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ETERNAL YOUTH
Wed, 4th March 2015
 

As time ticks on, everybody starts thinking about the elixir of eternal youth. That amazing "something" that will guarantee the marvellous sensations of being alive, enjoyed during the teens, twenties, thirties and a bit beyond. You can kid yourself but you can't kid nature, and inexorably with the passing of the years, the system starts to flag.

A body chemical called "growth hormone" falls by 12 per cent a year after middle age, and the production of the sex hormones also starts to plummet. In women this is abrupt when the menopause occurs, usually late forties. Oestrogen production stops. In guys testosterone levels fall but more gradually. After thirty, the other sex hormone called dehydro-epiandrosterone (DHEA) also crumbles fast. About the same time, gradual deterioration occurs. Weight often increases as fat gathers around internal organs and tummy. Quality of life slowly wanes, memory often falters and there are increased risks of heart and blood vessel disease.

So what to do. Many try and jump onto the hormone merry-go-round. Oestrogen, testosterone are often given, in the hope of arresting, or reversing the slide. DHEA has also been grabbed as part of the remedy and in some countries (not Australia) is readily available as a food supplement. Is there any value in these and is their reduction the cause of the symptoms? Not necessarily, so goes the current thinking. Use of testosterone in men in now not advised, and may be harmful. Women may be given oestrogen for short bouts. DHEA is definitely not on the agenda. The search for eternal youth continues.

Meantime, sensible nutrition, regular exercise, adequate sleep, controlled eating and avoiding overweight still head the list for maintaining good health for many years, and avoiding illness. Stick to the well known basics. With our present medical knowledge this is the best bet.

 
VITAMIN C

Q: 

Vitamin C is in many natural sources, but when purchasing, the cost is exorbitant.

A: 

Vitamin C comes in citrus fruits, many berries and rose hips - any one being more than adequate, or alternately in powdered or tablet form. It is expensive, as are all supplemental vitamins. It is a huge profit making initiative, foisted on the gullible public who generally believe they are in need of extra amounts. In truth, only a tiny segment of society benefits, Most is washed down the sewer, probably to be eaten by the fish at the other end - or wherever it goes. Those on very limited diets, the elderly are the most likely to benefit. Small doses only are needed. I take 2500 mg of vitamin C a day as calcium ascorbate, a cheap brand $10.50 for 125g, and a multi vitamin - mineral supplement, but have no idea what good it does.

 
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POWER POINT

Q: 

I recently found my little grandson on the floor poking a nail and a nail file into the three holed power point at floor level. It is an older house and I nearly had a fit.

A: 

Although "power point" today usually means a computerised presentation the real ones still exists. Fortunately in new homes, most have an instant cut-out system in case shorting occurs, and this may be lifesaving (we are told). In older houses, holes should be covered with plastic protective devices. Electricity deaths still occur. In some countries the power is much less than our 240V system.

 
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METRICS

Q: 

Why does Australia use the metric system when huge nations like the United States continue with the old imperial system?

A: 

Some bureaucrat a few years ago thought it was a good idea, so we went full bore and spent millions converting for no sound reason. However, metric has always been used in the scientific world. There is little doubt that using multiples of 10 is much more clean cut than using drachms, penny, weight, and ounces. It is simpler to add and subtract and multiply. I am not quite certain how the Romans fared with their system of certain alphabetical icons, like mclviiii, etc. But then when measuring pharmaceuticals of their day, like powdered bats wing of lizard liver, it probably made no difference.

 
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VASECTOMY REVERSAL

Q: 

Is vasectomy surgery reversible. I have re-married and my new partner wishes to commence a family.

A: 

Vasectomy was meant to be "forever". However, depending on the extent of the original surgery, it can often be reversed with microsurgery - which is very intricate, very expensive and often unsuccessful. However, there are many other options. Aspirating sperms from the testes where they are manufactured and artificially inseminating an ovum is often highly successful - but may take time and a few attempts. For male readers in general, think well before undertaking vasectomy.

 
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UNDERARM SWEAT

Q: 

Is there a simple cure for excessive underarm perspiration?

A: 

Simple deodorants are often effective, but may need frequent reapplication. In severe cases, often a very large sweat gland may be felt in the armpit. This may be removed by plastic surgery. A triangular piece of skin and the gland can be excised. This is often very effective. Botox injected into a certain nerve also gives a positive outcome, but must be repeated several times a year, as the effect wears off. Sometimes a nerve in the neck is cut, but that side then becomes excessively dry which is often worse than the moisture.

 
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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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