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Wed, 6th August 2014
 

How many of us have faith, and what does it mean? Faith indicates that something we passionately believe in will come true. My contention is that we all have enormous faith, live by it, and without it, life health and vitality would come to an abrupt full stop. The more faith we have, the better we will live. Some like to call it "positive thinking", or a "positive mental attitude". As a family doctor I know that if I can convince my patients they will soon recover, that the medical intervention will have a positive outcome, then in most cases, that is exactly what will occur.

Doom and Gloom

If neighbors and friends fill the patient's mind with doom and gloom then results maybe jeopardized. See the good side down the track. Picture in your minds eye the goal of a happy healthy "you", free from symptoms and misery. Work towards that goal. Of course, one must make every effort to recover, take appropriate advice and action, but that enhances and empowers.

Do Not Scoff

Do not scoff at the faith concept. How many times a day do we live by it. In fact, each time we send an e-mail, post a letter, wait for the bus, turn the light switch, turn on the water tap, open a can of food, we have faith that what we have come to expect will take place. That is faith and expectation from experience. But it is still a mental image, it is still faith. The goals and objectives in life are governed by faith, faith in ourselves, faith in products, faith in food labels and brand names, faith in our fellow man. Faith in ourselves heads the list. That is why simple health tips are worth following, for we know from many years of past experience that they work, and will help maintain good health and vitality. Have faith in your doctor, your dentist, your heath care provider, good food, regular exercise, the value of water, adequate sleep and rest. Faith moves mountains, whether the mountain be a negative health issue, a new job, a challenging situation, a sporting outcome or anything else in life.

 
DANGLING ARMS

Q: 

It terrifies me to see many, specially young people, driving the car with an arm dangling outside the window down the door. Isn't this dangerous?

A: 

It is terribly dangerous, as paramedics and doctors in ER rooms are quick to testify. Specially in former days when stop and turning signals were given by the arm extended from the window, many were ripped from the body by other vehicles. Flashing rear lights was intended to stop this, and for a while it worked, but the idea has resurfaced. Keep the body, arms, head, neck, and shoulders wholly within the vehicle. A body minus limbs is an ugly and terrifying sight.

 
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BROKEN BLOOD VESSEL

Q: 

I noticed a sharp momentary sting in the thigh. However, next day there was a bruise which in about ten days vanished. It this cause for concern?

A: 

A tiny blood vessel exploded, causing the pain. Blood leaked out, and in time turned brown then vanished as other blood cells ate up the debris. It is not dangerous. However, if it keeps recurring, or bruises develop for no obvious reason, see the doctor for a blood evaluation. If there is any serious underlying cause, a management plan will be put into place.

 
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APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Q: 

A friend claims that his arthritic knee has been less painful since taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar each day. He has a friend who had a similar positive outcome with his painful shoulder. Is this all in the mind, or a possibility.

A: 

This old fashioned remedy has been used for hundreds of years, and is still popular especially with older persons with painful joints who dislike drugs. Vinegar is acidic. If it appears to improve, there is no harm, although it may have a burning sensation below the breastbone for a while. Nature provides an abundance of "alternate cures", and before the western world became enmeshed in expensive modern "miracles", there was little else on offer. Aspirin (from charred willow bark) was probably the first natural remedy which soon became known as aspirin, still used for arthritis and muscle pain but more likely as a blood thinner to avoid clots and heart attacks.

 
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KERATOCONUS

Q: 

A friend has a bleb on his eye surface which causes difficulty with vision, and has been told it is a keratoconus and needs a transplant.

A: 

For reasons unknown, probably inherited, a colourless conical bleb forms over the cornea, or window of the eye. It progresses and is non curative. When lenses cease to help, transplanting a new cornea often gives much clearer vision, and this can persist for up to 20-30 years. Rejection risks are minimum. The technique was pioneered in Australia by an eye specialist (a returned air force doctor) soon after WW11. Unfortunately, somebody has to die to make a new eye available.

 
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RUNNING HOT

Q: 

If I walk briskly wearing a cashmere or woollen jumper, I seem to become terribly hot soon after, which I find uncomfortable.

A: 

Exercise generates heat. Normally, this is dissipated through the skin via sweat which evaporates pulling heat from the body. But if it is sealed up, specially with fibres designed to retain and enhance warmth, it will increase exponentially. Maybe remove the jumper part way through the walk. Probably replace it later on, for sudden heat loss can also lead to as sudden temperature plunge. If you "get a chill" (as mum used to say), germs have a habit of becoming quickly established in the system, often starting in the nose and throat leading to a cold.

 
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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

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