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Health

Our greatest asset is our health and the wellbeing of our families and relationships. Expert writers keep you up to date with new developments in medicine and ideas on keeping fit, looking after your health as well as exploring how modern life affects you and yours.

Recent Articles

How to avoid diabetes

It's a condition which three million people in Britain already know they have – and an estimated 850,000 also have but are unaware of. It costs the NHS £1m an hour, a figure which doctors warn is set to rise, with disastrous results for an already overburdened service. Consequences for the individual are equally catastrophic, as a chronic, untreated condition can lead to blindness, amputations or kidney failure.

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Here's to better hearing

With people living longer, increasing numbers will spend half their lifetime suffering from hearing loss. The big question, according to David McAlpine, professor of auditory neuroscience and director of the Ear Institute at University College London, is how this will affect our cognition.  Research by a US gerontologist who looked at the hearing of a group of people in their sixties found that those with only mild hearing loss had less cognitive ability.

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Eating for a healthy heart

February is National Heart Month, drawing attention to the ways that you can prevent heart disease and its associated conditions. A healthy diet is one important way that you can help reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease and also stop you gaining weight, thereby reducing your risk of diabetesand highbloodpressure.It canalsohelploweryour cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of some cancers. Even if you already have a heart condition, a healthy diet can also benefit your heart.

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Look after your legs

I f tired and aching limbs are ignored and left untreated, they can lead to more serious problems such as varicose veins and painfully sore leg ulcers. Britain’s first female TV newsreader Angela Rippon, well-known for high- kicking her long legs on the Morecambe and Wise Show , is so concerned about the health of the nation’s lower limbs she is heading a campaign to encourage us to take better care of our pins.

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Pioneering prostate treatment

Men with what is called benign prostatic hyperplasia often have to get up several times a night to urinate, disrupting their sleep and making them irritable and depressed. With age, the prostate gland increases in size and starts to press on the urethra – the tube that connects the bladder to the penis. This causes the man not only to experience a frequent and urgent need to urinate but also to often have poor flow. Sometimes an enlarged prostate can block urinary flow completely and the man has to be rushed to hospital and have a catheter put in.

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Foods After 50

ONCE WE progress past the age of 50, should we be choosing our food with more care? For a number of reasons, the answer is a definite ‘yes.’ For one thing, as we age our metabolisms slow down. That means we burn up fewer calories, so eating the same amount of food as we always did means we start to put on weight. Becoming overweight is a risk factor for a number of illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease and dementia, and it will also put more pressure on the joints.

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Staying Moblie

There are plenty of positives to getting older, but there are also downsides. Most of us have aches and pains and find some of the actions of daily living a challenge. We also often have older parents, family or friends who have even steeper challenges.

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Easing Pain for IBS sufferers

As well as agonising stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can cause diarrhoea, meaning sufferers often have to find a loo urgently. Triggers include infections such as gastroenteritis and E-coli. Up to a third of those who get gastroenteritis will develop IBS.

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Lift transforms arthritis sufferer’s life

The Husband of an arthritis sufferer has spoken about how installing a home lift in their property has transformed his wife’s life. Betty Major, 84, was finding that climbing the stairs was becoming increasingly difficult and painful due to rheumatoid arthritis of the knee. With the help of partner, Don, 80, it was sometimes taking up to around 30 minutes for Betty to reach the upstairs of their house.

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Coconuts' health bounty

Aficionados of Mutiny on the Bounty may recall that trouble really kicked off when Captain Bligh accused his Lieutenant, Fletcher Christian, of stealing from the ship’s store of coconuts.

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Ear Implant can Change Lives

Molly Berry loves chatting with her friends in the pub, and with her grandson on the phone.She enjoys listening to folk and rock music. The 63-year-old is also profoundly deaf. Molly (pictured above) is one of around 650 deaf or severely hard-of-hearing adults in the UK each year to benefit from a cochlear implant – a device which directly stimulates the auditory nerve. It has transformed her life.

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Try Raw Honey to Beat Hay Fever

The principle behind the theory is that the tiny amounts of pollen found in raw honey help to desensitise the body, preventing the reaction to pollen in the atmosphere during spring and early Summer. Bee farmer Crispin Reeves, who runs English honey brand Haughton Honey, based near Tarporley in Cheshire said" many of our customers buy our honey because they know that the bees have made it in this country and that the honey is raw, so it contains traces of intact pollen.

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The 10 best health apps

This app is designed to show quickly and easily how much sugar is in food and drink. You just use the camera in your phone or tablet to scan the barcode on the product and it'll show how much sugar it contains per pack and per 100g. You can keep track of the last 10 products scanned, making it easy to compare items in the supermarket. It is early days for this app- for example, Heinz baked beans weren't listed, while tomato ketchup was- but as more products are added to the database the more useful it will become

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Easing Leg Cramp Agony

Leg cramps often strike suddenly in the middle of the night, not only jolting the sufferer awake, but his or her partner too. At first the excruciating pain takes your breath away, then it forces you to shout out, rudely rousing your partner from their slumbers too. It is not know for sure how common leg spasms are because most people do not bother to discuss them with their doctor. Incidence is associated with the ageing process, with 33 percent of the over-60s and more than half of the over-80s affected.

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Is Anthony Wright the world’s worst patient?

Anthony Wright had an extended three month stay in hospital due to a brain tumour and was later moved to a specialist rehabilitation unit to learn to walk. On his own admission it was a bit like a cross between `Carry on Nurse` and `The Great Escape`.

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The Importance of a Good Night's Sleep

Rules for a good night’s sleep:

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Tooth Discolouration Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It

A recent study shows that the colour of your teeth is greatly affected by your eating habits.

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FSA: “face freezer fears” in a bid to tackle food

The research – released as part of Food Safety Week (4th -10th July) – identified a number of freezing ‘myths’ that are preventing people from using their freezers to make food go further. 43% of those interviewed think that food should only be frozen on the day of purchase to be safe, rather than up to the use-by date; 38% incorrectly said it is dangerous to refreeze meat after it has been cooked; and 36% wrongly believe that food can become unsafe to eat while in the freezer. 

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Meditation: Feeling the Space

Image: David Lynch, Twice daily meditation Anyone over 60 probably first heard of Transcendental Meditation in the ‘summer of love’, 1967, when the Beatles travelled to Bangor – and later India – with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Now TM is making a comeback, and it seems the Beatles were on to something. Five decades of scientific research have found remarkable benefits for mind and body from this simple technique – and it’s now being taken seriously by health professionals.

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Are you getting enough sunshine?

Statistics suggest up to 50 per cent of the UK population may be deficient in vitamin D due to lack of sufficient sun exposure (especially in the winter) so it is important to make sure you get your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin. What is vitamin D?

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A virtual road to recovery for brain trauma

It goes without saying that a brain injury, however small, can be life-changing, yet few are aware of how prevalent these injuries can be. In London alone, approximately 8,000 working age people are admitted to hospital every year with some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), with victims usually suffering the effects for the rest of their lives.

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Soccer at a Stroll

Funnily enough, it was a TV ad to promote sitting in front of a computer that motivated thousands of 50-plus British men (and women) to get off the sofa and on to playing fields and sports centres.

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World Mental Health Day

Jemima Jefferson, who’s in her 50s, spent over 20 years building a high-flying career in some of the world’s biggest banks and financial firms.

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Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

While there's little you can do about your genetic make-up, and no way of halting the ageing process – the main cause of cancer – you can give yourself the best chance of keeping the disease at bay simply by being more physically active, watching your weight and quitting smoking.

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Making Fitness Fun

IF YOU’VE had five heart attacks and two bypass operations, you might be forgiven for thinking that exercise classes are a thing of the past. Not so for Alan, 82, from south Manchester. Attending a local class for a few months with Manchester United Foundation trainer Steve Hoy, he is no longer overweight, can walk up to five times as far, has gained muscle strength and stamina, and is passing on some of what he has learned to friends at his residential home.

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It’s never too late for sport

Some over-50s may be put off taking part in sport by the idea that it is a young person’s game, with worries of excess physicality and the general concern of injury stemming their desire to take up a new pastime. However, there are now more opportunities than ever to get into sporting activities in later life, with options encompassing choices for those who prefer team games, those who like life on two wheels and those who enjoy little more than a walk in the countryside.

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New Epilepsy Drug on the NHS

More than half a million people in the UK have epilepsy, the world’s most common neurological condition. Medication or surgery can control seizures in the majority of cases, but sadly up to 40 per cent of those with epilepsy continue to suffer them despite treatment. The good news is that a new drug, used as an add-on treatment, has been shown in trials to reduce the number of seizures experienced by this group of patients and is now available on the NHS.

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Stay Healthy This Winter

AS THE nights draw in and temperatures continue to dip, it’s the time of year when we’re most vulnerable to colds and flu, but there are many ways to help you to beat the winter bugs. It sounds simple but staying warm is crucial to staying healthy during the winter months. Keep your living room at around 21°C/70°F and the rest of the house at 18°C/64°F. When you go outside keep your face, hands and feet well wrapped up and remember that many thin layers are better than one thick layer.

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Nuts reduce risk of killer diseases

A study reported in BMC Medicine that looked at more than 800,000 participants has found that eating at least 20g of nuts a day can reduce risk of heart disease by 30%, cancer by 15%, bring a 40% reduction in diabetes and half the deaths from respiratory disease. The study's co-author, Dagfinn Aune from Imperial College London, said: "We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases. It's quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food."

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New app to revolutionise repeat prescriptions

Pharmacists Chris Turner and Andrew Bailey have launched a unique app that allows users to order repeat prescriptions whenever and wherever from their smartphone or tablet. The DIMEC pharmacy app is free to download, easy to use and prescriptions are delivered for free. The app enables anytime prescription ordering, meaning that people with NHS repeat prescriptions can order them any time, day or night, from their iPhone or Android.

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Online health: Click or Curse?

I’m lucky to have finished this article. I mean, considering I have Yellow Fever. The internet alerted me, when I googled in my symptoms of muscle soreness and headache. They’ve worn off, but the website warns that in Stage Two of the disease, “fever and other symptoms go away.” So there we are. I’m putting my affairs in order, prior to heart, liver and kidney problems. Cyberchondria

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Fake slimming pills web sales warning

The unsrupulous people offering you a quick fix for your weight problem are not interested in helping you to get rid of the extra pounds of fat from your body, but have their eyes firmly fixed on removing the pounds from your bank account. Between 2013 and 2014, the government’s health watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), seized 425,663 fake or unlicensed slimming pills, and between 2015 and October 2016 it had seized 544,689 and was still counting.

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New hope burns for diabetics

BURNING OFF abnormal cells in the lining of the duodenum allows new ones to form, and these release hormones which improve the patient’s ability to process blood sugar.

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Free Vision Express Eye Test during World Glaucoma Week

Following the success if last year's campaign to improve the nations eye health, the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has teamed up with Vision Express to help raise awareness of the importance of eye tests into detecting glaucoma, during World Glaucoma Week 2017.

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Salt: The forgotten killer

Salt has slipped down to number 3 in a list of food concerns More than half of the populations are not concerned about how much salt they eat 86% don't know that 6g is the recommended maximum daily amount for salt GP Dr Sarah Jarvis highlights that salt is one of the UK's biggest dietary health issues

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The Age of Anxiety

Feeling anxious occasionally is perfectly normal, whether it;s before a major family event, a long ditance flight or meeting new people.When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, however, those feeling are far more overwhelmng.- and often hard to talk about or admit to. "Anxiety becomes a problem when you experuence everyday worries more intensely" says Lucy Lyus, information manager at the mental health charity Mind.

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The Great Taboo

AFTER SOME thought I have decided I must share my story with you as I want to raise awareness of a horrible condition, but thankfully one that can now be alleviated or even cured. I first noticed symptoms around two and a half years ago, experiencing excruciating pain in my vaginal area when having sex with my husband. I looked in a mirror and realised my vulval skin was split in several places and bleeding.

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Just Do It

Those of us past our athletic prime might have less use than hitherto for Nike products, but the company's slogan could have been tailor-made for the latest trend in managing depression. Behavioural Activation, rapidly gaining attention in psychological circle, involves scheduling pleasurable and responsible activities into our daily lives, and sticking to the schedule whether we feel like it or not. "Just do it" is the buzz phrase.

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It's all in the timing

"Time," woody Allen hopefully informs is. "is nature's way of preventing everything from happening at once." time also turns out to have an unexpectedly important influence on the effects of medicines. And understanding how to synchronise the time we take our medicines with our body's natural rhythms is opening the prospect of more effective , personalised health care, with fewer side-effects.

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The Hidden Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a disease which convinces those suffering they don't want to get help. An addict becomes adept at concealing it- often it is those you least expect who are struggling, with the over 50s increasingly at risk. To raise awareness of how easily alcohol addiction can go unnoticed, Priory has developed an interactive story. Spotting a drinking problem Would you notice the hidden signs of addiction in your own home?

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Silence is Golden

In this noisy, fast-paced world it is increasingly difficult to find a silent place where we can be still and calm and recharge our batteries, but for our health's sake it is important that we do. Noise pollution is now considered so severe that the World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is the second most pressing threat to human health after air pollution.

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Breaking the barriers of isolation

The words 'technology' invokes fear and mistrust, at least until you relate it to the car they drive or the television they watch.

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Love Your Gut Week 4th-10th September

Love Your Gut Week runs from 4th to 10th September. Love your Gut has been raising awareness of the importance of gut health for over 18 years by providing expert tips, digestive health news and recipes.  The good news is that is isn't hard to love your gut! To get you started, Dr Joan Ransley and the experts at Love Your Gut have put together tips on hoe to give your gut the love and attention it deserves.

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Sweet dreams are made of this

Do you lie tossing and turning in bed at night, struggling to get some precious shut eye? Perhaps you're trying too hard to tempt the sandman. Or maybe you are indulging in a daytime nap at your desk or on the sofa and putting your bosy clock out of sync.

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Easing Migraine Misery

There are headaches- and then there are migraines. They are very different conditions, with the World Health Organisation describing migraines as one of the most disabling illnesses on earth. Every day there are an estimated 190,000 migraine attacks in the UK, where one in seven of the population suffers from them. For some they last 72 hours and occur on 15 days out of every 30.

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World Menopause Day:A personal cooling solution to beat the heat

Widely recognised as one of the most common symptoms of the menopause, hot flushes can, for some women, be a daily and uncomfortable issue. So as attention turns to International Menopause Day on 18th October, Evapolar shares its cooling technology that wok to keep temperatures under control. Hot flushes are known to be unpredictable; sometimes prolonged, sometimes occasional. But ehrn hey do occur, the key is finding a quick, easy and fuss-free ways to cool down.

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Current Issue

October 2017

Profile: Prue Leith

Special: Carry on clowning

Your Money and Your Rights

Cruise Burgundy and Provence

Wigan's woodland wonder

Strolling The Stand

Have a happy retirement

Healthy portion sizes

finding the best insurance deal

Opening up hospice care