Ask the doc­tor:

Pro­fes­sor Ker­ryn Phelps an­swers your ques­tions on eye colour, loss of smell, the best baby wipes, tak­ing pills, scans and a di­a­betes di­ag­no­sis.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

read­ers’ health ques­tions an­swered

You might have to find an­other ex­cuse for his bad tem­per.

Q My one-year-old daugh­ter has one blue and one brown eye (het­e­rochro­mia). I can’t find statis­tics on the in­ci­dence or preva­lence of het­e­rochro­mia. Do you know how rare it is? And are there any ad­di­tional check-ups my daugh­ter should have? J.H.

The statis­tic I’ve seen is about five to 10 per 1000. Most cases of het­e­rochro­mia from birth are ge­netic. Your daugh­ter should have been checked by a pae­di­a­tri­cian for any as­so­ci­ated prob­lems.

Q How can I tell which are the best baby wipes for my tod­dler? I’ve read some wipes may be too as­trin­gent for lit­tle mouths and hands and I was won­der­ing if I’m bet­ter us­ing an old-fash­ioned flan­nel. D.B.

I do see ba­bies who have der­mati­tis from chem­i­cals in some baby wipes. I favour a re­us­able, wash­able wipe. As a rule, look at the in­gre­di­ent list on wipes. If it looks like you need a chem­istry de­gree to un­der­stand it, use some­thing else. Look for fra­grance-free, chem­i­cal-free, biodegrad­able options. Re­mem­ber not to flush wipes.

Q My hus­band has prob­lems swal­low­ing pills. He gags and ends up spit­ting them out. For years, I’ve crushed up headache tablets for him, but a friend said that re­duces the po­tency and means they don’t work. Is this true? It could ex­plain his bad tem­per. T.M.

Some peo­ple don’t seem to be able to swal­low pills. Many med­i­ca­tions are avail­able in syrup or liq­uid form, or patches and creams, but not all. Talk to his doc­tor about options. You might have to find an­other ex­cuse for his bad tem­per.

Q My hus­band has Type 2 di­a­betes. He’s 64, has been over­weight, but now is cy­cling, walk­ing and not go­ing to the pub. Will he be able to make a come­back? N.B.

Be­ing di­ag­nosed with Type 2 di­a­betes may be the wake-up call he needed. The fact that he’s taken up ex­er­cise and cut down al­co­hol are great signs that show he is tak­ing this se­ri­ously. Life­style mea­sures such as these, as well as pay­ing at­ten­tion to diet and healthy weight loss, will also im­prove his blood sugar re­sults. This isn’t the end, it’s a new be­gin­ning.

Q Could you ex­plain the dif­fer­ence be­tween MRI and CT scans? I have to have a CT scan and am wor­ried be­cause I think it is more se­ri­ous than an MRI. S.S.

CT and MRI scans are imag­ing tech­niques for di­ag­nos­ing or mon­i­tor­ing dis­eases. CT scan­ning uses X-ray, while MRI uses mag­netic fields. CT scans are usu­ally bet­ter at de­tect­ing frac­tures, lung prob­lems and can­cers. MRI scans are used for di­ag­nos­ing mus­cu­loskele­tal and brain and spinal cord prob­lems. Your doc­tor will dis­cuss which is most suit­able for your con­di­tion.

Q I’m wor­ried I’m los­ing my sense of smell. I’ve al­ways loved cook­ing and fresh herbs, but no­ticed I could not smell which mint was more pun­gent at the mar­ket. And I can’t smell the flow­ers my hus­band buys me. Is this a cause for alarm? F.F.

You need to see your doc­tor to look into the rea­son for the loss of your sense of smell. It could be an ad­verse ef­fect of a medic­i­nal drug. It might be caused by a prob­lem in your nose or si­nuses, al­co­hol ex­cess, di­a­betes, un­der­ac­tive thyroid, some nu­tri­ent de­fi­cien­cies or one of many other pos­si­ble causes.

HAVE A QUES­TION?

If you have a ques­tion for Pro­fes­sor Ker­ryn Phelps, write to: Ask The Doc­tor, PO Box 92512, Welles­ley Street, Auck­land 1141 or email awwed­i­tor@bauer­me­dia.co.nz; sub­ject Q&A. Let­ters can­not be an­swered per­son­ally.

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