Medical Hotline: March 2007


Child won’t eat

Some infants are “intolerant” to certain foods. Their body just rebels. Refusing to eat something isn’t necessarily obstinacy. They are not trying to be difficult. If a child stoutly shuns certain foods, offer a variety of others. Come back to the originals from time to time, and the intolerance may gradually settle down. Most children become good eaters.

No-talk tots

Some children allow older siblings to do the speaking for them. Often the least talkative child becomes the overpowering tower in years to come! I have seen it happen. If a child fails to speak normally for a number of years, I suggest check with the speech pathologist to determine the underlying causes.


Although most women can take the oral contraceptive pill, it causes adverse side effects in others. Some find a switch to the progesterone mini pill satisfactory. However, it must be taken every day, occasionally causes some bleeding irregularity. Today there are many options for contraception, and most women soon find which suits them best. Injections, rings and uterine inserts are all available, and new ideas still regularly surface.

Celery relief

Some believe celery reduces arthritis pains. Celery has been used for centuries as an arthritis remedy. Seeds and oil, crushed in capsules, are similar. There are various trade brands. A stick of celery a day is claimed by many to help. Some find ginger helps (capsules), also meadowsweet or feverfew. Apple cider vinegar has also been used for centuries.

Home BP testing

Self-testing of blood pressure is often required by doctors. But what kind of machine is best—finger, wrist or arm model? The best is still with the cuff around the deltoid muscle of the upper arm. Ideally keep the machine at the level of the heart, and relax before pressing the button to inflate. Wrist and finger models are simple, but probably not as accurate. If pressure readings are high, rest for a few minutes, and re-measure. Record your BP with date and time. This may sometimes result in a reduction in blood pressure medication as anxiety of a doctor’s visit can often push up readings in the surgery!

Pelvic pain

It is fairly common for women to notice low pelvic pain mid-cycle, with some fearing they have appendicitis. Sometimes a little blood escapes along with the egg mid-cycle. This can run down into the lower pelvic cavity, is very irritating and causes pain. It usually vanishes in a day or two as it is absorbed.
Occasionally it has been diagnosed incorrectly as appendicitis. Nevertheless, any abdominal pain requires medical evaluation. Today, there are many interventions and imaging techniques that provide a quick, correct answer.

The eyes have it

Q: If I press on my eyes, I see all kinds of strange lights and pattrns. Is this dangerous?

A: The eyes are best left alone. Rubbing or pressure transmits force pressure onto the retina, which is really the expanded optic nerve. It receives the abnomal impulses that are relayed b the brain as irregular patternsm lights or squares. It is much like touch and pressure on the skin. Press or pinch too hard and it hurts. Leave it alone, and all is well. If strange patters occur without any interference, medical evaluation is essential. Sometimes the retina may split, crack or come away from its base membrane. This must be “welded” back, usually with a laser. Otherwise, it can lead to serious sight impairment.

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