Doc Wright, Australia's #1 Media Medic. Medical advice for all the family.

Hear Dr Wright daily on Sydney's No 1 Radio Station


Download a list of other radio stations around Australia here.

newer   older
  article topic 


Wed, 7th October 2015

Don't you feel wonderful after emitting an enormous burp. There is a sudden feeling of exhiliration, if slightly deflating. In fact, de-gassing the intestinal system is one of the still free eternal joys of life. Gas, whether it be air, carbon dioxide or anything else, does not like being caged up in an expandable jacket. If it expands too much, there is a horrible sensation of distension discomfort and bloating.


Each time we sip water or other liquids, usually a heap of air is gulped down at the same time. Many aerated beverages and beer contain CO2, a gas released inside which also causes distension. Fullness, bloating, distension, gas, fermentation are words commonly used. The more relaxed the valve at the end of the oesophagus, the food tube, the more readily gas goes in and out. An injection may now be used to tighten the valve. This is claimed to reduce "acid reflux" into the food tube from the stomach. However, it may also make it more difficult for trapped air to escape, so a patient may be worse off.


Acid reacting with food, the start of digestion, may also produce gas. It can only travel in two directions, up or down. Up is better, despite the violent noise, unacceptable in polite society, but still enjoyed by everyone with nobody around. Exercise helps eliminate stomach gas. Walking is fine. So are body bends at the middle. The various antacids are also helpful. Most contain aluminium hydroxide, (now generally unpopular as claimed to be associated with alzheimers) and stuff called simethocone. Mylanta, Degas and heaps of other OTCs are widely used. The acid reducing medications are popular, the acid suppresants, or PIP, now the norm with many, such as Losec and Nexium and heaps of others. Enjoy your burp, but not in polite society thank you.



I was at a dance and saw a young lady jumping around on both legs, and a bit later jumping around with even greater enthusiasm but only on one leg. I was amazed at her exuberance.


Leg amputations are fairly common, diabetes in the older, accidents or osteosarcoma, a horrible leg cancer in the young often the cause. It is amazing how some younger people cope and still get a joy out of life, with disabilties that are onerous. I find it incredible what a positive outlook on life may produce.

^back to top


We are encouraged to exercise, bicycle riding being amongst popular sports, but I wonder if the dangers and risks outweigh the benefits.


Many suburbs and city's have dedicated cycling tracks but this is far from universal although improving. Many have a footpath also available to cyclists with signs saying "Share the Path" and "Sound Your Bell", but many whisk past at horrific speed, often brushing pedestrians. Walker beware. Keep to the left, and have your wits about you at all times. Cyclists, consider others. Road users do so at their own risk, and I find it incredible there are so few cyclist fatalities. Modern roads are not built for bicycles.

^back to top


Walking shoes tend to wear down most quickly on the outer heel. How can this be prevented, and when should one discard.


It becomes pretty obvious. When the shoe is worn out, it is worn out, and in our throwaway society, most are not meant to be repaired. An uneven sole means the lower limb joints may be thrown out of alignment, which may gradually lead to deformity, wearing of the joint cartilage and possibly aggravate arthritis. Buy a new pair. I always obtain mine through my podiatrist who checks to make certain the size and fit are suitable for my feet, and this assures a positive outcome. The feet are very important to normal living and must last for many years.

^back to top


Is there a simple natural non chemical deodorant for the bathroom. I do not like chemical sprays.


Possibly the simplest and most effective is to strike a match. This will quickly neutralise any unpleasant odours, but do not burn your fingers. Strike a match well away from the eye, as burning flicks can sometimes jump up and may damage the eye surface.

^back to top


As a child, toilet tissues consisted of either the phone book cut up or newspaper cut into squares and dangled on a nail behind the door. This seems to have vanished as we continue to cut down more forests to meet our needs and modern affluent lifestyle.


Apples were once individually wrapped in thin paper, another popular item for recycling, but some parents feared any remaining fruit fly spray might cause harm or lead in printers ink cause serious bodily harm. Today, society and culture move on, we believe for the good, although many developing countries think we are crazy, wasteful and have no resourcefulness left. Maybe they are right. 6-12 toilet rolls (on special) invariably half fill most supermarket shopping trolleys. The other half often contains a huge cola pack also on special. So much for healthful living in the 21st century.

^back to top

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.



Just Ask Dr James Wright.

Coughs, colds, aches and pains, feeling off colour, painful joints, sweaty and miserable? Whatever your symptom, or illness, Dr James Wright may help you, and answer your questions.

Simply log onto type in your symptom in the space on the left hand column, click topic and up it comes. Simple easy-to-follow information Dr Wright has written over the past several years. Then click contact us if you have a special message.


You can subscribe (no cost) to Dr James Wright's Monthly Health Bulletin by emailing your name and email address to The bulletin contains up-to-date health tips and news for wellbeing. A copy of the current Bulletin may be viewed online here.

Dr James Wright is associated with lovely Vimiera Retirement Village ( in the leafy Sydney (NSW) suburb of Eastwood. It is operated by Mediaid Centre Foundation (, a non-profit Public Benevolent Institution which provides housing for the elderly, as well as providing a large amount of health information.

Waiting to hear from you Dr James Wright.