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Health News

1.

Winter Flu Warnings – Get The Jab?


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Warnings are appearing that this winter the flu virus could become a serious problem for thousands of people and increase pressure on an already under-strain NHS towards breaking point.

The warnings are based on the winters just experienced in Australia and New Zealand which can give a reasonable indication of what we can expect in the UK during our winter season.  The southern hemisphere have had their worst flu season for many years after, like here, having relatively low levels of flu spreading for the past few years.

The NHS has said this year has been different for them, with double the average flu cases already with some of the season remaining.

 

The NHS went through the worst winter it had seen for a generation last year and with bed shortages and long waiting times already hospitals are warning things could get worse, particularly for vunerable people such as the elderly.

There is no guarantee this winter flu will be severe across the UK and this current strain is no particularly special just more prevalent.  There are always a few strains around but one normally becomes far more common although not necessarily the same one as the southern hemisphere.

 

Should you get the flu jab?

 

Early signs are encouraging and it appears the vaccine available this year is pretty effective against this strain, unlike last year where it was less effective among the elderly.

 

If you are aged over 65, pregnant or have certain long-term conditions such as heart problems, stroke etc. you can get the flu jab free on the NHS.  Also healthcare workers or children 6 months to three years old at risk such as asthmatics can also get it free – a nasal spray is available free to some children.

You can get the jab from your doctors surgery or most local pharmacies.

 

Even if you are not eligible for a free jab you can protect yourself against flu by paying for the jab from your local pharmacy, usually for about £10 - £15.  It’s quick and doesn’t hurt.

 

Even if you had the jab last year strains change and protection decreases so you should get one every year, particularly if in one of the vulnerable groups.

High-risk groups, such older people, pregnant women and those who have long-term medical conditions or a weakened immune system, are at risk of complications.

The most common of which are chest infections.

 

Symptoms of flu include a high temperature, tiredness, weakness, general aches and pains and a dry, chesty cough.

 

2.

Free, GP-endorsed Menopause Symptoms Tracker helps women monitor their symptoms


Friday, 08 December 2017

A free Menopause Symptoms Tracker™ to help women identify and monitor menopause symptoms over time has been launched by beingEve.net . The online symptoms tracker allows women to identify symptoms, their severity and frequency; monitor their progression over a 90-day period and pinpoint those symptoms that might require special attention.

After a thorough review, Dr Steven Edmunds, MB BS BSc DRCOG FRCGP at Pontesbury Medical Practice, in Shropshire, UK, endorses the Symptoms Tracker, ‘The Menopause Symptoms Tracker is a useful free tool that can help women understand what symptoms are attributed to the menopause and then seek the right options to help alleviate their symptoms.’ ‘I would recommend that menopausal women take advantage of this broad-based support,’ concludes Dr Edmunds.

Although the severity of symptoms vary from woman to woman, according to the NHS, most women will experience some symptoms around menopause. ‘Often, women relate their menopause symptoms with PMS or PMT (Pre-menstrual Syndrome/Tension) and don’t know they have started their peri-menopause,’ explains Isabel Wood, co-founder of BeingEve. ‘By understanding what is happening to their bodies, women are better equipped to find the right solutions to help manage and alleviate their symptoms,’ adds Wood.

The Symptoms Tracker also includes a Daily Journal to record any thoughts, feelings and overall progress. Women can access the Symptoms Tracker by simply going to BeingEve.net and registering with their email address. This tracker can also be beneficial to GPs and pharmacies. In a world where GPs struggle for time and pharmacies are becoming first call of care for many patients, the Symptoms Tracker enables better informed patients, facilitates easy data sharing (via a print option) and makes for a more meaningful and efficient conversation between medical professionals and patients.

BeingEve.net is an independent health and well-being website bringing women the latest expert advice, tools and solutions to live a healthier and happier menopause. BeingEve is owned by Lifestyle51 Media Ltd and was founded by Isabel Campos Wood and Nieves Navarro in April 2017. They are based in Weybridge, Surrey, UK. For more information, visit www.beingeve.net or you can email them at info@beingeve.net.

Free, GP-endorsed Menopause Symptoms Tracker™ helps women track and monitor their symptoms

3.

One more cup of coffee before I go?


Thursday, 23 November 2017

It seems like drinking three or four cups of coffee a day may have health benefits. Is this just another study into coffee consumption?  They seem to be frequent with conflicting conclusions.  This latest study was by the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh and while it stressed you should not start drinking coffee for health benefits the research was comprehensive and fairly positive for moderate drinkers.

 

There have been recent studies that suggested people who drank several cups of coffee a day tended to live longer but this research looked at over 200 studies and found that about three cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of heart problems, liver disease and some cancer.

 

If you are pregnant coffee consumption should be reduced or avoided altogether as it was linked to a higher risk of miscarriage, low birth weight ad pre-term birth.

 

The conclusions from analysing all the other studies were:

high coffee consumption had benefits in 19 health outcomes and harmful effects in six health outcomes

For the other outcomes investigated no conclusive results could be drawn.

Some of the benefits found included:

A 10% reduced risk of death for those who drank more rather than less coffee

A 18% lower risk of getting most cancers for people who drank more rather than less coffee

A 19% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease (for example heart attack or stroke) for people who regularly drank coffee against those who never did

A 29% lower risk of fatty liver disease not related to alcohol for people who drank coffee compared to those that didn’t

A 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes for people who drank more compared to less coffee

 

The effects of a high coffee consumption and beneficial outcomes were identified as best for liver disease, liver cancer, death after heart attack, leukaemia and gout.

The results are mostly positive and it certainly appears a few cups of coffee a day will do you any harm but far more detail and analysis of the variables is needed in the studies to make some definite statements of health benefits or otherwise.

4.

Fantastic new menopause resource launches


Thursday, 21 September 2017

A great and much-needed new menopause website has just launched.
BeingEve.net is a new inspirational lifestyle website targeted at women between the ages of 40-55 that are going through menopause, bringing the latest expert thinking, advice and solutions to help women take control of their symptoms so they can live a healthier and happier menopause.

 

BeingEve.net includes articles, tools and advice from experts in the areas of sleep, nutrition, fitness and overall wellbeing, written exclusively for BeingEve; a free online Symptoms Tracker and Daily Journal to identify and track symptoms on a daily basis; personal stories from other women experiencing menopause; and the latest industry news, research and opinion.

BeingEve also offers the Four Pillar Lifestyle Plan, a monthly membership programme designed by a range of experts and including limited duration Reset Challenges as well as detailed Everyday Living Plans, with comprehensive tools and resources to help women manage their symptoms. The Four Pillars include: Sleep well, Eat well, Get Moving and Feel good.
For more information visit beingeve.net, or contact them at info@beingeve.net

5.

Wash your hands for longer and cold water is fine


Sunday, 04 June 2017

A new study looking at washing your hands has come up with some interesting findings, or at least some interesting suggestions that may need further investigation as the sample for the study was small - 20 people, 10 men and 10 women.

 

The study was carried out by researchers from Rutgers University and GOJO Industries in the US.  It is worth noting GOJO Industries produce hand sanitisers and soaps however, the research suggests these are of no more benefit than regular soap and water and cold water is just as effective as how water.  What can make a difference is how long you wash your hands for.


The research only tested for E. coli bacteria which is a leading cause of food poisoning. They found using cold was just as effective at getting rid of the bacteria as washing with hot water and antibacterial handwash or soap was not significantly more effective at removing the bacteria than normal soap.

 

It did establish that washing your hands for longer – 30 seconds instead of 15 seconds – is more effective at getting rid of bacteria if you want to protect yourself against food poisoning or infections like the flu.  It has to be said that the research only compared two products and also only studied E. coli.

There would need to be further, more in-depth research covering a wider range of products and other types of bacteria and infections before it can be stated for certain that cold water is just as effective as hot.

 

Using an antimicrobial soap wasn't found to be significantly more effective than normal soap at removing bacteria during any of the trial washes.  There was no significant reduction in bacteria after handwashing between the lowest and highest water temperatures of 15C or 38C.  Washing for 30 seconds (20 seconds of lathering and 10 seconds rinsing off) was found to notably reduce bacteria compared with washing for 15 seconds (10 seconds of lathering and 5 seconds rinsing off) when using common soap. Lather time didn't affect bacterial count for antimicrobial soap.


Current guidelines recommend that we wash our hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds:

 

after using the toilet

after handling raw foods like meat, fish and vegetables

before eating

after touching pets or animals

more
 

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