August 16, 2022

I’m 72 and was lately in hospital for 2 weeks with pneumonia.

After I’d accomplished the antibiotics I used to be on, I bought one other chest an infection. I appear to endure from them always.

Is there something I can take to spice up my immune system?

A numerous record of meals and dietary supplements appear to be marketed as immune-boosters, however in actuality there’s little to counsel they do a lot in any respect.

At greatest they might assist to maintain an immune system working because it ought to, however not more than consuming a nutritious diet would.

There are life-style elements linked to a well-functioning immune system: good sleep and low stress ranges, and a balanced food regimen with loads of fruit and greens. Train can also be regarded as good for the immune system.

I’m 72 and was lately in hospital for 2 weeks with pneumonia. After I’d accomplished the antibiotics I used to be on, I bought one other chest an infection. I appear to endure from them always. Is there something I can take to spice up my immune system? (inventory picture)

When these are missing, individuals endure with extra infections – significantly these linked to weakened immunity.

Some underlying well being situations, corresponding to diabetes, could make you extra vulnerable to infections.

A GP ought to examine for this and different situations, corresponding to lung illness, or medicines that will make you susceptible to chest infections.

Smoking or being an ex-smoker is also an element. A chest X-ray and lung-function checks can be wise.

Take heed of listeria warnings

Pregnant ladies have been warned about an outbreak of listeria from smoked fish and instructed to keep away from consuming mackerel and raw salmon.

Listeria is a micro organism which may trigger a critical bout of meals poisoning, identified medically as listeriosis. For most individuals, the sickness is disagreeable however goes away after a couple of days.

However for pregnant ladies, meals poisoning could cause main issues, resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth in addition to critical infections in newborns.

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Listeria is normally related to sliced meats and shellfish, that means many individuals are unaware it can be present in smoked fish.

Since 2020, solely 12 instances of listeriosis have been linked to smoked fish within the UK. Though this can be a small quantity, six of them have occurred since January, and this is sufficient to be classed as an outbreak.


I used to be identified with Parkinson’s in 2016 and endure a persistent stinging or creeping sensation below the pores and skin on my higher physique.

My physician has tried three completely different ache medicines, to no avail.

It’s affecting my sleep – and my spouse’s, too.

Individuals with Parkinson’s, which is a mind dysfunction, typically expertise motion issues, shaking and muscle stiffness.

However there are greater than 40 different signs, together with lack of sense of scent, stability issues, dementia, and swallowing difficulties.

Nerve ache is one other – this can be a very particular kind of ache, typically known as neuralgia or neuropathic ache.

Individuals describe sensations together with burning, numbness, coldness and a prickling like electrical shocks.

If there’s a pores and skin tenderness with a creeping sensation in somebody with Parkinson’s, it may very well be associated to the illness.

Neuropathic pains and sensations require particular ache remedies, as the usual kind of painkillers don’t normally work.

We use nerve painkillers known as gabapentin, pregabalin, duloxetine or amitriptyline with various levels of success. They don’t seem to be with out unintended effects, so that they should offer a great degree of assist to be price taking.

Capsaicin cream is a nerve painkiller made with extracts of chilli peppers – it may well heat or barely burn the pores and skin. It’s price giving it a attempt, 4 instances a day for 2 weeks, and if there is no such thing as a discount in ache, it shouldn’t be continued.

It may well trigger a rash, which is another excuse to cease. Whether it is useful, nevertheless, it can be ‘taken’ through a patch caught to the pores and skin, which slowly releases the energetic drug.

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Ache that impacts sleep is extra debilitating than most, and this needs to be thought of when selecting a painkiller.

It could be that one thing else to assist sleep, corresponding to melatonin, must be utilized in mixture with nerve remedy. Good sleep is important for these with Parkinson’s.

Over the previous three weeks I’ve been getting horrible complications. I by no means used to endure. I lately went for an eye fixed take a look at, as I believed my prescription was maybe now not sturdy sufficient.

I used to be instructed I ought to have a scan known as an OCT to examine for any critical issues that is perhaps inflicting my complications. It value an additional £50, so I declined.

Was {that a} unhealthy concept?

Do you’ve got a query for Dr Ellie?

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

Dr Ellie can solely reply in a common context and can’t reply to particular person instances, or give private replies. When you have a well being concern, all the time seek the advice of your individual GP.

OCT scans are provided by opticians to totally consider eye well being, significantly in individuals affected by diabetes or glaucoma, or who’ve a household historical past of eye illness.

They’re particularly used to search for sight-threatening issues with the retina and eye buildings somewhat than complications.

However for a full headache analysis, an appointment with the physician is required.

All of us endure complications every so often, however new and chronic ones for a month or so can be a cause to speak the problem by way of with a health care provider.

It may very well be migraine – common one-sided complications, usually related to feeling sick and imaginative and prescient disturbances.

There are additionally tension-type complications. Victims say it’s like having a band across the head, with strain on each side. This normally occurs in periods of stress.

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There may be additionally an uncommon situation known as cluster complications, the place individuals get excruciating headache assaults on daily basis, usually for between one and three months. It is a debilitating situation with very intense ache typically on one aspect.

Different causes for a brand new and common interval of complications could not originate from the top in any respect. They are often as a result of unhealthy posture – repeatedly bending the neck to take a look at a cellphone is a standard difficulty – in addition to poor eyesight.

An excessive amount of alcohol or hypertension will trigger common complications and, oddly, taking painkillers for the complications can itself trigger worsening complications.

That is known as ‘medicine overuse headache’ and may occur with many alternative painkillers together with codeine, migraine remedies and even paracetamol, whether it is taken typically sufficient.

Common complications are additionally related to fluctuating hormone ranges at menopause.

Calorie counts on menus goal the unsuitable diners

The most recent of the Authorities’s anti-obesity measures is now in pressure and huge eating places and cafes should show calorie counts on menus.

I’ve lengthy supported public well being measures that intention to scale back the burden of life-style ailments by serving to individuals drop some pounds and preserve it off, however I don’t assist this.

For one, there is no such thing as a knowledge to show that calorie counts on menus will scale back Britain’s ranges of weight problems.

The US has had related measures for years and its weight problems charges have continued to climb. Most significantly, the potential hurt is immense.

In my expertise, overweight individuals are unlikely to take a look at or obsess over energy. However the 1.2 million Britons who’ve consuming problems, corresponding to anorexia and bulimia, are.

We’ve already seen a 50 per cent rise within the variety of individuals hospitalised with these sicknesses since 2019 – do we actually want so as to add gasoline to the hearth?