Doctorcall

Summer is here! It’s time to dust off those barbecues, bask in the glory of longer days and soak in the sun (and enjoy guilt-free ice cream, because it’s summer). Temperatures at the end of June soared to nearly 35C in London, with the UK experiencing its hottest day of the year so far.

While summer may summon trips to the beach, family picnics or holidays abroad, excessive exposure to the sun can also bring along certain health problems, including dehydration, heat stroke, sunburn, and the dreaded hay fever season. Whatever your plans are this holiday season, follow our simple tips to stay happy and healthy this summer.

  1. Drink plenty of water
    It goes without saying that summer makes you want to be in the great outdoors, meaning your body loses water more quickly due to perspiration from the heat. Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than it takes in, so it is important to make sure you are drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking throughout the day (around 8-9 glasses a day) and not just when you’re thirsty. You can use the colour of your urine as a helpful guide to how hydrated you are (the clearer it is, the better).
  2. Be cool (as a cucumber)
    While ‘wanting to cool off’ can serve as an acceptable excuse for ice-cream, there are plenty of refreshing fruits and vegetables that can provide a healthier alternative. It is estimated that we get 20% of our daily water intake from the food we eat, so reach for water-rich fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, watermelon, celery, and cucumber. As well as helping you be cool, hydrated, healthy and refreshed, this is also a simple way to make sure you are getting your 5 a day. Don’t flake out on your fruits and veg.
  3. Wear sunscreen
    Sun-kissed can easily turn to sun-burnt, red and peeling. While the sun is great for making sure your body gets all the Vitamin D it needs, it also emits harmful UV rays that are damaging to your skin. A tan will not protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. You can protect your skin using sunscreen with at least sun protection factor (SPF) 30 and 4-star UVA protection, which you can look for on the labels. Apply sunscreen on all exposed areas, including the face, neck and ears, and at least 30 minutes before you go out. As the sun and water can dry/rub it off your skin, it’s recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and straight after swimming.
  4. Chase the shade
    Sunscreen is not the only way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Limit your exposure to the sun by staying in the shade, especially during the hours of 10am and 4pm, when UV light is strongest. If you’re planning to be out in the sun for long, you can still make sure you enjoy the sun while avoiding sunburn by wearing a hat as well as appropriate clothing that covers your skin, and by protecting your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses.
  5. Keep it light
    While summer means BBQs, cocktails, hot dogs and burgers, it is important not to allow the sunlight in at the expense of your health going out the window. You may find yourself naturally gravitating towards lighter meals in the summer, so start your day with a healthy breakfast and keep your meals light and healthy. Add salads and berries to picnics and outdoor meals. Cut back on hot dogs at BBQs; replace those with healthier alternatives such as grilled fish. Try to avoid or reduce your intake of alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks as these can leave you dehydrated.
  6. Sun’s out, runs in
    Just because the sun’s out, does not mean that exercise is also out. On the contrary, you can keep cool by taking a dip at your local pool or gym – getting your exercise in one go. Swimming is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and can help you burn calories and keep healthy during summer. While it’s best not to exercise outdoors in the sweltering heat, you can take advantage of the long summer days and head out for a run or a bike ride in the mornings or evenings, or when the days are cooler (make sure to take plenty of water and sunscreen). Running near water, such as by lakes, rivers and reservoirs, can also provide nicer, breezier conditions to help you stay cool, protected and healthy this summer.

While summer has just begun, the UK has already experienced its first heatwave of the season. If you’re worried or want to find out more about what you can do to protect yourself from the heat this summer, contact Doctorcall to find out how we can help.

Manchester International Festival launches on 4th July and City Physio at Doctorcall have once again been asked to provide physiotherapy support to this year’s performers.

The festival occurs every 2 years and brings together artists from different art forms and backgrounds to create dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking new work. It is City Physio’s role to support the festival and keep it in fine physical fettle.

The event is staged in a rich tapestry of venues across Greater Manchester – from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks.

City Physio have been proudly associated with the festival since its early years in 2007, and once again the team will be pulled all over Manchester to support the 5 movement-based companies plus any niggles that other acts experience.

If you haven’t had a browse of exciting range of artists performing, take a look here: mif.co.uk/whats-on

As a leading physiotherapy centre in Manchester, City Physio guarantees to provide fully qualified physiotherapists at short notice and at the best price. All its staff have worked with a broad spectrum of musculoskeletal problems, from those affecting high-level athletes and dancers to the aches and pains encountered by keen weekend warriors and office junkies.

City Physio has 2 clinics conveniently situated in Manchester city centre offering appointments from 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday.

Click here to book an appointment today

If you are travelling abroad for work or study, you may need to meet certain medical requirements to be eligible for a visa. Amongst the many services that we offer here at Doctorcall, we can provide fast and efficient Visa Medicals, covering a range of countries all over the globe, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, China, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. 

How does it work?

If you require a Visa Medical as part of your visa application, you can easily arrange to have it at one of our clinics in London and Manchester.

The appointment will take up to two hours, during which our experienced doctors will conduct a medical examination and complete all the necessary forms for you. The medical exam will consist of different tests (for example Chest X-ray, Urine Analysis, HIV test) depending on the country you are travelling to and the requirements listed on your visa medical form. We will also be at hand to provide all the information and advice you need to make your visa application as fast, efficient and pain-free as possible.

You can check which examination and test you will be required to take here, where you will also find out more information regarding Visa Medicals based on your country of destination.

How to arrange your Visa Medical with Doctorcall

We can provide appointments at short notice and often on the same day. We can also usually accommodate a range of additional tests and services whether they are in relation to your medical or not, as well as provide additional medical advice and assistance for your travel, including travel vaccinations if required.

All you need to do is book an appointment with us and bring along your passport as well as any relevant information such as repeat prescriptions and specialist letters for any medical conditions that you may have.

You can check for availability using our 'Book An Appointment' tool here. For more information, please visit our ‘Visa Medicals’ page, or feel free to give us a call on 0344 257 0345.

 

When we talk about health inequalities, i.e. the avoidable differences in people’s health across specific population groups, there are a whole host of factors that come into play. From education and good quality housing, through to geography and access to health services. Yet one constant right across the globe is the health gap between men and women. And the stats, as they say, don’t lie.

On average, women in the UK can now expect to live almost four years longer than their male counterparts. Much of this is caused by hormonal differences, for example, men generally have more visceral fat which surrounds the organs, whereas women tend to have more subcutaneous fat, which sits under the skin. However, lifestyle differences play a huge part.

In the UK, one man in five dies before he reaches 65. The tragedy in all of this? With earlier detection, so many of these deaths can be avoided.

It may sound like a stereotype, but men’s reluctance to consult their doctor and talk about their problems is a perennial issue. Research conducted by the Men’s Health Forum indicates that men are less likely to visit their doctor, to acknowledge illness and to seek help, compared to women. This is why the Forum are observing Men’s Health Week from 10th – 16th June, to shine a light on the issues facing men’s health, and to encourage men and boys to seek professional advice for health-related problems.

Let’s drill down further and take a look at some of the areas that are driving these statistics.

Diabetes

Men are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women. The charity, Diabetes UK, states that 3.8 million people in the UK are now living with the condition. Furthermore, in middle-aged men, prevalence is expected to become increasingly more common over the next decade. Therefore, men really do need to be more conscious around how to prevent diabetes, as well as being able to recognise those tell-tale symptoms such as excessive thirst, fatigue and frequent urination to name a few. Weight management, diet and alcohol intake all play their part, and we encourage frequent check-ups to assess your risk level.

Coronary Heart Disease (CAD)

One of the UK’s biggest killers is CAD, which accounts for 1 in 7 of every male deaths in the UK. The condition occurs when the heart’s blood supply becomes blocked by the build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries, which, over time, causes the walls of the arteries to become furred up with fatty deposits. The causes are typically due to lifestyle factors, like smoking and obesity, as well as conditions such as diabetes, and, importantly, family history. To prevent CAD, we monitor the levels of cholesterol and other blood lipids carefully, and, if caught early, can be arrested and even reversed.

Prostate Cancer

As men get older, the prostate, which is a small gland that sits under the bladder, can naturally enlarge. Although enlargement is not a life-threatening condition, it can lead to other issues, with urinary problems often a common warning sign. In men, we are particularly concerned to screen for prostate cancer from the age of fifty as it is a silent killer. Once you’ve had that all-important assessment and diagnosis, there are many treatment options, which can range from simply monitoring, to medication and surgery, depending on the severity of the diagnosis.

Mental Health

There has been a step-change in how society views mental health in recent years, but we are still a long way off parity between men and women in its impact. Tragically, over three quarters of all suicides are male, and it is now the biggest killer for men under the age of 35. There are a range of treatment pathways available to those seeking help, however, mental health issues can be severely damaging if left untreated. Therefore, having the courage to visit a healthcare professional and being able to talk openly in a safe environment is hugely important. 

Nothing is More Important Than Your Health

So, gentleman, if you want to be there to experience your kids’ graduation, to play with your grandchildren, and to enjoy a long and active retirement, the old excuses just won’t cut it anymore. Too busy to see a doctor? Make the time. Worried they might find something you won’t like? Identify it early and get the necessary treatment. Nothing is more important than your health.

Peace of Mind Health Screening

Doctorcall offer a range of health screening options. If you are worried about a particular problem or symptom, we recommend booking a private GP consultation and getting the tests that are specifically relevant to that issue rather than a full screen. If you are under 50 and apparently in good health, a Health Screen provides excellent value for money. Otherwise we recommend a Platinum Health Screen. Click here for more information.

10-16 June 2019 marks Cervical Screening Awareness Week, an important initiative designed to raise awareness of the significance of cervical screening and to encourage women to get checked.
 
Put ‘cervical cancer’ into Google and it won’t be long before you see Jade Goody’s name crop up. The reality TV star, who shot to fame on the third season of Big Brother, lost her battle with cervical cancer 10 years ago at the age of just 27. Leaving behind two young children, her heartbreaking story was a shocking demonstration of how common cervical cancer is, particularly in young women. As of result, there was a marked increase in the number of smear test attendance, in what became to be known as the “Jade Goody effect”.
 
However, recent figures suggest the number of women being regularly tested have slowed down, with many citing embarrassment as the reason for their delayed testing. 
 
Every year in the UK, there are around 3,200 new cervical cancer cases detected and tragically, 870 women will lose their battle with the condition, a rate of more than two every day. What’s even more startling, as highlighted by Cancer Research UK’s figures, is that 99.8% of all cases are preventable. This highlights just how important regular screening and early vaccination is.
 

 
What is cervical cancer?
The cervix is the small, donut-shaped opening to the uterus, located at the top of the vagina. Cancer of the cervix begins in its outer layers, where tiny changes to the cells, can over time grow out of control. The area where this happens is called the transformation zone, which leads to the endocervical canal, a narrow passageway that leads to the womb. It is this transformation zone that we will check during a cervical screening test. The test itself is not for cancer per se, rather, we are checking for abnormal cervical cells, that may one day develop into cancer. This is why early and regular testing results in high prevention rates. 
 
Who is at risk from cervical cancer?
In short, all women are at risk from cervical cancer, however, prevalence is higher amongst younger, sexually active women. The vast majority (90%) of cervical cancer cases occur when a women has been infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), which is spread during sexual intercourse. While most HPV infections will pass without the need for treatment, some forms do carrier a higher risk and can cause the cells to stop working properly, leading to the growth of tumours. 
 
What are the symptoms?
Unlike many conditions, cervical cancer carries little in the way of symptoms. As the condition advances, women may experience discomfort during sex, bleeding during or after intercourse, or between periods. The relative lack of symptoms is another reason why screening is so important as early detection of the cancerous cells can help the to prevent its development.
 
What is the HPV vaccine and what does it do? 
The HPV vaccine guards against cervical cancer and genital warts and represents the first effective prevention tool against cervical cancer. The vaccine is normally recommended for girls and young women between the ages of nine and twenty-six and is important for people who are not yet sexually active in order to prevent HPV infection. However, it is also recommended in older groups who may already have become infected. 
 
Cervical cancer is the second-most common cancer in women under thirty-five, as a result, we recommend testing once a year at our clinics. However, it is believed that with HPV vaccination, the risks of cervical cancer and the need for smear tests may be eradicated altogether.
 
How can Doctorcall help?
At Doctorcall, we provide screening and HPV vaccination. We also offer awareness days in companies. Book an appointment online today.