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7 February 2011
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Dr George takes to the streets of Chester

The Street Doctors visit the historic Roman city of Chester.

Chester is the county city of Cheshire. The area is known as a healthy place to live but with binge drinking higher than the England average and diabetes cases on the increase the Street Doctors still have their work cut out.

Dr Ayan starts his day down by the River Dee where he meets Rahima who is worried about female hair loss.

Dr Ayan's diagnosis of Rahima is that her hair loss is probably due to excessive dying of her hair in the past. However, female hair loss can be related to hormone levels, particularly sex hormones like oestrogen and progesterone and also the hormones produced by the thyroid gland.

If you're a woman who's concerned about hair loss Dr Ayan advises:

- Cut down on the number and frequency of hairstyling products you use on a regular basis.

- Look at your diet and lifestyle - poor nutrition can have a detrimental effect on hair.

- Look at the stress levels in your life and whether you can reduce them.

- If you need further help visit your GP.

Dr Barbara visits a sandwich factory where she meets Ali who has a problem with snoring and is a smoker. Ali's snoring is so bad that it often wakes his partner. Dr Barbara explains that generally snoring is caused because the soft palate at the back of the throat (where the dangly bit or uvula is) is weaker. Smoking effects your breathing and your nasal passages and is likely to make snoring worse.

Dr Barbara tests Ali's lung capacity with a spirometer and finds that Ali's peak flow is much lower than it should be and his lungs are 10 years older than his actual age. Giving up smoking would improve his health generally but should also make his snoring better. However, Dr Barbara advises that he could ask to be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist to get further advice about his snoring problem.

If you'd like to give up smoking Dr Barbara says:

- It can take up to 8 attempts so commitment is vital if you are to succeed.

- Chose a nicotine replacement method which suits your circumstances such as gum, patches or an inhalator.

- If necessary, attend a support service at your local GP's clinic.

- Have a clear time scale in mind.

- If you're struggling see your GP for further help and support.

Dr Jonty goes to Cheshire Ice-Cream Farm where he bumps into a Malcolm who has a mole behind his ear that he is worried about. Malcolm explains that it appeared about 3 months ago, he cut it shaving and it hasn't healed since.

Dr Jonty inspects the mole and is concerned because the mole isn't healing and it has the appearance of a smooth edge with ulceration in the centre. This leads Dr Jonty to think it's possibly a basal cell carcinoma (BCC) which is a form of skin cancer.

This is different and not as dangerous as malignant melanoma, the more aggressive type of skin cancer, because it doesn't spread to other parts of the body. However, Dr Jonty tells Malcolm he must go to his GP and get the mole removed and sent for testing at a lab as soon as possible.

The sun is responsible for 90% of all skin cancers. If you want to reduce your risk Dr Jonty advises:

- Stay out of the sun during hottest times and make sure you don't get burnt.

- Cover up when outdoors in the middle of the day.

- Always wear at least factor 15 sunscreen.

- If you have any skin growth that won't heal or changes in size, colour or shape - see your GP.

Related Links

Cancer Research UK
Helpful information about the dangers of sunlight as well as details on different forms of skin cancer.
Sleep Apnoea Association
This website helps sufferers identify why they snore, and investigates treatments so that everyone can have a good night's sleep.
NHS - Hair loss
Uncover the symptoms and causes of hair loss, read about treatment options and follow links to related resources.
Diabetes UK
Features practical pointers on managing the condition, with a teen zone aimed at younger sufferers.
Alcoholics Anonymous UK
Details of local groups nationwide, with fact-files and information to figure out if AA is right for you.

View exclusive video from Chester


Dr Ayan

Health Tips

from Dr Ayan

  • Eat five portions of fruit and veg a day.
  • Drink plenty of water, eight glasses a day for an adult.
  • Exercise is crucial. Twenty minutes minimum, three or four times a week.
  • Avoid stress by managing your time better. If you leave everything to the last minute then it creates stressful situations.

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