Boost your gut feeling: From a tummy massager to gummies and a tracker app, which is the best for IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects one in ten adults in the UK, causing bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and cramps.
There is no one cause — which is why it’s notoriously difficult to treat — but triggers include overindulgence, an imbalance of gut bacteria, infections and stress. This may explain a possible recent spike in cases, given the stress of getting through a particularly difficult Christmas, and the fear of catching Covid-19.
JO WATERS asked Peter Whorwell, a professor of medic...
Like a 'punch in the stomach', is how Megan Willis felt on hearing that her eight-week-old baby with partner John Hall had a life-limiting muscle-wasting disease.
'It was devastating — almost too much, too painful to process,' says Megan, 29, an events manager, who lives with John, 36, a retail manager, in Colchester, Essex.
Little Edward has the genetic condition spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), in which the lack of a protein called SMN, vital for muscle development and movement, results in pr...
Katie Cronin’s sudden death from a heart attack aged just 21 left her shocked family asking one question: why?
An administrative apprentice for BT, Katie had so much to look forward to. Nine months earlier she had married Rob, 34, a former store supervisor, and the couple had an 18-month-old daughter, Abi.
As her mother, Gill, puts it: ‘Katie had crammed a lot into her short life. She had a strong sense of purpose.’
Katie died in June 2011 after collapsing with chest pains and breathlessness ...
Can government strategy help tip the scales on the UK’s excess weight, or is there too much onus on the individual? And what do CPs think? Journalist Jo Waters reports.
A new government obesity strategy to tackle England’s burgeoning weight problem was announced at the end of July, with the hope of not only improving the nation’s health – but also reducing its susceptibility to Covid-19.
Similar anti-obesity strategies have previously been launched in Scotland (Scottish Government, 2018a), Wa...
As a second national lockdown starts, plunging the nation into social isolation, there are fears more of us will be drowning our sorrows. In part one of two articles, Jo Waters reports on Britain’s battle with the booze.
Mounting concerns about rising COVID-19 cases, draconian restrictions on households mixing and the ensuing loneliness this will cause, plus mass job losses, and the general winter gloom of dark evenings and grey November daytime skies, are a perfect storm for more people hitt...
Red eyes could be the first sign of arthritis in your SPINE: Ocular issue is a common symptom of back condition... but, like Dasha, too many people can wait years for a diagnosis
Student Dasha Karzunina assumed at first that the red, painful eye she had developed while revising for her university exams was a simple infection.
‘I’d been feeling stressed and had not been sleeping much,’ recalls Dasha, who was 19 at the time. ‘I thought it was conjunctivitis.’
Indeed, initially her GP prescribed antibiotic eye drops but, over the next few days, Dasha’s symptoms worsened.
‘I also became really sensitive to light and wasn’t able to read properly, because my vision was so b...
Napping is something that conjures up images of cute babies cuddled in their cots or pensioners snoring in armchairs – but can it also be something dynamic that can help you reboot your working day? By Jo Waters.
Certainly, taking a break from the demands of the day job is nothing new – Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvador Dali, JFK and Winston Churchill are just a few of the high-functioning creative geniuses and leaders reported to have sworn by a restorative nap to get them through their working da...
Why are cancer patients still being left in limbo? It's become the untold scandal of the Covid crisis — how as many as 36,000 lives could be lost because of delays in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer
Three days into lockdown, having learned that he had a growth in his prostate, Chris Durcan waited anxiously for a letter from the hospital telling him what the next steps would be.
'An MRI scan on March 23 — the day lockdown was announced — had shown the growth measured 2cm,' says Chris, 61, a technical support officer with the National Crime Agency, who lives in Birmingham with his wife Alison, 56, a secretary.
'I was extremely worried as I have a family history of prostate cancer — my youn...
The Covid pandemic is sparking fears of a rise in suicide and suicidal behaviour. Journalist Jo Waters asks who are the groups most at risk and how can CPs best support them.
Mental health charities have reported more people seeking help for suicidal thoughts after Covid-19 created a perfect storm for mental illness.
During the first month of lockdown, nearly one in five people reported thoughts of self-harm or suicide, according to research published in June by University College London (UCL...
The number of people living in cities is projected to rise from 55 % to 68 % of the world’s population by 2050, according to the United Nations. Strong leadership and multi-sectoral planning can make our cities far healthier for human habitation
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The novel coronavirus and fossil fuel emissions that contribute to climate change are the two biggest challenges the world faces in mid-2020. Both are acutely apparent in cities. The covid-19 pandemic has hit densely popu...
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The world is getting heavier, with obesity spreading at an alarming rate across the globe. Worldwide incidence of obesity tripled between 1975 and 2016. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) most people on the planet live in countries where they are more likely to die because they are overweight and obese, than because they do not have enough to eat.
“Obesity is a gateway disease for other chronic conditions,” says Ximena Ramos-Salas, policy and resear...
Tinnitus, nerve damage and a racing pulse from just TWO antibiotic pills... Despite warnings, some doctors are still prescribing drugs that can leave patients with crippling side-effects
After being prescribed antibiotics for a suspected urinary tract infection (UTI), Adam Sawczuk was expecting to bounce back to health within days.
He’d had stabbing pain and a dull ache in his groin for more than a week.
‘My GP decided to prescribe stronger fluoroquinolone antibiotics [called ofloxacin] after a seven-day course of a milder antibiotic [doxycycline] hadn’t worked,’ says Adam, 32, an NHS psychologist who lives in Carlisle, Cumbria.
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Did using sunbeds at home aged 16 leave me with a gaping hole in my face? Woman, 22, fears short tanning sessions for a few weeks caused cancerous lump on her nose
Gemma Towle was just 16 when she had her first sunbed session. 'I was desperate to look 'healthy' and tanned ready for my school prom,' she says.
'I didn't want to look pale beside my friends, who were using sunbeds.'
Despite it being illegal to use sunbeds at tanning salons below the age of 18, Gemma, from Blackpool, found a way around it.
'My friend's parents hired a sunbed at their home and I used it,' she recalls.
'I knew about the sun and the risk of skin cancer, and knew I was at higher...
Listen up! Why you MUST have your ears tested in your 50s: Hearing loss can be devastating and often strikes in middle age... but, as these people found, its causes can range from acid reflux to swimming in cold water
Hearing loss isn’t just something that strikes in old age: you may be surprised to learn that more than 40 per cent of the over-50s are affected.
Yet it’s a problem many sufferers don’t want to admit to. Around three million people with hearing loss severe enough to be classed as disabling have not sought help, according to a report by the British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association in 2019.
Most people wait ten years on average before they seek help.
Quite apart from affecting...
For seven years, Sue McDonagh struggled with agonising gout attacks so intense, it felt as though shards of glass were pressing into her right big toe, and at one point had her begging for an amputation.
‘Each attack caused me excruciating pain,’ says Sue, 62, an artist. Then, three years ago, in 2017, she finally got her symptoms under control.
Rather than a case of misdiagnosis, she had simply not been given the right treatment. Taking the correct drug, two tablets daily, has changed her li...