Category Archives: Health

Health News – Read latest health and wellness news from the world’s award winning journalists. Get latest health guidelines and tips from the industry experts. The health information you can trust, stay healthy.

Diabetes type 2 symptoms: Erectile dysfunction could be a sign of high blood sugar

Diabetes type 2 symptoms: Erectile dysfunction could be a sign of high blood sugar
Fatigue can be a key warning sign of type 2 diabetes, but it’s so easy to brush off as inconsequential. Furthermore, other subtle signs of the condition may go unchecked too. Could you have the condition? You may have heard of diabetes, but do you really know the nuts and bolts of how it works? For one reason or another, the pancreas – an organ that hides behind the stomach – starts malfunctioning.
The pancreas either can’t make enough of the hormone insulin, or the insulin it does make doesn’t work properly.

Diabetes UK explained you’re more at risk of this happening if you:

  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Are overweight
  • White and over 40
  • African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian and over 25
  • You have high blood pressure

Whenever you take a bite of something to eat – regardless of what it is – the carbohydrates are transformed into glucose, a type of sugar.

Insulin then acts as the key allowing glucose into the body’s cells, so it can be used up as an energy source.

READ MORE: Can the Oxford vaccine cause blood clots? MHRA issues statement

Should not enough blood reach the penis, sensation will be lost, and there will be difficulty with getting an erection.

Erectile dysfunction is also known as impotence, which may mean you can’t get or keep an erection.

Early warning signs can include losing the morning erection, which can be down to:

  • Reduced blood flow
  • Nerve damage
  • Damaged blood vessels

Pills such as Viagra and Cialis can cause heart problems, so it’s not an easy fix.

If diabetes is the cause of erectile dysfunction, then only more damage will be done to your health the longer it’s left untreated.

Examples include: kidney problems, foot and eye problems, a stroke and heart attack.

The earliest warning signs of type 2 diabetes, most commonly missed are:

  • Increased urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing of cuts and wounds

Diabetes UK warned that people could be suffering from the condition for up to a decade before they finally see their GP to get tested.

The easiest way to check whether or not you have diabetes is to speak to your GP.

They can arrange a simple blood test that can check your glucose levels in your blood.

From there, you will find out if you have the condition or not, and how best to manage it.

Whatever you do, if you’re concerned you might have diabetes, don’t put off seeing a doctor.

Back to work tips for you and your colleagues as lockdown has literally changed minds

Back to work tips for you and your colleagues as lockdown has literally changed minds
Now we face the prospect of getting back out into the outside world of work. This will be a big emotional shift after a year of being lockdowned in to our homes. As we go back to work we must take our own and our colleagues’ mental health very seriously to be in with the chance to ‘build back better’. Many warn of a mental health crisis looming in the workplace (the Centre for Mental Health model suggests up to 20% of the population will need new or more mental health support. Other estimates in younger cohorts suggest 40% may be suffering undue stress or actual illness.  As an expert in how our brains react to change will make managing mental health in the new work world easier. 
Read on to find out what happens and how to help. COVID 19 has had an impact on the brain and nervous system of every single one of us.

This invisible danger will literally have changed our minds. One of our brain’s primary jobs is to protect us from threats. Another of our brain’s primal drivers is to keep us close to other people, especially those we care about. The virus has put those two things in direct conflict and this is really upsetting to our nervous system.

Many will be desperate to get into the office and get reconnected with colleagues and friends. Others will be genuinely scared to do just that. So, we are bound to experience a really mixed bag of reactions as we venture out again. I predict that a lot of people will be surprised at their own reactions as we won’t yet know (never having been in this situation before) exactly how our own brains are going to react to being back out there.

Here are two brain basics that can help: first, expect the unexpected, our brains are wired for us to react emotionally three times faster than we can understand the reaction rationally – feelings always happen first.  Secondly, the tried and tested brain-friendly model below is proven to help yourself and your co-workers to settle back in and find new ways forward:

Connect: Take time to really hear how it feels for people. Some will be in the room, some won’t. Don’t let a two-tier workforce develop (those who physically come back in and those who won’t/cannot) Two-tier is dangerous and risks reducing both well-being and productivity.

Compassion: Basically, just be kind. It’s easy to end up judging other people for handling the back to work situation differently than you do. Treat everyone with compassion and look for ways to help people. If ‘each one can reach one’ and work colleagues can build a supportive community people will feel safer faster. Any mental health issues will be picked up quickly too. Sometimes friends and colleagues can spot difficulties first. Remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get help.

Curiosity: We don’t have a back to work blueprint – so we are going to be co-creating this one. This is actually pretty exciting. Really include everyone’s views in how to create new ways of working. There will be some really cool ideas out there and possibly from the least expected places. Gen Z will have a very different view than older generations. 

Control: Let everybody really have the air time they need to say what they think about the way forward. Give each person control of sharing their thoughts.  Including all the brains in the business in generating the way forward will keep your business current. Work patterns are changing. Stay modern.

Mental health matters. Brains that feel safe, seen and connected are far more productive than those that don’t. Whether you love or hate them for their recent interview Meghan and Harry are right to talk about mental health issues so openly.  Mental health is a normal everyday part of being human. Post COVID workplaces can help all our brains ‘build back better’.

Kate Lanz is a neuropsychologist, consultant, and author of the ‘All the Brains in the Business’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).  She was the first female General Manager at Diageo.

Cancer symptoms: Persistent bloating could be a sign of ovarian cancer

Cancer symptoms: Persistent bloating could be a sign of ovarian cancer
Malignant tumours can travel via the bloodstream or lymphatic system to invade other areas of the body, where it can continue to grow. One key step in metastasis prevention is addressing ovarian cancer as soon as possible. Target Ovarian Cancer are a charity dedicated to raising awareness of ovarian cancer. Persistent bloating – one that doesn’t come and go – is one of four key signs of the disease.
This may be accompanied by a loss of appetite, or feeling full very soon after eating.

Another early sign of ovarian cancer is pelvic or abdominal pain, or urinary issues.

To expand on urinary issues, the key sign is whether you feel the need to wee more urgently, or find yourself going more often than usual.

Occasionally, there might be other changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhoea and constipation.

READ MORE: How to live longer: Raspberries may hold anti-cancer properties to boost longevity

When the condition is diagnosed at the earliest stage, nine out of 10 women will survive.

The longer the disease is left to take hold of the body, the harder it’ll be to treat.

The charity offer a free ovarian cancer Symptoms Diary – available as an app on a smart phone or to print out.

Target Ovarian Cancer encourage patients to request a CA125 blood test from their doctor.

The NHS explained CA125 is produced by some ovarian cancer cells, with a high number in the blood a likely indicator of ovarian cancer.

However, a raised CA125 blood profile doesn’t guarantee you have the disease, as it can be caused by the following:

  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Pregnancy

A GP should refer you to have an ultrasound scan to further investigate signs of ovarian cancer.

If you’re diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you’ll be told which stage of the disease you have.

  • Stage 1 – the cancer only affects one, or both ovaries
  • Stage 2 – the cancer has spread from the ovary and into the pelvis or womb
  • Stage 3 – the cancer has spread to the lining of the tummy, the surface of the bowel or to the lymph glands in the pelvis or tummy
  • Stage 4 – the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs

The cancer will also be given a grade, which describes how quickly the cancer is likely to grow and spread.

Grade one means the cancer is likely to grow more slowly, whereas grade three means it’s likely to grow more quickly.

“The treatment for ovarian cancer depends on how far it has spread, your general health and whether you’re still able to have children,” said the NHS.

Treatments can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and medications.

Stroke: Follow these five lifestyle guides to reduce your risk by 50 percent

Stroke: Follow these five lifestyle guides to reduce your risk by 50 percent

Examples include diabetes and high blood pressure, which both increase your risk of a stroke.

Healthy living – no matter when you start – is the best preventative tool against a stroke.

The signs of a stroke

Remember to act FAST to call 999 and request an ambulance if you see any of the following:

F – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.

A – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.

S – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.

T – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

AstraZeneca vaccine: Will UK suspend AstraZeneca vaccine over blood clot fears?

AstraZeneca vaccine: Will UK suspend AstraZeneca vaccine over blood clot fears?

However, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday there is no indication the vaccine has caused these symptoms.

The EMA said in a statement: “There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine.

“The vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing.”

Will the UK suspend the AstraZeneca vaccine?

In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) echoed the EMA’s sentiment and said there is no evidence the Astrazeneca vaccine has caused issues.

Phil Bryan of the MHRA said: “Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon.

“More than 11 million doses of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK.”

Blood clot symptoms: What are the symptoms of a blood clot? How to spot medical emergency

Blood clot symptoms: What are the symptoms of a blood clot? How to spot medical emergency

Thrombosis affects as many as one in 1,000 people in the UK per year.

But they disproportionately affect select sections of the population.

Young and healthy people have little to no associated risk of developing the condition.

But health workers and researchers have identified a set of factors which may predispose people to clotting.

Expert optometrist warns 'misty and patchy vision' could be a sign of glaucoma

Expert optometrist warns 'misty and patchy vision' could be a sign of glaucoma
Speaking exclusively to, Giles Edmonds stated “any changes in vision could be a sign”. Narrowing it down, the eye expert identifies “misty and patchy vision” as one of the most subtle warning signs of the condition. “Glaucoma usually occurs when naturally occurring fluid inside the eye does not drain properly which results in a build-up of pressure,” he explained. “This can cause damage to the optic nerve, [which] carries information about what is being seen from the eye to the brain.”
Many people are unaware they have the condition, which is why Edmonds stressed that getting a regular eye check-up is the best form of defence.

Edmonds said: “Many people have missed their eye test due to the pandemic.”

Urging the nation to attend their appointments, or to make an appointment, Edmond shares how optimetrists can detect the disease at any stage.

“The optic nerve can be assessed in a variety of ways during your eye examination,” he said.

“Any very subtle blind spots, or areas with reduced vision – which you will probably be unaware of – can be an indicator of the condition,” Edmonds said.

Glaucoma is predicted to rise by 44 percent in the next decade, but diagnosing the condition can make a difference.

“Any vision which has been lost to glaucoma can’t be recovered,” said Edmonds.

However, “with early diagnosis, careful monitoring and regular treatment, most people retain useful sight for life”.

Covid vaccine: Diabetics offered jab that reduces transmission rate by half

Covid vaccine: Diabetics offered jab that reduces transmission rate by half

However, if it doesn’t come through, Professor Powis urges you to “get on that booking system” by contacting your local GP centre.

“We want to get through the top nine groups by April,” he said, meaning the over 40s should be vaccinated from that point forward.

However, Professor Powis is aware that vaccinations “are always dependent on supply”.

“We have more supply coming in the next week or two,” he said, but admitted “we will see up and downs with supply”.

Arthritis symptoms: Trout could trigger painful gout attacks – and other surprising foods

Arthritis symptoms: Trout could trigger painful gout attacks - and other surprising foods
Cartilage is a type of tissue that covers the surface of a bone at a joint. Pain in this area could be due to gout – a type of inflammatory arthritis. What are the symptoms of this condition? The UK Gout Society explained: “Uric acid is the waste product created when the body breaks down purines – a type of protein found in many foods and all of your cells.” This suggests that some level of uric acid in the body is unavoidable, but it’s the excess of uric acid that leads to gout.
Excessive levels of uric acid in the blood can be attributed to numerous reasons.

For example, dietary choices have been linked to the formation of swollen, painful joints.

“Your diet plays an important role in both causing gout and reducing the likelihood of suffering further painful attacks of gout,” said the charity.

It’s advised that people with gout should avoid high purine foods, such as:


  • Liver, kidneys, heart and sweetbreads


  • Pheasant, rabbit, venison

Oily fish

  • Anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, sprats, whitebait, trout


  • Mussels, crab, shrimp, fish roe, caviar

Meat and yeast extracts

  • Marmite, Bovril, commercial gravy, beer

READ MORE: Arthritis symptoms – five ‘completely different’ signs

There are “moderate purine foods”, which can be enjoyed in moderation, such as:

  • Chicken, duck, beef, lamb, chicken, pork
  • Baked beans, kidney beans, soya beans and peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus, cauliflower, spinach
  • Bran, oat bran, wholemeal bread

Foods low in purine include:

  • Diary
  • Eggs
  • Pasta and noodles
  • Fruits
  • Most vegetables

“If you already suffer from gout, eating a diet that is rich in purines can

result in a five-fold increase in gout attacks,” said the charity.

How to minimise the risk of gout

The UK Gout Society reference studies that have shown a high vitamin C intake can reduce the likelihood of developing gout.

State pension: Britons could get up to £356 per month for arthritis [LATEST]
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment: ‘Modified’ fasting may help [ANALYSIS]
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: The sensation of ‘sand in eye’ [RESEARCH]

Furthermore, sour cherries have been shown to reduce blood uric acid levels and can help to ease inflammation in the body.

Drinking alcohol can also increase a person’s risk of developing painful gout attacks.

Alcohol is converted into lactic acid, which interferes with the removal of uric acid from the body.

Gout is associated with many other health conditions, such as raised cholesterol, high blood pressure and poor glucose tolerance.

Approximately half of all gout sufferers are overweight, so maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of developing the condition.

It’s best to lose weight (if needs be) in a healthy manner, by losing no more than two pounds per week.

“Going without food for long periods of time and rapid loss of weight can increase uric avid levels,” warned the charity.

There are other possible reasons as to why there would be high uric acid levels in the body.

For example, the kidneys may be struggling to remove enough uric acid from the body.

Another reason could be due to a rare genetic abnormality that could lead to the condition developing.

Treatment for gout involves pain relief medication, such as non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Bed bugs: The pests thrive in spring and hide in walls – signs to look out for

Bed bugs: The pests thrive in spring and hide in walls - signs to look out for
The parasitic insects feed on human blood, so they’re attracted to living spaces that home their hosts. Bed bugs detect where you are from the carbon dioxide you breathe out and your body heat. Panther Pest Control warned that the sneaky buggers can hide in walls, power outlets, skirting boards, bed frames and carpets.

Who is at most risk of bed bugs?

People who live in flats are at higher risk of bed bugs, because if one flat in the block is infected, they’ll likely travel to another apartment.

They’re reddish-brown in colouring, and you may spot them in the following areas:

  • On the mattress
  • The box spring of the bed
  • Walls or furniture near the bed
  • Night stands
  • Bed frames
  • Closets
  • Clothing
  • Sheets
  • Curtains
  • Carpets
  • Sofas

Bed bugs can live up to a year from the moment they hatch, even without feeding on a host.

You may not be aware that spiders do eat bed bugs, but if you’re not a fan of the eight-legged specimen, you’ll need to look at alternatives.

Booking a professional bed bug treatment is often the safest way to exterminate the creatures.

This is because they are resistant to some insecticides, confirmed the NHS.

The national health body recognises that some people can have a more severe reaction to bed bug bites.

This includes the area becoming swollen, painful and very itchy in response to the bites.

Try to avoid scratching the area, the NHS advised, while placing a cool, clean, damp cloth on the affected area to reduce swelling.

To help stop another infestation of bed bugs, you need to wash all bedding and clothes on a hot wash at 60C.

Alternatively, or in addition to a hot wash, you can put the bedding and clothing on a tumble dry for at least 30 minutes.

Vacuuming will help to spot the bed bugs earlier, as will keeping your place tidy.

Any clutter around the bed can obscure bed bugs, so do make sure the area is neat.