I've shrunk three inches since my teens - is arthritis to blame? Ask the GP DR MARTIN SCURR

Trending 8 months ago

I was precocious weighed and measured astatine a infirmary assignment - and was shocked to find that, astatine 82, I've shrunk from being 5ft 6in astatine schoolhouse to 5ft 3in now. I person arthritis each over. Is this to blame?

Sally Launchbury, Oxon.

This arena puzzles galore group but location is simply a elemental explanation, which comes down to really nan anatomy of your spine changes arsenic you age.

There are 2 things going connected here: first, nan fibrous discs that enactment arsenic daze absorbers betwixt nan vertebrae successful nan spine barren retired and go thinner, a earthy deterioration that, cumulatively, leads to a nonaccomplishment of inches complete time.

A akin degenerative process affects nan bony of nan vertebrae. Here, microscopic changes successful bony building - accelerated successful group who person osteoporosis - consequence successful shrinkage of each of nan vertebrae, besides contributing to nan nonaccomplishment of wide height.

One study, published successful nan American Journal of Epidemiology, suggested women suffer much tallness than men (File image) 

It happens to each of us.

One study, published successful nan American Journal of Epidemiology, suggested women suffer much tallness than men (possibly owed to bony nonaccomplishment related to menopause).

For some sexes, nan nonaccomplishment originates from astir nan property of 30, accelerating pinch age, pinch men losing connected mean 3cm (just complete an inch) betwixt nan ages of 30 and 70, and women, 5cm (nearly 2in). This increases to 5cm for men and 8cm (over 3in) for women by nan property of 80.

You whitethorn besides notice, on pinch nonaccomplishment of height, that your abdomen appears to protrude more.

This is not needfully because you are fatter, but because nan contents of your abdomen are now squashed down, arsenic nan region betwixt nan extremity of your ribcage and your pelvis has been reduced.

You don't mention which type of arthritis you have, but it seems to maine improbable that this has played a awesome domiciled successful your nonaccomplishment of tallness - because though it tin impact nan facet joints successful nan spine, it will person small aliases nary base connected nan vertebrae and nan discs betwixt them.

It's nan age-related changes successful these that are nan cardinal to your nonaccomplishment of height.

A mini nodule was discovered successful my correct lung during a CT scan for an unrelated rumor past June. I've had it monitored, pinch much scans planned successful December. Having had galore CT scans and X-rays complete nan years, I'd for illustration to person early monitoring done by MRI. But would this beryllium arsenic effective arsenic CT scans?

Malcolm Buchan, Peterhead, Scotland.

What you picture is known arsenic an incidentaloma - fundamentally a lesion discovered while undergoing investigation for thing else: successful your case, a CT scan highlighted a mini nodule (which could beryllium a growth) successful your lung.

While this had not caused symptoms, it's merited a follow-up to beryllium connected nan safe side.

Usually, incidentalomas impact monitoring scans, possibly each twelvemonth aliases so. The reasoning is that because imaging is non-invasive and is justified connected nan grounds of being cautious, immoderate risks from scanning are outweighed by nan benefits of early discovery of a change. Clearly you are concerned astir ongoing CT scans, which do impact vulnerability to radiation and nan effect is cumulative.

However, nan magnitude of vulnerability from each scan is small, nan balanced of betwixt a fewer months and a fewer years of vulnerability to earthy radiation from nan environment, according to nan NHS.

The quality pinch MRI is that it does not impact radiation, truthful you debar that imaginable hazard.

Although I americium not a radiologist, I person nary uncertainty that astir experts would work together that early monitoring by MRI is suitable and will beryllium nary little effective successful detecting immoderate changes successful nan lesion.

In my view... We must scheme for these part-time GPs 

Increasing numbers of GPs are opting to activity part-time - a three-day week is common. This reflects an understandable accent connected nan value of work-life balance, a building unheard of successful 1973 erstwhile I became a inferior infirmary doctor.

In those days, we lived successful nan hospital, connected a 'one successful two' rota - moving each time and alternate nights and weekends, which amounted to 102 hours a week.

Increasing numbers of GPs are opting to activity part-time - a three-day week is communal (File image) 

A twelvemonth aliases 2 later, nan 88-hour week was brought in. This presented an opportunity because these caller rotas meant location were much hours than group to capable them and almost each workfellow worked arsenic a locum connected 'spare' nights and weekends. The thrust and power to do truthful was partially to summation our income (two years aft starting activity I was capable to bargain a flat). But our other activity besides reflected nan committedness to our vocation and desire to summation experience.

True, those early days often did look to beryllium a relentless grind pinch only a humble income; but we accepted this arsenic nan value to salary for what would travel later - a amended income, occupation information and a unafraid future.

I americium not judge that young GPs consciousness nan aforesaid way. Nor do immoderate of them, astatine least, person nan aforesaid consciousness of vocation arsenic we did.

The ghost is retired of nan bottle, however, and we can't spell backmost to really things were.

But this is ever much logic for nan powers that beryllium to scheme amended for a early workforce who will activity only part-time.

Write to Dr Scurr

Write to Dr Scurr astatine Good Health, Daily Mail, 9 Derry Street, London, W8 5HY aliases email: drmartin@dailymail.co.uk. Dr Scurr cannot participate into individual correspondence. Replies should beryllium taken successful a wide context. Consult your ain GP pinch immoderate wellness worries. 


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