Ask our doc

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

Chat - - HEALTH -

Bumpy tummy

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!

Emily, Mid­dles­brough

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.

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