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Wed, 24th August 2016

It used to be Left right! Left right! As school kids were tutored into correct marching. Lift legs high, look straight ahead, and be brisk about it. Time marches on, as kids become adolescents, then adults and finally "seniors". This instruction is probably one of the most important throughout life, even more so as persons gradually age. Mobility is vital. Lifting the feet and moving forward is essential to normal living.

Bones grow rapidly in childhood and adolescence, and bone density is usually maximum in early years.


However, from mid-life on, it gradually then rapidly decreases. This means falls as kids are rarely important. Bones can bend, or develop quickly healing "greenstick fractures", but older bones become brittle, and healing is much slower. So, take care where you walk. There are millions of "nasties" out there waiting to trap the unwary. Lifting feet high as you walk will avoid many obstacles. Outdoors, pathways are notorious. Tiny berries and flowers from overhanging trees become slippery, specially when wet. Fallen branches, twigs, leaves, pebbles and stones, holes. mushy rubbish awaits the unwary. Uneven adjoining concrete slabs on public paths are a silent trap.


Kicking them and falling is notorious, exacerbated at night. Gutters, stuff on roadways, potholes are out there to entrap. Inside the home, there are hundreds of risks. Loose mats, specially with upturned edges, cords from electrical devices, wet lino or tiled floor are frequent trouble makers. Paper on the floor is ubiquitous. Specially if there are several sheets or gloss paper, one can skid and tumble. Good lighting is helpful, walking in the dark is more dangerous. Lifting the feet high will help avoid severe falls. Scuffing along increases risks exponentially. A fall in the bathroom can easily involve hitting other parts as you go down - limbs, head, face, and notoriously the hip. I've been called to see an elderly lady living alone lying on the freezing bathroom floor having slipped getting out of the shower - with broken bones and unable to move, call for help or get to the phone. Her bones were fixed, but the severe pneumonia she developed was an added burden. Care at all times, irrespective of age, is essential.



I am middle age, and have developed a small scaly area on my leg, which is gradually becoming larger. It simply will not heal. I now have to cover it up when out as it is becoming obvious. A friend says it is psoriasis.


Psoriasis is a starter, and may affect skin on any part of the body, face being the worst but any exposed part may be an embarrassment, particularly in younger women. Please see your GP. There are many simple remedies. Scrubbing daily with a soft nail brush gets rid of scales. Several standard creams can assist. Even old time ones are useful. Calcipotriol is probably one of the best and long lasting, even though it has been around for a decade and is expensive. Many find paddling on the beach with sun exposure helpful. Some specialists advise UV light, and have special equipment for this.

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What's "normal" when it comes to frequency of sex.


During active sexual years, twice a week is often considered "average", but every couple is different. Heaps of situations interact. Stress and fatigue are a "turnoff". As are certain medications. Acid drug suppressants, sedatives, many blood pressure and heart tablets, and antidepressants dampen enthusiasm. Smoking is notorious for reducing desire and erectile capacity. Alcohol may enhance enthusiasm but depresses performance. Ambience and relaxation are essentials and satisfaction takes much longer in women than guys, a point usually forgotten by males.

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It seems half the population is taking acid suppressant medication. Isn't the acid produced for some good reason, so why destroy what nature produces?


Acid glands in the stomach wall produce a powerful acid. This helps kill unwanted germs that may have been ingested. It also starts the digestive system. However, too much can irritate the stomach lining. If there is a germ present (in about 80 per cent of us) called helicobacter, there are greatly increased risks of an ulcer developing. This may cause pain and bleeding. The combination can also lead to stomach cancer in some, including those in their forties. The acid often "refluxes" onto the lower end of the food tube causing heart burn, dyspepsia, "indigestion" and ulcers. That's why benefits of medication are often greater than the presence of the acid.

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I take medication for arthritis, and it gives joint pain relief. I recently came out in a bright red rash, thought it must be measles, but no fever or discomfort. I talked to the doctor. It was discovered the usual brand of medication I took had been replaced by a "generic" brand. When this was stopped , the rash vanished. I thought all "generics" were the same as the original product.


The pharmaceutical ingredient was probably identical. However, tablets contain various other items, such as fillers or colouring agents to bulk them up, and you probably reacted to this. Reactions like this can occur with any medication, whether it is the original "brand" name or a generic. It does not indicate the generic was inferior. Just your body reacting to something it did not like.

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I have been told a person may catch warts from domestic animals. Is this true?


Warts are caused by a wart virus. If it latches on, the skin grows more rapidly in that spot and heaps up as a wart, very common in children. There are medical claims domestic pets may carry the virus, and pass it on to humans. This is not necessarily a reason to reject pets. There are hundreds of other sources. Warts commonly vanish for reasons unknown with or without treatment. Exposed parts are more likely, such as fingers and knees. They are not dangerous, simply a bit socially unacceptable.

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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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