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Article
Wed, 11th July 2018
 

Questions & Answers

 
FIGS

Q: 

I love fresh figs but worry that it may be dangerous to eat the skin.

A: 

Commercially grown fruit should always be washed thoroughly to remove any traces of spray used to kill insects. It is supposed to be bio-degradable, but who really knows. Grown in your own back yard and non-use of sprays is safe. Nutritionists say a lot of vitamins and minerals are located just beneath the skin. Include fruit every day in your food intake.

 
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COUGH

Q: 

Mum has been taking medication for her heart and blood pressure for years, and has a persisting cough which will not go away.

A: 

Re-dialogue with the doctor. A certain family of medication called the ACE inhibitors is notorious for causing a cough which hangs around. Today, there are many options in drug management, and there may be suitable alternatives. Also, nedocromil ("Tilade") often used by asthmatics can often bring quick relief from coughing. Discuss with your doctor.

 
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FRUIT

Q: 

My seven year old daughter eats bananas but refuses other fruit. How can I encourage her to eat a wider variety?

A: 

Gentle persuasion is the best approach, rather than force. Gradually introduce little bits chopped up and disguised with others, ideally with the other children eating them too. Kids tend to mimic, and this includes siblings and eating habits. Some children refuse certain foods as their body rejects them - either from allergy or intolerance. But fruits usually do not come into this category.

 
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TURNED IN TOES

Q: 

My little fellow has just started to walk, and his toes seem to turn inwards. Does he need special boots?

A: 

The answer is No. The joints of the feet are very lax in early life, and turn this way and that. Except for very severe and obvious deformity, most do very well. With constant weight bearing, the ligaments tighten up and become strong, and can support the weight. Research carried out in developing countries indicates that youngsters with no shoes have particularly strong normal feet and legs as they grow up.

 
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ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT

Q: 

I notice discomfort in the lower right side of the abdomen, which is tender if I press and bend. A blood test and ultrasound were both normal, but there is a lot of wind as I eat heaps of fruit veggies and cereals.

A: 

Gut distension from wind causing discomfort is well known. Keeping active will help keep the waves of contraction in the bowel moving and shoving gas accumulations onwards. Nevertheless continual pain needs a diagnosis. Mild appendicitis, bowel inflammation, diverticulosis (little outpockets in the large bowel) are all starters. Further interventions are essential, cause detected and managed appropriately.

 
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APRICOTS AND CANCER

Q: 

My mum, says she heard that apricot kernels were able to cure cancer, so why is this not talked about more often?

A: 

About 25 years ago this was the hot topic on the medical wires. Huge numbers of people tried the treatment, but it was later found to be ineffective. Indeed it developed into a medical scandal. If there is a genuine cure for cancer, it will be reported in the world medical press, and come into mainstream focus. We continually hear of new "medical break-throughs" in treatment, but these are invariably isolated and very premature reports.

 
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NEWEST TREATMENT

Q: 

Everybody seems to want to take the "very latest" medical treatment. But it seems the new drugs are much more expensive, and I for one (and my doctor), have found newer ones maybe less effective than older ones I have taken for some time. Where do we stand?

A: 

The drug industry is a giant commercial enterprise generating billions of dollars a year. It is in their interest to discover new drugs for very common disorders (such as blood pressure, heart disorders, elevated cholesterol) that will generate enormous sales. They only have to convince a few doctors these are better and the money machine keeps churning especially if they get onto the PBS. Certainly some new drugs are better, but not necessarily.

 
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SEX DISCOMFORT

Q: 

Dryness seems to make sex uncomfortable during and certainly afterwards. Is there a simple remedy? Women’s magazines often advertise lubricating creams.

A: 

Simple lubricating "jellies" are widely used and often successful, although some say they reduce sensitivity. See your doctor or gynaecologist for a pelvic check. Often reduced hormonal levels leads to dryness. Applications of hormonal creams, or small tablets (on the end of a plastic applicator) improve canal lining, natural moisture and improved production of lubrication by glands situated at the entrance.

 
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COMPUTER

Q: 

I am an older person trying to come to terms with a computer. But I continually make mistakes, the page will vanish part way through and I wonder if I have some mental block.

A: 

This is common, and many older persons find it hard to re-adjust to computers, even though they are using a similar keyboard to typewriter days. It is a case of taking it very slowly, learning by mistakes, writing down notes or getting more instruction from others. There are heaps of classes and personal tuition available.

 
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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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