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Wed, 27th July 2016

As modern medicine often quickly gets rid of the horrible "hard to fix" disorders of yesteryear, attendances at surgeries continues to escalate rather than diminish as one would expect. We can fix TB, you never see polio or diphtheria, and whooping cough is rare (but increasing, mainly in adults), chicken pox is falling (and so will shingles), and meningococcal disease will vanish with wider vaccination.

So why the crowded waiting rooms? Heaps and heaps of patients (now called "clients") suffer the big bogey of Century 21. Disturbances between the ears. Main one - demon "Depression". This comes in a multitude of forms, but is increasing, not decreasing, and there is no vaccine for prevention. Look around, as you ask yourself why. Often it's the result of many mitigating causes.


Stress at home and the workplace, meeting tight deadlines, "things that just go wrong", financial loss, bereavements, too much work and too little sleep and relaxation, bullying at home, school, at work, trying to stretch the budget, pay rent or mortgage payments. Little bits all contribute. Often the harder you try, the longer you work, the deeper you slip into the quicksand. Little issues build up. Often aggression takes over or a feeling of utter despair. More sleepless nights and yelling at the kids.

If this is your story, please take action. Today, your GP is the starting point. Try and build a relationship with an understanding doctor who will spend a bit of time. There are various methods that help. Trying to work out an orderly programme heads the list. One that you can cope with. More exercise, listening to soothing music, thinking positive thoughts, socialising with others are vital. Medication can often prove helpful, although it may take a few weeks to kick in. Counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation and hypnotherapy help but are time consuming. A listening ear is also helpful. That's why the village priest or local minister played such an important role in years past. They listened, and took over many of your burdens. Most issues can be solved.



The last "Clean Up Australia" campaign was a stunning success.


Yes, as an "unregistered" cleaner-upper, I collected 5 empty beer bottles, a heap of cardboard litter (mostly confectionary containers), plastic bits and other useless garbage. In my daily health walk which takes me along a lovely creek. I was amazed to find a mere seven people present, one guy, three women, and three kids aged 7-12 sloshing in the creek and immediate environs in gum boots - and a heap of junk they had accumulated. Just imagine, six volunteers with at least three thousand non-volunteers living in the immediate environment. I was shocked at the lack of interest. The volunteers not only help the environment, but reduce health and safety hazards. It was their fourth year, and "much cleaner this year" they told me. They were all smiling and happy. I felt better too as I dumped my little collection into the bags.

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A reader sent me this email: "I often get an itchy back, and the more I rub the worse it becomes".


Most get an itchy back. It is more common in allergy prone persons. Rule 1, Do not rub or scratch, this only aggravates and it will worsen. Rule 2, Apply a cold face flannel to the itchy areas. On and off for say 5-10 minutes. This shrinks down dilated blood vessels. Rule 3, Drink lots of water. This swishes away histamine from the system, the chemical that initiated the itch when you contacted an "allergen", probably clothing, food, cosmetics. Rule 4, Cut off any rough objects on underwear such as labels which may irritate the skin. Rule 5, Paracetamol 2 x 500 mg tablets reduces itch which travels on the same nerve as pain. Non sedating anti-histamine tablets help, but usually unnecessary. A mild cortisone cream may be applied.

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Today many young mothers refuse immunization for their infants believing there is no risk as most deadly diseases have now vanished.


This has occurred because of mass vaccination programmes over many years, but the germs still abound. They have never seen the horrible effects of these hideous diseases, neither have many younger doctors. Please stick to the government recommended vaccination programme. It is the birthright of every Australian child.

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Is there a simple "wart cure"?


Warts are unsightly, caused by the "wart virus". Common in youngsters, most vanish with or without treatment. Various acid applications, liquid nitrogen spray, cautery, laser, frozen ice are often used. So is applying a one cm square of the inside of banana peel or the white fluid from milk thistle found growing in the gutter!

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Adults often suffer from socially unacceptable facial "pimples".


This maybe rosacea, adult acne. It is treated similarly to acne in teenagers. Gentle facial washing with non alkaline soap, dabbing dry with a soft towel, applying Rosex cream (script), and maybe long term antibiotics. Most are fixable.

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How are gallstones managed?


Gallstones often cause discomfort at the lower end of the rib cage on the right side, maybe nausea, specially after eating fatty foods. Today, they are readily diagnosed by ultrasound. The tiny ones are the demons, often jamming the canal causing terrifying pain. Today, laparoscopic removal is quick and successful, with a day or two in hospital. It does take a few weeks for the internal wound to heal.

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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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