Q: My teenage daughter has mood swings with tearfulness and irritability, as well as bloating and breast tenderness before her period. Could it be premenstrual syndrome? Our GP is dismissive.
A: Those symptoms are common to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In fact, more than 150 psychological, behavioural and physical symptoms have been identified, according to the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome (NAPS ). The most usual are listed in the box below.
No one will experience every symptom, which may vary from cycle to cycle. Although the exact cause has still to be identified, experts agree the key factor is the rollercoaster of hormones during the monthly cycle. Read More…
Recently, I rediscovered Bodytox Detox Foot Patches, which you apply at night. Come the morning, I peeled them off, shuddered at the dark waste on each pad, then marvelled at how well I’d slept and how rested and toned my face looked. Your feet are the foundation of your body, according to Chinese medicine, with 60 acupuncture points and some 7,000 nerve endings. The patches combine wood vinegar, mugwort extract, chitosan (an ingredient from crustacean shells) and tourmaline (a semiprecious mineral), which claim to draw out toxins from your body. £12.99 for six. Read More…
There is a growing body of scientific evidence for the health benefits of turmeric, the golden Asian spice whose active compound is called curcumin. Its main action is damping inflammation, which underlies many diseases from arthritis and tendonitis to skin problems and even some forms of cancer. Many people choose to take a daily turmeric supplement as well as cooking with it. Ensuring that turmeric is well absorbed by the gut has always been a problem, but a new Turmeric Daily Oral Spray from Better You (£17.95 for 25ml) goes directly into the bloodstream via the soft tissue of the mouth.
Beware of getting it on your fingers, though: I coloured my keyboard bright orange. Read More…
Lifeplan Botanicals Wild Hayflower. Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends this mixture of meadow grasses and flowers, which can help trigger your body to fight the pollens you may encounter.
HayMax pure balm. This organic drug-free balm, made with beeswax and seed oils, is applied to the base of the nose and round the eyes to form a barrier to allergens. The range includes HayMax Kids and HayMax Aloe Vera for sore noses.
Eyelergy eye drops. Single-dose, preservative-free droppers deliver a light gel to help eliminate allergens and dust from eyes, relieve itchiness and form a barrier against allergens. For adults and children, suitable for contact lens wearers. Read More…
Q. My daughter appears to be suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), is there a test she could take and would the herb agnus castus be appropriate to try?
A. According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (rcog.org.uk), ‘Forty per cent of women experience PMS symptoms. Of those, five to eight per cent suffer severely. PMS encompasses psychological sympyoms such as depression, anxiety and irritability, with physical symptoms typically bloatedness and mastalgia [breast pain].’ Read More…
Q. I tripped recently and tore a layer of skin off both my knees. I realised that I didn’t know the protocol for dealing with this small but painful injury. What should I do next time?
A. Most cuts and grazes are minor and can easily be treated at home, according to NHS Choices (nhs.uk). Here is a guide:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Stop any bleeding Apply pressure using a clean, dry, absorbent material (eg, a flannel, hanky or piece of bandage) for several minutes. If the cut is on your hand or arm, raise it above your head; if to a lower limb, lie down and raise the affected area above the level of your heart.
- Clean the wound under running tap water (if you are abroad, ensure it is drinking quality). Don’t use antiseptic as it may damage the skin and slow healing. If there are any residual fragments of grit, remove them with tweezers.
- Pat the area dry with a clean towel and apply a sterile adhesive dressing, eg, a plaster (waterproof plasters mean you can take a shower). Change the dressing daily if possible.
- Encourage faster healing with a specific product such as Sheald Recovery Balm (£43), which can be applied to open wounds.
- Go to your GP or minor injuries unit if you think your wound is, or could become, infected. Go to your nearest A&E if you cannot stop the bleeding or if the wound is large – particularly if it is on your face or the palm of your hand. Check with NHS 111 if you need further medical advice.