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Upstate Parent is getting answers to those health questions you’ve always wanted to ask. You ask us, and we ask local physicians and other experts to weigh in with some answers. Have a burning question? Let us know! This month’s questions are answered by several local experts. Remember that these answers are the opinions of these specific experts and not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal doctor about your health.

Q: My periods are very irregular since I had my first child last year. Should I be concerned about this or is it a normal change? I am no longer breast-feeding.

A: One of the main causes for irregular periods after pregnancy is hormonal imbalances, which are common in the first few months after childbirth and after postpartum bleeding has ended. These changes may cause irregular periods for several months — sometimes up to six or seven months — after a woman has given birth. Some women do not experience irregularity and can resume a normal menstrual cycle as early as a month after giving birth. Women who do not breast-feed usually experience quicker restoration of their menstrual cycle over women who do breast-feed. This is because breast-feeding suppresses ovulation and menstruation in the body.

Women who are experiencing abnormal periods for longer than six months should visit a physician to determine if there may be something else going on. Most of the time, all it takes for the body to resume normal periods is time. The body will need time to get back to normal after the hormone-riddled experience of pregnancy.

— Dr. Mol Ky, family medicine, physician at Mary Black Physicians Group, Piedmont Internal Medicine – East

Q: My son will soon have his 4-year-old well visit, which will include several shots. Should I prepare him in advance or is it better to just deal with it at the doctor’s office?

A: Shots can be very scary. As a mother of two little boys with completely different temperaments, it has always been difficult to know what to expect in terms of my child’s response to vaccinations and how to be completely prepared for the encounter. As a physician, I have witnessed children that tolerated getting their shots well to those that did not tolerate it so well. I think it is fair to say that all children may be a little afraid of getting shots, but as a parent, we typically know what their reaction will be based on their personalities. For tips to make the visit go smoother, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/tools/tips-factsheet.html.

— Dr. Erica L. Savage-Jeter, Mary Black Family Medical Center

Q: A friend recommends chiropractic care for my 4-month-old son’s gas. How can that help?

A: Chiropractic care is very helpful to resolve colic, gas and reflux in infants. The gut is intimately related to the brain. Stomach troubles in infants are often caused by two things: candida albicans overgrowth and a dysfunction in brain firing. Candida albicans is a yeast that lives in the digestive tract and competes with the helpful bacteria. Helpful bacteria such as lactobacillus and acidophilus live throughout the body but in large numbers in the gut. Step one is to give the infant a probiotic to restore the helpful bacteria.

Step two is to perform a specific chiropractic adjustment. The most powerful way to affect the brain and nervous system is through movement of the vertebra. Over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system (the part that we use in the fight or flight response) can cause gas, reflux, prolonged hiccups and constipation. Specific adjustments of the infant’s spine will stimulate a part of the brain stem that inhibits or “turns down” the sympathetic nervous system. Once this is accomplished the result is improved digestion, more rumbly bowel sounds, less wheezy bowel sounds, resolved hiccups and more.

— Dr. Cynthia Horner, chiropractor

Have a question?

Email questions to Upstate Parent writer Chris Worthy: chris@worthyplace.com.

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