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Dr Dreena Kelly nursed children in Africa before becoming a doctor while caring for her invalid sister and bringing up her son on her own. Named as Woman Of The '90s last year, Dreena, 38, answers all your medical queries.

Q WHY are some medications, such as HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and GTN (glyceri tri nitrate) used in patch forms?

A OUR skin protects us from knocks, sunburn, water logging and dehydration. It stabilises temperature, keeps out bacteria and lets us touch and sense heat, cold and pain. It also allows treatment of internal problems with medications that come in cream, ointment, oil, lotion, liniment, gel or paste. Although the skin is protective, certain substances enter the skin and carry soluble substances with them as they pass into the blood stream. HRT and GTN are better absorbed through the skin than by mouth, less of the drug is required and so fewer side effects are experienced.

Q MY husband, who is 69, had a stroke six months ago and has made a good recovery. He walks around the house, but never goes out. Is this enough exercise?

A NO. He should get out and about for an hour a day. Many people suffer from depression after a stroke. If you think he is depressed, see your GP about it.

Q I HAVE heard that asthma will stunt my child's growth. Is there any truth in this?

A A STUDY of 3000 Tayside children showed the vast majority of children on long term anti-asthma treatment grow normally. A tiny number with severe asthma on high doses of steroids may grow more slowly.

Q MY husband had a heart attack at the New Year and was given Streptokinase. Can you tell me what it did to him and are there any side effects?

A THIS is a clot-busting drug for the treatment of heart attacks. A clot forming in the coronary arteries, blocking blood flow and starving that part of the muscular heart wall, causes a heart attack. This drug can dissolve the clot and, if given soon enough, can improve survival and minimise damage.The sooner it is given the better. Side effects are bruising and bleeding and there can be severe allergic reactions. The drug is given intravenously.

Q I AM to have an operation to remove a benign tumour from the base of my spine. Will I be able to go back to work?

A MUCH will depend on the extent and site of the tumour. The real answer will come after the surgery. However, in the main, you should be able to go back to work after one month.

Jan De Vries is the country's foremost name in alternative medicine. The naturopath and author trained as a pharmacist before qualifying as a homeopath and herbalist. He guides you through the full range of homeopathic treatments.

Q YOU have mentioned Violaforce as a treatment for eczema several times. My 12-year-old son has this condition and prescribed creams do not help. I have tried in vain to find a local stockist. Can you help?

A VIOLAFORCE is usually available from chemists or healthfood stores. However, it can be obtained directly from Bioforce. You can call them on 01294- 277344. You may find my book, Skin Diseases, helpful. It is available through local libraries.

Q I HAVE been suffering continuous body tremors for many years. Most occur on my arms and shoulders, but quite often I get full body tremors. A brain scan was clear, but I am now waiting for an MRI scan and this could take four to six months. Can you help?

A MAGNESIUM is usually useful for this condition. Try it while you are waiting for the MRI scan.

Q I HAVE had psoriasis for around three years and the numerous steroid creams and ointments I have tried have not helped. My scalp is also very bad and I have tried Betnovate and all the medicated shampoos. Can you recommend something different?

A TAKE one Indian Capsule every morning and watch your diet carefully for reactions.

Q SOME years ago, I developed tension and burning at the back of my throat whilst exercising. This year it returned, together with slight occasional palpitations. Tests proved my heart was sound. I have no pain at the moment, but the depth and frequency of the palpitations have increased. Is there any natural remedy to combat this? I am aged 53.

A YOU are probably drinking a little too much. Even regular cups of coffee will tend to bloat your stomach. Take 15 drops of Centaurium twice a day before meals and 15 drops of Kava Kava after meals.

Q I AM 60, never smoked and do not drink much. I suffer from depression and I am experiencing pins and needles in my left arm and leg and also in my top lip. Hospital tests did not reveal any cause. My doctor is saying it's tension and stress. I also suffer from pins and needles in my left hand as a result of an injury to a nerve. Can you help?

A IT looks as if you have a blood circulation problem. Psychotonin is a very useful remedy for cases such as yours. Take 15 drops of it, twice a day.

Q I HAVE emphysema and slight asthma and find I'm prone to chest infections. I drink a glass of cranberry juice daily for extra Vitamin C. What more can I do to prevent these infections?

A TAKE 15 drops of Bronchosan, twice a day before meals. There is also a very good herbal remedy called Sure Cure which eases asthma and emphysema. For more information, contact Abbots of Leigh, Railway Road, Leigh, Lancashire.

Q I AM going through the menopause and have mood swings. I am not on HRT as my mother had breast cancer. Could you recommend something for me?

A TRY once capsule of Phytogen, twice a day before meals and 10 drops of Female Essence twice a day after meals.

Q I HAVE had a dry cough for some time and I am troubled with catarrh down the back of the throat. My doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics and a nasal spray. The cough is a lot better, but I still have a lot of catarrh. What do you suggest?

A I WOULD recommend 20 drops of Echinaforce, twice a day. I have found this to be a very good remedy and I am sure it will rectify the problem.

Write in confidence for FREE advice from our experts. Send your letters to Dr Dreena Kelly or Jan De Vries at Daily Record, 40 Anderston Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA. Sorry, they can't reply personally
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Kelly, Dreena; Vries, Jan de
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 24, 1999
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