Q. I can’t seem to eat without feeling bloated. I’ve tried cutting down on
fizzy drinks as I hear they can cause it, but I still blow up about 20
minutes after any meal. What’s wrong with me?
A. Bloating is extremely common and the result of gas produced by bacteria in
your gut breaking down food that hasn’t been properly digested. Causes
include low stomach acid, low levels of certain digestive enzymes, stress,
food intolerances, insufficient friendly bacteria in the gut and slow
intestinal mobility. Try cutting down on foods which are harder to digest
and worsen the gas problem, such as beans. Eat slowly to help your
digestion, and relax for at least 10 minutes after meals. You could also eat
natural bio-yoghurt a few times a week, cut back on sugary foods, which
encourage bad bacteria, and take a pre-biotic supplement to boost friendly
bacteria.If you’re still suffering, talk to your GP about possible food
Q. My doctor has told me I’m hard of hearing in my left ear. I really don’t
want to wear a hearing aid, as I feel too young. Is there an alternative?
A. Millions of people your age are hard of hearing, but just like you they
postpone wearing a hearing aid for fear that it will age them. However there
is a great alternative – the Phonak Lyric, which is just 16mm long. It fits
into the ear canal and is invisible to other people. It could solve your
hearing problem completely and only needs to be fitted and changed by an
audiologist every three to four months. Subscriptions cost about £100 a
month, but if you can find the funds, I think you’ll find it is money well
spent. Check out Phonak.com for more information.
Unfortunately, some people actually get these bizarre diseases. Gulp!
Walking Corpse Syndrome
This creepy-sounding condition, also called the Cotard delusion or nihilistic
delusion, is a rare disorder in whichthe sufferer firmly believes they’re
dead, and/or decaying (shudder). Other patients simply believe that they
don’t exist. In rare instances, it can include delusions of immortality.
This illness is linked to depression, suicidal thoughts, self-loathing and
sleep deprivation. More research needsto be done on this disorder to
understand it more deeply, but treatments can include antidepressants and
Foreign Accent Syndrome
Normally occuring after a head injury, trauma or stroke, foreign accent
syndrome causes the sufferer to talk with a random new accent. Regardless of
whether they were able to do it beforehand, they come round pronouncing
words in their native language completely differently, with altered pitch
and mispronounced syllables. Research has shown that people with this
condition have suffered damage to the part of the brain that affects speech.
There have been about 60 reported cases.
COMPILED BY CARLY HOBBS AND SOPHIE CONNOLLY PHOTOGRAPHY: ALAMY