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The Doctor; Doctor Gareth Smith is here to answer all your health queries. Write to him at Dr Gareth, Sunday Mail, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA. Email g.smith@sundaymail.co.uk.



Byline: Doctor Gareth Smith

My son keeps getting warts on his hand, but my daughter hasn't got any. Why is only he susceptible to them? About a quarter of people are susceptible to the virus that causes warts. The rest of us are immune. It develops extremely slowly in the skin until the low-grade infection induces the growth of a wart at that site.

The virus can be spread to other parts of the body.

Eventually the body develops antibodies that cause the wart to drop off and protect against further warts.

He will eventually grow out of them.

My daughter wants to become a vegan, but I am worried she won't get enough calcium in herdiet. IsitOKtodo without dairy products? Where do cows get their calcium?' The answer, of course, is green leafy vegetables. But you don't have to eat grass - spinach, broccoli, watercress, parsley and green cabbage are great sources of calcium, as well as the magnesium that you need.

Seeds and nuts are also rich in both.

And many products, like tofu, breakfast cereals and soya milk, have extra calcium, so a sensible vegan diet shouldn't be a problem. I have been diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica. The doctor wants to put me on steroids. Are they safe? It is a very painful and chronic condition involving muscle inflammation.

Steroids can reduce the swelling, pain and tenderness associated with many diseases.

They may have serious side effects, but if taken strictly as directed they are unlikely to harm you.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 5, 2012
Words:251
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