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Sun, 20th October 2019
 

Questions & Answers

 
ASPARTAME

Q: 

I have read that Aspartame (marketed as NutraSweet, Equal and Spoonful) could lead to lupus, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting pains, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, tinnitus, joint pain, depression, anxiety attacks, memory loss, as it altered body metabolism. Is this true?

A: 

I have not seen any recent adverse medical journal documentation on the artificial sweetener, but invite interested parties to provide updated medical opinion. Watch this space.

 
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VIRTUALLY YOURS

Q: 

The doctor suggests a virtual colonoscopy. I do not understand what this means.

A: 

It is the newest method of examining the bowel, but is carried out with a helical CT imaging machine. Nothing is inserted into the body. The doctor sees each segment of bowel on screen and can detect any abnormalities. If present, of course, a direct view colonoscopy may be needed. It is a major advance in technology, and now available in most Australian cities.

 
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CHILBLAINS

Q: 

With cold weather already here, is there a simple remedy for chilblains?

A: 

Ideally do not expose fingers or toes, and cover ears, all common sites for chilblains. Avoid standing close to direct heat (fires, heaters, radiatorsetc.) Vitamin B3 tablets help some, but may cause flushes. Vitamin K assists others. A Chinese remedy is to boil 30g of hot chopped chilli pepper in 2-3L ofwater for 5 minutes. Strain and use the water on the chilblains before the blisters burst. It is claimed to improve blood supply.

 
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PLANTAR WART

Q: 

I have a sore spot on my foot which the doctor says is a plantar wart. It is very painful.

A: 

Apply a Carnation plantar wart strip. Follow instructions written on the label (pharmacists), and most cases quickly heal. Podophyllin in Friars balsam has been used for years, but is often a very severe and painful treatment. Some doctors used to cut them out, leaving a scar, also painful, and this isnow out of favour. Check insoles for irregularities and remove if present.

 
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MOVEMENTS

Q: 

Is it possible to prevent blood clots when flying?

A: 

Many suggestions have been made. These include regularly moving the feet and legs during flights. A bit hard in cramped economy. All joints should actively and regularly be exercised. Some wear elasticised stockings. Drink plenty of water and walk along the aisle, especially on long trips. Some think aquarter of an aspirin daily (beforehand) could assist, although others disagree. Vitamin E regularly maybe worthwhile. Massaging calves is suggested.

 
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CHALKIES

Q: 

My daughter has taken to eating chalk. Is she going nutty?

A: 

Not really. This sounds like the Magpie Disease, in which abnormal cravings occur. A blood check may indicate a mild anaemia, readily cured with a daily iron pill (FGF or Fefol). It is an amazing symptom with such a simple remedy. Talk to your GP. (Some people also crave ice, others devour newspapers).

 
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RED LEG

Q: 

I have developed a painful, red, hot lower left leg which the doctor says is cellulitis.

A: 

Cellulitis means tissue infection, often a germ penetrating down a hair root where infection spreads. Once a very serious disease, this vanished with the antibiotic era. But, it has again flared, as more germs become antibiotic resistant. Today very powerful ones are often needed for prolonged periods. It must not be neglected. Follow the doctors advice exactly.

 
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JUMPY LEGS

Q: 

I suffer jumpy legs at night, and have for years. Where can I get more information and help?

A: 

Sleep Disorder Clinics can offer excellent advice. Doctors may prescribe quinine 300mg at bedtime for cramps, or Magnesium sulphate capsules at bedtime helps others. A check for elevated sugar (diabetes) and cholesterol is suggested to see if the blood vessels blood supply and oxygen are deficient.

 
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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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