Dr Christian Will See ME Now!! Part 2

Arriving to The Soho Hotel on Tuesday 28th February I was naturally a bit nervous. I've never interviewed anyone, let alone a celebrity. Not to mention he just happens to be one of the most handsome faces on British tv. And it turns out he's bloody lovely too! 

However, all nerves quickly evaporated when I was greeted by the most energetic and friendly doctor I've ever met in my life. I wasn't coming for a medical appointment but I couldn't help thinking that if all doctors made us feel this at ease we wouldn't dread going so much! 

After being away from our tv screens for far too long, Dr Christian is back with a brand new show on W TV channel called Dr Christian Will See You Now. In a state of the art clinic, Dr Christian and his group of on hand specialists not only take their time to listen and talk to the patients about their medical conditions but also to the friends, partners and relatives who've come with them. 

When asked about the importance of talking about concerns with your loved ones, he explained that although it's sometimes challenging, it's very important. "It's something we find hard to do. It's showing a chink in the armour - a vulnerability. Asking for help doesn't seem like an acceptable thing to do which is silly." He then went on to say that "talking is a healing process. An acknowledgement of something that's wrong." 

He then went on to do a very funny impression of his parents having a "rather joyous to watch [argument]" which was just an example of how most of us communicate with our partners due to lack of communication! We expect them to be able to work it out for themselves but "sometimes it's having to acknowledge that our partners are a bit useless and needing to help them!" 

The other prominent topic that crops up is low self-esteem. It seems in the show that they focus a lot on the psychological side effects but Dr Christian says that he trys to tackle the medical condition first. "Patients are more comfortable talking about it. To acknowledge low self-esteem is quite a profound thing to do." He also explains how some people won't even be aware that they have low self-esteem. "In the show, patients were convinced that they had a physical illness that became more apparent to me to be more of a psychological problem manifesting as a physical illness." 

Stemming from this idea that how we perceive ourselves can be detrimental to our mental health, I asked Dr Christian how one can prioritise self-care in an age where our phone is an extension of our arm. "I think you need to have a down-time agreement with yourself. One area of health that is probably least talked about and we're worst at doing is doing nothing." Dr Christian suggests giving yourself a cut off time from your technology as "playing on your phone is stimulating your brain, affecting your circadian rhythm" (I had to google that one later on) and "sleep patterns." 

So, after 10pm no more emails or "angry tweets"! 

A topic that has recently taken over the forefront of my social media is the discussion about hormonal imbalances - in particular how they can play a major part in weight loss/gain, acne and moods. While lots of women will turn to the contraceptive pill to regulate these problems, I wanted to know if there was a more holistic way women can deal with hormonal imbalances. 

"It depends if there's an underlying medical condition or not. Hormonal imbalance is a term that's bandied about and not always understood. Hormonal imbalance to me would be hyper/hypothyroidism which requires medical treatment. You can't eat more kale to treat your hypo or hyperthyroidism. It's a tricky one to define."

He also explains that acne could be a symptom particularly in women who have too many androgens (the more masculinising male hormone), which could also be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome - polycystic ovaries crops up in Episode 1. "The pill is a very reasonable way of treating that and also a very reasonable way of treating acne."

I'm happy when he mentions that hormonal imbalances respond well to good diet, good exercise and getting enough rest and sleep. "All those things will influence the way you respond to another type of treatment and the way you face an illness much better."

I ask if perhaps the term 'hormonal imbalance' is thrown around flimsily and he suggests that "it's not necessarily a hormonal imbalance. Sometimes it is used as an excuse and there's a massive sense of denial there. A classic example is with weight gain. We rarely find a medical condition underlying with overweight people which can make people very angry. It's very rare that we find an under active thyroid in a very overweight person. Polycystic ovarian syndrome more commonly, however weight gain is not directly caused by the hormonal imbalance." 

The bottom line is probably too much energy going in and not enough going out...

I wanted to know how common these polycystic ovaries were and if it's something women should get checked. "Reasonably common. However, it's not something you need to get screened. As women you have a lot of opportunities to access healthcare i.e smear tests, contraception, babies etc so those collections of symptoms have more than likely already presented themselves to a doctor or healthcare professional."

So, if you have the symptoms then go get checked but Dr Christian doesn't advise sending off for a blood test just incase. We double checked the number of women who suffer from PCOS and although it's difficult to know the exact number it's thought that around 1 in 5 women suffer from it. 

Mental health is becoming less of a taboo, although we still have a long way to go. I asked Dr Christian what advise he would give to loved ones who suspect their friends/relatives are suffering from a form of mental illness. "Talk about it. You'll think it's better not to mention it but it's not better. They're probably desperate for someone to say something.

I think too often we feel awkward and don't know how to go about saying something." But as he also mentions, you don't need to be a doctor or a nurse, you just need to be a friend. "And being a friend means saying the truth sometimes." 

So, pick a time and the place carefully and let that person know that they can talk to you. 

To finish I wanted to get his opinion on Othorexia Nervosa which has recently come to light with the clean eating movement and has been linked to negative social media 'influences'. "As with all fads we inevitably discover the negative consequences. The internet is wonderful and terrifying at the same time and people get lost." He suggests that it's the lack of knowledge you get, "bloggers writing very well meaning stuff, sometimes very educated but they can underestimate the power and the influence that they can have.

The constant posting of pictures and perfection can be very alarming to young people who are struggling and trying to cope with who they are and what they are." 

Detecting the signs can be difficult but he says to keep an eye out for obsessional behaviour, striving for perfection and any changes in behaviour or moods (that's not already typical of a teenager!) "Ask for professional advice, even without the person of concern present. Particularly with regards to young people, be aware of the fads and gently steer them away from that sort of behaviour because it's a dangerous behaviour."

To say that Dr Christian is passionate about what he does is an understatement. In fact, it was difficult to get a word in between the hand gestures and the slightly off on a tangent stories he told to demonstrate his opinion on certain matters - which were touching and amusing to say the least!

If you are interested in or can relate to any of the above topics then make sure you tune in to 'Dr Christian Will See You Now' on Wednesday, 5th April, 9pm on W Channel.