Ask our doc
Don’t be shy – Chat’s Dr Martin Edwards is a family GP who’s seen it all before…
There’s a little lump between my abs. It hurts when I stand, but goes when I lie down! Kris, Chorley
Could be an epigastric hernia. Fat is poking out of a small hole in the gristle that runs down your abdomen. The fat falls back inside when you lie down. You’ll probably need a small op to fix it.
Sign of ageing?
After sitting a long time, my joints are stiff and aching. Does it mean I’m getting old? Maggie, Porthcawl
This could be a lack of fitness or early osteoarthritis, both more common in older people. Regular exercise should help. But severe stiffness after inactivity, especially in bed in the morning, could point to joint inflammation, and you should see your GP.
My big nose
I’m getting a big, red, swollen nose. It looks like those pictures of hardened drinkers!
Sounds like a rhinophyma, when oil-making glands in your skin swell and overgrow. Overdoing alcohol can be a cause, but it could also be due to exposure to the outdoors – or you’re just prone to it.
Antibiotics can help, or surgery to shave off the excess tissue.
Food is no fun
Since a bad cold a few months ago, food tastes like cardboard! What’s wrong? Dominique, Southampton
A cold or flu can affect your sense of smell for months, probably through damage to nerves in your nose, though no-one’s sure. Without a sense of smell, you can’t taste, either.
A steroid nose spray might help, and you should recover within a few months.