BMA Family Doctor Home Adviser (BMA Family Doctor) - download pdf or read online

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You are asked to look at a screen and press a button when you see flashes in different areas of the screen. Nervous system tests Some tests are used to establish whether nerves are able to conduct impulses normally. Abnormalities may be the result of something compressing a nerve or a disease such as diabetes mellitus. Another test, known as EEG, records the electrical activity produced in the brain and is useful for the diagnosis of disorders such as epilepsy. X-rays X-rays are a form of radiation that can pass through body tissues to leave an image on photographic film.

You can also assess your weight by calculating your body mass index (BMI). To do this, divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres. A BMI figure under 20 indicates that you are underweight, while a figure over 25 shows that you are overweight. For exercise to be beneficial, it has to be regular. The recommended amount is at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as a brisk walk, on at least 5 days of the week. To become fitter or lose weight, you will have to exercise harder.

Practising safe sex Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are usually spread by contact with infected skin or body fluids such as semen, blood, and vaginal secretions. Many STIs are uncomfortable but fairly minor problems, but some, such as HIV infection, are life-threatening. You can take simple steps to protect yourself. If you have sex with someone whom you do not know to be free of infection, use a condom, which gives protection against most STIs (apart from genital warts and pubic lice, which can affect body areas that are not covered by a condom).

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