Western Avenue Surgery
Newsletter for July 2022
In the UK, coercive control is a criminal offence. One of the less recognised forms of
domestic abuse, it can have a devastating impact on victims. Abusers may not recognise
control of money, restriction of autonomy, or jealousy as abusive behaviours.
If you’re a victim of coercive control, you might recognise some of the themes in the
article from Vogue. In the early stages of a relationship, it’s easy to mistake control for caring.
Women’s Aid has a wealth of information about how to help keep yourself safe online if
you’re concerned that a partner or family member is monitoring your online activity. If
possible, use internet away from the home. Make sure you understand private or
incognito browsers and how to clear your history.
Women’s Aid has information about domestic abuse including coercive control. The site
has a quick exit button, in case you’re concerned someone may see you.
If you are a man and concerned that your behaviour towards a partner or family member
may be abusive, you may find the advice from Men’s Health Forum useful. There is a five
step programme to help you get out of a cycle of abuse.
Men can find themselves being abused by partners or family members. It can be difficult
to accept that you’re being abused, and harder still to seek help.
Diabetes causes around 500 premature deaths in the UK each week. If you’ve never
thought about your risk of type 2 diabetes, the NHS has a risk calculator that can help
you to work out whether changes to your lifestyle may be needed.
More than half of all cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed, so making
simple lifestyle changes now could improve your long term health.
If lifestyle changes could help you to reduce your risk, some of the most effective
changes you can make to help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes are very
Hot weather advice
With temperatures rising over the summer months, it’s an ideal time to think about how
to stay safe in warmer weather. In the UK there are over 2000 deaths each year which are
Signs of heat exhaustion include headache, dizziness and confusion, loss of appetite or
feeling sick, excessive sweating and a high temperature of 38C or above. If you’re
suffering from heat exhaustion, it’s important to try and cool yourself down within 30
Heat stroke can be very serious and should be treated as an emergency. If you feel
unwell after 30 minutes resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water, you have a
temperature of 40C or over, if you feel confused, or aren’t sweating even though you feel
very hot, these could be signs of heat stroke.
If you, or someone you care about is likely to be affected by extreme weather conditions,
you can sign up for email alerts from the Met Office that will tell you when extreme
weather is expected. Some groups of people are more likely to be adversely affected by
weather conditions, including older adults, babies and young children, and those living
with long term health conditions.
Whether you’re going overseas this year, or planning to stay closer to home, the
fit for travel website has brilliant information about how to choose a suncream, who is
most vulnerable and the other preventative measures you can take to make sure you
stay safe in the sun.
The fit for travel website also has a wealth of information about health issues that can
occur on holiday and ways that you can stay safe while travelling. If any kind of travel is
in your plans, it’s well worth checking out.
Healthier food ideas
Given rising levels of obesity and a trend towards less active lifestyles, it’s important to
teach the young people in our lives how to eat healthily. A maximum of two 100 calorie
snacks per day helps towards that goal.
Small changes to your diet can make a big difference. Swapping food you eat regularly
for healthier alternatives can make improvements to your diet with almost no effort.
Mental health for young people
The NHS website has a fantastic page about how you can help and support children and
young people with their mental health, including ways you might be able to identify if
someone is struggling.
Additionally, Kooth is an online support service for young people. It’s available in areas
across the UK. If you think you might benefit, it’s worth taking a look.
Young Minds might be just the support you’re looking for, if you, or someone you
care about is a young person who needs support with their mental health.
Dehydration can be a big problem in warmer weather. If you’re dehydrated, you may feel
thirsty. In fact, feeling thirsty and dark coloured pee are two of the earliest signs of
dehydration that you should look out for.
Different colours of urine mean different things. If your urine is orange, would you know
whether to be concerned?
Sun cream application
SunSmart is an Australian programme to help reduce the number of deaths from skin
cancer. While we may not live in Australia, we can use lessons learned there to help and
support children to stay safe in the sun. By improving early learning around sun safety,
we can influence the ability of our own children to look after their skin long
400/600/600 rule and TDE
An average adult needs between 2000 and 2400 calories per day, but it can be hard to
translate that to what a meal should look like. This handy page has a wealth of ideas that
fit the 400/600/600 model to ensure you only eat the necessary number of calories each
If you’re overweight, losing just 5% of your body weight can have significant benefits.
We tend to underestimate the amount of calories that we’re consuming. Calculating the
number of calories you need to maintain, lose or gain weight can help you stay within a
If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, but you don’t want to talk to a GP, the
Samaritans are available to speak to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whatever the issue
that you’re facing, you will be listened to by someone non -judgemental and supportive
who will give you space to speak.
If you don’t feel that you can talk to someone about the thing that is bothering you, the
Samaritans have more than one way you can access support.
Parkrun is a free-to-enter activity held across the UK each week. With junior parkruns at
2km, and parkruns for all at 5km, there’s sure to be something suitable for you, no
matter what your age. You don’t have to run the whole course, so even if you’re wa lking,
you can get something out of it. https://www.parkrun.org.uk
[NOT FOR POSTING TO YOUR PUBLIC FACING PAGES] If you think that your practice
could join over 1600 parkrun practices and get your surgery population moving, you can
find out more here. https://volunteer.parkrun.com/principles/united-kingdom
Shingles is a painful condition related to the chicken pox virus. While you cannot catch
shingles, people who have not previously had chicken pox can catch it from someone
who has shingles. Shingles often appears on one side of the body only.
If you are aged 70 to 79, you’re eligible for vaccination against shing les. Shingles can
cause pain and lasting complications. Vaccination helps to reduce your risk.
You might describe mindfulness as being “in the moment”. The practice of mindfulness
has been shown to help with stress and anxiety.
Mindfulness can help with stress and anxiety. If you think that having an app might help
you practice mindfulness in your everyday life, you might find this article helpful.