My son does not concentrate on his schoolwork at all. He spends a great deal of time on the mobile, playing games and chatting with friends, after which he is tired and sleeps.
Many children have started to spend a lot of time on mobile phones and social media. Part of the problem was due to the two years when education was online. Now many are addicted. The brain becomes fatigued with the constant use of social media. Their concentration is less, and they are easily distracted, irritable and tired. You must wean your son off by taking away the cellphone except for specified times decided by you. You also need to encourage an hour of physical activity in the fresh air daily. Initially, he may throw tantrums, but you have to handle these problems for his greater good.
Painful knee
I am 70 years old. I have pain in my left knee when I walk but the X-ray is normal.
It may be mild osteoarthritis caused by degeneration of the joint. Try applications of capsaicin-containing ointment twice a day, followed by ice. Learn knee-strengthening exercises from a physiotherapist or online and do them regularly. Once the muscles around the knee become strong, they will hold your joint in place and prevent pain.
Step failure
I have been walking 10,000 steps a day every day for three months. Unfortunately, I have not lost any weight but actually seem to have put on half a kilo.
It is commendable that you have walked 10,000 steps a day. It will help you to maintain your cardiovascular fitness and control diabetes if you have it. To lose weight, however, you have to control your diet. Aim for a 500-calorie defcit a day. You can estimate your caloric consumption by calculating the calorie content of your food online.
Dementia genes
My mother is 65 and is becoming increasingly forgetful and unreasonable. The doctor said it is early dementia. I read that it is genetic, so I am scared.
Genes do play a role in the early development of dementia. Still, you can lower your risk by maintaining ideal body weight, exercising for 30 minutes a day, controlling any diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol, keeping yourself mentally active by learning new things and guarding against loneliness.
Joint pain
I have osteoarthritis, and all my joints hurt. I am on painkillers, and the doctors keep increasing the dose. Are there any supplements I can try?
There are lots of supplements, like chondroitin and glucosamine, which are often prescribed along with painkillers. They can help repair the cartilage in your joints, decrease the damage and reduce pain. Vitamin D3, turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids are others you can try. Before taking supplements, check with your physician.
Balance issues
I feel like I am losing my balance and that I will fall down. The neurologist said that I have some loss of sensation in both feet due to diabetes. He gave me multivitamin tablets, but they did not help.
Try to keep your diabetes under strict control. Also, you can try balance exercises, walking heel to toe 20 steps forwards and backwards every day.
Asthma niggle
I am an asthmatic on regular inhalers, but I feel wheezy now, even on maintenance therapy.
You can improve your lung performancewith regular steam inhalations, breathing exercises and reducing body weight, particularly stomach fat.
The writer has a family practice at Vellore and is the author of Staying Healthy in Modern India. If you have any questions on health issues please write to

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