Paul Makintosh of Darlington writes:

What makes my heart rate drop? DR MARTIN SCURR answers your health questions

I’m 75 and extremely fit – I enjoy cycling, weights, spinning and walking. My resting heart rate averaged around 46-48 bpm: however, since my third Covid shot it has dropped to 39-43 bpm. The same thing happened to my wife and my youngest son (aged 40). My GP says she is not aware of any such symptoms from the vaccine.

Paul Mackintosh, Darlington.

Having a low resting heart rate – classified as less than 60 bpm (beats per minute) – is not necessarily a bad thing and can be a sign of fitness.

A low heart rate, known as sinus bradycardia, is a natural occurrence in some people and is a sign that impulses from the sinoatrial node (the part of the heart that stimulates rhythm) are below the normal range of 60 to 100 beats. per minute.

However, other factors can have an impact. Your resting heart rate will decrease with age – and this may contribute in your case.

A low heart rate is generally not considered a medical problem unless it is accompanied by symptoms such as fainting, which can occur if your heart rate is too low to pump sufficient amounts of blood into the heart. body.

Paul Makintosh, from Darlington, writes: ‘My resting heart rate averaged around 46-48 bpm: however, since my third Covid shot it has dropped to 39-43 bpm’

I had a patient with a medical history similar to yours whom I referred for an annual ECG – a test to check heart rate and electrical activity. Every year his resting heart rate would drop until it finally reached 32 bpm and I referred him to a cardiologist, who fitted him with a pacemaker to prevent his heart rate from dropping any further. I am happy to report that this never happened.

As to whether your drop in your resting heart rate could be related to the Covid vaccination, I checked the medical literature and there is no mention of bradycardia as a complication. I have also spoken with colleagues and there is evidence that Covid infection is associated with changes in the nervous system which controls heart rate.

Although the cause in your family’s case may be coincidental, I think it is worth the three of you discussing with your GP an annual ECG to check your heart rate.

I have been waiting for an operation to straighten my manhood for two years now. I am told that it could take another two years for the procedure. My wife is understanding but the curvature of my penis makes sex impossible and the situation affects my mental health. Can you help ?

Name and address provided.

It must not have been easy for you to write about this harrowing condition – but let me assure you that you are far from alone.

IN MY OPINION… IT’S NOT JUST WHAT YOU EAT — WHEN MATTERS TOO

I’m always looking for new advice for patients trying to lose weight, so I was fascinated by recent research on time-limited eating.

Published in JAMA International Medicine, it showed that when obese adults ate only between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., they lost more weight compared to those who ate the same amount of food but spread throughout the day.

Our body’s circadian rhythms affect so many elements of our health. I remember learning, as a medical student, how the production of the hormone cortisol – known as the stress hormone, it also keeps us alert – is at its lowest at 4 a.m., which explains why people are more likely to die in the darkest hour before dawn. , when you feel low due to low cortisol (levels then rise rapidly).

There also seems to be a natural rhythm for metabolism. So for those trying to lose weight, the maxim should be that it’s not just what you eat, but when you eat it that counts.

About 5% of men over the age of fifty are affected. This not only makes sex difficult, but it can also be painful.

Your condition, called Peyronie’s disease, is where scar tissue forms in the fibrous sheath that covers the spongy erectile tissue in the center of the penis.

The scar tissue pulls on the surrounding area causing the penis to develop a pronounced curve during an erection.

Naturally, this can have a huge impact. One study found that 81% of affected men reported emotional difficulties, with 54% suffering from relationship problems.

One treatment option is a vacuum device that can help straighten the penis. Another is an injection of the enzyme collagenase, called Xiapex, which softens or completely removes scar tissue (although this is not available on the NHS).

For severe cases, surgery is the standard treatment.

This involves removing scar tissue and implanting a device to straighten the penis.

Overall, success rates for surgery are good: a study of 61 patients found that 86% were able to resume sexual activity.

The biggest difficulty I foresee is getting the surgery on the NHS. As the condition is neither cancer-related nor life-threatening, I am afraid you will face a considerable wait.

Depending on your financial situation, it might be worth investigating privatization. Given your understandable distress, it is a tragedy for you and millions of other patients that, due to the current state of our NHS, paying for private care may be the easiest solution for you.

Write to Dr. Scurr

Write to Dr Scurr at Good Health, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email drmartin@dailymail. co.uk — include your contact details. Dr. Scurr cannot maintain personal correspondence. Answers should be taken in a general context and always consult your own GP if you have health concerns.

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