Health Notes

What To Do About Dental Problems

Vector drawing of teeth and brushing with pink toothbrush

If you have toothache, seeing your dentist face to face is impossible now, due to the risk of transmission of corona virus. However, you may be able to consult a dentist online as practises are urged by NHS England to ‘establish (independently or by collaboration with others) a remote, urgent care service, providing telephone triage for their patients with urgent needs during usual working hours, and whenever possible treating with advice, analgesia and antimicrobial means, where appropriate’.

In these circumstances, ‘it’s vital to understand the nature of urgent and non-urgent needs’, says Dr Richard Marques, a leading London dentist (doctorrichardlondon.com). Here’s his summary:

‘Issues such as a lost filling, dull toothache, mild sensitivity or a small chip in a tooth can all be treated at a later date. Examples of more serious issues that would constitute an emergency include:

  • Gums that will not stop bleeding
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity or toothache causing constant pain
  • A tooth that has been knocked out/is jagged
  • Swollen cheeks/gums and general extreme pain from swelling or possible infection.

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Keeping Calm In The Storm

keep calm note with blue background and crumpled papers

For the vast majority of us, the corona virus pandemic is our first experience of being on what’s now referred to as ‘a war footing’. And rather like bombs dropping in the Blitz, we don’t know where, when and who the virus will hit next. So it makes sense that we’re anxious.

Like a ripple of stress, a bit of anxiety can be helpful in getting us to take sensible precautions. But this war zone is catapulting some of us into a degree of totally understandable anxiety that’s not helpful in getting through daily life – particularly because anxiety can suppress our immune system, which is our very best defence weapon in one-on-one combat against the virus.

This is not to minimise the potential effects of the pandemic but hopefully to give our minds some degree of calm so we can face the issues and manage them in the best way we’re able.

If you are used to working in an office environment, working from home can present its own challenges so there are tips on this too. Read More…

The Happiness Prescription

a few white tablets with happiness written on it on a dull grey foreground and a dull pink background.

GPs are recognising that at least half their patients need far more than a pill for every ill. For one woman, singing in a choir proved life-changing. Sarah Stacey reports.

Listening to the lightness and warmth in her voice, it’s hard to believe Arabella Tresilian, 44, has experienced such serious mental health problems that she once feared she was not well enough to look after her two young children. Treatment with medication and talking therapies was at best a BandAid. What finally transformed Arabella’s life was singing in a choir, a panacea enabled by the social prescribing initiative at her GP practice in Bath. GP Dr Michael Dixon describes social prescribing as ‘a radical rethink of medicine, planting health and healing in the heart of the community’..

Social prescribing aims to improve patients’ health holistically by referrals to link workers who spend time with them exploring different non-medical interventions, often provided by voluntary or charity organisations based in the local community. Activities might include music, art, sports, dancing, knitting, walking, group learning, yoga, fishing and cookery among many others. Link workers may also help patients address housing, legal and financial problems.

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Tummy Troubles

yellow sponge impacting water side on shot

IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is pretty common, affecting about one third of us in the UK, and that’s the only pretty thing about it. Lets be frank, this chronic condition is a beast to live with.

I know this having suffered for decades; it began with an episode of bacterial dysentery from working in India in the mid-1990s; from then on my gut reacted to a wide range of triggers from stress to sugary foods of any kind and, particularly, fizzy sugary drinks with food. It’s been pretty well under control for several years now, thank goodness, due to a combination of gut-calming supplements and practices. Read More…

Coping With Cold Sores

Cold sore stages icons

Q: I tend to get cold sores, which are painful, horrible to look at and make me feel low. Is there anything I can do to help prevent/treat them?

A: Cold sores are due to a virus called herpes simplex. Many people carry it and for some it results in cold sores. You won’t know you have it until/if you get one of these small fluid-filled blisters on your face, which then bursts and crusts over into an unsightly scab. Read More…

And So To Sleep

Face mask on green and pink background

As a practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine and co-founder of Pukka Herbs, Sebastian is big on the necessity of getting enough good shut-eye. ‘There are huge levels of stress in society and it’s a big issue for our health. The government lays down guidelines on diet and exercise but the vital third factor is sleep. When we sleep well we can digest our day and process our emotional experiences so we can cope.’ Read More…