Health

A doctor’s advice on the UK’s most searched embarrassing health concerns

When was the last time you typed in a health query on a search engine? Was it today, last week or this year? Take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Exclusive to the Daily Express, Dr Chung Tang addresses the nation’s most embarrassing conditions.

Conducted by the experts at Lenstore, over 100 common health ailments were analysed to reveal the UK’s 15 most embarrassing health symptoms. These are:

Diarrhoea (246,000 monthly searches)Constipation (74,000)Vaginal itching (27,100)Trapped wind (27,100)Inverted nipple (22,200)Hot flashes (14,800)Vaginal dryness (14,800)White tongue (14,800)Hair loss (12,100)Weight gain (12,100)Anal itching (9,900)Vaginal discharge (9,900)Excessive sweating (8,100)Rectal bleeding (8,100)Bad breath (6,600)

Based at Pall Mall Medical, Dr Tang gives his medical advice on seven embarrassing health concerns.

Diarrhoea
Home remedies include drinking plenty of fluids, such as “diorite for salt loss”.

This type of drink helps to replace “sodium, calcium, and magnesium” in the body.

“Drink plenty of water, clear juices, clear broths, or an electrolyte-rich sports drink,” recommends Dr Tang.

He adds people suffering from diarrhoea should “avoid caffeinated drinks”, such as coffee.

Dr Tang also frowns upon the consumption of “prune juice, sugary drinks, dairy products, soda and alcohol”, which all have a laxative effect.

While addressing diarrhoea, it’s best to “eat a bland diet”. “Low-fibre foods will help to firm up stools,” he adds.

Examples of low-fibre foods include bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast, skinless chicken breasts, oatmeal, baked potatoes and chicken soup with saltines.

Dr Tang also advises to “use probiotics” – i.e. live bacteria and yeast – as they can “restore normal bowel function and exert powerful antidiarrheal effects”.

Red flags
It’s time to visit the GP when there’s “blood in your stool, weight loss or persisting symptoms” – and this is the same for constipation.

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Constipation
Dr Tang suggests exercising regularly to “help stimulate the muscles in your intestines and colon”; this will help “move things through”.

Hydration is key too, as this “helps movement”, and eating “easy-to-digest foods that are high in fibre”.

Examples include berries, bananas, prunes, or avocado; consider taking magnesium supplements.

“Magnesium supplements could help by pulling water into your digestive system, which helps soften your stool,” explains Dr Tang.

Vaginal itching
“An oatmeal bath can help ease vulval itching caused by eczema,” says Dr Tang.

Do notify your GP if vaginal itching is accompanied by “any lumps”, which will need further investigation.

Trapped wind
“Drink ginger or peppermint tea” advises Dr Tang. He adds to “eat slowly and avoid chewing gum to avoid swallowing air”.

“Persistent bloatedness could be a sign of ovarian cancer,” he warns. “If you are also experiencing weight loss, vomiting blood, abdominal pain, abdominal distension, not passing stools or wind then see a doctor.”

Bad breath
Aside from good dental hygiene, Dr Tang recommends eating yoghurt and to drink water.

However, if you’re “drinking a lot, passing a lot of urine and feel tired”, it may be a sign of diabetes, which requires medical attention.

Vaginal dryness
“Avoid perfumed products,” advises Dr Tang. However, “if you’re bleeding post-menopause, then you should see a doctor”.

Anal itching
“A warm bath with Epsom salt s can help soothe the irritation from haemorrhoids,” clarified Dr Tang.

However, to rule out bowel cancer, any rectal bleeding needs to be discussed with a doctor.

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