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Article
Sun, 13th May 2018
 

Q & A

 
FOOD AND ENERGY

Q: 

Do we get energy only from sugars or from other foods also. And what about weight?

A: 

Simple sugars and starches rapidly convert to energy. However, other components are also broken down into energy, or kJs (cals), or stored as fat. Every gram of carbohydrate (sugars) converts to 17 kJ. A gram of protein produces 16kJ, a gram of fat 37 kJ, and a gram of alcohol 29kJ. The body takes the easy way out, utilising the simplest first. Fat is used as a last resort. It is amazing how the body can jump from item to item depending on its immediate needs. One thing is for sure, the more we eat, the more kJs that the body must cope with. An inevitable by-product may be an increase in weight.

 
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CHILL

Q: 

Is it possible to “catch a chill in the back” and develop pain or is this an old fashioned idea?

A: 

It is true. Muscle fibres like being warm, when they operate more efficiently. They expand and contract like a rubber band. If cold, they tend to stick together, which causes pain. Avoid chills, sitting in drafts (say between open doors or windows), cold winds, and becoming wet. If you do, have a hot shower and go to bed and snuggle up.

 
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ILLNESS AT HOME

Q: 

My mum had severe pneumonia and the doctor simply treated her at home, not in hospital.

A: 

Many illnesses, once hospital cases, are now treated at home. Therapy is usually very straight forward. After the initial intervention, imaging and other tests most are able to cope okay. However, if there are complications, hospital care may still be advisable. Fortunately, "community acquired pneumonia" the common kind is still responsive to standard antibiotics, but takes a bit of time.

 
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AGGRESSION

Q: 

Some kids at school are bullies, and tend to terrify their peer group. What should be the attitude of a parent?

A: 

Bullies are usually a certain type. Many are mentally compromised, maybe depressed, have very stressful domestic lives and use this as a way to compensate. However, I believe school kids should learn some art of self-defence, for a challenge at some time in life is inevitable. It is easy to learn self-defence when young and the sooner the better. This way bullies will also quickly back off.

 
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BOTOX

Q: 

Is it OK to have ongoing injections of Botox for wrinkles and the like?

A: 

Botox, from botulinum toxin, temporarily paralyses the nerves leading to muscle fibres. After a while the effect wears off. To retain the original effect, re-injection is needed. It is considered very safe when carried out by doctors who are well versed in its use. However, a litany of errors is possible in unauthorised hands. Also, some errors are made in the product actually used. It is a high intensity product and great care is essential.

 
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TINGLING FEET

Q: 

I have diabetes and get tingling and often painful feelings in my feet. Can this be eliminated?

A: 

This is diabetic neuropathy, a common side effect of diabetes. The nerve endings are permanently damaged causing numbness or tingling, or pins and needles, or pain. Keeping the diabetes under control may help prevent it from worsening. Some find massaging every night with sorbelene and glycerine may help. So is activity and improving blood circulation. Make certain blood sugar is kept below 5.

 
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SOLES

Q: 

Mum has awful toenails, and hacks at them with scissors and fingers. Also, she has lots of hard lumps which she also attacks, and these become infected.

A: 

Please suggest she cease self-mutilation. Seek professional intervention, and visit a podiatrist. They know exactly how to treat and will bring the feet back to normal fairly promptly.

 
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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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