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Health Zone: What's up doc?

Byline: AMY ANDERSON

Q A FEW years ago I had a veneer fitted on my tooth which was not put on well. My new dentist says he can remove it and start again. How would he remove it? I thought they were permanently fixed with something like super glue?

A Dentist Phil Stemmer says: Veneers are bonded on to the teeth with a special glue so that they are a permanent part of the tooth. It is possible for your dentist to remove the veneer if necessary, simply by drilling off the porcelain veneer covering the tooth. This should be a relatively easy and surgically painless process.

If the veneer is stuck on well, then you might want to think carefully about whether you want it removed or not. If it is the look of it that worries you, then replacing it is a good idea. But if you don't have any worries about what it looks like, but your new dentist is telling you to have it removed, then be wary because it might not be in your interest to remove it. The main reasons for removing veneers are that they have become discoloured or have loosened. If yours is none of these then I shouldn't have it removed.

Q IS there a herb I can take for heartburn, which I have started to get in the middle of the night? I also feel very bloated at night just before I go to bed.

A Herbalist Jenny Boys says: There are a series of herbs to help with heartburn and the best thing is to try a few different ones and see which ones have the best effect. It is the bitter tasting herbs such as yarrow, centuary, golden seal and barberry that aid digestion and reduce heartburn and bloating.

In addition you should make sure that you eat your evening meal at least two hours before bedtime. Take time if you can, to sit at the table and chew properly; don't bolt your food!

Rich foods full of animal protein and saturated fats (cheese, meat, fry-ups etc) are hard to digest and will literally sit in your stomach and ferment, causing excess gas and heartburn. You could also try drinking fennel, camomile or peppermint tea after your evening meal as these will help to settle the stomach as they have an alkaline effect on excess stomach acids as well as being intestinal cleansers. There herbs are all available by post from Baldwins (020 7703 5550) and Neal's Yard (020 7498 1686)

Q ARE goat's cheese and yoghurts a healthy alternative to dairy foods or should you still restrict the amount of overall dairy products you eat?

A Nutritionist Ian Marber says: Goats milk and cheese are an excellent alternative to regular dairy produce made from cow's milk. Many people choose goat products as they find that they biologically lack the enzyme to break down the lactose, or milk sugar, found in cows milk. Goat's milk contains similar amounts of calcium and other nutrients as cow's milk, but is slightly higher in calories than cow's. It also contains slightly more saturated fats, which are the ones that we need to limit, so by all means enjoy goat's milk and cheese but watch their intake as you would with other dairy products. You probably want to limit your intake to one glass of milk a day and one to two helpings of cheese.

Q I PLAN to start using light weights to build up my strength and tone my arms. How many times a week should you train with weights?

A Chrissie Gallagher-Mundy at the London Academy of Personal Fitness says: The best way to tone muscles fast is to use relatively heavy weights. Those tiny light weights that they tend to market for women are not very helpful and you won't see the sort of results you want if you use them on a regular basis.

If you haven't done much exercise over the last year then start with light ones for the first four weeks so you are not incapacitated by stiffness. You should do at least 15 minutes a day with these. From there on build up to a weight heavy enough so that you can only just manage 10 repetitions. As soon those 10 reps become easy, then up your weights again until they become difficult. With the heavier weights you should train every other day for six weeks and you will soon notice a huge difference in the definition and tones of your arms, shoulders and stomach.

Q IS it possible for hair that has gone grey to revert back to being coloured? I have heard if you take supplements for your hair which contain exactly the right balance of nutrients, this can happen.

A Trichologist Tony Maleedy says: Going grey from old age is, unfortunately, not something that is reversible not matter what supplements you take. But in some cases it is possible for hair that has gone white to regain its colour, although many people don't realise it. This can happen when hair has turned grey as a result of a diffuse form of alopecia areata, which is a condition that causes patchy hair loss. The hair loss is not permanent and grows back white at first, becoming coloured later. Many people suffer from this condition without realising it, so when they suddenly turn grey it can be a bit of a shock.

Nutritional imbalances such as low levels of vitamin B can also cause hair to become grey prematurely. If this is the cause, then taking high levels of the vitamin B complex. So if you feel you have gone grey earlier than you should have done, or very suddenly, then try taking a vitamin B complex like Brewers Yeast tablets for, which can lead to a recovery of the hair pigment, although it may take a few months to notice the improvement.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 3, 2001
Words:991
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