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