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This page comprises mainly links to sites concerned with particular diseases but also deals with things such as painkillers. To see extracts from articles on various conditions see the next page
There are many reasons why you 'connected' folk might seek medical information on line - time, convenience, difficulty getting an appointment, not wishing to bother the GP with a small complaint, embarrassment etc. The top searches are said to be for skin complaints, muscles, joints and bones, digestive, colds/flu, anxiety, migraine, Pregnancy, Sexual health, infections and Nutrition. But, although there is lots of useful information on line, it is important to also seek the opinion of a medical professional. The advertisements at the top of this page MAY be useful but may also be trying to sell something. A first port of call should undoubtedly be the two NHS sites : NHS Choices) and NHS Direct See the links below. Beware of depending entirely on on-line information or 'escalating' a problem from one symptom to something worse (as we used to do when looking up the dusty old family medical encyclopaedia). But, after all that, it may be best to make an appointment.
There is a lot in this. After all, hospitals are full of sick people
A family doctor from Swansea describes how one of his
patients was admitted
to hospital the day after his 100th birthday with reduced movement of
right arm that was attributed to a small stroke. "When
came to the surgery, I was surprised that his right hand grip was as
as ever," he writes. Further careful examination revealed signs of
stress injury of the shoulder joint from having shaken so many
hands. He was, needless to say, delighted to hear of his much less
This reflects the more general hazard in this age group where an eminently treatable condition is misinterpreted as being due to some incurable "chronic degenerative" disease. Those with pain and stiffness in the joints may too readily be labeled as suffering from "arthritis" when a simple blood test would reveal the true cause to be polymyalgia, which responds almost miraculously to a small dose of steroids.
The Care Quality Commission was
established under the Health
and Social Care Act 2008. It is the independent regulator for adult
care and healthcare services in England. Its primary purpose is to
service providers and to then ensure their ongoing compliance against
Essential Standards of Quality and Safety in Care via an inspection and
The main government health site is at http://www.nhs.uk/Pages/HomePage.aspx / From there you can find an A to Z of conditions, an encyclopaedia, a symptom checker and the addresses of services near your postcode. If you are hard of hearing you can click CC at the bottom of any explanatory videos to display subtitles.
The old 0845 4647 number is being replaced by calling 111 free from a land line or mobile phone if you need help fast but it is not a 999 emergency call.
you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
you need health
information or reassurance about what to do next
The official Health Service website - NHS Direct http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk (in various languages) includes
Health encyclopaedia; Common health questions;
Find a local health service;
Mind & body magazine;
Send an enquiry
Useful links include
Department of Health. Health and care in Northern Ireland. National
Library for Health; HealthSpace : A secure place on the Internet where
you can store all of your personal health information. It also includes
Choose and Book; NHS 24 (Confidential health advice and information
service for Scotland). NHS Direct Wales. NHS in England (Health
information for England only, including how to find a local service in
AgeUK on 0800 169 29 39 produce a book entitled "Feeling Good"
For a of useful government sponsored link click Carers
The Queen now dispatches, on average, more than a dozen 100 year Birthday telegrams a day, an almost twentyfold increase on the 200 a year when she first ascended the throne. The birthday itself will no doubt be a happy occasion, although it carries the risk of centenarian hand (or arm) syndrome.....
After a trial in Scotland, the facility to make an appointment with the doctor via digital TV is being introduced countrywide. Eventually, it should also be possible to order repeat prescriptions in this way. People who have cable, Freeview or Sky TV will be able to access this service via the 'Looking Local' portal.
For people who have to pay for prescriptions costs can mount up if they have to have quite a few. Did you know that you can get a PPC (Prescription Prepayment Certificate from the NHS. People who have to pay for more than 3 prescription items in 3 months, or 14 items in 12 months, could save money by buying a PPC. From 1 April 2008, the charge for a single prescription item is £7.10, whereas a 3-month PPC will cost you £27.85 and a 12-month PPC £102.50. The most convenient way to pay for your 12 month PPC is by Direct Debit meaning you can spread the yearly cost over 10 monthly installments. The site to contact is http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1127.aspx (corrected)
Technology to assist people with special
Bentley Fielden retail a range of portable wheelchair ramps to help increase accessibility for wheelchair users. They stock standard, folding and travel ramps to mention but a few
A simple Acer videophone using Skype, which would enable without technical knowledge to keep in touch. You would still need an internet connection. £163.49 (April 2016) Ideal for people who need to keep in touch with family. Publicity videos have subtitles,
http://www.welcomemobility.co.uk A wide range of daily living aids
http://www.moreability.co.uk/ Provides bathroom equipment, making it easy to use, giving your freedom and dignity
www.age-enable.com UK family run company providing useful products for the elderly to enable them to enjoy living independently at home and make senior living easier. From walking sticks to pill boxes, grab rails to shower stools. With free delivery on orders over £30.
StairliftsReviews.co.uk. helps people make an informed decision when buying a stairlift.
Need help with costs? Take a
look at this site
which summarises information about Disabled Facilities Grants with
contact information for every council. You can see this tool under the
Disabled Facilities Grant section of this page: http://www.stairliftsreviews.
http://www.stairliftexperts.co.uk/ Comparison site for these important items
http://www.stairliftadvisor.co.uk/ Get free help and advice about buying a stairlift.
www.medicalert.org.uk A MedicAlert member is issued with a bracelet showing any medical conditions. Phoning an emergency number a doctor would get full details of the conditions, drugs and next of kin. Initially £25 plus the bracelet cost of £19.95. 0800 581 420. Some people can get it free or subsidised
GENERAL HEALTH SITES
Loneliness and depression :
SOBS Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide. 0300111 5065 Support for those left behind.
CALM. Campaign Against Living Miserably. 5.a.m until midnight. 08457 90 90 90. Daily webschat for men (who are statistically more likely to commit suicide).
Yoga and Exercise www.moveitorloseit.co.uk 0800 612 0450 (Julie Robinson)
How long will you live ? An Insurance company calculator http://media.nmfn.com/tnetwork/lifespan
Microsoft Health Vault www.healthvault.com Store your records, trace your weight progress etc. A lot of selling, American style
http://www.healthtalkonline.org/ Discussion forum on many health matters
Medicines (in collaboration with the NHS) see www.medguides.medicines.org.uk
http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en.html A useful North American site
http://www.privatehealthcareguide.com/ Private Health Care Guide. This covers all types of private health related services.
https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ Although I am sure most of my 'bits' are pretty worn out I always carry a Donor Card with me and have registered with the Organ Transplant folk here. You never know, they might find something useful ! Sorry about the gall bladder. It is already taken.
Tesco are introducing a £10 in-store health test : weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of diabetes. The pharmacist may give advice after the half hour test. Enter your postcode to find the nearest. There is also a way to do an on line check at http://tescocharitypartnership.org.uk/check-your-risk
Alphabetical List of Conditions and sites .
A pill designed to
reduce alcohol consumption among problem
drinkers looks set to be made available to NHS patients in England and
Nalmefene should be made available to people who
regularly drink high
amounts of alcohol, the National Institute for Health and Care
(NICE) said..Costing just over £3 a tablet, it is already
http://www.foodforthebrain.org/content.asp?id_Content=1820 This site has a useful test which rates your ability to remember things. If one gets a particularly low score they suggest that you get your ability checked. They recommend a vitamin B supplement to help ward off Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or full blown Alzheimer's Disease (AD). They sell the supplement as well as a test kit. But, in general, I feel that they are doing a good job in this difficult area. I have to admit my score was 47 which, at 80, just about scrapes home. But I never had a good memory, anyway. It is one reason I am fond of computers !
http://www.banneralz.org/ A site for Alzheimer's sufferers and their carers
The therapy of Music http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/02/art-speaks-music-dementia-effective-therapy
In my opinion all care homes should have internet access and provide iPads !
Additional links, which may help carers :
DEMENTIA CARE www.thegoodcaregroup.com Looking for dementia care in the UK can be difficult at the best of times. The Good Care Group aim to make this transition into care easier, offering a alternative to live in care homes.
ANKYLOSING SPONDILITIS NASS,CO.UK Back pain caused by infection of the spine.
http://www.singforyourlife.org.uk A lottery supported charity which provides a Music Box to care homes.
ARTHRITIS https://www.arthritisaction.org.uk/ http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/ www.arthritis.org/ (USA)
ATAXIA www.ataxia.org.uk 0845 644 0606
ATRIAL FIBRILLATION (uneven heartbeat) http://www.atrialfibrillation.org.uk 01789 451837
Traumatic and Sudden Loss: How to Cope
Things to Know About Being an Executor of an Estate
What Happens to a Mortgage When a Loved One Passes Away?
When Bereavement Leave Runs Out: Going Back to Work After a Death
You’re Not Crazy, You’re Mourning: Grief from the Loss of Your Pet
Royal National Institute for the Blind.
See also Eyesight below
http://www.headstar.com/eab/ Get regular reports on technological help for blind and partially sighted people
a home for blindness
BLOOD PRESSURE Http://www.bpassoc.org.uk/
BLOOD Hereditary Haemochromatosis Excess iron in the blood. Haemochromatosis due to frequent transfusions is another matter.
Help with cancer, including financial help.
The various NHS screening programs
CAREhttp://www.thegoodcaregroup.com The Good Care Group is a professional provider of high quality award-winning live-in home care that enables people to stay living safely and happily in their own home, with dignity, choice and independence. With live-in care you get the benefit of one-to-one dedicated care, something simply not achievable in a care home. Couples are able to stay together without one becoming a burden to the other. Our service is fully managed - we pay the carers directly, give them professional training and support them throughout.
http://www.nursing-home-directory.co.uk/. Helping you find the right care
A care home assessment site
organisation which will look for suitable home persona; care in London
and Sussex. (CQC approved) A set hourly rate.
COELIAC DISEASE. Intolerance to wheat, barley and rye www.coeliac.org.uk
Cochlear Implants are a great boon to people born deaf or who become profoundly deaf over the years. A microphone and speech processor is worn over the ear and this is connected by a number of fine wires directly to the cochlear in the inner ear. This requires microsurgery and currently this is in the hands of a skilled surgeon who has to use a drill to navigate through the skull and down past things like the jugula and nerves. This video explains how a robot might be safer https://youtu.be/x5MVpHbKYBshttp://www.hiddenhearing.co.uk Main supplier of 'private' (more expensive) hearing aids
RNID, Now called Action on Hearing Loss They do a hearing test if you call 0845 600 55 55 or Click HERE
own page on this
National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) 0808 800 8880 www.ndcs.org.uk
HEARING DOGS Free to people with severe deafness. www.hearingdogs.org.uk 01844 348100
http://www.hearingdirect.com. Provide in the ear and behind the ear digital hearing aids at reasonable prices. They give a 30 day money back guarantee
A Youtube video suggesting people with tinnitus get in touch with Action on hearing loss. (actors ?)
DEMENTIA : see Alzheimer's above
Various devices are now available
to help people keep an eye on elderly relatives who live alone (as long
DIABETES www.diabetes.org.uk A booklet about coping
UK Government information site on all drug and alcohol problems.
There has been a rapid increase in deaths from drug use. Not just
heroin but also synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl.
The following links are mainly for the USA. It would seem
many people have become addicted to prescription drugs, such as
Oxycontin. But, in the States, these can be more expensive than
heroin, which is even more addictive. See the following for more
information and help:
Prescription drug dependency is happening in the UK, too : see
this article from The Independent : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/prescription-drugs-heroin--warning-rehab-ukat-a7776986.html
See also Alcoholism above
ENDOMETRIOSIS. Cells growing outside the womb during the monthly cycle, causing pain and tiredness. The cause is often not spotted by the GP.
See my article at Glasses.htm on this site re buying prescription glasses
http://lasik-eyes.co.uk/ This is an independent review centre for Laser Eye Surgery. You can join a forum and see what people say about the procedure. you can also enter your postcode and find convenient clinics
www.optimax.co.uk for permanent contact lenses.
Treatmentsaver.com is an innovative health care comparison website for laser eye treatment, cosmetic surgery and dental clinics throughout the UK
GAMBLING www.gamblingtherapy.org and www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk help with a gambling
(British Heart Foundation) and
HEART LUNG FOUNDATION (Good health, diet, recipe site)
HUNTINTON'S DISEASE New developments
(Dec17) see next page
LIVER www.britishlivertrust.org.uk. British Liver Trust
LUNG British Lung Foundation www.blf.org.uk
LUNG www.lunguk.org (their anti smoking campaign)
SMOKING, Many helpful suggestions at http://tobaccofreelife.org
MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE ASSOCIATION (MND) And a daily blog
National Osteoporosis Society
NARCOLEPSY http://www.narcolepsy.org.uk/ Sudden attacks of sleepiness
OBESITY The NHS Body Mass Calculator (BMI) can be found at http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator.aspx
Also http://www.ocduk.org/ and ocdaction.org.uk
see below for
www.britishpainsociety.org The professional body
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain from too much computing !)
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)http://www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk/articles/pain-management.html
Just my own opinion
on this, which deals with computing related neck pain.
There is another good video showing suitable exercises at Chiropractic UK
BACK PAIN According to the Mature Times paper this is affects over a quarter of the adult population. They suggest
Don't slouch. Poor posture puts a strain on your lower back
Use correct lifting and moving techniques
Exercise regularly to keep muscles strong and flexible
Maintain a proper body weight to avoid straining muscles (and joints)
When doing daily activities try to rotate tasks to avoid repetitive movements
As a fellow suffer, I cannot agree more with these comments. The worst thing, I find is to slouch on sofas (and in a computer chair). Sofas are designed for only one size of person, who appears to have very long legs, so the average person sits in a curved position (unless they put two or three cushions behind them). With regard to exercise my doctor (who suffers likewise) suggests that one uses certain floor based exercise techniques and gave me a leaflet and what to do. When my back pain eases I promise to start them !
Pain. Did you know that Heat Therapy stimulated blood flow, helping to decrease stiffness and relax sore muscles. Cold Therapy (the frozen peas technique) works by lowering the temperature of the skin, helping to reduce swelling but also numbing the nerve endings. For sudden muscle strains the suggestion is RICE Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The frozen peas should be applied for 20 minutes every few hours. Compression is done with an elasticated bandage. After two days move to massaging with and external pain relief product e.g Ibuprofen, Transvasin Heat Rub or Spray (or if you can't stand the strong smell try Lloyds Cream)
Palliative Care. The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) is the umbrella charity for all those involved in palliative, end of life and hospice care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Polymyalgia rheumatica (I have read) responds almost miraculously to a small dose of steroids.
SAD www.sada.org.uk People who suffer from insufficient sunlight in winter
SEPSIS A body reaction to a serious infection. Can be life threatening
SLEEP www.circlecity.co.uk (Sleep and apnoea problems)
and the Freedom From
Smoking site, which also supports QuitDay's cause to make a
world smoke-free Https://vapingdaily.com/health
www.stopsnoring.co.uk. have some ideas, too. But see also CircleCity above. http://www.snoremenders.co.uk/
STAMMER www.stammeringcentre.orgSTROKE: https://www.think-ahead.org.uk/ https://www.stroke.org.uk/
Swine 'flu rates increase during the winter. If you get swine 'flu you will be able to get Tamiflu from the surgery via a nominated helper. There is also a full page description including all the MYTHS about Swine Flu HERE
THYROID http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperthyroidism (OVERactive thyroid) www.thyroiduk.org.uk (many case studies). More on Hypothyroisim (UNDERactive thyroid) Symptoms HERE
PAINKILLERS. These facts are quoted directly from the Good Health section of the Daily Mail (the only bit I read apart from the Financial section !) As with my financial page I claim no special knowledge.
Recent studies have shown that many well advertised brands have precisely the same make up as their less expensive alternatives e.g Savers Paracetamol - 19p. Another study suggests that continual use of painkillers can have an adverse effect e.g. on migraine and suggested an occasional break from them. It is often recommended to not have Grapefruit at the same time as taking some painkillers. Read the prescription.
Paracetemol : (Branded names : Panadol and Hedex) Tablet, capsule, syrup. It numbs the point of pain, such as a cut, and blocks the formation of prostoglandins, which are responsible for pain and inflammation. For headache, toothache, backache. Used for children in syrup form. Best if you suffer from stomach irritation, so better if you have ulcers. Will not reduce swelling in arthritic joints. One side effect (I found) can be a tendency to bruising
Ibuprofen : (Nurofen, Cuprofen) Tablet, capsule, syrup, cream and gel. The last two are for muscles and joints. Joint, muscle and dental pain. Can reduce swelling and lower temperature. It is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, blocking chemicals produced by the body as a response to pain. Read the instructions/consult doctor, especially if you have high blood pressure, kidney or liver problems, stomach ulcer or other digestive problems. In fact, recently, Ibuprofen and mixed Ibuprofen/ Paracetamol tablets have become recommended less.
Codeine : Related to Morphine, blocking pain receptors found in the ends of nerves, stopping pain from reaching the brain. Good for one-off pain relief e.g. tooth extraction, menstrual pain. Some people may experience constipation.
Aspirin : (Disprin, Aspirin Clear). Often combined with other tablets such as Anadin. Sometimes coated, partly to protect the stomach from irritation but also to release more slowly. Use for pain relief, reduce inflammation and joint pain, cold and 'flu (lowers temperature). Use soluble aspirin in a gargle for throat infections. Use as a 'one-hit' drug for headache or toothache (but note the bleeding effect) rather than for a continual problem. In low doses can prevent clots and strokes - but consult the doctor. Like Ibuprofen it numbs the point of pain, such as a cut and blocks the formation of prostoglandins, which are responsible for pain and inflammation. it also breaks down platelets in the blood, making them less likely to clot. Can irritate the stomach causing stomach ulcers and bleeding. It can have a serious side effect in younger children and should not be given to them except under medical supervision. Can also trigger asthma attacks and some people are allergic to it. So avoid if subject to asthma, have stomach problems or are taking other anti-coagulants. Don't take before of after surgery (because of the increased bleeding) and do not continue for more than two days unless on doctor's advice.
All the above section re painkillers is quoted
directly from the
Daily Mail Health pages. I claim no special knowledge.
Aspirin. A study showed that people who routinely take Aspirin are more likely to suffer stomach and brain bleeding, although the benefits for people who have heart trouble or a stroke can outweigh the risk. See Daily Mail article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2190294/Aspirin-Experts-reveal-taking-aspirin-day.html
HEALTH INSURANCE A friend said that it is a shame that he cannot afford health insurance just at an age when he is likely to need it! Worth a look at www.moneysupermarket.com/HealthInsurance/Compare to find a specialist Financial Advisor who can help you through various possibilities. They are quite thin on the ground and you may have to increase the search area to 25 miles. There are BUDGET PLANS, which cover in-patient, day patient and possibly limited out-patient treatment. Some may limit the number of approved hospitals. STANDARD PLANS will cover Out-patient treatment but still may have a financial limit. Some may offer private ambulance services. COMPREHENSIVE PLANS will, in addition, cover other benefits such as Optical and Dental treatment and private GPs. You may be able to keep costs down by taking a higher excess e.g. agreeing to pay the first £500 of costs may reduce the premium by 40%. You can assume that pre-existing conditions are likely to be uncovered, as will conditions which have no known cure, such as diabetes and asthma.
As well as the 'flu jab it is recommended that the over 65s get an anti pneumonia jab at the doctor's. Just ask. A pneumococcal infection can cause septicemia and meningitis as well as breathing difficulties
Medical advances come thick and fast : The following page (click Here) concentrates upon articles extracted from newspapers and magazines dealing with drugs and procedures, some of which are still in the early stages of development but which, nevertheless, may give hope to some people who are suffering.
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