DR JEFF FOSTER is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help YOU.
Dr. Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic H3the first of its kind in the UK to address hormonal issues in men and women.
Visit h3health.co.uk and email email@example.com.
Q) I AM an 81 year old woman. Lately my feet and ankles have been so swollen. The left one is worse than the right one. Should I be worried?
I mentioned this to my doctor, but he just said it was because of my age.
Anna Jones, Stratford upon Avon
A) Age itself is not a real diagnosis, but it can help explain why we get some symptoms.
For example, I can’t run like my 11-year-old son or swim like my nine-year-old daughter.
This is due to the metabolic and hormonal changes that prevent me from healing as quickly and this is due to age.
At 80, you may not be as mobile as you once were, allowing fluid to build up on your ankles, but age is still not a diagnosis.
Other important medical conditions to consider would be kidney problems, low protein levels or liver problems, impaired heart function or varicose veins and eczema.
Leg swelling is just a symptom of an underlying medical problem.
If it’s just a matter of exercise and age, we still want you to mobilize as much as possible, as prolonged swelling of the legs leads to skin damage and there is a risk of ulcers. However, the key is to understand why the condition occurred in the first place, so it’s worth speaking to your doctor in more detail.
Q) MY dad had Covid once and was barely sick from it, but every time he gets a booster shot he feels extremely unwell for about 48 hours.
He is 82 years old and has no health problems.
Does he still need to be vaccinated?
Julie Prower, Basingstoke
A) The short answer is: yes. There is much debate about the risk-benefit profile of Covid vaccines and vaccines in general, but there is overwhelming evidence that they have saved millions of lives.
Those who oppose vaccines may have loud voices, but that doesn’t mean they are right.
We have seen a steady increase in cases of mumps and measles in children in recent years.
This is due to a decline in the distribution of the MMR vaccine, even though any links between it and autism and other diseases have been refuted.
With the Covid vaccination there is always a risk that a small number of people will experience a complication.
But for most, especially older or immunocompromised people, it could save their lives.