Medical Hotline: April 2006

 
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Natural Therapy

Dill has been around as a traditional medicine for centuries, and is claimed to effectively deal with an upset stomach. It has been used traditionally in “gripe water” for babies. Oil of dill is the active ingredient. It grows worldwide. It is also used commercially in soups, pickled cucumbers, sauces, cakes and pastries.

Appendicitis

Once-lethal appendicitis is now less common due to an increased intake of high-fibre foods, cereals and natural grains. Often overlooked, its symptoms include pain in the lowerright side of the abdomen, vomiting and mild fever, and diagnosis often results in surgical removal of the appendix.

Mammogram

Breast cancer is the biggest cause of cancer-related deaths among women. About one woman in 11 in Australia will get the condition in her lifetime. Routine breast screening for cancer should is recommended from the age of 50, although in the US, 40 is the recommendation. Ultrasound is often considered preferable in younger women, as their breast tissue is more dense, and abnormalities more readily detected this way. An annual government-funded check is available in all Australian states.

What’s normal?

Many wonder what a reasonable blood-sugar level should be? Any reading over 7.0 mmol means you are diabetic. Experts now say 6.5 is the upper limit of normal. Early diabetes can be easily treated. Simply lose weight, take more exercise, and lessen the daily food intake. It is surprising what beneficial outcomes occur with easy intervention. Diabetics should be under the supervision of a GP or one of the diabetic educators attached to public hospitals that have a diabetic clinic.

Blue blood

Raynaud’s disease is the result of the blood vessels to the fingers constricting, causing a bluish discolouration from an oxygen lack. Various medications give some assistance, but there is no universal cure. Use of vibrating tools (drills and the like) will aggravate the condition. Some say vitamin B 3 helps, but this causes hot flushes and redness of the head and neck as well.

Eggs are OK

Eggs are no longer frowned upon dietically as bad for cholesterol levels. But up to three eggs a week is acceptable. They are high in protein and various vitamins. Don’t have them fried, however. Note, many commercial layers are fed on fishmeal these days, and although claimed by the industry to be heart protective, you may prefer to purchase guaranteed free-range eggs instead.

Recycling

Needles can be reused if by the same person, as long as they are comfortable. Some time ago the Medical Journal of Australia quoted a patient using the same needle almost 100 times. However, they must be stored in a sterile fashion, and not shared with anyone. Doctors use a sterile needle once, then discard permanently.

Traditional Treatment

Thousands of herbs have been used in traditional medicines over the centuries, with many highly regarded and accepted. Yarrow is good for boils, bruises and suppurating wounds. Mixed with milk and honey, it is claimed to improve the appetite. Fresh leaves may be chopped and added to sandwiches or with cress and dandelions. It is used to settle stomach and liver disorders as well. It can be used fresh, as a tea or in tablet form.