There are hundreds of thousands of people taking mood elevating drugs to tackle the symptoms of low mood and yet there have always been questions asked about whether mood elevating drugs actually work. Aside from whether this class of drugs work or are effective at all, the other question often raised is whether mood elevating drugs are safe to take.
According to the latest statistics, the use of mood elevating drugs continues to rise. Even more frightening is the fact that a quarter of those taking a mood elevating drug will remain on these for a decade or even longer. What is intriguing is that several studies appear to indicate that in some instances mood elevating drugs work no better than a placebo.
If you are feeling a bit down or have symptoms of anxiety and stress, one has to question whether mood elevating drugs would be the first choice or whether other strategies might be the answer. Read More…
Q: My elderly mother, now living on her own, is losing weight rapidly as she doesn’t have to cook for my father any more. Can you suggest simple ways of helping?
A; About one in ten people over 65 in the UK are malnourished but 88 per cent of people do not recognise the most common signs. In December 2014, the I-CARE Checklist (below) was launched by Abbott Nutrition (which makes prescription supplements for elderly patients) with the support of the Patients Association (PA) to raise awareness of the risks. PA chief executive Katherine Murphy said: ‘As families get together, it’s an ideal time to identify early signs that things may not be quite right, using this practical tool.’
As the strength of sunlight fades, boost your vitamin D levels with a supplement. This essential hormone is synthesised in the skin by UV light but many of us have low levels, particularly during winter. Vitamin D is vital for strong bones and teeth, as well as influencing many other functions, including immunity and mood. Choose a product with vitamin D3, such as Better You DLux 1000 Spray.
GETTING TO SLEEP
If you go to sleep easily but tend to wake in the early hours, don’t fret. Bi-or poly-phasic sleep – sleeping in chunks, in other words – was the norm until the advent of electric light. According to neuroscientist Professor Gaby Badre, ‘Sleep is a cyclic phenomenon and waking during the night is natural, although we are not always aware of it. In fact, four to five hours of continuous sleep in the first part of the night covers our need for deep sleep. But to feel refreshed – with enough REM sleep (the dream period) – we generally need seven to eight hours in total. The essential point is the amount of sleep we have over 24 hours.’
You can add shorter chunks when you go back to sleep in the early hours and by napping after lunch. ‘We have a natural dip in alertness between 1pm and 4pm. But don’t nap for longer than 20 minutes,’ he counsels, to avoid feeling groggy afterwards. Read More…
These days I’ve a new found love of the sun – the light mornings and being able to wander in the park and sit outside before the heat rises and the hustle and bustle of the day kicks in. In the past though, it was always a bit of a hassle to go out into the sun. Having fair skin, I would never leave the house without at least an SPF15 sunscreen on – whether I was on holiday in Greece or going to work. And I did this unfailingly throughout my teens, twenties and beyond. It was good in the sense that I was practising what I preached as a Beauty Director. It’s a fact that there is a direct correlation between sun exposure and premature ageing of the skin in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven texture and pigmentation (and worse still, skin cancer). And this approach seems to have worked to keep my skin relatively youthful in my 50s. Read More…
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, also categorised as a hormone. It is made by our bodies from cholesterol by the action of UVB from sunlight on our skin.
It helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies, which are needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
In this country, most people should get enough UVB in the summer months if they get outside in the sun, but UVB dwindles to almost nothing from October to March.
Vitamin D3 (the type we need) is also found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines), egg yolks, red meat, fat, liver and fortified foods such as some dairy products and breakfast cereals. While it is wise to eat these, we would have to consume huge amounts to get enough – thus the need for supplements.
So how much vitamin D do we need? The recommended supplementary amount of vitamin D3 from the age of one to 70 is 400 IU (10mcg) and 320-400 IU for babies.
However, many experts believe 1,000 IU or higher is more appropriate for adults.
For people with diagnosed vitamin D deficiency, the recommended maintenance therapy (after testing to ensure an optimal level has been reached) is 800 to 2,000 IU daily.
Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends trying the Better You DLux 1,000 Spray, a sublingual spray that provides 100 doses of 1,000 IU.
Vitamin D deficiency, which is estimated to affect 40 to 60 per cent of adult Europeans, has been linked to many chronic health conditions. Now a study by researchers at the University of Sheffield has found that the majority of participants living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) suffer from deficiency of this important vitamin, which is usually made in our bodies by the action of sunlight on the skin. The researchers advise people with IBS to ask their GP to test for vitamin D levels and, if deficient, prescribe a supplement of D3, which has helped a significant number. PS I take vitamin D3 daily via a sub-lingual (under the tongue) spray, DLux 1000 by Better You, £7.15 for 15ml (100 daily doses). Read More…