Friday, 17 May 2019

Mental Health issues? You are not alone.

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People who know HMHB know that we have ourselves developed the programs and courses through our own experiences around mental health. However, a recent study has demonstrated just how big the problem is.

More than 20 million Brits have suffered anxiety or depression over their lifetime. Overall, 45 per cent of adults were, or had been, blighted by mental health problems, and one in ten had self harmed.

Women were four times more likely than men to deliberately hurt themselves, but blokes were twice as likely to turn to drink for relief. The statistics also indicate that suicide his higher for males than females, especially young men.

Mike Dixon, Chief of drug and alcohol charity Addaction, which polled 2,000 adults, said: "this shows the sheer scale of what we are dealing with. These are common every day issues affecting tens of millions of people in the UK. The numbers reflect what we are seeing and hearing in our services all over the country. People are struggling. We are only reaching a tiny fraction of those who need help. And as a society we are unprepared for changing trends among women and young people."

The poll also found that one in ten have been hit by an eating disorder. Four per cent have tried illegal drugs, to help with mental health struggles. And nine in ten felt mental illness was a major problem for the nation.

HMHB says: none of this surprises us. We need to be able to offer proactive intervention, both corrective and preventive, providing tools for long-term success. That is what we have designed and want to deliver.

Improve your brain function with puzzles

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I love puzzles. IQ tests, crosswords, Sudoku, Kakuro (a but like sudoku), etc.. But scientists have now found that "puzzle lovrrs aged 50 and older are making their brains years younger". Fans of word and numbers games and tests have better attention, reasoning and memory skills.

On average they are as good at problem solving as someone eight years younger. And those who regularly do word games have the reasoning ability of people ten years their junior. They also enjoy the short term memory of people eight years younger than themselves.

Scientists at the University of Exeter, as well as King's College London, tested 19,000 over-50s online for the study. Although they were unable to prove if doing the teasers staved off dementia, they did say: "our research indicates that regular use of word and number puzzles helps keep our brains working better for longer."

Study leader Dr. Anne Corbett, whose work was published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, added: "the more regularly people engage with puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku, the sharper the performance across a range of tasks."

HMHB says: anything that can help stimulate the brain is a good thing. We all know exercise keeps your muscles stronger and energised, but we also need to keep mentally active. It should be noted, it will not make you more intelligent. But it will allow you to focus better and use your intelligence better.

Eating fruit and veg cuts breast cancer risk

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We all know it is better to eat a healthy diet and exercise more. It can help cut the risk of many diseases. Well, a new study out says that eating more fruit and vegetables can help women slash their risk of dying from breast cancer by a fifth.

The study says that ditching high fat meals and scoffing more wholegrains protects against this killer.

US Experts followed nearly , healthy postmenopausal women for two decades. Nearly half were asked to reduce their fat intake by 20 per cent and et at least one daily portion of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain. Overall, their risk of dying from breast cancer fell by 21 per cent.

Lead researcher Dr. Rowan Chlebowski, from the University of California Los Angeles, said adopting a better diet would slash breast cancer deaths and create ,massive healthcare savings. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of American Society of Clinical Oncology.

HMHB says: more and more we understand how the vitamins, minerals, and contents of fruit and vegetables are essential to looking after our bodies, This will naturally have a saying on various diseases. We cannot force people to adjust their diets, but if they have a greater understanding of ho the body works, and what it needs in your diet, then hopefully we will make better choices about what we put in our mouths.

Evidence around sex supplements

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Now, here is a subject that can affect the mental health of people, so that is why I have addid it into the blog. And it is based on research. This is about supplements, not medication you can get from the doctor.

According to a recent study, popular sex supplements for men are "likely to flop" - I am just using the wording in the article!!!  Ingredients such as "horny goat weed" (seriously!) and "ginseng" will not boost stamina or give men a lift, researchers have found.

We need to take this seriously. Erectile dysfunction affects up to half of men aged 40-70, and certain shopping websites can contain pages and pages dedicated to so-called supplements that are said to treat this condition naturally. But a recent study of the six highest-rated found they were all unlikely to work. In fact there was very little scientific basis for the claims about the 21 most popular ingredients. Only 17 per cent of human studies into them reported improvements in erectile function.

There were found to be many false and fake reviews on Amazon for example. After filtering them out, the number reporting improved strength fell by a whopping 77 per cent. Reported of an improved ability to maintain an erection dropped by 83 per cent, while those claiming more satisfaction fell by 90 per cent.

The study managed by the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas recommended proven treatments.

HMHB says: although many would titter at the content of this posting, for many men it is a very serious issue. It can cause great distress as you feel that you cannot perform what is a basic function for the human species. This can have a knock on effect into life, and therefore people cling to remedies they can perhaps obtain online, so they do not actually have to go and talk to someone and admit what is happening to them The problem comes that others will take advantage.
never buy medication online. Always get professional advice from qualified people. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. You owe it to yourself, and your health, to act responsibly. And although it may feel embarrassing, any qualified medical person will treat you with respect

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

On Antidepressants? Understand possible side-effects on withdrawal

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Many people know that HMHB was created following a couple of major depressions suffered by our Lazza. However, not many are aware he did not use antidepressants at all. "I wanted to know that I felt better because I was getting better, and not because of any pills. Plus I was aware that they can ve addictive."
But not everyone feels the same, and HMHB does not advocate either way. It is up to the individual if they feel they need to use medication to help with their mental health problems. But, people do need to know what experts are saying about side-effects!!

A recent review says that millions suffer bad side-effects when they come off antidepressants. More than half of those who try to stop using, or cut down on, the pills have withdrawal symptoms. Of those, 46 per cent experience severe side-effects, which can include anxiety, flu-like symptoms and insomnia.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence review calls for fresh guidance for patients choosing to come off the pills.

Current guidance says withdrawal symptoms are "usually mild" and last about one week. Experts reviewed 14 studies, most of which found that many patients suffer for weeks, months or longer.

HMHB obviously has a voice here. It should be noted that around seven  million UK residents take antidepressants, and we do feel that is very high. It is interesting to wonder just how many use it as a placebo. People will make individual choices around their health - and it is good to take responsibility over medication. Just understand possible consequences.

Yo-yo dieting is bad for you - research findings here

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Our very own Lazza can talk about yo yo dieting, as he knows he has been doing that for the last five years at least. It is a culmination of mental health problems and losing focus. But shocking evidence demonstrates the clear dangers around the issue.

Yo-yo dieters may be more than twice as likely to die young as those who maintain a stable weight, a study suggests. Doctors warn that frequent variations in weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels are seriously bad for your health.

The Catholic University of Korea analysed six million healthy adults. People whose measurements fluctuated most were 127 per cent more likely to die prematurely from any cause. They were also 43 per cent more likely to have a heart attack, and 41 per cent more likely to have a stroke. Weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar were noted three times in seven years.

HMHB obviously sees this as worrying, due to our closeness to the problem. It should be noted that the reasons for many people to yo-yo diet are down to mental health issues around stress, anxiety and depression, and this has to have an affect on the outcomes. Nevertheless, it is clear that people should lose excess weight, and then do all they can to maintain that loss.

Eye problems? it could be your technology.

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For many of us, and I am feeling it myself at this very moment, we spend a lot of our time staring at a screen - whether that be a laptop, tablet /or mobile. But could it be damaging our eye sight?  Well, experts have recently warned is that long hours staring at computers for work can damage eyes due to a lack of blinking!!

People naturally blink approximately 20 times a minute. However, if you are concentrating on a screen this can drop to just two to four blinks a minute. This can lead to dry eyes, causing strain, blurred vision and headaches.

A survey found that nearly half the nation spends the working week in front of a monitor, with the typical office worker viewing a display for more than five and a half hours per day. Eighty-eight per cent of those said their eyes suffered as a result. Headaches have affected more than one third, and one in five has experienced blurred or disturbed vision.

The survey by Hycosan and Optase Eye Care, found that 36 per cent could not avoid looking at a display for a day, and two in five could not recall their screen-free day.

More than half of those quizzed also said that office lighting and air conditioning had a negative effect on eyes.

HMHB is all for taking rests from screens. We sit hunched, staring at monitors, concentrating and focusing on typing, and not thinking about what is happening to our bodies at the same time.

Five ways to stop food waste

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Globally, it is estimated we waste around one third of all food grown!! In the UK, ten million tons of grub, from homes and business, is dumped annually. That is £20 billion-worth of food wasted in the country every year.

So how can we do our bit to lower this amount?  Here are six ways suggested by the Government's Food Surplus and Waste Champion.

Chill the fridge
It is believed that the average UK fridge is set at approximately seven degrees, which is too high for most foods and will cause them to go off quicker.  Every day we throw away 3.1 million glasses of milk (that is an astonishing figure, if accurate). Yet, keeping your fridge between zero and five degrees can help milk last up to three days longer,

Use Potato peel
On average, UK households throw away the equivalent of 170 potatoes per year. Of this, the majority are peelings, which you can leave on. If you do peel, why not mix them with oil and seasoning, bake in the oven for 20 minutes, and you create your own crisps.

Know the date labels difference
There is a huge difference between "best before" on your package and "use by". The "best before" refers to quality, but can still be used after that date. The "use by" is there for safety reasons, but again you can use your discretion a bit. Don't panic and throw out food immediately. Cook it, or even freeze it.

Understand storage
Different foods thrive in different spots, so check the packaging for advice on where to store it. Fruits belong in the fridge, except for bananas and pineapples. Bread and potatoes do well in a cupboard or bread bin - not the fridge. Potatoes and onions should be kept separate to stay fresh. Even eggs, which are kept on general shelving in shops, do not have to go in the fridge.

Use the freezer
We know that items such as meat, pizza and ice cream (the clue is in the name) can be frozen, but you can actually do the same with eggs, milk, bread, pasta, cheese etc. In fact, almost anything can be frozen.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Don't "Give Up"; It can literally kill you; evidence here

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"Most of the things in the world have been accomplished by people
who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all"

One of the awful results of a Fixed Mind-set can be you just give up. You feel an overwhelming sense of everything being pointless, that you can never succeed and just the thought of trying to complete a task can be too much.

But you must not give up - it is now being seen as a recognised medical condition. And a recent study has found that people can simply die from giving up on life - and it does not take long. Senior research fellow John Leach said that "give-up-itis" is a genuine medical condition that can kill in just three weeks without help.

The disorder normally occurs after a person suffers from severe trauma and feels there is no escape. He says that victims truly believe the "only rational outcome" is death.

He listed the stages as social withdrawal, and pain response, apathy and also psychogenic death - which he described as "disintegration of the person"

The Portsmouth University study concluded: "psychogenic death is real. It is not suicide and is not linked to depression."

Just losing the will to live could stem from a malfunction in the brain circuitry that governs behaviour. Motivation is essential for coping with life and if that fails apathy is inevitable. To reverse this feeling the individual has to find or recover a sense of choice, of having some control, and taking a renewed interest in life.

HMHB says:  we know that feeling of emptiness. But we also understand just how precious and special life is. Finding the spark after losing it can be a massive obstacle to overcome. With help, anyone can get better although that still has to come from within. Not giving up, even when it feels hopeless, can be the bravest thing people do, but ultimately it can lead to success.

A Mediterranean Diet can help with Depression

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We all know that a healthy diet can help with your health, and experts say that a mediterranean diet, rich in fruit vegetables, nuts, fish and plants can slash depression risk by a third.  They found that there was compelling evidence of a relationship between fresh food and mental health.

A diet low in saturated fat, sugar, and processed meals can cut the risk by 24 per cent for 12 years. This also demonstrates the benefits of cooking a meal yourself, which itself can be therapeutic.

Dr Camille Lassale, of the University College London, said: "a plant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet can help prevent depression."  Her team, using data from 41 studies, suggested dietary advice should form part of mental health treatment.

HMHB says: We have already covered many blog entries around food and mental health. It is one of the first things that goes awry if you suffer depression, stress or anxiety. But this demonstrates the importance of looking after your dietary intake. Everything in moderation though.. Still enjoy treats!!