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Sun, 3rd June 2018
 

Q & A

 
ACHING GUM

Q: 

I often notice an aching gum, and if I dig around with a toothpick can often dig out a lump of food or a bread grain.

A: 

Gums do not like constant pressure and will soon start and ache. As the gums recede, there is more room for bits of food to accumulate. Clean teeth preferably after each meal, floss in between (accessing the adjoining sides of teeth), or dig any remnants with a tooth-pick. But be gentle as breaking the gum surface and allowing infection is easy. Massage gums regularly in a circular motion with brush and fingers.

 
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BRAIN TUMOUR

Q: 

Our uncle, a nice fellow, gradually became more and more difficult, eccentric and involved in projects that had no chance of succeeding. He has now been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

A: 

Brain tumours present in various ways, the irritability, strange behaviour and dedication to causes is not uncommon. However, a focus on diagnosis and intervention now usually picks these up at a much earlier stage, when a successful strategy can be carried out. But many people in obvious distress flatly refuse medical attention.

 
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DEPRESSION

Q: 

Our daughter late teens seems more and more depressed, and is averse to seeing the doctor.

A: 

Teenagers like to control their lives, resist medical attention and believe they are right and the world is at fault. However, there are many simple strategies. Becoming involved in a "cause" or special project is helpful being time and energy consuming. The busier a person, mentally and physically, the more fatigued they become, with better sleep, the higher the chances of overcoming the challenge. Music is worthwhile. Parental and family support is a positive. If everyone becomes involved the picture can change. Today, the high powered anti-depressants are not generally advised for teenagers as there are well known adverse outcomes.

 
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LIBIDO

Q: 

I have been prescribed acid suppressant medication and now find my libido has dropped dramatically.

A: 

Reduced libido is common with modern acid suppression medication. So are tablets for blood pressure, sedatives and many other interventions, plus smoking and too much booze. Talk to your doctor. After initial therapy it is often possible to reduce it. Some do well on the old fashioned antacids which do not have this effect.

 
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CHILD PROOF

Q: 

My grandkids often visit me and have fun in seeing how quickly they can open the "childproof containers" with my medication.

A: 

Child proof is but a deterrent, and has certainly cut down on accidental poisoning of many little ones. Nothing is perfect. At least it draws attention to the fact they should not be there tampering. Blister packs are similar. They also have the added value of reducing deterioration from exposure.

 
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FINGERNAILS

Q: 

I occasionally develop whitish marks on the fingernails. Does this signify any illness?

A: 

The growing point is just under the cuticle, and damage here will be represented by some nail abnormality which gradually grows upwards. Illness may cause this. Just as ridges and nail cracks mean some nail bed injury at some time. External causes are also significant; especially water and harsh chemicals including detergents and nail polish removers.

 
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MALE FLUSHES

Q: 

Are hot flushes in guys the same as in women?

A: 

In women, hot flushes are due to reduced oestrogen production commonly occurring anywhere from the mid-forties on. They are usually treated with hormone therapy. In guys, there is minimum oestrogen to start, if persistent, a medical evaluation is recommended to seek and manage any abnormal cause.

 
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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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