Severe cramps in the calves in adults is often claudation— a circulation problem. If there is damage to the lining of the lower limb vessels, the body’s muscles scream for more oxygen as demand increases. If it is not forthcoming, toxins cause muscle-fibre spasm and intense pain, which is solved by a short rest. Measuring blood flow is essential. Cholesterol and sugar are the two main causes. Today, various strategies, including stents and bypass can often help.


While homeopathy is not mainstream Western medicine, it is an alternative option. Many claim it produces positive outcomes. London still has the famous Homeopathic Hospital. The patient is given infinitely small doses (“dilutions”) of toxins that in larger doses cause similar toxic symptoms, usually in drop form. The belief is that “like cures like.” Some liken it to immunisation where small inactivated doses of certain germs given in infancy stimulate the immune system to produce specific protection to the disease and prevent it from occurring. While mainstream medical journals do not support this, some GPs carry it out.

take as directed

Most doctors clearly tell the patient how to take medication. The pharmacist will often repeat the instructions. Labelling is usually clear. But patient “compliance” (now called “concordance”) is important. Check labels before leaving the pharmacist and if in doubt please ask. A failure to “take as directed” can, in some cases, be very dangerous!

IT and me

Today every youngster can operate mobile phones and computers. IT is here to stay. While some avoid technology, many seniors spend hours at their screens and keyboards, and gain a lot of personal satisfaction and make new friends. There are classes held regularly in many places for beginners. The more the mind is exercised, the longer it will stay fit and nimble.

hair raising

Young guys like short haircuts, and love to rub in gel to make it stick up. Fashions come and go, and history repeats itself as hair is worn short or long. But hair is dead from the moment it leaves the scalp. The growing part is the root, called the follicle. This is also where it receives colour, from melanocytes in the follicle. Hair is covered with scales. When these are brushed to make them stand out, it gives a natural shine that can be attractive. Gels and creams can flatten the scales, leaving a less attractive natural appearance. In any case, nightly shampooing removes dirt, grease and unwanted chemicals. Massage the scalp with the flats of the fingers to promote circulation and hair sheen.

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