Q: Over the last couple of years, I’ve been forgetting the most basic words
like table, chair and apple. I can think of the word, but I can’t get it out
of my mouth. I’m fine with longer, complicated words. I have a busy life –
could it be early-onset dementia? Katherine, 39
A: This condition is known as nominal aphasia, which means not being
able to remember and recall simple words and names. It’s common after having
a stroke or among people who have disorders of the nervous system and brain.
But it’s also prevalent in those who have busy and stressful lives, because
there’s so many things rushing around your brain that you struggle to get
the information out when you need it.
It’s highly unlikely that you have early- onset dementia, as that would affect
your short-term memory – you’d forget things that have happened or where
you’ve put items.
You need to try and manage your busy life in a more relaxed way. Make sure
you’re getting enough sleep and relaxing before bed. Meditation, yoga and
breathing exercises can all help. If your problems continue, see your GP, if
only to reassure yourself.
Q: For the last couple of months I’ve had a pain in my right heel whenever
I walk. My mum says it’s something called ‘policeman’s heel’ and I’ll need
an injection. Is she right? Laura, 26
A: Policeman’s heel is a simple term for ‘plantar fasciitis’ –
inflammation of a tendon that runs under the foot and attaches to the heel.
It becomes sore if you do a lot of walking on hard surfaces, like policemen
do when they’re patrolling the streets.
To relieve the pressure, buy some chiropody felt from a chemist and cut out a
horseshoe shape. Stick it in the heel of your shoe, so when you put your
foot in, your heel sits on the felt. This will take pressure away from the
centre of the foot, allowing it to heal.
If the pain becomes chronic, a cortisone injection into the tendon can be very
effective. This can be done by your GP or they may refer you to a
HELP! MY… HICCUPS WON’T STOP
The best way to stop hiccups
quickly is to use your fingers to push the sticky-out flaps of skin in front
of both ear canals against each ear. Push hard to block them.
While doing this, start to drink half a pint of water with a straw (get this
ready before you cover up your ears!)
When the water has gone, so should your hiccups! Drinking the water and
blocking your ear canal interrupts the nerve signals that go from your brain
to your diaphragm, which cause the hiccups to start in the first place. To
prevent them, avoid hot, spicy food and fizzy drinks.
ASPIRIN OR A&E?
Symptom: Blurred vision
You worry it’s: A brain
Don’t panic: Blurred vision could be caused by
cataracts or ‘floaters’ – the movement of dead cells in the fluid at the
back of the eye. See your optician for an eye check-up. Diabetes can also
sometimes start with blurred vision.
Hit the hospital if:
You’re vomiting or have intense headaches with blurred vision that come on
suddenly. Brain tumours can be treated with radiotherapy or surgery, but
sometimes they can be benign and cause fewer problems.
COMPILED BY: JO UPCRAFT PHOTOGRAPHY:
GETTY DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN IF YOU’RE UNDER 16