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DR JAMES WRIGHT HEALTH COLUMN No.528
Sun, 4th November 2018
 

Questions & Answers

 
MEMORY

Q: 

I often think my memory is dropping off a bit. Any tips.

A: 

Activate the neurons as much as possible. When out walking, momentarily look at number plates of parked cars, and then look way. Then try and recall the letters and numbers. This is a good simple start to reactivate sleepy cells. Also, try making up in your mind meaningful phrases from the number plate letters. Such as AGT may be A Good Thing. Another is to read a lot. This beats telly and radio. Names and places especially are often hard to remember (jot them down if you like). Completing crosswords is a good brain teaser. We can all help ourselves to enhanced mental acuity.

 
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DAILY FARE

Q: 

I am having difficulty in adhering to my "good diet" routine. I start the day with orange juice with vitamin C (powdered) and Vitamin E drops, then take a variety of mineral-vitamin pills, calcium (for bones) and what not. Then my Weetbix, stewed fruit, toast (no butter, no marmalade) coffee, sandwich for lunch and hot meal (fish 2-3 times a week for my heart and arthritis) at night. Also, I must eat a handful of nuts (walnuts, almonds, macadamia, and pecan). Plus drink 1.5L of water, and eat yoghurt for calcium, with acidophilus and bifidus for gut health. Plus a few bits of fruit. Now there is not much room for all this, let alone anything else. I often feel bloated at the end of the day.

A: 

This is all fine, but spread it out evenly over the week. Do not shovel it all down every day like a slave. Fermentation of this stuff in the gut causes gas formation, best eliminated with a regular brisk walk.

 
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PHONE

Q: 

My mum is in her seventies and we want her to carry a mobile for safety but she refuses. She says it was not necessary in the past 70 years, so why now?

A: 

Many seniors are not interested in the new technology. In 1900 few rode cars, most used horses, and were happy. Charles Dickens wrote his books with a quill until metal nibs were invented, then fountain pens, later ball points and now all sorts of devices. Personal comfort is important. One thing never changes. We are all destined to end up in a wooden box, shoveled into the earth, or sit in a pot some place. It does not really matter in the fullness of life. Let mum have her way.

 
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TINGLY FEET

Q: 

I am a mild diabetic and notice my feet are often tingly.

A: 

This is early diabetic neuropathy. High blood sugar levels gradually adversely affect nerve end organs in the skin. Sugar control is essential, for this will inevitably worsen. It will also negatively impact all other organs, foot circulation, vision, kidneys, brain heart and clogged blood vessels. A regular blood sugar evaluation is recommended for everybody. Diabetes (and obesity) is the worst health issue facing Australia.

 
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OFFAL

Q: 

What is meant by offal, and should we eat it?

A: 

Hang up an animal carcass, and let all the loose bits come away. That equals offal. The rest is bone, fat and muscle. Offal often has a high food value, such as kidneys, liver, brain, gut. Most enjoy it when cooked. Others do not. Take your pick. However, when eating a meal, few considered its source. The same goes for vegetarians, for really their veggies were grown in dirt once heavily fertilized with animal manure or crushed up blood and bone.

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

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