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Sun, 26th May 2019
 

Questions & Answers

 
MAGPIES

Q: 

Savage attacks from magpies when fledglings are about, when walking in parks with tall trees is a major hazard.

A: 

You bet, as I have been swooped on and pecked in the past. I have noted passers-by in the park near me often use an unfurled black umbrella, and claim this reduces risks from on high. Carrying a stick alongside the head, extending half a metre breaks the wingspan and is a deterrent. Best travel in groups rather than alone in danger zones. Serious eye injuries from pecks are regularly reported.

 
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VEGETARIAN

Q: 

My daughter has turned vegetarian, simply dropping meat from her diet, and I fear for her health.

A: 

Protein is essential in our diets. Meat is an excellent source. However, legumes are also rich, and include any of the huge variety of beans, chick peas (garbanzos) or lentils. A vast range of attractive dishes can be readily prepared by an enterprising cook. Excellent vegetarian cookbooks are now available.

 
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MEMORY

Q: 

How can I improve memory, or at least prevent it from worsening?

A: 

Gradual memory loss is the most common symptom of ageing, and afflicts up to 90%. However, ginkgo biloba is claimed to assist. A quarter of aspirin daily may improve brain blood circulation, carrying more oxygen to the brain cells. Vitamin E likewise seems to help others. The anti-oxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin C & E may help others. Regular exercise and adequate sleep at night also assists.

 
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FOOD

Q: 

I would like a book on sensible nutrition that is easy to follow.

A: 

My favourite is probably ,The Commonsense Guide to Eating Well, by Mim Beim, published by ABC books. Also, Rosemary Stanton s publications are easy to read, accurate and sensible. All are readily available at most bookshops.

 
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DANDRUFF

Q: 

Are there any simple herbal remedies for dandruff?

A: 

The scourge of young people can often be helped by rubbing rosemary or nutmeg essential oil into the scalp. It stimulates circulation and helps kill off the responsible bugs. Add 10 drops of rosemary oil to your usual shampoo. Zinc helps others, either as a supplement or added to shampoo or in the diet (oyster, crab, and beef); others say adding virgin olive oil to the diet helps.

 
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TIRED

Q: 

I seem to be tired all the time.

A: 

Join the club, as fatigue is one of the most common reasons patients visit their GP. Causes are legion. Ranging from anaemia (poor blood), to post-viral conditions, notorious for causing lingering tiredness. An under-active thyroid gland, the change of life in women, lack of adequate rest, stress, misuse of drugs or medication are common. Many conditions are diagnosable with appropriate tests, and most are fixable. A positive happy outlook on life and keeping busy also help.

 
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SORE BACK

Q: 

Does low back pain mean the disc is damaged and needs surgery?

A: 

Usually not. Muscle spasm is painful. It may occur from sudden twisting, becoming cold, and over-extension from heavy lifting or innumerable other everyday chores. Analgesics, alternate hot and cold packs, rubbing with a heat producing liniment, or deep massage from a masseur or physiotherapist carrying out remedial movements with pressure points often brings relief. Persisting cases need fuller investigation.

 
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FLU & HEARING

Q: 

I seem to have lost my hearing since a bout of the flu 3 months ago.

A: 

Probably a thick fluid from your throat has blocked the Eustachian tube, the narrow canal leading from the back of the throat to the middle ear. Gargle with warm salty water 3 times a day, drink lots of water. Close mouth and pinch nose with thumb and index finger, and then blow forcibly. Often a pop in the ears clears the obstruction and hearing returns. Or the outer canal may be blocked with wax or debris, quickly cleared by syringing. Talk to your GP.

 
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MOVEMENTS

Q: 

I find myself compulsively making un-necessary movements. Like scratching parts of the body, avoiding lines on the pathway, waggling my hand, all for no good reason. I am aware of it and stop immediately but it inevitably creeps up on me again. Am I going nuts?

A: 

This is a mild form of O.C.D. - obsessive compulsive disorder. In its extreme degree, many people cannot leave the house, re-check locks dozens of times, wash often and compulsively perform other useless routines. Medical hypnotherapy may assist mild cases. But the SSRI forms of medication (from your GP) is often curative.

 
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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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