I was interested in a letter I read recently that I answered, from someone who says he’s always cold – because I’m the opposite.
I’m uncomfortably warm all the time. Visitors often say the house is too cold, but I can’t stand the heating.
Visiting friends at this time of year can be a nightmare, because I always feel so hot.
Can you suggest what the matter might be?
Being warm all the time isn’t an issue I see very often – but if a patient complains about this, the first thing I do is look at the medication he’s been taking.
Ramipril, which is used for high blood pressure, can cause hot flashes. And that whole group of medications known as ACE inhibitors, which are also given to control blood pressure, can cause excessive sweating.
A reader who says they feel uncomfortably warm ‘all the time’ and can’t even turn on the heating today asks Dr. Ellie Cannon what that might be (stock image)
If someone has a skin condition such as rosacea, eczema, urticaria, or other allergic conditions, they may feel hot all the time as the skin tends to be warm and red in color, which creates an uncomfortable hot feeling.
Feeling too hot or intolerance to heat could be a sign of hyperthyroidism – blood tests should be able to show if this is the case.
If the thyroid gland is overactive, producing too many thyroid hormones, it can also cause other symptoms including a fast heartbeat, agitation, and structural disturbance such as diarrhea. Feeling of heat is also common during menopause.
‘Private’ NHS general practitioners beggar belief
We all know appointments with NHS doctors are like golden dust at the moment – we doctors have been advised to pause non-urgent checks and focus on the booster programme.
But I’ve heard horrific stories from patients telling of an offer of an appointment with doctors – if they are willing to pay for it.
It’s a beggarly belief, but some patients have been told that an NHS doctor – general practitioners and hospital specialists – have turned them down – only to see the same doctor appear on a private website, offering to see them on the spot, for a steep price.
I have to be honest, it surprises me because I know how dedicated my NHS colleagues are.
But I also know many who have recently switched to the private clinic, simply because it is more flexible, with access to a greater range of resources to benefit patients. But that does not mean it is acceptable when we refuse desperate NHS patients for help.
If you have had experience with this recently, write to me at the usual address, on the right.
This is not a pleasant topic, but for the past three or four months, I have had uncontrollable bowel movements, with little warning.
She had a colonoscopy, but that gave no answer and the GP said she couldn’t do anything else. Imodium has very little effect, and I am afraid to leave the house.
This completely stopped me in my tracks. what should I do?
Recently I’ve had several messages from readers with very severe symptoms, followed by one test which is normal, then no further investigation into what’s going on.
This worries me. Serious and serious new symptoms have a cause, especially in someone over the age of 60.
One routine investigation is usually not enough to draw a conclusion. In such a case, a colonoscopy should be able to rule out bowel cancer, but with such a dramatic and sudden onset of symptoms, I would definitely like to do more tests.
A specialized stool test for bowel cancer – known as qFIT – should be done. Blood tests are important to see if there are signs of blood loss, inflammation and other changes, for example in the liver.
Bowel cancer is not the only cancer that causes diarrhea. It can be caused by pancreatic cancer or ovarian cancer, and tests may be needed to rule this out. It could be the result of anal cancer. Although this is rare, it is more common in women than in men.
There are of course less serious and more common causes of diarrhea such as infections, medication side effects, and bowel diseases such as diverticulosis.
But since it can be a sign of something serious, a personal consultation, with examination of the lower abdomen, along with a referral to a specialist or specialist for further testing is needed.
I have a major snoring problem – just like my mum did. what should I do? I am 62 years old, married and male.
It may sound almost comical, but snoring is a serious problem – one that affects the health of both the snorer and his partner, and even other family members who suffer from disturbed sleep.
We think a quarter of Brits snore regularly, and nearly half of the population snore at some point in their lives.
Snoring is essentially noisy breathing, when air does not move easily through the airways and causes rattling in the soft tissues of the mouth, nose, and throat.
Do you have a question for Dr. Elie?
Email [email protected] or write to Health, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT.
Dr. Elie can only answer in a general context and cannot respond to individual cases or give personal responses. If you have a health problem, always see your doctor.
If someone says they have a major snoring problem, the doctor will be keen to find out if this is, in fact, due to a condition called sleep apnea.
This occurs when the airways during sleep relax to the point where they essentially collapse, obstructing breathing.
It causes incredibly loud and annoying snoring, and sufferers, who sleep very poorly, complain of daytime drowsiness and headaches.
If obstructive sleep apnea is suspected, a GP will need a referral for sleep studies to make an accurate diagnosis. The condition can be treated by wearing a special oxygen mask, called a CPAP, to keep the airways open throughout the night.
For those without sleep apnea, lifestyle measures definitely help: avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed, quitting smoking, and losing weight can reduce pressure on the airways in the neck.
Some people snore more because their nasal passages are blocked by allergies, so treating this with an antihistamine or nasal spray can help. Mouth devices — somewhat similar to a boxer’s mouth guard — that move the jaw forward are commercially available and can help some people keep the airway open.
Nasal dilators are now also available — small, soft devices that fit into the nostrils and gently keep the nasal passages open while you sleep.
Supportive queues: a small price to pay to stay safe
A few patients have asked me how they can avoid a long queue when they turn up for a booster.
My answer is this: Unfortunately, you have to wait in the queue.
Of course you can book on the NHS website, but with people logging in so often, it’s fraught with technical difficulties.
A few patients have asked me how they can avoid a long queue when they turn up for a booster. My answer is this: Unfortunately, you have to wait in the queue. Pictured: A pre-dawn vaccine queue for a booster dose at a central London hospital
The best and quickest way to get an injection is to go to a walking site – you can find a list on your local council website.
And yes, this may involve queuing, but it’s a small price to pay to avoid another shutdown, or to avoid contracting a potentially deadly virus.
Arriving as soon as possible can mean a shorter wait, as well as trying your luck at a local pharmacy. But the small queue won’t hurt you: We’re British – we love them!