Dr. Mark's Blog

A pragmatist’s guide to looking after your heart

February 11th, 2017

Courtesy of The Times 27.9.2016      You are only as old as your arteries. Much as we all like to look good on the outside, it’s the state of our circulation that will largely determine how long most of us live – and how enjoyable those extra years are. Around 7 million people in Read More…

Low carb diet – my 6 week experiment to see how cutting back on carbs impacted on my blood cholesterol / lipid profile

February 18th, 2016

Although very late to the “low-carb” party, here are my experiences of the impact on my blood lipid profile: Courtesy of The Times 2016 . Please bear in mind this is just a personal experiment, not a trial! Nor am I claiming it is for everyone. And I am well aware it is not a proper Read More…

Why you should register to use the online services at your GP surgery.

December 16th, 2015

Published in The Times 8:12:15 Are you part of the NHS digital revolution? Can you book appointments to see your GP online? Or order repeat prescriptions through your practice website and access your notes? If not, why not – because your surgery almost certainly now offers the facility? In 2012 I promised to eat my Read More…

New NICE guidance on HRT – key changes (2015)

December 16th, 2015

NICE has released its long awaited guidance on the use of hormone replacement therapy in women (HRT) and it includes a few changes that are likely to see more women being offered it / considering it. I have summarised some key points below. To find out more you will need to speak to your own Read More…

Thoughts on screening for Alzheimer’s / dementia – and why seeking help early can help (sometimes).

December 16th, 2015

Would you want to know if your GP suspected you were in the early stages of dementia? Because they might not tell you. More than a quarter of GPs surveyed by the Alzheimer’s Society admit they wouldn’t refer people with suspected dementia because poorly resourced services mean an early diagnosis isn’t necessarily helpful. Indeed it Read More…

An insider’s guide for treating colds and flu – courtesy of The Times 15.12.15

December 16th, 2015

    It has been a tough week for ibuprofen and paracetamol. An Australian court has ordered the manufacturers of Nurofen to withdraw a number of products because of misleading claims about efficacy. And, as reported in yesterday’s Times, researchers in New Zealand have just published a study suggesting that paracetamol doesn’t alleviate many of Read More…

Blood in your urine (haematuria)

February 19th, 2015

  Cancers of the kidney and bladder kill nearly as many people in the UK as breast cancer yet they have nothing like its profile, and the cardinal sign of trouble – blood in the urine – isn’t always taken as seriously as it should be. Obvious blood in the urine (haematuria) should never be Read More…

Testosterone replacement for men – my views

April 23rd, 2014

Taken from my column in The Times 22.4.2013   HRT may have fallen from grace but, if a recent trip to the States is anything go by, the male equivalent, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), is very much in the ascendancy. And we are starting to feel the impact here with the number of NHS prescriptions Read More…

Don’t forget your malaria tablets

December 16th, 2013

Taken from The Times 10th December 2013 Forty-seven year old Jayne Rowley is the latest Briton to have died from malaria, and her demise last month should be a warning for anyone planning a trip to an exotic location; never underestimate the threat posed by malaria. Mr and Mrs Rowley decided not to bother with Read More…

Calcium supplements and reports that “they may do more harm than good”

September 19th, 2013

If you are one of the five million or so people in the UK taking a calcium supplement then you are likely to have been worried by new research linking the supplements to stroke and heart attack. So is there any truth in recent press reports that “they do more harm than good”? Calcium is Read More…