Dr. Mark's Blog - Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

An insider’s guide to getting the most out of your GP surgery

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

From The Times Tuesday 18th June 2013 I am proud to be a GP but, along with many of my colleagues, my self-esteem has been somewhat dented over the last few months by the way we have been portrayed. Not only are GPs seemingly responsible for NHS crises ranging from teetering A&E services to burgeoning Read More…

A quick guide to treating hay fever

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

  Who gets hay fever? Hay fever is now the most common long-term illness in Britain. It typically develops in childhood and is most troublesome in 15 – 25 year olds – one in 4 British teenagers now have the condition. The number of GP consultations for hayfever has quadrupled in the last 30 years. Read More…

The right start? Supplements during pregnancy

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Most parents’ idea of giving their child the best start naturally centres on post-natal issues like breastfeeding and a safe nurturing environment, but important though these are, other factors can influence their offspring’s long-term future long before they are born. Indeed, sometimes even before they are conceived. We have known for many years that parental Read More…

Bed sharing and reducing the risk of cot death

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

From The Times 21.5.2013 “Should I sleep with my baby?” is a question that has polarized opinion since research revealed that just over half of all cot deaths occur when babies sleep with their parent(s). And the debate has been stoked today by new research revealing that the parental bed doesn’t just pose a threat Read More…

Breast cancer pt 2 – protecting women at the highest risk.

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

New figures from Cancer Research UK show that the odds of a British woman developing breast cancer have risen by a fifth over the last twenty years, with around 50,000 new cases likely to be diagnosed this year. But while women today are more likely to develop the disease, their odds of surviving it have Read More…

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Possibly not ….

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

If you have the type of IBS that leaves you prone to diarrhoea, as opposed to constipation, then you may have been wrongly diagnosed….. As many as half a million people in the UK with stomach problems previously attributed to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), could actually have another cause for their symptoms that is likely Read More…

Preventing breast cancer in high risk women using tamoxifen and related drugs

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

New research published in The Lancet – www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)60140-3/fulltext – that oestrogen blocking drugs like tamoxifen and raloxifene can prevent breast cancers if taken regularly – one breast cancer was prevented for every 42 women who took the drugs for at least 5 years. This adds to existing research currently being considered by NICE who is Read More…

Overdoing it in the gym

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Yesterday’s Inside Health -http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b019dl1b – item on very high intensity exercise prompted a number of people to question the evidence behind my advice for middle-aged and older people to limit the intensity of their work-outs to ensure their heart rate did not rise over 220 minus their age (ie 170 for a 50 year old, and Read More…

The new NHS 111 service

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

From The Times 16.4.13, and since this was published I have received numerous emails and letters from Times readers berating their experiences when using 111.  Even accounting for reporting bias, their experiences suggest the service may be in more disarray than I thought.  Perhaps the most ridiculous complaint was that from a daughter of an elderly Read More…

The Swansea measles outbreak and why it is so worrying

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

The measles outbreak in the Swansea area has highlighted just how quickly the disease can spread there have been just under 700 cases confirmed as I write, nearly a hundred of which have been diagnosed in the last week. And South Wales is unlikely to be the only part of the UK facing an epidemic Read More…