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Article
Wed, 26th February 2020
 

Questions & Answers

 
ALZHEIMERS

Q: 

My mother is in the final stages of Alzheimers. Is there any test to see if I have inherited the disease?" a frantic daughter inquires.

A: 

Chances are high you have inherited the predisposition. There is currently no reliable test, and in any case, it is too late. So, best live a sensible lifestyle. Get lots of exercise, lose weight if obese, eat nutritious food, go easy on the slops, and definitely do not smoke and avoid smokers. The New England Journal of Medicine (the doctors bible) says Ginko Biloba and Vitamin E may offer mild protection. Other Journals say the opposite.

 
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PNEUMONIA

Q: 

It is amazing that pneumonia still exists today, with all our wonder treatments, a lady writes

A: 

Once called the old persons friend (a common cause of death last century in the elderly) is still very much alive, now called Community Acquired Pneumonia, a slight variant of the same germ, the pneumococcus. Breathlessness, maybe a mild cough, feeling tired, mild fever are the common symptoms. It still kills. But fortunately, Penicillin (and other antibiotics) still cures most with early intervention. It may be prevented by a single Pneumovax vaccine from your GP.

 
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DOGS

Q: 

Our house was recently painted by a European guy unable to speak English. We cautioned him about our savage bull terrier. But an hour later, he was talking to the dog, calmly smiling, wagging his tail and licking the guys hand. The painter was babbling on in some indecipherable language, a listener emails us.

A: 

Didnt you know? Dogs understand all languages! They absorb vibes of friendship or aggression, and respond accordingly. That is why they are good therapy for elderly or ill people. They can calm, relax, reduce high blood pressure and make us all happy and relaxed.

 
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INFLUENZA

Q: 

When is the best time to have the flu shot this year? this email keeps flashing on my screen.

A: 

Ideally, mid to late autumn is the recommended time, and one single booster is all that is necessary. It will contain protection against the three most lethal flu viruses from last years northern winter. This is updated annually by CSL in Australia. It is suitable for anyone mingling with crowds, and especially for all over 65 years.

 
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GLAUCOMA

Q: 

In glaucoma patients, does regular consumption of alcohol have an adverse effect? a reader emails us

A: 

Glaucoma means increase pressure of the fluid in the eye. Untreated it may lead to blindness. Small daily amounts of alcohol do not have an adverse effect, the eye specialists say. Some claim it may reduce pressure in the short term. But if a non drinker, do not start for this reason.

 
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FAT vs CARBS

Q: 

Which is worse for body shape - fat or carbs? a teenager asks

A: 

Ideally strike a happy balance. Whatever you eat, be it fat or carbs, excess kJs eaten over what is burnt as energy will inevitably increase fat deposits and your weight. Ideally go for low fat foods (especially animal fat and fried foods), and be modest with carbs, avoid pies, cakes, sweets, fizz drinks, and too much plonk, fast foods, are all high in kJs. Go for fruit, veggies, wholemeal breads, berries, nuts, legumes, low fat dairy products and fish.

 
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ALCOHOL

Q: 

I am a non-drinker, and in my circle am the only person who does not imbibe. My grandfather was an alcoholic, so alcohol was factored out of the equation of living from infancy, a guy emails

A: 

There are still plenty in a similar position by choice. Do not let it worry you. I have been a lifetime non-drinker, and it does not worry me, and I still mix socially and professionally with heaps who swim in alcohol when not working. Lemon lime and bitters looks like beer, and is a tangy refreshing alternative.

 
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BOTOX

Q: 

I understand Botox now has a place in treating migraine, a lady writes

A: 

Certainly, and the Botox menu seems to continue to explode daily, as its use extends. It has a place in migraine, as it paralyses muscle fibres. However, there are cheaper alternatives. The triptans head the list (script). But one simple aspirin tablet each day (after food) helps others

 
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FAT INFANTS

Q: 

Do fat babies lead to fat infants, and ultimately fat adults, with increased risk of diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease.

A: 

The answer is: Yes, yes, yes. That is why care in feeding infants and establishing rules from birth are essential. Often thin kids become fat ones, and vice versa. It all depends on what mum starts them off. Altering food preference later in life is virtually impossible. Avoid sweets as reward for good behaviour. Offer a cut up orange or watermelon instead.

 
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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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