DR ELLIE CANNON: If lotions and drugs do not relieve my very itchy pores and skin, what is going to?

I’m 85 and have had extreme itching throughout my physique for the previous three weeks. In some areas there’s a slight rash however the itching is simply as dangerous the place there isn’t any rash. The physician prescribed prednisolone and a few lotion, none of which made any distinction. The physician then added fexofenadine, once more with out impact. Ought to I ask for a blood take a look at?

It’s not uncommon for folks to go to their GP complaining of itchy pores and skin, typically with out the looks of a rash. It may be attributable to many alternative pores and skin issues, reminiscent of eczema and psoriasis, allergic situations reminiscent of urticaria or pests reminiscent of scabies.

However many people who find themselves itchy don’t have any seen issues with their pores and skin. Non-cutaneous situations characterize a few quarter of sufferers with itching and are extra probably within the aged affected person.

It may be on account of kidney or liver illness, each of which could be picked up on a blood take a look at. Thyroid issues and blood problems may set off itching. Though unlikely, it may be an indication of a kind of blood most cancers reminiscent of a number of myeloma or Hodgkin’s lymphoma. For this reason it’s important to have blood exams as a primary port of name.

Immediately’s reader is 85 years previous and has developed extreme itching throughout their physique for the previous three weeks. She has requested the physician for a attainable cause for her drawback and if it may be corrected

Itching can be a facet impact of various medicines, together with blood strain treatment, diuretics, coronary heart medication reminiscent of digoxin, statins and opioid ache medicines.

Hydroxyzine, an antihistamine obtainable by prescription, may help cease itching and an aqueous cream containing menthol can soothe the pores and skin. Steroids like prednisolone are unlikely to assist until there may be an allergic or inflammatory drawback.

Wash in cool water with out bubble baths or scented merchandise. If the heating is on, the air in a house could be very dry, so inserting a moist towel on a radiator may help moisturize and hydrate the pores and skin.

After having abdomen issues for ten years, I had a scan which confirmed that my stomach was slim in a single space. A follow-up examination confirmed that considered one of my valves shouldn’t be closing fully. The physician prescribed omeprazole nevertheless it didn’t assist. I’ve tried over-the-counter treatment, natural dietary supplements and avoiding sure meals however nothing works. Please assist – I am unable to sleep due to fixed gurgling and ache in my abdomen. I additionally endure from irritable bowel syndrome, by the way in which.

Extra from Dr Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday…

ACID reflux is quite common. It happens when acid and meals particles from the abdomen flows again up the esophagus, inflicting a burning sensation within the chest and indigestion. This occurs when a valve within the higher a part of the digestive system that connects the meals pipe and the abdomen doesn’t shut correctly. Omeprazole is used to scale back acid within the abdomen and thus cut back irritation from the abdomen contents rising up. So if the issue is a defective valve, the charts will not resolve it.

The worst factor you are able to do is lie in mattress, as meals travels the mistaken method if you find yourself flat. Attempt to sleep larger, or to 1 facet, moderately than totally reclining. You could possibly additionally ask your GP in the event that they suggest an over-the-counter treatment reminiscent of Gaviscon.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a separate situation for reflux. It impacts the decrease a part of the digestive system and normally includes ache, constipation or free bowel actions.

There isn’t a treatment however there are particular remedies reminiscent of peppermint oil capsules for bloating or anti-spasm medicines for ache.

Pointers suggest making an attempt a each day probiotic for a month to see if it helps any signs.

I’ve sort 2 diabetes which is handled with gliclazide. The morning dose retains my blood sugar at acceptable ranges all through the day, however my pre-breakfast readings are all the time excessive. Is it the mistaken drugs?

Remedy for sort 2 diabetes goals to forestall long-term problems reminiscent of coronary heart illness and kidney injury. As a substitute of utilizing each day blood sugar targets, sort 2 diabetics are really helpful to have a blood take a look at each three to 6 months to search for ranges of one thing known as Hba1C.

This tells us about long-term blood sugar management, moderately than on one specific day.

Common checks of blood sugar ranges aren’t suggested for sort 2 diabetes if they don’t seem to be on insulin or have common episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Gliclazide is a diabetic assist known as a sulfonylurea. It helps the pancreas to supply extra insulin to decrease the extent of glucose within the blood. It additionally helps the physique’s cells use insulin extra successfully.

Normally, sulfonylureas can be given as a secondary treatment together with metformin or as an preliminary beginning treatment. If there are issues with gliclazide, reminiscent of if it doesn’t hold blood sugar ranges steady or if it causes unwanted effects, there are different choices.

Metformin is essentially the most generally provided drug – normally given first, relying on different well being points. There are additionally different sulfonylurea tablets.

Diabetes care additionally consists of common eye, kidney and foot examinations and is taken into account when evaluating which drugs is best.

A direct GP referral saves lives

From this month, docs will be capable of refer sufferers instantly for most cancers examinations and scans, bypassing specialists and rushing up analysis.

It is an excellent thought and one that ought to have been carried out a very long time in the past.

I’ve lengthy believed that it’s time to redefine the function of docs amid excessive demand in nearly all areas of well being care.

Many GP appointments with sufferers are comparatively ineffective – a waste of our time and theirs. We are sometimes only a intermediary, connecting them with specialists who can supply exams. Or we see sufferers with coughs, colds, aches and pains that we will not do a lot about – normally the skilled they want is a pharmacist or a vet.

So something we are able to do to hurry affected person analysis and remedy—and save docs useful time—is a winner.

Sexually transmitted illnesses not solely take out the younger…

Do you’ve got any questions on Dr. Ellie?

Electronic mail or write to Well being, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Road, London, W8 5TT.

Dr Ellie can solely reply in a basic context and can’t reply to particular person circumstances, or give private solutions. In case you are involved about your well being, all the time seek the advice of your personal physician.

Would it not shock you if I informed you that STDs are on the rise within the over 65’s? Nicely, they’re. Since 2017, circumstances of gonorrhea and chlamydia on this group rose by 20 p.c, in line with a examine by the Native Authorities Affiliation printed final week.

The information did not shock me in any respect – it is a pattern that GPs have observed for some time. Many of those individuals are newly single in midlife after a divorce or the demise of a associate, and have been actively utilizing courting apps and web sites.

However at this age, companions typically don’t think about using condoms – as a result of they consider that contraception is pointless.

It’s not uncommon for me to see girls who’ve been experiencing signs for a while, and put it all the way down to various different issues, reminiscent of menopause signs. I’ve to interrupt it to them: they’ve constructed an STI. In fact that is nothing to be ashamed of, however typically, they’re dumb.

I’m to know if anybody has expertise with this – and the way you’ve got been handled when in search of assist or recommendation. Write and inform me on the electronic mail deal with

Since 2017, cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia in people over 65 have risen by 20 percent, according to a study by the Local Government Association published last week.

Since 2017, circumstances of gonorrhea and chlamydia in folks over 65 have risen by 20 p.c, in line with a examine by the Native Authorities Affiliation printed final week.

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