a christian perspective on the world today

Medical Hotline: September 2005

Screen Test

Many feel miserable and fear they are headed for serious depression and need treatment. Today, doctors ask two key questions. During the past month, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless? And, second, during the past month have you often been bothered by little interest or pleasure in doing things? If yes to both, there is up to 90 per cent chance you’re heading for clinical depression. It’s time to see the doctor for further evaluation and maybe treatment.

Potential Pate Problem

Many worry that hair falls from their scalp every day. Actually, anywhere from nine to 90 hairs go into a resting phase and drop out. After about six weeks the follicle (root) restarts to grow and a new hair eventually appears. Regular scalp shampooing and massaging is a good idea to maintain healthy hair.

A Ball At Work

Many office workers sit atop an inflated Swiss ball, saying it helps posture, but some companies have banned them. This is understandable, as there have been ball-related accidents and there is a risk of injury. Today health and safety rank highly, and these are to protect each individual. Any sporting or health device should be carefully checked for any possible danger.

Good Medicine

Children in hospital are often cheered up by visiting “fun” doctors and music. Gelatology, the art of laughter, is now widely used in kid’s hospitals. Laughter not only lightens spirits, it hastens recovery. Musical groups similarly cheer up the kids. Dr Passkind invented the idea in 1932. It works by improving respiration, circulation and general well-being. But you can give a smile to any sick friend, no matter their age.

Something Fishy . . .

Fish oil in the diet is again in prominence, with more doctors agreeing on its health value. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to health, and are present in the product. The brain is 70 per cent fat, and a large amount of this is omega-3. For non-vegetarians, natural fish is better than red meat, and a meal of fish two to three times a week is recommended. It matters not if this is fresh or canned. Fish oil capsules also provide the same benefit, but should contain both EPA and DHA components.

Allergy Check-Up

Some people have a family with a bee-allergy history. If so, it may be necessary to carry an adrenaline injection for emergencies. Better to have children assessed by an immunologist to see if an allergy does exist. Bee venom may be lethal in a sensitive person, and children are the main targets of bees. The adrenaline Epi Pen is a self-administered injection given as an emergency treatment. However, it carries a use-by date. Bee desensitisation is also possible over time.

Head Bangers!

Children will occasionally and deliberately bang their heads on the floor, the furniture, the wall or their beds. But it is all part of growing up, and most settle as they grow. If you’re worried, try soothing tactics, calming words or a cuddle. Freedom from stress and a calm environment are preferable around bedtime.

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