Can alcohol quench thirst?

Dear Doctor: Is it bad to take alcohol to quench thirst? When I am thirsty, I take one drink, then I feel better.

Agatha Agasa

Dear Agatha: Although many people say they take alcohol to quench thirst, this is temporary as thirst soon returns with a big bang.

Thirst is the body’s way of compelling us to drink water when the body has fallen short on water or its blood salts have become more concentrated than normal.

Alcohol (such as beer) initially quenches thirst since its water content is high and it takes more time for alcohol to take effect. This is especially true when food is present in the stomach.

Eventually, alcohol takes effect with one starting to pass lots of urine and losing a lot of water through sweating.

Alcohol denies the brain hormone, ADH, the opportunity to direct the kidney to concentrate urine hence the copious amounts of urine passed as people drink away the evening.

Alcohol makes people feel warm because it causes blood vessels near the skin to get bigger taking more blood to the sweat glands to manufacture and expel more sweat out of the skin.

It is not surprising that many people who take alcohol also frequently drink a glass of water in the morning to quench associated thirst after a night of sweating, urinating and snoring through an open mouth where a lot of water is lost. A glass of water in the morning may also help quell a hangover.

It is true that taking one bottle of beer may quench thirst initially since its dehydrating properties are not prominent then.

However, taking more alcohol leads to serious water loss including the effects of a hangover all of which result in more thirst especially in the morning if the alcohol is taken at night.

There is also a danger that drinking one beer to quench thirst might get you accustomed to using alcohol to eliminate thirst, making you vulnerable to addiction in the long run.

Dear Doctor: There is a new craze about saunas . Is it true saunas can make a man impotent?
Amooti Kachede

Dear Amooti: There are several factors that can cause fertility problems in men.
Thirty five per cent of fertility problems that couples experience are caused by a problem with male fertility. Some of the most common reasons for male infertility include low sperm motility, low sperm count or no sperms, abnormal sperm and sperm allergies.

In normal couples, saunas may cause no fertility problems. However, for those with existing fertility problems, these are likely to be increased by saunas as high temperatures of the testes are likely to cause low sperm counts.

If sperms do not move forward and at a reasonable rate after ejaculation, conception is less likely to occur. This is referred to as low sperm motility, which can be caused by hormonal changes, medications, drug use, alcohol use, excessive caffeine, smoking, and testicular injury.

In addition, sperm motility can be affected by temperature. If the temperature of the testicles is too high, sperm motility is reduced. This can be caused by hot tubs, saunas, or even wearing of tight underwear and tight pants.

Saunas may affect sperms but will not cause problems in erection and therefore may pause no impotence issues. That said, many pot-bellied men enjoy saunas falsely claiming that sweating is a sign that they are burning fat without exertion.

What is true is, sweating here is not due to exertion but happens due to the need to cool down the body which the sauna is heating. Pot bellies are usually associated with obesity and erection problems.

Dear Doctor: I asked the doctor to cut both my fallopian tubes after delivery. Is there any way to undo this so that I can give birth again?
Maama Laura

Dear Maama Laura: Tubal ligation is a permanent method of family planning where the fallopian tubes are tied, cut or blocked and as such, one should get proper counselling before the procedure is done to minimise a need for its reversal.
However, even with counselling, certain circumstances such as changing a husband and therefore wanting to have a baby with the new man or death of offspring, may create a need for reversal.

The success of reversal and therefore pregnancy, mostly depends on the type of ligation that was done. Also, a woman’s age, or other factors that may have occurred after tubal ligation could reduce a woman’s fertility.
Success will depend on whether her man can produce normal and adequate sperms.
Women older than 35 years may have other fertility issues and if one is obese, this may also work against successful reversal.
If ligation was done with clips or rings this is most likely to be successful but when a big length of the tube was cut off, this may spell reversal doom.
Unfortunately, even when the reversal ends in patent tubes, pregnancy may not always be possible and even when it happens, this may lead to tubal pregnancy.

When reversal is not successful but the womb is able to carry a baby, then artificial methods such as In vitro fertilisation (IVF), can be used to make one pregnant.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor


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