October 12, 2008
My Battle With Wounded Knee
By DR GARETH SMITH
Q I CUT my knee badly after a fall and the nurse who dressed it told me the wound would take longer to heal because I am diabetic. Why is this?
A DIABETICS can be prone to circulation problems which mean oxygen, needed for healing, can't get to the damaged tissue.
There may also be nerve damage - peripheral neuropathy - which means you feel pain less and may put pressure on the wound and slow the healing.
It is also common for a wound to be infected if your diabetes isn't well controlled as the immune system can be affected making healing slower due to lower numbers of white blood cells getting to the wound.
Q MY seven-year-old son suffers constant colds every winter. Am I right to give him multivitamins and extra vitamin C?
A KIDS don't really need extra vitamins if they have a well balanced diet, including fruit and vegetables. But if you son is reluctant to eat his greens, multi-vitamins are useful.
There is no strong medical evidence that Vitamin C protects against the cold but it certainly won't do him any harm. Any excess that the body doesn't absorb is eliminated in the urine.
Q I HAVE had problems with blood in my urine and I've been diagnosed with polyps in my bladder. Is this serious?
A POLYPS are little growths on the lining of the bladder. They can be harmless but at other times can cause problems like blood in the urine, an increase in the need to pee or pain.
A small percentage of polyps can be pre-cancerous and most surgeons remove them just to be on the safe side. No one knows what causes them but they can run in families and tend to be more common in men.
Q I HAVE always had flat feet and would like to know if there are any supports available to help with the pain I get on my soles?
A FLAT feet can be an inherited condition or can develop in adulthood. The arch of the foot becomes flattened and this can put pressure on the ligaments and tendons causing pain.
There is no one specific insert that can help. My best advice is that you visit a podiatrist who can measure you for an orthotic that is specifically designed for your foot.
Q MY back tooth has been chipped for ages. There is no pain but a large hard patch has developed on my tongue. Should I be worried?
A GET your tooth seen to. It may not be causing you pain but it is likely to be decaying.
The plaque you describe on your tongue could be leukoplakia - an overgrowth of tissue in the mouth caused by friction damage.
If left untreated it can become pre-cancerous, so you really need to see your dentist soon.
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