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DR JAMES WRIGHT HEALTH COLUMN No.559
Sun, 29th September 2019
 

Questions & Answers

 
FAMILY GP

Q: 

What is happening to the family GP? They seem to be a vanishing race?

A: 

GP practices are now being bought up by companies and corporatised. I fear your friendly local GP of the past is fast becoming a vanishing race, as huge medical centres take over. It is both good and bad. I personally know all my patients, have treated them for years, and many have become good friends. Although recorded, most medical histories are kept in the brain. Expect the new face of medicine to rapidly escalate this decade. Sorry!

 
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FLU SHOTS

Q: 

I had my annual influenza injection. The doctor gave me the information label in the package, but it had a different name. I usually have Fluvax.

A: 

This is simply another brand, and offers protection against the four most likely potentially dangerous flu bugs around this year. The health department advises all 65 and over to have an annual shot, or others contacting large numbers of people. Talk to your GP.

 
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EAR INFECTIONS

Q: 

How can ear infections be prevented in children?

A: 

This commonly follows throat and respiratory infections when germs are forced up the Eustachian tube linking throat and middle ear. A new report in the New England Journal of Medicine says accinating children against the pneumonia germ (a common culprit) may reduce risks by 50%. Use of antibiotics is hotly disputed, many claiming it is no better than analgesics. Be guided by your GP.

 
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CORNS

Q: 

Are there any simple remedies for removing uncomfortable corns?

A: 

A drop of winter green rubbed into the corn is an old remedy often successful. The Chinese suggest mashing onion and garlic and applying second daily and applying a Band-Aid for 5 days - stop if irritating. Lemon juice is claimed to help. Best bet is to visit a podiatrist who will treat and probably advise on foot gear.

 
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APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Q: 

A friend takes apple cider vinegar and claims his arthritic joints are much less painful.

A: 

This has been used for hundreds of years, and many swear by it. Can not hurt and if it helps, good luck. There are still heaps of natural remedies that reduce arthritis inflammation, joint pain and swelling. Many originated in nature, even aspirin, which comes from the lowly willow bark. Sensible nutrition, continued activity, adequate rest and lots of water also help.

 
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NEW DOCTOR

Q: 

Each time I see another doctor I am prescribed yet more medication. Do the pills know where to go inside my body?

A: 

Please stick with one GP. Sure, shop around till you find one with whom you relate and trust. Poly-pharmacy, or multiple medications is not good. Often the fewer pills you take the better. Any new doctor must be told exactly what you are on. Ideally take them along in a plastic bag for review. Too many Australians take far too much medication, much to their disadvantage.

 
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BACKACHE

Q: 

What is the best cure for backache?

A: 

Majority of back pains are due to over-stretching or straining muscles and ligaments in the back. Generally not from ruptured discs or serious spinal problems. Alternate hot and cold showers, remedial deep massage, manipulative physiotherapy, analgesics, stretching exercise and acupuncture fix most. So does time, with normal activity. Bed rest is out of favour. Keep moving and keep warm.

 
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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

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