IF you like the sun, there’s no denying that the summer weather has been great for the past few weeks.
But with warmer temperatures, the risk of health hazards like heat stroke, sunburn, and heat exhaustion increases.
It’s important to get out and enjoy yourself, but it pays to be careful.
Simple things like always carrying a bottle of water, staying out of the sun during the heat of the day, and wearing a hat and sunglasses can make a world of difference on hot days.
And always remember to wear sunscreen – SPF 30 or higher, and make sure your kids are protected too.
If you have any urgent holiday questions or weather-related concerns, email me and I will do my best to answer as many as possible.
Meanwhile, here’s what readers asked me this week. . .
Q) Why do my knees crack when I walk up the stairs? I have no pain in them.
Knees cracking is completely normal. The knee joint is made up of many different structures including bones, ligaments, cartilage, muscles and tendons.
Different parts move and slide next to each other when you bend and straighten the knee, for example when climbing stairs or climbing stairs.
And that can cause a click.
A good rule of thumb is if you feel a pop or pop in your knee but don’t have pain or swelling, it’s probably normal.
However, if the pain, instability and/or swelling persists, it is worth checking whether you can refer directly to a physiotherapist through your GP practice.
And if that’s not available, you should make a routine appointment to speak to your GP.
Q) How can you tell the difference between perimenopause, menopause and thyroid problems?
Menopause, by definition, is just a moment when it’s been a year since a woman’s last period.
Before this date, a person is in perimenopause for the duration that a person has symptoms related to the reducing hormones, and after this date in postmenopause.
The hormones that are depleted in relation to menopause are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. In hypothyroidism, the levels of thyroid hormone in the body are reduced.
The main task of the thyroid is to control your metabolism. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause fatigue, weight gain, pain, bad mood, dry skin, and dry hair.
However, these are all symptoms that can be caused by both perimenopause and menopause. Therefore, one way to tell the difference is to do 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 for diagnosis.
Q) My son has warts on both feet. What can you do about it?
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 don’t usually cause any symptoms, although they can sometimes cause pain when they put pressure on a sensitive part of the foot.
They usually resolve on their own if left alone, but it can take months or even years for a wart to go away if you don’t intervene, according to the NHS.
There are a number of treatments available at the pharmacy to speed up the process.
Most of these treatments contain salicylic acid in various forms, such as gels, lotions, paints, and patches. These should be used 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 continue the full course of treatment.
The salicylic acid only treats the top layer of skin, so be sure to rub off the top layer of dead skin with a pumice stone or file before applying each time.
Another effective treatment you might want to look at is cryotherapy, which is freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen.
Some GP practices may offer this, and you can have cryotherapy treatment privately from podiatrists.
“I rush to the toilet every morning”
Q) WHY do I need to urgently defecate every morning when 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.
Most of the time, when we talk about a “change in bowel habits,” we want to know if people need to pass their bowel movements more frequently or if their bowel movements are becoming more liquid.
If these types of changes persist, they can be signs of a number of conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.
But it’s also important to be aware that an increased urgency to defecate or less control (especially if this progresses to the point of incontinence) can also be signs of a problem.
This is an opportunity for me to remind you that the most common signs of colon cancer are blood in your stool, persistent pelvic pain or bloating from eating, loss of appetite, or significant unintentional weight loss.
So if you have had these experiences, please speak to your family doctor immediately. But back to the reader’s question.
If you’ve always been an urgent morning poop and there hasn’t been a significant change and you’re not feeling any new symptoms, then this is probably just the norm for you and you don’t need to worry.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/6005837/toilet-morning-dr-zoe-williams/ Why do I urgently need to go to the toilet every morning?