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Health Q&A

Health Q&A

Issue 98 November 2012

I’m a 35-year-old male, overweight with a high cholesterol level, and have been told that I need to do regular exercise to prevent problems in the future. Are there any concerns with me starting exercise and what should I be careful of?

 

I’m a 35-year-old male, overweight with a high cholesterol level, and have been told that I need to do regular exercise to prevent problems in the future. Are there any concerns with me starting exercise and what should I be careful of?

 

It is estimated that six in 10 adults in the UK have a raised cholesterol level, which is a level greater than 5 mmol/l. An elevated cholesterol level has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which is disease affecting the heart and blood vessels. Therefore it is important to try and control this and other associated risk factors such as smoking, inactivity, or Type II diabetes.  High cholesterol can be either due to genetic causes or dietary and your family doctor can advise further on this. Physical activity can help reduce cholesterol levels and will also reduce risk of many chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, obesity and even some cancers.

 

Have an assessment with your doctor to exclude any underlying medical problems.  Providing there are no concerns from your doctor then you should undertake a minimum of 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity on five or more days of the week. Moderate intensity activity is any movement resulting in an increase in breathing rate, an increase in heart rate and a feeling of increased warmth.

 

Start off by doing five to ten minutes and if no problems occur, then gradually increase. Try low impact activity to start with such as swimming, cross trainers or cycling if you have not exercised for a while. It is vital that you have regular reviews with your doctor so they can monitor any potential problems early and provide advice regarding your diet. 

 

My eyes get really red and watery a lot of the time, which is strange because hay fever season has passed. Is there anything that I can use to stop them from becoming itchy?

 

It is most likely that you have become sensitive to something else in your surroundings. This could be any number of things such as environmental chemicals, feathers or animal hairs. It could also be topical products that you are using, for example eye cream, or it could be because of certain hair products or cosmetics such as mascara. To ascertain the cause of the irritation, you may wish to cut out products in rotation for four days at a time then reintroduce them to help identify a possible culprit.

 

To calm and soothe your eyes and relieve the irritation, it is best if you use eye drops that contain colloidal silver. You should also boil a solution of fennel seeds, elderflower or chamomile in water for 15 minutes, strain them and when tepid, splash it into your eyes. Be sure to discard the tea after 24 hours.

 

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