that does not force your neck into a steep angle.


Back pain can occur at any time. However, the important thing is to get help right away. By straining your back continuously and overlooking minor pains, you may push your body towards injury and chronic pain. Follow the preventive measures religiously and consult with our ortho doctor if you are suffering from any pain. Visit our orthopedic hospital in Dubai today. 

Kidney Health: 7 Tips To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

Most people know that kidneys are an important organ in their body that plays the vital role of removing waste and excess fluids in the body. This bean-shaped organ is crucial to the regulation of our body’s salt, potassium, and acid content through a series of highly complex steps of excretion and reabsorption. In other words, kidneys help stabilize and maintain our body chemicals.

But more often than not, people follow a lifestyle and engage in activities that can potentially hinder or damage their kidney function. Expert nephrologists at our hospital in Dubai suggest that it is the need of the hour to learn about kidney health and how to maintain it. So, in this blog, we will talk more about kidneys to get a better understanding of this unique organ and further discuss ways to keep them healthy.

Kidneys- The Structure And Function

Kidneys are located high in the abdominal cavity of our body, one on each side of the spine. It is a bean-shaped structure that has a convex outer and concave inner border, The concave border has a recessed area called the renal hilum, which is where the renal artery enters the kidney and the renal vein and ureter leave. 

Each kidney houses around one million tiny filters called nephrons which are responsible for filtering the blood that enters the organ. The blood that comes into the kidney is filtered, removing salts, minerals, and excess water, which then gets collected in the kidney’s pelvis in the form of urine. This drains out into the bladder through the ureter. After the cleansing function, the filtered blood leaves the kidneys through the renal veins and returns to the heart via the inferior vena cava.

During urine production, the kidney filters blood to generate 180 liters of filtrate called the ‘ultrafiltrate’ every day. However, not everything in this filtrate is passed out through the urine. The kidneys are also responsible for the secretion and reabsorption of various substances throughout the nephron, which is how the body’s chemical balance is maintained. For instance, 55% of the water from the filtrate is reabsorbed to maintain your body’s water levels. Secretions on the other hand are the reverse process of reabsorption. Here molecules are transported from the capillary network in the kidneys into the ultrafiltrate. Finally, the ultrafiltrate passes out from the nephron, goes through a collecting duct system, and into the ureters, where it is renamed urine. The urine is then collected at the bladder and excreted at will.

The kidneys are responsible for exerting a variety of metabolic waste products into the urine. These include uric acid from nucleic acid metabolism, protein catabolism, and nitrogenous wastes urea. The kidneys are also largely responsible for our body’s homeostasis through the regulation of electrolyte concentration, extracellular fluid volume, acid-base balance, and blood pressure. Kidneys, along with the endocrine system also coordinate many endocrine functions, that all help maintain the body’s internal stability.

Further, the kidneys also play a major role in blood pressure regulation, through the maintenance of sodium levels in the blood through reabsorption and secretion.

Diseases and conditions 

Like any other organ in our body, kidneys are also prone to many diseases and conditions. Chronic kidney diseases may cause them to malfunction, like protein in the urine or reduced functionality for three months or longer. 

Chronic kidney diseases often occur as a result of other conditions. For instance, diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure can negatively affect kidney functionality. At other times, kidney conditions are congenital or inherited. Here is more about various diseases affecting kidneys-

  • Diabetes is one of the main villains leading to kidney failure. Patients whose bodies don’t make enough insulin or cannot use normal amounts of insulin are diagnosed with diabetes. As a result, their blood sugar levels will be high at all times. Consequently, this impacts kidney function.
  • Hypertension or high blood vessels is another condition that can cause multiple complications- from strokes and heart attacks to kidney failure. High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls increases.
  • Polycystic kidney disease is one of the common inherited kidney diseases characterized by the formation of kidney cysts. These cysts enlarge over time, damaging the organ and eventually lead to kidney failure. Other inherited conditions that affect kidneys include primary hyperoxaluria and Alport’s syndrome.
  • Glomerulonephritis is a kidney disease, where the filtering units called glomeruli are inflamed. The disease usually develops over time and causes progressive loss of kidney function.
  • Urinary tract infections occur when microbes enter the urinary tract. While this condition is treatable and doesn’t pose any threat as such, leaving it untreated may cause the infection to spread to the kidneys and create complications
  • Kidney stones are a common condition when hard deposits made of minerals and salts are formed inside the kidneys. Smaller stones pass through the urine without issues. However, larger stones that are too large to pass cause pain and have to be broken down into smaller pieces that can pass out of the body. 
  • Congenital diseases develop while a baby is still growing in its mother’s womb. A common condition is when the valve-like mechanism between the bladder and ureter fails and causes the urine to flow back up into the kidneys. This causes infections and possible kidney damage. 
  • Apart from these, drug or alcohol abuse also affects kidney function and leads to kidney failure.

While some people are more prone to kidney issues, everyone must follow a healthy lifestyle for better kidney health. Our expert nephrologists recommend following some simple lifestyle changes that can help keep your kidneys healthy every day.

7 Ways To Ensure Better Kidney Health

Our neurologists recommend these seven ‘golden rules’ to ensure kidney health-

  1. Keep yourself hydrated

Drinking enough water is one of the best ways to keep your kidneys doing their job better. However, there is no need to overdo it. No research suggests that overhydration is effective in improving kidney health. Try to drink 2 to 3 liters of water every day to ensure optimal hydration.

  1. Eat the right foods

Most of the medical conditions that contribute to kidney problems like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases can be managed with good eating habits. Eating the right foods will help control weight, reduce blood pressure and keep blood sugar levels in check, which all helps in maintaining your kidney health.

  1. Exercise everyday

When we say exercise, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a gym workout. Your daily dose of cardio exercises like walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming can also help you stay off unhealthy weight gain and improve your heart health; and consequently your kidney health. However, overexerting is not advisable, especially if you are at high risk for heart diseases. Likewise, if you have any chronic conditions that require special care and rest, check with your physician before starting any workouts.

  1. Quit smoking

Smoking is one of the most problematic habits anyone can have. Smoking and vaping can damage blood vessels, thereby reducing the blood flow to major organs, including your kidneys. when kidneys stop receiving adequate blood, their functioning gets hindered. Cigarettes are a known carcinogenic substance and smoking them regularly is also associated with the risk of cancers, including kidney cancer. 

  1. Be cautious with over the counter medications

We all tend to rely on over-the-counter medications for minor ailments- from headaches to back pains. Non-prescription pills like ibuprofen and naproxen are known to damage the kidneys if taken regularly for a long time. If you suffer from chronic pains and rely on painkillers often, it is advised that you talk to your physician and get prescribed medications that have a lower impact on kidney health or switch to alternate remedies for pain management.

  1. Monitor your sugar levels and blood pressure 

50% of diabetic patients around the world tend to develop kidney damage in their lifetime. The only way to prevent this is by regularly monitoring blood sugar levels and keeping them under check. Similarly, high blood pressure is also damaging to your kidneys. People with diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular diseases are more prone to hypertension. So to reduce the risk of kidney failure, ensure good control of your blood pressure.

  1. Go for regular screening

People who are at higher risk of kidney failures should never miss out on their regular kidney function screening. Our nephrologists suggest that it is as important as monitoring your sugar levels and blood pressure to ensure that your kidneys are working perfectly. Kidneys are marvelous organs that can help you lead a normal life even at 30% functionality. So you must regularly monitor your kidney functioning as part of your routine health care.

Final words

To ensure that your kidneys are healthy and functioning at their full capacity, it is important to follow these 7 steps religiously. If you are interested in a kidney function screening, book your appointment with our best nephrologists in Dubai today.

7 Signs You Need To See A Gastroenterologist

Many of us have suffered from a digestive issue at least once in our life. While gas or indigestion after a heavy meal is common, there are some less common symptoms concerning the digestive system that shouldn’t be ignored. Consulting with a gastroenterologist will help in identifying the issue and getting the proper treatment before your health condition worsens. So in this blog, we will learn more about gastrology and seven obvious signs that tell you to see a gastroenterologist in Dubai.

Understanding Gastroenterology

Although the term is a mouthful, gastroenterology is nothing but a subspecialty covering issues related to the entire digestive process. The field of gastroenterology primarily concerns the digestive tract starting from the esophagus or food pipe, stomach, small and large intestine, and rectum. A gastroenterologist also deals with problems involving the liver, gall-bladder, pancreas, and common bile duct as they all play a part in the digestive process. 

A digestive tract issue can cause various signs and symptoms that people tend to overlook. While the symptoms themselves seem manageable, the underlying cause could be a serious issue. This is why we recommend paying a visit to our gastroenterology hospital in Dubai if you have one or more of the symptoms described below-

  • Difficulty in swallowing

Although not common, we see many patients with digestive tract conditions complain of difficulty in swallowing. The patient feels like something is stuck in their throat or chest that makes swallowing very difficult or painful.

This could be due to problems like reflux esophagitis, structure (narrowing of the esophagus), or the presence of tumors in the esophagus. An endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract will reveal the exact issue, after which our gastroenterologist will recommend a possible treatment plan.

  • Digestion issues and acidity

Indigestion and acidity are symptoms of an underlying digestive issue rather than conditions of their own. Patients with long-lasting symptoms of acidity or indigestion issues shouldn’t always depend on over-the-counter medication for relief. Indigestion and acidity accompanied by weight loss, persistent vomiting or bleeding problems may indicate ulcer, tumor, or dilated veins in the stomach region, which needs immediate medical attention. Our advice is to consult with our gastroenterologist to identify the cause and start with treatments.

  • Heartburn

Heartburn is an intense burning sensation in your chest just behind the breastbone. The pain worsens right after meals, in the evening, or when lying or bending over. Although occasional heartburn is common and is no cause for alarm, it could be an indication of Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD if it lasts for weeks. By screening your gastrointestinal tract, our specialist can confirm the diagnosis and recommend medications to block acid production in the stomach and heal the esophagus lining.

  • Chronic diarrhea

Sometimes, you may consume contaminated food and drinks containing agents like viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which leads to food poisoning. In such cases, vomiting and diarrhea are your body’s natural mechanisms to expel foreign bodies and fight infection. 

However, diarrhea that lasts more than a month can result in weight loss, malnutrition, and reduced quality of life. More often than not, chronic diarrhea could be due to food allergy, gluten sensitivity, inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or intestinal Tuberculosis.

With the help of an endoscopic evaluation, our specialists can make a sound diagnosis and provide a systemic treatment for your condition.

  • Constipation

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal conditions and comes with a number of symptoms of its own, like abdominal pain or incomplete and painful evacuation. However, long-term constipation could be due to diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colonic tumors or polyps, inflamed rectum, and rectal ulcer. Therefore, identifying the reason for your constipation is a must.

With the help of laboratory investigation and colonoscopy, our gastroenterologists can identify the reason for your constipation and treat it accordingly. 

  • Blood in stool

An injury of your gastrointestinal tract, ulcer in the internal lining of the small or large intestine, tumor, or polyp may cause the appearance of blood in the stool. Although it may be alarming, small amounts of blood can be managed on an outpatient basis. However large amounts of blood in your stool requires immediate medical attention. Either way, blood in stools is a condition that has to be diagnosed at the earliest to avoid unwanted complications. If you see blood in your stools, consult with our gastroenterologist at the earliest.

  • Bloating

Have you ever experienced a sudden change in the fit of your clothes? More often than not, this could be due to bloating. Bloating is described as a feeling of fullness, tight or swollen abdomen that is hard and painful. While pain due to bloating is usually not very intense, the reason for it must be diagnosed and treated. Bloating is a common symptom of food allergies, reflux, or stones in the gallbladder. So it is important to get it checked by a specialist to identify the exact cause and rule out potentially dangerous medical conditions.

Diagnosis and treatment

Our board-certified gastroenterologists consider numerous factors before diagnosing a possible digestive issue. As there are many symptoms that overlap with other conditions, identifying a gastric issue requires clinical examination, blood tests, imaging, and even an endoscopy (a procedure in which an instrument called an endoscope is inserted into the patient’s body to get a view of his/her digestive tract). If you have a family history of gastric issues, that is also taken into consideration before making a final call regarding the treatment plan. In short, our specialists do not leave any stone unturned when it comes to making a meticulous diagnosis.

Treatment and management of gastric issues require complete commitment from the patient as well. Often the patient will be asked to make lifestyle changes to achieve favorable results. Depending upon the seriousness of the condition, our gastroenterologists may recommend diet restrictions, exercises, medication, or surgical intervention.

Final words

At our hospital, we have a few of the best gastroenterologists in Dubai working with us. With in-depth knowledge about the entire digestive system and the numerous conditions affecting it, you are in safe hands when it comes to diagnosing your condition and getting the right treatment in time. Book your appointment today.

Headache Clinic: Different Types Of Headaches, Symptoms, and Treatment

Most of us have experienced headaches from time to time. It is a very common ailment that happens for different reasons. There are many types of headaches that require specific treatments. While some headaches are minor and can be managed with home remedies, there are a few that require immediate medical attention.

Headache or head pain is often difficult to describe. You may experience symptoms like throbbing or squeezing that is constant or intermittent, mild or intense. Headaches can be located to one part of the face or head or maybe spread out, involving the whole head.

If you regularly suffer from headaches, doctors recommend getting it checked. Once the type of headache is identified, our specialists can recommend the right treatment to manage and prevent them.

So what causes headaches? Let us find out.

Understanding headaches

People experience headaches as a result of a mix of signals between their brain, nerves, and blood vessels. The pain originates from the tissues surrounding the skull or brain. When the tissues, bones, and muscles that encase the skull, eyes, ears, or the meninges tissue covering the brain are inflamed or irritated, it switches on and sends pain signals to the brain.

Headaches are generally classified into 3 categories-

  • Primary headaches
  • Secondary headaches
  • Cranial neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches

People may experience one or more types of headaches at a time. Through a series of tests, our specialists will diagnose the reason for your headache and accordingly proceed with the treatment plan.

People generally experience headaches due to illness, stress, or genetic factors. Illnesses like the common cold, fevers, infections of the throat, nose, ear, or teeth, inflammation of the sinuses can cause throbbing headaches requiring a variety of treatments. 

Common causes of headaches include infections, colds, and fevers. Headaches are also common with conditions like sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), throat infection or an ear infection, or rarely, a sign of a more serious medical problem. Sometimes, headaches can also be a sign of more serious infection like meningitis (inflammation of the meninges) requiring immediate attention and treatment.

Stress headaches are simpler and can be effectively managed with lifestyle changes. According to WHO 1 in 20 people in developed nations suffer from daily tension headaches. Work stress, poor posture, changes in sleeping patterns, etc are the usual causes of stress headaches. However, people suffering from emotional stress, depression, and substance addiction may also experience severe headaches, which can only be managed by tending to the underlying mental and emotional issues.

Headaches triggered by genetics, especially migraine headaches tend to run in families. Such headaches may appear during childhood or early adolescent years. 90% of these children or teens suffering from migraines have immediate family members suffering from similar headaches. For instance, children born to a couple who has a history of migraines have a 70%  chance of having them too.

Primary headaches

A primary headache occurs due to overactivity or when there is an issue with pain-sensitive structures in your head. These aches are not a symptom of other underlying diseases. Headaches due to tension, migraine, and cluster headaches are some of the common types of primary headaches. Hormonal headaches and exercise headaches also fall under this category. Let’s learn more about them-

Tension headache

Tension Headaches are one of the most common types of headaches affecting adults and teens. People experiencing mild to moderate pain that comes and goes without other symptoms are diagnosed with tension headache. Studies also show that women are more prone to tension headaches than men.


People suffering from migraine headaches describe it as a pounding, throbbing pain that lasts from 3 to 4 hours. Patients usually experience this severe pain one to four times a month along with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach troubles, and sensitivity to light, noise, or smells. Migraine is found to affect both adults and children. Before reaching puberty, both boys and girls are equally affected by this condition. However, after puberty, women are once again more prone to pain than men.

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches appear as an intense, piercing, and burning pain behind or around the eye. These headaches are quite severe and can be constant or throbbing, making the person suffering from it quite restless during an attack. They are called cluster headaches as they appear in groups. People suffering from cluster headaches experience it 1 to 3 times a day, lasting from 2 weeks to 3 months. Each attack may be 15 minutes to 3 hours long. This type of headache is more common among men in their late 20s. Children and women are also prone to it, although it’s not very common.

Chronic Daily Headaches

Chronic headaches are the type of headaches that occur 15 days or more in a month for 3 months or longer. These headaches may last up to 4 hours a day, rendering the patient unable to carry on with their work or routines. Chronic migraine, chronic tension headache, daily persistent headache, sinus headaches, and Hemicrania continua are types of aches that fall under this category.

Exercise Headaches

As the name suggests, exercise headaches occur as a result of working out. When a person is active, the muscles on their neck, neck, and scalp require more blood. To meet this new demand, the associated blood vessels swell. As a result, they may experience pulsating pain on both sides of their head that can last anywhere between 5 minutes to 48 hours.

Hormone Headaches

Shifting hormone levels in a person’s body can trigger headaches. Hormones generally occur during periods, pregnancy and menopause. Treatments like hormone replacement therapy and taking birth control pills can also trigger this kind of headache. Some women experience headaches 2 days before their period or during the first 3 days after it starts. This particular headache is termed menstrual migraines.

Secondary headaches

Secondary headaches occur due to an underlying structural or infectious problem in the head or neck. Headaches can occur due to a broad group of medical conditions ranging from infected sinus, infected ears, or teeth to life-threatening situations like brain infections like encephalitis or meningitis. 

Traumatic headaches that occur post-concussion also fall under secondary headaches. Headaches that occur as a result of substance abuse and excessive use of pain medications are also grouped under secondary headaches. For instance, the “hangover” headaches people experience due to the consumption of too much alcohol is a secondary headache. Here alcohol is broken down into ethanol in your body, which enters your bloodstream and causes headaches through vasodilation. It also causes dehydration, which can also trigger a headache.

Cranial neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches

The word neuralgia translates as ‘nerve pain’, which is exactly what this kind of headache is about. Cranial neuralgia is caused due to the inflammation of one of the 12 cranial nerves originating from the brain, that control the muscles and carry sensory signals such as pain to and from the head and neck. One of the most commonly recognized cranial neuralgia is the trigeminal neuralgia that affects the cranial nerve V. As it is the sensory nerve that supplies the face, any irritation or inflammation of this nerve can cause intense facial pain.

Diagnosis and treatment of headaches

If you are a person who regularly experiences headaches, we recommend you to visit our neurology hospital in Dubai for a comprehensive checkup. Our doctors can expertly diagnose the type of headache you are suffering from with or without the need for tests. Tests like CT scan, MRI, or EEG are prescribed in case of possible cranial issues. During your appointment, our doctors will also listen to your pain descriptions and take your personal and family’s medical history into consideration for error-free diagnosis.

Most primary headaches can be effectively managed through home remedies and basic pain medications. You may also have to make some lifestyle changes like reducing the use of caffeine or maintaining a healthy sleep routine. In case of secondary headaches or cranial neuralgia, you may have to undergo longer treatments or surgical intervention as needed.

So book your appointment at our headache clinic in Dubai today and get your condition checked at the earliest. Improve the quality of your life by saying goodbye to painful and irritating headaches.

The Importance Of Living A Healthy Lifestyle

The secret to a long life is easy and simple- living a healthy lifestyle. It is easy to have a healthy life as long as individuals are mindful of what they consume. A healthy diet should not be seen as something that’s restricting. Similarly, an active lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean you have to involve strenuous exercises every single day. A healthy lifestyle should not be rigid, and there’s no on-formula-fits-all as each individual has specific needs. Overall, a proper lifestyle should be one that’s beneficial to the wellbeing of the individual. 

Perhaps one of the most important organs in the body and one that’s susceptible to a variety of illnesses is the heart. Cardiovascular health is often taken for granted- especially for younger people, only for them to regret their lifestyle choices as they grow old. When we do not take care of our heart, we are at risk of several life-threatening cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or hypertension.

Our heart specialists at IMH lets us in on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle on our cardiovascular health.

A Healthy Heart Is A Youthful Heart

Do you know that experts can calculate your heart’s age and compare it against your current age? People who have unhealthy lifestyles have significantly “older” in terms of their heart in contrast to how young they really are.  As we age, our bodies gradually lose their optimum capacity, and the heart is no exception.  Considered as the strongest muscle in the body, the heart is in charge of pumping oxygen and nutrient-carrying blood to all parts of the body.  Keeping it healthy will make it young and work efficiently. Have you seen elderly people who are still actively pursuing life? That’s probably because they are living a healthy lifestyle. 

How Do I Keep My Heart, Young?

A combination of a healthy diet and exercise is key to keeping your heart youthful. Cardiologists suggest adding more green leafy vegetables in one’s diet while avoiding sugar, and high-cholesterol food and saturated fats altogether.  Whole grains, berries, nuts, dark chocolate and foods rich in omega-3 such as fatty fish are excellent for the heart as well. While it is not bad to indulge in desserts once in a while, it is important to control one’s portions. 

Cardiovascular exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and boxing are some of the best exercises to keep the heart young and healthy.  Cardiologists say that keeping the exercise consistent is important and doing it for 4-5 times a week is best. 

Lifestyle Changes Should Start Now

Lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol are major contributing factors to heart disease. Quitting cigarettes will actually reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. There are several cessation aids to choose from. You can also speak to an expert to help you quit your unhealthy habits altogether. 

The perfect time to start is now. If you think you need to overhaul your lifestyle habits, start with eating healthier and gradually incorporating exercise into your daily routine such as brisk walking. It is important to keep your lifestyle in check to live a healthy life. If you have any concerns about your cardiovascular health, seek the help of a cardiologist at the earliest. 

All You Need To Know – Varicose Veins Operation

Having puffy and twisted visible red and purple veins just under the skin in the legs can be a cause for embarrassment. Varicose veins are in fact, a common occurrence, affecting at least 30 percent of people during their lifetime. Women are mostly affected by varicose veins more than men. They mostly appear on a person’s legs but can also be present at any part of the body. 

Our general surgeons at IMH provide us with an overview of the causes of varicose veins and treatments in eliminating it, including surgery.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins come to surface when there is an irregularity in the flow of blood (usually an increase in blood pressure ) in the veins- caused by damaged and weak vein walls and its valves. Aging is a primary cause of varicose veins since the valves inside the veins become worn out. 

For blood to circulate properly, it needs to work against gravity and makes its way upward back to the heart. To do this, muscle contraction in our lower legs supports the flow of blood back to the heart. The valves inside the veins open and close accordingly to prevent the blood from flowing back. When the valves become weak, it does not close properly, disrupting the blood flow. The blood gathers inside the vein causing it to enlarge and twist. 

Who Are At Risks?

Pregnant women, overweight individuals, adults past the age of 50, and people who are often standing at work are at risk of developing varicose veins. Studies suggest that the weakness of the structural integrity of the veins can be inherited, thus furthering the risk of having varicose veins. Preventive care can be done through lifestyle changes and exercise.  A change in lifestyle can particularly have a significant impact on the development of varicose veins. For instance, quitting smoking or eliminating alcohol intake will effectively reduce the risk of having varicose veins. 

Varicose Vein Operations

General surgery can be performed to remove small varicose veins. A common procedure is called ambulatory phlebectomy. Numbing agents will be used surrounding the vein, and the patient will be awake throughout the duration of the surgery. Generally, this is an outpatient procedure meaning the patient can go as soon as the surgery is done. 

During cases in which the varicose veins cause skin ulcers, endoscopic vein surgery is carried out. As the name implies, an endoscope or a slim tubular instrument that has a camera is used as a guide to close a vein. This procedure is typically performed for severe cases. 

Finally, there is vein stripping and ligation. Just like endoscopic surgery, this procedure is done to treat severe cases of varicose veins. This surgery is done by tying shut and completely removing the problematic vein via small incisions in the skin. Unlike an ambulatory phlebectomy, sedatives are given to temporarily put the patient to sleep, making the surgery painless. This is also an outpatient procedure with recovery within a period of 1 to 4 weeks. 

If you wish to undergo a varicose vein operation, consult with a specialist general surgeon to receive the best treatment possible. 

Common Summer Diseases In Children And How To Prevent Them

Summer is a season that most children enjoy. Kids love playing under the sun and enjoying several fun activities with their friends. Since children are very active, they need to be watched over. However, not all parents can look after their children 24/7. And now that summer has come, it brings with it risk factors that can place your children’s health in jeopardy.                  

Having a sound knowledge of the common summer diseases that children can catch will enable parents to prepare better in safeguarding their kid’s health. In turn, children can enjoy the summer at its fullest without the risk of catching any of the following illnesses:

Food Poisoning

The hot weather during the summer provides the optimal temperature for bacteria to grow and multiply. If parents are not careful in handling food, they place themselves and their children at risk of food poisoning. Even if food is handled properly, children can experience food poisoning when personal hygiene is not practiced. Parents should teach their children to frequently wash their hands every after any activity.  

Pertussis or Whooping Cough

This is a highly contagious respiratory disease that’s usually at its peak during the summer season. This disease causes incessant and uncontrollable bouts of coughing that are often violent. Whooping cough makes it difficult for children to breathe. 

The treatment for Pertussis depends on the severity of the child’s symptoms, age, and, overall general health. For this reason, it is best to consult a pediatrician to receive the proper supportive care and treatment. In general, antibiotics are used to help curb the spread of the bacteria.        

Heat Stroke

Anyone can have a heat stroke, especially for children who are not wearing the right clothes for summer and are doing a great deal of physical activity such as playing outdoors. In some cases, children experience heatstroke when left trapped inside a car on a hot summer day. 

Heatstroke can also happen when children do not get enough hydration or proper rest. To prevent this, pediatricians advise on letting children play during the cooler parts of the day, avoiding going outside at times where the sun is at its highest- usually between 12 noon to 3 pm. 

Prickly Heat 

This is characterized by pink or red rashes that are found on a child’s upper body- particularly the head, neck, and shoulders. Otherwise known as heat rashes, these are very itchy and uncomfortable. During hot and humid temperatures, the pores can get blocked and trap sweat underneath it, this causes prickly heat and is very common amongst children. Pediatricians say that the best way to prevent heat rash is to avoid activities that cause excessive sweating. Wearing airy and loose-fitting clothing is best when going outdoors.

Prevent Summer Diseases With A Healthy Lifestyle

Preventive measures are always the best cure when it comes to any kind of disease or illness. Teach your children proper hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. Encourage them to get used to a diet packed with fruits and vegetables to help boost their immune system. Establishing a routine visit to your pediatrician is important as well. If your children are experiencing anything concerning their health,  consult with our pediatricians at IMH to provide them with the right treatment. 

What Qualifies A High- Risk Pregnancy?

For most women who go through pregnancy, having to carry their baby for a full term, experiencing labor, delivering their infant, and finally carrying them in their arms seems to be a natural and innate process. 

While most mothers experience a smooth pregnancy, others do not. Unfortunately, there are a number of women who experience challenges with childbearing. Usually, these women experience high-risk pregnancies. But just how do you classify pregnancy as high risk? 

In general, pregnancy is recognized as high risk when there are possible repercussions that can have adverse effects on either the mother, the infant, or both. For instance, any existing condition of the mother can complicate her pregnancy, classifying it as a high risk. Proper management with the help of a gynecologist will help guarantee safe childbirth for both mother and baby. 

Let’s go over some risk factors that can influence a woman’s pregnancy enough to consider it as a high risk. 


Women ages 35 and above have a greater chance of experiencing high-risk pregnancies. For older women who plan to conceive, experts advise on undergoing preconception care to ensure that the body is healthy three to six months before pregnancy and prenatal care during pregnancy. Receiving these will reduce the chances of experiencing complications during conception. 

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Women who have pre-existing conditions such as PCOS,  hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes experience a high risk since these can be made worse while experiencing pregnancy. These health conditions increase the chances of miscarriage, premature birth, and the infant being born with birth defects. 

It is crucial to inform the ob-gyn specialist if you are under prescription medication since some medicines may affect your pregnancy. Seeking the advice of an expert will help you find an alternative medication that can work for you. 

Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

An unhealthy diet, smoking, drug abuse, and alcohol increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. If women desire to have a smooth and healthy conception, a change in lifestyle is necessary, and that means quitting smoking, alcohol and starting a healthy, pregnancy-friendly diet. 

Multiple Pregnancy

Being pregnant with twins, triplets, or quadruplets increases the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery.  Mothers who are carrying more than one infant have a higher risk of experiencing preterm labor and birth. In fact, studies have shown that more than half, or 60 percent of twins and other higher multiple-ordered births, are born prematurely. 

Pregnancy-Related Disorders

Mothers who experience pregnancy-related disorders are at a higher risk of developing complications. These conditions may include gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and hypothyroidism. Several pregnant women who endure pregnancy-related illnesses usually need intensive care and management, with the help of healthcare providers. 


If you are at risk of experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, it is crucial that you speak to your ob-gyn and become more cautious with your diet and lifestyle. Talk to the best gynecologist to know more about the risks and complications that you may encounter during pregnancy. This will equip you with the knowledge and awareness needed to better manage your pregnancy and achieve the best outcome for you and your baby.