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Article
Sun, 16th September 2018
 

Questions & Answers

 
CHEWING GUM

Q: 

Is there any value in chewing gum?

A: 

Chewing gum increases salivary flow which helps cleanse the mouth, teeth and gums. Ideally go for non-sweetened varieties, otherwise sticky stuff may accumulate around the base of the teeth allowing germs to accumulate. Rinsing the mouth with water after food is a good idea also. Clean and floss teeth at least morning and night. Munching an apple has a similar positive effect. Some suffer from a dry mouth, and this is a simple intervention. Please dispose of the chewed product thoughtfully do not stick it under seats or tables at cafes and theatres.

 
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FISH OIL CAPSULES

Q: 

I do not eat much fish, and we continually hear of the benefits of fish oil capsules.

A: 

Omega-3 fatty acids, present in most fish, is also available in fish oil capsules. However, my cardiologist says that about six capsules of 1000 mg are needed to be of much value. This is certainly a lot, and many find it leads to bloating and abdominal discomfort. A fairly modest fish meal two or three times a week is adequate. Tinned salmon and other fish is fine. Besides the benefit to the heart and vessels, it is also claimed to help those with arthritis and asthma.

 
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LIPSTICK

Q: 

Is it OK to continue to use lipstick or could the chemicals increase risks of skin cancer?

A: 

Lipstick often contains a moisturiser as well as skin UV protective factors to keep them moist and guard against cancer. Risks of other chemical ingredients having an adverse outcome are unlikely.

 
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WEIGH DAILY

Q: 

I am a weight freak, and like to jump onto the scales each day to check weight, but my friends say this is maniacal, unnecessary, and I could become phobic.

A: 

I weigh every morning, and find it fun and rewarding. Certainly the weight varies daily, largely depending on how much fluid is present. Others say weigh weekly, or monthly. It depends on what gives you a kick. You will not become phobic, unless becoming ultra-mean and lean begins to take over, and starvation and purge vomiting commence. Lots of people write down their weight in a diary, along with waist measurement the latter now being considered the most important figure. Ideally 93 cm and less for men, and 80 cm or less for women is the recommendation.

 
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VITAMIN D AND THE SKIN

Q: 

We are told to have some sunshine to enhance vitamin D levels and make strong bones, but many seem to take supplemental capsules. Is this necessary.

A: 

With age, vitamin D production from sunshine gradually wanes, so an Ostelin capsules once or twice a day may be recommended. In younger years, regular intake of calcium is also essential, for the bones maximize their strength and density in the first twenty five years. Dairy products probably top the list, but ideally go for fat reduced lines. Small boned fish and almonds are also high in calcium.

 
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NON STOP TALK

Q: 

My mum never stops talking. I am the one remaining child at home, and I have this never ending barrage of stuff which often has little if any meaning to me.

A: 

Mum is probably lonely, and your company may be the highlight of the day. Try and be kind and understanding, for she was once young and probably in a similar position to you right now. Their last doctors visit, medication and food often become the highlight of life. Try and encourage more company for your mum, interaction with social groups, seniors clubs, church bodies, all of which are peopled by similar individuals, and all wanting to share their experiences, however boring they may seem. Life events and interests come in age waves.

 
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DESK AND ROOM RUBBISH

Q: 

My relatively new partner is continually telling me to clean up my desk and keep my room tidy. But I happen to enjoy the organised chaos, and have lived comfortably with it all my life, and do not wish to change now.

A: 

Everybody has a comfort zone, and comfort toys. Kids love dolls and teddies and their childish mayhem. Many stick with this feeling comfortable. Seeing everything clinically perfect may be a turnoff and making one feel inadequate. A change in adult life is unlikely, and could lead to major challenges not far down the track. "I will make him perfect once I get my claws into him" is the swan song of thousands of women in the past. Whether it be alcohol, tidiness, clothing, religion, money, friends, music or most other life issues.

 
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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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