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Article
Sun, 26th August 2018
 

Questions & Answers

 
GOUT

Q: 

Is there a simple cure for gout?

A: 

The answer is no, for it is an inbuilt error of body function. It is either picked up on a routine blood screen which shows the uric acid level is elevated. It does not take much of an increase to produce acute symptoms being pain in a joint, often the big toe. Or symptoms may come on gradually or suddenly. Any joint may be affected, not just the toe. Sometimes uric acid crystals called tophi may form causing a lump. Medication can relieve acute symptoms, but longer term allopurinol is often recommended indefinitely. Drink lots of water, and go easy on the alcohol.

 
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GIARDIASIS

Q: 

I am a teenager, and seem to have ongoing diarrhea which is annoying.

A: 

This may be an infection by the giardia parasite, often coming from infected water. Although once a Mediterranean infection, it is now common in Australia. Diagnosis is confirmed by collecting cysts from excreta. It responds positively to medication, such as tinidazole (4 tablets at once), or other medication such as Flagyl given over several days. These are prescribed by the doctor. Usually diarrhea medications are ineffective. The sources of drinking water especially when away from home is important.

 
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GALL BLADDER

Q: 

What causes gall bladder pain?

A: 

Infection leading to formation of stones, often very small, which may obstruct the canal leading to the bowel, is the usual cause. It is common in a wide age spectrum, often younger women, especially if overweight and eating a lot of fat. Cholesterol produced by the liver, collects in the gall bladder (a small sac). Here it accumulates around a dead germ, and enlarges. This may cause general discomfort and flatulence. But canal obstruction cause severe pain. Laparoscopic removal followed by a low fat, high fibre food intake and lots of water often offer a positive outcome.

 
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GLANDULAR FEVER

Q: 

My boyfriend has glandular fever. Is there a quick fix?

A: 

The answer is no. Fortunately nature is kind, and the body heals itself, but it may take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months depending on severity. Rest in the early stages, lots of water, maybe supplemental vitamins, and light food which is attractive and easily digestible is best. There is usually fever, aches all over, a very sore throat, and swollen lymph glands in the neck and groin. A body warmth shower helps refreshen. There is no place for antibiotics, some of which cause a fiery red rash. The Epstein Barr (EB) virus is the cause, often being transmitted in saliva, hence the colloquial name "The Kissing Disease". It is diagnosed by a blood test.

 
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GLAUCOMA

Q: 

What are the best drops for glaucoma?

A: 

Glaucoma means increased pressure of the fluid of the eyeball. Pressing on the light sensitive retina, it may gradually destroy cells, leading to progressive blindness. All over the age of forty should have a tonometry, a check on eyeball pressure. Treatment with eye drops must continue indefinitely. Many different ones are available, and new ones keep appearing on the doctors prescribing pad. This usually starts with advice from an eye specialist. The use of timolol and xalatan has greatly improved treatment outcomes.

 
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BITING NAILS

Q: 

Is there a simple remedy for nail biting?

A: 

The short answer is No, unfortunately. It is often a childhood habit, frequently commencing with stress situations or nervousness. Therefore, cuddly, cooing can reassure little ones. Some for example, are terrified of the dark, others by yelling parents, loud music or tense sibling rivalry. Often as children grow into adulthood and become more self-assured, it will vanish. But many may chew on until the ripe old age of 60 or more, then suddenly stop. Human reactions to the outside world are varied. Relaxation therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy have been widely and successfully used.

 
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SORE GUMS

Q: 

How can sore gums be prevented and treated?

A: 

Sore swollen gums need prompt evaluation and management. It means germs have tracked down into the gums and dental roots. If left, it will worsen, increasing risk of dental destruction. Regular cleaning and flossing of the teeth, and massaging of gums are essential. Flossing is boring and time consuming, but worth it. Otherwise black gunk accumulates, germs hide and silently work their way into the gum substance. Risks increase in those with misaligned or broken teeth or rough edges of fillings or ill-fitting or unclean dentures. A regular dental check is recommended, at least annually.

 
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CERVIX

Q: 

If a woman in her twenties is diagnosed with cervical cancer at the time of a Pap smear test, does this mean everything must be removed?

A: 

Often there is erosion of the cervix, and there may be some "atypical" or early cancer cells present. Fortunately, with early intervention, it is usually curative. Regular smear tests are then mandatory probably every year. The pelvic organs are not usually removed. Women may become pregnant and live a normal life. Sexual feelings are unaltered.

 
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POLYP

Q: 

I have noticed fairly heavy menstrual bleeds, and have been told it may be a polyp and an ultrasound has been advised.

A: 

Polyps, or tiny wart like projections either in the cervical canal or uterine lining are common, and may bleed profusely. Also, non-cancerous growths called fibromas are similarly likely to bleed. Ultrasound will often detect the cause. Then surgical intervention may take place, either removing the growth (which is then examined to exclude cancer, whatever the womans age), scraping the lining, or removing the womb itself. It all depends on the final diagnosis. Outcome is usually positive.

 
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BABY WEIGHT

Q: 

We are expecting Bub No 1. We hear so many myths, but what should baby weigh at birth?

A: 

Babys weight can vary a great deal. At birth, it may range from 2500 g to 4500g (5.5 to 10lbs). At birth the average weight for Australian males is 3459g (7lb 10oz). For average females it is 3402g (7lb 5oz). Baby rapidly puts on weight from the day of birth. By the fourth or fifth month, birth weight usually doubles. By the end of the first year, it has usually tripled.

 
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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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