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, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women. See h3health.co.uk.
Q) IS there anything you can do to boost a child’s immunity when they are at nursery mixing with germ-ridden toddlers?
I have a three-year-old daughter who goes from one snotty nose to another and I am constantly giving her Calpol.
She hates vegetables so I give her a multivitamin and a probiotic every day.
Is there anything else you can suggest?
Rosie Alderson, Derby
A) This is a common problem when children start nursery because they are exposed to a host of new infections, spread by other children.
Nursery-age children get around ten viral infections per year, which is completely normal and doesn’t indicate anything wrong with their immune system.
Children have to build up an appropriate immune response to a new virus, then generate antibodies and store the memory of those antibodies for any future exposure.
As children mix and expose each other to lots of illnesses for the first time, it is not surprising your child seems to be sick every week.
Adults are not affected in the same way, as we have had a lifetime of virus exposure.
Children who catch illnesses in nursery have fewer sick days when starting full-time school as they have built up their immune system.
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Q) I’M a 73-year-old man and have been having problems going to the loo for years. I’ve tried it all without success.
I went to several GPs and each prescribed different medicines but none have worked.
My diet is full of veggies and I drink two litres of water daily.
George Bezzina, Leicester
A) Constipation affects 14 per cent of the global population.
It’s common in the UK where people have higher fat and carbohydrate diets and eat fewer vegetables.
There are medical conditions that can lead to constipation such as an underactive thyroid or high calcium, but the most common causes are lifestyle factors: Inadequate dietary fibre, not drinking enough fluid, a lack of exercise, toileting habits (feeling hurried etc), anxiety, dementia or the side effects of many medications.
In patients where there is no medical underlying cause, being physically active, increasing fluid and fibre intake and over-the-counter treatments such as bran powder or ispaghula husk could help.
Your GP can prescribe you macrogols or lactulose, which keep fluid in the bowel and helping you pass a motion more easily.
Stimulant laxatives and enemas can be used but if nothing is working you must speak to your doctor again.