Medical Hotline: November 2005

 
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Back Pain Again

For the few who suffer severe nerve-root pressure, sore backs and legs, chymopapain back injections once gave some relief. This treatment is no longer used, as some suffered adverse side effects. These days, if nerve-root pressure is caused by a damaged bone or disc, it is corrected by microdiscectomy carried out by a neurosurgeon in a hospital.

Pleasure In Pain

Aromatherapy is carried out in many ways, and massage is one. Often the essential oil from a flower is mixed into a “I” such as sunflower, and rubbed directly into the skin. The friction increases blood flow, making the oils disperse quickly into the body. Often at the same time, room vaporisers let the pleasant perfume fill the room. It won’t cure illness, but often reduces simple muscle aches and pains.

Think About It!

Many infectious diseases are sexually transmitted. Many are treatable, but for HIV and hepatitis B, there’s no permanent or quick fix. Herpes brings recurring discomfort and a miserable lifestyle. Continuous long-term treatment is available and helpful. Aciclovir and Famvir are available in Australia on the NHS, but special approval is required. Aciclovir has been around for some years, but these days a large dose is usually needed.

Scratching Where It Itches

Many suffer from dry skin, which often bleeds when scratched. One’s skin thins with age, aggravated by years of exposure to the sun. Avoid excessive washing and use non-alkaline soap, applying a moisturising lotion daily. Massage with urea cream or sorbelene and glycerine is helpful, or sprinkle the skin with cornflour and gently rub it in. For persistent cases, have a check for diabetes, another common cause of dry skin.

Growth Factor

All growing children need calcium daily—about 1200 mg. This is readily obtained from a few serves of dairy products, such as cheese, or in canned small-boned fish. But low-fat, non-animal sources such as almonds are best. Many women take a 600 mg calcium tablet up to three times a day, but it is important for men also.

Keep An Eye On The Kids

Mobile infants need special attention, with the potential for accident quite high. Small children experience some awful injuries that may be avoidable if greater attention were given to the play environment and supervision. Scalding, drowning, electrocution and road accidents are almost always avoidable, even leaving room for a bit of adventure, with its attendant but less severe consequences.

Stroke Reduction

The carotid arteries carry blood to the brain. The V-shaped spot where they divide often corrodes with cholesterol, sometimes becoming permanently closed, greatly increasing the risk of stroke. Aspirin is often prescribed to help, but if the problem is severe, an endarterectomy—in which the artery is opened, scraped clean then closed—is performed.

Care Not Repair

Products claiming remarkable cures of scars and blemishes by simple cream applications aren’t credible. It is impossible to repair skin blemishes caused by years of unprotected exposure to the sun or scarring from surgery. However, simple moisturising applications (usually containing urea) will enhance the skin’s appearance by returning moisture to the upper skin layers.