I suffer from deep purple bruises on my arms that appear every time I trip over something. I have some health problems: chronic lymphocytic leukemia, psoriatic arthritis, and other minor things, and I’m also taking quite a few different medications, but what can I do about these ugly marks?
Bruises can be a problem as people age. These marks form when very small blood vessels known as capillaries near the surface of the skin are damaged, allowing blood to leak out. They change color and gradually disappear as the blood cells are reabsorbed.
As we age and skin gets thinner, these capillaries have less protection, so even minor bumps can cause some pretty dramatic bruising.
Many medications make bruises worse; these include drugs that thin the blood or prevent clotting, often given for very common heart conditions, in this case clopidogrel, which is an anticoagulant drug.
Today’s reader has asked Dr. ELLIE CANNON for help regarding the constant bruising that arises every time she bumps into something, image posed by model.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a type of blood cancer, the most common type of leukemia in the elderly.
One of the signs of this disease is bruising, because the blood cells are disordered.
Addressing this can be tricky – medication will clearly be essential, so you need to continue. However, there are some steps that can help mitigate the problem.
Wearing long sleeves can help protect your skin, which is easier in winter.
Making sure the diet is as nutritious as possible can help. Sometimes as people get older they lose their appetite, so it’s vital to look for things that are tasty and appealing, whatever they are. It’s all about getting the calories, in these cases.
Serious bruises may heal faster if you apply a cold pack for 20 minutes as soon as you are injured.
I am a healthy and fit 54 year old woman, but earlier this year I was diagnosed with an anterior prolapse. The doctor said that he went through menopause, and there is nothing that can be done except pelvic floor exercises, which I do. It is very uncomfortable, and I am aware of it every day. It is also affecting intimacy. I would appreciate any help or advice.
Inside a woman’s pelvis, the organs are close together: the rectum is next to the vagina, which in turn is next to the bladder. Everything is held together firmly 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 remain looser than before. This risks a prolapse occurring.
An anterior prolapse is when the bladder protrudes into the front wall of the vagina. This can cause discomfort, especially during intercourse, and trouble urinating. Patients often describe a feeling of pressure or dragging within the pelvis.
Pelvic floor exercises, which involve tensing and relaxing the muscles to make them stronger, are an initial treatment. They are not easy to do and they are more than just a squeeze from time to time. In fact, pelvic floor exercises should be done like any exercise regimen, regularly and following the proper instructions. In some areas, women may be referred on the NHS to women’s health physiotherapy to work on these exercises appropriately.
Ideally, a woman with prolapse should be recommended a 16-week program of supervised pelvic floor muscle training that she can then continue at home.
Estrogen creams, a type of HRT used as a cream inside the vagina, are also known to improve symptoms.
About ten months ago, shortly after receiving my Moderna Covid vaccine, I began to feel unwell. Now I have weird spasms in my legs and feel exhausted all the time. Could it be the jab? I am 70 years old and otherwise healthy.
Do you have any questions 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 respond in a general context and cannot respond to individual cases or give personal responses. If she has a health problem, she always consults her own GP.
Vaccines certainly save lives, but it must also be recognized that a small number of people will have side effects. For most people, these are short-lived rather than nearly a year.
Certainly, it is possible that the muscle spasms and fatigue are related to the vaccine, but there could be something else.
New muscle wasting and spasms in someone in their 70s should be investigated by a GP. Exhaustion or fatigue is a common symptom of a host of conditions ranging from a simple thyroid condition to occult blood loss from cancer.
Muscle spasms can also be a sign of serious problems like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis.
It would be typical in this situation to have a variety 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 they were the cause, should be reported.
This is done through the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) yellow card scheme.
There is a website for symptoms related to Covid treatments and vaccines online (coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk). A pharmacist or GP can also help.
Why surgeries seem so calm
I have received a few letters from readers asking why their GP’s waiting room seems totally empty, even though their doctor claims to be busier than ever.
I know it doesn’t seem to make much sense. But an empty waiting room doesn’t mean quiet surgery, and it’s true that we’re busier than ever. And in most practices that I know of, including mine, we’re seeing most patients face-to-face.
But we operate differently now. Patients no longer see each other as before: face-to-face consultations are often interspersed with telephone consultations or many consultations are resolved online.
Many of our most vulnerable patients avoid surgery and possible infections, especially this time of year. All of this adds up to a seemingly vacant practice, but we are there and working very hard.
Hancock should be in the investigation, not in the jungle.
I’m surprised that former Health Secretary Matt Hancock would see fit to star in a reality show when the Covid investigation has only just begun.
Tonight I’m not tuning into the new ITV series of I’m a Celebrity… Get me out of here! I’m surprised former Health Secretary Matt Hancock would see fit to star in this reality show, but what horrifies me most is the opportunity for him.
The long-awaited Covid investigation is underway as we speak, and ministers may finally be held to account for their fundamental mistakes in responding to the pandemic.
As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Hancock should be in the dock, not least for breaking his own rules and the damaging impact of some of the restrictions he put in place, which continue to have repercussions. I could also mention the dire situation in nursing homes, where thousands died unnecessarily, and the lack of sufficient PPE for medical staff.
So perhaps it’s no wonder Mr. Hancock prefers to be on the other side of the world.