From feeling exhausted to clinics for moles, Dr Zoe answers your health queries

DO you have a niggling health worry? An ache or pain that won’t go away?

Or are you struggling to make sense of all the health advice on social media?

From feeling exhausted to clinics for moles, Dr Zoe answers your health queries

From feeling exhausted to clinics for moles, Dr Zoe answers your health queriesCredit: Olivia West

I’m here to help. 

If you’re worried about anything health-related – be it physical or mental health – or want some advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle, email me.

I aim to answer as many questions as I can each week.

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Q) I’M feeling exhausted all the time. My bloods were fine, any ideas? I have Covid anxiety – could that be it?

A) We GPs use an acronym for this. It’s TATT, which means “tired all the time”. 

There are hundreds of possible causes, which could be physical, mental or social. 

Often, a specific cause is never found and things just get better after a short time, but if this symptom of unexplained fatigue lasts longer than a few weeks then it is best to visit your GP for a discussion. 

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While in your case the blood tests are normal, they are often done to check for things such as anaemia, under or overactive thyroid, kidney function and diabetes. 

Some of the biggest causes are linked to stress, sleep and our emotional health. And of course fatigue is a very common symptom of post-Covid syndrome, known as long Covid. 

It might be worth having another chat with your GP about the anxiety, or even self-referring for NHS talking therapy at nhs.uk/talk

There can also be some “red flags” that would mean your GP should monitor you very closely and think about ­further tests. These include things such as unintentional weight loss, persistent coughing, any blood loss, unexplained lumps or lymph nodes that remain enlarged for longer than two weeks.

 Q) IS there a specific clinic for mole and blemish checks? I am not sure it warrants a GP appointment.

A) If you are not concerned and just want to monitor non- suspicious moles and blemishes, then there isn’t a clinic available to check this on the NHS. 

It would mean going private. 

However, if there is a mole or other skin lesion that you have concerns about, then you should arrange to see your GP as a first port of call.

It’s important to get a new or existing mole checked out if it changes shape, looks uneven, changes colour, gets darker, has more than two colours or if it starts itching, crusting, flaking or bleeding.

If you prefer to monitor for a while, or while waiting for your GP appointment, you should take photographs of the lesion in question to track any changes. 

It is a good idea to do this in bright natural light with a ruler next to the lesion, so that you can easily identify any ­alterations in shape, colour and size.

Q) I’VE been diagnosed with a prolapse and my cervix is slipping down.

I’m doing pelvic floor exercises and can manage everyday life at the moment, but I’m only 59.

Is it OK to still make love with my husband?

I’ve got a bit of lower back pain? Will this be because of the prolapse?

A) Yes, yes, yes, 100 times yes – you can have sex with your husband. 

That’s as long as it is not causing you any discomfort. If there is discomfort then there are treatments that can help so you can enjoy your sex life.

A prolapse occurs when a woman’s vaginal wall weakens and this can cause the uterus (as in your case), rectum, or bladder to bulge into the vagina. 

Please do keep up the pelvic floor exercises as this is your best protection from having any related issues in the future. 

Based on the data, pelvic organ prolapse is not a cause of back pain. 

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Many of us can improve back pain long term by strengthening our core muscles. 

Pilates would be wonderful for you as it strengthens both core muscles and aids the function of the pelvic floor, so it would be perfect.