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The Doctor; Doctor Gareth Smith is here to answer all your health queries. Write to him at Dr Gareth, Sunday Mail, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA. Email

My son loves energy drinks. Are they harmful? Energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster contain high amounts of caffeine. Caffeine isn't harmful in moderate amounts but if you take more than around 300mg a day (four cups of instant coffee or two cans of Monster) you can develop caffeinism, a tolerance and addiction to caffeine. The effects include diarrhoea, headaches, insomnia increased urination and irritability. He should try to limit his caffeine intake or switch to Lucozade. Is it possible to have a bladder that is too small? I seem to pee every hour on the hour. Most people's bladders can comfortably hold 500ml. You may have a problem that is leading you to produce too much urine rather than your bladder being too small or your bladder may be too sensitive, making you feel you need to pee even when you aren't holding a lot of water. Ask your GP to check your urine for sugars or infection and if necessary send you for bladder tests.

I have an itchy rash under my armpit. How can I do to get rid of it? The same fungus that causes athletes foot can grow in other hot moist places and leave a smelly, itchy rash. Trim your underarm hair then try using athletes foot cream and powder under your arm for a week. If that doesn't help go to your GP. I have been told the tingling in my hands is a peripheral neuropathy. What is this? Peripheral neuropathy is not a true diagnosis as there are many different causes for this condition and the exact one must be worked out before any treatment can be given. The simplest form of peripheral neuropathy is the temporary injury to a nerve from a bruise or swelling. It can also be caused by such things as diabetes, alcohol, poor blood supply or autoimmune disorders. Your GP should refer you to a specialist if he is not sure. I'm a runner and have been told the pain in my heel is due to a heel spur. Can it be treated? Large ligaments and tendons attached to the heel bone can be stressed by prolonged over-use such as running and bone forms inside the tendons, causing chronic pain. They are usually treated with insoles in the shoe, anti-inflammatory drugs and rest. If this fails, you may need surgery.

I take a vitamin B supplements but have heard too much can be harmful. Is this true? No. Vitamin B is made up from four chemicals - thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12). These are water-soluble and if you take more than you need, it is rapidly excreted through the kidneys and turns your urine bright yellow. There is no evidence that large doses cause any serious problems.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 28, 2010
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