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Article
Wed, 1st July 2020
 

Questions & Answers

 
ECHO-CARDIOGRAM

Q: 

"I have been ordered an echo-cardiogram by my heart doctor. What is this, and does it hurt?" an older man inquires.

A: 

An echo cardiogram means the heart is examined by ultrasound. The doctor can see the heart, with arteries entering and veins leaving. Also, each time the heart beats, the contracting organ is seen in full view, with the various valves opening and shutting. It is a dramatic picture. From this, it can be calculated if there is any aberration in the valves, the heart cavities. It is widely used by cardiologists in all major cities around Australia.

 
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THICK KNUCKLE

Q: 

"I have developed thick skin over one of my knuckles, which I keep chewing. It gets sore, heals and becomes thicker which is ugly," a guy emails.

A: 

The more you chew, the more the upper layers try and repair the damage, so fresh skin is manufactured. Only cure is to stop chewing it. If too hard, try medical hypnotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy from a psychologist. Talk to your GP (but do not take antidepressants which can sometimes lead to suicide in adolescents).

 
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DRUGS

Q: 

"How can I encourage my children not to become involved with illicit drugs when they grow older?" a young mum inquires.

A: 

Best is by education and example. Start educating them at a young age. They will soon see television evidence of drugs and the horrible outcomes. This is a good time to point out the risks and negative consequences. Also, youngsters are mimics, and watch parents with eagle eyes, whether you know it or not. A ten-year-old who smokes invariably has a smoking mother, and probably a dad also. So, if they do, it is cool and must be OK. Unfortunately, once started, most never stop. Same principle with attitudes to "recreational drugs" and behaviour in general.

 
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TOO MUCH SEX

Q: 

"Can too much sex by the male lead to a reduction in libido and performance?" a guy inquires.

A: 

The answer is yes. Each time there is a climax, the little tanks that store the fluid, called the "seminal vesicles" near the prostate, empty out. Libido and desire immediately plummet. They do not return until they are again full, which may take several days. On average, sexual encounters in the sexually active ages (ranging from 17 to mid-fifties) is around twice a week. Try and get your priorities in order.

 
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NOSE PICKING

Q: 

"I love picking my nose, and scooping out stuff from the lining of my nostrils. It feels good, and I often want to sneeze, which is very pleasing," writes a 27-year-old.

A: 

So do many other blokes. Many women dig their nostrils with a hair pin, and get the same sensation. It may be akin to a very mild climax, and is natures way of offering some crumbs from the table when the real thing is unavailable. However, nose picking, is socially unacceptable in "polite company".

 
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BULLET IN LEG

Q: 

"If a person was accidentally shot in the leg, and there were no serious complications at the time, it is safe to leave the bullet there?" A rural bloke emails.

A: 

Such accidents can still occur, mainly on farms where guns are widely used. They are mainly to eliminate feral animals destroying flocks (e.g. wild dogs killing lambs, which is very common in many rural regions). Bullets can remain in tissue for years and apparently do no harm. This is well documented in thousands of cases after world wars, when embedded bullets and shrapnel gradually worked its way to the skin surface in soldiers who were hit, but lived normal lives for many years. However, all guns must be in experienced hands, and licenses are now mandatory.

 
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MONTHLIES

Q: 

"My daughter is very lean, very active, exercises regularly and is taking ballet lessons. She is now 17 but monthly periods have not yet started, and breast development is minimum. Is this unusual?" a concerned mother asks.

A: 

The hormonal time clock winds on relentlessly, but is affected by many issues. Exercise probably heads the list in dampening the start of ovulation, on which everything else depends. When her very vigorous activity reduces, normal menstrual cycles should commence. One fear of no MPs, means less female hormone, and risks of bone weakening, called osteoporosis usually a disorder of the elderly (65 years plus). Calcium and vitamin D (or more sunshine) help.

 
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POTATO

Q: 

"Does potato contain any vitamins or simply all carbs?" a 20-year-old emails.

A: 

Potato has as much vitamin C as an apple, a substantial amount of iron, as well as heaps of carbohydrate. It is a staple food worldwide, and most eat it each day. Best form is boiled, probably mashed. Not as chips, saturated in oil and bad fats which only increase weight and increase cholesterol level. Give French fries the flick. Try mashed, but minus butter or cream.

 
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ANTACID TABELTS

Q: 

"Is there any place in todays world for the old fashioned antacid tablets such as Mylanta and the hundreds of others most people used to chew with any tummy upset?" Asks a 60-year-old.

A: 

The answer is "Yes". It certainly gives quick temporary relief from dyspepsia, abdominal bloating, wind, flatulence and heart-burn. But this is only temporary, as glands in the stomach will continue to pour out fresh acid continuously. Today, they have largely been replaced by the PPI tablets like Nexium which inhibit acid.

 
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SIMPLE BURN

Q: 

"What is the best immediate treatment for a minor burn on the hand or leg?" Asks a young mother.

A: 

Place the part under a cool running tap, or plunge in a basin of cold water. This stops immediate pain rapidly. Then wrap with a cotton bandage. Most minor burns heal within a few days. Do not apply any cream or liquid. Certainly not butter or flour, as in times past. If there is blistering, same advice, but healing takes longer. Do not burst the blister. Severe burns must be taken to the burns unit of a major public hospital.

 
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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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