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DR JAMES WRIGHT HEALTH COLUMN No. 556
Sun, 18th August 2019
 

Questions & Answers

 
WINE

Q: 

What is the current view on wine? There appears to be a variety of opinions.

A: 

Most say 2 glasses of red wine a day is cardio-protective. Some say a small daily intake of alcohol, irrespective of the type gives similar benefits. Conversely, a smattering of reports say the opposite, but they are in the minority. A study in Dubbo, Central West NSW, gives similar results for those over 60. But it only improved longevity by a few months. More than 2 glasses a day has the opposite effect, so do not be misled.

 
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FIBRE

Q: 

What is the best kind of fibre for better health?

A: 

Any kind is OK. Bran has been popular for decades, and maybe added to brekky cereals. Most cereals are high in insoluble fibre. And so are many fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Soluble fibres are excellent for they also combine with cholesterol and remove it from the gut. Psyllium and other herbals are good. Ideally drink with lots of water and take some daily exercise.

 
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EGGS

Q: 

Are eggs a good source of nutrition?

A: 

They sustain the developing chick from whom it is stolen, and is an excellent source of nutrition and vitamins. I prefer free-range eggs; the diet of battery hens is contrived. Nevertheless, any kind is an excellent form of nutrition but preferably not fried.

 
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HEART CHECK

Q: 

I understand there is a new test which indicates if a person is at high risk for a heart attack.

A: 

This is called the CRP, short for C-reactive protein test, and may be elevated in those with no other obvious heart attack risks (like smoking, overweight and diabetes). Presence of the factor indicates inflammation in the blood system, now believed to be a cause of heart attacks. It will also predict vascular disease and stroke. It can be readily measured.

 
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TUMMY UPSETS

Q: 

What is the quickest way of settling a tummy upset?

A: 

Try a simple antacid, for this cuts down acid and bloating and is often soothing. Some try herbal remedies. Persisting discomfort may be due to excess acid, reflux or an ulcer. An endoscopic examination will quickly give the right answer and treatment. Often acid suppressant medication plus an antibiotic for a week to kill the helicobacter germ if present is often quickly curative. Dialogue with the Doc.

 
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WEIGHT

Q: 

On a recent vacation where I splurged, weight increased from 67 to 71 kilos. When walking briskly I now readily become breathless. Am I heading for heart failure? (Age 42)

A: 

Hardly likely. Gradually reduce back to 67 and your breathlessness will also vanish. Simply take more exercise each day (walking is best), eat less fat (all kinds including oil) and more high fibre, fruit, veggies, wholemeal bread and water.

 
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HERNIA

Q: 

When lifting a heavy drum I slipped and developed a swelling in my groin. A hernia - two options, the Doc said. Laparoscopic or open cut. But which is best?

A: 

Enormous discussion in mainstream medical journals now indicate laparoscopic repair using mesh is quicker, less painful and allows a speedier return to work. Costs maybe equal and recurrences are possible with either. At least, the big scar does not occur with keyhole surgery. Discuss again with the Doc.

 
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CAKE WALK

Q: 

I am trying to lose weight. Yesterday, when passing the cake shop I craved a huge custard pie, and subsequently devoured the lot, feeling remorseful (and yucky) for the rest of the day.

A: 

When trying to reduce, by-pass the cake, tart, lolly and choccy counters. Then temptation will not knock. You must change your ways. The more sweet fatty foods you eat the more you crave, and fat stacks on and sits tight

 
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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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