From a high heart rate to hair loss worries – Dr Jeff answers your health questions –

DR JEFF FOSTER is Paint Ball Beam 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 Paint Ball Beam on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help you

See and email at [email protected].

Q) WHEN I run, my pulse sometimes goes up to 176 beats per minute. I’m 49 and generally quite fit and healthy. It doesn’t cause me any pain, but obviously it’s quite high. It comes down again quickly afterwards. Do I need to worry?

Jack Baldock Livingston

A) A healthy person should have a heart rate that can climb and fall with activity.

It is not so much the heart rate during exercise that counts but what happens at other times of the day when you are not performing physical activity.

Can your heart recover after exercise?

Is it relaxed with minimal activity?

Do you have any other symptoms?

There are certain medical problems, such as atrial fibrillation, where your heart rate might appear to be fast and slow, but is also irregular.

If this ever occurs seek medical advice urgently.

If you have a high heart rate with acute shortness of breath, dizziness or a feeling like you are about to pass out, then you should see a doctor.

Many health-tech watches can over or underestimate true heart rates.

A better measure is to count your pulse at the wrist over 30 seconds to one minute.

Overall, I wouldn’t be concerned if your resting heart rate is regular and less than 80 beats a minute and if it climbs to 176 beats per minute while you are acutely active, you feel well and it returns to normal afterwards.

It just means you’re exercising hard.

Q) I’M 51 and have been through a really stressful time recently. My hair has started falling out in clumps. I’ve been taking vitamins and supplements to try to help. What else would you recommend?

Lara Cadanza London

A) Hair loss can have a range of causes, and while we often look at vitamin deficiencies and supplements, in the majority of cases, it is not related to a nutritional problem.

Diagnosis is largely determined by the pattern of hair loss on your head.

Many women experience hair loss around perimenopause or menopause.

HRT can make a huge difference.

Other causes include fungal infections, which can be treated with anti-fungal medications.

If you have noticed clumps of hair loss, with no obvious cause except maybe stress, this might be alopecia areata.

The exact mechanism responsible for this is unclear, but it is suggested the active growth phase of the hair follicle (anagen phase) undergoes an autoimmune attack, whereby one’s own immune system damages the follicle and prevents growth.

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Treatment for this can be challenging with injections, creams or drugs.

But sometimes removing the cause can be enough for some patients.

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