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Wed, 16th December 2015
 

Everybody knows that overweight is over the top. Women's magazines thrive on it, companies make zillions producing foods, and rigorous routines to solve the crisis, governments despair as they spend more millions (our millions) telling us what we already know. Doctors sit there and pontificate and hand out the same old cliches. Eat less, get more exercise, reduce alcohol and stay eternally miserable. A life ridden with guilt is no life. Get a life! If you are overweight, that is that.

Countless research shows all the self-will in the world is not going to make any lasting difference. Maybe there is a case of laissez fair. Once over a five year period, I conducted my "Obesity Clinic". Word spread and people from far and wide lumbered into my office. Some had to be pushed through the door. I had trekked around the world, studied the literature and had the wonder bullet, as we all thought.

To start with, all were happy and bright. The routine was stunningly successful. Each was given a realistic goal. They would congregate in the waiting room which usually began at 6 am and lasted until the last person vanished. The buzz of happiness was extraordinary. Each kept diaries, with food and exercise regimens filled out. All knew that once the magical figure had been reached, they were onto happiness unimagined, and would live forever.

What was the ultimate outcome? I am sorry to say, not really good. As the weight melted, the happy voices lowered, finally to stop. The happiness faded, as the bodies looked more jaded. Misery, anxiety, depression gradually then rapidly took over. The cheery smiles as the booklets were ticked and encouraging words spoken started to fall on deaf ears. As each person achieved their goal, and most did, they were instructed to return on a given date to "recheck progress".

And then? The majority vanished, but that is not the end of the story. Most eventually resurfaced often two years later, happy, jubilant, effervescing, as most large people are. Happy, happy in the fact they had returned to their original weight. Anxiety, despair, depression had vanished. Most came to say "Thanks - we at least tried". Then disappeared to buy another Maggie XOS special gear to make them look good.

Yes, weight loss is on the Agenda for medicine, governments and the captains of industry. Really, if you are big (as your parents in most cases), the genes are unlikely to change and you cannot buy happiness! It sure beats depression. Is it time to "rethink weight loss"?

 
BABY BIZ

Q: 

I am 30 and always had irregular periods. We desperately want a baby. I fell pregnant (first time), but regrettably had a miscarriage 7 weeks later and no MP since, which is now over 6 months. I understand medication or maybe natural remedies can help ovulation. What should I do?

A: 

Referral to a fertility clinic is the best bet. There may be an underlying cause which should first be identified and managed. Today a vast array of investigations are available, usually starting with the simplest and working up from there. I can assure you, a positive outcome is highly likely.

 
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TESTOSTERONE

Q: 

I have been told a little bit of male hormone will greatly improve female libido.

A: 

For more then fifty years, tiny amounts of testosterone have been used to improve female sexuality desire and libido. However, a bit too much will produce facial hair (especially above the upper lip), maybe hairy chest and legs, and deepen the voice typically male characteristics. So it fell into disfavour, and is not a hot favourite. Nevertheless, all women produce tiny amounts, and male/female hormones can interchange. Too much produces "mannish" characteristics. Some women are also low in female hormone which leads to decreased libido, specially during the change of life when hormonal production drops dramatically.

 
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MISCARRIAGE

Q: 

A friend recently had a miscarriage and went into deep mourning as if she had lost a child.

A: 

Many women have miscarriages. If in the very early weeks, it may seem like a "late period", and there is no fuss or grieving. Some time ago, "Lancet" (medical magazine) said up to 80 per cent of conceptions ended in a miscarriage, mostly early but sometimes a bit later. Examination of large numbers indicated there was a physical fault with the fetus. It is natures way of "quality control" of the human race, and is not necessarily a negative. In the animal and bird kingdom, vast number of progeny occur, as the majority perish often at an early stage - which includes being eaten by something bigger.

 
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DRIP

Q: 

I have what the doctor says is a PND - post-nasal drip, which is constantly irritating

A: 

This is due to fluid over production of the nasal airways and sinuses. Often from allergies or infection. Nasal irrigation with salty water for a few days often fixes this fast So does a good surf, which is much the same. Imaging may indicate sinus infection, and the need for antibiotics. Claratyne and Telfast reduce allergies. Persisting cases need investigation by an immunologist (once called an allergy specialist). Desensitising drops or injections over many months can offer long term relief. Nasal sprays are only temporary.

 
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SEX POPS

Q: 

Every day my Inbox seems filed with ads for Viagra-niagra and heaps of other products claimed to improve erectile capacity, duration and sensitivity. All come at a price.

A: 

Delete the lot as quick as you can. Who knows what you are being sold. If you have issues in this area, talk to your GP. A medical examination and perhaps some basic investigations will assist. Otherwise referral to a doctor-operated "sexual disorders clinic" is the way to go. Severe cases become a team effort, involving various medical disciplines and outcomes are usually very good. Nearly all cities have such clinics.

 
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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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