How To Survive IVF

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Since the world’s first test-tube baby Louise Brown was born in 1978, IVF has become part of our language. Nowadays, one in 50 babies born in the UK is the result of in vitro fertilisation and the success rate, currently about 25 per cent with each cycle, increases every year. But as couples who have been through the process know, the joy comes at a cost.

Journalist and broadcaster Richard Mackney, 44, and his wife Rosie Bray, 39, a TV producer, whose one-year-old daughter Molly was conceived through IVF , have written a new book, Get a Life, as a ‘his and hers survival guide’ for other couples. Read More…

A Natural Psoriasis Cream

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There are many natural psoriasis creams on the market that it can often be difficult to decide which cream is the best one to use and what ingredients to watch out for. A cream for psoriasis is a popular choice for the majority of sufferers with many choosing to try alternatives to steroid creams or coal tar creams which are not without side effects and are certainly very messy to use.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which manifests itself on skin. Normally, our skin cells divide at a constant rate but in the case of psoriasis, the cells begin to multiply at a much faster pace leading to a build-up of skin cells which causes the characteristic horny outer layers. This increased cell proliferation also leads to inflammation which is characteristic of symptoms. These rashes may appear as red bumps that itch, flat red blotches on skin or silvery white patches on skin. Read More…

PMS – fragile

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Q: I’m in my mid-30s and generally healthy, but I feel very fragile before my periods. I either want to cry or snap someone’s head off, have food cravings and put on weight. My GP suggests taking the pill but I prefer natural medicine.

A: As many as 30 per cent of women can experience moderate to severe PMS, according to the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome (pms.org.uk). ‘The symptoms may be severe enough to affect their relationships and ability to cope with home life and work. It can feel like being on a hormonal rollercoaster and may even lead to depression,’ says nutritionist and women’s health expert Marilyn Glenville, author of Overcoming PMS The Natural Way (Piatkus, £8.99).

The term PMS (premenstrual syndrome) describes any symptoms that occur after ovulation and disappear as soon as the period arrives. Read More…

Three of the Best Skin Calmers

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1. FOR COLD SORES
Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends lemon balm, which has been shown to combat and heal cold sores in two to four days. To avoid contamination, apply with a fresh cotton bud each time. Lemon Balm Cream by Granary Herbs, £8.50 for 60ml.

2. FOR ECZEMA IN BABIES AND CHILDREN
Steroid-free (but not natural) Dermalex Repair, developed by dermatologists, relieves itching and prevents new flare-ups. Dermalex Repair by Omega Pharma, £24.99 for 100g, from amazon.co.uk.

3. FOR PSORIASIS AND ECZEMA
Argan Organics Healing Touch is a totally natural treatment cream with cardiospermum, anti-inflammatory herbs and argan oil, which has helped many sufferers (no product will suit everyone, sadly). £19.99 for 100ml. Read More…

Alleviating Eczema And Psoriasis

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Many people choose to seek natural remedies for alleviating eczema and psoriasis. These skin problems can give one a lot of discomfort and for some may be debilitating. Most of us use the term eczema and psoriasis very loosely and yet these two concerns are similar, yet distinctly different. The terms eczema and psoriasis are both of Greek origin. Eczema literally means ‘to boil out’ whilst psoriasis means ‘to itch’. Eczema affects both children and adults whereas psoriasis seems to predominantly affect adults. Surveys suggest that nearly 20% of children living in UK, and five percent of the adult population suffer from eczema whilst three percent of the adults suffer from psoriasis. When you put these percentages into numbers, we are talking in terms of millions of sufferers and it is no wonder that there are hundreds of both natural and pharmaceutical products aimed at both these concerns.

With eczema, the itch starts before the rash develops, whilst with psoriasis there is an increased growth in the outer part of skin, which gets inflamed resulting in white thick layers of skin. Both eczema and psoriasis are potentially allergic concerns that can be triggered by environmental factors, external allergens and even food intolerances. Although not fully understood, psoriasis has a hereditary component and may be triggered by stress and infections. Whilst there are different types of eczema and psoriasis, essentially the treatment for these concerns remains similar. Read More…

How To Recognise Lyme Disease

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Q: I am 51 and used to be very active in my job as a country ranger. Recently, however, I feel very tired, my lower body aches, and my legs feel weak. Someone suggested this could be lyme disease. Could you explain what this is, and the treatment?

A: Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread through tick bites. The pinhead-sized ticks are common in the northern hemisphere, in gardens, woods, moors and parks, both country and town. They also settle on animals, such as deer, horses, dogs, sheep and cows. In the UK, they are mostly active from April to October. However, not all ticks carry lyme disease, and infection rates in tick populations vary by species and geographic areas.

Lyme disease causes a wide range of symptoms, according to the campaigning support group Lyme Disease Action. Early signs, within two to 30 days of a bite, may include a circular red ‘bull’s-eye’ rash at the site, facial palsy and flu-like symptoms (such as fatigue, fever, headaches anda stiff neck). Other symptoms, usually of more advanced, untreated disease, include muscle and joint pain, and disturbances of coordination, hearing, sight, digestive system and sleep. The illness may lead to heart problems or disturb the central nervous system. Read More…