As January is coming to a close, I thought to ask around about the mysterious disappearance of the ‘new year’s resolutions’. The motivation behind my madness was fuelled by the BBC’s show ‘Trust Me, I’m a Doctor’ (you may start to see a recurring theme here). However, the show is focused on sorting out the myths from the scientific truths, especially regarding health, fitness, diet and weight loss as it seems that most people welcome the new year by trying to start a new, healthier lifestyle.
My own resolution focused on my love of Nutella and cutting down on the chocolaty goodness for the month. I did a little research during Christmas and found that there is 11g of sugar per tablespoon of my favourite spread. Not only that but it contains high amounts of modified palm oil, a highly processed and refined oil which, research shows, could be doing damage to my internal organs. Therefore, Nutella was off the cards for the sake of my dental health and my waistline. Whilst this is very interesting, I am sure, I was intrigued at the thought of an entire 1 hour programme looking into similar issues surrounding the food we eat, exercise and general lifestyle choices.
The particular episode I’ll be discussing in my blog today talked about; the truth behind the ‘heart-healthy’ vegetable oils, whether or not meat is good for you, if beards are unhygienic, how to get rid of mouth ulcers and finally a moving segment from survivors of a deadly disease most known to us as septicaemia and how to spot the symptoms early.
Sepsis, mostly known as septicaemia or blood poisoning killed over 44,000 people in the UK last year and 8 million people worldwide. This number is greater than the number of deaths from breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined but is not a disease that has much awareness despite it’s deadly nature. Those affected can go into shock, organ failure and death and survivors often have to deal with amputations and life-long health problems as the organs are slowly starved of oxygen. This reaction can be triggered by something as small as a cut finger but it is only when the immune system reacts in an unusual or dangerous way that it can become life threatening. Lack of knowledge about this killer contributes significantly as early symptoms are usually ignored. There are 6 red flag symptoms that people should look out for and they are; extreme shivering, slurred speech and confusion, severe breathlessness, not passing urine in one day and the ominous feeling that you’re going to die or that your organs are being crushed.
Raising awareness of these symptoms could cut down on the number of deaths as sepsis is treatable if diagnosed early.
Therefore, I decided to write this piece and hopefully the information can be passed on and awareness of sepsis can be achieved. A healthy lifestyle in which I can choose wether or not I should have Nutella can only be achieved if I, and those around me, look after the sacred vessel which is our bodies. Devastating illnesses such as sepsis are crushingly debilitating and with some publicity and the help of the general public, more people can stay healthy and have a life to live.
For those wondering, olive oil actually improves heart health and research during the episode showed that consumption of 20g of raw olive oil lowered the number of heart disease indicating proteins in urine by a significant amount. In addition, beards are not unhygienic and some home remedies for ulcers include chilli powder, peppermint oils and bicarbonate of soda mouthwash. Furthermore, processed meats do cause cancer if consumed daily in high quantities however the government suggests 70g of red meat a day is alright, however if you wish to live a long and healthy life I would suggest looking into pescatarianism.
In summary, my new, new years resolution is to try and raise awareness for diseases like sepsis and others which need some attention from the public and social media. For more information visit the UK Sepsis Trust at http://sepsistrust.org/ where you can read about some of the stories and donate to their cause.
Thank you so much for reading and come back soon!