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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 pregnancy was going fine until I noticed bleeding about two weeks ago. They did an ultrasound and said my placenta is too low. Will I be able to have the baby normally? The placenta gives oxygen and nutrients to the baby, so it is vital it remains intact and a bleed can be an early sign of an abruption, which means the it is coming away. Bed rest is the best treatment and if doctors are worried then they may give you injections to mature your baby's lungs.

I have had a sore throat for a couple of weeks and swollen glands. My GP thinks I may have glandular fever. Is this serious? Glandular fever is spread through droplets and is common in students who tend to kiss more people. It causes fever, swollen glands, a sore throat and tiredness. Acute symptoms last for a few weeks. Tiredness can persist for months.

I have had a cough for months. I don't smoke and have had loads of tests which are all negative. What can I do? You may have something called upper airway cough syndrome. This is thought to occur due to a sensitivity of the receptors in the nose and throat. It isn't a sign of any serious underlying illness but it can lead to hoarseness and irritation.

I had been a heavy drinker for years but have stopped. My GP says my liver is damaged beyond repair. What does this mean? The liver gets rid of alcohol from the blood and chronic drinking over years can lead to damage. You may have a build up of waste products, giving you abnormal liver function tests. This can lead to scarring of the liver. You may need to see a specialist. Never drink again.

I have noticed that my fingers go really white in the cold. It can be agony. Is there something wrong with my circulation? There may be. It sounds like Reynauld's Phenomenon, where the small blood vessels of the hand become hyper-sensitive to the cold and they shut down. It can be uncomfortable. Wear gloves and go to your GP who can give you some tablets.

I have recently started wearing glasses and when I take them off I feel my eyesight is much worse. Can glasses damage your eyes? No. It is likely you have been living with a change in your vision for a while and have got used to it. I wouldn't worry about it and make sure that you don't let things deteriorate by going for regular eye checks.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 5, 2010
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