Exercise – the Fountain of Youth !

Exercise - the Fountain of YouthOf mice and men РResearchers from Canada’s McMaster University have discovered that endurance exercise could halt, and even reverse the ageing process in a group of mice, even though they were genetically engineered to age faster. The study is a boost to the call for us all to exercise more, no matter our age. Link is here.

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What is the single best thing you can do for your health ?

We liked this clip from @docmikeevans – Prof of Family Medicine in Toronto. We think it’ll make you view your walking shoes in a more favourable light ! Link is here.

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Sports Drinks nonsense – stick to tap water this summer

Sports Drinks nonsenseThe promoters of these high carbohydrate drinks would have us believe that drinking the correct fluids in ever increasing volumes is as important to our health as the exercise itself. BMJ.com exposes the bad science and misleading advertising here. When marketing and bad science combine to create a multi billion dollar industry the only looser is the consumer.

Our advice is to drink if you are thirsty, avoid sugary sports drinks (especially if exercising for weight loss) and go enjoy your run !

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One for the weekend warriors – don’t stretch cold muscles

Stretching cold muscles is not only of no use, it actually increases post exercise muscle pain and injury rates. The “weekend warriors” amongst us can frequently be seen hopping out of the car pitch-side for the 5-a-side, doing some vigorous arm spins, lunges and neck rolls – then throwing ourselves head long into the first tackle. The result is an (avoidable) injury.

Those in the know warm up with light jogging for five to ten minutes before doing any stretching – it increases muscle blood flow and elasticity. And reduces injury. For the evidence see UK PubMed Central.

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Measles Outbreak; keep your child safe from Measles this winter

As winter arrives it has brought a Measles outbreak. We are experiencing a surge in requests for emergency MMR vaccine booster shots. Measles can be a serious and life threatening illness, and importantly is completely preventable.

Children should have one dose of MMR vaccine at 12 months, and a second on starting school. If your child is overdue either dose please contact your GP as a matter of urgency. Keep your children safe from Measles this winter !

For more information see immunisation.ie. Photo credit Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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Two MMR shots needed for immunity

With a winter Measles outbreak expected, and outbreaks of Mumps annually in Universities we are advising everyone to get up-to-date with their MMR vaccine. One dose is given aged one, the second on starting school. If your children / students missed a dose please contact the surgery to arrange a catch-up.

MMR is safe, and effective at preventing Measles, Mumps and Rubella. More information is available here.

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Winter flu vaccine available

Protect yourself and your family this winter by being vaccinated. Pregnant women, people with most chronic illnesses, morbid obesity and anyone over 65 are espicially at risk.. Influenza vaccine is now available in the practice; we are open from 8am to 5pm. For more information see the HSE website.

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Measles outreak in Europe

We are asking our patients to check that the kids’ vaccines are up to date before heading off to France or Spain this summer for a family holiday. The World Health Organisation has warned of an ongoing Measles Outbreak on the continent – WHO.int

There have been over six thousand cases reported to date; primarily in Frane, but the outbreak includes Spain as well as Bulgaria, Serbia and Turkey.

Children should receive their first MMR vaccine at twelve months with their GP, and a booster at age four to five years in school. If your child has missed either dose please contact us to discuss getting them up-to-date. Further MMR information is available at HSE.ie

Dr Stephen Hawkins

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Coeliac Disease

Coeliac Disease is a common and largely missed cause of abdominal pain, GI upset and fatigue. It is a genetic condition rendering the gut unable to process gluten, found in wheat. It is especially common in the Irish population, about one per hundred of us have it, but ninety percent of sufferers are unaware that they have Coeliac Disease. Continue reading

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Sleeping on left side in pregnancy best for baby

A New Zealand study has found that encouraging Mums-to-be to sleep on the left side in the last month of pregnancy is best for baby. It was found that positions other than the left were associated with an increased risk of an adverse outcome for the baby. Lying on the left allows unrestricted blood flow to the placenta and benefits the baby.

The study is published in the British Medical Journal.

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