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World IBD day - What are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis?

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, May 23, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

World IBD Day falls on May 19th each year, and is a time for countries around the world to get together and raise awareness for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This year, Australia used the hashtag #FlushTheStigma to help encourage conversation about conditions that in the past have been, and a lot of the time still are, associated with embarrassment or shame. America aimed to break down borders and make #IBDvisible as well, and the UK had a clever campaign entitled “It Takes Guts,” again talking about ending the stigma and opening up dialogue on IBD. We’ve written briefly about IBD in our blogpost “IBD vs IBS - what’s the difference?” where we gave an overview of the 2 main types of IBD, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This week, we want to go more in depth and talk about these diseases, hopefully helping to end the stigma and show that IBD is a part of life for some and is nothing to be ashamed of.

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Body Image - #bebodykind – Mental Health Awareness Week

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, May 16, 2019 @ 11:50 AM

Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK takes place this week and is organized by the Mental Health Foundation. Each year an issue is selected and focused on to raise awareness of how that issue is linked to Mental Health, and to open up conversations around the topic.  This year’s topic is “Body Image – How we think and feel about our bodies.” Body image has a big impact on all our lives and a UK poll released this week by the Mental Health Foundation found that out of 4,500 UK adults:

  • One in 5 adults (20%) felt shame about their body image
  • One in 3 (34%) felt down or low
  • 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the past year

1,118 UK teenagers (age 13-19) reported that 37% felt upset and 31% felt ashamed with their body image.

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Could I have Lupus? Lupus symptoms and diagnosis

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, May 09, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

May 10th is World Lupus Day, when charities around the world aim to raise awareness of the often devastating impact this disease can have on the lives of sufferers. Raising funds for research into a cure is one aim of World Lupus Day. Increasing awareness, however, of the many symptoms of lupus, is also key as early diagnosis is critical in helping to prevent major organ damage, and in extreme cases, failure.

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Decoding cancer - treatment options and types of therapy

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, May 02, 2019 @ 11:44 AM

This blogpost is part of a 2 week series, helping demystify the world of cancer diagnosis and treatment. We all know cancer is a serious, often life-threatening disease, and that it takes many forms. We’ve also probably heard words like ‘grade II’ and ‘radiotherapy’ when talking about it, but do we really know what these terms mean, and if we were told we had cancer, would we know what was to come? It can be hard to go there and think about the unthinkable, but equipping yourself with this knowledge now could help save your life when discussing your diagnosis and treatment options should you get cancer. Likewise, if you have already had a cancer diagnosis, you may be overwhelmed and unsure of the process from this point, so we’ve created a quick overview of cancer terms. The first blogpost last week discussed the diagnostic process and the grades and stages of cancer that medical professionals use. This week, we’re focussing on the treatment of cancer. As different cancers have different treatment plans, it can get confusing very quickly. However, there is some information that can help in understanding the options being presented to you by your doctor or specialist.

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Decoding cancer - types, stages, and grades

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Apr 25, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

The world of cancer can be extremely scary and hard to think about for many, whether you or a loved one have had cancer or not. There are over 100 cancers and they all have different grading systems and sub-types, meaning that if you do have cancer, you end up with a very long diagnosis that you may not fully understand. Following this there is a long and complicated ongoing process to choose and assess treatment options, some of which you may never have heard of before being diagnosed with cancer. We’ve written about the different types of specific cancers before, from breast cancer to pancreatic cancer and everything in between. Within this, we have touched on the subjects of cancer grades and some treatments. However, we’ve never done a post on the types, treatments, and terminology behind cancer overall, and feel this could be a very helpful resource if you are in the early stages of diagnosis and are not sure what the terms mean, and what is to come in terms of treatment options. This will be a 2-part blogpost series, with today’s post focussing on diagnosis of cancer, and next week’s on treatment. If you don’t have cancer, we still urge you to educate yourself with these quick summarizing blogposts, as you never know when the information may come in useful for you or a loved one, and with our own health, knowledge is power.

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Symptom Information: brain fog - what is brain fog?

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Brain fog, also known as mental fatigue, refers to transient periods of cognitive mental dysfunction that affects memory and concentration.  It can be a symptom of a medical condition and can also be related to lifestyle conditions including stress and diet.

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Are women's heart attacks less important than men's?

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Apr 11, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Every year, twice as many women will die from a heart attack than from breast cancer, and yet to many it is still primarily considered to be a ‘man’s disease.’ As a result, women suffering from a heart attack are 59% more likely to be misdiagnosed compared to men. For most, crushing chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack but up to 38% of women don’t have this hallmark symptom, instead presenting with much more subtle symptoms which are often going unrecognised. The consequences of being sent away from hospital without a correct diagnosis of heart disease can more than double your risk of dying.

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Universal Health Coverage is possible - World Health Day 2019

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Apr 04, 2019 @ 12:15 PM

This Sunday 7th April is World Health Day, with the World Health Organization (WHO) setting out a theme on which the whole world can focus, campaign for and work towards. It’s a cause we’ve supported for a long time now, blogging about our thoughts, actions and efforts on each year’s theme. We’ve written about a variety of the topics over the years, such as food poisoning, diabetes and mental health, and this year the theme chosen by WHO is in fact the same as 2018: Universal Health Coverage (UHC). It’s a big topic and one at the heart of WHO since the organization’s inception over 70 years ago. Since the historic UN summit of 2015, there are also a staggering 193 countries who have pledged to make UHC a reality by 2030 as part of the 17 sustainable development goals, so it’s no wonder WHO have made ‘health for all’ their main focus 2 years running.

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World Tuberculosis (TB) Day - can you still get TB?

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

This month saw World Tuberculosis (TB) day on 24th March 2019. Most people hear the word TB and think of the ‘olden days’ and Jane Austen novels, reflecting a time when many people would die of ‘consumption’ as it was called then. Little was known about this deadly disease, other than it gave the patient a terrible cough, eventually leading to them coughing blood and then declining quite rapidly until their lungs could no longer breathe. Today, we would not think of TB as one of the top medical issues facing patients and doctors, but the World Health Organization (WHO) states that it is still the leading infectious killer globally. It is true that developing countries have the highest prevalence of cases, and therefore highest death-rates, but did you know that there are around 9,000 recorded cases of TB in the USA and 6,000 in the UK, every year?

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Types of Dementia - 1 Minute Read

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Mar 21, 2019 @ 12:04 PM

Dementia is not actually a specific disease, but rather a term that describes the significant loss of cognitive functioning and intellectual abilities which are severe enough to interfere with a person’s social or occupational functioning.

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