One side effect to my cholesterol- and high blood pressure medication is swelling of my lips and tingling sensation on my tongue.

My doctor tried several types of medication, but it always came back the same.

How can we help?

These symptoms are a sign of an allergic reaction to medication. This can cause swelling in the eyes, lips, tongue, hands, and feet.

It can also cause hives, a reddened itchy bump on the skin. Angioedema is a condition that causes swelling beneath the skin’s surface.

The most common drugs that cause the reaction are anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and aspirin. However, it could happen with any drug.

Another common cause is blood pressure tablets, especially ACE inhibitors like ramipril, lisinopril, and another type of ARBs like losartan, irbesartan.

A reader who has suffered lip swelling asks DR ELLIE CANNON why they are suffering an odd side effect from their tablets for high blood pressure and cholesterol (stock photo)

Reader who experienced lip swelling asked Dr. Ellen Canon why. (stock photo).

But high blood pressure is important to get under control, as it raises the risk of a heart attack or stroke – and that’s why anyone experiencing these side effects will need to work with their GP or cardiologist to find a safe way to tackle the problem.

There is a possibility that you will not be allowed to take diuretics and other types of blood pressure pills.

Similar to statins there are other medications that can be used to lower cholesterol.

Allergies like this are often fairly harmless – although sometimes they can be severe, and in these cases, patients will need to take extra care and carry medication in case a dangerous reaction happens.

The best advice is to avoid severe reactions, such as lip swelling or anaphylaxis.

The reaction may be caused by chemicals or substances that are not identified by an allergy specialist.

There are dangers to ‘keeping it inside’

Last week, a teenager patient told me of an unusual health phenomenon.

Apparently, young women are giving themselves terrible stomach problems because they are too embarrassed to go to the toilet if a partner – or anyone else in the house – is in the room next to the loo, in case they’re heard doing what comes naturally.

It was ridiculous, I thought. But it is not unusual for teenager girls to be obsessed with romance. But I wondered if older women feel the same – and are suffering as a result?

Shy bowel is an actual health issue. It occurs when psychological stress or embarrassment make it impossible to move, leading to severe constipation. You should not joke about the serious consequences of keeping it inside.

This may sound familiar? Please write to me.

My knee pain has been increasing over the last five years to the point when it’s difficult to even sleep.

My knees often turn purple when I go walking or driving. Codeine has barely touched the pain for me, even though I have been taking it for 5 years.

I was only 62 when this happened and had a great life. While I had suffered a stroke once before, it wasn’t enough to cause me the same problems as this one.

Could you give any tips?

If pain is preventing someone from falling asleep and it’s not controlled with painkillers then they should seek immediate medical attention.

This is why I would consider peripheral arterial disease. It’s a condition in which the arteries to the legs become narrower and furred. The same physiological process applies.

This condition would be more likely in someone who has had strokes – and smoking can be a cause of both.

Noticing a colour change on standing is a classic feature of the disease, and it is very important to discuss this with a doctor – the change in colour suggests the blood vessels are not functioning properly due to underlying damage.

As blood pressure drops and blood supply to our legs decreases when we lay down, nighttime pain can become severe. To avoid pain, some people choose to lie down in chairs or leave their legs out of bed.

The basic blood pressure and blood flow tests can be performed by a GP. Referrals to a vascular specialist may then be needed.

Treatment for the condition involves repairing the blood vessels with surgery or angioplasty – inserting a stent into a blood vessel, in much the same way as it’s done for blocked heart arteries, but in the leg. If surgery is not possible, you can open the blood vessels with medication.

My skin is so dry in winter that I have to stay awake due to itching. This isn’t a sign of bedbugs or other insect infestations. Also, I don’t use any different detergent.

E45 cream has not helped me. I am healthy and at 73.

Are you able to help?

If symptoms occur seasonally it is safe to assume they are caused by environmental factors. As an example, hay fever and other allergy symptoms are only present when there is a high pollen count.

The cold weather and central heating may be responsible for the appearance of something that is only visible in winter. It is known that winter brings on the worsening of dry skin conditions like eczema.

Do you have a question for Dr Ellie?

Email or write to Health, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT.

Dr Ellie cannot answer specific questions and can’t give personalized answers. Consult your GP if there is a concern about your health.

Central heating can make our homes extremely dry which in turn can cause itching.

We also keep our windows closed much more during the winter, allowing mould and house dust mites to thrive in unventilated rooms – these are known to worsen eczema and any allergy conditions.

Itching can be caused by winter bedwarming. Urticaria is a condition that causes itchy bumps on the skin due to allergy. It can occur when there are extremes in temperature or physical changes such as heat and cold.

A trigger could be itching if you are particularly hot while in bed, even if you’ve been warm.

Emollients are skin creams that can help. But the primary treatment should be an antihistamine (such as cetirizine, chlorphenamine, or loratadine) taken at night.

In the first instance, speak to a pharmacist

What makes new jab guidelines more sensible for those over-12?

Last week, the Government announced recommendations that have sparked concern among many of my patients – especially parents.

The new guidance says that children older than 12 years old should not get the Covid jab, if the child has had an infection within the last three months.

Waiting for the jab at least three months after infection is said to protect against a potentially serious side effect – inflammation of the heart, or myocarditis. Please be assured that this does not make the jab unsafe for children.

New guidance states that children over 12 shouldn't get their Covid jab if they've had the infection in the past three months (stock photo)

The new guidance says that children older than 12 years old should not get the Covid jab, if the child has had an infection within the last three months. Stock photo

This is a cautious and overprotective approach that was taken in order to safeguard a small but growing number of people who might be at greatest risk.

The risk of getting the condition from the jab is nine in a million – and in most of the cases seen, the problem disappears within a few days.

Based on data from other countries, the decision has been made based on evidence that indicates that this condition is more common with a shorter interval between two doses.

Also, it makes sense because teens already infected are most likely to be protected.

This will provide you with the most benefits and minimize the danger of harm.