DR ZAK takes a look at some of your questions about your health.

Question: I’ve tried over the counter treatments for fungal nail infections, and went to my GP hoping I’d be able to get a tablet to treat it, but he wanted me to give in some nail clippings first. Why?

Sandra, 54

Dr Zak: While fungal nail infections can be unsightly and distressing, it makes sense to be sure that it is actually this and not dystrophic nails, where the nail appears damaged and often thickened, but where the cause is not fungal.

For dystrophic nails, a review by a podiatrist would be of more benefit.

Also oral antifungal medications for nail infection typically need to be taken for between four to six weeks and as they are metabolised by the liver, they can occasionally affect its function, hence the need to be entirely sure that this is the correct treatment.

Question: I am a reasonably fit man who has just turned 40. Most of my exercise revolves round our two young children. Recently I noticed an unpleasant sensation that I can only describe as a “flutter” in my chest, mostly when I’m sat doing nothing. Should I be worried?


Dr Zak: The word “flutter” is often used to describe many situations, including increased awareness of your heart beat.

If you don’t get the flutter, chest pain, a feeling like you are about to collapse or indeed collapse during exercise, it is less likely to be a serious issue.

However, you could be describing a transient abnormal heart rhythm or extra beats from the bottom two chambers of the heart.

It would be worth booking in with your GP, who may advise an ECG (electrical reading of the heart) as well as blood tests.

Sometimes an overactive thyroid can cause palpitations.

If you get any funny sensations which are directly provoked by exercise or make you feel seriously unwell, please seek immediate medical help.

If you have a question for Dr Zak, please email: askdoctorzak@gmail.com

W: doctorzak.co.uk

T: @AskDoctorZak

Dr Uddin’s advice is provided in good faith and in accordance with currently accepted evidence. However, this content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always seek the advice of a GP, or other qualified health provider, regarding a medical condition.