Health Unit issues 2014′s first Cold Weather Alert

The recent wintry blast in UK has prompted the Medical Officer of Health to issue Middlesex-London’s first Cold Weather Alert of the New Year. The Alert comes into effect immediately and will remain in effect until Saturday, January 4th when temperatures are expected to rise above -15 degrees C.
“The temperatures we’re expecting over the next couple of days will be cold enough to cause damage to exposed skin and could lead to hypothermia. It’s very important for people to bundle up and dress for the conditions if they intend to spend time outdoors,” says Iqbal Kalsi, Manager of Environmental Health with the Health Unit. “While we recommend limiting the time you spend outdoors today and tomorrow, if you have to be outside dress in layers and cover exposed skin as much as possible.”
Overexposure to cold temperatures may result in hypothermia, which occurs when a person’s body temperature drops below normal. Symptoms may include pale skin, lethargy, confusion and hallucinations. Individuals may shiver a lot in the early stages of hypothermia, but shivering may decrease as body temperature continues to drop. In severe cases of hypothermia individuals lose consciousness, their breathing becomes shallow and their pulse becomes irregular and hard to detect. Anyone with these symptoms requires emergency medical treatment in order to prevent coma or death.
Frostbite can also occur in skin that is overexposed to the cold. Symptoms include skin turning red, blue or a gray/white. Individuals may also experience pain, numbness and stiffness, especially in the fingers, toes, ears and nose, which are most susceptible to the cold. If you suspect frostbite, warm the affected area by placing it next to warmer skin or immerse in warm, but not hot, water. Do not rub the affected area, and seek emergency medical treatment for cases of severe, blistering frostbite. The re-warming process may take up to 60 minutes

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Home Test 4: Test for Cancer

Photograph moles to test for cancer

‘We ALL know to monitor changes in our moles for malignant melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, but remembering how they looked six months ago is impossible,’ says Dr Stokes-Lampard.

‘Once your GP has given any moles that concern you the once-over, grab a digital camera and take a photograph of the mole; preferably with a ruler alongside it.

‘Download the picture on to your computer, noting the date, and repeat the process six months later.’

By comparing pictures you’ll instantly be able to tell if there’s been a change.

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Home Test 3: Test your lungs

The simplest way to measure the health of your lungs is to walk briskly for two minutes while chatting to a friend, or call a friend on a mobile phone and talk to them while you’re walking up and down the stairs, says Professor Stephen Spiro, vice-chairman of the British Lung Foundation.

‘If you find yourself breathless — meaning your breathing becomes fast or uncomfortable — or wheezing, you need to go to see  the GP.’

Exercise forces the lungs to work harder, requiring deeper and faster breathing, because the body requires more oxygen during this time.

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Treatment For Recurrent Erosion Syndrome For The Eye

Recently I have been suffering from a painful eye condition. Initially I thought it was an infection, however having had it diagnosed from the Doctors it was a condition called Recurrent Erosion Syndrome.

What is Recurrent Erosion Syndrome (RES)?
Recurrent Erosion Syndrome (RES) is where you have repeated episodes of superficial spontaneous abrasions leading to eye pain. Erosions are “scratches” on the surface of the cornea, the clear portion of the eye overlying the iris and the pupil. RES typically occurs in eyes that have suffered from a sharp, abrading injury such as from a fingernail or paper cut. The area heals acutely, but is prone to recurrent erosions in the future. Some patients may have an underlying corneal dystrophy that predisposes to RES. I personally feel it may be result of contact lense infection many years ago.  Continue reading

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Home Health Test 2 – Test your back

Todays home health test is to “Test your back”.

Most of us do suffer from back pains from time to time, especially as we get older. This could be as a result of facet joint arthritis, which are on either side of the spine, link each vertebra to the next.

The condition, more common in those over 50, generally affects the lower back, which takes most of the load. It occurs as a result of normal wear and tear as the connective tissue covering the facet joints wears away.  Continue reading

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Home Health Test 1 – Test Your Gut

Let us follow some basic home health tests we can try. Today let us test our guts!

A delay in food being processed in the gut can indicate a whole host of conditions including irritable bowel syndrome and gastroenteritis, and in some cases tumours.

Anton Emmanuel, consultant gastroenterologist at University College Hospital in London says: ‘To get an idea of your bowel transit time, eat some sweetcorn, as the body can’t digest the yellow outer shell of the kernels’. Continue reading

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How to recognise the signs of stroke

 I’ve just taken the Act F.A.S.T. test to see if I knew how to recognise the signs of stroke. I passed the test in 44:546 seconds!

A stroke is a ‘brain attack’, caused by a disturbance of blood supply to the brain. The sooner somebody who is having a stroke gets urgent medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery. Acting F.A.S.T. to recognise the signs of a stroke is the vital first step.

See how fast you are and find out more about the signs of stroke, visit the Act F.A.S.T. test: http://www.nhs.uk/actfast/pages/stroke.aspx

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Antibiotic resistance is biggest health scare

Several sources are predicting a gloomy and frightening future world, where simple everyday cuts and treatments could be dangerous. A simple cut to your finger could leave you fighting for your life. The most basic operations – getting an appendix removed or a hip replacement – could become deadly.

Cancer treatments and organ transplants could kill you. Childbirth could once again become a deadly moment in a woman’s life.

It’s what the experts are calling a “future without antibiotics”. Continue reading

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Check your BMI score with new system

Researchers at Oxford University have updated the body mass index with a new formula that they say more accurately estimates body fat. Use the interactive tool to see how your BMI is different under their proposal for a new system.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9816596/Interactive-calculator-do-you-win-or-lose-with-the-new-BMI.html

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How to take care of your skin when swimming?

Constantly swimming in chlorinated water has a drying effect on the skin. As a result, some people can suffer, particularly if a person suffers from eczema. A few people are generally allergic to chlorine. So here are a few suggestions for skin care.

Tips on skin care for swimmers:
1. Ensure you drink plenty of water. Dehydration makes skin more likely to be damaged by chlorine. Ensure your urine is never darker than light yellow.

2. Ensure your skin has been thoroughly washed with fresh water and no chlorine is bound to your skin’s surface after you have come out of the swimming pool.

3.Wash costumes thoroughly as soon as possible after the swim. Not only will they last longer but skin rashes are often worse under the costume.

4. Protect and moisturise the skin areas where is you would normally suffer from itching. Use Aqueous Cream but more effective is E45 cream or Vaseline. If you have some very dry eczematous patches, 0.5% hydrocortisone can be bought from your local chemist. Applied twice daily, this will soon clear up the patch with no risk of skip atrophy. Any worse than this and you will need to see your own GP.

5. In some pools the chlorine concentration seems particularly high and it may be worth seeing which local pools suits you best.

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