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Reviewed   10  August   2021      

      Why Not Computer Diagnosis ?

   For years there has been hype that computer diagnosis would soon  replace doctor diagnosis: You would simply tap in your symptoms and your search engine would pop up your diagnosis, treatment and long term outcome and, best of all, no fee attached.


   Sounds good !  Sadly computer diagnosis has a way to go. Paris Hilton One recent  attempt at medical diagnosis by a well known search engine produced a 58% correct diagnosis rate.


   Computers cannot accurately collect relevant medical data, let alone clinical or cultural nuances from patients   largely because there are so many different ways of describing symptoms such as  pain.


   Doctors rapidly eliminate irrelevant information and assess the information they collect in a traditional medical way and usually can then intuitively take a rapid short cut to get to a "good-enough" decision.  If  doctors are uncertain of a diagnosis they simply ask a colleague for help.


   The dream of a computer system that can "think" better, faster and more comprehensively than  a human being is not yet realised. The other real problem is diagnosis depends on the three spatial dimensions plus a fourth dimension of time. Computers work in two dimensions.


   Currently the real value of computers in health is providing accurate medical information for doctors, especially when uncommon diagnoses are being considered.


   About 100 million Americans search for medical information each year – outnumbered only by the hordes accessing pornography ! That patients can rapidly check information about their diagnosis is a real advance in medical treatment especially as patients only recall about 25% of their doctor-given information.


   MRI and CT scanners are currently by far the most important computerised advances in medical diagnosis assistance.

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      Alcohol . . . . a Social Oil with BIG Problems

   Alcohol is certainly a  social oil, it improves social interaction, helps generate fun times and it tastes OK as well. Like all good things alcohol has its downside. About 10% of Australians Mice winehave a significant alcohol problem which in turn causes more social disruption than illicit drugs.


   Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant which can badly affect brain function even in very small concentrations. The degree of CNS impairment is directly proportional to the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). Peak BAC is usually achieved about  1 - 2 hours after drinking  alcohol but more slowly if eating at the same time.


   Usually the less you weigh the more you will be affected by a given amount of alcohol. In general, if  males and  females of the same weight ingest the same amount of alcohol the females will achieve a higher BAC.

         BAC            STAGE                 SYMPTOMS
  0.02 - 0.05   Subclinical   Almost normal behavoir
  0.05 - 0.12   Euphoria   Decreased inhibitions, reduced judgement
  0.09 - 0.25   Excitement   Loss of critical judgement & comprehension
  0.18 - 0.30   Confusion   Disorientation, confusion, incoordination
  0.25 - 0.40   Stupor   Unable to stand, impaired consciousness
  0.35 - .0 50+   Coma   Unconscious or possible death

   Alcohol is most rapidly absorbed when the alcohol concentration of the drink is between 10% and 30%. e.g. Full Strength Beers  contain 3.2 - 5.0% alcohol,  Table Wines 7.0 -14.0%  and Spirits 35  - 50%.


Welcome to Afghanistan

The liver breaks down  95% of ingested alcohol. The rest is eliminated through your breath   (hence use of police breath testing), urine, sweat, faeces, milk and saliva – all contain the same alcohol concentration.


   Alcohol is broken down at about one standard drink per hour, and more  slowly  the older you are.


   Hangover symptoms are largely caused by dehydration and the toxic alcohol  breakdown products e.g. acetaldehyde – check the taste and smell of that in your chemistry lab !


   You cannot "sober up" by somehow increasing  this alcohol elimination rate no matter what you take. Using fructose is an urban myth ! Time is the only hangover cure.

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      Iron Deficiency is Common in Jakarta

   Anaemia occurs when there is not enough haemoglobin in your blood. Running out of steam Haemoglobin carries oxygen in your blood and needs Iron for its production. There are  several  causes of Anaemia but Iron deficiency is easily the most common cause of  Anaemia in Jakarta.

   WHY ?


   Simply because most expats eat  little red meat in Jakarta.  A dietary lack of   iron makes Anaemia even more common in females because of their monthly cycle. Up to 20% of females can be iron deficient.


   The symptoms of Anaemia are usually vague but include some combination of :

             Tiredness & weakness                                    Decreased exercise ability
            Low energy levels                                            Headaches
            Pale skin and conjunctiva                                   Dizziness
            Thin, brittle, flattened nails                                 Poor concentration
            Cold hands and feet                                        Low, listless mood


   Anaemia and your Iron level are  easily checked with  simple blood tests. If you are Anaemic  it is important not to simply start taking Iron tablets. The actual cause of your Anaemia must be determined first.


   Maybe you are not iron deficient but are Anaemic from another cause -perhaps you are  bleeding very slowly from a stomach ulcer or a bowel cancer or you are  vitamin B12 deficient or females may need a gynaecology review.


   Once the cause of your Anaemia is identified treatment is usually simple, especially if it is just an iron deficiency.



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      Does Sugar make Children Hyperactive ??

   No it does notWhat absolute rubbish I hear many a parent cry !  Well in at least 12 studies scientists examined how children react hyperactive kidsto diets containing different levels of sugar.


   None of these studies, not even studies looking specifically at children with ADHD could detect any differences in behavior between the children who had sugar and those who did not. The studies included artificial and natural sources of sugar.


   Interestingly, in one study, parents who were told their children had been given sugar when they hadn't, noted that the child was more hyperactive.

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Masked bandit




      Is There Any Hope for Humanity?

   A young male was shot by police during a robbery. His sister came to A & E   an hour later.  Doctors informed  her that her brother had  been  shot during  a robbery.


   Her angry response was: " They shot him for that ?   He's robbed people before  and  they  never  shot  him.   Why did they shoot him this time ? "
      True story !

Dr Richard Tomlins

Seasons Greetings                                              

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      Dr Richard - Obesity                                                             Anzac - 1975Next

Dr Richard Tomlins If you have any suggestions or topics you would like discussed, please contact me:
     Dr Richard Tomlins


Computer Diagnosis
Alcohol . . . problems
Iron deficiency in Jakarta
Does sugar make kids hyperactive?
Is there any hope for humanity