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Sun, 23rd September 2018
 

Questions & Answers

 
WATER

Q: 

If I take a drink of water, I often feel bloated and uncomfortable. Then I luckily have a massive disgusting burp which can be heard a km off and it all seems to settle down. Is there something wrong with my gut system?

A: 

It is probably quite normal, or may have a slightly lax valve at the end of the oesophagus as it enters the stomach. Swallowing air with water is common. Fortunately as it surfaces, it can also find its way out, and the world hears. Sometimes doctors inject a fluid to tighten the valve to prevent acid reflux and heartburn. But this in turn prevents air from escaping and may be even more uncomfortable.

 
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ASTHMA AND ACID

Q: 

The doctor recently prescribed an acid suppressing tablet and my asthma magically has vanished.

A: 

Acid can often track from the stomach into the food tube and spill over into the lung system initiating bronchospasm and an attack of asthma. Knock out the acid, and the issue may settle down. Long term use of the currently popular PPI medication (proton pump inhibitors) such as Nexium, Losec, Pariet, Somac and others appears to be safe. It may also lessen heartburn, risks of ulcers and maybe stomach cancer in the long term.

 
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SSRI OUTBURSTS

Q: 

My partner suffers depression for which he has been prescribed the relatively new medications claimed to bring relief. After a couple of months his depression is less, but he now has violent outbursts which are totally out of character.

A: 

There are always positive and negative outcomes when treating the body with strong medication, especially when it is the brain. The newer SSRI drugs are claimed to give relatively good outcomes with many, but outbursts you describe are certainly not uncommon. It is well known there is an increased suicide risk with adolescents. Careful monitoring by the doctor is essential, and outcomes must be discussed.

 
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WEET-BIX SUPPER

Q: 

I love stewed fruit. I invariably have stewed fruit such as apple, peaches or apricots, with crushed Weetbix and yoghurt with the evening meal, and also for brekky finding it tasty tangy and sustaining. But now I wake up in the middle of the night, and have another lot. Is this OK, or am I overdoing it a bit?

A: 

Each day the body needs a spread of fruit, vegetables, legumes, lean meat fish or poultry, nuts, berries, dairy products, breads and cereals. It does not matter in what order you take them. Your menu sounds fine, as long as the other products are included somewhere. A midnight feast appeals too many, but just watch the weight for it can imperceptibly creep on with added food.

 
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LONG TERM CONTRACEPTION

Q: 

A friend relies on the three monthly hormonal injections for contraception. Is this OK?

A: 

Today there are many options when it comes to birth control. The past fifty years has been a virtual paradise, compared to the minimum and onerous ones before this, and they are still increasing. It is a case of choices, selections, discussing it with the gynecologist or family health care provider. Some women do not wish to be worried about taking a pill each day, and opt for the injection. Others prefer the IUD or subdermal hormonal delivery system.

 
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APPENDICITIS

Q: 

A friend will not eat berries or passion fruit fearing the seeds may jam his appendix and cause infection.

A: 

Risks of this are minimum, but it is possible. Occasionally the appendix becomes jammed with worms or tiny solids called fecoliths. Today, with the wide spread high fibre food intake, bowel regularity is pretty good with most, and acute appendicitis is now much less common. Pain around the navel that moves to the right lower abdomen, maybe fever, feeling off colour, constipation and changes to the white cell counts are focusing features.

 
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TEETHING

Q: 

My little one has developed a facial rash, runs recurring fevers, and is often irritable. She is teething. And I wonder if these symptoms are serious.

A: 

It takes a lot of energy to push teeth through the gums, even though it is perfectly natural. The bodys resistance is still developing and may take a temporary plunge. This means other issues creep in, and a variety of symptoms crop up. Fortunately, most are temporary, rarely serious and nature fixes most. Do not panic. Talk to the doctor or early childhood centre providers. They will also reassure you. Tepid sponging and paracetamol elixir also gives temporary relief.

 
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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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