Leg tin­gling: look to body flu­ids

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health - THE DOC­TOR LINDA CAL­ABRESI

I ama 71-year-old male. Ev­ery week I do up to 200km of hard road­bike rid­ing, 5km of ocean swim­ming plus run­ning and such. I am on Lip­i­tor (20mg daily) to lower my choles­terol. Re­cently I have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tin­gling in my calves and thighs, par­tic­u­larly af­ter ex­er­cis­ing. Is it pos­si­ble that the Lip­i­tor might be caus­ing th­ese symp­toms? Or is it just old age? I AMloath to at­tribute any of your symp­toms to just old age’’, par­tic­u­larly as you sound fit­ter than any other per­son I know. The tin­gling could be re­lated to the Lip­i­tor, how­ever the myal­gia that can oc­cur, al­beit rarely, with Lip­i­tor is more com­monly char­ac­terised by mus­cle pain than tin­gling.

Stop­ping the Lip­i­tor for a week or so should give you the an­swer. It would be best to dis­cuss this with your doc­tor, who can check for a num­ber of other pos­si­ble di­ag­noses, such as nerve ir­ri­ta­tion sec­ondary to back prob­lems, as well as be­ing able to ad­vise you on an al­ter­na­tive med­i­ca­tion if it turns out that Lip­i­tor is the cul­prit. I sus­pect the more likely ex­pla­na­tion for your mus­cle tin­gling is go­ing to be a dis­tur­bance of your fluid and/or elec­trolyte bal­ance, es­pe­cially given the length of time you spend ex­er­cis­ing and the fact it is sum­mer. As peo­ple get older they do be­come more prone to such dis­tur­bances, even if they have been fol­low­ing the same reg­i­men for years. I ama 59-year-old male and for the past month have ex­pe­ri­enced a dull pain at the bony promi­nences on both sides of my left el­bow. Ten­nis el­bow and golfer’s el­bow has been sug­gested, but I play nei­ther. I have been a mu­si­cian for most of my life and won­der whether my pi­ano play­ing has any­thing to do with it. I no­tice my left arm is con­sid­er­ably weaker at the gym. Should I be cut­ting down on the weights train­ing? THE most com­mon prob­lem caus­ing pain in the el­bow is an overuse in­jury. Both ten­nis el­bow and golfer’s el­bow are ex­am­ples of overuse in­juries re­lated to a par­tic­u­lar move­ment com­mon to those sports; you don’t have to be a player.

Your el­bow pain could be the re­sult of your pi­ano play­ing, es­pe­cially if any­thing has changed re­cently — such as the height of the pi­ano stool, which could change the stresses at your el­bow. It could also be caused by the weight train­ing if you are lift­ing weights that are too heavy or lift­ing them in­cor­rectly. Other pos­si­ble di­ag­noses in­clude arthri­tis of the el­bow joint or bur­si­tis. You re­ally need to get your el­bow ex­am­ined by a doc­tor to get an ac­cu­rate di­ag­no­sis. It is prob­a­bly best to rest the el­bow at this stage, or at least mod­ify the ex­er­cise pro­gram un­til the pain, and pre­sum­ably the in­flam­ma­tion, set­tles down. I ama 44-year-old wo­man and about to have a vagi­nal hys­terec­tomy af­ter years of suf­fer­ing a pro­lapsed uterus. Ap­prox­i­mately how long will it take to re­cover from this surgery? I was hop­ing to go on hol­i­day six weeks af­ter­wards. GEN­ER­ALLY women re­cover more quickly from a vagi­nal hys­terec­tomy than from an ab­dom­i­nal hys­terec­tomy. None­the­less, it is still rec­om­mended you re­frain from lift­ing any sub­stan­tial weight for four to six weeks post-op­er­a­tively, or do­ing any sig­nif­i­cant ex­er­cise aside from walk­ing un­til this time. By six weeks chances are you will have re­cov­ered — but I wouldn’t plan too stren­u­ous a hol­i­day.

I made a mis­take last week in the ques­tion about the kilo­joules in al­co­hol. There are 29 kJ in ev­ery gram of al­co­hol, so a stan­dard drink which con­tains 10g of al­co­hol will con­tain at least 290 kJ. Linda Cal­abresi is a Syd­ney GP and ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of www.6min­utes.com.au, a news ser­vice for Aus­tralian doc­tors. Send your queries to lin­da­cal­abresi@gmail.com

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