Health & Fitness

From medication concerns to itchy skin – 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 resident doctor and is here to help you

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Q: I’M a 43-year-old woman and my doctor says I have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and has prescribed three prochlorperazine tablets per day.

They give me headaches and I’ve read that they are anxiety medication, too.

As I am someone who used to rely on anxiety medication to function, I don’t really want this type of medicine back in my system. Is there anything else I could have?

Georgia Ripley, Brighton

A: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is one of the most common causes of dizziness and vertigo.

Sufferers usually experience the illusion of movement, so the room appears to spin and it may cause a feeling of unsteadiness.

The cause of BPPV is actually due to inner ear dysfunction.

The little hair cells in our inner ears that are usually stimulated as our head turns are wrongly being triggered, which makes us feel as if we are moving when we are not.

It can even cause vomiting and falls.

For most people, BPPV is a self-limiting illness, but this can take several weeks, so other treatment options include a movement technique known as the Epley manoeuvre, which involves turning your head to dislodge malfunctioning hair cells.

There are also various medications.

But there is some suggestion that certain anti-vertigo prescriptions are entirely ineffective, so do speak to your doctor again.

Q: I’M a 37-year-old man and have very itchy skin all the time. No rashes, just chronic itching, and no explanation for it. My GP has given me various creams and skin washes to try but nothing other than four antihistamines per day helps at all. Any ideas?

Don Smith, Barrow, Cumbria

A: The general rule is that if there’s nothing to see there is little point in putting cream on it because you don’t know what you’re treating.

The sensation of itching over our whole body with nothing to see can be challenging to diagnose.

Causes range from problems with our organs, such as kidney or liver disease, to medications we take, stress responses and even mental health conditions.

Ask your doctor for a blood test (without anti-histamines in your system) so that you can see if there’s an allergic response in your blood.

If this doesn’t provide the answer, consider any medications or supplements you’re taking, address any causes of stress and, if you still cannot find a cause, I would see a dermatologist.

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