Categories: Health

DR ELLIE CANNON: How can I avoid the big purple bruises all over my arms?

I suffer from deep purple bruises on my arms that come up when I bump into something. I have a few health issues: chronic lymphocytic leukemia, psoriatic arthritis, and other little things, and I’m on quite a few different medications too — but what can I do about these unsightly spots?

Bruising can become a problem as people get older. These marks are formed when very small blood vessels, known as capillaries, are damaged near the surface of the skin, allowing blood to seep out. They change color and gradually disappear as the blood cells are reabsorbed.

As we age and the skin gets thinner, these capillaries have less protection, so even minor bumps can cause some pretty dramatic bruises.

Many drugs make bruising worse – these are any drugs that thin the blood or prevent clotting, often given for common heart conditions, in this case clopidogrel, a blood clotting drug.

Today’s reader has asked DR ELLIE CANNON for help regarding constant bruising that occurs when she bumps into something, photo posed by model

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a type of blood cancer – the most common form of leukemia in the elderly.

One of the signs of this disease is bruising, because the blood cells are confused.

Addressing this can be tricky – the medication will clearly be essential so this needs to be continued. However, there are some steps that can help reduce the problem.

Wearing long sleeves can help protect the skin – which is easier in winter.

Making sure the diet is as nutritious as possible can help. Sometimes, as people get older, they suffer from loss of appetite, so it’s vital to look for things that are tasty and appealing, whatever that may be. In these cases, it’s all about getting the calories in.

Bad bruises can heal faster if a cold compress is applied for 20 minutes once it is injured.

I am a fit, healthy 54 year old female, but earlier this year I was diagnosed with anterior prolapse. The doctor said it’s because of the menopause and there’s nothing that can be done about it other than pelvic floor exercises, which I do. It’s very uncomfortable, and I’m aware of it every day. It also affects intimacy. I would appreciate any help or advice.

Within a woman’s pelvis, the organs are very close together: the rectum is adjacent to the vagina, which in turn is adjacent to the bladder. Everything is held firmly together in the scaffolding of the pelvic floor muscles.

More from Dr Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday…

If something weakens these muscles, such as pregnancy, menopause, or age, the organs are held tighter than before. This can cause a prolapse.

An anterior prolapse is when the bladder bulges into the front wall of the vagina. This can cause discomfort, especially during sex, and problems with urination. Patients often describe a feeling of pressure or dragging in the pelvis.

Pelvic floor exercises – in which the muscles are tensed and relaxed to strengthen them – are a first treatment. They are not easy to do and are more than just the occasional pinch. In fact, pelvic floor exercises should be performed like any other training regimen, regularly and according to proper instructions. In some areas, women on the NHS may be referred to women’s health physiotherapy to be able to do these exercises properly.

Ideally, a woman with a prolapse should be recommended for a 16-week program of guided pelvic floor muscle training, which she can then continue at home.

Estrogen creams, a type of HRT used in cream form in the vagina, are also known to improve symptoms.

About ten months ago, shortly after I got my Moderna Covid vaccine, I started to feel unwell. Now I get strange cramps in my legs and feel exhausted all the time. Could it be the jab? I am 70 and otherwise healthy.

Do you have a question for Dr. Ellie?

Email DrEllie@mailonsunday.co.uk or write to Health, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT.

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dr. Ellie can only answer in a general context and cannot respond to individual cases or provide personal answers. Always consult your own doctor in case of health problems.

Vaccines undoubtedly save lives, but we also have to recognize that they will have side effects in a small number of people. For most people, these are short-lived rather than almost a year.

It’s certainly possible that muscle spasms and fatigue are related to the vaccine, but there could be something else going on.

New exhaustion and muscle cramps in a 70-year-old should be examined by a GP. Exhaustion or fatigue is a common symptom of a range of conditions, ranging from a simple thyroid disorder to hidden blood loss from cancer.

Muscle spasms can also be a sign of serious problems such as Parkinson’s or MS.

It would be typical in this situation to have a battery of blood tests and possibly some more invasive tests for the muscles and nerves. Side effects of all medications, whether or not you can prove that they were the cause, should all be reported.

This is done through the yellow card system of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

There is a website for symptoms related to Covid treatments and vaccinations online (coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk). A pharmacist or general practitioner can also help.

Why operations seem so quiet

I’ve had a few letters from readers asking why their GP’s waiting room seems so empty, despite their doctor claiming to be busier than ever.

I know it doesn’t make much sense. But an empty waiting room doesn’t mean a quiet operation, and it’s true that we’re busier than ever. And in most practices I know, including mine, we see most patients face to face.

But we work differently now. Patients are not seen one after another as before – face-to-face consultations are often interspersed with telephone consultations or dealing with many questions online.

Many of our most vulnerable patients avoid surgery and potential infections, especially at this time of year. All this leads to a seemingly empty practice, but we are here and working very hard.

Hancock should be in the investigation, not in the jungle

I’m surprised that former Health Secretary Matt Hancock thinks it’s appropriate to star on a reality show when the Covid investigation has just kicked off

Tonight I won’t be tuning in to ITV’s new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! I’m surprised that former Health Secretary Matt Hancock thinks it’s appropriate to star on this reality show, but what baffles me the most is its timing.

The long-awaited Covid inquiry is currently underway and ministers can finally be held accountable for their fundamental mistakes in the pandemic response.

As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Hancock should be in the dock, in no small part for breaking his own rules and the damaging effects of some of the restrictions he imposed – which will continue to have effects. I could also mention the appalling situation in nursing homes, where thousands died unnecessarily, and not getting enough PPE for medical personnel.

So maybe it’s no wonder that Mr. Hancock would much rather be on the other side of the world.

Merry

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