Your Health

Dr Bernadette Carr is here to answer your questions

Q. I took antibiotics for a chest infection two weeks ago. A few days ago, I developed red areas in my mouth, which are sore. What should I do?

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Working life with chartered physiotherapist Ciara Cullen

Ciara Cullen, chartered physiotherapist, tells us about her typical day.  

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How lack of sleep can lead to impaired cognitive function

More and more of us are suffering from sleep deprivation. It could lead to impaired cognitive function, writes Helen O’Callaghan.

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Feeling younger for than your age? Study proves you’ll live longer

Your attitude to ageing can determine how long you live. A new study shows that people who feel their age or older are more likely to die sooner, writes Margaret Jennings.           

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How to cope with anxiety attacks

The best way to deal with crippling anxiety attacks is to challenge the cause of the catastrophic thoughts, writes Áilín Quinlan.

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Gallstones: How a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk

How diet can reduce your gallstone risk, writes Lisa Salmon.

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Dr Bernadette Carr answers your questions

Last month I had laryngitis which lasted about a week. Is there any way to avoid it and, if I do get another dose, what is the best way to treat it?

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Working life: Professor Ronan O’Sullivan

6.45am
I’m up early to help with the babies.

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Information is power in fight against cancer

In Ireland about 200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. A significant number of cases can be prevented by smear tests, offered by CervicalCheck for free for women aged 25 to 60.

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Jack Nicholson

It’s never too late to find love of your life

Older men may still long for that one last fling, but they are more interested in love, friendship, and intimacy, writes Margaret Jennings.

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Health advice with Dr Bernadette Carr

Q. I have suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for a few years. I have improved through resting and good nutrition. Is there anything else I could take to get back to normal energy levels?

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Ber Caulfield-Waugh

Working life: Ber Caulfield-Waugh

Ber Caulfield-Waugh describes her day working as a civil marriage registrar for the HSE.

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Writer Ann Dowsett Johnston advises others on alcohol use

<B>Abi Jackson </b>says we are in denial about our excessive drinking.

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Joan Didion

Fashion houses finally show awareness of an ageing population

FASHION is having a pro-ageing moment, following in the footsteps of its twin sister, the cosmetics industry, which upped the ante in promoting older women for their brands last year.

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Period pain: symtoms and resolutions

My 20-year-old daughter has occasionally had painful periods but this is now happening more frequently. What would you suggest?

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Bessie Nolan proves that life need not be such a drag

A new documentary about people aged 100 and over challenges our beliefs about the aged, says Margaret Jennings.

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Healthy tips for dealing with diabetes

One of my sisters, who is in her 40s, has recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I don’t have the healthiest of lifestyles, so I wonder should I have my glucose checked?

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Take good care of your feet

My big toes have been very painful recently. When I looked at my feet, the bone below my big toes seems to be sticking out. 

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Working Life: Dr Dermot McCaffrey, consultant cardiologist, Beacon Hospital

6.40am
I like to wake early to fit in a 7km run before driving to work. 

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Leaning over your mobile phone can give you ’text neck’

THEY already give us headaches, repetitive strain injury, memory loss, poor sleep, and possibly even cancer (well, according to some concerned critics).

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When staying put can break your heart

OLDER couples who are not living ‘happily ever after’ can end up heartbroken — literally — and women usually suffer the most, according to a new study.

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr

My husband who is aged 45 years has always snored. Recently I noticed that he seems to be holding his breath at times although he is still asleep. Should he go to his GP?

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Working life: Angela Smiddy

8am
I’m based at St Mary’s campus, formerly the orthopaedic hospital in Gurranabraher, Cork city, but I could be on the road to Kerry or Kilkenny or a community care area within the HSE South first thing in the morning. 

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Keep hypertension at bay with these tips

ONE in three adults has high blood pressure. Linked with stroke, heart disease, vascular dementia and chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure is a major cause of premature death and disability.

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Staying socially active is important during retirement

WHILE lots of emphasis — and fear — is put on the financial implications of retirement, many people are left unprepared for the other losses that can be experienced when they close the door on years of employment.     

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VHI’s Dr Bernadette Carr: cold fingers

I have always suffered from the cold, last winter it got worse and at times my fingers were freezing. 

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Eye exams can reveal a lot about your health

THEY may be the windows to the soul, but eyes can also give a clear view of what’s occurring in less ethereal parts of the body. In fact, an eye test could reveal a life or death situation.

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Sugary drinks linked to accelerated ageing

Research finds people who reported drinking a standard can of fizzy drink per day had DNA changes typical of cells 4.6 years older.

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Working life: Jenni Jones

8am
I’m lucky to live on the prom in Galway so I’m up at 6am for a brisk walk with the dog before heading to the office for 8am.

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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.

This story is enriched with multi-media content

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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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