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From penis worries to IBS and bloating – Dr Jeff answers your health questions

DR JEFF FOSTER is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help YOU.

Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women.

Dr Jeff Foster is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help you

Q) I’M really worried – the skin on my penis and scrotum has changed colour in patches.

Some areas have turned very white in a camouflage-type pattern. I’m embarrassed to let any potential partners see this. What could be causing it and will it go back to normal?

I am 32 and normally fit and healthy.

JAMES RADNER, Nottinghamshire

A) If we have a rash on our arm we’re happy to discuss it, but when it comes to the private nature of the penis, some men are uncomfortable talking about it – but there’s no need to be. 

The skin on our penis is subject to the same skin complaints that we get anywhere else. Various skin conditions can cause a camouflage effect, the most common being a fungal infection called pityriasis versicolor.

This is easily treated with a GP prescribed antifungal medication. Other causes could be an autoimmune condition called vitiligo or a condition called lichen sclerosis.

Both of these can be treated effectively when diagnosed by a doctor. 

Q) I’M a 45 year old woman. I’ve always had quite a sensitive stomach and suffered from bloating and IBS-type symptoms. 

Recently my bloating is so bad that I can barely stand upright or have any close-fitting clothing. I sleep well at night but I feel lethargic during the day and I crave sugar.

I eat healthy, home-cooked meals so I get my nutrients but I don’t know what is causing this. What can I do to stop it?

RACHEL BINK, Stratford-upon-Avon

A) IBS and bloating can be very troublesome. If this is a new symptom or something that has recently worsened for no apparent reason, then you should see your doctor as there are lots of conditions that can cause bloating, such as coeliac disease, ovarian problems and more.

If it is IBS that has worsened over time, then try and look for a trigger. Stress or anxiety can worsen IBS, so can menopause and perimenopause as well as changes in diet and lifestyle. Treatments for IBS include regular exercise, reducing stress and other emotional triggers. 

It helps to keep a symptom diary. Note everything that you eat and drink, times that you were stressed, weight loss and gain, and when you exercised.

This may identify triggers. In terms of medical treatments, antispasmodics, peppermint oil and some anti-depressant like medicines can help. 

 There is also the FODMAP diet, which is a special type of dietary restriction process that helps exclude certain food triggers and is highly successful in treating IBS. 

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