Health & Fitness

From cold feet to wine drinking concerns, Dr Jeff answers your health questions

DR JEFF FOSTER is The Sun on Sunday’s resident doctor and is here to help YOU.

Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women.

Dr Jeff Foster is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help you

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Q) MY feet are cold all the time, even if I have a hot water bottle in bed at night.

My hands are fine, though. I’m 58 years old.

Is that just the way I am or is that something to worry about?

Geoffrey Dean, Hove

A) Most people feel the cold more as we age, especially in our extremities.

This is because as we age, our metabolism starts to slow down and we’re less active.

Metabolism is literally how “fast” our body runs and a by-product of this is generating heat.

The more we move, the more we stay warm. The combined effects of changes in hormones and body-fat distribution plus a general decrease in activity, result in feeling the cold more.

Cold feet can also be linked to various medical problems such as; Raynaud’s disease, an underactive thyroid gland or narrowing of the arteries that supply our legs (Peripheral Vascular Disease) it is important to rule this out with your doctor if your symptoms are long term, as it can be related to more significant cardiovascular problems.

Q) MY wife is 39 and drinks every night, sometimes two bottles of wine in one evening.

She isn’t drunk after that amount and she’s fine the next day. Should I worry about this?

I know it’s over the recommended limit and I’ve suggested that she cuts down but she says she doesn’t have a problem. 

Should I speak to her doctor about it?

Steve Wilkins Cleethorpes

A) The national advisable limit on alcohol consumption is 14 units per week – about one glass of wine per day.

Clearly a bottle of wine is way over this and if she is drinking two bottles per day, that would mean she is consuming 240 units per week.

This is unsafe and likely to lead to long-term health problems if sustained for any period of time. 

There are two times we worry about people consuming alcohol – when it becomes a dependence (they cannot function without it) and when the levels are so high they become unsafe.

I don’t know how dependent your wife is on alcohol, but in units of consumption I would be very concerned.

If your wife is a functioning alcoholic (she retains capacity and the ability to make her own decisions) then you cannot speak to her doctor without her consent as doctor-patient confidentiality means they cannot discuss her health with you without her express permission. 

We see this problem a lot and it makes it very hard for loved ones to get those with a problem the help they need.

For now, advise her of the health risks and try to encourage her to seek help herself.

Source of data and images: thesun

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