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Recurrent UTIs to excessive sweating – Dr Zoe answers your health queries

0 2 years ago

Q: My two-year-old keeps getting croup. Can anything be prescribed to save trips to A&E for steroids?

A: Croup is common in early childhood, affecting the airways and voicebox (larynx). It’s most commonly caused by the parainfluenza virus – one of the viruses that cause common colds in older children and adults.

Symptoms include a barking cough, hoarse voice and a harsh sound when they breathe in. It can be mild, moderate or severe and some cases need steroid medication. If it’s recurring, see a GP as tests may be warranted.

It can be linked to reflux issues and there’s medication for that which could reduce the incidence of croup. Your GP may also consider whether your child is susceptible because of anatomical or airway issues.

Q: How can I control my sweating? It’s awful – my back gets soaked.

A: Firstly you need to identify a reason for the sweating. Does it happen when you’re nervous? When you’re exercising? Or at night? Is it localised to your back or hands and feet, or all over your body?

Night sweats can be hormone-related but can also be a symptom of tuberculosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition where the nerves that activate the sweat glands overreact, causing excessive sweating.

If the problem area is the armpits, aluminium-based deodorants can help, as can Botox injections.

There are things we can all try to reduce the amount we sweat, though, including wearing loose-fitting, breathable clothing, avoiding spicy foods and using natural-fibre sheets such as cotton, instead of polyester.

It’s worth raising this issue with your GP because excess sweating is either easy to sort or could be a symptom of something else which warrants investigation.

Q: Will a daily 5km walk reduce my risk of one day having a stroke?

A: Yes, absolutely. If everyone did a 5km walk every day we’d reduce the risk of stroke massively in this country.

Being active improves the function of your heart and blood vessels, and reduces the risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes – all of which, in turn, reduce the risk of stroke.

And here’s the great news – while 5km a day is brilliant, for those with less time, a brisk daily walk for ten minutes will significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke too.

Aim to be a bit out of breath and walk briskly to make sure you’re getting the health benefits.

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