Stress and its effects on the body

Posted by Heather Doggett on 11 September 2019

Stress is not a mental illness but can manifest into one if it is not dealt with.  Stress can also cause significant physical symptoms – this is often linked to the fight or flight response which releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline into our body when we are exposed to constant daily life pressures or significant stressful life events.  The diagram shows just how our stress response impacts physically on our body. Although we cannot always control the external stress in our life, we can try to break the cycle of getting more stressed by developing a better understanding of our stress, how it may be impacting us, and by changing our response to it: Stressed body eg tense shoulders, racing heart, indigestion Stressed thoughts eg I can’t cope, I’m going to lose my job Stressed...

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It’s time to join the dementia revolution

Posted by Heather Doggett on 30 August 2019

I was listening to Chris Evans on Virgin Radio on the way in to work.  He was discussing the Dementia Revolution: a year long, joint campaign between the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK to power ground-breaking dementia research, overthrow old attitudes and lead the charge towards a cure.  Dame Barbara Windsor – who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 – and her husband Scott Mitchell, as Ambassadors of the Alzheimer’s Society, have very much led the charge with an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for a £2.4 billion dementia fund as part of the ‘fix dementia care’ campaign. The figures from the Office of National Statistics published on 9th August this year make for stark reading – one in eight deaths was attributed to dementia...

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HOW HYDRATED ARE YOU?

Posted by Heather Doggett on 26 July 2019

As a nurse, I have collected many, many urine samples over the years and one thing I know for sure is that many of us tend to be dehydrated a lot of the time. Water accounts for about 65% of our body weight, whilst our brains are 73% water. Water performs crucial roles such as carrying nutrients and waste products between our major organs, helping regulate body temperature, lubricating our moving parts, and acting as a shock absorber. Dehydration reflected by a 1-2% reduction in body weight can reduce our ability to concentrate and our everyday mental performance, and increase feelings of aggression or irritation. According to the National Hydration Council, 12% of tiredness and fatigue cases presenting at GP surgeries are believed to be due to dehydration. Staggeringly, statistics reveal...

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Why is poo so taboo?

Posted by Heather Doggett on 12 July 2019

 I recently overheard eldest daughter explaining in detail to her friend what a ‘normal’ poo should look like, much to the horror of said friend – she is her mother’s daughter!  Poo consists of food, bacteria, mucus and dead cells.   Food travels through eight metres of intestine from the time it enters the mouth of an adult until it comes out the other end; this can take between 24–72 hours. The time it takes for ingested food to travel through the human gut – also called transit time – affects the amount of harmful degradation products produced along the way. This means that transit time is a key factor in a healthy digestive system.  Research suggests that a shorter transit time is associated with improved bowel health.  Transit...

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Breathe Easy Week 17-23 June 2019

Posted by Heather Doggett on 12 June 2019

Lung disease refers to a wide range of conditions that affect the lungs, the organs through which we breathe. There are several causes of lung disease. Smoking is the main cause for the two biggest killers, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pneumonia, the third biggest cause of death from lung disease, is caused by infection. Other diseases may result from exposure to harmful substances, such as asbestos, which causes lung fibrosis and mesothelioma. Cystic fibrosis, on the other hand, is a genetic disorder that is inherited. Living with a lung disease can mean that you can’t leave your home, walk more than a few paces or dress yourself. Some diseases, like asthma, can usually be managed effectively with the right treatment. The British Lung Foundation state...

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Cycling UK Bike Week 8-16 June 2019

Posted by Heather Doggett on 06 June 2019

WorkFit OHA Gill Cooksey resting while cycling up the Stelvio in Italy Bike Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling. During Cycling UK bike week the aim is to get many more people across the UK to give cycling a try, encouraging people to get out on their bikes between Saturday 8th June and Sunday 16th June 2019. Any outing on a bike counts – whether that’s nipping round to a friend’s house, cycling to work or school, enjoying a leisurely ride with the family or tackling a cycling challenge. Cycling has many benefits and is enjoyed in many different ways, the important thing is to get outside and enjoy a ride! Give #7DaysofCycling a go There are no rules on what counts as one of your seven – from...

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The Diabetes Health Crisis

Posted by Heather Doggett on 24 May 2019

Around 200,000 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year and 12.3 million people in the UK are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is predicted to become a huge crisis for the future health of the UK’s population.  It is a serious health condition that can have a major impact on one’s life and once at an advanced stage, diabetes can cause a host of other health complications.  With type 2 diabetes your body still breaks down carbohydrate from food and drink and turns it into glucose (sugar).  The body will either resist the effects of insulin or it doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels – Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy,...

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Body Image

Posted by Heather Doggett on 10 May 2019

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place 13-19 May 2019.  The theme this year is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.  Body image is: “…the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception” Body image and how we feel about how we look is anything but trivial.  Body image is a complex phenomenon and affects us all on so many different levels.  Building a positive body image is a good way to counteract the negative stream of images through television, our telephones, and the social media platforms that we are encouraged to compare ourselves to. Activities to improve body image:- Appreciate all that your body can doKeep a top-ten list of things you like about yourselfRemind...

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“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world’” – Marilyn Monroe

Posted by Heather Doggett on 26 April 2019

The only ‘right’ shoes this month are a pair of well-fitting walking shoes that provide both cushioning and arch support because May is National Walking Month.  As the owner of Daisy, the slightly chubby black Labrador, I do get to walk daily and on average I probably walk 3 miles per day – but really, how good is walking? It is recommended that adults achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity (of moderate intensity) per week – currently 26% of UK adults have less that 30 minutes of physical activity per week.  Walking is simple and free.  It is a low-impact form of exercise that provides a productive workout when performed at a pace of 3 to 4 mph – a brisk pace rather than a stroll.  You should be able to talk, but not sing the words to a song. ...

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APRIL IS STRESS AWARENESS MONTH

Posted by Heather Doggett on 26 April 2019

Stress is primarily a physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemicals to prepare the body for physical action.  Being under pressure is a normal part of life and is not necessarily a bad thing.  It can help you take action, feel more energised and get results. But if you often become overwhelmed by stress, these feelings could start to be a problem.  There might be one big thing causing you stress, but stress can also be caused by a build-up of small pressures. People experience stress in different ways and this contributes to stress manifesting itself differently.  To minimise risk is to identify stress-related problems as early as possible, so that action...

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