Be well magazine


Long-term vaping 'far safer than smoking' says 'landmark' study

"Vaping has been endorsed by health experts after the first long-term study of its effects in ex-smokers," ITV News reports. A six-month study found that e-cigarettes users had far lower levels of toxins and carcinogens in their body than smokers…

back pain

Ibuprofen ‘barely better than placebo’ at treating back pain

"Widely used anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen have little more benefit than a placebo when it comes to treating back pain," reports the Guardian. This is based on a study looking at more than 6,000 people with back pain, comparing…


'Breakthrough in communication for patients with severe MND', study claims

"Mind-reading machine allows people with 'locked-in' syndrome to communicate," reports the Mail Online. The report is based on a study that aimed to communicate with four patients unable to speak, move or blink...


UK survey finds around 1 in 13 women report pain during sex

"Nearly 1 in 10 British women [7.5%] finds sex painful, according to a big study," BBC News reports. The study's results highlight the arguably neglected issue of pain during sex – dyspareunia – which some women may be too…

colorectal cancer

Anxiety and depression linked to increased cancer death risk

"Depression linked to higher chance of dying from cancer," The Independent reports. Analysis of UK data found a link between mental distress and cancer mortality, which remained even after other factors such as smoking were taken into account…

burnt toast

Warning over 'burnt toast chemical' acrylamide’s cancer risk

"Browned toast and potatoes are 'potential cancer risk', say food scientists," BBC News reports. The FSA has launched a campaign about the possible health risk of acrylamide; a chemical formed when starchy foods are subjected to a high temperature…

breast cancer

New insights into why breast cancer drugs fail for some women

"Breast cancer drugs taken by thousands of women stop working because tumours 'outsmart' them," is the headline in The Sun. Around 70% of breast cancer cases are what are known as oestrogen-receptor positive breast cancers…


Does discovery of 'severe PMS genes' offer hope of a cure?

"Women who suffer from severe mood swings before their period have a different genetic make-up," The Sun reports. New research has found a link between a gene complex called ESC/E(Z) and severe symptoms of premenstrual...

baby crying

Can colic really be cured by acupuncture?

"Is sticking needles in babies really the best way to ease distress from colic?" the Daily Mail asks. The question was prompted by a study that looked at whether acupuncture can help with colic in babies…

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Barnet & Enfield

Do you have a question about your health or a specific condition? Ask the Expert is available for you to discuss your healthcare with a healthcare professional from your local area, helping you to manage your health and improve your well-being. Answers will be posted within 48 hours of you asking a question.

General practice

Dr Cindy Cohen our GP answers your questions on family planning, women and children’s health and long term conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

Children’s health and immunisation

Dr Yiannis answers your questions on conditions affecting children from newborns to teenagers.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Sarah answers your questions on minor injuries, travel vaccination, asthma and contraception.

Psychiatry - mental health in older people

Dr Claudia Cooper answers your questions on mental health matters particularly in old age.

Hormone Health Solutions

Ask Denise about combining nutritional therapy with personal training and lifestyle choices.

Counselling and Psychotherapy

When you are feeling overwhelmed with difficulties in your life talking to Raihaana our counsellor could help.


Randhiraj Bilan answers your questions on nutrition with a special interest in world foods & massage.

Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Adviser

Ask Anne Iarchy about your healthy lifestyle choices.

Personal Trainer and Holistic Lifestyle Coach

On this Q & A Joan will answer your questions on training methods for weight loss and lifestyle.


Ask Yueying how acupuncture can help the following: Pain relief, allergies, digestive system disorders, skin conditions, tiredness, menopause.

Vein Surgery and General Surgery

Varicose veins (including laser), hernia repair, hyperhidrosis (surgery for excessive sweating), vascular surgery, and gall bladder removal.

General cardiology and atrial fibrillation

Dr Hussain answers your questions on general cardiology, palpitations and irregular heartbeat.

Healthy Lifestyle for Children

On this Q & A you can ask Alive ‘N’ Kicking’s team of specialists questions about your child's nutrition and activity levels.

Sexual health

Kathy French answers your questions on sexual health and contraception.


Your diabetes questions answered by consultant physician Dr Michela Rossi.

Depression and anxiety

Your mental health questions answered by consultant psychiatrist Dr Ali Ajaz.

Breast cancer screening

Your breast screening questions answered by Clinical Nurse Specialist Anne Brewer.


Clinical nurse specialist Pennie White answers your questions on joint conditions.

Stress and Depression

Your questions on stress answered by consultant psychologist Dr Melinda Rees.


Your hysterectomy questions answered by consultant gynaecologist Mr J Griffiths.

See all ask the expert sessions

Community forum

Ask questions and swap ideas with other HealthFriends users in Barnet and Enfield.


Orlistat in Barnet

I asked my doctor to prescribe this for me as it worked for a friend who lost a stone on it. I am planning to get married in the summer and want to lose some pounds. He said although i was above my ideal weight I am not heavy enough to get this on the NHS - something about the local CCG wouldn't be too happy to be charged for this. I don't understand why i can't get this on the NHS when he agrees that I am overweight. Has anybody had this problem in Barnet?

1 reply , 3296 views Joe, United Kingdom - Fri, 10 Feb 2017


episodes of depression

I've been experiencing episodes of depression and its truly ruining my life. I've had numerous episodes these past couple of weeks and almost broke my hand punching a cement wall. I don't know how to control myself and my moods and I go for short periods of time days or even weeks of elated mood then just outta nowhere crashing depression and I feel so lost and confused. I feel like no one can help me and getting professional help isn't an option for me so I'm just looking for ways to cope...

1 reply , 2955 views Paulxx, Barnet - Tue, 24 Jan 2017


my Daughter was just diagnosed with Celiac disease

Finding foods my teenage daughter likes has been near impossible but it has only been 3 days. Her TTG’s came back extremely high (85) and it seems like getting her below 4 is a lifetime away. I just want to make this easier for her. I want to find foods she can enjoy. She was a total foodie before this. She loves to cook and try new recipes but she hates the new ingredients before she even tries them. I am hoping this is just the initial anger phase and she will move out of it Please tell me...

1 reply , 3057 views Carlym, Barnet - Fri, 20 Jan 2017

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