Ask our doc

Don’t be shy – Chat’s Dr Martin Ed­wards is a fam­ily GP who’s seen it all be­fore…

Chat - - Health -

Al­lergy to Stil­ton?

Q My dad al­ways gets a Stil­ton at Christ­mas. I don’t eat it be­cause I’m al­ler­gic to peni­cillin, but he says that’s non­sense! Ella, Coven­try

A Blue cheese does con­tain peni­cillin mould, but the amount in cheese is small and isn’t usu­ally enough to trig­ger al­ler­gies. How­ever, if you’re very al­ler­gic to peni­cillin, then the Stil­ton’s best avoided.

Can I still drink?

Q My doc­tor’s put me on an­tide­pres­sants but I for­got to ask if I can still drink over Christ­mas. Lena, Don­caster

A One or two drinks shouldn’t cause a prob­lem with most modern an­tide­pres­sants. But, with older types, it can cause drowsi­ness, or with drugs called MAOIS, be dan­ger­ous. Read the leaflet, but re­mem­ber booze can make de­pres­sion worse, too.

Kiss­ing with face fuzz…

Q I’ve grown a beard, but my girl­friend com­plains of beard burn when we kiss! Does that mean it has to go? Si­mon, Sh­effield

A First, ex­per­i­ment with length – a longer beard might ir­ri­tate less than stub­ble. Use con­di­tioner when you wash and beard oil to soften the hairs. And make sure your girl­friend ap­plies fa­cial mois­turiser af­ter a snog. If all else fails, you might have to get out your ra­zor.

Tur­key poi­son­ing?

Q Every year, we’re still eat­ing tur­key up to New Year and I worry that it’s not safe, but my hus­band says it’s fine… Steph, New­port

A Min­imise the risk of food poi­son­ing by putting left­over tur­key in the fridge within 90 min­utes, or freez­ing it. Keep it cool un­til you’re ready to eat it. If you’re cook­ing it, re­heat thor­oughly. And – sorry, hubby – but ideally the tur­key shouldn’t stay in the fridge for longer than 48 hours.

I need my voice!

Q I’m in the choir for the church carol con­cert but, af­ter a cold, I’m los­ing my voice. Help! Bar­bara, Hor­sham

A Sounds like laryn­gi­tis – in­flamed vo­cal cords. There’s no in­stant cure, but try to rest your voice to­tally. Don’t smoke or drink spir­its. You should re­cover in a few days but, if it’s not bet­ter in time, don’t force it or you’ll pro­long the croak­ing!

‘Erm,it’s a bit... per­sonal’ De­lay pe­riod?

Q I’m away with my boyfriend over Christ­mas and my pe­riod’s due. Can I de­lay it? Tammi, Har­ro­gate

A If you’re on the Pill, you could take two packs, back-to-back, with­out the one-week break. But check first as this doesn’t work with all Pills. Or your GP could pre­scribe hor­mones to start three days be­fore your pe­riod’s due and you won’t bleed un­til you stop tak­ing them.

Cys­ti­tis fear…

Q Every year, my Christ­mas is ru­ined as I come down with cys­ti­tis! Jo, Aberdeen

A It could be be­cause you have more sex over the Christ­mas break. Also, rush­ing around pre­par­ing and sweat­ing over cook­ing may leave you de­hy­drated, all of which in­creases the risk of cys­ti­tis. Drink plenty of wa­ter and maybe ask your GP about a standby sup­ply of an­tibi­otics.

Dr Martin Ed­wards

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