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Wed, 21st October 2015
 

Don't you feel wonderful after emitting an enormous burp. There is a sudden feeling of exhiliration, if slightly deflating. In fact, de-gassing the intestinal system is one of the still free eternal joys of life. Gas, whether it be air, carbon dioxide or anything else, does not like being caged up in an expandable jacket. If it expands too much, there is a horrible sensation of distension discomfort and bloating.

GULPING AIR

Each time we sip water or other liquids, usually a heap of air is gulped down at the same time. Many aerated beverages and beer contain CO2, a gas released inside which also causes distension. Fullness, bloating, distension, gas, fermentation are words commonly used. The more relaxed the valve at the end of the oesophagus, the food tube, the more readily gas goes in and out. An injection may now be used to tighten the valve. This is claimed to reduce "acid reflux" into the food tube from the stomach. However, it may also make it more difficult for trapped air to escape, so a patient maybe worse off.

DISTENSION

Acid reacting with food, the start of digestion, may also produce gas. It can only travel in two directions, up or down. Up is better, despite the violent noise, unacceptable in polite society, but still enjoyed by everyone with nobody around. Exercise helps eliminate stomach gas. Walking is fine. So are body bends at the middle. The various antacids are also helpful. Most contain aluminium hydroxide, (now generally unpopular as claimed to be associated with alzheimers) and stuff called simethocone. Mylanta, Degas and heaps of other OTCs are widely used. The acid reducing medications are popular, the acid suppresants, or PIP, now the norm with many, such as Losec and Nexium and heaps of others. Enjoy your burp, but not in polite society thank you

 
NEVER TOO OLD

Q: 

Some claim doing crossword puzzles and mentally stimulating projects enhance mental capacity and may help delay the onset of memory defects.

A: 

There is little doubt that the more the neurones are kept active, the longer they will last and serve. The same applies to all body cells. However, it is unlikely that worn out neurones (brain cells) will regrow or regenerate, whether they be destroyed from alcohol or advancing years. Mental and physical activity are essential to general wellbeing.

 
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TWITCHY GENIUS

Q: 

One cannot help but notice that geniuses, often answering quizz shows on television, seem to twitch, rub the nose, scratch the scalp, neck or ear more than most.

A: 

When under mental stress, adrenaline gushes from the adrenal glands sitting on top of the kidneys. This is all part of natures "fight or fligh" mechanism. Television interviewees are under enormous pressure, trying to win and perform well. Twitchy nerves are inevitable. Some say the smarter they are, often the worse the twitches. I often sit in medical lectures and the brightest members of the audience are invariably shifting on their seat and similarly scratching and rubbing.

 
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ITCHY SKIN

Q: 

What is a quick simple remedy for an itchy forearm.

A: 

Place in cold water or apply a cold face flannel. This quickly shrinks down the superficial blood vessels which often lead to irritation. Avoid hot showers, hot beds, irritating clothing next to the skin. Avoid harsh alkaline soaps which suck out moisture. A mild corticosteroid cream (chemist) may help. Massage gently at night with a urea based cream to get moisture back into the superficial layers. A blood sugar check for diabetes or allergies may also reveal an underlying cause.

 
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CHILDRENS FUTURE

Q: 

As a parent I often despair of the future for our children, despite every effort I make to be a good mother. They invariably get the better of me.

A: 

Do not worry too much. Every mother of every generation since the beginning of time have expressed the same view. Time and nature, associating, social mores, cultures and customs have a way of handling it all. There will always be the "good ones" that climb through the quagmire of everyday living. There will always be the losers, despite all the encouragement. A parent can only do their best with common sense and available resources. Come what may, they will live on, grow and develop. However, things learned in childhood are always a lifelong standby.

 
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AGED 80

Q: 

My mum is now 80 and still refuses to learn how to use either the computer or the mobile. What next?

A: 

Talk around and you will eventually find a group of older people, often in their 80s and even 90s who are still discovering the joys of the mobile and net. There are thousands of them and it may remake their life. From one of loneliness and feeling unwanted and unloved, to a new world of being connected. It could be useless talking to them, for the mind may be closed to the new age revolution. Seeing is believing. Once they find a soul mate, it can radically change their interests and outlook and general mental and physical health.

 
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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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