Breast cancer: 'Life-changing' drug given go-ahead for routine NHS use

The drug previously had to be accessed through the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Charity Breast Cancer Now said it was "delighted" by the news, describing the drug's effects as "extraordinary".

Nice has recommended the drug for use for women who have HER2-positive breast cancer which has returned to the breast but is inoperable, or where it has spread to other parts of the body, in combination with other medication.

Manufacturer Roche said the move ends years of uncertainty over how the treatment would be funded in the long term.

General manager Richard Erwin said: "Following the Nice approval of Kadcyla in June 2017, Perjeta is the second Roche breast cancer treatment to gain routine NHS funding in the last year. 

"These are positive examples of how solutions can be reached when all parties show flexibility.

"Looking forward, we want to continue to work closely with all parties to ensure that patients are not kept in limbo when new, innovative treatments are being assessed."

Roche said trials have shown that when Perjeta is given in combination with Herceptin and docetaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer, they are likely to survive for nearly 16 months extra.

People who took Perjeta plus Herceptin and docetaxel had an overall survival of 56.5 months - around four-and-a-half years - compared with just 40.8 months for Herceptin and docetaxel alone.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, said: "This is the best news patients with HER2-positive breast cancer and their doctors could have hoped for. 

"Perjeta is a truly life-changing drug and we are absolutely delighted and relieved that Nice has finally been able to recommend it for routine NHS use in England.

"Perjeta's benefits are extraordinary, offering women with incurable metastatic breast cancer over four-and-a-half years to live - nearly 16 precious extra months with their loved ones compared to existing treatments.

"While a long time coming, we're thrilled that tough negotiation and flexibility by NHS England and Nice, and the willingness of Roche to put patients first and compromise on price, has again ensured thousands of women can be given more time to live."

Around 53,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year in the UK, and up to 25% of cases have HER2-positive disease.



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COPD: Keeping fit during childhood lowers risk of lung disease in later life

Arthritis could be triggered by milk and beef, new study reveals

Scientists discovered that certain bacteria, found in a third of British cattle, can lead to the agonising condition. 

The US team found a direct link between a germ known as MAP and rheumatoid arthritis during trials with 100 patients.

The bacterium is commonly found in cows, but researchers warned it can be spread to humans through infected milk, beef and produce fertilised by cow manure. 

It is hoped the discovery could see more effective treatments for the condition which is currently incurable.

The University of Central Florida team had previously discovered a connection between MAP and Crohn’s disease, and used this link to establish the germ as a trigger for arthritis. 

Study leader Saleh Naser said: “Here you have two inflammatory diseases, one affects the intestine and the other affects the joints, and both share the same genetic defect and are treated with the same drugs.

“Do they have a common trigger? That was the question we raised. 

“We believe individuals born with this genetic mutation and later exposed to MAP through consuming contaminated milk or meat from infected cattle are at a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.” 

Researchers recruited 100 patients who volunteered clinical samples for testing. 

Some 78 per cent of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis were found to have the same genetic mutation found in Crohn’s patients. And 40 per cent of that number also tested positive for MAP. 

Dr Nasser added: “Understanding the role of MAP in rheumatoid arthritis means the disease could be treated more effectively.” 

Natalie Carter, of Arthritis Research UK, said: “This research is a first step into exploring whether MAP bacteria is an additional trigger for people at risk of rheumatoid arthritis. 

“More than 400,000 people live with rheumatoid arthritis, which makes it extremely difficult for people to do things most of us take for granted – like getting dressed, or going to work. 

“People living with these challenges will naturally follow the latest research with interest and hope.” 

In the UK, 10 million people have arthritis, with about 400,000 suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the joints.

The crippling condition affects people’s knees, elbows, wrists and other major joints. 

It is typically diagnosed in people aged 40 to 70 and affects three times as many women as men. 

The study’s findings are published this week in the journal Frontiers In Cellular And Infection Microbiology.



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Low pressure symptoms: Six signs you could have hypotension - and how to treat it yourself

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers - the systolic pressure (the higher number) and the diastolic pressure (the lower number). 

The systolic pressure is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body, whereas the diastolic pressure is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. 

Low blood pressure, known as hypotension, is a reading of 90/60mmHg or less. 

It doesn’t always cause symptoms, but you may need treatment if it does. 

The NHS advises to get your blood pressure checked if you keep getting 

these symptoms: 

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness 
  • Feeling sick 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Generally feeling weak 
  • Confusion 
  • Fainting 

The health body urges people that if you have low blood pressure and keep getting symptoms such as dizziness to see your GP. 

While medication can be used to treat low blood pressure, this is actually rarely needed because simple lifestyle measures or treating the underlying cause is usually effective. 

The NHS lists a number of ways to ease low blood pressure symptoms yourself: 

  • Get up slowly from sitting to standing 
  • Take care when getting out of bed - move slowly from lying to sitting to standing 
  • Raise the head of your bed by about 15cm with bricks or heavy books 
  • Eat small, frequent meals - lying down or sitting still for a while after eating may also help 
  • Increase the amount of water you drink 

High blood pressure is a condition that affects more than one in four adults in the UK. 

But many symptoms go undetected - the only sure way to find out if you have it is to have your blood pressure checked.

All adults over 40 are advised to have theirs checked at least every five years, and this can be done at your GP surgery, at some pharmacies, as part of your NHS Health Check and in some workplaces. 

You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a blood pressure monitor at home. This chart can tell you what your reading says about your blood pressure. 



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Hundreds of children born with defects because of folic acid mistake

Dry, chesty and tickly cough: What medicine or syrup can help get rid of symptoms?

A cough will usually go away on its own within three weeks and there’s usually no need to see a GP. 

The best way to treat a cough, according to the NHS is rest, to drink plenty of fluids and to drink hot lemon with honey. 

While a cough might not seem serious it can impact on your day-to-day life. 

Your pharmacist can suggest treatment to help you cough less, like cough syrups and lozenges. 

Offering its own recommendations, Covonia has advised on what syrups are best to treat different types of coughs. 

Research by the brand discovered that 58 per cent of sufferers prefer to take their medicine hot and 62 per cent buy cough medicine to help them get a better night’s sleep. 

This has led to the development of their latest product - Covonia Hot Dose Cough & Cold Syrup. 

When diluted with jut 15ml of hot water, the syrup’s unique formula creates a 30ml “shot” of powerful flavoured remedy to be sipped at bed-time. 

For a dry and tickly cough 

Covina dry and tickly cough is a formulation containing Glycerol, which coats the throat and acts s a demulcent to soothe the passage of the upper respiratory tract. 

Unlike other cough treatments, Covonia Dry and Tickly Cough Linctus can be taken as regularly as needed, so you don’t have to wait another two to four hours for the next dose (up to a maximum of four times a day). 

For a chesty cough 

Covonia Chesty Cough Mixture Mentholated is a non-drowsy formulation containing liquorice and squill which act as expectorants, hoping to relive the symptoms of a chesty cough, ad method to help relieve congestion.

So what ways do doctors recommend to treat a dry, chesty and mucus cough? 

Chesty cough

Dr Andrew Thornber, chief medical officer at the Now Healthcare Group, has recommended the best way to cure this type of cough - and it involves hot water and one other ingredient. 

He said: “Hot water and honey is usually as good a remedy as most over the counter cough medicines.” 

Mucus cough 

“A good tip is to drink lots of water to loosen the mucus, which makes it easier to cough up.

“Also, use a humidifier or inhale steam from a bowl to help clear the chest. 

“Painkillers can also bring down a fever and ease any associated headaches.” 

And what about a dry cough? 



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Scarlet fever OUTBREAK: Infections more than double in three weeks - signs to look out for

Scarlet fever cases hit 735 in England and Wales during the week to January 28, Public Health England (PHE) has revealed.

That’s the highest number of cases reported in a single week since April 2 2017, where 817 were cases were recorded.

Anyone who’s worried they may be infected with Scarlet fever should see their GP, PHE urged.

The condition can be treated with antibiotics, it added.

“We are strongly urging people with symptoms of Scarlet fever - which include a sore throat, headache and fever, accompanied by a characteristic rash - to consult their GP,” said Dr Theresa Lamagni, from PHE.

“Scarlet fever should be treated with antibiotics to reduce the risk of complications.

“Once children or adults are diagnosed with scarlet fever we strongly advise them to stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid passing on the infection.”

The rise in Scarlet fever cases came after last week’s 602 reported instances of the bacterial infection.

The North West of England had the most reported cases of Scarlet fever last week, with 146 cases.

The South East of England had 144 cases, while the North East and West Midlands had the fewest reported cases of Scarlet fever, with 41 and 43, respectively.

Scarlet fever, almost known as scarlatina, is a bacterial infection that causes a blotchy red rash.

Symptoms of the bacterial infection also include a sore throat, headaches and swollen glands, according to the NHS.

The condition is more common in young children, although it can affect people of any age.

After infection, symptoms of the infection tend to show up after a week.

Vomiting and fever could be the earliest signs of Scarlet fever.

A rash is the most common sign of infection. It begins on the chest, and spreads to other parts of the body.



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Head lice treatment: What does it mean if nits don’t clear?

Head lice are very common in young children and are usually picked up from head-to-head contact. 

They can be difficult to spot, but when you do see them, they appear as grey-brown insects about the size of a sesame seed. 

Head lice eggs can also indicate and infestation - these appear yellow, brown or white and are often empty shells attached to the hair. 

Shampoos, lotions, sprays or special fine-toothed combs, available from pharmacies, are one way to get rid of them. 

But what does it mean if head lice do not clear? 

There are several reasons why things may not get better after treatment, according to the British Association of Dermatologists: 

  • The diagnosis of head lice infection may have been incorrect 
  • You may not have followed the treatment instructions correctly 
  • The lice may have been resistant to the chosen treatment 
  • You may have picked up a new infestation immediately after the treatment finished 

There are a couple of things you can do after treatment to make sure nits don’t return: 

  • After the treatment is complete you should check every week, for a month, to make sure the lice are clear 
  • Make sure that everyone who has been in contact with an affected person is examined to ensure that they have not got head lice too - this especially apples to members of the same household and to close school friends 
  • All affected members of the household should be treated at the same time
  • The combs and brushes of an infested person should be washed in hot water daily

Can head lice be prevented? 

The NHS advises: “There’s nothing you can do to prevent head lice. You can reduce the risk of lice spreading by avoiding head-to-head contact. 

“Don’t use medicated lotions and sprays to prevent head lice. This can irritate the scalp. 

“There’s no need for children to stay off school, or to wash laundry on a hot wash.” 

These are the signs of a head lice infestation. 



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Arthritis pain - get rid of joint pain and inflammation by eating these everyday

Arthritis symptoms include joint pain, inflammation, and restricted movement.

About 10 million people have arthritis in the UK, including around 400,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients, according to the NHS.

There’s currently no cure for the condition, but there are treatments available which slow down its progress.

Eating blackberries could be the key to reducing inflammation in arthritis patients, a nutritionist has claimed.

“Blackberries contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, which suggests that they may provide protection against inflammatory conditions,” said nutritionist Anita Bean.

“A growing body of scientific research indicates that inflammation contributes to diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and obesity.

“Blackberries contain a wide range of nutrients, including vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, potassium and magnesium, as well as fibre and other plant nutrients that have numerous health benefits.

“These include flavonoids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. They also give blackberries their deep purple colour.”

Blackberries could also help to prevent weight gain by blocking fat absorption, said Bean.

Their rich flavonoid content also contribute to protecting against heart disease.

Eating more blackberries has been linked to a lower risk of stroke and high blood pressure, too.

“Eating around 10 blackberries will count towards one of your five-a-day,” said Bean. “These berries are readily available in abundance and tasty straight from the punnet.”

Rheumatoid arthritis is often diagnosed after a person turns 40.

The condition is caused by the body’s immune system targeting joints by mistake. This causes pain and swelling.

It’s not clear exactly what causes rheumatoid arthritis, but you’re more likely to develop it if you’re female, or have a family history of the arthritis.

Some supportive treatments could also help to relieve symptoms, including physiotherapy and occupational therapy.



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Do you have a weak immune system? Six signs your body needs help fighting cold and flu

High blood pressure - these vitamin supplements will lower your risk of heart attacks

Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount calcium and phosphate in the body, which keeps bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

During the winter months, the NHS suggests taking vitamin D supplements for those that may be at risk of deficiency, as there’s less sunlight during the daytime. Sunlight is a good source of vitamin D.

The vitamin could help to restore damage to the cardiovascular system after a number of diseases, scientists have revealed.

High blood pressure and diabetes patients could benefit from taking vitamin D supplements, it was claimed.

“Generally, Vitamin D3 is associated with the bones,” said US researcher Dr Tadeusz Malinski.

“However, in recent years, in clinical settings people recognise that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D3.

“It doesn't mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack, but it increased the risk of heart attack.”

There are not many, if any, known ways to repair cardiovascular cells after they’ve been damaged, he added.

“This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system,” said Malinksi. “We don't have to develop a new drug. We already have it.”

Some diseases can damage cardiovascular muscles. Damaging the muscles disrupts the electrical signals that the body uses to generate heart beats.

While this can cause mild symptoms, including chest pain, fatigue and dizziness, it can cause more extreme, life-threatening symptoms.

After a heart attack, deadly arrhythmias are a major cause of death during the following 24 to 48 hours, according to the NHS.

Taking too much vitamin D supplements can cause serious consequences, however.

Over a long period, the vitamin can cause calcium to build up in the body, which weakens bones and damages the kidneys and heart.

About 10mcg of vitamin D is enough for most people, the NHS said.

Taking more than 100mcg of vitamin D supplements a day could lead to the life-threatening condition.



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Cancer - SLASH your risk of disease by eating these everyday

Cancer affects more than one in three people during their lifetime.

Changes to the body’s normal processes or unexplained changes could be early signs of cancer.

Making simple changes to your lifestyle could lower your risk of developing the disease, according to the NHS.

But, eating just three portions of wholegrains day could cut your risk of cancer by as much as 17 per cent, scientists have claimed.

“Replacing some of your refined grains with wholegrains and eating mostly plant foods, such as fruit, vegetables and beans, will give you a diet packed with cancer-protective compounds and help you manage your weight, which is so important to lower risk,” said Alice Bender, American Institute for Cancer Research’s Director of Nutrition Programmes.

“When it comes to cancer there are no guarantees, but it’s clear now there are choices you can make and steps you can take to lower your risk of colorectal and other cancers.”

Eating 90g of wholegrains everyday could lower your risk of bowel cancer by 17 per cent, scientists revealed.

Processed meat, including bacon and salami, could raise your risk of bowel cancer, they also claimed.

Bowel cancer is common, but about 45 per cent of cases could be prevented by making subtle lifestyle changes, researchers said.

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for preventing bowel cancer, and 10 other common cancers.

Wholegrains - such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread - could contribute to lowering your risk of the condition.

They contain fibre, B vitamins, folic acid and antioxidants.

Finding blood in your stools could be a sign of bowel cancer.

Other symptoms include a persistent change to your bowel habit and persistent bloating.

You should see a GP if your symptoms keep coming back, said the NHS.

Almost 90 per cent of bowel cancer cases occur in people over 59 years old.



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Aussie flu: Drinking pineapple juice could help to get rid of a cough

Aussie flu is just one of several flu strains currently circulating the UK.

About 2,000 people have been hospitalised by flu since the beginning of the winter season, Public Health England figures have revealed.

One sign of an infection with Aussie flu is having a cough.

While a dry, tickly cough can be annoying, you may be able to get rid of it by drinking pineapple juice, according to a study.

“Nutrients in pineapple juice may help soothe symptoms of a cough or cold,” said medical website Healthline.

“One 2010 study found that pineapple juice was part of an effective treatment for tuberculosis, thanks to its ability to soothe the throat and dissolve mucus.

“According to this study, a mixture of pineapple juice, honey, salt, and pepper reduced cough symptoms up to five times faster than over-the-counter cough syrup.”

Pineapple juice was claimed to be extremely effecting in dissolving mucus in the lungs.

The fruit juice contains enzymes called bromelain which are strong anti-inflammatories, Healthline said.

Bromelain could help respiratory problems linked to allergies and asthma.

But, you shouldn’t only use pineapple juice on its own to treat signs and symptoms of flu. They should be used alongside conventional, over-the-counter medicines.

Speak to a GP if your cough lasts longer than week, or disrupts your sleep.

Aussie flu could last until March, a doctor has claimed.

The influenza A (H3N2) virus has spread across the UK, but the number of cases appears to be levelling out, latest figures have revealed.

“I reckon we’ve got a good few weeks to go,” said Dr Sarah Jarvis. “Cases are still on the rise but the rise does seem to be tailing off. 

“We’ve got over twice as many people in this year to see GPs as we had in the same time last year. The rise is definitely starting to flatten off, and what we do know is, given that we are still two, three times normal levels, it’s got a long way to go before it drops back to a really low level.”



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Do you suffer from back pain? Eating these foods could PREVENT chronic condition

Lower back pain can vary from a mild ache to a severe incapacitating agony.

The level of pain depends on the underlying cause, and how long it’s been left untreated.

But, you can prevent back pain from returning by making a few lifestyle changes, according to nutritionist Dr Josh Axe.

An anti-inflammatory diet, that’s rich in collagen, could help to prevent lower back pain from coming back, he said.

“If you want to improve overall joint and muscular health, maintain a healthy body weight, lower inflammation, and prevent back pains from returning in the future, consuming a healthy, healing diet is key,” said Axe.

“Start adjusting your diet by eating more unprocessed, anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory foods to help with lower back pain relief.”

Foods rich in fibre could help to reduce the symptoms of constipation.

“Constipation can make back pain worse, so eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are naturally high in fibre and other nutrients.”

Drinking plenty of water could help to prevent muscle spasms, said the nutritionist.

Drinking eight glasses of water every day can help to stave off back pain, he claimed.

You should also eat as much leafy green vegetables and avocados as you can.

They’re rich in potassium, which reduces swelling and is an important electrolyte for muscular and nerve function.

Back pain is very common, and usually improves after a few weeks, according to the NHS.

You can gain immediate relief from back pain by staying as active as possible.

Continuing your daily activities is one of the best ways to reduce the pain.

For short-term relief, try applying a hot or cold compress to the affected area.



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Diabetes diet - Man ‘CURES’ his type 2 condition and loses six stone after eating these

Type 2 diabetes is a life-long condition where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body doesn’t react to insulin.

Being overweight is a risk factor for developing the diabetes, according to the NHS.

But, Paul Donnelly, 46, claims to have cured his type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure after following one particular diet plan.

The LighterLife Total Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD) helped him lose six stone and three pounds, after he was told he could die before turning 50.

“I have a slightly addictive nature, so certain foods became very addictive, especially junk food and sweet things like curries, pizzas, chocolate, crisps etc.,” said Donnelly.

“However, that didn’t affect the shock I felt when I discovered that not only did I have type 2 diabetes, but I was also suffering from chronic high blood pressure.

“I had ballooned to my heaviest weight – over 17 stone – and I was on seven different medications for my diabetes and blood pressure.

“My blood sugars were through the roof and not only were my limbs starting to show signs of a loss of feeling, my recent retinopathy test had shown that I was two stages away from blindness.

“My nurse had me in tears when she told me I was going to have to start injecting insulin, and the path I was going down meant I would probably die before I reached 50.”

Donnelly started the LighterLife diet to “literally save” his life, he said.

After two weeks, he lost two stone, and his blood sugars were under the accepted maximum. He was also able to stop taking all seven of his medications.

The type 2 diabetes patient went on to lose six stone, weighing in at 10 stone, 13 pounds, and completely reversed his condition, he said.

“I was told that type 2 diabetes was for life and that the damage to your pancreas was permanent and irreparable,” said Donnelly.

“I wholeheartedly challenge that view. I am living proof that you can reverse type 2 diabetes and the LighterLife VLCD plan played a massive part in it.”

The diet plan includes four foodpacks every day.

All food consumed totals less than 600kcal, while still combining at least 100 per cent of your daily nutrients, LighterLife said.

Seeing as the food is already available to eat, there’s no cooking or weighing out involved, which can be one reason to give up on your health kick.

The programme, which costs £60 for four weeks - not including £8 daily foodpacks - also includes group counselling sessions to help patients overcome their eating habits.

Diabetes symptoms also include unexplained weight loss or muscle bulk, according to the NHS.

You can lower your risk of the condition by giving up smoking, following a healthy, balanced diet and regularly exercising.

You should see a GP if you think you may have diabetes.



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Dementia diet: Eating THESE foods could help stave off the condition

Diabetes warning: Six complications if you ignore the early signs and symptoms

Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems if left untreated or not treated properly. 

The longer you have diabetes, and the less controlled your blood sugar, the higher the risk of complications. 

Some of the complications can be disabling or even life-threatening. 

The NHS outlines six complications of type 2 diabetes. 

Heart disease and stroke 

Prolonged, poorly controlled blood glucose levels increase the likelihood of atherosclerosis, where the blood vessels become clogged up and narrowed by fatty substances, according to the NHS. 

It said: “This may result in poor blood supply to your heart, causing angina, which is a dull, heavy or tight pain in the chest. 

“It also increases the chance that a blood vessel in your heart or brain will become blocked, leading to a heart attack or stroke.” 

Nerve damage 

High blood glucose levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in your nerves. 

The NHS says: “This can cause tingling or burning pain that speed from your fingers and toes up through your limbs. It can also cause numbness, which can lead to ulceration of the feet.” 

Diabetic retinopathy 

This is when the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye, becomes damaged. 

The NHS explains: “Blood vessels in the retina can become blocked or leaky, or can grow haphazardly. This prevents light fully passing through to your retina. If it isn’t treated, it can damage your vision.” 

Kidney disease 

The health body says: “If the small blood vessels of your kidney become blocked and leaky, your kidneys will work less efficiently.” 

Foot problems 

Around one in ten people with diabetes can get a foot ulcer, and this is a result of damage to the nerves of the foot and small nicks and cuts not being noticed. 

The NHS advises: “If you have diabetes, look out for sores and cuts that don’t heal, puffiness or swelling, and skin that feels hot to the touch. You should also have your feet examined at least once a year.” 

Sexual dysfunction 

Men with diabetes, particularly those who smoke and have nerve and blood vessel damage, can experience erection problems. 

Women with diabetes may feel a reduced sex drive, less pleasure from sex, vaginal dryness, less ability to orgasm and pain during sex. 

The NHS says: “If you experience a lack of vaginal lubrication or find sex painful, you can use a vaginal lubricant or a water-based gel.” 

So what are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes? 



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Dementia warning: Severe head injury could raise your risk even DECADES later

Do you feel sick or experience dizziness? It could be symptoms of this condition

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers - the systolic pressure (the higher number) and the diastolic pressure (the lower number). 

The systolic pressure is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body, whereas the diastolic pressure is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. 

Low blood pressure, known as hypotension, is a reading of 90/60mmHg or less. 

Moderate forms of low blood pressure can cause dizziness, weakness, fainting and a risk of injury from falls, and severely low blood pressure can deprive your body of enough oxygen to carry out its normal functions leading to damage to your heart and brain. 

So if you haven’t been tested for low blood pressure, what are the symptoms to look out for? 

The NHS advises to get your blood pressure checked if you experience the following symptoms: 

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness 
  • Feeling sick 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Generally feeling weak 
  • Confusion 
  • Fainting 

The health body urges people that if you have low blood pressure and keep getting symptoms such as dizziness to see your GP. 

While medication can be used to treat low blood pressure, this is actually rarely needed because simple lifestyle measures or treating the underlying cause is usually effective. 

The NHS lists a number of ways to ease low blood pressure symptoms yourself: 

  • Get up slowly from sitting to standing 
  • Take care when getting out of bed - move slowly from lying to sitting to standing 
  • Raise the head of your bed by about 15cm with bricks or heavy books 
  • Eat small, frequent meals - lying down or sitting still for a while after eating may also help 
  • Increase the amount of water you drink 

High blood pressure is a condition that affects more than one in four adults in the UK. 

But many symptoms go undetected - the only sure way to find out if you have it is to have your blood pressure checked. 

All adults over 40 are advised to have theirs checked at least every five years, and this can be done at your GP surgery, at some pharmacies, as part of your NHS Health Check and in some workplaces. 

You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a blood pressure monitor at home. This chart can tell you what your reading says about your blood pressure. 



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Do you suffer from IBS symptoms? You could be deficient in this vitamin

If you’re one of the two in ten people that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) it could be likely you have low levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D, according to a new study. 

Scientists from the University of Sheffield reviewed and combined all available research on vitamin D and IBS and found that people with IBS were at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency. 

They’re now recommending that individuals with the condition test their levels for general health reasons.

The study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also suggested that taking supplements may help to restore vitamin D levels quickly, and that there is a possible benefit of vitamin D on the symptoms of IBS.

The review included a pilot study by a group of researchers, including Simon Tazzyman (2015), which showed that sublingual supplementation (via oral spray) could effectively replete the levels of IBS suffers with insufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin.

A study published in The Nutritional Journal showed that vitamin absorption via an oral spray is 2.5 times more effective than vitamin capsules. They are effective to take at any time of the day and are not reliant on food or water.

But the researchers from the University of Sheffield concluded that further research is needed in this area. 

In light of the latest study, natural health company BetterYou, which specialises in oral vitamin sprays, has now commissioned a three-year clinical trial with the University of Sheffield looking at the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the quality of life of people with IBS.

Dr Bernard Corfe from the Department of Oncology and Metabolism said: “IBS can have a very significant impact on the life of people diagnosed with it. The potential link between vitamin D intake and IBS symptoms is a new one and we are delighted to be working with BetterYou to investigate the potential to improve the lives and health of people with IBS.”

Andrew Thomas, founder and managing director of BetterYou, added: “We are proud to work with a dynamic university held in such high regard for its research excellence.

“We take pride in our continued absorption research within the field of oral spray delivery. There are few supplement products on the market more stringently researched and tested.”

According to the NHS, vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. 

These nutrients are needed to keep bones teeth and muscles healthy. 

It adds: “A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.” 

Vitamin D is best gained through certain foods, supplements and adequate sun exposure. 

But with the British weather giving us very little sunshine, and research into the link between sun exposure and skin cancer becoming more prevalent, many of us take greater care of our skin by guarding it from the sun.

The problem with this is that we end up depriving our bodies of the essential vitamin D, impacting our health in more ways than we know. 

To help determine what you need to be looking out for, Naturopathic Nutritionist Amy Morris, from Water for Health, shares her tell-tale signs that you’re not getting enough. 



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Chesty cough? These symptoms indicate you’ve actually got a chest infection

The symptoms of a chesty cough are slightly different from that of a dry or tickly cough. 

They’re often caused by an over-production of mucus due to viral infections due to a cold or flu, which often clear up on their own within three weeks. 

But a chesty cough can also be an individual symptom of a chest infection, that can often follow colds or flu. 

Some chest infections are mild and clear up on their own, but others can be severe and life threatening. 

The NHS outlines the main symptoms of a chest infection to look out for: 

  • Chesty cough - you may cough up green or yellow mucus 
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath 
  • Chest pain or discomfort 
  • High temperature (fever) of 38C or above 
  • Headache 
  • Aching muscles 
  • Tiredness

The health body adds: “These symptoms can be unpleasant, but they usually get better on their own in about seven to ten days. The cough and mucus can last up to three weeks.” 

So what should you do if you have a chest infection? 

  • Get plenty of rest 
  • Drink lots of water to loosen the mucus and make it easier to cough up 
  • Use an air humidifier or inhale steam from a bowl of hot water (adults only) - you can add menthol or eucalyptus oil 
  • Raise your head up while sleeping using extra pillow to make berthing easier and clear your chest of mucus
  • Use painkillers to bring down a fever and ease headaches and muscle pain 
  • Drink a hot lemon and honey drink to relieve a sore throat 

A pharmacist can also suggest decongestant treatments to help loosen the mucus. 

If you experience the following symptoms visit your GP: 

  • You feel very unwell or your symptoms get worse 
  • You cough up blood or blood-stained mucus 
  • You’ve had a cough for more than three weeks 
  • You’re pregnant 
  • You’re over 65 
  • Your immune system is weak - for example, you have a condition like diabetes or you’re having chemotherapy 
  • You have a long-term health condition, such as a heart, lung or kidney condition

If your symptoms are severe you may have pneumonia. 

What can you do if you just have a chesty cough? 



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Diabetes warning - This unlikely symptom puts you at greater risk of high blood sugar

Diabetes is a condition caused by uncontrolled blood glucose levels.

High blood sugar levels can damage nerves, blood vessels, the heart and the kidneys.

Damaged blood vessels means less oxygen is delivered to the gums, which increases the risk of gum disease - or periodontal disease - according to Diabetes.co.uk.

Too high blood sugar can also create a breeding ground for bacteria, which may boost the chances of gum disease even further.

“People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing gum disease,” said Diabetes.co.uk.

“Severe gum disease can negatively affect your blood sugar control and increase your chances of suffering from other common long-term complications of diabetes.

“The inflammation, which occurs in the gums, escapes into the bloodstream and upsets the body’s defence system which in turn affects blood sugar control.

“In other words, gum disease and diabetes are linked in both directions.”

In most cases, gum disease isn’t painful, and there are no symptoms of the condition.

But, the disease can cause bleeding in the mouth, swollen and red gums, and persistent bad breath.

Loose teeth and shrinking gums could also be a sign of periodontal disease.

Diabetes patients are also more likely to develop gum disease if they fail to manage their blood sugar properly.

Other symptoms of diabetes include blurred vision, weight loss and genital itching.

You can lower your risk of developing diabetes by eating a healthy, balanced diet and by doing regular exercise.

Getting a good night’s sleep could also lower your risk of developing the condition, according to charity Diabetes UK.

Feeling tired and sleep often makes us want to eat more food, but that raises the chances of uncontrolled blood sugar.



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Head lice warning: SIX unusual signs that you have nits

Nits are tiny insects, that can be up to 3mm long.

They feed on human blood several times a day, and live close to the human scalp, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They’re easily spread by personal contact - particularly by sharing belongings, or head-to-head contact.

The only way to know if someone has a head lice infestation is to look for live lice, or their eggs.

Nits can create a sensation of something scuttling across your head, according to medical website Healthline.

The feeling can make people itch their head, caused by the saliva and faeces of the lice.

“The most common symptom of any type of lice is itching,” it said. “Lice bites cause an allergic reaction that causes this itchy feeling.

“However, you may not feel itchy right away, especially if it’s a light infestation. You may not notice any symptoms for up to six weeks the first time you get lice.”

Other common signs of head lice include irritability and difficulty sleeping, said Healthline.

Finding red bumps on your head, shoulders or pubic area are also symptoms of nits.

You could also spot a head lice infestation by the visible appearance of sores from scratching. If you find small, white objects in your hair, it could also be signs of nits.

The British Association of Dermatologists said: “Head lice have to feed on human blood several times a day to survive, and their bites, saliva and faeces often make the scalp itchy.”

Head lice are contagious, and sharing personal belongings could increase your risk of infestation, said the NHS.

Washing clothes and sheets regularly could help to prevent spreading any nits, while vacuuming the floor and furniture may also provide protection against the parasites.

You can buy medication to get rid of nits. Some shampoos contain ingredients to treat an infestation.

See your GP if you’re unsure if you have an infestation.



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My washing detergent is making me itchy, what should I do? DOCTOR ROSEMARY answers

This Morning's Dr Chris warns patients not to eat THIS while on medication

Some herbal medicines could have a harmful effect on the body when taken with conventional medicines, a study has warned.

Heart patients taking warfarin - a blood thinner - suffered complications after also taking sage and green tea herbal remedies, scientists revealed.

But, This Morning’s Dr Chris Steele warned that grapefruit, and grapefruit juice, could have a negative effect on the body.

The fruit could change the effects of conventional medicine in the blood stream, he said.

“Now this is extremely important, we’ve known this quote a while,” said Dr Chris.

“[Some herbal remedies] can have harmful interactions with conventional drugs. They can dilute the affects of medication from your doctor, they can increase the power of the drugs you’ve taken from your doctor, and they can interact together to create adverse reactions.

“Beware of grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

“That affects the levels of conventional medicines in your blood stream.”

Herbal remedies, including St John’s Wort, ginseng and flax seed were found to have harmful side-effects on patients taking prescribed medication, said Dr Chris.

The herbal remedies can have three different reactions to conventional medication.

They can make the prescribed medication less effective, or actually boost its potency.

But, the herbal remedies and prescribed medicine could work together to create “adverse reactions”, said the This Morning guest.

Anti-cancer drugs stopped working in cancer patients after taking ginseng energy drinks, the study revealed.

Patients should also never eat grapefruit, or drink grapefruit juice, when they are taking statins, Dr Chris claimed.

Herbal medicines are made from plant parts, including leaves, roots and flowers, according to the NHS.

They should be taken with the same care and respect as conventional medicines, it said.



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Medicine WARNING: This Morning’s Dr Chris advises patients not to eat THIS while taking dr

Some herbal medicines could have a harmful effect on the body when taken with conventional medicines, a study has warned.

Heart patients taking warfarin - a blood thinner - suffered complications after also taking sage and green tea herbal remedies, scientists revealed.

But, This Morning’s Dr Chris Steele warned that grapefruit, and grapefruit juice, could have a negative effect on the body.

The fruit could change the effects of conventional medicine in the blood stream, he said.

“Now this is extremely important, we’ve known this quote a while,” said Dr Chris.

“[Some herbal remedies] can have harmful interactions with conventional drugs. They can dilute the affects of medication from your doctor, they can increase the power of the drugs you’ve taken from your doctor, and they can interact together to create adverse reactions.

“Beware of grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

“That affects the levels of conventional medicines in your blood stream.”

Herbal remedies, including St John’s Wort, ginseng and flax seed were found to have harmful side-effects on patients taking prescribed medication, said Dr Chris.

The herbal remedies can have three different reactions to conventional medication.

They can make the prescribed medication less effective, or actually boost its potency.

But, the herbal remedies and prescribed medicine could work together to create “adverse reactions”, said the This Morning guest.

Anti-cancer drugs stopped working in cancer patients after taking ginseng energy drinks, the study revealed.

Patients should also never eat grapefruit, or drink grapefruit juice, when they are taking statins, Dr Chris claimed.

Herbal medicines are made from plant parts, including leaves, roots and flowers, according to the NHS.

They should be taken with the same care and respect as conventional medicines, it said.



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Burn more calories thanks to fresh air with trail jogging

Sky News' Carole Malone reveals her fitness journey

Arthritis pain? This 53p vegetable could cure joint pain and inflammation

Arthritis is a common condition that can cause joint pain, inflammation and stiffness.

About 10 million people in the UK suffer from it, according to the NHS.

There’s currently no cure, but some treatments could help to slow down the condition’s progress.

Celery may be able to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, as the vegetable contains anti-inflammatories, said nutritionist Dr Josh Axe.

“Celery contains antioxidants and polysaccharides that are known to act as anti-inflammatories, especially flavonoid and polyphenol antioxidants,” said Axe.

“Researchers have identified over a dozen different types of antioxidants that are responsible for the benefits of celery.

“These include such phenolic acids as caffeic acid and ferulic acid, plus flavanols like quecetin.

“This makes celery useful for treating a wide range of conditions that are made worse by inflammation; joint pain [such as from arthritis], gout, kidney and liver infections, skin disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and urinary tract infections, just to name a few.”

The antioxidants fight free-radical damage, which can lead to inflammation, Axe said.

Inflammation is one of the symptoms of arthritis, as well as some cancers and heart disease.

The vegetable could also prevent and treat high blood pressure, the nutritionist claimed.

Liver health could also be improved by eating celery, he added.

Osteoarthritis could be treated by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids and painkillers, according to the NHS.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatments aim to slow down the condition’s progress, and minimise joint inflammation.

Physiotherapy, regular exercise and some painkillers could all help to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Signs of arthritis could also include muscle wasting, restricted movement, and warm skin over the affected joint.



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Vitamin D warning – Taking too much of the supplement can cause deadly condition

Vitamin D is needed to help the immune system work properly, and to aid development of bones and teeth.

The vitamin could also reduce the symptoms of depression and boost weight loss.

The NHS recommends that adults take a daily 10mcg supplement of vitamin D to raise nutrient levels during the winter months.

But, taking too much of the vitamin can have devastating consequences.

“Taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body [hypercalcaemia],” said the NHS.

“This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart.

“If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10mcg a day will be enough for most people.

“Don't take more than 100mcg of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.”

Children aged one to 10 years old shouldn’t take more than 50mcg of vitamin D a day.

Infants under 12 months shouldn’t have more than 25mcg a day.

Hypercalcaemia can lead to mild cognitive impairment, constipation and muscle weakness.

At its worst, the condition can cause abdominal pain, cardiac arrhythmias, comas, and even deadly pancreatitis.

Most people get enough vitamin D from sunlight during late spring to early autumn.

You can get extra vitamin D from oily fish, including salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel.

Other sources of vitamin D include red meat, liver, egg yolks and some breakfast cereals.

Meanwhile, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms could be prevented by taking vitamin D supplements, researchers have claimed.



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Cancer symptoms - Five common early warning signs you should never ignore

Cancer signs usually involve changes to the body that aren’t normal, according to the NHS.

If lumps suddenly appear, or you find blood in your urine, it could be an early sign of cancer.

“These symptoms are often caused by other, non-cancerous illnesses, but it's important to see your GP so they can investigate,” said the NHS.

“If your GP suspects cancer, they'll refer you to a specialist – usually within two weeks.”

These are early signs of cancer you should never ignore.

Difficulty swallowing

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, could be caused by mouth, throat or oesophageal cancer.

Cancers growing in this part of the body can narrow passages in the body, making it difficult to swallow food and drink.

“Once these cancers are treated, the obstruction may no longer be an issue,” said the NHS.

Mole changes

Moles are small, coloured spots on the skin. They’re usually nothing to worry about, but you should see a GP if you notice a change in a mole.

Changes could be a sign of malignant melanoma - a type of skin cancer.

If a mole has an odd shape, or has jagged edges, you should get it checked.

It could also be a sign of skin cancer if the mole is bigger than 7mm, or is itchy, crusting or bleeding.

Persistent headaches

Headaches are caused by increased pressure in the head. There’s a fixed amount of space for the brain to take up in the skull, but a growing tumour could increase the pressure and cause a headache, said the charity.

Headaches are very common, but it could also be a symptom of a brain tumour.

You should see a GP if you’re having headaches more and more often, according to Cancer Research UK.

Unexplained weight loss

“You should also see your GP if you've lost a lot of weight over the last couple of months that can't be explained by changes to your diet, exercise or stress,” said the NHS.

Unintentional weight loss doesn’t always have an underlying cause, but it could be caused by cancer.

Weight loss is a sign of a number of different cancers. For example, it could be a sign of pancreatic cancer, as the pancreas plays an important role in digesting food.

Unusual bleeding

Unexplained bleeding could be a sign of different types of cancer.

Finding blood in your urine could be an early sign of bladder cancer.

While one of the earliest signs of anal cancer is finding blood in your stool.

But, unusual bleeding could be caused by a number of other conditions, so it’s important to get it checked by a GP.



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Early dementia signs: Doing THIS could be a symptom of condition

  • Dementia early signs include being repetitive
  • Repating daily tasks may be sign of neurodegenerative condition
  • Behaviour caused by brain cells deteroriating
  • Other signs include subtle shot-term memory loss and depression

Being repetitive could be an early sign of dementia.

Repeating daily tasks, like shaving or collecting items, may be a sign of a neurodegenerative condition.

Simply asking the same questions in conversation, after they’ve been answered, may also point to dementia, according to medical website Healthline.

Repetitive behaviour is caused by brain cells deteriorating.

The warning comes after scientists revealed waking up in the night could increase the risk of dementia.

Disruptions to the natural body clock could be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease.

Eight hours of sleep a night doesn't necessarily mean you won't develop dementia.

Detecting the condition earlier could help doctors treat dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Association said: “The main cause of behavioural symptoms in Alzheimer’s, and other progressive dementias, is the deterioration of brain cells which causes a decline in the individual’s ability to make sense of the world.

“In the case of repetition, the person may not remember that she or he has just asked a question or completed a task.

“Environmental influences also can cause symptoms or make them worse.

“People with dementia who ask questions repeatedly may be trying to express a specific concern, ask for help, or cope with frustration, anxiety or insecurity.”

Subtle short-term memory changes could also be an early sign of dementia.

Forgetting what they had for breakfast, or where they left certain objects, are symptoms of neurodegenerative conditions.

Depression is also a typical early sign of dementia. Mood changes or a shift in personality could point to the condition.

Other early signs include apathy, listlessness, confusion, a failing sense of direction, and difficulty following conversations.

About 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

One in 14 people over 65 will develop the condition, while one in six over 80 will be affected by it.

One million people will have dementia in the UK by 2025, estimates suggest.

Early diagnosis will help to slow down the condition’s development. With treatment and support, many dementia patients lead active, fulfilled lives.



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Arthritis symptoms: Wearing slippers could be causing joint pain

  • Arthritis symptoms include joint pain and inflammation
  • Condition could be enhanced by wearing slippers
  • Slippers tend to make people 'shuffle'
  • Joints don't work properly when people shuffle

Wearing slippers could be adding to arthritic discomfort.

Those wearing slippers often could develop a “shuffle” instead of walking, according to footwear brand Gentle Grip.

The shuffling stops joints being used properly, leading to stiffness.

The effects could be worse when it’s cold outside, the brand added.

Elderly people must make foot care a priority in the winter months, Gentle Grip said.

Keeping feet warm, dry and comfortable will help to reduce the risk of developing complications, including joint stiffness.

“Many older people with achy or swollen feet will choose slippers, but this kind of footwear does not offer the right level of support,” said Gentle Grip.

“Frequent wearing of slippers encourages a “shuffling” movement, which prevents the proper use of the joints, leading to further stiffness, which can be worse when it’s cold.”

Wearing appropriate shoes and socks - even while indoors - will help joint movement, and reduce the risk of a fall.

Despite the temptation, it’s important not to stay huddled in bed or on the sofa over winter, Gentle Grip said.

Staying in the same place for long periods of time could cause fluid to build up.

Also, watch out for red constriction rings around the ankles, seen when socks are removed, as they could be a sign of blocked circulation.

Keeping feet warm and toasty can help to achieve a good night’s sleep.

Charity Age UK recommends wearing socks both indoors and outdoors.

Meanwhile, experts have reminded diabetes patients that warm and wet weather leaves them at greater risk of developing foot ulcers.

People with diabetes have a much greater chance of developing feet problems, as the change in blood sugar leaves them vulnerable to poor circulation.



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Alzheimer's: Elderly warned of the dangers in taking those daytime naps

US scientists found those with disturbed night-time sleep patterns, leading to daytime snoozing, were more likely to have the first traces of the disease – and they occur much earlier than thought.

Researchers said it was unclear if disturbed sleep put people at risk of Alzheimer’s or if disease-related brain changes caused disrupted sleep rhythms.

But the study found those who catnapped, even if they got enough sleep, had a greater probability of early Alzheimer’s.

The findings add to growing evidence linking disruptions in the body clock, or circadian rhythms, to the brain disease, which has no cure.

It is hoped doctors will identify at-risk patients in advance when new drugs are more likely to work.

Alzheimer’s damage can take root up to 20 years before clinical symptoms appear. Scientists suspect it is one of the reasons medications have failed so far because they are given to trial participants too late.

Researcher Erik Musiek of Washington University said: “Sleeping for eight hours at night is very different from getting eight hours of sleep in hour increments during daytime naps.”

He added: “It’s the first data demonstrating that the disruption of circadian rhythms could be accelerating the deposition of plaques.”

People with Alzheimer’s have beta-amyloid, which are clumps of toxic brain protein, or plaques, which cause brain tissue loss and nerve cell death, leading to memory loss.

Of the 189 cognitively normal people, with an average age of 66, who took part, 50 had abnormal results.

It suggested they had the neuron-killing protein clumps. All woke up regularly during the night or nodded off in the day or both.

Dr David Reynolds, chief scientific officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Studies like this could lay the groundwork for new ways to detect the condition earlier.”



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Aussie flu: Why the flu jab isn’t as effective this year - but why you would still get it

The flu jab is also recommended each year to protect people from the illness - but why might it not be as effective this year?

Dr Sarah Jarvis explained that there are a number of issues with the flu and the vaccine this year. 

She said: “We’ve got two or three issues with the flu vaccine/flu this year. One is that sometimes the number of cases is just high - we can’t do anything about that.

“Two is that this year we’ve got two main strains circulating. One of them is the H3N2 - that’s one of the A viruses - and the point about the H3N2 is the vaccine does not appear to be as effective in terms of preventing it - even though the H3N2 is included in the vaccine. 

“We’re still talking 20 to 30 per cent effectiveness, which is a great deal better than none. The second big one is a B strain and that’s called the Yamagata. Unfortunately the adult vaccine does not protect against the Yamagata.

“You get some cross protection in the vaccine from another B strain but it’s not provided at the same levels.”

Dr Jarvis still recommends people get the flu jab. 

She said: “I’d absolutely tell people to get it. I particularly advise the people who are advised to get it [over 65s, pregnant women and those with chronic conditions like diabetes, lung and heart disease] because they are the ones, not just most likely to get it, but most likely to get nasty complications. 

“I also recommend kids get it  as they’re very good at spreading it about. 

“When you get the jab it’s not just protecting you but other people.”

So how’s best to treat flu if you have it? 

To help you get better more quickly, the NHS advises you to: 

  • Rest and sleep 
  • Keep warm 
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains 
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)


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Testicular cancer: Six early signs and symptoms that could indicate you have the disease

Cancer forms when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. With testicular cancer this starts in the testicles.

The outlook for those diagnosed with testicular cancer is one of the best for all cancers. 

Most men make a full recovery, particularly if the cancer is diagnosed early. 

But do you know all the signs and symptoms to look for? 

According to the NHS there are six symptoms you should watch for: 

  • Painless swelling or lump in one of the testicles
  • Any change in shape or texture of the testicles 
  • An increase in the firmness of a testicle 
  • A difference between one testicle and the other 
  • A dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go 
  • A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum  

A lump is one of the most common symptoms associated with testicular cancer. 

The NHS explains: “The swelling or lump can be about the size of a pea but may be larger. 

“Most lumps or swellings in the scrotum aren’t in the testicle and aren’t a sign of cancer, but they should never be ignored.” 

You should visit your GP if you notice a swelling, lump or any chance in one of your testicles. 

If you don’t feel comfortable visiting your GP you can visit your local sexual health clinic where a healthcare professional will be able to examine you. 

Men with a bent penis could be at higher risk of developing stomach and testicular cancer, scientists recently revealed.

Peyronie’s disease - a condition which causes the penis to become curved when erect - significantly increases the risk of cancer, said scientists from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

More than 1.5 million men are estimated to have the condition in the UK. It affects between five and 10 per cent of all men, according to estimates. 



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Looking for the perfect smile? Avoid this mistake when it comes to brushing your teeth

The NHS advises people to brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for about two minutes to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy. 

Tooth brushing stops plaque building up, and you should try to make sure you brush every surface of all your teeth. 

But according to one dentist, many people have the technique of brushing their teeth all wrong. 

Celebrity Dentist, Dr Richard Marques says scrubbing your teeth is bad. 

He explained: “Scrubbing your teeth is really bad because you can wear the teeth enamel and/or gums away but electric toothbrushes are wonderful to ensure you don’t do this and have a great cleaning technique. 

“The new Sonicare Diamond Clean Smart editor is amazing – it won’t wear the teeth and gums as it uses vibrations rather than scrubbing motions and the app will also monitor your brushing (like the “fit bit” of oral Healthcare).”

People with good oral health will probably need to attend the dentist for a check up once every 12 to 24 months. 

But when is the best time of year to go? Dr Marques revealed the most popular time people go for their annual check up, whether January is a busy time and when the best time of year to have a check up is. 

Is January a popular time for people to go for their annual check up?

Dr Marques said: “Yes, January is a very popular time for an annual check-up because people are often trying to stick to their New Year’s resolutions, and a resolution many people make is to take care of their health – so not only do gym memberships increase, dental appointments do too.”

Why do more people flock to the dentist in January? 

It is very important to see a dentist in January because people tend to consume more sugar than usual during the festive period, and unhealthy eating in December can mean that teeth are more likely to develop cavities according to Dr Marques. 

He added: “Teeth also often need professional cleaning after eating too much Christmas pudding and drinking more alcohol than usual.” 



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Diabetes could lead to dementia: Prevent memory loss and high blood sugar - but how?

The new research, published in the scientific journal Diabetologia, suggests that efforts to delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes could be a way to prevent cognitive decline.

Current evidence suggests that not smoking, keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check, eating a balanced diet, drinking in moderation and staying mentally and physically active all help to maintain brain health as we ago.

So memory loss could be prevented by preventing high blood sugar levels - but what can you do to ensure your blood sugar stays at a healthy level? 

A group of doctors and nutritionists have offered Express.co.uk their best advice. 

Prevent the symptoms of dementia by preventing high blood sugar levels - but how? 

Take control - naturally 

If you find yourself becoming easily fatigued, it can be worth trying a natural supplement. 

Nutritionist and fitness trainer Cassandra Barns said: “CuraLin [avalable at www.curalife.co] is a specially formulated dietary supplement containing ten herbs and plant extracts traditionally used to support insulin sensitivity and help keep blood glucose under control. 

“A word of caution, however: if you’re being treated for type 2 diabetes, consult your doctor before changing your diet or exercise or starting a supplement.” 

CuraLin can also help with the regulation and consumption of sugary foods as its natural ingredients can reduce cravings for sugars and other processed carbohydrates, as well as helping to restrict their absorption in the blood stream.

Prevent sugar binges with protein 

Nutrition and weight loss coach Pippa Campbell said: “Eating protein at each meal will help to balance blood sugars and feel full for longer. Try eating eggs for breakfast or add some protein powder to yoghurt.” 

Keep a food diary 

Nutritionist Cassandra said: “Struggling to keep track of your eating habits? Try logging what you eat. This can help you monitor what food groups you may be over indulging in and can make it easier to control your portion size. It'll help you stay accountable for what you've eaten.”

Read before you buy 

You need to become a label reader to understand what is in the food you eat, according to Dr Marilyn Glenville.

She said: “Truly, don’t fall for the marketing hype on the front of the packet. The most important part of the food label that I check is the ingredient list. This tells me exactly what is in the food. Anything ending in 'ose' (glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose) – is a form of sugar, as are honey, agave, molasses and syrups like corn and rice syrup, not forgetting glucose-fructose syrup (high fructose corn syrup). The higher up the ingredients list, the more sugar the product contains.”

Get personal

It’s crucial to know the foods that can cause blood sugar levels to rise, which can vary from person to person. That’s where Metabolic Balance can assist. 

Pippa said: “The aim of the Metabolic Balance Programme is to reduce insulin and inflammation. This is why the programme is perfect people with Type 2 Diabetes.  

“Not only is Metabolic Balance a programme with low GI foods it is also completely personalised. Through blood analysis of the persons biochemistry and medical history a plan can be created with all the foods that will not cause insulin spikes. This is unique to each person with diabetes. For example one client may have carrot on their food list whilst another won’t. So a seemingly healthy food may increase insulin and inflammation in one person but not another.

“I usually get my Type 2 Diabetic clients to also cut out all fruit for the first two weeks. Then we re-introduce the fruit on their plan slowly. I ask the clients to record their blood glucose levels after each meal. Within a week my clients results are incredible with reduced levels. Many eventually come off medication but I like to work with their Doctor on this.”

Swap sugar for natural alternatives

If you are making cakes, think of ways other than sugar to add sweetness, says Dr Glenville. 

She said: “For example, you could add carrots, raisins, dates, figs or bananas as natural sweeteners. Many people now make wonderful cakes from naturally sweet vegetables such as beetroot and carrot.

“For apple pies or crumbles use eating apples instead of cooking apples so you do not need to add sugar – you could always add raisins or sultanas to make a pie or crumble that little bit sweeter. Unsweetened date slice is wonderful because dates are naturally sweet. Other natural alternatives include maple syrup, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup and stevia.” 

Don’t underestimate exercise

Staying active is vital when managing Type 2 diabetes, said Cassandra. 

She added: “Exercise helps the body respond to insulin, keep blood sugar levels down and manage your weight. You can get the greatest benefits by including both aerobic exercise such as cycling, dancing or jogging and strength training with weights or bodyweight exercises.”

Test your short-term memory with this quiz. 



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Dementia - You’re more at risk of Alzheimer’s if you frequently wake up during the night

Dementia is more likely to occur in people that have fragmented sleep patterns, according to US scientists.

Disruptions in the natural body clock could be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

Just because you get eight hours of sleep a night, doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t develop the neurodegenerative condition, the scientists warned.

Detecting Alzheimer’s disease earlier could help doctors to slow the condition’s progression.

The scientists tracked sleeping patterns of 189 cognitively healthy adults.

They were searching for certain proteins that signal Alzheimer’s development.

139 of the adults had rhythmic body clocks, and didn’t show signs of the Alzheimer’s protein.

But, 50 of the adults all had fragmented sleep patterns, and showed signs of the dementia biomarkers.

“It wasn’t that people in the study were sleep-deprived,” said author of the research, Dr Erik Musiek.

“But their sleep tended to be fragmented. Sleeping for eight hours at night is very different from getting eight hours of sleep in one-hour increments during daytime naps.”

Senior author, Dr Yo-El Ju, added: “We found that people with preclinical Alzheimer's disease had more fragmentation in their circadian activity patterns, with more periods of inactivity or sleep during the day and more periods of activity at night.

“At the very least, these disruptions in circadian rhythms may serve as a biomarker for preclinical disease.”

Dementia is the name given to a collection of symptoms that result from damage to the brain.

Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are both types of dementia.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include memory loss, repetition, feeling more withdrawn, and difficulty finding the right words.

There is currently no cure for dementia, for certain treatments could help to slow down symptoms’ progression, according to the NHS.



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Aussie flu warning: This will NOT protect you from the deadly Australian infection

Deadly Aussie flu has swept across the UK since the beginning of October.

Signs of the infection include headaches, fevers and diarrhoea.

The deadly Influenza A (H3N2) virus could be prevented by washing your hands regularly, with warm and soapy water.

While you can lower your risk by avoiding crowded areas and GP waiting rooms, antibiotics won’t help to prevent or relieve symptoms at all, according to Boots Chief Pharmacist, Marc Donovan.

“Antibiotics are useful in a wide variety of infections, but there is a high level of misunderstanding amongst the public over their correct use.

“As they only treat bacterial infections, antibiotics will not treat infections like flu and the common cold.

“If you are unsure, always speak to your GP or pharmacist for advice, but don’t always assume that antibiotics will be the only solution.”

Antibiotics work by preventing bacteria from spreading, so it won’t have any impact on virus.

The deadly viral infection spread appears to be levelling out, according to latest Public Health England (PHE) figures.

But, the public still needs to be aware of signs and symptoms of the infection, experts have warned.

Royal College of General Practitioner Research and Surveillance Centre’s Medical Director, Professor Simon de Lusignan, said: “We're certainly not out of the woods yet this flu season, as the influenza virus is incredibly unpredictable.

“It is quite possible that rates will rise again, although they may continue to level out or even decline.”

Signs of Aussie flu infection are similar to normal flu symptoms. But, they tend to last longer and are more severe.

If you become infected with Aussie flu, you’re advised to avoid crowded spaces so you don’t spread the virus further.

Paracetamol and ibuprofen can help to relieve muscle aches and fevers.

The flu jab could help to lower your risk of infection, according to PHE.



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Do you have a chesty, dry or tickly cough? See a GP urgently if you have this symptom

Coughs usually go away within three weeks on their own and usually don’t require attention from a GP. 

Rest, drinking plenty of fluids and drinking hot lemon with honey are the best remedies recommended by doctors. 

Pharmacists can also advise on the best way to ease symptoms, for example syrups and lozenges. 

But what symptoms should you look out for if your cough has become more serious, and when should you see a GP? 

A cough is very rarely a sign of something serious like lung cancer, but other than cold or flu, other causes include: 

  • Smoking 
  • Heartburn 
  • Allergies - for ample, hay fever 
  • Infections like bronchitis 
  • Mucus dripping down the throat form the back of the nose

For less serious coughs, home remedies are the best way to ease symptoms. 

How can you get rid of a chesty cough?

How can you ease symptoms of a dry cough? 

And what about a mucus cough? 



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Build up your fitness with this gentle workout routine that anyone can try

The anti-ageing diet that'll help you turn back time

Age smart: Top tips for looking after your mind and body

1 TAKE CARE OF YOUR BONES 

Half of all women will break a bone because of a weakened skeleton caused by osteoporosis.

A vitamin D supplement helps promote calcium absorption and bone health.

Weight-bearing exercises such as working out three times a week with light weights can strengthen bones too. 

2 DEAL WITH STRESS 

Stress contributes to every disease, directly or indirectly. It shrinks the brain and increases the waistline.

So find a way to deal with it. The best option is to try meditation.

However even a few minutes of relaxed deep breathing several times a day can be a big help.

3 FIND EXERCISE YOU LOVE 

Regular exercise has many benefits, from improving muscle mass and boosting your mood to helping prevent memory loss.

Just 30 minutes of brisk walking each day can stimulate the growth of new brain cells and cut the risk of heart disease and cancer. 

4 BE SUN SMART 

The only skincare product that is guaranteed to slow ageing and prevent skin cancer is sunscreen.

Use a broad spectrum cream with a minimum SPF20 every day come rain or shine and increase that to SPF50 when you’re on holiday. 

5 GET MORE BEAUTY SLEEP 

Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain, weakens the immune system and accelerates ageing.

You need two and a half hours of sleep before it becomes restorative.

Aim for seven hours every night. Also avoid caffeine after 5pm and moderate your alcohol consumption. 

6 HAVE REGULAR CHECK-UPS 

After the age of 50 you should know your key health statistics including weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and hormone levels.

Have a check-up with your GP and ensure you have regular eye and dental checks too as both can pick up early health warnings. 

7 EAT WELL 

A balanced diet with fewer refined carbohydrates (anything with sugar and/or white flour) and which features plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, white meat and fish and smaller quantities of red meat can help you reach a healthy body weight. 

8 BE HAPPY 

A positive attitude can boost feel-good hormones so laugh more, socialise with friends and enjoy life.

Research shows that a good laugh can help manage stress and prevent the release of damaging hormones in the body. 

9 STIMULATE YOUR BRAIN 

The brain needs exercising to avoid becoming sluggish so learn a language, read a challenging book or do a daily crossword puzzle.



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Measles: Symptoms, treatment and how to get the vaccine - but also carry out this step

Measles is a highly infectious viral disease which causes a fever and red rash, and health officials have warned of a current outbreak in Britain. 

While it’s common in young children, anyone can catch measles if they haven’t been vaccinated or if they haven’t had it before. 

The outbreak has affected 47 people in the West Midlands, 35 people in West Yorkshire and 29 in Cheshire and Liverpool. 

A further 22 people have been affected by the illness in Surrey and seven more caught the potentially life-threatening illness in Manchester.

But are you aware of the symptoms and what’s the best way to protect yourself against the illness? 

Dr Andrew Thornber, Chief Medical Officer at the Now Healthcare Group, has offered his best advice for dealing with the disease. 

How to tell you have measles 

Two to four days before the measles spots appear, you’ll usually develop other symptoms including a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, swollen eyelids, aches and pains, a cough loss of appetite, tiredness and lack of energy, according to Dr Thornber. 

He added: “Usually a few days before the rash comes out you will have small greyish-white spots in your mouth. 

“The measles spots are usually made up of small red-brown, flat or slightly raised spots that may join together into larger blotchy patches. They can be itchy for some people and usually first appears on the head or neck, before spreading outwards to the rest of the body.” 

The steps to carry out if you have measles 

Measles can be contagious and young children and pregnant women are vulnerable to the infection. 

Dr Thornber said: “It is advisable to stay away from work or school for at least four days from when the measles rash first appears to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.”

The best treatment for measles 

While there’s no specific treatment for measles, the condition usually improves within seven to ten days. 

Dr Thornber said: “Measles can cause discomfort, especially for young children so it is advised to give paracetamol (liquid paracetamol for young children) or ibuprofen to reduce any fever and relive joint aches.

It is important to keep hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have a fever.

“Sore eyes can be common when you have measles, so clean away crustiness using cotton wool soaked in water.”

Will the MMR vaccine protect you and how can you get it?



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Diabetes diet: This is what you should eat every week to lower blood sugar

Diabetes management could be improved by eating the right foods, according to charity Diabetes UK.

The amount you should eat depends on your age, gender, and how much you exercise.

No single food contains all of the nutrients you need, so finding the right balance between different types of food is crucial, the charity said.

This is what you should eat every week to get all of your essential nutrients, and to lower your blood sugar.

Starchy foods

You should eat some starchy foods every day, the charity said.

Starchy foods are used to provide cells with energy, while also regulating the digestive system.

“Better options of starchy foods – such as wholegrain bread, wholewheat pasta and basmati, brown or wild rice – contain more fibre, which helps to keep your digestive system working well,” said Diabetes UK.

“They are generally more slowly absorbed (that is, they have a lower glycaemic index), keeping you feeling fuller for longer.”

Protein

Protein helps to build and replace muscles, while also protecting the heart.

Diabetes patients should aim to have some protein everyday, with at least one to two portions of oily fish a week.

A small handful of raw nuts and seeds is an ideal snack, while using beans and pulses in a casserole could be used to replace some of the meat.

Dairy

“Milk, cheese and yogurt contain calcium, which is vital for growing children as it keeps their bones and teeth strong,” said Diabetes UK.

“Some dairy foods are high in fat, particularly saturated fat, so choose lower-fat alternatives (check for added sugar, though).”

Aim to have some dairy everyday, but you shouldn’t have too much.

Patients could try drinking milk straight from the glass, or added to porridge.

Cottage cheese scooped on carrot sticks also provides the perfect snack for diabetics.

Fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are naturally low in fat, and are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre.

The perfect array of fresh produce should include a rainbow of colours.

Adding just one extra handful of vegetables to your dinner could help to protect against heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes.

Fatty and sugary foods

“You can enjoy food from this group as an occasional treat in a balanced diet, but remember that sugary foods and drinks will add extra calories – and sugary drinks will raise blood glucose – so opt for diet/light or low-calorie alternatives,” said Diabetes UK.

“Fat is high in calories, so try to reduce the amount of oil or butter you use in cooking.

“Remember to use unsaturated oils, such as sunflower, rapeseed or olive oil, as these types are better for your heart.”

Patients should eat as little fatty and sugary foods as possible, the charity said.



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