site stats
May, 2013 |

Archive for » May, 2013 «

Sanctuary on Green in South Euclid celebrates the art of healthy eating

Barbara Collier

sanctuary on green

One of my favorite places in the city to visit, shop and do lunch is Sanctuary on Green in South Euclid. This hidden treasure, owned by sculptors Norbert and Victoria Koehn, is a place to stroll the grounds and shop in the elegant house built in 1910.

Rooms in the house are filled with boutique gifts, handmade wood carvings, kitchen accessories and hundreds of other items from more than 40 countries. It is enchanting during the Christmas season.

To the rear of the property is a 140-year-old barn that houses Norbert’s studio. Along the way, you will see many of his stone and wood carvings.

Victoria has always had a passion for food and art. That passion took her to Bavaria in the early ’70s to study sculpture. That’s where she met and married Norbert. They moved to Cleveland and opened a shop on the Beaumont School grounds before opening the South Euclid location.

Five years ago, Victoria opened a “California-inspired Bavarian tea studio caf ” serving lunch and offering more than 106 hot and cold teas and baked goods.

Dining at Sanctuary on Green is either in the studio or on the terrace overlooking Nine Mile Creek Wetlands. Terrace dining, under a forest of trees and umbrellas, is peaceful and refreshing.

Victoria is intense about using only the best ingredients, including organic, homegrown ingredients when possible. The couple garden and compost. Norbert already has harvested greens including baby kale and herbs.

Victoria uses minimal fat, salt and sugar. Pastries are made from unbleached whole grain flour and locally produced butter. Organic milk and cream contains no hormones or antibiotics.

The menu features more than a dozen choices plus several soups, which may change daily.

The most popular choice is the “artist palette” ($14.50), which includes a cup of soup, a small side salad, two canap sandwiches and a fruit slice. It is beautiful and tasty.

“The Veganist” ($13.50) is an organic tofu schnitzel. My partners weren’t interested in tofu, but after hearing me rave about the flavors, they tasted it and they, too, raved. Firm tofu is lightly seasoned, breaded in whole grain flour, sauteed in olive oil and topped with fresh thyme and tomato slices. A small salad and braised, shredded, sweet-sour red cabbage come on the side.

Victoria doesn’t do ordinary. Fresh ground pink Himalayan salt is on tables and colorful pocket napkins are from Germany. Sturdy flatware is hand-polished daily.

The “Munchner Weisswurst” ($13.75) is a Bavarian, 98-percent lean veal-pork sausage simmered with a choice of sauerkraut or cooked red cabbage and served with apples. Old Country Sausage in Maple Heights makes the sausage.

This time of year, the “South Euclid Sanctuary Salad” ($12) is a good choice. Organic greens are served with sides of carrot, apple, cabbage and sweet-sour cucumber salads, fruit, Marcona almonds and an edible hibiscus blossom stuffed with honey cream cheese.

In addition to an array of teas, French-press, espresso and cappuccino coffees are now available. Ask about the whisked matchasspresso teas, a Japanese method of preparation that dates back 900 years.

Sanctuary on Green is at 1936 S. Green Road, South Euclid. Call 216-691-1936. There are two seatings, at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations are suggested.

Contact Collier at BabsReviewsFood@aol.com.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

Kitchen’s turn for glamour

SIMPLE YET STYLISH
Now you can customise your kitchen according to your needs with a range of built-in appliances. These gadgets may not have the fancy voice-recognition technology, but they score on optimum usage of space, energy conservation and sophisticated design. You can purchase a combination of built-in dishwasher, deep fryer, barbeque and microwave from Häfele’s design studio. The full-integrated dish washer is a notch above the rest. Unlike several other dishwashers in the market which only have four programs, Häfele’s appliance has six washing programs for intensive, normal, economy, rinse, glass rapid and soak. Armed with LED indicators, the dish washer also comes with pressure switch water sensors, anti-flood device, two spray arms and three- to nine-hour delay option.

Price: Häfele dishwasher, Rs 46,490; built-in microwave, Rs 22,690

STAYING COOL THIS SUMMER
The MasterCool range by Miele offers a combination of refrigerator, freezer and wine conditioner which can be installed together or purchased separately, depending on your cooling needs. The refrigerator boasts a touch-based system and has four independent cooling zones. You don’t need to bother with different settings for vegetables, meats and dairy as the fridge automatically optimises the humidity levels and temperature in the storage drawers. With an energy efficiency rating of A+, its energy consumption per 100 litres usable space is 0,21 kWH in 24 hours, The wine conditioning unit, too, maintains an optimum temperature of 10-12 degrees Celsius, so that your reds, whites and roses don’t spoil.

Price: The refrigerator with a capacity of 543 ltr is priced at Rs 849,990, while the wine conditioning unit, with a capacity of 102 bottles, is priced at Rs 999,990

BREW A HOT CUPPA
Turn brew master for your friends and family with the Intelia One Touch Cappuccino machine. This fully automatic machine instantly grinds the beans and froths the milk to create a creamy cappuccino at the press of a button. The gadget allows you to vary the temperature and strength of the coffee and the amount of milk you add, unlike the other machines available in the market which follow pre-determined settings. The brewing process has been certified by the Centro Studi Assaggiatori – Italian Tasters Association, founded in 1990. You can also opt for the Intelia Focus which is the first fully automatic espresso machine for home use.

Price: Intelia Cappuccino, Rs 74,995; Intelia Focus, Rs 54,995

COOK UP A STORM
This set-up promises to bring out the Master Chef in you. The CombiSet Range by Miele offers a combination of gas, electric, induction, induction wok, barbeque grill, deep fryer and a tepan yaki unit. The highlight of the unit is the salamander, which happens to be a favourite with chefs across the world as it helps in browning, glazing, caramelising or simply keeping the food warm. Each component in this CombiSet caters to a different cooking technique. While the induction wok is ideal for stir fries, the tepan yaki unit uses a stainless steel cooking plate for grilling, roasting and flambeing.

Price: Miele CS 1000 range of combi sets, between Rs 95,000 and Rs 300,000

STRETCHING THE CULINARY LIMITS
Unlike the other induction hobs available in the market, the The FlexInduction hob by Siemens Home Appliances doesn’t restrict you with single-zone cooking. Instead, it offers an extended zone cooking feature that allows you to place several pans, utensils and cookware of all shapes and sizes on it at the same time. To save on power, Siemens has introduced the connect and disconnect mode. As part of the former, the cooking zones work at the same power level while in the disconnect mode, different power levels can be selected as per individual requirements. The 60-cm wide hob has a power output of up to 3.6 kW and ensures uniform heat distribution.

Price: FlexInduction Hob by Siemens, Rs 105,000

SUPER GADGETS
Internationally, kitchen appliances have transformed into super-cool gadgets that you wouldn’t mind showing off in the living room. One can find a smart fridge that comes with an LCD touchscreen, camera and an Internet connection to download recipes. The focus is on invention.

For instance, Miele has come up with an intelligent 3-D cutlery tray for the dishwasher. Often international designs are localised for the Indian markets.

When Philips launched the AirFryer, which uses 80 per cent less oil than conventional frying methods, the team spent more than six months trying to understand the nuances involved in cooking different Indian recipes.

Category: Cookware Pans  Tags: ,  Comments off

Nancy Leson stands by her pan(s)

BEFORE MY husband and I said “I do” — before 130 guests assembled in our backyard — we’d already set up shop in the kitchen.

By the time we married, Mac and I were both enthusiastic home cooks, old enough to know better. What we knew is this: No one needs a big, fancy set of pots and pans to make a house a home.

So don’t fret because you can’t afford to lavish newlyweds with a complete batterie of Mauviel French copperware. (Dear Daddies Warbucks: Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

Instead, allow me to introduce you to our workhorses: pots and pans we can’t live without.

I came into our union with a set of heavy-bottomed, stainless-steel cookware purchased at the store formerly known as the Bon Marché. It held me in good stead for more than 20 years. The contemporary version of that Belgique collection, available at Macy’s (and often on sale for less than $200) no longer nests for easy storage, nor is it made in Belgium (it’s a China import), though it does boast glass lids.

My Belgique covered fry-pan is getting less of a workout since I scored a deeply discounted All-Clad stainless D5 saucier for $69.99 at T.J. Maxx, though my 8-quart Belgique stockpot, outfitted with a bonus pasta insert, still gets major play.

If you’re thinking, “Who needs a pasta insert when a free-standing colander will do?” shut-uppa-you-face. Then think of other ways to use a stockpot with a pasta insert: for blanching vegetables, say, or hoisting the collapsed remnants of a whole chicken, leaving its golden broth in the pot. What about a carbon-steel wok? I paid $18 for a biggie at the Seattle Restaurant Store and won’t argue with Chinese cookbook maven Grace Young, who insists this versatile vessel is “the only pan ideally suited for stir-frying, pan-frying, braising, poaching, boiling, deep-frying, steaming, smoking foods, and even cooking rice.”

I do, however, argue with my husband, whose kitchen came with a well-seasoned 8-inch cast-iron frying pan. That’s a great starter-weapon for any new wife, though this old bride prefers our latest addition: a pre-seasoned 15-inch Lodge skillet, large enough to fry a whole chicken. At $59.95, this is your baby.

I also married into a copper au gratin, a pretty oval thing perfect for roasting potatoes, though I’m even crazier for my Le Creuset stoneware gratin pan ($60). Longer and wider, it supports a layer of potatoes and a buxom chicken.

If I had to call out my top pot, though, it would be my Le Creuset 5 ½-quart enameled French oven (pardon my Dutch). A major investment, it’s one that will last into the next generation. Whether I’m making split-pea soup, braising short ribs or baking no-knead bread, that regal red round is nonreactive and retains heat like nobody’s business. The enamel interior cleans up easily, too. If the price ($275) is too rich, know that your friend Rachael Ray has her name on a knock-off. So does Lodge, whose 6-quart enameled cast-iron Dutch oven sells at Fred Meyer for $89.99 (less with coupon).

Of course, there’s more to outfitting a kitchen than cookware, as our most-used wedding gifts attest. Among them, a 10-inch Atlas brass pepper mill (thank you, John Hinterberger), an insulated stainless-steel olive-oil dispenser (indispensable!) and an Aroma 4-cup electric rice cooker that needs upgrading to a larger model — now that we’re feeding a hungry teen.

Nancy Leson is The Seattle Times’ food writer. Reach her at nleson@seattletimes.com. John Lok is a Times staff photographer.

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off

Dow Loses 208 Points As Stocks Fall Sharply

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock prices closing sharply lower on Wall Street after a late afternoon sell-off.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 208 points at 15,115 Friday, a loss of 1.4 percent. Pfizer led the Dow lower.

The Dow held on to a gain of 1.9 percent for May and is still up 15 percent so far this year.

The Standard Poor’s 500 index lost 23 points to 1,630, a decline of 1.4 percent. The Nasdaq fell 35 points to 3,455, a decline of 1 percent.

The declines were broad. All 10 industry groups in the SP 500 fell, led by health care and energy stocks.

Five stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was heavier than usual at 3.9 billion shares.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow

  • 10. Gilead Sciences

    strong10. Gilead Sciences
    Opening price: $41.86. Dec. 26 price: $72.48.
    Growth: 73 percent/strong

    As a a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/038549081X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8tag=slatmaga-20linkCode=as2camp=1789creative=390957creativeASIN=038549081X”Handmaid’s Tale /afan, I can’t help but feel this is a creepy name for a biotech company, but in many ways it’s the happiest story on our list. Gilead makes a number of drugs, including the influenza treatment Tamiflu and Cayston for cystic fibrosis. But its strong 2012 was driven primarily by the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Gilead’s tenofovir/emtricitabine combination drug marketed as Truvada—the first prophylactic pharmaceutical shown to substantially reduce the risk of HIV infection among high-risk populations. This is good, old-fashioned, innovation-driven growth, where firms prosper by inventing useful new things.

    This year clearly isn’t going to go down in the history books as the greatest year in American economic life. The unemployment rate was high, and most Americans’ earnings were flat. But the list of top-performing SP 500 stocks shows unmistakable signs of an economy on the rebound. Players in housing, appliances, finance, and travel all benefited from a general return to economic normalcy with other standout performers scattered across sectors whenever they caught a lucky break. Not the best of times by any means but something like a normal time. If things get even better in 2013, expect to see fewer firms on the list that benefit from generic growth and more stand-out innovators driven to the top by new products rather than a simple increase in production.

  • 9. Seagate Technology

    strongOpening price: $16.40. Dec. 26 price: $30.38.
    Growth: 85 percent/strong

    This company makes hard drives, which actually isn’t much of a booming sector because PC sales have stagnated in the face of the iPad and ever-smarter smartphones. The optimistic corporate line is that the strong year reflects successful reorganization after the return of former CEO Stephen Luczo. The more cynical take is that their main competitor, Western Digital, a href=”http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2012/02/29/seagate_bouyed_by_thai_floods/”had a lot of factories destroyed by floods in Thailand/a. Lefty Gomez famously said he’d rather be lucky than good, and the same thing applies in the business world.

  • 8. Tesoro Corporation

    strongOpening price: $24.47. Dec. 26 price: $43.34.
    Growth: 77 percent/strong

    Tesoro is another energy player, an independent refinery and gas station operation headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Its seven refineries in the western United States have benefitted from the combination of increased gasoline production and not-so-large increases in the country’s refining or crude oil export capacities.

  • 7. Marathon Petroleum

    strongOpening price: $33.41. Dec. 26 price: $61.66.
    Growth: 85 percent/strong

    Last year was all about growth in the oil and gas industry. This year has seen broader economic growth and a more diverse set of winners. But the technological innovation driving increased oil and gas production in the United States marches on. Marathon Petroleum was one of the biggest beneficiaries this year, especially since its summer 2011 spin-off of Marathon Oil left it focused exclusively on the booming refining and pipeline sectors.

  • 6. Lennar Corporation

    strongOpening price: $19.89. Dec. 26 price: $38.01.
    Growth: 91 percent/strong

    Another homebuilder, Lennar is an even bigger company than Pulte though with a slightly less booming year. Homebuilders across the board had a strong year, re-enforcing the breadth of the housing recovery.

  • 5. Expedia Inc.

    strongOpening price: $29.66. Dec. 26 price: $57.93.
    Growth: 95 percent/strong

    Expedia launched the year by spinning off its TripAdvisor group of travel-related media sites and focusing on its core set of online travel tools. That’s Expedia itself, but also Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, the corporate travel agency Egencia, and a travel website in China called eLong. A good position in the Chinese marketplace is an asset for any company these days, but travel in general is, like appliances, something that fluctuates with the overall ups and downs of the economy. Firms and households have a relatively easy time cutting travel spending when they need to tighten their belts, but an overall better outlook had those belts loosening this year instead.

  • 4. Bank of America

    strongOpening price: $5.80. Dec. 26 price: $11.54.
    Growth: 99 percent/strong

    The most troubled of America’s troubled big banks had a very solid if belated comeback year. That said, this is more a case of the shares being nearly worthless a year ago than of anything extraordinary happening today. The company is still trading well below a notional book value of $20 per share worth of assets, reflecting ongoing concerns about legal liability and a perception that the company is simply too large and diverse to be managed properly.

  • 3. Whirlpool Corporation

    strongOpening price: $48.51. Dec. 26 price: $99.74.
    Growth: 106 percent/strong

    At the intersection of the underhyped housing recovery and the overhyped manufacturing recovery lies Whirlpool Corporation, America’s leading manufacturer of the big stuff you put in your house. This is a bigger company than you think, since they make Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, and Amana appliances along with the ones that actually bear the Whirlpool name. They also make some Ikea-branded appliances, as well as producing for the Sears and Home Depot house brands. Home appliances aren’t sexy, but that’s exactly what makes them a great indicator of core economic well-being. A sexy company can thrive even in a bad economy. To sell washer, dryers, and stand mixers, you need a climate of reasonably broad prosperity.

  • 2. PulteGroup

    strongOpening price: $6.37. Dec. 26 price: $13.37.
    Growth: 110 percent/strong

    This isn’t a household name, but as a major homebuilder, the PulteGroup is a decent bellwether for the American economy. Construction activity closed 2012 at what’s still a very low level by historical standards, but it’s way up from where it was a year ago. After years of stagnation, we’re back to adding houses faster than we add people—meaning folks are finally moving out from their parents’ basement or their sister’s spare room.

  • 1. Sprint Nextel

    The extraordinary performance of the third banana of American wireless telephony was less about anything Sprint did than about Japanese telecom giant SoftBank’s decision to purchase 70 percent of the outstanding shares for $20.1 billion. Conventional wisdom panned the move as ego-driven and doomed to failure, and a href=”http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/10/16/softbank_buys_sprint_japanese_wireless_carry_buys_ailing_american_company.html”I have no contrarian Slate-y rebuttal/a, but as a citizen, it’s good to know that when rich Japanese egomaniacs want to make a foolish investment, they still think of America as the place to do it.

Category: Kitchenaid  Tags: ,  Comments off

How to clean, season and maintain your grill

<!–Saxotech Paragraph Count: 8
–>

Whether you’ve just bought a shiny new grill or pulled your old one out of hibernation, step No. 1 before embracing grilling season is to clean and season it.

Grills are like cast-iron skillets; the more you use them, the better they cook. That’s because food cooks on the grill, the fats and juices are instantly vaporized by the heating elements or charcoal briquettes. The vapor creates the smoke that flavors the food with that legendary grilled taste. The smoke that isn’t absorbed by the food accumulates on the inside of the grill, and so the grill gets seasoned.

Start with the cleaning. If you’ve had your grill for a while and use it a lot, you may notice that the lid of the grill looks like peeling paint. It isn’t. This is simply the accumulation of layers of smoke. Warm soapy water, a scrub brush and a little elbow grease will take the excess bits of black smoke off the inside of the grill lid with little trouble. You’ll only need to do this once a year.

Next, burn and scrape off any food bits stuck to the grates. Turn all the burners on high for a gas grill with the lid down. For a charcoal grill, burn a chimney starter of charcoal with the lid closed. Let the flames burn until any residue has turned into a white colored ash. Brush gently with either a brass bristle brush or my makeshift foil cleaning brush.

A brass bristle brush is soft enough to bend and not break off like steel brushes. The harder, more brittle brushes can also damage the finish on cooking grates.

If you don’t have a grill brush or don’t want to use one, try this: Crumble heavy-duty foil into a ball about the size of a tennis ball. Hold the ball in a pair of sturdy 12-inch locking chef tongs and brush. Remember to use heavy-duty foil or the ball will disintegrate.

After cleaning the grill, it’s time to season it. One effective method is to fill the cooking grate with uncooked fresh sausages such as bratwurst or Italian sausage, but any food with a medium- to high-fat content that will cook for at least 30 minutes is ideal. Cook the sausages at a lower temperature than normal to suit this process.

Grill the sausages slowly on a low-medium heat until bubbling hot and very brown. Remove the sausages from the grill, then re-set the burners to high, letting the grill burn off the residue until it turns white, about 20 to 30 minutes. Do this while enjoying the grilled sausages. When you are done eating, clean the cooking grates by rubbing them with foil or a brush again.

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off

Sanctuary on Green in South Euclid celebrates the art of healthy eating

Barbara Collier

sanctuary on green

One of my favorite places in the city to visit, shop and do lunch is Sanctuary on Green in South Euclid. This hidden treasure, owned by sculptors Norbert and Victoria Koehn, is a place to stroll the grounds and shop in the elegant house built in 1910.

Rooms in the house are filled with boutique gifts, handmade wood carvings, kitchen accessories and hundreds of other items from more than 40 countries. It is enchanting during the Christmas season.

To the rear of the property is a 140-year-old barn that houses Norbert’s studio. Along the way, you will see many of his stone and wood carvings.

Victoria has always had a passion for food and art. That passion took her to Bavaria in the early ’70s to study sculpture. That’s where she met and married Norbert. They moved to Cleveland and opened a shop on the Beaumont School grounds before opening the South Euclid location.

Five years ago, Victoria opened a “California-inspired Bavarian tea studio caf ” serving lunch and offering more than 106 hot and cold teas and baked goods.

Dining at Sanctuary on Green is either in the studio or on the terrace overlooking Nine Mile Creek Wetlands. Terrace dining, under a forest of trees and umbrellas, is peaceful and refreshing.

Victoria is intense about using only the best ingredients, including organic, homegrown ingredients when possible. The couple garden and compost. Norbert already has harvested greens including baby kale and herbs.

Victoria uses minimal fat, salt and sugar. Pastries are made from unbleached whole grain flour and locally produced butter. Organic milk and cream contains no hormones or antibiotics.

The menu features more than a dozen choices plus several soups, which may change daily.

The most popular choice is the “artist palette” ($14.50), which includes a cup of soup, a small side salad, two canap sandwiches and a fruit slice. It is beautiful and tasty.

“The Veganist” ($13.50) is an organic tofu schnitzel. My partners weren’t interested in tofu, but after hearing me rave about the flavors, they tasted it and they, too, raved. Firm tofu is lightly seasoned, breaded in whole grain flour, sauteed in olive oil and topped with fresh thyme and tomato slices. A small salad and braised, shredded, sweet-sour red cabbage come on the side.

Victoria doesn’t do ordinary. Fresh ground pink Himalayan salt is on tables and colorful pocket napkins are from Germany. Sturdy flatware is hand-polished daily.

The “Munchner Weisswurst” ($13.75) is a Bavarian, 98-percent lean veal-pork sausage simmered with a choice of sauerkraut or cooked red cabbage and served with apples. Old Country Sausage in Maple Heights makes the sausage.

This time of year, the “South Euclid Sanctuary Salad” ($12) is a good choice. Organic greens are served with sides of carrot, apple, cabbage and sweet-sour cucumber salads, fruit, Marcona almonds and an edible hibiscus blossom stuffed with honey cream cheese.

In addition to an array of teas, French-press, espresso and cappuccino coffees are now available. Ask about the whisked matchasspresso teas, a Japanese method of preparation that dates back 900 years.

Sanctuary on Green is at 1936 S. Green Road, South Euclid. Call 216-691-1936. There are two seatings, at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations are suggested.

Contact Collier at BabsReviewsFood@aol.com.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

Dr Le Fanu’s online health clinic, Friday 31 May 2013

Which is a true measure of your statistics?

Hope you can help

Regards

Tim V

Dear Tim V,

Thanks for your query. I would be very happy to have a BMI of 21 and would not
have thought you should have any concerns about your weight. There are, as
you point out, other methods whose relative merits are thoroughly discussed
in an article, ‘Five alternatives to BMI’ on the website www.thecalculatorsite.com

Dear Dr Le Fanu

I would be very grateful if you could give me some advice about a
persistent problem which has been diagnosed as possible erythromelalgia in
my feet. This started in the left foot 3 years ago after a severe fungal
infection with blistering and scabs under the toes and foot which was very
resistant to treatment by my GP. The foot also felt very hot all the time,
which I thought was caused by the infection and would clear up once this had
gone.

However after the infection eventually cleared up the symptoms of heat,
tingling and soreness were still there, and the foot became even more hot,
red and sore after even minimal exertion such as walking, housework etc. I
was referred to a Rheumatologist who arranged an x-ray and ultrasound of the
foot which were both normal. Then I was referred to a Consultant Physician
in Pain Management who eventually decided the diagnosis might be
erythromelalgia. I also had nerve conduction studies performed by a
Neurologist. I was prescribed Pregabalin, and take 75 mg at night to take
the edge off the symptoms at night – taking the higher dose of 150 mg daily
which was originally prescribed caused too many side effects. Co-Codamol and
Co-Dydramol didn’t relieve the symptoms at all.

At first the problem didn’t affect the right foot. But a year ago the
symptoms also started in that foot, and now it over-heats with redness,
tingling and soreness almost identical to the left side.

An additional problem in the right foot now is that, once I’ve managed to
cool both feet down in the late afternoon by washing them in cool water and
sitting in a cool room near an open window when possible, later in the
evening without any triggering factors at all, ie while watching TV or
reading etc. the right foot suddenly heats up again so that it’s as red and
inflamed as it was earlier in the day. I’ve recently noticed an aching pain
in the evenings on the underneath of my right leg towards the top of the
thigh bone and also on the outside of the right hip, and I wonder whether
this might be a sign of pressure on a nerve in the leg which is causing the
overheating in the right foot?

If this is the case, who would you suggest I should ask for advice about
this – possibly a Physiotherapist? There’s no pain in the right leg or hip
on walking, and I can raise it up and sideways without discomfort. Any
advice you can give me will be very much appreciated as this problem is a
very painful distraction in coping with everyday life, and the prospect of
having to cope with it for the rest of my life is very depressing. I’m 70
years old. My other medical history is of successfully treated primary
breast cancer, and mild hypertension.

Your “Doctor’s Diary” in the Telegraph on Mondays is extremely interesting
and informative, I read it every week

Regarding the new symptom of aching in my right thigh and hip which may be
associated with the heat, redness and tingling in my foot returning later in
the day after the feet have been cooled down – that I do have some backache
in the lumbar region, not in the spine itself but to the right of the centre
about 2-3” below my waist. There is an area of tenderness on pressing on
this area.

I wonder if this is significant in connection with the aching on the
outside and underside of the right leg at the top and on the outside of the
hip.

With many thanks again

Yours sincerely

(Mrs) K B

Dear Mrs K B,

Thanks for your query and my great sympathies for this most distressing
condition which the several doctors you have consulted will no doubt have
explained is due to the malfunctioning of the nerves that control the
calibre of the blood vessels (and therefore the bloodflow) to the feet
causing them to become red and hot. It certainly sounds in your case this
might be exacerbated by pressure on the sciatic nerve causing the aching
pain you describe in the right hip and thigh. Logically then it would be
sensible to consult a physiotherapist (or osteopath) in anticipation that
exercises/manipulation might help to improve matters.

Dear Doctor le Fanu

My finger nail (left hand index only) has a pronounced line from cuticle to
tip situated about 3mm from the edge near the thumb.

From half way or a bit more a split is visible, and at the finger tip the
narrower piece is 1mm or so above its bigger neighbour.

About 10 months ago while visiting a GP on a more serious matter I asked
him to advise me.He said there is not much can be done except cover it up
with micropore to stop it snagging and let it grow through.

About 4 months ago I was talking to a pharmacist about my general
medication and showed him the zero improvement in 6 months.

He suggested carrying on – as it’s always slow.

One lady gave me some Alida nail bandages which were unhelpful.

At Boots I was sold some Sally Howsen Diamond Strength Hardener nail
varnish ( ‘Clear’ to avoid friends’ raised eyebrows) which I apply after
carefully trimming the nail and then apply protective micropore.

There may have been a slight improvement but it is glacially slow.

On the web I see ‘FlexiNail’ and Biotin advertised but no scientific
comments. Rather than chase these moonbeams have you any suggestions please?

This happened to me some years ago – same finger nail, but I can’t remember
how I dealt with it then.

I am very aware that many ladies suffer this.

Regards

Dear Anon,

Thanks for your query. I suspect there must be something amiss with the growth
mechanism in the nail bed for which, as your family doctor has advised,
there is regrettably no specific treatment. I have no personal experience of
the value of either FlexiNail or Biotin but it might be that in combination
they may promote nail growth.

Morning Dr Le Fanu

i read your column regarding the reader who had been prescribed
amitriptyline for back pain, and the subsequent results this lucky reader
had.

i on the other hand, had the total opposite. In December 2011, I was
prescribed dosulepin (one of the same family of drugs to amitriptyiline) by
the Rheumotology department of Poole General Hospital. This was as a result
that the injections into my spine were no longer receiving the % success
that the department desired. Due to going away on a cruise for that
Christmas period, I decided to start taking the new medication on the 2nd of
January 2012.

Within 48 hours of starting the drug, side effects started to develop,
including initial depressional thoughts, jerking and shaking, and a speech
stammer/stutter. I was advised to continue taking the medication (please
note that i am on other medications for long term health reasons), as the
leaflet given with the drug advised that side effects should fade/disappear
after 14 days of taking the drug. For me, the symptons got worse and worse –
the depressive thoughts turned to suicidal thoughts, the jerking and shaking
became more extreme, the verbal stammer horrific. I saw my GP two weeks
after commencing the drug, and was removed off immediately.

Within a month the jerks and shakes had subsided, the suicidal thoughts had
decreased before then. However the speech stammer remained, and despite the
sterling efforts of a speech therapist who took on my case at the beginning
of July 2012, I still have the stammer. The first quarter at least of 2012 I
became more or less reclusive – refusing to answer the phone, go out unless
for doctor/hospital appointments, and went grocery shopping at midnight when
i did not have to speak to anyone. Things are much more improved now – but i
still have the stammer – and the back pain is just as bad as ever. it seems
that the medical profession are unable to make a decision on this situation,
as this reaction to the drug is extreme and rare. Having found out that
neither Rheumotology or my GP had ‘yellow card’ the drug, I decided to do
this myself on the grounds of allergic reaction.

If i had known that Dosulepin was from the same family of drugs as
amitriptyline, I would have refused the prescribing of this drug. Having
spoken to a friend in the medical profession, I found out information i was
unaware of regarding the this particular drug. A previous attempt to take
amitriptyline a number of years ago gave scary side effects and i stopped
taking the drug within 60 hrs. Perhaps I am one of a very very low % who
cannot take this strong drug for side effect reasons. However, it does go to
prove that when prescribed a drug, the patient should ALWAYS read the notes
– and of course – a drug that may work very well for one person (by curing
another health problem by proxy) may do the total opposite for another!

I know my situation is rare, but still a reaction to a commonly prescribed
drug.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Yours truly

Jonathan R

Dear Jonathan R,

Thanks for being in touch and my sympathies for the severe side effects you
have experienced with Dosulepin – though the particular form they took in
your case must be very unusual as I was unable to find any similar reports
in the ‘medical literature’. I am glad to hear they are no longer so
troublesome but your experience illustrates the general point that the same
drug that can transform one person’s life for the better can have precisely
the reverse in another.

Dear Dr Le Fanu,

Since 2006 I have suffered from a skin irritation which seems neither to
have been accurately diagnosed, nor successfully treated. Prior to its
starting, I was diagnosed as having chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (1999, and
showing no progression) and peripheral neuropathy (2005). In 2008 I was told
that I had sub-clinical urticaria (treated with various anti-histamines,
which I am still taking), and in 2010 had a bone-marrow biopsy which (I was
told) showed that the irritation was not connected to my leukaemia.

The intense irritation occurs daily but does not cause a rash. It is quite
unpredictable in extent and severity ranging from affecting part of one limb
for, say, 30 minutes to affecting all four limbs (never my face or trunk)
for many hours.

The actions I have taken include using no cosmetics, using only E45 cream
when washing and bathing, using appropriate soap powder for the laundry,
having an allergy test (result negative), consulting a nutrionist (resulting
in a dairy-free diet) and latterly consulting a homeopathic doctor
(medication, but no lasting improvement ).

I am hoping that amongst your readers someone will recognise these symptoms
and perhaps be able to suggest a remedy.

Yours sincerely Patricia E (aged 70)

Dear Patricia E,

Thanks for your query and my sympathies for this persistent skin irritation
which is certainly a well recognised feature of CLL and similar conditions
such as Lymphoma. I gather that the acid suppressant drug Ranitidine and the
opiate antagonist Naltrexone may be of value in this condition. Perhaps you
should consult with your doctor about giving one or other of them a trial.

Dear Dr Le Fanu,

A few weeks ago The Daily Telegraph published an article about a product
called Densifique which has been proven to help with hair loss.

When I read the article I was filled with hope as my thin hair causes me a
great deal of worry and loss of confidence.

I am in the fortunate position of being able to afford this treatment and
have looked online. It is available but I am very concerned to buy the
genuine product and not some internet rip-off.

I wonder if you know of any website where Densifique is genuinely
available? I have searched both L’Oreal and Kerastase but have not really
found any way to buy from them.

I would be very grateful indeed for your help and advice.

Kind regards,

Maggie T

Dear Ms T,

Thanks for your query. I was suggest you contact the Belgravia Hair Loss
Clinic (0800 0776660) who could advise you how best to purchase Densifique.

Dear Dr Le Fanu,

Afer suffering from various auto immune illnessess for the last 20 odd
years- raynauds syndrome, IBS, restless leg syndrome, carpal tunnel tension,
severe 3 day migraine I went gluten free 2 years ago and many of the
symptoms cleared up- for a few months- then returned. I went truly gluten
free – no grains what so ever- things cleared up for a few months- finally
ended up eating grass fed beef and a few veg and could keep going through
out the day without too much grief but my hand and toes were very swollen
and the skin would burst and often silver blisters would form below the
skin, eyes always swollen and allergic. Noone seemd to be able to find
anything wrong. Few foods showed up when I was tested for intolerances, no
allergies showed up when I had blood tests done for them.

I then stumbled across oral nickel allergy- a light went on- the food
matched many I had said I was intolerant to but couldn’t figure out why. A
low nickel diet made a slight difference- changing from metal to glass
cookware made a slight difference ( although the science papers say this
should only make a difference for the first 2 -3 times the pans are used.)

I switched to bottle water- wow within a week i have transformed into my
old self and have so many foods back in- it is hard to stop me eating! But
why- tap water is meant to be safe for those with a nickel allergy.

I stay in a fairly recently rennovated house- no lead pipes but there are
copper ones. We have had to replace the shower and a few taps already
because of corrosion. I often fill the basin with tap water and feel my eyes
getting irritated. My partner often starts sneezing when he turns the taps
on. Often our house has a strange bleachy smell although we haven’t used
bleach. Could nickel and eroding copper create a toxic chemical of some
sort? We have hard water and I know with all the acid rain the nickel levels
are likely to be high?

If this is the case is this slightly worrying for all those with copper
pipes- Could this explain the high incidence of hyperactivity and ADAH
problems- metal toxicity is so often thought to play a part in such
illnesses. Water and copper pipes are the few things most people have in
common world wide where these illnesses are seen. Most of us think our water
is safe – clearly if, like me, you are sensitive to nickel then tap water is
not safe to drink.

Thank you

Caroline M

Dear Caroline M,

Thanks for being in touch and your most interesting account of identifying
nickel allergy as implicated in several illnesses you have been troubled
with over the years. I have no idea what might account for the ‘bleachy
smell’ you mention but perhaps the environmental health department of your
local council could clarify matters further.

Dear Dr James,

I wonder if you could help me with some pains I’ve been experiencing for a
long time (years!). I’m 21 years old, female, and I have problems with pain
in my lower back and my legs. I’ve always been prone to injury but the pain
was worse after an injury to my spine (discs and vertebrae) nearly ten years
ago. The pain feels as if it is both in the joints and in the muscles and it
makes it quite difficult to walk a lot of the time. It is constant, whether
I am resting or not, and sometimes it is so severe that I am sick or I pass
out. These extra-severe phases last a month or so and come up a few times a
year. Mostly it is an achey pain but often I get sharp stabbing pains in my
joints, as well as weakness in the muscles and in the joints (my knees tend
to give way). As well as the pain I experience tingling, numbness and
burning sensations on the skin (with no rash). These sensations don’t seem
to be related to what I’m doing – I could be walking, sitting, standing
still, lying in bed, etc. The burning sensation can range from feeling quite
pleasantly warm to feeling almost as if it is a stabbing pain. I also get
this pain on my arms sometimes, but less often than on my legs.

I get headaches quite frequently and they are accompanied by severe eye
pain with slightly blurry vision. Most recently I have developed
incontinence which is pretty embarrassing in a young person – I am not
pregnant and never have been and I’m not under any more stress than usual so
I can’t think of an obvious cause for it. I can never predict when it will
be a problem and it’s not related to any action like coughing or sneezing.

I’m getting to be at my wit’s end because I’ve tried many treatments but
nothing’s worked – I’ve done lots of physio and have seen chiropractors and
osteopaths, I’ve had ultrasound treatments for my back but that didn’t
really help. I try to exercise as I enjoy exercising but it’s very difficult
when I’m in so much pain so much of the time. I’m not overweight so my
joints don’t have that excuse! My pain does not respond well to painkillers
and the only way I can not be in pain is to fall asleep, but lying down is
very uncomfortable so it takes me ages to get to sleep and I am always
tired.

I have never been given a diagnosis other than joint hypermobility (and
mine is not especially severe so I think the pain is disproportionate).
Obviously if I have specific injuries (breaks, fractures, sprains, overuse
injuries) they are diagnosed but overall it just feels like I’m always
falling apart. I’ve put up with it for nearly ten years and lots of people I
see suggest that I just don’t deal with pain very well – this makes me feel
even worse because I think that most people would begin to make a fuss after
10 years of constant pain!

If you have any ideas of what might be wrong, or what else I could try to
make things better then I would be very grateful. This is really getting to
be affecting my life and I just don’t want to waste my 20s like I feel I
wasted my teens.

Sorry this has been such a long message!

Best wishes,

Margaret

Dear Margaret,

Thanks for being in touch and my sincere sympathies for your diverse symptoms
you have been troubled with – that I am sure are due to joint hypermobility
syndrome. This will not only account for your musculoskeletal aches and
pains but also the stress incontinence (as reported in an article in the
Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine from 2005 by Matthew Smith et al
that can be found on the journal’s website)

My two suggestions would be that you enquire of your doctor whether he might
consider referring you to Professor Rodney Grahame at London’s University
College Hospital who is the leading expert in the UK. Next you might contact
the orthopaedic physician Dr Clifford Harley (07810 62 0058) who I am sure
will be able to improve your mobility and ameliorate the pain in your lower
back and legs.

Dear Dr LeFanu

Re; your artcle 20th May referred to the use of fluoxetine in treating
CFS/ME. The spring 2013 edition of Stroke News has an article on the
possible benefit of anti-depressants on aiding stroke recovery – trials have
recently started on assessing the benefits of fluoxetine.

Stroke News is a publication of the Stroke Association. (My wife recently
had a severe stroke hence my interest).

Dear Anon,

Thanks for being in touch and your comments about the value of Fluoxetine in
promoting recovery from a stroke. There is more about this in an article by
Professor Francois Chollet in The Lancet Neurology (2011 vol 10, pp 123-130)
that is available on the internet.

Dear James

20 years ago we were told not to subject the eyes of the new born to
flashlights. Does this still hold and can we we assured that the impending
royal birth will not be subjected to reporter’s flashlights?

Kind regards

Dear Anon,

Thanks for being in touch. This sounds like another health scare story. I
would not have thought that the eyesight of the future heir to the throne is
likely to be adversely affected by the flashlights of the paparazzi.

Dear Dr Le Fanu

I am a 49 year old woman and have had 18 years of constant chronic back
pain. After having an osteochondroma removed from my mid thoracic cavity
when I was a teenager, followed by becoming a nurse when I regularly lifted
patients, I found myself by the age of 32 in the state of always having pain
in my lower back. Over the years I have had many treatments including a
double spinal fusion. I am very proactive about taking responsibility for
myself and walk my dog, do physio, pilates and as all good pain clinics
advise I try to “pace myself.” In spite of all this and more, my
pain has gradually crept up my back and I am now hurting from the base of my
back to the top of my neck all my waking hours. I am committed a Christian
and do trust God and am very grateful for all the things I can do in life,
but, after years of trying to find the solution to my back pain I am
exhausted and very rarely get my hopes up with anything new. A friend’s Mum
sent me the Telegraph newspaper cutting linking back pain with a possible
bacterial infection also thought to be connected with acne. I’d love to
pursue the lead but am weary of chasing after a pipe dream. I would be
grateful for your thoughts.

With thanks.

Yours Sincerely

Amanda S

Dear Amanda S,

Thanks for your query and my sympathies for these long standing problems with
your lower back. I would doubt they are related to the bacterial infection
mentioned in my article but would suggest that (as with Margaret above) you
should if you live in the London area contact Dr Clifford Harley.

Re your article from Mrs DD from Leeds—For about the last 15 years
following a cold or raised temperature I too suffer from an extremely
irritating rash which lasts for several days (I always say it is worse than
the actual cold and dread it). It has become more severe also and now covers
almost my whole trunk, looking very unsightly. It was seen by a Doctor once
and he had no idea what caused it. I have tried various creams, but nothing
alleviates the irritation. Thankfully I dont get colds very often, but will
be interested to hear of a remedy.

Kind regards

Lois

Dear Lois,

Thanks for being in touch. Like yourself several other readers have described
this fever induced rash but regrettably there has been no suggestion as to
what the explanation might be. I will be mentioning it again in the Monday
column of 11th June.

Dear Dr Fanu,

I now severely disabled with Rhuematoid arthritis and have little movement
left.

I was extremely fit and hadn’t seen a doctor in 15 yrs when I contracted
toxoplasmosis and possible confections in 1991. i became very sick and my
life changed forever.

Initially I knew it was an infection but I was not taken seriously. The
eminent Rhuematologist I was referred to said my symptoms were psychological
and too much tennis.

Doctors have only made me significantly worse and subsequently tried to
avoid them.

But I am now almost housebound, in terrible pain and have very little
quality of life.

Since the onset I have suffered GI symptoms, water retention, inhalant and
food allergies and intolerances.There is no arthritis on either side of my
family. I have raised IL6 which indicates infection, chronic anaemia and a
very high CRP.

I am interested in autologous mesenchymal stem cell treatment from bone and
blood but have difficulty in authenticating the treatment. The clinics I
have spoken with in Beirut, Shanghai and USA all claim similar results.

I also know of Orthokine an autologous IL1 antagonist used largely in
Germany.

I would dearly like to be able to communicate with you as you seem to have
less bias than most doctors I have encountered and you may be able to help
me.

Kindest regards,

Pamela T

Dear Pamela T,

Thanks for your query. I note you have a raised CRP and chronic anaemia which
would suggest you have an ongoing severe inflammatory condition compatible
with active rheumatoid arthritis. Despite your past experience with doctors
this requires urgent specialist advice and treatment.

Hi Dr, I have been having this infection for 8 years now, I have been
going to gp’s and specialist but no one knows what am having, last year I
was operated about this problem the dr said am having sores in my left ovary
I thought after my operation it will be gone but it goes for a long time and
comes back again. I get ache in my vagina and have a rush sometimes it gets
swollen and it hurts. Please help, what could I be having and what are the
dangers of my situation?

I had glandular fever in 1969, aged 17.

Ever since then a rash returns whenever I am tired or stressed, too hot or
too cold. It is at its worst on the insides of my lower arms and on the tops
of my legs, where it is very unsightly. All I can do is take antihistamine
when the itching is unbearable.

The midwife was very concerned after the birth of one of our children, but
I reassured her that for me it was quite normal……….

Dear Anon,

Thanks for being in touch. I am not sure what you mean by ‘the sores on your
ovary’ and ‘rush in the vagina’. Perhaps you could clarify further.

Dear Sir,

My query concerns the treatment of my Mother who is suffering from advanced
Alzheimer’s.

She was admitted to hospital after collapsing at a Respite Care Home. She
was found to have a small pulmonary embolism, but while being treated for
this contracted a serious lung infection (dare one say of course?). At one
point I was told that her condition was extremely critical and was advised
to come to see her immediately, i.e. she was about to die. Since I live in
Sweden, I was unable to reach the hospital until the following day, by which
time she had stabilised. I was able to stay with her for just over a week
and by the time I left she was beginning to drink although she still
required an i.v. drip. Eating was very inhibited since part of her dentures
had gone missing during her stay in hospital, but I managed to get her to
eat chocolate for example.

I had only been there a couple of days when one of the Consultants broached
the subject of removing the i.v. drip, basically using the so called LCP. I
was rather surprised, since here was a patient who had been critically ill,
was showing signs of making a recovery, possibly to the same level as that
prior to admission to hospital, was not incontinent, still recognised people
to a certain extent, was not distressed, not violent, but needed intensive
nursing, rather than medication. I pointed out that they were not giving her
the chance to see how far she could recover, so grudgingly it was accepted
that they would give her more time.

Before I left, I was subjected to extreme pressure by the senior
Consultant, again to agree to the removal of the infusion. Again I refused
as at that point it would have been signing my Mother’s death warrant.

On reflection I realise why the Consultants had this point of view and I
feel that it is based on the result of a failure to meet my Mother’s needs
during her stay in Hospital. The doctors are now hardly likely to change
their standpoint and this affects the attitude of the staff too. My problem
is, therefore, how to extricate my Mother from this environment as quickly
as possible so that she can receive the correct nursing care? I should point
out that the Consultant is quite happy to move her to a Nursing Home, but
without an iv/subcutaneous drip.

Looking forward to your advice

Yours sincerely

Dianna B

Dear Dianna B,

Thanks for being in touch. I would have thought your mother would be able to
stay in hospital until she is sufficiently recovered to return to a nursing
home without the need for an IV infusion.

Dear Dr. LeFanu

I have just come across your article which suggests that there may be a
link between a number of chronic conditions and bacterial infection.

I’m 43 and up until a year and a half ago was very fit. I am now very
disabled and it has been suggested by a consultant neurologist that I have
some form of Parkinsonism, which was a shock as I thought the stiffness,
muscle spasms and nerve pain were a physical reaction to hypermobility. I’m
presently trying to chase up the appointment to get the results of my
DATscan and blood tests, which is an incredibly frustrating process as I
just want some answers and to be able to get back to normal as I am trying
to hold down my job and be of some use to my family and everything is a
major struggle.

I was interested in the article as a year before the very severe symptoms
started (in my shoulder and neck) I had a wisdom tooth removed that became
infected and I haven’t been 100% since, although the symptoms were niggly to
start with rather than really debillitating.

Best wishes

Catherine S

Dear Catherine S,

Thanks for being in touch and your interesting observation concerning the
infected wisdom tooth preceding the onset of your current symptoms. I would
not have thought they are related and would agree the priorities for your
doctors is to go on and establish the precise diagnosis and initiate
appropriate treatment.

Category: Cookware Pans  Tags: ,  Comments off