A couple of things jumped out at me from recent medical press releases.
We think of cancer of the bowel as an old person’s condition but there is concerning evidence that young people are increasingly the victims of cancer of the rectum and the lower colon or large intestine. This means that anyone with bleeding into the toilet or on the toilet paper has to be investigated. What d’you mean, you don’t look at the toilet paper?! Get with the program! Look, before you leap up and get out of the loo!
Night sweats are a common complaint of menopausal women, and their spouses. But now we know ( if I hadn’t told you already, it has been one of my hobby horses) that night sweats can be a feature of several other conditions, not confined to women, or to middle age! They were said in a recent study to be “fairly common” in elderly people! If anyone is taking oestrogen for more than five years for night sweats, it is high time to check the other serious possibilities!
High blood pressure should never be ignored as it can be the forerunner of heart attacks or strokes. But there are things that you should do for yourself, which you really do have to implement as the advice has been valid for decades, but ignored over recent times because of all the new drugs that are available. Things like stopping all salt in the diet, taking an hour of moderate exercise daily, and switching to low fat, high vegetable diets will take another 10mm Hg off your pressure level! Do it,it’s easy!
Weight, weight, weight! Will we ever get patients to act instead of moan about their weight?! If stress is causing you to eat wrong things or eat too much of the right things, you should try dealing with the stress directly. You have to identify what the triggers are for your poor decisions. You have to get support, weigh in and start to exercise free choice about your food intake. Bear in mind that people over 50 don’t have to eat like a woman pregnant with twins! One good meal a day with a couple of small snacks at the right times and you will feel ENORmously better! In Ireland they have, unfortunately, a lot of experience over the years with hunger strikers, mostly from IRA prisoners. No matter what weight they are to start, they are pretty well all skin and bone after 6 weeks, at which time they either die or eat. So anyone who truly reduces their food intake will lose weight. But don’t sit there telling me you haven’t eaten anything wrong but have gained weight. I’m a previous fatty myself so I’m well aware of the high level of self delusion. We don’t lie exactly,it’s just that we don’t see the truth and deceive ourselves, which is far more serious than deceiving others. Go for it. Lose the weight, eat well. Don’t carry around the burdens of your life on your hips. I’ll help, but only if you’re really serious…
I will continue to drop you notes from the medical press, hopefully to help some of you avoid health issues in the future, or even in the present. All tips, info nuggets, jokes and remarks are delivered in a spirit of friendly information. Ask your own doctor or ask me if I am your doctor, to see whether these ideas apply to you and how best to avoid trouble.