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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 g.smith@sundaymail.co.uk.



My big toe seems to be changing shape. It is pointing towards my other toes and is lumpy on the side. It is getting hard to find shoes that fit properly. What you describe are the typical signs of a bunion. A bunion often forms on the outside of the large toe and is made up of a swelling of the fluid-filled space of the joint and an overgrowth of bone. It can lead to pain when walking, skin irritation and swelling of the joint. They often run in families but can be made worse by wearing high heels and tight shoes. See a podiatrist who can give you advice.

I have been having trouble with my bowels for months and have been for loads of tests. They think it might be something called Crohn's disease. No one has explained it to me, what is Crohn's? Crohn's is inflammation of the lining of the gut. It causes ulcers to form in the wall of the gut. These patches of ulceration cause pain and cramping and often diarrhoea and blood in the stool.

Because it can affect anywhere, surgery is seldom used to treat it. Instead medicines such as steroids are used to reduce inflammation. My wife's been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. I am worried as she hasn't been well for a while. Can this get better? Atrial fibrillation is a common condition and can be treated very well. The atrium is a heart chamber and when it fibrillates it beats quickly and irregularly. This affects how blood moves around the heart and causes dizziness and a feeling of palpitations.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 11, 2011
Words:269
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