April 2022 Newsletter

Western Avenue Surgery April Newsletter
Gynae red flags
If you have any symptoms that can be associated with gynaecological cancers, such as:
• Abnormal vaginal bleeding
• Feeling bloated, feeling full, or having difficulty eating
• Abdominal or back pain
• Constipation or an urgent need to urinate
• Itching, burning, tenderness or an unusual look or feel to your vulva
you should make an appointment with your doctor. These symptoms can be caused by
other conditions, but your GP will be able to assess them and refer you for further tests if
We understand that you might feel embarrassed, but for us, it’s part of our job, and we
want you to feel comfortable talking to us about the most sensitive issues, because we
want to help. https://www.redonline.co.uk/health-self/self/a33466580/gynaecologistsymptoms-
Healthy diet
We hear a lot about eating healthily, but do you know what that really means? In the UK
around one in four adults, and one in five children aged 5 to 11 in the UK are obese. This
increases the likelihood of health problems in the future. You can find out more about
eating healthily on the NHS website.
It is easy to underestimate the number of calories we are consuming each day if we are
not aware of our portion sizes. Larger portions can significantly increase our daily calorie
intake without our realising it. You can see here what the recommended portion sizes are
for some of the most commonly eaten foods. How do your portion sizes compare?
High cholesterol can run in families, but it can also be caused by lifestyle factors.
Cholesterol is a type of fat found in blood, it is made in the liver and is found in some
foods too. Humans need some cholesterol for their bodies to remain healthy, as it is
used in cells to make bile and some hormones. But too much cholesterol can cause
clogged arteries and lead to health problems in the future.
Online Safety
Both children and adults can find themselves the victim of a bully. Bullying can have a
profound effect on mental health. The National Bullying Helpline supports people who
are being bullied and gives practical advice about how you can deal with bullying.
Children and young people can find themselves under pressure to send inappropriate
messages, pictures, or explicit images to others. Sexting can be a major cause of stress
and embarrassment to them, not to mention the potential legal issues that surround it.
Internet Matters has brilliant advice about how to talk about sexting, and deal with the
consequences if it’s already happened.

Sexting advice hub

Changes that happen with age
As you get older your body changes and some of the changes you experience may not
be what you’d expect. For example, did you know that by age 60, most people have lost
around half of their tastebuds?
There are some health conditions that become more common as you age. There are
physiological reasons for these changes, but there are also some steps you can take to
minimise their effects. Taking some easy preventative measures can help you to stay
healthy as you grow older.
Bowel Cancer
43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year, that’s around one
every 15 minutes.
There are known signs of bowel cancer, and you should see your doctor if you’re
experiencing any of these symptoms. They may not be related to cancer, but it’s better
to get it checked:
• Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
• A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
• Unexplained weight loss
• Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
• A pain or lump in your tummy
Covid vaccination 4th dose/ booster
People over 75, and those aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, will
have been offered a spring booster for the COVID-19 vaccination. If you have received
an invitation, please make sure you book your appointment.
If you’re over 75, or over 12 with a weakened immune system, and haven’t received an
invitation to book your spring booster, you should contact your hospital speciali st or us
at the practice. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coron…oronavirus-vaccine/how-to-get-abooster-
Stress awareness
Small amounts of stress can be useful to us as humans, but there is a point where stress
has a negative impact on our mental health. Stress manifests itself physically in a variety
of ways, from well-known symptoms like difficulty sleeping, to things like skin picking
and under- or over-eating. If you think it’s possible you may be stressed, take a look at
the range of issues that it can cause and see whether you need to take action to reduce
your stress. Would you know if stress was affecting you?
Diabetes awareness
If you experience higher than normal blood sugars, but your condition is not yet
diabetes, we will talk to you about your risk of becoming diabetic. If you have an
increased risk of diabetes, you should take steps to change your lifestyle that could
reduce your risk of becoming diabetic.
There are some things you can do to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You
can help to prevent it by exercising and eating a lower carbohydrate diet.
IBS awareness
April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) awareness month. Living wi th IBS can be
challenging, with symptoms which can cause embarrassment and anxiety. IBS is usually a
lifelong condition, with symptoms varying over time.
If you’re experiencing symptoms you think might be related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome
(IBS), such as bloating, pain, constipation or diarrhoea, please see your GP. It’s always
best to double check, in case the symptoms are related to something else.
Autism awareness
Autism is widely misunderstood. We talk about the autistic spectrum, and this means
that people tend to think of autism in linear terms. In reality, autism varies widely
between individuals. The Art of Autism has a brilliant comic-strip cartoon that illustrates
the differences between neurodivergent individuals.
Autism is lifelong. Children can be diagnosed with autism from a very young age, while
some adults may find a diagnosis of autism ends a long period of questions for them.
There are big differences in the way that autism affects people and their lives.

Understanding the spectrum – a comic strip explanation

Parkinsons Awareness (11th April)
Around 145,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s. It is a neurological
condition that gets progressively worse over time. Three of the main symptoms are
tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement, although there are around forty recognised
symptoms that sufferers may experience.
1 in 37 people alive today will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime. This year,
the awareness activities we’re asking people to consider taking part in are Light Up Blue
and Poems for Parkinson’s. If you’d like to get involved you can find out more here:
On Your Feet Britain (28th April)
With many of us sitting at desks for most of the day, our fitness as a nation is suffering.
On Your Feet Britain encourages office workers to get moving – can you take part?