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Caring for the carer

Being a carer is very stressful and very tiring. It can also be very fulfilling and many of us are glad to be ‘giving something back’, especially if it is to a parent who once cared for us. But there is no denying that it can sometimes feel as though we are labouring under an intolerable burden.

In an ideal world, as our relatives or close friends grow steadily more frail, plans would be made for the future, money saved for contingencies, moves made to more manageable accommodation, and help enlisted in advance. In the real world, people fall ill suddenly, accidents happen and the role of carer is suddenly ours without planning or forethought. If at all possible, time should be made after the initial ‘emergency’ to take a step back, draw breath and consider a ‘care plan’. It is very worthwhile at this stage to get the whole family together and agree co-operation with everyone involved.

Care together and cooperate

Lack of communication and co-operation may turn out to be the biggest underlying problem. Group meetings early on will help avoid resentment or guilt developing. Make use of personal strengths here. For example, someone who is not good at practical personal care may instead be able to manage the financial affairs. Someone who enjoys cooking may agree to keep the freezer stocked with ready meals whilst someone who is only free once a week might organise the shopping.

What if you are the only family member? You should not try to take on everything alone. There may well be neighbours or friends of your relative who will help in the same way that family do. Otherwise you will have to turn to professional help. There is no need to feel guilt over this.

Do not neglect to ask for help from the person you care for’s friends and neighbours if you need it. A neighbour will often promise to ‘keep an eye on things’ but it would be much more useful if you asked them to do something specific – say, ‘Can you call round each morning just to check all is well?’ Of course, people may sometimes be unable to help, but unless and until you ask you will never know. Also investigate local clubs and organisations to which the person you care for belongs. For example, their local church, The British Legion, ex-servicemen and women’s organisations, local branches of organisations set up to benefit ex-members of professions or trades. Local and national charities can also be sources of help.

Care for yourself and get the support you need as a carer

Caring for a member of the family is an unpaid ‘occupation’ but you or the person you care for may be able to claim certain grants and allowances and if you are entitled to them you should certainly claim them. You may not realise that, if you are a carer, you can ask the local authority for an assessment of your own needs. The kind of help and support you can get as a carer includes: respite care to give you a break if you are caring constantly for your relative; emotional support from other carers, usually through a local support group; help with caring; and help with household tasks and activities for the person you care for.

As a carer, it is very important that you look after your own physical and mental health. You should never neglect your own health issues because if you are ill the person you are caring for will suffer as well since you will be unable to give the level of care you would wish to. You should take care of yourself physically by eating properly and taking exercise, but you should also build in some sensible respite. For example, pay for a professional carer once or twice a week. A friend, neighbour or other family member could do this, or even some local charities may provide this service.

There are several organisations aimed at supporting carers. Some of these offer information, some offer practical support and some offer ‘moral support’ in the form of local support groups where carers can meet to talk about their problems or concerns with people who are in a similar situation to them. Many support organisations have carers’ support chatrooms and forums accessed via their website and you may find this kind of ‘virtual’ support most helpful.

Make use of all the resources you can to help you and the person you care for. Read books, check magazine articles, ask at the library, search the internet. Buy or arrange provision of any equipment that will make life easier. Above all, ask what is available. Especially ask your district nursing team. They have access to a lot of information and contacts.

It can be difficult, but try not to allow yourself to feel constantly guilty. Those who we care for do not always show their appreciation, and indeed in some cases, they may be unable to do so. Try always to assure yourself that you are doing the best you can.

At this point it occurs to many carers to think about their own future. It is a very good time to make plans whilst you are caring for another because the difficulties and limitations of frail old age will be clearly before you (as well, perhaps, as the compensations). So, this could be an ideal time to think about your pension and will. You can feel secure in that you have made all the plans you possibly can.

Share this blog for Carer’s Week next week (6-12 June) and help highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

Read more advice and guidance for carer’s from Mary Jordan’s book The Essential Carer’s Guide out now as ebook and paperback.

 

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IBS: a guide for family, friends and colleagues

Although IBS is invisible, it is a very real illness and it can be hard to know how to support people we care about when we can’t necessarily see the physical symptoms of what they are going through. Dr Megan Arroll and Professor Christine Dancey have combined their extensive knowledge to provide a helpful guide for supporting friends and family members with IBS.

There are many conditions where people look fine, even very well, but they are in fact in a great deal of discomfort and pain. It can be hard when you are suffering from the symptoms but look fine on the outside. Try to remember when you last had a headache. You probably looked fine on the outside, despite being in pain. Now imagine feeling like this constantly.

Not only does suffering an invisible illness make you feel physically awful, but people with IBS often face a lack of support from those close to them. Work and social situations can also be challenging; without outward signs of ill-health, someone with IBS can feel very isolated. People with IBS often find it very hard to acknowledge their condition and to discuss it with others due to the embarrassing nature of the symptoms.

Additionally, IBS can attract stigma as it is a complex condition and there are no scans, investigations, or blood tests which can show that a person has IBS. It is a multi-faceted condition and we are only just learning about the physiological processes underlying it.

So, someone with IBS may appear perfectly fine – in fact, almost anyone will say ‘good’ or ‘well’ if you ask them how they are – this does not mean that IBS is not a debilitating and intrusive illness. All it means is that your friend, sibling or workmate who has IBS is trying to put their brave face on.

What you can do to help a friend or family member with IBS

You don’t need to know everything about IBS; just by accepting what your friend says about what he or she is feeling is a great help and support. IBS can take a long time to diagnose and is often misdiagnosed. Both the struggle for a diagnosis and the feeling of frustration engendered by being misdiagnosed can be difficult, and this is on top of feeling unwell. While it can be tricky for friends and family members to offer the right help and support to someone with IBS, here are a few simple rules to help make living with IBS a little less irritable.

Never question the existence of IBS, even if your friend looks and seems well.

Be patient with the process of diagnosis and finding an effective treatment – it can take time.

Try not to be over protective or treat the person with IBS as if they are fragile.

Try to limit giving advice, even if well-intentioned.

Be willing to find IBS-friendly activities which are of interest to both of you.

Understand that plans may be cancelled at short notice.

Offer practical support, such as help with the children, shopping, housework, gardening, etc.

If IBS is affecting your sexual relationship or damaging your relationship overall, seek external and professional support.

Overall, simply being there and accepting that the person with IBS is trying their best to overcome this misunderstood condition will be an invaluable support. IBS is an embarrassing and stigmatised illness that can challenge someone’s relationship with their body. Support, whether emotional or practical, can limit the likelihood of depression and isolation, factors which we know are detrimental to us all.

For more detailed guidance on how best to support someone who is suffering from IBS buy your copy of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Navigating Your Way to Recovery and follow Dr Arroll on twitter.

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10 Foods IBS Sufferers Should Avoid

It can be frustrating and take quite some time to discover if certain foods are affecting your Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. Some dietary changes may work for one person but not another. Below we outline the safest foods for IBS sufferers, and the foods you should avoid – those that have the most chance of aggravating your IBS symptoms.

Information is taken from Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Navigating Your Way to Recovery by Professor Christine Dancey and Dr Megan Arroll. Dancey is Professor Emeritus of Chronic Illness Research at the University of East London (UEL). As a researcher into invisible long-term conditions and a mis-diagnosed sufferer, she has a unique insight into what people with IBS want and need to know.

Dr Megan Arroll is a Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology at BPP University and is a member of the Health and Illness Research Team (HIRT), a group that works to better understand IBS and other invisible long-term conditions.

The most commonly recommended way to find out if you have a food intolerance is an exclusion, or ‘elimination’ diet, where you cut out certain types of food from your diet for three to four weeks and slowly reintroduce them one by one to see if any of your symptoms come back or worsen.

Safe Foods for IBS

The foods which are considered the safest for sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include:

Rice and quinoa

Rice milk

Fish, lamb, venison and duck

Pine nuts, flax seeds

All vegetables except nightshade vegetables (see above)

Non-citrus fruits

Herbal tea

 

Foods to Avoid for IBS

The ten foods, or food groups, generally considered the worst for aggravating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are:

Foods containing gluten, such as wheat, corn, barley and rye

Dairy products and eggs

Soy and soy products such as tofu

Meats such as pork, beef and chicken

Beans and lentils

Nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines and peppers

Citrus fruits

Caffeine

Alcohol

Refined sugars

Doing an exclusion diet isn’t easy, especially at first, so it is worth preparing foods you can eat in advance. After three to four weeks, you can add one type of food back into your diet. It is worth keeping a food diary as you reintroduce foods and seeing if your symptoms reoccur. It is essential to be methodical and keep a food diary, so for a full list of foods and a more detailed guide through the elimination diet for IBS order your copy of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Navigating Your Way to Recovery.

Follow @HHealthBooks and @DrMegHealthPsy on twitter for the latest updates on IBS and chronic illness.

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5 Unexpected Health Benefits of Lemons

Our latest release, Nature Cures, is full of amazing alternative remedies for many of the common ailments that cause us malaise in this modern age. Many natural foods have unexpected healing properties and surprising applications around the house, as author Nat H Hawes shares in her research on lemons.

What few people know about lemons (citrus limonum) is that they were originally developed as a cross between the lime and the citron. They are thought to have originated in China or India, having been cultivated in these regions for about 2,500 years. Although acidic, lemons can act as an anti-acid for digestive problems and as a liver tonic. They have antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. They also work to cleanse the blood, lymph glands and kidneys, and act as a natural diuretic.

Traditionally, lemon peel oil has been used to discourage intestinal parasites, while the vitamin C-rich juice and rind can increase bone mineral density. The abundance of phytochemical antioxidants and dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble, is helpful in reducing the risk for cancers and many chronic diseases. Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer properties which slow the growth of tumours. Lemons can help to treat and protect against acne, anxiety, arthritis, bacterial infections, constipation and fungal infections, amongst other ailments.

When lemon juice is added to green or herbal teas it can increase the beneficial properties tenfold. It is recommended that the juice of at least half a lemon is consumed every day (including the rind and the pith) in teas and on brown rice, fish or salad dishes, to gain the health benefits they possess. Lemons are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C and K, but it is important to remember to add lemon juice after cooking so that the vitamin content is not destroyed. They are also rich in calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

5 Unexpected Ways to Use Lemons for Health and Wellbeing:

  1. Helping to stop bleeding
  2. Rebalancing greasy skin (as an essential oil)
  3. Treating a verruca
  4. Mosquito repellent (a slice or two of lemon in a bowl of water next to the bed can deter mosquitos during the night)
  5. Cleaning dishcloths (the antibacterial properties of lemon juice can keep dishcloths clean, instead of using bleach, if soaked in a bowl of water and lemon juice overnight)

For more natural health remedies buy Nature Cures: The A-Z of Ailments and Natural Foods from £14.99 and follow @NatureCuresAll on twitter.

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Give the gift of health this Mother’s Day

We love our mums. They spend all year looking after us, but how often do we go the extra mile to make them feel special? What better time than Mother’s Day to show our mums we care about them, and what better way of showing them than giving the gift of health. Our books help all kinds of people look after their own health and happiness, so we’ve put together our Top 3 Health Books for Mums…and we’re offering a 16% discount with code ‘HEALTHY16’.

Top 3 Health Books for Mums this Mother’s Day

Love Your Bones 9781781610718

 

Love Your Bones by Max Tuck from £4.99

Millions of women and increasing numbers of men worldwide are suffering the pain and debility associated with osteoporosis. For the 1 in 3 women over age 65 already affected by the disease, the cost in both financial and personal terms is astronomical. In this thought-provoking book, Max Tuck shows not only how we can prevent bone loss but also how we can rebuild bone density, giving detailed guidance on how to do this, including essential specific exercises. Based on proven science, the latest technological developments, a passion for nutritious food and her long experience as a Health Educator and Veterinary Surgeon, Max’’s comprehensive action plan will enable you to slash your fracture risk and improve your health, even into advanced age. With an easy to follow and entertaining writing style, she provides new hope and inspiration for a stronger and more vibrant future.

 

 

Nature Cures 9781781610398Nature Cures by Nat H Hawes from £14.99

Nat Hawes has spent more than 10 years researching and compiling this fascinating compendium of foods and their health-giving-properties. Her sources range from a lifetime of experience travelling abroad to research via libraries and university websites and include a vast range of scientific papers which she has analysed and summarised in everyday language. She reviews both the health problems that can be helped by nutritional interventions and the healing properties of the full spectrum of natural (as opposed to processed) foods and drinks. The book complements and is supported by Nat’s internationally popular website  www.naturecures.co.uk, which has been re-launched for the publication of Nature Cures and has received more than one million hits, and counting.

 

 

The Mediterranean ZoneThe Mediterranean Zone by Dr Barry Sears from £3.50

In The Mediterranean Zone, Dr Barry Sears, founder of The Zone Diet, shows you how to eat a delicious and sustainable diet that will: Stop weight gain and strip away ‘toxic’ fat; Free you from inflammation and hormonal chaos; Reverse diabetes and protect you from Alzheimer’s; Lighten your mood as well as your body; Allow you to break out of the diet-and-exercise trap for good! Incorporating the principles of the Zone diet and the fundamental benefits of the much-loved Mediterranean diet, the Mediterranean Zone offers an easy-to-follow guide to eating and living better, based on the latest scientific research.

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to enter coupon code HEALTHY16 at checkout for 16% off all last minute Mother’s Day orders!

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Dr Myhill’s book Sustainable Medicine reviewed

Sustainable Medicine by Dr Myhill

We’re very pleased to be able to share this review of Sustainable Medicine by Dr Myhill, sent in by retired NHS GP and former President of the British Society for Ecological Medicine Dr Sybil Birtwhistle:

“This is a practical book explaining how the body works, not the anatomy, but the invisible biochemicals which are keeping us alive and well. In spite of modern medicine, sometimes because of it, too many people, including young ones, are just not very well these days and really serious illnesses are more and more common at all ages. It is these not absolutely new but much more frequent illnesses, such as allergies, cancers, heart diseases and chronic fatigue that respond to the techniques described here. Thanks to modern medicine we are living longer but mostly not better. By understanding the mechanisms described here it is possible to begin to change our environment, including our diets, in such a way that we could be much healthier.

“This is explained carefully and clearly with lots of links and references for more detail. Even patients who initially knew next to nothing about this should be able to understand enough about the possibilities for staying well, or making their discomforts go away, rather than having to suppress their symptoms with drugs for ever. If only more patients could understand how much of our own behaviour is responsible for our ill health some of the current problems for the NHS would surely diminish.

“The book is written mainly for patients but I suggest doctors look first at the case histories in Chapter 5. They will surely be impressed by such outcomes and I hope some will want to learn how to do it.”

Sybil Birtwistle

 

Preview the first chapter for free and buy Sustainable Medicine by Dr Myhill as ebook or paperback from £4.50.

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Top 3 Nature Cures for Insomnia

Nature Cures Insomnia Figs credit flickr youasamachine

Few things are as important to health as getting good sleep so your body can rest and recover, and keep your mind strong for the new day. Insomnia is also a common symptom for many of our readers, whether they struggle with depression, eating disorders, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or other auto-immune conditions.

So we wanted to share with you our favourite natural remedies to aid healthy sleep, taken from our latest release: Nature Cures, by Nat H Hawes. Nature Cures is an encyclopaedic guide to ailments, natural remedies, nutrients and health hazards to look out for (ebook now available) – perfect for anyone looking for a natural approach to optimum health.

 

Figs (Ficus Carica)

A fig tree is a small tree with a cylindrical stem. It is found all over India. Bo Tree Figs come from a large fig tree that grows in the southern parts of Asia. The tree is holy to Buddhists and is used ritually and medicinally. The bo tree’s figs contain the greatest amount of serotonin when compared to all other figs and are able to significantly inhibit epileptic seizures by increasing the amount of serotonin that nerve cells transmit.

Figs contain a derivative of benzaldehyde which has been reported to be highly effective at shrinking cancer tumours. Figs also contain vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin C and vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc.

Figs are rich in potassium and fibre which helps to stabilize the blood pressure of the body and they have anti-diabetic and anti-tumour properties and can reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol. They can also curtail appetite and improve weight-loss efforts hence helping with obesity and fig juice is also a potent bacteria killer in test-tube studies.

Figs promote good sleeping habits and protect against insomnia. They increase energy, promote stronger bones and are helpful in treating constipation due to their laxative effect. They also have an analgesic effect against insect sting and bites. The fruit is also given as a cure for piles and diarrhoea.

Figs lessen the acids in the stomach and therefore are great for pregnant women. They also increase sexual desire and promote overall longevity and good health.

Lemon Balm credit flickr b4ssm4st3r

Lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis, melissa oil)

This herb was brought to Britain by the Romans and has soothing and sedative properties which help with relaxation and sleep. It is also useful to treat colic, vomiting, poor digestion and vertigo. It was often used by Avicenna, the famous Arab physician. The name ‘Melissa’ means honey bee in Greek. It is easy to grow and very attractive to bees and gives the honey a lemony scent.

It makes a refreshing tea that calms anxiety, restores depleted energy, enhances the memory, acts as a decongestant and antihistamine, helping with chronic problems like asthma or allergies and helps reduce hay fever symptoms.

To make a tea, pour hot water onto a handful of leaves in a jar. Screw on the lid then leave to chill for four hours in the refrigerator. Serve with ice. Mint or peppermint leaves can be added to reduce bloating and wind.

Lemon balm leaves may be dried or frozen to preserve them. Make ice cube trays of the tea to use daily.

Cocoa credit flickr oabe

And, saving the best for last…Cocoa Beans (Theobroma Cacao)

The cacao tree was first cultivated in 250-900 AD by the ancient Maya civilization in what is now Mexico and Central America. Cocoa contains a large amount of antioxidant flavonoids. The darker chocolate with the most concentrated cocoa will be the most beneficial.

Cocoa beans contain polyphenols (similar to those found in wine) with antioxidant properties which are health beneficial. These compounds are called flavonoids and include catechins, epicatechins and procyandins. The antioxidant flavonoids are found in the non-fat portions of the cocoa bean.

The cocoa bean also contains phenylethylamine which is a slight antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body’s own dopamine and adrenaline. Cocoa and dark chocolate can increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin levels are often decreased in people with depression and in those experiencing PMS symptoms.

In addition to abundant magnesium, cacao contains significant amounts of the essential amino acid, tryptophan. Both are needed by the body to create the stress protective neurotransmitters, serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is considered a primary neurotransmitter that plays a powerful role in mood regulation. Heat and cooking destroy tryptophan. Conventionally processed chocolate is low in tryptophan (roasted beans) compared to raw cacao, which typically contains 33% more tryptophan.

Cocoa beans are good sources of protein, fibre, starch, tryptophan, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

Cocoa beans contains a very low amount of caffeine, much less than found in coffee and tea.

Note: dark chocolate contains a lot of calories because of the large content of added fat and sugar. The sugar content in chocolate is worse than the fat content regarding negative effects on health.

For more natural remedies for insomnia and information on how to improve your sleep visit the Nature Cures website or order your own copy of Nature Cures from £14.99.

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Alcohol abuse and Medical NLP

Alcohol use and abuse have been the focus of considerable media attention over recent weeks through the promotion of campaigns such as “Dry January”. Riding on the back of this comes a television documentary entitled ‘My name is….I’m an alcoholic’ which airs on Channel 5 this week. Filmed in a “talking-heads” style, it captures the stories of eight British professionals and their relationship with alcohol. Medical NLP Master Practitioner and GP Dr Lizzie Croton was one of the professionals who featured in the programme. She now volunteers for a charity which advises doctors concerned about their use of drugs and alcohol.

“It was a very straightforward decision for me when I was asked to take part,” she says. “I wanted to offer hope to fellow health professionals and show them that it is possible to stop drinking and recover. I work successfully as a GP now and I participate fully in life.”

She adds, “Despite the programme’s title, I don’t actually define myself as an alcoholic. I believe I was someone who lacked choices and needed to raise the bar on my ability to work with stress. Medical NLP has been such a huge part of me recovering from this. In short, I learnt how to reintegrate the body and mind so that they function effectively. It’s been such an incredible journey.”

‘My name is…..I’m an alcoholic’ airs on Channel 5 13th January at 22.00.

Support for doctors, dentists and other medical professionals who are concerned about their use of drugs and alcohol is available from the Sick Doctors Trust.

More information on Medical NLP can be found in the book, Magic in Practice – Introducing Medical NLP, the Art and Science of Language in Healing and Health, by Garner Thomson with Dr Khalid Khan (London:Hammersmith Press), or by visiting the website www.magicinpractice.com.

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Eat, drink and be merry: a recipe for…health?

The enforced closeness of the holiday season can have an all-too-familiar downside. Some of the most wrenching fall-outs among nearest and dearest tend to occur over Christmas and the New Year.

But, before you think about escaping the mandatory get-togethers and making yourself permanently unavailable to family and friends, think about this – they may just be keeping you alive.

This is the opinion of the authors of a paradigm-shifting new book on the importance of closeness and communication to human health and wellbeing. According to Garner Thomson and Khalid Khan, authors of Magic in Practice – Introducing Medical NLP, the Art and Science of Language in Healing and Health, a strong connection with both family and friends is a better predictor of health and longevity than doing all the ‘right’ things, such as quitting smoking, eating your five a day, and getting plenty of sleep.

They point to a landmark study, started in the 1940s, and still the subject of intensive research.

Scientists were intrigued by strikingly low rates of myocardial infarction reported from the little Pennsylvanian town of Roseto, where they expected to find a fit, tobacco- and alcohol-free community enjoying all the benefits of clean-living. When they arrived, they found as many smokers, drinkers and couch potatoes as in the rest of the country, where heart disease was on the rise.

The difference between Roseto and other similar towns, the researchers discovered, was a particularly cohesive social structure.

“The inhabitants of the little town were unique in the experience of the scientists who were drawn there,” says Garner Thomson. “They could be described as ‘barn-raisers’ – which is to say if someone’s barn burned down, everybody in the town turned out to rebuild it. Somehow, the closeness Rosetans enjoyed inoculated them against cardiac and other problems

“Clearly this premise had to be tested – and time was the only true test. The scientists reasoned that if the society changed, became less cohesive and more like its neighbouring towns and cities, the effect would eventually disappear.

“Sadly, as the community became steadily more ‘Americanised’, this proved to be true.”

The 50-year longitudinal study, published in 1992, categorically established that social support and connectedness had provided a powerfully salutogenic (health-promoting) effect on the heart.[1]

Nor was this a random fluctuation affecting a small, isolated community, the authors say.

A number of studies have since confirmed that host resistance to a wide range of illnesses is affected by the social context in which you live and the support you feel you receive. A recent study of 2,264 women diagnosed with breast cancer concluded that those without strong social bonds were up to 61% more likely to die within three years of diagnosis.

According to Dr Candyce Kroenke, lead researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Research Centre, California, the risk of death equals well-established risk factors, including smoking and alcohol consumption, and exceeds the influence of other risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.[2]

At least two major studies have suggested that loneliness can double the risk of elderly people developing Alzheimer-like diseases.

“What is particularly interesting about these studies is the suggestion that it is feelings of loneliness, rather than social isolation itself, that may cause the corrosive effects of dementia and other problems,” Thomson says. [3],[4]

Key factors in social integration have been identified as having someone to confide in, help with financial issues and offer practical support, such as baby-sitting, when you need it, and with whom you can discuss problems and share solutions.[5] “These are what we call ‘3 am friends,” says Thomson, “people we can call for support at any hour, no matter how early, and know they will always have time for us.”

So, before you decide to celebrate the holiday season away from Aunty Elsie and Uncle Edward, think very carefully about the possible consequences. Some of the other established benefits of social support and connectedness include: extended lifespan (double that of people with low social ties)[6]; improved recovery from heart attack (three times better for those with high social ties)[7]; reduced progression from HIV to Aids [8] and, even protection from the common cold.[9]

Magic in Practice – Introducing Medical NLP, the Art and Science of Language in Healing and Health is available as paperback or eBook from £6.99. Enter coupon code Xmas15 at checkout for a 15% discount on your basket.

 

 

 

[1] Egolf B, Lasker J, Wolf S, Potvin L (1992) The Roseto effect: a 50-year comparison of mortality rates. American Journal of Public Health 82 (8): 1089–92.
[2] Kaiser Permanente, news release, Nov. 9, 2012.

[3] Wilson RS et.al. (2007) Loneliness and Risk of Alzheimer Disease. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 64(2): 234-240.

[4][4] Holwerda TJ et al. (2012) Feelings of loneliness, but not social isolation, predict dementia onset: results from the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL). J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23232034.

[5] Anderson NB, Anderson PE (2003) Emotional Longevity. New York: Viking Penguin.

[6] House JS, Robbins C, Metzner HL (1982) The association of social relationships and activities with mortality: prospective evidence from the Tecumseh Community Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 116: 123–40.

[7] Berkman LF, Leo-Summers L, Horwitz RI (1992) Emotional support and survival following myocardial infarction: a prospective, population-based study of the elderly. Annals of Internal Medicine 117: 1003–9.

[8] Leserman J et al (2000) Impact of stressful life events, depression, social support, coping and cortisol. American Journal of Psychiatry 157: 1221–28.

[9] Cohen S et al (1997) Social ties and susceptibility to the common cold. Journal of the American Medical Association 277: 1940–4.

 

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The Medical Miscellany

If you’re looking for the perfect last minute Christmas gift for the medic in your life look no further than The Medical Miscellany by Manoj Ramachandran and Max Ronson, available as eBook and ready to download now.

This fascinating collection of amazing, bizarre, and amusing medical facts will inform, tantalize, and infuriate you by turns. Ever wondered how to tell if a murder victim was left- or right-handed? Want to learn more than 100 euphemisms for unmentionable parts of the body? Well…you better read the book beacuse we wouldn’t want to offend.

Here’s one of our favourite sections from the book:

Misinterpreted Medical Meanings

Benign
what you do after you be eight

Cauterize
made eye contact with her

Dilater
to live longer

Morbid
a higher offer

Nitrate
lower than the day rate

Outpatient
a patient who has fainted

Prostate
flat on your back

Protein
in favour of young people

Rectum
damn near killed ’em

Seizure
Roman Emperor

Tumour
an extra pair

Varicose
near by

Get The Medical Miscellany eBook for just £1 by entering coupon code ‘MEDIC’ at checkout.