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Bitter Pill

“I am keen to take proper care of my body as old age sets in. However every time I read the paper or pick up a magazine, I am urged to take some pill or other to prevent some unwished-for ailment. My local pharmacy has shelf after shelf of bottles and potions. It’s very confusing. What is the common-sense approach to this dilemma?”

QUESTION:

I’m a 60-year-old woman, recently retired.

Apart from osteoporosis, which gives me no symptoms, I am fit and well and very active. I belong to a walking group and exercise regularly.

I am keen to take proper care of my body as old age sets in. However every time I read the paper or pick up a magazine, I am urged to take some pill or other to prevent some unwished-for ailment.

My local pharmacy has shelf after shelf of bottles and potions. It’s very confusing.

I take several different vitamins.

What is the common-sense approach to this dilemma?

ANSWER:

Your GP can guide you through the maze of health care suitable for you. At 60 there are several aspects of maintaining good health that your GP can do for you and advise you about.

As a female you should be having regular gynaecological and breast checks. A blood test will provide information about your cholesterol, blood sugar and vitamin D levels.

A blood pressure check will inform about the potential for heart disease and stroke. Investigating your family history will reveal issues that could be relevant to your health.

As regards your osteoporosis, it is important to maintain regular exercise, calcium and vitamin D levels. Referral to a dietitian to discuss diet would be helpful as would a referral to an exercise physiologist, to discuss weight-bearing exercise to maintain muscle and bone strength.

These checks are important for devising and maintaining a good health regimen rather than navigating the maze of confusing potions to be found on the shelves of your pharmacy.

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  • @NTVorg Great initiative support help seeking.