Clin­i­cal direc­tor of Lon­don Doc­tors Clinic, Dr Daniel Fen­ton, an­swers your ques­tions. (www.lon­don­doc­

Pick Me Up! Special - - + Your Health -

Feel­ing for­get­ful

Q I’ve no­ticed my hus­band, who is 52, has be­come re­ally for­get­ful. He strug­gles with words, in­clud­ing our kids’ names. It doesn’t hap­pen all the time – should I be wor­ried? Marie, Southamp­ton A It sounds like your hus­band’s symp­toms may be a bit more than sim­ple for­get­ful­ness. When mem­ory be­comes an is­sue and in­ter­feres with day to day func­tion , it is time to have a for­mal mem­ory test. I would rec­om­mend that your hus­band see his GP. They will of­ten com­plete a series of ques­tions, test­ing mem­ory & re­call, which help to pro­vide a more ob­jec­tive mea­sure of how good or bad the mem­ory is. It would also be help­ful if you went with him, as you can pro­vide some info that will help the doc­tor gain a bet­ter idea of his mem­ory prob­lems.

A wee prob­lem

Q Since hav­ing my baby a year ago, I’ve strug­gled with in­con­ti­nence. I’ve been do­ing ex­er­cises but it’s not im­proved. Will it ever stop? Donna, Leeds A In­con­ti­nence af­ter preg­nancy is com­mon. Pelvic floor mus­cle ex­er­cise is key to re­gain­ing full con­trol of the blad­der and bowel func­tion. The ex­er­cises gen­er­ally con­sist of long and short ‘squeezes’.

When the ex­er­cises have failed to help, it is def­i­nitely worth see­ing a women’s health phys­io­ther­a­pist for some ex­tra ad­vice and see­ing a urog­y­nae­col­o­gist to ad­vise on other treat­ment op­tions. There are lots of help­ful treat­ments, in­clud­ing vagi­nal cones , biofeed­back, elec­tri­cal stim­u­la­tion, med­i­ca­tion and surgery if nec­es­sary.

Weighty prob­lem

Q I’ve been feel­ing so tired lately and I’ve been putting weight on. My doc­tor thinks it could be thy­roid re­lated. What does this mean? Karen, Ox­ford A Your thy­roid pro­duces hor­mones that reg­u­late how quickly the body burns en­ergy. When the thy­roid is un­der­ac­tive, ev­ery­thing slows down and as a re­sult, you can feel tired. If you are burn­ing less en­ergy, you are likely to no­tice weight gain. Hav­ing an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid can be eas­ily treated with med­i­ca­tion. Levothy­rox­ine tablets help to re­place the low thy­roid hor­mone lev­els which will help to lift your en­ergy lev­els and help reg­u­late weight. Be­fore any med­i­ca­tions can be started, the di­ag­no­sis must be con­firmed by a sim­ple thy­roid blood test. If this is nor­mal, we ex­plore other causes of tired­ness in­clud­ing low iron lev­els , low B12 & Folic acid, or low vi­ta­min D lev­els.

Mem­ory check

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