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Love is in the air..but is it ok to fly?

Aug 10 2008 Dr Gareth Smith

Q I AM five months' pregnant and my husband wants to take me to Paris. Is it safe to fly?

A MOST airlines let you fly up until six weeks before your due date with a doctor's certificate but each has their own policy, so check with them first.

Flying isn't a risk to you or your baby but airlines don't want you giving birth in case something goes wrong. You will be more prone to swollen feet so drink lots of water and walk about on the plane.

Q I'VE had pains in the joints in my hands for months. I'm being tested for rheumatoid arthritis. What tests will they do?

A THEY will do several as there is not one specific test for RA. These include various blood tests and they may also X-ray your hands and take a sample of fluid from the joint.

Q MY son was bitten by a tick on a camping trip. I read they carry horrible diseases. Is this true?

A TICKS live off the blood of other animals.

They can carry diseases that are transferable to humans but they are very rare and most people have no ongoing problems. The diseases they can carry are Lyme disease, which causes muscle aches, fever, joint pain, headaches and swollen glands; babesiosis, which causes swinging fevers such as malaria and Ehrlicheosis which causes sudden high fever, headache and rash.

If your son becomes ill in the next few weeks, tell the doctor about the bite.

Q WHAT is the best over-the-counter medication to help my heartburn?

A OMEPRAZOLE is the best as it completely blocks acid production in the stomach but you should see your GP before you start taking anything.

Heartburn has many causes, from smoking to a hernia to cancer, and is best not self-medicated.

Q I'VE heard a new gadget that looks like a cigarette can help you stop smoking. Does it work?

A THE Sunday Mail told us about the electronic cigarette back in May.

Cartridges emit a vapour containing nicotine. It's not a cigarette replacement but users have said they cut down. The most popular is the Gamucci micro electronic cigarette. See www.iwantoneofthose.com

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