Your Health

VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr: sweaty feet and croup

My husband’s feet have a tendency to sweat. In the last six months it seems to have got worse and I think it has worried him. Have you any suggestions?

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Speedo Fit, free app

Get in the swim of things with this simple app. Set and track your goals for pool performance on a daily/ monthly basis.

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Twins going for gold

Margaret Jennings talks to twin sisters who are competing in Masters Athletics, winning competitions and accolades along the way.

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Q&A: Organic foods and salt

Q. Is there really such a thing as so-called ‘healthy’ salt, or is it all just a case of marketing hype to have us spend more money on everyday food items?

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A Day in the Life: Sharon Vard

8am
I’m an early riser so I’m in our Tallaght office before 8.30am. 

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How yoga can keep you young

Barbara Currie was bitten by the yoga bug after her first class over 40 years ago. The fit and flexible 72-year-old still teaches 16 classes a week.

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Tips on identifying if you have S.A.D and how to fight back

Now that the days are shorter and darker, many people understandably feel a little miserable. But an estimated half a million of them aren’t just a little low — they have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr: Colic and difficulty sleeping

My baby is almost three months old and she cries every evening for about two hours and it can be difficult to soothe her. Could she have colic?

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In the news: Inherited cancers

A pioneering drug to treat an inherited cancer could be the beginning of personalised tumour treatments. 

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STRESS: Signals of how we’ve reached our limit

STRESS is part of our programming, that automatic fight or flight response that helps us dash for cover when we spot danger, or knuckle down to get jobs done. 

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How to beat the sniffle season

Winter is here and suddenly everywhere people are sniffling, spluttering or complaining of feeling groggy and achy.

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80 is the new 50

Retirement isn’t an option for the many well-known octogenarians living life to the full. Dave Kenny looks at the older people with a spring in their step, who believe age is no barrier to a full life.

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Why ageing is all in the mindfulness

Meditation and ‘knowing ourselves in a deeper way’ can reduce our anxieties and fears about getting old, and increase our acceptance.

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr: Bursitis and Tinnitus

Since he started college this term, my 19-year-old son has been complaining of pain in his elbow. He tends to lean on his elbows and is probably doing that in lectures and when studying. The left elbow does look inflamed.

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Is egg-freezing birth of new worker right?

Google and Facebook will pay for the process so female employees can delay childbirth and prolong their careers, but is it ethical, asks Sharon Ni Chonchuir.

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr: migraine and hip pain

I am a woman in my mid 30s. I have had migraine headaches for the last ten years and I can control them most of the time. 

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Autoimmune illness is often unrecognised

DO your joints chronically ache? Are you always tired for no real reason? Does your skin come out in mysterious rashes? 

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Advice for an overactive thyroid and glaucoma

Ten months ago I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid and have been having medication since. 

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Good habits now will save kids’ teeth later

THE Tooth Fairy is visiting more young children’s homes than she should be, judging by the rising number of young children with tooth decay.

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Fighting fit and healthy over 50

A DESIRE to stay healthy and fit is the major driving force behind older Irish people participating in physical activity, with women more driven by than men.

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What to look for: Brain tumour symptoms

About 300 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year — high profile examples include singers Russell Watson and Sheryl Crow, who both survived.

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GP advice: Blood pressure and growth spurts

READER: I am a man in my late 40s. I recently had my blood pressure and weight checked at screening organised by my employer. 

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Self-acceptance is key to avoiding that mid-life crisis

Self-acceptance is the key to beating our midlife blues and forging a more positive future as we get older, Katherine Forsythe tells Margaret Jennings

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions

I was arranging some flowers last month and later in the day the back of one of my hands became red and itchy for a few hours. I didn’t do anything about it but the same thing happened a few days ago. Could it be an allergy?

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Catherine refuses to be defined by her age

Margaret Jennings talks to a woman who quit her job in her 30s to be a novelist, married in her 40s, wrote scripts for Fair City and volunteers with sick children in Zambia.

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Could your baby's crying be caused by a milk allergy?

ONE in five babies cries frequently for no apparent reason, and the cause may be cow’s milk allergy.

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Explore the benefits of pregnancy yoga

STRETCHING and bending might be a daunting prospect with a big belly, but yoga can actually be very beneficial for pregnant women.

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr answers your health questions

I am a woman in my late 40s and although I am in good health, there is a history of heart disease in my family. 

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Older people embrace technology to enhance their lives

TWO weeks ago 62-year-old Co Wicklow grandfather David Lowen took out the Beatles’ debut album, Please Please Me, placed it on his turntable and listened to the sweet crackly sound of vinyl, revolving beneath an immaculately kept stylus. 

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Are your appliances ready for winter?

AUTUMN will soon be in full swing, and it won’t be long before the central heating is cranked up in many homes. 

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Sheila O’Flanagan is happy to follow her own script

Author Sheila O’Flanagan got a shock when she started the menopause at 35 but a year later, her first book was published and she hasn’t looked back, says Margaret Jennings.

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Ask the doctor ...

My mother is in her late 60s. She doesn’t seem to be eating well. She says that she has lost her appetite because she lives on her own and is doing less cooking. Have you any advice for her?

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VIDEO: Cork journalist makes touching documentary about her experiences with prenatal depression

An Irish journalist with personal experience of prenatal depression has found that approximately 16 percent of women who suffer from the affliction are too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it. This story is enriched with multi-media content

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions

I am in my early 30s and planning to start a family. I know I am overweight and would like to loose some weight. Should I start by visiting my GP for a general check up?

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Keep strength up to turn back the clock

SANDRA Bullock, who turned 50 in July and starred last year in the box office sci-fi hit Gravity, had to get her body in amazing shape for the film.

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Need to chill out? Your nose knows best

FORGET diamonds, a girl’s cheer-making best friend is none other than the humble lemon. Research from Radox has revealed 34% of women turn to a citrusy whiff when in need of a pick-me-up.

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Working life: Irene Lynch, dietitian, CUH

8.30am

My first task at CUH is to follow-up on people I met in outpatients the previous day. My role is to educate people with chronic kidney disease about the renal diet in the outpatient setting.

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How much is safe to drink during pregnancy?

I am 12 weeks pregnant with my first pregnancy. I have been trying to eat healthily and have cut back on coffee and sugar but I do like an occasional glass of wine, particularly at the weekend. How much is safe to drink?

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Case study: ’I’d always had PMT but it started taking over my life after having the twins’

Joanne*, a 37-year-old mum of twins and a teacher in the South-East, was diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) by a consultant gynaecologist.

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Monthly moods - when hormones dictate how you feel

The cyclical mood swings experienced by many women can be due to hormonal imbalances, though GPs may not see the full picture, says Helen O’Callaghan.

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Skipping breakfast has no effect on weight loss

FOR years, we’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 

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Looking after your hair in old age

Your crowning glory can cut off the years

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions

Recently, the toenails on my two big toes have been really painful and the skin beside the nail is red. I have a habit of cutting my toenails very short, could this be an ingrown toenail?

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Kick start your health with these boosters

RUNNING, or even just slow jogging, for seven minutes a day could help halve your risk of dying from heart disease. 

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions

I am a man in my mid 40s and over the last few months I have had a number of tension-type headaches.

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Under pressure: All men will experience a mid-life transition but it can be difficult to establish if it's due to hormonal loss or to the process of ageing.

Is there such a thing as the male menopause?

IT made this month’s cover of TIME magazine but it’s a question that has been lingering since it was first mooted back in the 1940s — is there a male menopause, or manopause?

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Hard lesson: Classrooms are breeding grounds forillnesses but most children recover quickly.

Common childhood illnesses

CHILDREN will soon be back in classrooms, which are breeding grounds of knowledge and creativity, and also of of bugs and illnesses.

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Feeling full: Women's oestrogen levels decline as they age, affecting the digestive system and causing bloating or'fat tummy', which is upsetting for women. Regular exercise and balanced diet can help ease this.

Beating the bloat as we age

IT’S easy to blame hormones for our widening waistbands during the menopause — while eating an extra biscuit to console ourselves.

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There is no safe level of smoking

WE’VE heard the warnings and we know the dangers. Smoking most definitely kills. 

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Back pain: Should I rest or keep active?

I’ve had a couple of episodes of lower back pain over the last year which lasted for a few weeks each time. 

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Dr Bernadette offers health advice for people with restless legs

Q. I am a woman in my early 40s and recently I have had an uncomfortable feeling in my legs, particularly when I go to bed. I have to keep moving my legs and my sleep pattern is affected. 

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Celebrity advice. Should we be listening?

ONCE it was enough to see them on our screens or to admire them in the fashion pages of our favourite magazine.

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Age no barrier for transplant athletes

IF you’re feeling your age — fed up with your creaking bones — and need a dose of positivity, then look no further than Transplant Team Ireland, half of whom are over 50 and heading off to Poland next week to represent this country.

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MENTAL HEALTH: All about the mind

MENTAL health is a topic that has, thankfully, emerged from the shadows in recent years.

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Dr Bernadette offers health advice for young families headed aboard

We are heading off to France for our first family holiday abroad, with children aged 5 and 7.

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Body image a heavy burden for women

IF ACTRESS Cate Blanchett, model Crystal Renn, and comedian Sarah Millican were to meet for coffee, they would probably have a common gripe.

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Escape to heart of Cork city for a spa treat at the Imperial

TUCKED behind a beautiful old white limestone and red sandstone archway on a small side street lies an oasis in the middle of Cork City, the aptly named Escape Spa.

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Sunglasses are cool for everyone, not just celebrities

BONO wears them to protect his photo-sensitive eyes and burnish his superstar credentials. Jack Nicholson doesn’t feel like himself without them.

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Eat like a man to lose weight successfully

WOMEN whine on about diets infinitely more than men, yet — in a cruel, ironic twist — it’s blokes who lose more weight.

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Sensory technology will send you a hug from across the world

Sensory technology will soon allow lonesome grandparents, separated from their loved ones by geography, to touch and embrace via the internet.

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Did you know that wearing flat shoes can actually damage your feet?

WHILE a pair of ballet pumps may seem more sensible and comfortable than towering stilettoes, they can be the source of severe foot and back pain. In fact, with their lack of arch support and cushioning, did you know that wearing flat shoes can actually damage your feet?

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The sleep diet: Can cooler bedrooms improve metabolism?

CAN the temperatures of bedrooms improve our metabolism?

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My child has a fear of needles, what should I do?

My four-year-old son has developed a needle phobia since he had to get a cut sutured a few months ago. 

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What do you recommend for colds and flu?

I want to protect my two children, aged five and eight, from colds and flu. What supplements do you recommend?

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The stress of flying with kids can be reduced

A FAMILY holiday abroad can be lovely, but usually you have to fly to get there and this can be stressful for parents.

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What can I do to help my teething baby?

My eight-month-old son is teething and is very unhappy about it.

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Taking it in my stride one step at a time

Radio personality and nature enthusiast Éanna Ni Lamhna insists on living in the present and refuses to be defined by her age, says Margaret Jennings.

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Fishing for the best source of brain food

Some experts say the claims that omega-3 can halt memory loss are unsubstantiated but that doesn’t mean we should avoid getting our allowance.

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Susan Griffin on the dangers of hidden sugar

SUGAR is increasingly being blamed as one of the key culprits in our obesity epidemic, but it’s not just the frosty coating on a doughnut, or the number of teaspoons of the white stuff you add to your cups of tea that’s the problem (after all, the occasional treat is allowed!).

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Can adults get chickenpox?

I am a woman in my late 20s and, as far as I can remember, I have never had chickenpox.

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Healthy holidays

Looking after your health, by packing medical essentials and taking sensible precautions to avoid falling ill while you’re away, could make all the difference between a brilliant break and a holiday from hell.

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Do I have an allergy in my eye?

Q. I am a woman in my 30s. Recently, my eyes were red and itchy, although it did clear after a few days. 

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Finding her rhythm: Sr Stanislaus Kennedy with her dog Zeb. She practises meditation to help achieve a balance in her life.

A sacred space for soul Sister to reflect

Focus Ireland founder Sr Stanislaus Kennedy realised she had to slow down after she was hit by a virus. But she doesn’t find being mindful easy.

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