An article in The Guardian last week reported that Waitrose are the first UK supermarket to ban the sale of high energy drinks to under 16’s because of the high level of sugar and caffeine they contain and the effect this is having on the behaviour of children.
The teaching union NASUWT last month called for a ban on the sale of these drinks to under-16s. They were referred to as “legal highs” that helped to fuel bad behaviour in schools.
The family of a 25 year old who committed suicide late last year, are convinced that his intake, over 15 cans a day of high energy drinks increased his anxiety and contributed to his death.
The Food Standards Agency says these drinks contain levels of caffeine in a small 250mg can similar to three cans of cola.
Katherine Jenner, campaign director at Action on Sugar, was delighted to see Waitrose take this stand, she said “Energy drinks are completely inappropriate for children to consume and form no part of a healthy, balanced diet, and should be banned for under-16s across the board.”
The huge intake of sugar is linked to obesity, various types of cancer, type 2 diabetes as well as rotting children’s teeth. From April 2018 companies that produce sugar-sweetened drinks will have to pay a soft drinks tax in an effort to tackle the nation's obesity problem.
In addition, sugary drinks will be removed from NHS canteens, shops and vending machines during 2018. Almost two thirds of NHS trusts have signed a voluntary scheme to reduce sales of sugary drinks to 10 per cent or less of sold beverages. Some NHS Trusts have already introduced their own ban on sugary drinks.
Chief Executive of NHS England has said "It's important the NHS practices what it preaches on healthy food and drink. We want 2018 to be the year when the tasty, affordable and easy option for patients, staff and visitors is the healthy option."
Let’s hope other supermarkets and hospitals will follow suit very soon.
On the 28th November 2017, there was a documentary, On Tour with Crohn’s Disease, on Radio One Newsbeat about the challenges of living with Crohn’s. It followed Mark Holley, musician with the rock band Black Foxxes who was diagnosed with Crohn’s seven years ago.
According to the NHS, in England the number of 15 to 29 year olds diagnosed has increased from 9,256 in 2007 to 29,624 in 2016. Age 29 is the most common age for being diagnosed with Crohn’s.
Mark speaks openly about the struggles of trying to record, be on stage and cope with this disease for which he has been told there is no cure. He talks about his anxiety and depression. Their lastest album is entitled "I'm Not Well". You can listen to his story here Crohn's Journey
In contrast, a patient treated by Dr Econs some 25 years ago, recently wrote to us, completely out of the blue, saying this :
This email is for Dr A Econs. about 25 years ago, my husband came to you with Crohns disease, you helped him immensely and he is still doing fine, thanks to a good diet and lifestyle, I am in the process of writing a book showing his journey and how the diet has helped, completely non medical. I would just like to ask permission to use your name as the doctor who started it all off and helped him to have 25 years free of too much pain, I would of course send you a copy if and when I finish it before I tried to get it printed, for your approval, many thanks for everything even after all these years.
Professor Matthew Walker, a leading expert, originally from Liverpool and now director of the Centre of Human Sleep Science in California, revealed in an interview with the Guardian, that a lack of sleep in killing us.
TV, computer screens, electric lights and poor work-life balance are some of the causes of sleep deprivation, defined as seven hours a night. This has been linked to serious health issues such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and mental health issues.
He recommends a non-negotiable eight hours sleep every night.
Please read this enlightening article Sleep
British Medical Journall article -4 November 2017 states Increased risk of cancer from PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors) used for reflux.
The journal Gut published research which indicates an increased risk for cancer of 2.44 times, associated with PPI’s for reflux, which was not found in the use of H2 antagonists, such as Ranitidine.
I wonder if some of these findings have also been affected by the fact that any long term “suppressed” inflammation caused by the immune system, is in itself a risk factor for cancer?
A comment in the BMJ 4 November 2017 advised to avoid antibiotics for sinus infections. NICE new guidelines recommend oral decongestants and paracetamol for acute sinusitis and avoid antibiotics.
Tell this to a patient who has been unable to breathe and has been suffering with facial pain for a couple of weeks!!
I am not recommending antibiotics to patients with sinusitis, we are all too familiar with the problems with overuse of antibiotics. However, we often manage to prevent upper respiratory inflammation, using the positive effects of dietary changes, methods of desensitisation and sometimes, anti-fungals if moulds are suspected.
Prevention and treating the cause is always preferable to being reactive and giving symptom relief.
Two fascinating articles written by snack safely.com about allergies, that I think you will appreciate reading.
The first speaks of research that indicates that 45% of adults with food allergies develop them in adulthood.
Growth in Allergies
The second shows there are studies indicating that the causes of allergies involve a complex interplay between genetics and our environment. Hopefully this research and finding will lead to treatment of food allergies and even prevention.Causes of Allergies
If you need help with your allergies of intolerances please do contact us.
Lady Gaga’s hit track Til it Happens to You, although not written about her recent revelation on social media that she has Fibromyalgia (FMS), could aptly describe her experience of living with it.
The condition is giving her such “severe physical pain that it has impacted her ability to perform” so she has had to cancel her European tour due to begin next week.
FMS is a chronic condition that causes pain and swelling in points all over the body. It is hard to diagnose and treat and many people with the condition find it difficult to get doctors to take their symptoms seriously as there is nothing to see, only for the patient to feel - constant widespread pain. Along with the pain comes extreme tiredness, muscles aches, poor sleep and concentration.
FMS is typically suffered by people in the 30-50 age group. As there is no definitive test, it is hard to estimate how many people really suffer with the condition but it is thought to possibly be 5 million. In an attempt to raise awareness about this life changing illness, Lady Gaga has just released a documentary called Gaga: Five Foot Two.
Although there is no conventional medical treatment for the condition, the experience of some medical professionals has been that there is a noticeable link between diet, infectious agents and toxic load with fibromyalgia. As with CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) this immune system problem can be helped by adjusting ones diet and lifestyle. We often see an improvement (or reversal) of the condition with regular use of intravenous infusions of nutrients and/or some methods of immunotherapy.
We have guide dogs, hearing dogs and now allergy dogs. We are all too aware how life-changing guide dogs and hearing dogs can be for their owners giving them their freedom and independence.
Six year old boy, Mason, who has suffered thousands of allergic reactions, even anaphlayatic reactions that have been life threatening, is about to have his own ‘guardian’ in the shape of a Golden Retriever called Storm.
Storm is being trained to detect changes in Mason that are a sign he is about to have an allergic reaction and to warn Mason and others around him. Mason is allergic to dogs, so it took 18 months to up build his immunity to the breed first.
How wonderful it will be if Storm can give Mason the opportunity to go to friends birthday parties and outings as any other little boy. Let's hope this is just the beginning of dogs that can help many serious allergy sufferers.
An allergy to peanuts is recognised as one of the most severe food allergies due to its prevalence, persistency and potential severity of allergic reaction which can result in anaphylaxis. The principle treatment at the moment is the use of an Epipen injection which must be carried at all times.
However, Australian researchers have carried out a small clinical trial which has seen positive results in 82% of the children on the trial who had received the immunotherapy treatment had become tolerant to peanuts.
At Allergy Medical UK we are aware of how effective immunotherapy is in ‘re-educating’ the immune system so we are really excited about this treatment and hope it will be widely available very soon. Read here :New Peanut Allergy Treatment
A number of British allergy specialists were recently asked to share their views on allergy, its management and any optional measures to prevent it.
Their views have been published in the magazine of Champneys, a group of health resorts well known for promoting healthy living:
Link to Champneys Article
It is quite clear that, whilst a number of safe and effective methods of prevention of allergies exists, only a fraction of doctors in the UK know of them, recommend them or use them.