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

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

2UE

Download a list of other radio stations around Australia here.

newer   older
 
  article topic 

Article
Wed, 30th November 2016
 

Blokes, the government at last cares about us (apart from collecting our taxes). We are continually bombarded by stuff about women, breast and cervical cancer prevention, fragmenting bones, but what does anyone want to know about males. At last an enormous survey or Australian men is being rolled out.

It is called the "45 Up and Study Questionnaire for Men". Certainly a nice easy name to remember! The "Up" bit probably refers to the probing gloved index finger of the doctor who also cares, but men abhor. To say nothing of what may follow. Like a device called a trans rectal ultrasound where the prostate is carefully checked for possible cancer. Biopsies (a needle jumps out and grabs bits of the prostate for micro analysis if cancer is suspected. Ouch!). It's not as painful as having a baby.

COLONOSCOPY

Fingers, metal tubes or colonoscopy wires inserted in you know where. To make sure there is no cancer or warts, their early predecessor. There are six pages, simply boxes to be ticked. It covers all aspects of male health in the 45 and over group. Such as heart history, arthritis, memory, Alzheimer's, the medication you are on.

120 health professionals put it together It is the most professional and caring item I have ever received from the government (via the Medicare system). Tens of thousands of guys will be mailed. It is ongoing, but the end point will be a major publicity campaign advising guys on simple ways to help improve health and longevity.

Check their web site, www.45andUp.org.au. It is very impressive and certainly worthwhile. Fill and return the form promptly if you randomly receive it. I already have. For once, a "plus" for the government's health department.

 
DIZZINESS

Q: 

I have suffered dizziness for the past eight months. It started with vomiting and a temperature, and I blacked out. Gradually recovered. I've been given a tablet and asked about the Epley method (mentioned before in this column), but nobody has heard about it. What now?

A: 

It's high time you were referred to an ear specialist. Although probably a simple viral induced labyrinthitis (the balance mechanism in the inner ear), it may be something else. A fuller investigation will indicate the best intervention. Sometimes little calcium particles develop in the fluid of the semi-circular canals and lodge on tiny internal hairs causing symptoms. The Epley Manoeuvre turns the head through 270 degrees, causing the particles to lodge in a space called the utricle. Many doctors have never heard of it and it is rarely discussed in medical journals and lectures.

 
^back to top
 
THYROID MEDICATION

Q: 

I used to get thyroid tablets in a bottle, but now they come in a different package. Why all this carry on. Also, it seems they must be kept in the fridge.

A: 

Thyroid hormone called thyroxine, marketed as Oroxine has undergone recent changes. Maintaining its potency is essential. The thyroid gland is often called the "Captain of the Ship" - it governs all the other hormones in the body. The new box will contain blister strips. This means each tablet is individually sealed, and is pressed for release just before using. There are 200 tablets per box. Store box in fridge (do not freeze). Remove one strip and take the recommended daily dose.

 
^back to top
 
TONGUE BITE

Q: 

I inadvertently bit the tip of my tongue and it bled like the devil. Do I need to see the doctor?

A: 

We all inadvertently bite the tongue from time to time. If it bleeds, simply apply pressure with thumb and index finger. It will rapidly clot. Healing occurs often within a coupe of days, due to the huge blood supply to the head. Avoid salty foods and tart drinks for a while which may sting.

 
^back to top
 
MEDICAL ADVICE

Q: 

I read the government plans a medical help line manned by nurses for a quick opinion if in sudden need. Is this political spin or genuinely worthwhile?

A: 

Of course it is political spin, but in my opinion also genuinely worthwhile. Everybody at some time, will develop symptoms which cause concern. Options are few. You simply trust to luck and hope it will vanish (which most do). Or visit the pharmacist (maybe one to 40 km away), or your own GP (and get an appointment in 10 days time), or pick up the phone and get immediate advice free of charge. Many nurses are highly skilled, accustomed to answering questions promptly and accurately. They have a bank of computers and reference screens in front of them, and ask the right questions. This can allay anxiety or direct a call to a local GP, hospital, or in a crisis, dial 000. It is a positive measure.

 
^back to top
 
LEG ANGINA

Q: 

I notice aching legs if I walk up a hill. An ultrasound indicates some vessels in the feet are clogging up. I don't smoke, not diabetic, and my cholesterol is normal.

A: 

Pain ("angina") due to inadequate oxygen can occur anywhere, and is caused by partial or complete obstruction of a blood vessel. I am sure your doctor may suggest you keep walking. You may be prescribed blood thinners (aspirin, maybe Iscover). This often helps. Bypass surgery and stents may be used in larger vessels. Often "collateral" circulation (other vessels) will enable enough blood to reach most parts.

 
^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.

NEWSLETTER

MY SYMPTOM OR ILLNESS IS

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 docwright.com.au 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.

MONTHLY HEALTH BULLETIN

You can subscribe (no cost) to Dr James Wright's Monthly Health Bulletin by emailing your name and email address to newsletter@docwright.com.au. 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 (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.

Waiting to hear from you Dr James Wright.