Recent questions answered by Dr Jenna Burton
Dr Jenna i have been ill for the last twelve months with multiple symptoms, swimmy head, vision problems, body weakness, tremors in hands and twitching in shoulders, headache, pins and needles in scalp, pressure in head. I have recently been put on antibiotics for a possible sinus infection but after 3 days i experience severe shortness of breath, sweating and panic attacks i stopped the medication and contacted my GP but i did not want to go onto another antibiotic this happened 6 days ago. I have continued to have these anxiety attacks with rapid heart rate, sweating and i wake up with my heart racing and sweating . I also feel like all the inside of my head has dried up i have difficulty swallowing and from the back of my nose to the back of my throat is extremely dry. Could this be to taking antibiotics if there was no infection there after all and could it be permanent damage. I have also noticed that my eyes widen intermittently i am not sure if this happens randomly or when one of these anxiety attacks happen. I have seen my GP about the anxiety but she said that this is not due to the medication. I also experience severe burning under my skin and internal burning in my nose throat chest and stomach and felt like the muscles in my chest are stiffening up and my breahing is not the same now i have been to A & E over the weekend but they say if i was allergic it would happen straight away but i am suffering with this 6 days later. I am anaemic and wonder whether my system was not strong enough to cope with the medication or if my immune system is low due to being ill for 12 months. My bowels have not opened for 6 days and I'm worried i could have internal damage.
Asked by Jose
I am sorry to hear of your symptoms. They must be very scary for you and incredibly troublesome.
It sounds very much that virtually all, if not entirely all, of your symptoms are secondary to anxiety. I am interested know whether you are on medication for this or seeing a therapist? Either way, please go back to your GP as you will need to have a dose or medication alteration. I understand your fears regarding the antibiotics but these will be unlikely to have resulted in the sensations that you are describing. Likewise, I do not believe from your description that there will have been any long term sinus complications but without assessing you physically I can not confirm that.
Prioritise getting your anxiety under control. Try mindfulness exercises, breathing techniques and/or medication. Coupled with an alteration in medication will have you feeling much better very soon.
I have a skin lesion/mole on the bridge of my nose that I would like removed. Can this be done whilst pregnant? Also, do you think I will be left with a big scar? The mole is slightly raised. Thanks,
Asked by Leah Little
It depends what the lesion is, whether it looks suspicious and how the dermatologist chooses to remove it.
As a general rule of thumb, we try to avoid doing almost anything whilst pregnant. Even when we know it is unlikely to harm the child, no one will take the risk. It is still worth getting it checked out as the lesion or mole may look suspicious and HAVE to be removed.
If the lesion is not suspicious, it will likely be left until you are no longer pregnant. This is at the decision of your dermatologist however.
Scars are always going to be a risk with removal of anything on top of your skin. We can try to make the scar as minimal as possible, but you may have to weigh up which you would rather; the scar or the lesion. Lasers can help to reduce scar size and appearance, but there is never any guarantee.
Sometimes these lesions can be removed with liquid nitrogen by 'cryotherapy.' This is less invasive but will not work on moles.
I would make an appointment with your dermatologist to have the lesion examined and decide between you on an action plan.
Take care and good luck.
Hello Jenna,I started with abdominal bloating in February this year, then got upper abdominal pain vomiting and diarrhoea for 2 weeks. This has been going on worse for last five weeks!
I saw my GP and he sent me to hospital as it may have been pancreatitis or gall stones.This was ruled out with OGD test and blood tests, though my plasma viscosity was 1.88 crp 10. I have now been getting right lower pelvic pain, abdominal bloating and pain, nausea and vomiting, feeling full or unable to eat and loosing weight. I feel ill and exhausted all the time and starting to get tearful. I've been referred for a scan but it was not acted on as urgent as my ca125 came back normal, I was told this can take 8 weeks and don't feel I can cope with the pain and vomiting much longer.
I am 55 years post menopausal, also my mother passed away with cancer, she had it in her overies, breast cervix and lungs, primary not known. My GP wants to rule ovarian cancer and cyst out, but it's taking a long time. Do I have symptoms of cancer? I'm very worried and it's affecting my life. Would like to hear what you advise.
Thank you, Jennifer.
Asked by Jennifer Wilson -smith
I am sorry to hear of the awful symptoms that you have been having. I would love to know the results of the OGD as many of the symptoms you describe fit so well with gastritis or a stomach ulcer and can be treated so simply with diet change and medication. I would advise cutting out smoking, alcohol, caffeine, heavy meals late at night and high fats to see if this makes a difference.
If not, all that you can do is wait for the tests. The symptoms of cancer are very wide so it would be difficult to say a true yes, no answer to your question. Commonly we worry most about unexplained weight loss and fatigue if we are considering cancer as a diagnosis. You have experienced weight loss, but this was secondary to nausea and vomiting and so does not fit with our 'unexplained' criteria.
For the nausea, ask the pharamacist for an over the counter anti-sickness tablet and try to take lots of water with food in small portions and taken often. As much as you can, do try to relax. Easier said than done I know.
Good luck and take care. I hope that your symptoms get better soon.
Hi Jenna, I've been having a strange taste in my mouth for a while that my dentist said wasn't dental related. So after a lot of "the world is ending" days/years I decided I'd take the first step to trying trying to do something about it and got a blood test and stool test. The blood test showed high calcium and low vitamin D which going by google is scary. And the stool test showed my anaerobic bacteria was very low or high (not sure how to read it but either way it's not in the normal range). Anyway, I'm just after some advice really, I dont know where to turn to? Do I book a gastro doctor for the anaerobic bacteria issue to be checked? And Endocrinologist for the Calcium stuff? I'm really nervous but want to find the right doctors. Thanks a lot!
Asked by Joe
Step away from Dr Google... It has some really useful information but it also has a lot of generic information which will be non-specific for you. Plus, secondary to legalities, it has to air on the side of caution (as I sometimes have to do when answering these enquiries from afar) so they often lead to a rather fatal diagnosis before you have stepped past the first sentence. Undoubtedly you should book an appointment with your GP or endocrinologist to check why your calcium levels are high.
It is less likely to be secondary to your parathyroid gland as your vitamin D is also low, but it needs investigating. It could be medication that you are taking along with other disorders of the bone and body. I would do this sooner rather than later to avoid deposits of calcium in unhelpful places such as in the kidneys and to be sure there is no underlying sinister cause.
With regards to the anaerobic bacteria, you need to have a further stool sample to identify which bacteria this is as it can likely be treated with a simple bacteria and no need to go to a gastroenterologist.
Take care and good luck.
I have had 2 episodes of Graves Disease in the past. While I was under the Endocrinologists the second time, about 3 years ago, I started to get occasional throat pain mainly when I used my arms (away from my body) I was reassured it was nothing to do with my thyroid. My thyroid levels are normal now (I feel). The throat pain is much worse and more continual. IAlso Im having shooting pains and noises in my ears. My GP has arranged an ENT referral but I'm wondering if its coming from my thyroid. Its certainly a very specific pain above my collar bones and moving my arms and head aggravate it. Do ENT specialists look at the thyroid as well?
Asked by Deb
All doctors must take in to consideration alternative diagnoses. This is why every specialist was once a general medical doctor rotating around the medical wards. Your symptoms are quite non-specific so could very well be related to your thyroid. Just because your blood test was normal, does not rule out thyroid disease.
Likewise, there are many different structures around your neck and throat region, so we must consider ENT and thyroid disease as two main causes, though even this is not 100% conclusive.
I would continue with the appointment for the ENT doctor, as blood tests will likely be included if the diagnosis is not obvious. Afterwards you can always be referred to the endocrinologist for further testing.
I appreciate this is not the firm answer you were looking for, but I hope you can take a little reassurance in the ENT referral.
Good luck, Jenna