IF you love the sun, there’s no denying that the summer weather has been fantastic these past few weeks.
But with warmer temperatures comes a greater risk of health hazards such as heat stroke, sunburn and heat exhaustion.
It’s important to go out and enjoy yourself, but it pays to be careful.
Simple things like always carrying a water bottle with you, staying out of the sun during the heat of the day and wearing a hat and sunglasses can make a big difference on hot days.
And always, always remember to wear sunscreen – SPF30 or higher, and make sure your kids are protected too.
If you have urgent questions about going on vacation or any weather-related concerns, please email me and I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can.
In the meantime, here’s what readers have been asking me this week. . .
Q) Why do my knees click when I walk up the stairs? I have no pain in them.
It’s perfectly normal for your knees to click. The knee joint comprises many different structures, including bones, ligaments, cartilage, muscles and tendons.
Several different parts will move and slide next to each other when you bend and straighten your knee, for example when you go up or down stairs.
And that can lead to clicks.
A good rule of thumb is that if you experience clicking or popping sounds in your knee but don’t have pain or swelling, it’s likely normal.
However, if you have persistent pain, instability and/or swelling, it’s worth checking whether you can be referred directly to a physiotherapist via your GP.
And if that’s not available, you should make a regular appointment to talk to your GP.
Q) How can you tell the difference between perimenopause, menopause and thyroid problems?
Menopause, by definition, is just a point in time when a woman’s last period was a year earlier.
Before this date, during the time a person has symptoms related to reducing hormones she is perimenopausal, and after this date she is postmenopausal.
Hormones that are depleted in relation to menopause are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. In hypothyroidism there is a reduced level of thyroid hormone in the body.
The main function of the thyroid is to control metabolism. Therefore, an underactive thyroid can cause fatigue, weight gain, aches, low mood, dry skin and dry hair.
However, these are all symptoms that can also be caused by both perimenopause and menopause, so the way to differentiate is by doing a blood test.
Thyroid problems can be easily diagnosed or ruled out with a blood test.
Blood tests for perimenopause are less straightforward and are generally not recommended as a way to make a diagnosis.
Q) My son has warts on both feet. What can be done with them?
Warts, also known as plantar warts, are warts on the soles of the feet.
They appear as small, rough growths and are caused by infection of skin cells with the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Although warts can be cosmetically unsightly, they are not harmful. And they usually don’t cause symptoms, although they can sometimes cause pain if they’re putting pressure on a sensitive part of the foot.
They will usually clear up on their own if left alone, but it can take months or even years for a wart to disappear if you don’t intervene, according to the NHS.
There are a variety of treatments available at the pharmacy to speed up the process.
Most of these treatments contain salicylic acid in different forms, such as gels, lotions, paints and plasters. They must be applied daily and may be needed for up to three months.
Many people give up too soon, so the wart doesn’t clear up completely, so it’s important to persist with the full course of treatment.
Salicylic acid will only treat the top layer of skin, so you need to scrub off the top layer of dead skin each time with a pumice stone or file before application.
Another effective treatment you can look into is cryotherapy, this means freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen.
Some GP practices can offer this, and you can get private cryotherapy treatment from podiatrists.
“I went to the toilet every morning”
Q) WHY do I have to urgently empty my bowels every morning as soon as I get up?
If this is new to you and has been going on for more than six weeks, please have it checked by your GP.
When we talk about “a change in bowel habit,” we want to know if people need to poop more often or if their poop becomes more liquid.
If these types of changes persist, they can be signs of a number of conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer.
But it’s also important to be aware that increased urgency to go poo or less control (especially if this leads to incontinence) can also be signs of a problem.
This is an opportunity to remind you that the most common signs of bowel cancer are blood in the stool, persistent lower abdominal pain or bloating caused by eating, loss of appetite or unwanted weight loss.
So, if you’ve been experiencing these problems, talk to your GP straight away. But back to the reader’s question.
If you’ve always been a morning rush person and there hasn’t been any significant change and you don’t have any new symptoms, this is probably the norm for you and you don’t need to worry.
#rush #bathroom #morning