I have read that pregnant women may harm their babies by drinking coffee. I have drunk coffee throughout my pregnancy: will it have done any harm?
Probably none at all. The report you refer to came from a study of 2,635 pregnant women in Leicester and Leeds, and suggested a link between intake of caffeine (ie, not coffee alone - more than 60% of the caffeine came from tea, just 14% was from coffee, cola accounted for 12% and chocolate 8%). Only 13% of the babies had lower than expected birth weights, and the authors did not report that any baby had actually been harmed. The sensible advice is to drink coffee or tea in moderation and not, just because of this one study, to switch to other drinks, such as juices packed with sugars, that may even be worse for your baby.
I'm 28 and have been told by my GP to stop drinking. The first month I drank no alcohol, and since then I've had just the occasional glass of wine. I don't miss alcohol, but it is hard to abstain completely. Will my liver recover if I continue like this?
For your doctor to ask you to stop completely, your liver must have been fairly badly affected, so it's good that you stopped for a month. I am a little worried that you have started again, because it may lead to your drinking more as the weeks pass. I don't know of many people who have kept their drinking to small enough levels to allow their livers to recover. It doesn't take much alcohol to keep liver disease progressing once it has started, so I'd advise you to stick to your doctor's advice. On the good side, livers are resilient organs: they do recover completely if you obey the rules.
My six-year-old has a verruca that we've failed to get rid of with a treatment from the chemist. Is it OK to leave it to go naturally, or should we go to the doctor?
Warts (a verruca is simply a wart on the underside of a foot, the pressure of weight on which forces it inward) are virus infections that are eventually overcome by our immune systems and die off. So the wart will eventually disappear, regardless of treatment. However, if it is bothering your son, your doctor may apply liquid nitrogen to it. It doesn't hurt and usually gets rid of it. It may need more than one application, but in my experience it is almost always more successful than the usual chemist's salicylic acid or podophyllin paints.
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