Skin Cander: Could it be caused by my shampoo?

I have a 20-year history of skin problems on my forehead and temples. Some have been skin cancers that have been surgically removed. I am concerned that most shampoos cause inflammation on my upper forehead and know that most contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) or similar ingredients. Can you please recommend shampoos that do not contain such ingredients.

Dementia: Is there anything I can do?

I am a lady of 62. My problem is my personal pronouns. If I talk about a man, I call him her, and a woman, I call her him. Even when I write it down, I get it wrong. If there are theirs, yours, I get them the wrong way round. If there are several in a sentence, I am confused. It used to be now and again, but now I do it all the time. I also find stringing sentences together difficult. At the beginning, I realised I was saying it wrong, but now I don't realise it. I don't want to live my life in dementia. Is there anything I can do?

Prostate cancer: Is it hereditary?

My father died of prostate cancer and I want to do everything possible to avoid getting it. He developed his first symptoms in his late fifties, but it took a couple of years before cancer was diagnosed. What is the likelihood that I will get it? What can I do to prevent it? Is it linked to diet?

Anaemia: Would more iron in my diet help?

I am a female in my fifties and have noticed an increase in hair loss over the last few years. I try to eat a healthy diet, but I have a minimal intake of red meat. Although I have never been clinically anaemic, whenever I try to donate blood I am rejected on the grounds that I am on the borderline of anaemia. I have read that low iron levels are associated with hair loss. Would more iron in my diet help?

Hot Flushes: Why can't I continue with HRT?

For many years, since the menopause, I have taken Livial tablets and I have felt very well with them. I recently visited my GP and she told me to stop using them. Since then I am getting three or four hot flushes every day. Is there a good reason why I can't continue to take Livial?

Rhinitis: Why am I sensitive to cold air?

I am acutely sensitive to cold air. The effects are immediate and the colder the air the worse things are. I flinch on exposure to the cold at this time of year as if sniffing smelling salts. This is followed by a thumping headache and painful soreness in the eyes and nostrils. Further exposure can result in heavy nasal congestion and pain spreading all around my eyes, jaws and teeth. I am confined to the house from October to June and even in summer have to be wary of air-conditioning. The problem started after a spell in hospital due to pneumonia and a pulmonary embolism. Can you offer any help as to what it might be, what has caused it and what can be done?

Back Pain: Why is it affecting my balence?

I am 62. For years I have been plagued by a problem which seems to be related to balance. I have long had a rather bad sense of balance, but the specific problem which bothers me is an inability to walk more than a mile or so without finding it harder and harder to stay upright, accompanied by considerable fatigue in the lower back and legs, which gets harder and harder to control. If I don't sit down I become quite distressed, but recover after a rest. I am generally quite healthy otherwise.

Sight loss: will blueberries do any good?

I am 74 and have been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (the dry form of the disease). My vision is slowly getting worse and I am finding it more and more difficult to read. Are there any nutritional remedies that will slow down the progression of this disease? I have heard that blueberries are good, but I don't want to spend time or money on hopeless remedies.

Hair loss: does my diet matter?

Some of the hair on my legs has disappeared. On each leg the bare skin extends from a centre line starting below the knee and radiating outwards around to the back and down to the ankle. What could this be caused by? My GP discounted poor circulation, as I have a good pulse in each foot. I hardly ever eat meat but I do eat fish."

Headache: ice-cream makes my head hurt

Whenever I drink more than a few sips of an ice-cold drink, I get a headache. It lasts for perhaps half a minute and then goes away. The worst cause is a Mcdonald's milkshake, which causes the headache after a few sips. Is there a cure for this?

Multiple sclerosis: are my eye problems a symptom of MS?

I woke up with a sore left eye, and vision in that eye became a bit blurry. The eye hurt when I looked to the side or up. After 24 hours, I went to casualty and was told I had inflammation of the optic nerve. I was not treated, and was told that it would recover within a few weeks. It did, but when I looked this up on the internet I saw that it can be a first sign of multiple sclerosis.

Cystic fibrosis: faulty genes are in the family

Recent publicity about cystic fibrosis has made me wonder. A distant cousin was born with cystic fibrosis about 20 years ago. He died in his teens. My sister and I are now in our mid-twenties and we will both probably have children within the next couple of years. Is there a chance we could have a child with cystic fibrosis? Is there a test we could have to find out?

Pacemakers: hanging on the telephone

My brother has been fitted with a pacemaker. He was told that he should not use a telephone on the side of the pacemaker. Unfortunately, that side is the only side that he can hear on - he is nearly deaf in his other ear. He has acquired a hands-free phone, but he finds it difficult to use. I can understand a ban on cordless or mobile phones, but I can't understand how a conventional phone could interfere with a pacemaker.

Diarrhoea: what causes it?

My mother and I have had dental problems that prevented us from eating solid food. We were prescribed antibiotics and told to stick to a liquid diet. We both used a meal-replacement powder, Complan, to supplement our diets. However, we both experienced diarrhoea within a couple of hours of having this drink. Why is this?

Blackouts: fainting fear

I was using the cross trainer at the gym and I developed a strange feeling. The next thing I knew I was on the floor. My friends said that I was foaming at the mouth and that my head jerked back when I was on the ground. I also wet myself. I was only unconscious for about a minute, and within half an hour I was back to normal. I've never had anything like this before.

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