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Wed, 8th February 2017
 

Heaps of people suffer gut issues. It may come and go, be constantly present or just stay as an annoying tenderness in the lower left (sometimes right) side of the abdomen. Is it dangerous, is it cancer, does it need intervention? Should I visit my local chiropractor, herbalist, chemist or witch doctor? All of the above, but preferably chat to your own GP.

The gut system is roughly a 10 metre hose, starting with an input hole called the mouth and an output hole with a variety of names, mostly rude. With such a device all sorts of things can occur. A common one is called "diverticulosis", commonly in the lower or large bowel called the colon. A small weakness in the wall can lead to a small bulge. This may increase in size and many others may develop.

Food residue flows in and out without symptoms. However, if one becomes blocked, food in trapped, may distend and cause pain. Most finally re-open, and its back to normal. If germs are locked in, infection a bit like appendicitis, may occur. Pain may be intense and intervention is essential. Antibiotics usually fix.

Occasionally if left, they may rupture causing peritonitis, once a lethal disease. A high fibre diet (fruit, veggies, whole grains, cereals and lots of water) keep bowel activity alive and healthy. Psyllium husks (in water) also do a great job (and may lessen elevated cholesterol as a by product). Any persisting abdominal discomfort needs a medical check.

 
PANCREATITIS

Q: 

Is pancreatitis serious, and can it lead to cancer?

A: 

The pancreas is a large gland in the abdomen which produces insulin that stabilizes blood glucose levels. If it runs amok, and produces inadequate amounts, the person becomes diabetic, and may need diet modification or medication to bolster supplies. If it becomes inflamed, it may cause intense pain abdominal. This often results from alcohol overindulgence, and is self-inflicted. Another reason to be sensible in alcoholic intake. There is no specific treatment. Sometimes it may turn into cancer, often with minimum symptoms, and is only diagnosed when too late. Another reason for sensible living, food and beverage intake.

 
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WINE

Q: 

There seem conflicting views about wine. Some claim red wine reduces cholesterol levels and is good for the heart. Whilst others claim it causes migraine and has no health value. Who do we believe?

A: 

Take your pick. There are positive points on both sides. Non-drinkers who start chucking down wine for medicinal purposes are off the planet. However, these are mainly people who already follow sensible lifestyle pathways. Like eating sensible low fat foods, exercise, are not overweight and don't smoke. Conversely, the red stuff in the grape skin does contain chemicals claimed to improve heart health, maybe longevity. Many of these medical studies are funded by the distilling companies! Women, please note female ability at coping with any form of alcohol is half that of the male, so do not try and compete.

 
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SEX

Q: 

My husband is oversexed, "wanting it" at least twice or more a day and claims he cannot live without it. I am in a dilemma, trying to cope with five kids.

A: 

Male sexuality, sperm and testosterone levels are invariably much higher than female hormone production and libido, especially with a heap of kids. The bigger the family, the more the stress and work in coping with the everyday chores and demands of life. Maybe it is time you visited a counsellor, otherwise you are both heading for a brick wall. Conversely, the opposite occurs and many women believe they are married to a "dud"! Life is full of unkind imbalances.

 
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TESTICULAR LUMP

Q: 

I have noted a lump on the left testis. Is this anything to worry about?

A: 

Any abnormal lump in any part of the body needs prompt medical evaluation. See your GP this week. Many are innocuous, such as fluid filled cysts. Often the sperm carrying tube called the epididymis can feel like "a bag of worms" and not a major issue. A seminoma (cancer) is relatively common in many young guys, frequently in the 17 to 30 age group. Immediate intervention is essential. Fortunately, it is very amenable to early intervention, and is curable.

 
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LIPSTICK

Q: 

Should a person use lipstick with an SPF factor included.

A: 

Any measure to avoid harmful ultra violet rays from the sun hitting the exposed skin of the face is worthwhile. Doctors continue to advise use of SPF30 lotions and creams when exposed to the sun, especially in kids. Same applies to lipstick, for the lips are part of the skin system. The younger the age at which skin is burnt the higher the risk of skin cancer in later life (often like 18 for melanomas, the worst kind).

 
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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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