I’m an NHS GP – here’s when a ‘trivial’ headache can be an emergency you must get checked out

WHEN your kids get unwell, it can be complicated to determine when to acquire action.

Regardless of whether a newborn or teenager, a sniffle or one thing a lot more sinister, I see mother and father worried about their children all the time – it is completely standard.

Dr Zoe answers your health questions


Dr Zoe answers your wellbeing questions

The most essential thing to don’t forget is to believe in your instincts.

No just one is familiar with your kid and what’s ordinary for them greater than you.

So if you think something is significantly erroneous, never hold off in obtaining assistance, especially if it could be an unexpected emergency.

We ended up reminded of this when the mother and father of Martha Mills told their heartbreaking story.

Their 13-calendar year-aged daughter died in 2021 right after medical doctors unsuccessful to acknowledge her to intense care for sepsis.

Now, the Govt is looking at bringing in “Martha’s rule”, in which parents have the suitable to talk to for a 2nd feeling whilst their little one is in healthcare facility.

Pushing again against medical doctors can be difficult, so this go may aid.

Here’s a range of what visitors have requested me this week . . . 

Q: MY daughter, 12, retains owning “episodes”.

She’ll really feel ill and nauseous then she’ll take in or drink and come to feel Alright for a little bit, then dip all over again and feel sick.

She eats properly, is hydrated and has no other indicators. What could it be?

A: Hyperglycemia, the health-related expression for elevated blood sugar amounts — or hypoglycemia, the medical expression for small blood sugars — might cause nausea.

If this symptom in your daughter has been persisting for some time, then I’d advise speaking to the GP and arranging a blood exam to rule out diabetes.

Almost certainly not applicable listed here, but for any person studying I want to spotlight that critical nausea may perhaps be a signal of diabetic ketoacidosis.

This is a hazardous health-related affliction that will have to be handled to prevent coma or even demise.

Signs and symptoms consist of abdominal pain, extreme thirst, nausea, shortness of breath, repeated urination, weak spot or fatigue, confusion and fruity-scented breath.

If you suspect diabetic ketoacidosis, request clinical consideration quickly.

Other leads to for your daughter’s issue consist of sensitivity to hormones — does this happen in the week in advance of her time period?

If so, it could be in response to the drop in hormones that materialize at that time of the menstrual cycle.

Sexually energetic women should really also look at being pregnant too.

Trying to keep a symptom diary to try out to location a pattern will seriously aid in knowing what the trigger could be and GPs come across symptom diaries helpful, way too.

Q: I Put up with from belly adhesions which lead to me a great deal of ache just after surgical procedures 35 years back.

The surgeon did a laparoscopic inspection and minimize some adhesions.

They informed me in the ward that it was like a spider’s net in my abdominal cavity.

Agony meds enable but do you know of any procedures that could support?

A: Ordinarily, stomach adhesions happen as a end result of surgical treatment.

They are scar tissue that will become fibrotic and, as your surgeon describes, they can build a little bit like spider’s webs with fantastic strands that can conclude up sticking to organs or loops of the bowel.

In persons who have not had medical procedures, adhesions can also occasionally kind because of to conditions these as endometriosis or subsequent bacterial infections or swelling within just the abdomen or pelvis.

Probable indicators include the pain which you point out but also bloating, cramping, nausea, vomiting and a adjust in stool behavior — which can be altered frequency, regularity or both equally.

Adhesions are diagnosed by laparoscopic operation as in your circumstance or by an MRI or CT scan.

They can bring about the serious discomfort you explain in your letter and sometimes a partial or total obstruction of the intestines.

Really not often, adhesions can lead to the intestine to twist, chopping off its blood offer which is a clinical emergency.

Did your surgeon suggest no matter whether you could reward from any further medical procedures in the long term, or did they say they received rid of what they could and just cannot do any much more?

Surgical treatment to reduce the adhesions can be helpful, but it will come with the hazard of extra adhesions forming from the surgery by itself, so in principle can essentially make factors worse in the extensive run.

Exploration from a college in China observed some people have symptom aid with acupuncture.

Otherwise, the possibilities contain soreness treatment and nutritional modifications, with meals that are gentle or lower in fibre staying most typically encouraged.

In some cases men and women will be referred to a agony clinic if the usual about-the-counter painkillers aren’t operating, and dependent on in which you reside, your GP surgical procedure might be in a position to assist you speak to a dietician, so do inquire.

Fears about problems

Q: I AM a 60-yr-previous woman and around the earlier pair of months I have been possessing capturing pains in the left side of my head.

In some cases they are brief and sharp and other situations they are for a longer time and a lot more distressing. They take place at any time, when I’m in bed as properly as throughout the day.

I have had breast cancer twice, ensuing in a lumpectomy, mastectomy and reconstruction.

I had a TIA [mini stroke] in 2022. I am unwilling to make contact with my GP around problems.

A: I comprehend with all the things you’ve been by means of you are unwilling to speak to the GP about something that may look trivial like head aches, but with the capturing pains you explain I’d suggest you to get checked over.

Your GP will probably want to rule out a situation termed giant cell arteritis (or temporal arteritis) the place arteries at the facet of the head – in close proximity to the temples – become infected.

It’s a problem that we generally take into account in a particular person around the age of 50 with a new onset of head aches.

Signs or symptoms consist of regular head aches at the facet of your head and up on to your scalp, jaw pain, problems with eyesight and from time to time flu-like symptoms, lethargy, melancholy and getting rid of fat.

My advice is to phone your GP today for an appointment and mention temporal arteritis.

They will possible prepare a blood exam to glance for indicators of inflammation straight absent.

If left untreated it can lead to stroke or blindness in 1 eye. So you should do contact your GP and let me know how you get on.

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