Health

Link between diabetes and mouth cancer

New research has discovered that women who suffer from diabetes face a dramatically increased chance of developing mouth cancer.

The research published in Diabetologia found that women have a 13% higher chance of developing oral cancer if they suffer from diabetes.

Overall women faced a 27% increase of developing any form of cancer if they had diabetes, while men also faced a 19% increased risk according to the study.

With previous research showing close links between diabetes and the development of mouth cancer, as well as other forms of the disease, leading health charity the Oral Health Foundation, is calling on people to be aware of the close links between their oral health and their wider wellbeing.

CEO of the charity Dr Nigel Carter OBE, which campaigns tirelessly to raise awareness of mouth cancer, believes the research could help to identify individuals at risk of mouth cancer.

Dr Carter said: “This could be a very significant piece of research, and one that could help to save lives. Diabetes has previously been linked to poor oral health, but this new research shows a specific link to mouth cancer.

“This makes regular dental visits an absolute must. If your dentists know that you are diabetic, they will check your mouth accordingly. For many years we have known that diabetic patients are more likely to get gum disease and need extra dental care but this is yet another reason for regular checks.

“It is important, not just for diabetics but for everyone to be aware of what the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer are. Be alert to ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the head and neck area.  If you experience any of these visit your dentist immediately.

“More people lose their lives to mouth cancer every year in Britain than from cervical and testicular cancer combined. Without early detection, the five-year survival rate for mouth cancer is only 50% but if it is caught early, survival rates can dramatically improve to up to 90%, as well as the quality of life for survivors being significantly increased.

“Smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, poor diet and the human papillomavirus (HPV), often transmitted via oral sex, are all lifestyle choices that will increase the risk of developing the disease. As diabetes has now been shown to be another potential risk factor, amending your lifestyle to make sure you take yourself out of harm’s way makes it more important than ever to be mouth aware.”

In the UK, it is estimated that over four million live with diabetes, with many cases going undiagnosed. Type-2 diabetes, which is closely linked to lifestyle and diet, has been rapidly increasing in recent years and is now one of the world’s most common long-term health conditions.

 

Offers

Get a free health MOT courtesy of the BBC!

The BBC is looking for volunteers in Scotland to take part in a new TV programme looking at how lifestyle choices affect our health now and in the future.

People from all walks of life are invited to apply – from couch potatoes to gym bunnies – whether you down detox or energy drinks or shots at the bar.

Those chosen to take part will have the chance to undergo a full health MOT and benefit from expert advice on making positive lifestyle changes.

Interested? Email healthmotshow@redskyproductions.co.uk or call 0141 343 7772 to find out more.

 

 

Health

Top 10 self-care tips for a happier, healthier you

Holistic self-care and wellness coach Tara Jackson shares her top self-care tips 

The term ‘self-care’ is becoming more mainstream as people realise the benefits of taking care of themselves. But what does it mean? Well, self-care means actively setting out to do something that’s good for you and can benefit your body, mind and soul – either individually or as a whole.

It can take many forms, such as regular, good sleep; healthy eating; meditating and relaxing; doing something creative; getting into nature; not comparing yourself to others; giving thanks, or spending time with friends.

Self-care isn’t selfish. It helps you maintain a healthy relationship with the most important person in your life: yourself. Making time for yourself every day is also vital for your overall wellness.

They may seem simple, but self-care actions are essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They also help to replenish you – making you more effective and energetic. Not only that, but doing things that make you feel better physically and mentally help to increase your confidence and self-esteem.

Because it includes physical activities such as exercise, self-care can keep you healthy. Even just taking time out of your day to do something you enjoy can help you to de-stress. It can help you take a break from technology, recharge and unwind, and manage physical or mental health symptoms to live life as fully as possible.

And self-care can benefit the other important people in your life too. After all, if you’re not at your best you can’t give your best.

Friends and family will also learn from you, so setting boundaries to take care of yourself shows them what you expect for yourself which sets a precedent for the way others treat you, and helps encourage them to put themselves first and not overwork or overextend. 

Remember to change your self-care according to the seasons and your lifestyle 

While self-care is about what’s good for the self, it’s important to remember that it can change throughout the year. What feels good at one time may not be what’s needed at another. Self-care in the summertime, for example, might include spending more time outdoors, doing more physical activity and eating cooling foods. Whereas, in the wintertime, it might involve eating warm, nourishing foods, taking naps and retreating to spend time reading.

Similarly, if you are very active in your day-to-day life, your self-care might be quite different to someone who has more of a sedentary lifestyle.

Ultimately, self-care only works when you listen to yourself and do what you want or need without resistance. If you don’t enjoy meditation or yoga, don’t do it. There are many ideas and ways we can care for ourselves. The important thing is to do something that feels good to YOU and is achievable within your budget, lifestyle and time restraints.

Top 10 self-care tips

Here are my top 10 simple self-care actions, which work in any season. I swear by little and often, so even just remembering to do one or two small things each day for yourself will help you in the long run.

  1. Prioritise getting enough sleep.
  2. Drink water regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated.
  3. Take regular breaks away from technology – TVs, computers, phones, tablets etc.
  4. Spend time in person with people you love.
  5. Give thanks – be grateful for what you have.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  7. Eat an extra portion of green vegetables whenever you can.
  8. Move your body in a way that feels good to you.
  9. Express yourself creatively doing something you enjoy e.g. painting, photography, dancing, writing or cooking.
  10. Spend time in nature.

For more from Tara, visit her website.

Health

Easy natural health swaps to beat bloating

We shed some light on what could be causing your bloating and share some easy ways – including simple lifestyle swaps – to help reduce it (just in time for the beach)

Spring officially ends today (Thursday, 21 June) with the arrival of the Summer Solstice. Yet as we bid farewell to the longest day and look forward to summer’s official arrival, many of us have already been experiencing the odd heatwave.

And, as much as we love al fresco lunches and impromptu barbecues, the sticky heat isn’t quite as much fun for those of us stuck in an office 9 to 5 – especially if you suffer from bloating, which affects a whopping 62% of us.

Sweltering in suit trousers or a skirt which threatens to cut off your circulation after your lunchtime sandwich is no fun for anyone. According to the experts, however, there are some easy lifestyle swaps we can make to help beat the bloat. But first, you need to get to the bottom of what’s causing your distended tum.

What’s causing my bloating?

According to nutritionists, bloating is usually caused by a combination of diet and external factors. In most cases, a sensible diet and lifestyle, as well as a little observation, can go a long way towards addressing its root causes:

1. Lack of fibre and constipation

Fibre is a crucial component of any diet and it’s recommended we have 30g a day. however most Brits average only 20g according to the British Heart Foundation,which explains why many of us suffer with digestive discomfort on a daily or weekly basis. Fibre helps food transit through the body. A lack of it causes constipation.

How to reduce bloating

The solution is to increase your fibre intake. Swap out white flour and pasta for healthier alternatives and include slow carbs such as oats in your diet. You should aim for the daily recommend amount of 30g of fibre a day, but if you’ve been well below that for some time, reintroduce fibre slowly, or you might make your bloating worse!

Try swapping crisps, croissants or biscuits for high-fibre oatcakes topped with a scoop of nut butter. food-3126527_1920

“Fibre in our diet is vital for a healthy gut and helping with regular bowel movements,” explains nutritionist Cassandra Barns. “When it comes to grains, the less processed they are, the better. Nairn’s Rough Oatcakes are a great choice as they’re made with coarse, wholegrain oats and are high in soluble and insoluble fibre.”

Try swapping frozen pizza for a Lo-Dough crust

For bread and pizza lovers, there’s no need to forego your favourite treat altogether: Lo-Dough is a gluten-free, low-calorie flatbread – containing only 39 calories and a huge 9.9g of fibre per piece.

“It’s ideal for anyone who just wants to eat in a healthier way this summer,” says Cassandra.

2. Poor gut health and inflammation

The BBC reported last month that only 43% of the cells which make up our body are human. The rest is our microbiome: bacteria and other organisms. These microbiomes have a huge impact on our immune system and digestion. But that balance can be disturbed by a steady diet of processed food or something unavoidable, such as a course of antibiotics when we’re sick. In some cases, an imbalance in gut bacteria can cause a serious condition called SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).

How to reduce bloating 

The solution is to make sure your diet regularly includes probiotics (beneficial bacteria and yeasts). Your go-to should be fermented foods with live cultures. For example, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir and kombucha are teeming with beneficial bacteria that will sort you out and slim you down.

Try swapping Diet Coke for a bottle of Kombuchakombucha-1074594_1920

“We’re learning more and more about the importance of the ‘friendly’ bacteria and other microbes that live in our gut,” says Cassandra.

“They’re thought to influence our immunity, mood and weight, as well as our digestion of course. Traditional fermented foods such as kombucha can be a key way to maintain the healthy bacteria in our gut – in fact, some research suggests that they’re much more effective than taking probiotic supplements for this purpose.”

To reap the probiotic benefit, be careful to only select unpasteurised kombucha with active cultures, such as Equinox Kombucha (available in four delicious flavours).

Do you normally reach for the olive oil or sunflower oil when you start cooking? Stop right there, because these ingredients may promote inflammation when used to cook food at high temperatures. Try switching to organic ghee, which has a higher smoke point and is suitable even for the lactose-intolerant.

Try swapping butter and cooking oils for ghee 

Ghee is a form of clarified butter, which contains butyric acid. “Butyrate acts as a fuel for the cells lining the large intestine, helping to keep the gut lining healthy,” explains Cassandra.

“Butyrate may also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in the gut. On the other hand, vegetable-cooking oils such as sunflower oil may actually have the opposite effect on the gut, promoting inflammation. Try GHEE EASY, available at Sainsbury’s.”

3. Dehydration and fluid retention 

If you had one too many glasses of wine after work last night, your body might be holding onto water for fear of not having enough. To avoid fluid retention, make sure you’re always sipping on something, especially in hot weather. This, paradoxically, will communicate to your body that it’s okay to let go of some water.

How to reduce bloating

Drink more water and, if you find yourself forgetting to hydrate, you can download an app to remind you at regular intervals throughout the day.

Try swapping coffee for herbals teas and water, water and more water!bottle-2032980_1920 (1)

4. Food sensitivities

Another culprit for bloating? Food sensitivities and allergies. Many people have reactions to gluten, eggs, and lactose, but eat all three regularly. It might be worth eliminating them from your diet one at a time to see if this helps.

How to reduce bloating 

With the free-from market exploding, there are tons of gluten and dairy-free alternatives to experiment with. Reduce the quantity of other foods that are known to cause bloating.

Try swapping normal beer for gluten-free, naturally carbonated Celia Lager

If you want to eliminate or reduce your gluten intake, Lo-Dough (mentioned above) is a great option, as is Celia Lager, an organic beer that’s specifically designed to be safe for those on a gluten-free diet. It’s also traditionally brewed to allow natural carbonation to occur, meaning it can be gentler on the digestive system than a highly carbonated lager.

Try swapping crucifers such as kale and broccoli for spinach and rockettop-view-1248955_1920

You can get too much of a good thing: ingredients you may want to limit without eliminating from your diet entirely. Cruciferous veg such as broccoli, cabbage, or Brussels sprouts have lots of vitamins and cancer-fighting compounds known as glucosinolates – but they cause wind, so avoid in the 24 hours before a beach outing, first date, or job interview.

Try swapping full-dairy chocolate for probiotic-rich, raw treats such as Ombar Chocolate Bars

Avoiding lactose isn’t as difficult as it used to be: there are loads of amazing nut milks in every supermarket, and if you miss butter, you can use GHEE EASY on toast or for baking. You don’t need to limit yourself to mouth-puckering dark chocolate, either. Ombar is made from raw cacao, with coconut cream that more than makes up for the lack of milk (bonus: the raw cacao may have a variety of health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and supporting heart health).

5. Stress 

Waking up and downing a cup of coffee before jumping on the tube? Gulping down lunch in front of the computer? Staring at screens all day?

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind, but our bodies will respond by flooding us full of the stress hormone cortisol. This can lead to a gain in belly fat and an increase in bloating. Additionally, eating in front of a screen can mean we gulp our food, introducing unwanted air into our stomach.

How to reduce bloating 

Small changes to our routines can have a huge effect on our stress levels. “Exercise is a great stress reliever”, says Cassandra. “Take a brisk walk to stimulate anti-anxiety effects, this helps to clear your thoughts and feel more relaxed upon returning to the office.”

Try swapping lunch “al desko” for a quick stroll

Every hour, remember to get up from your desk and move around. Introducing even 10 minutes of exercise a day can have a powerful effect.

Try swapping late nights for lots – and we mean lots – of kipwoman-2197947_1920 (1)

Make sure you get sufficient sleep (at least 8 hours), and don’t drink coffee the minute you wake up. If you do love caffeinated bevvies, use them as a pick-me-up later in the morning.

Tried everything and still wondering “what’s causing my bloating?”

In some rare cases bloating can be the sign of something more serious. If you notice anything unusual such as a fever, vomiting, or hives, make sure to see a GP and discuss your symptoms.

Health

What are sublingual supplements?

Water for Health shares the interesting backstory behind Frunutta, the Smaller Vitamin Company, whose sublingual tablets make it easier for those at risk of nutritional deficiencies, such as vegans, vegetarians and those with autism, to supplement their diets and stay healthy.

Many companies have an interesting backstory, and Frunutta – the Smaller Vitamin Company – is no different.

The story starts with Dr. Ali Alavi, Frunutta’s co-founder. The father to an autistic child, Dr. Alavi was understandably keen to nourish his son the best way he could. You see, nutritional deficiencies are all too common among children with autism due to abnormal eating behaviours and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Ensuring a healthy intake of nutrients is absolutely vital if proper physical and cognitive development is to be achieved. Whether it’s calcium to build bones and teeth, or iron to construct healthy blood, youngsters – and indeed adults – need these nutrients in appreciable amounts.Frunutta_VitD3_5000_1024x1024

When obtaining vitamins and minerals from food proved problematic, Dr. Alavi resorted to vitamin supplements – only to learn that his son was averse to swallowing tablets and capsules.

Though it greatly pained him to do so, Dr. Alavi was left with just one option: to inject his son with the important vitamins he required on a weekly basis. Intravenous vitamin therapy is entirely effective for correcting deficiencies, it should be said, but the process proved to be heart-wrenching for both father and son. There had to be a better way.

As Dr. Alavi investigated alternative methods, the seeds of Frunutta slowly began to bear fruit. He realised that sublingual vitamins would be cheaper and more convenient than going the intravenous route. Commonly used in hospital emergency rooms, sublingual tablets are placed under the tongue, where they quickly dissolve and enter the bloodstream.Frunutta Vitamin B12_1024x1024

Because they are not required to fight through the digestive tract and survive the harshly acidic conditions of the stomach, sublingual tablets are quite a bit smaller than traditional tablets. Take away the protective shellacs, added sugars, artificial colours, fillers and other ingredients and you’re left with – what else? – pure vitamin. Frunutta vitamins contain all of what you need and none of what you don’t.

Unlike the other methods, sublingual supplements went down a treat with Dr. Alavi’s son, and after teaming up with a small group of pioneering doctors and scientists, the Frunutta brand was born. Not only would sublingual vitamins and minerals help autistic children, but they would ensure adults avoided common nutritional deficiencies brought about by malabsorption.

Sublingual vitamins would also represent a handy alternative to tricky-to-swallow pills or capsules. After all, it can be a pain to gulp one or more daily vitamin tablets if you’re already using some form of medication. Factor in omega-3 capsules and any other natural supplement (glutathione, probiotics) and you could quite easily be consuming half a dozen pills per day; maybe more!

Along with his research and development team, Dr. Alavi built Frunutta from the ground up in the United States, intending to offer the benefits his son had experienced to as many as he could reach. Surely there was a market out there for vitamins devoid of preservatives, hydrogenated oils, PCBs, talc, sugar? Surely intravenous wasn’t the only option for those wishing to cut the digestive system out of the picture?

As it turned out, the surgeon was correct: sublingual supplements have grown in popularity in recent years, and the Frunutta range is now available in the UK exclusively from Water for Health. Eight supplements are available in total, including a high-strength sublingual vitamin D3, sublingual vitamin B12 and sublingual vitamin C.

Vitamin D3, which plays a key role in immune, skeletal and cardiovascular health, is especially important to supplement during the autumn and winter months. However, those who don’t get enough sun throughout the year are also likely to be deficient. The National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence reckons one in five adults (and one in six kids) may have low vitamin D status.

Frunutta’s sublingual Vitamin D3 provides a generous dose of 5,000 i.u. per tablet, identical to the daily amount advised by the Vitamin D Council (for adults). The same organisation recommend that infants receive 1,000 i.u. per day, and children 1,000 i.u. per 25 lbs of body weight. Helpfully, Frunutta have a second strength of supplement for youngsters which contains a 1,000 i.u. dosage.

Vitamin B12, meanwhile, is an important supplement for vegetarians and vegans, since plants neither make nor require the nutrient. The best dietary sources of B12 – which is needed for the nervous system, the brain and the immune system – are in the carnivore’s palate: foods such as meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs and cheese.

As a consequence, those who favour a plant-based diet must rely on fortified foods, supplements or a combination of both. Frunutta’s sublingual Vitamin B12 is methylcobalamin, the most bioavailable and readily absorbed form, and each quick-absorbing tablet provides a generous 1,000 mcg dosage.

Whatever deficiency you’re trying to avoid, Frunutta’s “just vitamin” policy helps them stand out from the crowd. If you’re keen to avoid the artificial ingredients which too often creep into the diet, or if you just want to benefit from the quick absorption of sublingual tablets, give them a try.