Medical Hotline: August 2005

 
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Natural Relief

Nausea is always unpleasant. Stemetil, or prochlorperazine, has been used for years as an anti-nausea medication, and often gives relief. However, ginger, either raw in its various tantalising forms or as a compressed capsule, also works well. But recurring nausea indicates something isn’t right and should be investigated more fully.

Growing Pains

Young people suffer the constant fear of being embarrassed, especially in the company of their peers. This is a normal part of growing up, often aggravated by the enormous hormonal development and changes occurring in teens. Most settle down as self-confidence improves. Some claim it is a social anxiety disorder, and prescribe medication, but that is usually unnecessary.

Constant Itch

Hay fever is due to excessive pollens in the air. An itchy nose is one of the most common symptoms, but there are also itchy scalp, ear lobes, irritable dry skin, watery eyes and sneezing. A cold flannel helps the nose. Do not rub, as that aggravates it. Drink a lot of water and resist the scratch desire. Non-sedating antihistamines offer temporary relief, and are available over the counter at a chemist.

Phrenology

A sebaceous cyst on the scalp is a fat-filled bump, which is gradually formed in a hair shaft. They’re quite harmless and can be left alone. But they’re also readily “shelled out,” like peas from a pod, a straightforward and successful procedure performed by a surgeon. Healing time is a few days, and each may require one or two sutures.

Expect Better

Many pregnant women will endure the misery of morning sickness, but 25 mg of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) two or three times a day is quite a successful remedy. Many find herbals help them, including ginger, peppermint oil, chamomile and cinnamon (now in a capsule, called Calm-quick). Supplemental zinc may assist. Folic acid is essential, and is now added to some cereals.

Hold The Salt

Generally, we consume far too much salt. Ideally, use minimum amounts in cooking, and do not add any table salt. Those with high-blood pressure should reduce their salt intake, as it will often lower it several points. The fast-food, fish-and-chips industry is notorious for adding excess salt.

Side Effects

Those on cholesterol-lowering medication often complain of severe aches and pains in their muscles. Remove the cause, and the pains vanish in days or weeks. Most brands have this effect on susceptible people, but some less so. In its severe form, it may lead to rhabdomyolysis, or severe muscle-fibre inflammation. Using non-drug methods of reducing cholesterol are worth a try. Eat high-fibre and soluble-fibre foods (vegetables and psylium), less animal fat and exercise more. Vitamin B3 is helpful.

Good And Bad

There are adverse side effects to almost all Western, prescribed medications. Herbal medicines, used for thousands of years in traditional cultures, are helpful, but some also suffer the same problem. Remember, there are good and bad aspects to virtually everything in life, medications or otherwise, and things have to be looked at in context and with some perspective.