Why do I wake up so sick that I can’t cope with breakfast?

Most mornings I wake up feeling very sick. I don’t eat too late at night and usually have small meals, so I don’t think it’s because of what I eat. I can’t eat breakfast because of nausea, which makes me feel dizzy. Is it bad to skip breakfast – and what could cause nausea?

It’s not normal to wake up every day feeling sick, and that’s definitely a reason to see a GP.

Anxiety and, in some cases, stress, both of which can cause very profound physical symptoms, are one of the most common causes of daily nausea. This may be accompanied by a feeling of fear and nervousness, as well as a rapid heartbeat or a headache.

With a thorough conversation and testing, a doctor can determine if the cause is psychological before researching what treatments might be suitable to address it.

It’s not normal to wake up every day feeling sick, and that’s definitely a reason to see a GP. (file image)

Nausea can also be a symptom of a stomach problem. People who suffer from acid reflux or gastritis, where the stomach is inflamed, will regularly feel sick.

Gut issues can also cause daily nausea — conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and H. pylori infection could be to blame, and even chronic constipation can be the culprit.

Nausea is also a very common side effect of medications, so it’s worth asking your pharmacist if any medications you take regularly could be the cause.

Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to daily nausea.

There are medications to treat nausea that can be effective. Some, like motion sickness pills, can be bought without a prescription, and a doctor can also prescribe anti-nausea medications, such as those we use for morning sickness.

Although unlikely, daily nausea can be what doctors call a red flag for certain cancers, such as pancreatic or stomach cancer.

The priority, however, is to establish what is happening.

I am in my early 60s and very fit and active. Recently, I started noticing that a few of my fingers were “locking up” and not moving for a few minutes at a time before going back to normal. Is it an early form of arthritis?

It’s more like something called trigger finger than arthritis. In arthritis, there is pain, swelling, and immobility of the joint, but it doesn’t come and go that way.

With the finger on the trigger, one finger stays locked in position when you bend it. Any finger can be affected – even more than one at a time – but most commonly it is the thumb or ring finger.

While arthritis is a problem with the joints, trigger finger is a problem with the tendons – the soft tissues that attach your bones to muscles. Tendons allow smooth and easy movement of your muscles and joints, much like the well-lubricated pulleys of a machine.

With the finger on the trigger, this smooth motion is interrupted by narrowing and lumps forming in the tendons, which means they snag and get stuck. This is more common in people over 50 and in women, although we don’t know why this happens.

It is also more common in people with rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, and in people whose job or hobby involves a lot of repetitive manual labor.

With an early trigger finger, resting the hand may be enough to help it pass. A splint to support and rest the hand, worn at night to keep the finger in a straight position, may also help. This could be used with anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen or ibuprofen.

Worsening symptoms may benefit from injecting steroids directly into the tendon to reduce inflammation and bring back smooth movements.

Six years ago, I had several episodes of lung infections for which I was prescribed antibiotics. Since then, my sense of smell has deteriorated. Now, on some occasions I can smell faintly, but on other days not at all. Could this be a side effect of the antibiotics I was given or my blood pressure medication?

Loss of smell, known as anosmia, has become widely known as a long-term symptom and complication of Covid, but is a problem for many people who have never had Covid.

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.

Dr. Ellie can only answer in a general context and cannot answer individual cases, nor give personal answers.

If you have a medical condition, always consult your own GP.

Anosmia can occur after any upper respiratory tract infection, as inflammation of the nasal cavity can affect the nerves involved in smell.

It can also be a symptom of nasal growths called polyps and allergies that cause constant inflammation of the nose. The sense of smell also decreases with age.

Some blood pressure medications can affect taste, but not smell. Certain antibiotics that may have been used for a lung infection can affect your sense of smell long term.

If there is an underlying cause, such as inflammation of the nose, polyps, or allergies, treatment will help the sense of smell return. This could involve taking a regular antihistamine or using a steroid nasal spray.

A GP or pharmacist can advise you on this. It is important to remember that in addition to being painful, not having a sense of smell is also a risk.

You cannot detect a gas leak or food that is burning or food that has exploded.

Smell training is a technique that helps regain your sense of smell. This is a program to follow to re-educate your nose to get used to smells. This involves smelling specific strong smells daily to help reactivate the senses.

You can find the program to follow with the charities Abscent (abscent.org) or Fifth Sense (fifthsense.org.uk).

Hayfever is miserable but you don’t need a GP for that

I know hay fever symptoms can be quite miserable, but you don’t need to see a GP about it. I have heard several colleagues say that their clinics are full of patients with classic hay fever problems, leaving little room for other patients.

This is tricky because some of the worst symptoms, such as runny eyes and headaches, can be mistaken for other conditions that could be more serious.

It is also possible to develop hay fever at any time in life, so some people may be troubled by a new set of symptoms.

I know hay fever symptoms can be quite miserable, but you don't need to see a GP about it.  I have heard several colleagues say that their clinics are full of patients with classic hay fever problems, leaving little room for other patients.  (file image)

I know hay fever symptoms can be quite miserable, but you don’t need to see a GP about it. I have heard several colleagues say that their clinics are full of patients with classic hay fever problems, leaving little room for other patients. (file image)

I understand why patients would want to see a doctor, just in case. But most people don’t know they can use their pharmacist for this – they’ll recognize the telltale signs in an instant. They can also recommend treatments.

If that doesn’t work, then it’s time to make an appointment with your GP.

There’s no reason to have hay fever, but GPs don’t have the answer – pharmacists do.

Don’t let insects ruin your barbecue

Be careful when enjoying barbecues – this is the time of year when we see the most cases of food poisoning.

Outdoor grills aren’t always used properly and fail to kill the nasty bugs that hide in raw meat.

Experts have warned that special care should be taken with grilled chicken, as it is the meat most likely to carry a bacteria called campylobacter, which can be serious.

Be careful when enjoying barbecues - this is the time of year when we see the most cases of food poisoning.  (file image)

Be careful when enjoying barbecues – this is the time of year when we see the most cases of food poisoning. (file image)

In fact, it is responsible for the most hospitalizations of all diet-related illnesses in the UK.

Food poisoning isn’t just an empty stomach, it can actually make you very sick. A patient of mine was recently hospitalized with Campylobacter from undercooked chicken.

Finish meat in the oven if you’re worried, keep raw meat away from other foods, and most importantly, remember to wash your hands.

#wake #sick #cope #breakfast

Add Comment