I am going nuts this Christmas!

Posted by Heather Doggett on 05 December 2019

We are just breaking in to the second tub of Christmas chocolates – it is the  2nd week in November as I write this – so we are pretty much on track for our usual over-consumption, but following a year of significantly reduced sugar intake; youngest child turning veggie and, by default, all of us – sort of, (excluding the dog although she does have a penchant for cauliflower) along with a general all round overhaul of our diet, there has been an epiphany in the household – and it is nuts – literally! So just how good are nuts for our health? Packed with fibre, protein and essential (good) fats, nuts are the season’s best buy.  ALMONDS Rich in calcium, almonds are a good choice if you avoid dairy.  They have a high Vitamin E content which improves...

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Can you have your cake and eat it?

Posted by Heather Doggett on 01 November 2019

As the sugar debate continues to dominate health and wellbeing agendas, Public Health England reported earlier this year that children in the United Kingdom are likely to have exceeded the maximum recommended intake of sugar for an 18 year old by the time they turn 10, as their consumption of sugar is equivalent to 2800 excess sugar cubes per year.  Rates of severe obesity among 10 and 11 year olds have reached a record high.  Un-sweetening the world’s diet may be the key to reversing the obesity epidemic. Free sugar means all the different types of sugar we have in our diet, excluding the sugars found naturally in “intact” fruit and vegetables, and in milk and milk products.  Importantly, most of our free sugar intake comes from sugar added to food and drink...

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Posted by Heather Doggett on 01 November 2019

The idea of counting alcohol units was first introduced in the UK in 1987 to help people keep track of their drinking. Units are a simple way of expressing the quantity of pure alcohol in a drink. The number of units in a drink is based on the size of the drink, as well as its alcohol strength.  But what is a unit? The Chief Medical Officers’ guideline for both men and women states that to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.  This should be spread evenly over 3 or more days.  One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol which is the amount of alcohol the average adult can process in an hour. Because alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a way to tell how strong your...

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Go pink for breast cancer awareness month

Posted by Heather Doggett on 03 October 2019

As I write this, I am 3 days post yet another birthday (and as such, a substantial amount of cake!).  This one will take me on to my ‘every third year’ mammogram year.  As a service delivered by the West Suffolk Hospital, I can only praise the ease and efficiency with which it is run.  The only marginally distressing thing about the whole process is how young the radiographers look – and that is totally a reflection on me and not them – they are both friendly and professional and are exceptional at putting you at ease whilst they squidge your boobs into the machine for those few vital seconds of picture taking!  All I can say is that if you are of an age, please make sure you go and get your mammogram. Why….?  Well, breast cancer continues to be the most common cause of cancer...

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Hobson Health and HealthWork merger

Posted by Heather Doggett on 13 September 2019

Occupational health merger creates regional heavyweight Healthwork and Hobson Health have merged, creating one of the largest occupational health providers in the North West. The merger creates a combined business with 125 employees and enhances its offer to both new and existing customers, who now have a choice of eight locations and will benefit from a wider range of products. It will also be one of the largest occupational health training organisations in the country, providing training for clinical staff to maintain the highest standards of care. Healthwork was the first occupational health provider to gain SEQOHS accreditation. The Board of the expanded business will be composed of the existing owners of Healthwork and the owner of Hobson Health, John Hobson. All four...

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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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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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