Your Health

Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on dry scalp and warts

I have always had a dry scalp, but it has worsened. Some areas are so itchy that they are sore. I thought it was just dandruff, but wonder if it could be dermatitis. Should I ask my GP for a referral to a dermatologist?

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Giving your GP a ring can save you a trip

Margaret Jennings finds a phonecall to a GP can save a trip

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Suffering from tinnitus isn't the pain in the ear it used to be

Abi Jackson says there is hope for sufferers of tinnitus

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on migraines and shingles

NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a subsitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.

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Working Life: Patricia Molloy, nurse

7am: The gym is close by. I head there three times a week. 

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Ageing With Attitude: Exercise can help fight debilitating illnesses

Margaret Jennings discovers that the more you exercise, the more your body has the capacity to fight off debilitating illnesses — in spite of inherited disease

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The Shape I'm In - Deric Ó h’Artagáin

BROUGHT up on a farm in Inchmore, Co Limerick, the weather has always been a feature in Deric Ó h’Artagáin’s life.

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Being wary of symptoms that mimic other health problems

The symptoms of some ailments mimic others, says Lisa Salmon

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Get up and go: Starting the morning right can have a great influence on your whole day

How you start your morning can impact your whole day. Vicki Notaro speaks to five high-profile women to find out about their daily routine

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Natural health with Megan Sheppard

I have read a lot recently about the link between intestinal health and mental wellbeing. Can you please throw some light on this somewhat dubious connection?

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Sex advice with Suzi Godson: He wants me to have more orgasms

I rarely have orgasms with my partner, although I enjoy the sex and am very happy with our sex life. He doesn’t understand that for me it’s more about the foreplay and sex and closeness, and he wants me to have more orgasms. Do they matter as much as he thinks?

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on eczema and getting back to exercise

NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a subsitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.

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Age is never a barrier to love and companionship

Margaret Jennings says the engagement of Jerry Hall to Rupert Murdoch shows that there is plenty of life to be lived — no matter what age you are.

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The Shape I'm In - Yvonne Tiernan

BY her own admission, Yvonne Tiernan is a “bit of a chatterbox”. 

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Online and in the shops

Hot topic:

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Working Life: John Curran - plastic surgeon

6.30am - I live near Killarney so I leave the house in plenty of time to get to Tralee for 7.45am.

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Natural health: alternatives to carpal tunnel syndrome

I suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, and the only recommendations from my doctor are injections or surgery. Is there any natural alternative, or are these my only options for relief?

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on pregnancy and brittle nails

I am five months pregnant and have recently started hiccupping after meals, sometimes for up to 20 minutes. Why is this happening and should I be worried?

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Is it OK for women to objectify men?

Women have been objectified for decades, so is there anything wrong with turning the tables on men, asks Katy Harrington

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Ageing With Attitude: Busting myths will help you cool down about menopause

Being well informed and mentally prepared for the ‘the change’ can help guard against getting a shock when the transition starts, writes Margaret Jennings

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Five symptoms that could indicate a medical emergency

Abi Jackson says we sometimes need the experts’ help

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The Shape I’m In: Tommy Fleming

IT may be the sound of the Atlantic crashing against the coastline, an umbilical attachment to the county of his birth, or simple home comforts. Whatever the reason, Tommy Fleming insists on sleeping in his own bed every night, no matter how far he has to travel after a gig. “I drive home to Sligo even when I’m down in Cork. 

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Get healthy one step at a time: Even small changes can transform your body

Small changes can transform your body, writes Clodagh Finn

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Ageing with Attitude: 20 minute face yoga is the alternative to Botox

Looking for a natural alternative to Botox? Doing 20 minutes of face yoga a day can help to firm sagging skin and ease wrinkles, says Margaret Jennings.                        

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Good news for your new start as sportswear has never been so fashionable

Yes, it’s that time of the year when we tell ourselves that with hard work, we will emerge as
the new Gigi Hadid. But first get shopping, says Paula Burns, as sportswear has never been
so fashionable.

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Food and drink cures for those inevitable Christmas hangovers

Valerie O’Connor has the ‘never agains’ sorted for those who’ve gone ho, ho, ho a little too gung-ho    

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Ageing With Attitude: Get your brain in gear

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Get perfect glutes with these exercises

Want the best butt ever? This workout, will help you get a bum to be proud of, says Amanda Khouv

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Beating irritable bowel syndrome this Christmas

Abi Jackson rounds up top tips for avoiding festive flare-ups

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The Shape I’m In: Rory O'Neill

IT’S 10.30am and Rory O’Neill is struggling. He was up at 5am to catch a red eye to London for a 9am meeting. Adding insult to dawn flight, he only managed to get three-and-half hours sleep due to a performance the night before.

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Working Life: Grace Cappock, public affairs and communications

Grace Cappock; head of public affairs and communications with the Medical Research Charities Group.

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on pregnancy, heartburn and spots

I am eight months pregnant and suffering from severe heartburn — at times I find it difficult to sleep because of the pain. I am reluctant to take any medication in case it affects the baby. What can I do?

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Natural health: How to deal with cracked feet

I get deep cracks in my feet, particularly the heels, and they become very painful with the cold weather. I have tried a number of different preparations claiming to fix this problem all to no avail. Are there any cures for this problem?

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Working Life: Respiratory nurse, Ursula Clarke

Walk in the shoes of Ursula Clarke, a clinical nurse specialist in respiratory medicine at Mayo University Hospital. 

 

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on how getting a cat can affect asthma

I am thinking of getting a kitten but am concerned there is a risk that it might cause my son’s asthma to return. He finished using his inhalers a year ago.

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In the news: Memory boost and antibiotics risk

MEMORY BOOST: Playing three-dimensional video games may protect against the dulling of memory that comes with age, a study has found.

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Watch out - a real Christmas tree can be hazardous for those with hay fever

Kate Whiting says real Christmas trees could be hazardous    

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Working life: A day in the life of physiotherapist Ciara Clancy

Ciara Clancy, physiotherapist and CEO of Beats Medical, was recently named Laureate for Europe at the Cartier Women’s Initiative. For details see: www.beatsmedical.com

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on improving eyesight and treating cold sores

I’m 45 and finding it harder to read the instructions on the back of food product packets, tins and jars. I’ve started using a magnifying glass and probably need glasses. I feel I don’t need to wear them full time, so are there are any exercises I can do to help improve my eyesight?

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Ageing With Attitude: These are the foods you should eat to stay in peak condition

There’s no need to splash out on exotic fruits and supplements. Look instead to everyday superfoods to help you feel and look better, writes Margaret Jennings

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HIV is in the spotlight and hopefully that means less ignorance

Charlie Sheen’s decision to speak out has put HIV in the spotlight — and while getting people talking is undeniably a positive thing, it’s also highlighted that there’s still a lot of ignorance around the condition. Abi Jackson reveals, however HIV can be managed to avoid serious illness    

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My working life: Karen Leigh

Karen Leigh, ceo of Sensational Kids, reveals a typical working day.

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How to avoid a hangover this festive season ...

Ciara McDonnell finds out how to handle the party season without the painful post-drinking aftermath.    

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We are an outdoor species so get outside to lift the darker moods of winter

Fíann Ó Nualláin looks at the contemplative pleasure of working outside at this time of year.

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Ageing With Attitude: Helen Mirren's 1950s 12-minute exercise regime is keeping her in shape

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on neck and shoulder pain and cervical cancer screening

Q: I’m using a laptop more having recently changed my job. My neck and shoulders feel very painful and tight by evening and I sometimes need to take paracetamol to ease the pain. Is there anything I can do?

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Working Life: Sheila Barrett, chartered physiotherapist

6am Meditating first thing recharges me for the day ahead.

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Booze control: What are the real benefits of cutting back on alcohol

Lisa Salmon looks at the benefits of cutting back on alcohol    

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Why Vitamin D is essential as you grow older

Topping up on Vitamin D may help prevent older people from falling, according to a new study.

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In the news: Hidden tumours, the danger of antibiotics and strong legs linked to fitter brains

LEG WORK: 
Anyone who doubts the intellectual prowess of some high-profile football stars might have to think again.

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Check out the app proven to help you sleep

Developed by Professor Colin Espie from the University of Oxford, the free Sleepio app is clinically proven to help you sleep.

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Microwave popcorn, nightshifts and other surprising things linked with cancer

ACCORDING to the World Health Organisation (WHO), red meat is “probably” carcinogenic to humans, while cured and processed meat is carcinogenic, meaning bacon is up there alongside cigarettes, arsenic and asbestos as a cancer risk.

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Working life: Mary McAuliffe, fertility nurse

6am
I’m up early to sort lunches and school bags for my eight-year-old Thomas, and six-year-old, Katie, before leaving for work. My husband or childminder usually look after the school run. 

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on acid reflux and whooping cough

Q. I am worried I may have reflux. Could you explain what it is?

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Ageing with attitude: Book shines a spotlight on women who refuse to fade

A book challenging the belief that females become invisible after the age of 60, features subjects telling their life story through props, clothes and, especially, words, writes         Margaret Jennings.

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Working life: Prof Tom Cotter, UCC

7am

My alarm wakes me in time for the news headlines. I have the pleasure of watching the sun rise over the sea in Fountainstown, Co Cork, while myself and my wife Kate enjoy a cup of tea. 

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on coeliac disease and quitting smoking

Q: I am a 47-year-old man and have recently been trying to give up cigarettes. What advice can you give me?

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Immune response: When should you not worry about swollen glands

HAVE you ever wondered why your glands swell up when you’re run-down, or battling a stinking cold?

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Check it out! UP coffee app

There’s every good reason to enjoy coffee - drink up to four cups a day and you’ll cut your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 53%, according to US researchers.

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Ageing with attitude: You're never too old for a tattoo

Actress Susan Sarandon is one of a growing number of older women using body art as a form of self-expression, says Margaret Jennings.

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In the news - online

CANCER RISKS: Researchers have established the risks of different types of ovarian cancer according to whether a woman has children. 

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on osteoarthritis and mumps

Q. I have always led an active lifestyle and enjoy jogging to keep fit. Recently I have begun to have very bad pains in my hip when I get up in the morning and when I rest at night. 

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Advocating change for women in the workplace

Women are struggling to have their voice heard in the workplace, but several high-profile characters are advocating change, writes Deirdre Reynolds.    

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The last taboo: Adult incontinence

Adult incontinence is one of the last taboo subjects, but is very prevalent, expecially in women, reports Clodagh Finn.

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Age is not a barrier to living a happy life for Willie Daly

Matchmaker, Willie Daly, tells Margaret Jennings that he wants people to go out and live their lives to the full and stop worrying about age or saying that they’re too old.

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The six best ways to prevent colds

KEEN to ward off those winter sniffles? From baths to camomile tea, here’s a round up some less obvious ways to avoid colds.

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on PCOS and osteoporosis

Q. My sister fell recently and fractured her wrist. She was told by her doctor she has osteoporosis. What can I do to reduce my risk of developing the condition?

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Irish celebrities discuss their hair maintenance tips

Women spend more on their tresses than on their cars, says Vicki Notaro who talks to four high-profile women about their hair maintenance.

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Sarah Murphy's tattoo experience after facing breast cancer and early menopause

Her treatment for breast cancer induced an early menopause at the age of 36. But Sarah refuses to dwell on it, says Catherine Shanahan.

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Expert advice on how to avoid hernias

WHO gets hernias? Well, Madonna has had one, weightlifters and builders get them, and US wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson famously tweeted about his in 2013.

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on cholesterol and writer's cramp

Q. I am a 60-year-old man and my recent blood tests show I have high cholesterol. 

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Working life: Auveen Bell, co-founder of Blossom Ireland

7.30am
I have three kids, so the pressure is on to get everyone out on time. 

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UCC are developing foods of the future using synthetic biology

A YOGURT that slows down ageing. A peanut without allergens. Tastes you’ve never even imagined.

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Top tips for keeping dizzy bouts at bay

EVER felt a bit light-headed after standing up? Most of us have experienced that momentary dizziness from time to time.

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Ageing with attitude: Why a varied diet, not probiotics, is key to ageing well

A leading expert at UCC says to age well we need to focus on maintaining bacterial diversity, and not on over-the-counter probiotics, says Margaret Jennings.

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In the news online

WINE BOOST: Drinking red wine with dinner may improve the heart health of people with Type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.

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Check it out! Headache Diary Pro

Track headaches and migraines with the help of this app. 

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on athlete’s foot and cellulitis

Q. My son is very active. He swims and plays sport. I think he has developed athlete’s foot. What is this and what can I do?

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Working life: Dr Claire Gavin, consultant endocrinologist and physician, Mater Private Hospital

6.15am
I’m up early to allow time for a chat with our childminder before leaving for work. 

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Are DIY testing kits medically sound?

TECHNOLOGY has spread into so many areas of our lives, perhaps it was inevitable that this would eventually include medical testing. So which tests — if any — are worth doing?

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Dr John McKenna

Ageing with attitude: Dr John McKenna’s formula for cancer prevention

A traumatic experience served as a turning point for Dr John McKenna, who no longer works long shifts or in stressful environments, says Margaret Jennings.

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Check it out! 7 Minute Workout, free

Too busy to exercise? Then download this popular app. 

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on sleep disturbance and heavy periods

Q. Recently I have noticed my sleep is disturbed. I am waking up early and several times throughout the night. What can I do?

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Ageing With Attitude: The Hip-Operation Crew move to the beat at 80 and beyond

The Hip-Operation Crew, with an average age of 81, prove that age is no barrier to reaching the world championships, says Margaret Jennings.

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The shape I’m in: Duncan Stewart, environmentalist

GIVEN the extent of environmentalist Duncan Stewart’s injuries when he fell from a tree near the Chernobyl reactor 12 years ago, it’s a surprise he is still standing, not to mind continuing to work at a dizzying speed.

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Psychological impact: Margaret Underwood says things don't snap back to normal after treatment.

We need to watch for breast cancer at all ages

LIKE most, Margaret Underwood was aware of the importance of checking her breasts, feeling for lumps and bumps. 

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Check it out! iSurvive: The Ultimate Rescue App, 99c, iTunes

If time is of the essence and you need to let loved ones know you’re in danger, this app will let you do just that. 

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on diet during pregnancy and writer’s cramp

Q. I am a 24-year-old woman who is 12 weeks pregnant with her first baby. I am wondering what foods I should eat and what to avoid.

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Helen Maher

Working life: Helen Maher, estates manager, HSE

9am
Some days I head by train to meet healthcare staff in Dublin or in one of our 49 acute hospitals; other days I’m at my office at St Finbarr’s Hospital in Cork. 

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Transgender woman Kellie Maloney on her plans to visit matchmaker Willie Daly

Former boxing promoter Frank Maloney plans to visit Irish matchmaker Willie Daly next week, but learning to be Kellie Maloney is her priority, says Margaret Jennings.

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The link between digestion and mood

WHETHER it’s butterflies when in love, nausea when nervous or the gut-wrenching feeling that comes with grief, our stomachs seem to sense what we’re feeling.

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions on weight gain during pregnancy and ear infections

Q. I put on a lot of weight during my pregnancy and, with my baby almost six months old, I have approximately a stone to lose. 

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Working life: Anna Burns, HSE tobacco cessation service manager

8.30am 
Ideally I like to walk the dog and drop my oldest to school before heading to work at the Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital on the Western Road, Cork where Health Promotion and Improvement is based. 

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Different causes of the seasonal cold or flu

SNIFFLE season is here — but how can you tell which virus you’ve got? 

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Ageing With Attitude: Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh may have retired but he is still as active as ever

Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, aged 85, is living a fuller life than most men a third of his age.

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