GastroCycle 2016!

Monday, June 27th, 2016

On June 16th, a team of 30 gastroenterologists met at Newcastle University Medical School to embark on a bicycle ride. But unlike any other bike ride, the GastroCycle took them on a 300-mile route through the tricky peaks of the Lake District and challenging climbs of the Yorkshire Dales, before arriving in Liverpool just in time for Father’s Day.

The medics, who all specialise in treating gastroenterological conditions, were doing this with the aim of raising £45,000 for Core, the only charity committed to fighting all diseases that affect the digestive system. It’s an important cause: collectively, digestive diseases are a factor in 1 in 8 deaths in the UK. Core supports medical research to save lives, and works to raise awareness of digestive diseases, their symptoms and impact to ensure than nobody suffers through ignorance or embarrassment.

 

Among those who took part was Laura Neilson of the South Tyneside District Hospital. She said, “Core is a great cause and digestive diseases are extremely common – most of us will know someone affected. I’m aware of the important research that Core supports across the country; in addition to the vital work they do in providing patient information and support. That’s why I’ve been doing GastroCycle since 2014.”

 

Another was James Maurice, who is juggling a PhD in liver disease with his job as a gastroenterology registrar – but he left both behind for four days to help raise funds for Core. His efforts weren’t limited to just the 300-mile cycle either, as he arranged a roof-top cinema screening at his hospital as part of his fundraising push!

“I see the impact of digestive diseases every day and I don’t think liver disease has the funding or publicity it deserves, particularly when compared to other health issues. That’s why CORE and GastroCycle are so important,” said James.

 

Julie Harrington, CEO of CORE, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many doctors like coming together to support CORE. The event helps to raise awareness for digestive disorders and the funds we generate will be used to deliver more research so that we can pioneer new treatment and better understand the causes. It’s a case of pedal power in action!”

 

The GastroCycle rode into Liverpool just in time for the British Society of Gastroenterology’s annual science meeting, which runs from June 20th to June 24th.

 

Time to think about… Summer Exercise

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

 

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The UK Department of Health recommends that adults between the ages of 19-64 should try to do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week which includes exercises such as fast walking, jogging and swimming.

Strength exercises are also recommended, particularly those that work the major muscles. Strength exercises can also be a great alternative to high intensity exercises on hot summer days. You could think about yoga.  This is an ancient form of strength exercising which also focuses on flexibility and breathing. There are many physical and mental benefits of yoga including:

  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Improved flexibility
  • Reduced blood pressure and heart disease
  • Reduced joint pain such as lower back pain
  • Reduced stress and anxiety

So why not take up yoga this summer and see what a difference it makes! You can find your nearest yoga class on the British Wheel of Yoga www.bwy.org.uk  which is the Sport-England recognised governing body for yoga.

Also see the advice from our Love Your Gut exercise expert Sophie Christy here:  http://www.loveyourgut.com/getting-gut-healthy/gut-active/

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World Digestive Health Day 2016

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Your diet and gut health: a few useful tips

The theme for this year’s World Digestive Health day is ‘Your Diet and Gut Health’. Food intolerances are common in those with digestive health problems. In aid of World Digestive Health Day, Love Your Gut has put together some tips on managing irritable bowel syndrome, a condition where symptoms are often improved with dietary and lifestyle modifications.

 

  1. Keep a food diary:

 

Keeping a food diary can be useful in helping you to identify which particular foods are triggering your symptoms. Keep record of everything you have to eat and drink during the day as well as any symptoms you experience.

 

  1. Check your fibre intake:

 

People with IBS can respond negatively to the intake of fibre. If you have diarrhoea you may find it useful to reduce your insoluble fibre intake. Insoluble fibre can be found in foods such as wheat bran and cereals, nuts and seeds. If you have constipation increasing the amount of soluble fibre in your diet by consuming foods like oats, rye, root vegetables and linseeds may help with symptoms.

 

  1. Have regular meals throughout the day and take your time over eating meals.

 

  1. Stay hydrated:

 

You should aim to drink at least at least 8 cups of fluid each day. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages as these can often make symptoms worse.

 

  1. The Low FODMAP diet- ask your GP:

 

A low FODMAP diet is low in Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols- the types of carbohydrates that ferment rapidly in the gut and as a result produce IBS symptoms. The low FODMAP diet has been researched for several years and has been found to be effective in 70% of IBS sufferers. Following the diet is complex and it is important that it’s done under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian. You can ask your GP to refer you to a Dietitian who has been trained on a low FODMAP course.

 

For further information about gut health see Dr Nick Read’s advice on our website:  http://www.loveyourgut.com/getting-gut-healthy/eating-well/

Leading charity urges people to take part in bowel cancer screening

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Bowel Cancer UK logo new2016 marks the ten year anniversary of the introduction of bowel cancer screening in the UK. Bowel Cancer UK is urging people during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month to spread the word among their family, friends and colleagues to take part in screening.

 

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer yet it’s a disease which is often overlooked and diagnosed too late.   Every year over 41,000 people (one every 15 minutes) are diagnosed with bowel cancer and 16,200 people die of the disease.

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (and its equivalent in each of the home nations) can detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms when it is easier to treat. Since its launch 10 years ago, it has been proven to save lives.  If you’re registered with a GP and aged 60-74 (50-74 in Scotland), you will receive a test in the post every two years. You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with step by step instructions. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer screening can save lives but at the moment in some areas of England only a third of those who receive a test complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the chance to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat.

Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said, “One in 14 men and one in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime but it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer. However, this drops significantly as the disease develops. Taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early.  If you are over 60 (or 50 in Scotland), take the test when you receive it in the post. If you are younger, tell the people over 60 (over 50 in Scotland) in your life to take the test.”

A number of celebrities are also supporting Bowel Cancer UK’s call for people to take part in screening, including ITV News presenter Charlene White, Lynda Bellingham’s husband, Michael Pattemore, former England cricketer Chris Read and actor Ben Richards.

For further information see: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/

 

World Health Day – 7 April 2016

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

This year the theme for World Health Day is Diabetes.

 

Set up by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – World Health Day focusses on an area of global public health concern.

World Health Day 2016: Key messages

WHO is focusing on diabetes because:

  • The diabetes epidemic is rapidly increasing in many countries, with the documented increase most dramatic in low- and middle-income countries.
  • A large proportion of diabetes cases are preventable. Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes is treatable. It can be controlled and managed to prevent complications. Increasing access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment are vital components of the response.
  • Efforts to prevent and treat diabetes will be important to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal 3 target of reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030. Many sectors of society have a role to play, including governments, employers, educators, manufacturers, civil society, private sector, the media and individuals themselves.

Campaign goals

The main goals of the World Health Day 2016 campaign will be to:

  • Increase awareness about the rise in diabetes, and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries;
  • Trigger a set of specific, effective and affordable actions to tackle diabetes. These will include steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes; and
  • Launch the first Global report on diabetes, which will describe the burden and consequences of diabetes and advocate for stronger health systems to ensure improved surveillance, enhanced prevention, and more effective management of diabetes

Further Information

For more information about World Health Day see the WHO website: http://bit.ly/1RbVsEf

For general information about Diabetes see Diabetes UK  http://bit.ly/1RGSVhL and Diabetes.co.uk http://bit.ly/1W5mWvo

 

 

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