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Sun, 2nd September 2018
 

Questions & Answers

 
BROKEN BLOOD VESSEL

Q: 

I noticed a sharp momentary sting in the thigh. However, next day there was a bruise which in about ten days vanished. It this cause for concern?

A: 

A tiny blood vessel exploded, causing the pain. Blood leaked out, and in time turned brown then vanished as other blood cells ate up the debris. It is not dangerous. However, if it keeps recurring, or bruises develop for no obvious reason, see the doctor for a blood evaluation. If there is any serious underlying cause, a management plan will be put into place.

 
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KERATOCONUS

Q: 

A friend has a bleb on his eye surface which causes difficulty with vision, and has been told it is a keratoconus and needs a transplant.

A: 

For reasons unknown, probably inherited, a colourless conical bleb forms over the cornea, or window of the eye. It progresses and is non curative. When lenses cease to help, transplanting a new cornea often gives much clearer vision, and this can persist for up to 20-30 years. Rejection risks are minimum. The technique was pioneered in Australia by an eye specialist (a returned air force doctor) soon after WWII. Unfortunately, somebody has to die to make a new eye available.

 
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WATER

Q: 

I thought it was an affectation to see people walking carrying a bottle of water everywhere. But I recently tried this with a 250 mL plastic bottle. Now I take frequent sips on my daily walk, and I find it very refreshing. So I take back my negative thoughts about them.

A: 

With activity, the body continually uses up water, or disperses it via sweat which is often unnoticed. Regularly replenishing it with a new supply is excellent. It is a bit like the steam engines of old which needed water tank refills at frequent intervals to enable steam to be formed to keep the machine operating. Needs of the human machine are not much different. It produces energy in both cases. Go for 1.5 litres a day, more in summer, a bit less on cold days.

 
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DIPHTHERIA

Q: 

Today young mothers have never witnessed diphtheria, only hear gruesome stories from the past. So why the continued need for childhood vaccination?

A: 

Immunisation of most infants is the reasons why the diphtheria horrors of yesteryear (and not that long ago) seem to have vanished. But once the level drops to a certain point, it could just as certainly recur. The germ lodged in the tonsillar area, caused a deadly toxin which was quickly fatal in large number of infants and children. That is also why adults are often encouraged to have a combined TD, tetanus-diphtheria immunization update. Talk to your GP.

 
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DANGLING ARMS

Q: 

It terrifies me to see many, especially young people, driving the car with an arm dangling outside the window down the door. Is not this dangerous?

A: 

It is terribly dangerous, as paramedics and doctors in ER rooms are quick to testify. Especially in former days when stop and turning signals were given by the arm extended from the window, many were ripped from the body by other vehicles. Flashing rear lights was intended to stop this, and for a while it worked. But the idea has resurfaced. Keep the body, arms, head, neck, and shoulders wholly within the vehicle. A body minus limbs is an ugly and terrifying sight.

 
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APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Q: 

A friend claims that his arthritic knee has been less painful since taking a tsp of apple cider vinegar each day. He has a friend who had a similar positive outcome with his painful shoulder. Is this all in the mind, or a possibility.

A: 

This old fashioned remedy has been used for hundreds of years, and is still popular especially with older persons with painful joints who dislike drugs. Vinegar is acidic. If it appears to improve, there is no harm, although it may have a burning sensation below the breastbone for a while. Nature provides an abundance of "alternate cures", and before the western world became enmeshed in expensive modern "miracles", there was little else on offer. Aspirin (from charred willow bark) was probably the first natural remedy which soon became known as aspirin, still used for arthritis and muscle pain.

 
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RUNNING HOT

Q: 

If I walk briskly wearing a cashmere or woolen jumper, I seem to become terribly hot soon after, which I find uncomfortable.

A: 

Exercise generates heat. Normally, this is dissipated through the skin via sweat which evaporates pulling heat from the body. But if it is sealed up, especially with fibres designed to retain and enhance warmth, it will increase exponentially. Maybe remove the jumper part way through the walk. Probably replace it later on, for sudden heat loss can also lead to a sudden temperature plunge. If you "get a chill" (as mum used to say), germs have a habit of becoming quickly established in the system, often starting in the nose and throat leading to a cold.

 
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MEDICATION COSTS

Q: 

A friend has a rare disorder and has been told that a new drug may fix it, but it will cost $70,000, but the government will not make it available, and bear the cost.

A: 

The government tries but cannot be all things to all people. Also, most modern "miracle cures" are not. Many are still in the clinical trial stage, their efficacy often not clearly established and the final proof may not be known for 5, 10 or even 15 years into the future. Australia has an enormous positive track record of providing health care funding. It is amongst the best in the world.

 
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ANTIBIOTICS

Q: 

I had a sore throat but the doctor refused to prescribe antibiotics, and they are not available over the counter.

A: 

Over the past 50 years the enormous over prescribing of antibiotics for simple virus induced minor illnesses is why today there is such widespread resistance of many germs to these powerful drugs. Antibiotics have no effect upon simple virus attacks. The bodys immune system usually copes with them quickly. A small number of “anti-viral antibiotics” are available, but mostly for a narrow range of herpes (cold sore) viruses. This has nothing to do with the common cold and the usual range of upper respiratory infections.

 
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THE SNEEZES

Q: 

Is there a cure for recurring sneezes?

A: 

This is the bodys reaction to inhalation of particles often floating around in the air to which it is super-sensitive. It is trying to get rid of the offending particles, which are commonly grass pollens, and house dust. Drink lots of water to flush out histamine that has been produced by the body in self-defense. Take a non-sedating anti-histamine (Telfast, Claratyne), and try nasal irrigations with warm salty water if you are brave. It often helps.

 
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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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