Anxiety will stop

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 September, 1997, 12:00am

Q: We thought we had a sweet docile child who would smile at everyone and go to virtually anyone's arms without a moment's hesitation. But recently, he has been refusing to leave my wife's arms when we have friends and family over. Will he grow out of this? Dr Rose writes: There is little need for you to become upset and concerned. Generally, between six months to about a year, most infants will go through a 'separation anxiety' phase where they will suddenly cling to their parents.

This is perfectly normal. Infants will grow out of this phase in a few months' time without any interference. The worst thing you can do is to try to force socialisation. Continue to reassure your child, by holding him in your arms to calm him, while having the 'strangers' play and distract him until he is more comfortable with them.

Q: What are the major benefits and risks of taking hormone therapy after menopause? Dr Rose writes: Most of the adverse side effects of menopause are due to lowered levels of oestrogen. These may include hot flushes, heart palpitations, profuse sweating, mood changes, fatigue, sleep disturbances, brittle bones, increased risk from heart diseases, dry skin and mucous membranes, urinary irritation, lowered sexual desires and deteriorating memory and concentration.

A therapy of providing supplemental oestrogen will relieve the vast majority of these symptoms in most women. However, oestrogen may cause breast cancer, especially after five years of use, and may also lead to higher incidence of endometrial cancer and increase the risk of developing clotting disorders.

Dr Rose Ong is a certified family physician licensed in the United States. She welcomes inquiries but cannot answer them individually. Specific questions should be addressed to your own physician