What is LADA Diabetes and How to Manage It

The Rarer Form of Diabetes

IzzyMany people haven’t heard of Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA), also known as type 1.5 or slow onset type 1 diabetes. Usually diagnosed in people over the age of 25, it doesn’t require medication of insulin immediately, but this can become required further down the line.

Izzy Mustafa, 32 from Hull, was recently diagnosed with this less commonly known condition early this year.

“My immune system is attacking my Beta Cells – Insulin producing cells in the pancreas. It will eventually reduce my insulin production to a level that requires me to have insulin injections.”

A Confused Doctor

LADA or type 1.5 diabetes is often misdiagnosed as type 2 initially, with Diabetes UK estimating about 10-15% of people have been wrongly diagnosed. It can take a while for the correct diagnosis to be made, as people with LADA often appear quite healthy – they often don’t share the standard type 2 diabetes characteristics of being overweight, unfit or having metabolic syndrome indicators (a group of risk factors including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat). Read more

How To Sleep Better and Why It Affects Your Health

couple sleepingMost of us feel we aren’t getting enough sleep from time to time. For some, insomnia is a daily frustration.

Lack of sleep can affect your health and your mood, but by creating a restful space and creating a routine, it is possible to get more rest at night.

March is National Bed Month, so we’ve partnered with The Sleep Council to explain the importance of sleep to your health and share some tips on how to have your best sleep yet. Continue reading

A Look at Mother’s Day Charity and Fundraising Events

Charity Fundraising for Mother’s day

For many people, mums are the heart and soul of a family, but sometimes we forget to say thank you for all the amazing things they do. With Mother’s Day approaching, we spoke to a number of charities holding events or campaigns that celebrate mums.

Action Cancer

Action Cancer is Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity. It provides a variety of services such as digital breast screening, therapy services, M.O.T health checks and health promotion programmes. They don’t receive any government funding for the work they do, so all funding

Local participants preparing for the Action Cancer walk

Local participants preparing for the Action Cancer walk

comes from donations from the public.

Action Cancer’s Fundraising Events Officer, Arlene Creighton, is organising their Mother’s Day walk this year.

“The Mother’s Day walk is an annual event we hold in honour of mothers in the beautiful Hillsborough Forest park grounds. People take part in memory of lost mothers, with their children, as a celebration of beating cancer or just to enjoy a lovely walk whilst fundraising for a great cause. It’s 1.5 miles long and fairly gentle, so is suitable for everyone no matter their age and fitness level. Buggies are welcome too!

“At the end, every participant receives a goody bag provided by SuperValu  and mid-morning tea, coffee, scones and other treats, so it makes for a lovely day. For people who’ve lost someone close to them, it can be a very comforting event where you can meet other people in similar circumstances. Read more

Life After Liver Transplant Surgery and A Diabetes Diagnosis

Life after Liver Transplant Surgery and A Diabetes Diagnosis

Tony West

Tony West

Staying positive when you’re affected by a serious illness isn’t easy. But Tony West, 52, does just that. Tony was diagnosed with a rare liver disease in 1988 which led to a liver transplant. Then, in 1992, he found out that he also had Type 1 diabetes. Read his story below.

Living with Autoimmune Hepatitis

Tony’s life took a dramatic turn after returning from a holiday in the Far East.

“I was jaundiced and feeling very unwell, so the doctors knew roughly what the problem was. However, it took them a while to establish what type of Hepatitis it was as there are five strains and my symptoms didn’t fit any of them neatly. After a few tests and medical history check, they diagnosed it as Chronic Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH) which is a fairly uncommon form.

“Doctors don’t know for certain what causes AIH, but they believe it’s due to white blood cells attacking the liver cells. My symptoms included feeling tired all the time, losing weight and feeling sick after eating anything, but you can also get joint pain, abdominal pain and unusual blood vessels showing up around your body.” Read more

Can a Gluten and Dairy Free Diet Help Autism?

Can A Gluten Free Diet Help Children with ASD?

A silhouette of a child with symbolic autism puzzle pieces

 

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are developmental disorders that affect a child’s ability to communicate and interact socially with those around them.

Some parents have found that putting their child on a gluten and casein free diet has helped to improve the behavioural problems children on the autism spectrum often have. Although some clinical studies have been done, there is not enough evidence to medically support the claim at the moment. However, going gluten and dairy free does have potential health benefits, so it may be worth a try.

As with any dietary change, we recommend speaking to your doctor or nutritionist beforehand.

What are Gluten and Casein?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat-based products like bread, pastries and other baked goods. Ingredients like barley, rye and oats contain other gluten-like substances that some people will be able to tolerate and others may not. Some people have an autoimmune condition triggered by gluten, known as coeliac disease, but there are also people who have a milder sensitivity to it. Read more

Detoxification and Boosting Energy Levels in the New Year

Detoxing and Boosting Your Energy Levels in the New Year

Angela Loftus

Angela Loftus

Angela Loftus is a registered Nutritional Therapist and focuses on the links between good nutrition, lifestyle factors and overall wellbeing. Read her tips on how to detox and boost flagging energy levels in the New Year.

The festive season can be a fun yet exhausting time. The combination of late nights, overindulging in food and alcohol can really knock your health and energy levels right off course. It’s important to be aware of what we can do to boost your energy levels by ensuring optimal detoxification and this January is a great time to start!

Keeping detoxification at the forefront of your mind will help you be ready for everything that 2016 brings.

Signs of compromised detoxification include:

  • flagging energy levels
  • mood swings and irritability
  • brain fog
  • digestive and/or skin complaints

Optimising your health by choosing detoxifying foods and making healthy lifestyle choices may be just what you need after the indulgent festive season! Read more

Volunteer Bike Couriers Deliver Blood and Medical Supplies

Blood Bikes: These Motorcyclists Save Lives

If you’re a motorbike enthusiast and want to help save lives, consider becoming a blood biker. The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes was set up over 40 years ago to help the NHS transport urgently needed blood, patient notes and medical supplies out of hours.

Cornwall’s Motorcycle Heroes

Cornwall Blood Bike's motorcycles

Cornwall Blood Bike’s motorcycles

Ian Butler, 51, is a submarine project engineer by day and has been an active member of Cornwall Blood Bikes for a number of years.

“I first heard about Cornwall Blood Bikes in February 2014, when I was watching an episode of Emergency Bikers. There was a two minute slot on the UK’s Blood Bike set up. It featured the Western group operating around Bristol, but it really caught my interest and the next morning I went on the internet to find my nearest group.

“I wasn’t getting out on my bike very much, once every 2 weeks or so, and being ex Royal Navy, the team structure really appealed to me. It was also an excuse to go on the Advanced Biking Course.” Read more

How to Manage Your Allergies at Christmas time

Dealing with allergies over Christmas

Christmas is nearly here! Although most people will be looking forward to mince pies, log fires and a glass of fizz, allergies can make it more difficult to enjoy. Here are some helpful tips on how to manage you or your child’s allergies, so that you can stuck into Christmas with everyone else.

Christmas Tree Syndrome

Child celebrating Christmas with a treeAlthough the name sounds comical, Christmas Tree Syndrome is a real illness that can really put a downer on your Christmas celebrations. It’s a respiratory condition caused by mould spores that thrive in the damp conditions evergreen trees grow in. Once brought inside, a warm house and central heating give the perfect environment for these spores to multiply.

During the festive season, people are more likely to keep doors and windows closed and have large groups of people in the house. This, coupled with small children and pets brushing against the tree, can spread spores to other rooms. Even wreaths or live foliage can produce a similar effect.

Reactions to the spores vary but can include coughing, wheezing, sore itchy eyes, a runny nose and laboured breezing. To minimise the amount of spores you come into contact with, always wash down your tree before bringing it inside. It can help to leave bringing in the tree until the last minute too – having it inside your house for over two weeks creates the perfect breeding ground and can give you the strongest reaction. If you chose an artificial tree, wash it down before using and again before packing it away for next year. Read more

A Charity Event Comes out Kicking for Epilepsy Action

Don’t Let Epilepsy Hold You Back

Andrew and his family at an Epilepsy Action stand

Andrew and his family at an Epilepsy Action stand

Andrew Jackson’s story is inspiring – not the 19th century US president, but a courageous epilepsy sufferer from Lincolnshire. Despite his condition, Andrew is a black belt in taekwondo, a fundraiser for Epilepsy Action and a proud father.

If you’re living with epilepsy or supporting someone who is, read on to find out how he does it.

Watching Out For The Warning Signs

Andrew, 39, developed epilepsy aged 2 years old after contracting measles. Over the years he’s learnt how to manage his condition, but it hasn’t been an easy journey. His seizures range from absences to multiple fits in a row without regaining consciousness – a condition known as status epilepticus.

“I’m one of six children and one of my brothers also has epilepsy. Another brother had childhood epilepsy but he stopped having seizures when he was about ten years old, so I think my family has a genetic predisposition to the condition.

“I take a variety of medications on a daily basis to deal with my epilepsy. I set an alarm to remind me, but I generally remember and have been self-medicating for years. My medication can have side effects such as making my hands shake, and one can make you very tired if it’s not taken at the same time each day.

As well as taking medication, recognising things that can bring on a seizure is important. Andrew knows that stress and extreme tiredness are triggers for him. Read more

Does Sugar Cause Diabetes and Other Health Issues?

Health Impacts of Too Much Sugar

You‘ve probably seen headlines and articles saying that sugar is a cause of the rise in cardiovascular diseases and obesity levels in the UK, but what exactly about this innocent looking substance is so harmful to our health? And what health conditions is it actually linked to?

sugar on spoonWhat Is Sugar?

Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose. Fructose is broken down in the liver, whereas glucose is digested in the stomach and requires insulin to metabolise it properly.

Naturally occurring sugar is found in all fruits, vegetables and dairy foods, but in relatively low quantities. In these foods it is accompanied by vitamins, antioxidants, water and fibre, all of which have health benefits. Processed sugar doesn’t have any of these added nutrients, proteins or fats, and is just pure energy, which is why you get an initial boost but then a come-down shortly after eating sugary foods. Read more