The RADAR key scheme has just been reviewed on the BBC ouch blog. It also subtly mentions that RADAR key is getting a relaunch this year (2013). The RADAR key scheme is administered by Disability Rights UK (formed through the merger of Disability Alliance, National Centre for Independent Living (NCIL) and The Royal Association for Disability Rights – Radar). There are few details yet on their website about what the relaunch entails. The reasons cited are the number of fake keys on the market. The RADAR key is obviously a good income source for the charity, and every fake key means they are losing revenue with which to advertise and administer the scheme. There is also the frustration and bad publicity for the scheme when someone finds they have been sold a fake key that does not work. If you look on ebay, Amazon or google you can find many fake keys. There are even unscrupulous online retailers who sell them, without always making it obvious in the listing that they are not selling genuine RADAR keys. Some people choose to buy the fakes because they are £2-3 cheaper, but personally it does not seem worth taking the risk!
Electronic RADAR keys
An electronic entry fob. Could this be the future of the RADAR key?
A key that could not be faked would be welcomed. If the key is to be relaunched with a more complicated mechanism or one that is harder to copy, I would guess that it will have some sort of electronic element to it. Any change to the key itself would mean the locks would have to be changed on 9000 toilets and that would cause uproar for the many cash strapped disability organisations, businesses and Councils that own the toilets.
I think they will introduce some sort of ‘disability oyster card’ or an electronic entry fob to supplement the existing key. An electronic pass card or key fob that will work on all new toilets, The mechanism could be retro fitted to existing toilets as and when they are refurbished. This would mean that existing users can still use the keys they have in most toilets and a card or ‘disability key fob’ would be reasonably cheap to produce. I doubt they will distribute them free to existing owners though, they are probably hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions in circulation.
Easier to Use – A more ‘Accessible’ RADAR Key!
The old keys are quite big and heavy. They are difficult to turn for people with arthritis or poor grip. The existing locks being frequently used and having secure 5-lever mortice locks, can get very stiff to turn. The large headed keys have helped a bit with this but an almost ‘contactless’ key would obviously be a huge improvement for accessibility. I assume the ideal would be to have the new electronic RADAR key electrically open the existing locks so that people who only have old keys could still use them. Perhaps they will operate a tandem scheme for a number of years until the old locks are all gone replaced.
How exactly will the new scheme work and what about existing key owners?
How the new scheme and keys will work for new and existing key owners needs to made clear as soon as possible as it leaves a lot of uncertainty for people who want to buy a key now, or for retailers like myself who have purchased them for sale. I will update this blog as soon as I know more. If you have any ideas or insider knowledge (!) please leave a comment below the post.
For more information about the existing scheme and to buy a key, read on:
Essential Items: The RADAR Key
For access to disabled toilets carry a RADAR key at all times. This handy key unlocks 9,000 wheelchair and disability toilets nationwide.
There are some items that you need when you’re out and about and they become an essential item to keep about your person at all times. To aid independence and keep yourself to yourself whilst out and about, a RADAR Key can be a great little investment.
This tweeter agrees that the RADAR key is a great disability gadget:
A RADAR Key is a specifically designed key which fits the majority of locks for disabled toilets around most city and town centres. Statistics suggest you should have access to over 9,000 locked public and disabled toilets around the country and with your own RADAR key, you can avoid the inconvenience of finding someone to unlock the door for you. You can access locked toilets immediately. It’s easy to appreciate that having to ask permission to use the public toilet can feel embarrassing and so, with your own RADAR key, this will not have to happen in many of the places you may visit on a regular basis.
Why lock a public toilet with a RADAR key?
As many disabled people will have experienced, disabled toilets are often used by ignorant members of the public who have no idea of the need to keep them free for people who need them. Even Ian Duncan Smith MP was caught out in this way! They can be used for drugs, people sleeping rough, sex and all manner of other activities if not kept locked! As this comment on the linked blog above states “For many of us waiting outside the door of the disabled toilet, because some oaf thinks his convenience comes first, means acute pain, while many more of us have almost no warning of needing to use the toilet. Disabled toilets are not simply there for our convenience when the ladies or gents are inaccessible, they are there to meet the often urgent needs of our disabilities. They are not there for you to abuse because you lack any sense of personal responsibility.”
Finding a RADAR Key holder
Unfortunately it can extremely demeaning to have to ask for the staff to get you a key and escort you to the bathroom, especially as in many establishments they cannot hand the key over to you and therefore they may even wait outside for you to finish. This can make the whole experience quite embarrassing but with your own key, you can visit the bathroom at your own leisure and not feel restricted. The same can be applied to shopping trips, visits to public parks and attractions, so that there is no need to track down a key holder or wait until you get home, you can avoid that discomfort by having personal access via your key.
Avoid Fake RADAR keys
There are many fake keys for sale that do not have the engraved RADAR words on the key handle. We must advise you not to buy a fake RADAR key. Most are only 2 lever locks that may not fit all toilets. For the peace of mind and a small amount of money you should only buy official RADAR keys. These are 5 level mortice locks and are guaranteed to fit all disabled toilet locks across the country. Also the money raised from fake keys does not help RADAR publicise and support the scheme. It is not worth saving £2 if you can’t spend a penny!
RADAR keys can be purchased on Amazon clicking the link above. We now have a limited number of RADAR Keys that we can sell to you directly at a market leading price of £4.95 including P + P
Religious fasting is the traditional practise of abstaining from eating food for an extended period of time. It is said that fasting for religious reasons can make one feel more spiritual and connected to God. There are many different religions that take part in regular fasting. Certain Christian groups fast each week, along with Muslim people and those of the Jewish faith.
The idea of a fasting diet may seem like a modern fad to many in the Western world, however in other continents fasting has been part of daily life for centuries.
The Fast Diet
The Fast Diet is a book that was recently released by Dr Michael Mosley. The book offers advice and tips for maintaining an intermittent fasting diet to aid weight loss. Intermittent fasting is also known as the 5:2 diet. This involves restricting calorie intake for 2 non-consecutive days per week. On these “fasting” days you must eat less than 500 calories. However, on the other 5 days you may eat as you wish. Due to the overwhelming success of the Fast Diet book, an informative and handy book of Fast Diet recipes has now been published. The recipes allow you keep below 500 calories without getting too bored of the calorie restrictive dishes. This fasting approach to weight loss has gained the attention of many fans and we have covered the topic in full here in our The Fast Diet post.
Although religious fasting does have weight loss benefits, this is not the reason why many take part in fasting as part of their culture or religion.
In this blog we will cover why people fast for religious reasons, and both the spiritual and physical benefits of religious fasting.
Religious Fasting Definition
According to wikipedia, the act of fasting is described as:
[the] primarily an act of willing abstention from all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day (24 hours), or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive, limiting particular foods or substance. The fast may also be intermittent in nature.
In terms of religious fasting, this usually takes place intermittently.
Religious fasting relates to spirituality rather than weight loss
Fasting is mentioned several times within the bible. Religious fasting is part of everyday life for a number of Christian communities. Catholics for example take part in partial fasts that deny them certain food types, this generally takes place during Lent and lasts 40 days.
In Classical Pentecostal churches, religious fasting is more common. Many people of the Pentecostal faith take part in weekly fasts. It is said that fasting helps to cleanse the soul and bring a calm mind. This in turn brings one closer to God and can help strengthen your empathy and understanding of the greater spiritual meaning of life.
Mormon Fast Sunday
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints take part in a total fast of food and drink. This usually takes place on the first Sunday of each month. During this fasting period, members will miss two consecutive meals, missing 24 hours of food.
Fasting for spiritual reasons is a very important part of Hinduism. There are different fasts that are observed by each member of the faith, and it is a personal choice which they take part in.
Often people of the Hindu faith will choose to fast on the day of the week that corresponds with their favourite deity. For example, those that worship Shiva will fast on a Monday. Whereas members who follow Vishnu will instead fast on a Thursday.
Islam and Fasting
Fasting is one of the most crucial aspects of the Islamic faith. Fasting is considered the fourth of the “Five Pillars of Islam”. The Five Pillars of Islam are similar to the “10 Commandments” of Christian faith. The Five Pillars of Islam are 5 basic acts that must be followed and create the foundation of Muslim life.
The most notable period of fasting is known as Ramadan – the holy month. During Ramandan followers of the faith should not eat nor drink from dawn until sunset.
Judaism and Fasting
Religious fasting for Jews involves not eating any food or consuming any drink, even water. Orthodox Jews usually fast for 6 days a year. The most important and well-known day of fasting for those of Jewish faith is Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur, also known as Day of Atonement, every Jew must fast entirely. The afternoon before Yom Kippur sees Jews take part in a large and festive feast in lieu of the upcoming fast.
Spiritual Benefits of Fasting
Although each religion takes a different approach to fasting, they all have one thing in common – prayer. Prayer and spiritual strength are the primary reasons why people of all faiths take part in fasting. There are other physical benefits of fasting which we will cover later in this post, however this is not the intention of religious fasting.
Spiritual Fasting and Prayer
Many members of each different fasting faith will argue that fasting has no importance without the inclusion of prayer. As interviewed on the Radio 4 broadcast on the subject of religious fasting, Pastor Grace Komolafe talks about the spiritual benefits of fasting:
“Fasting is so beneficial for us, every Christian, so that, that will keep us calm. It will actually detox us because we need to be detoxed, not only from all the toxin but from unbelief. When you fast, you discover that on your spirit is just lifted up. You know, you understand the word of God more. You have more revelation of the word of God. Fasting should be put back on the menu of the church because it is our inheritance. In fact, fasting is an instrument of humbling.”
The Physical Benefits of Fasting
The number one benefit that tempts people into a fasting diet regime is the prospect of weight loss. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help decrease central weight loss far better than other diets.
Fasting Diet and Weight Loss
Restricting calorie intake through intermittent fasting has been proven to drastically improve weight loss.
Mark Mattson, Professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University has done numerous research into the study of fasting diets.
A recent study involved monitoring the weight loss of 100 women via three different methods of diet. A third would eat normally, a third would have a low calorie diet and the final third would take part in intermittent fasting. The results from this study were astoundingly in favour of the intermittent or 5:2 style of fasting.
[the women] were on the diets for six months, and what we found is that as expected, both energy restricted groups lost weight. But we found that the group on a diet that we’re calling the 5:2 diet, the women, they lost more belly fat and their glucose regulation was improved, so that they were able to maintain lower blood glucose levels.
Fasting Diet Health Benefits
Often loosing a few pounds can essentially increase the health of someone who is overweight. However, fasting diets can also offer more health benefits than just weight loss.
As mentioned previously by Professor Mark Mattson, fasting diet studies showed that not only can they help you to loose weight, but fasting can also lower blood glucose levels and help blood pressure levels.
Mark Mattson goes on to explain the overall health benefits of fasting:
Intermittent fasting will improve glucose regulation and therefore, protect against diabetes. And the reason that happens is that, when you go without food for an extended time period, say 12 to 24 hours, your muscle cells and your liver cells will undergo changes that make them better able to remove glucose from the blood, so that when you do eat, the glucose is rapidly removed and taken up by the cells where it’s needed and used. Another clear fact, that we’ve documented in our animal studies, is that intermittent fasting will lower blood pressure and reduce resting heart rate and enhance ability of heart to respond to stress.
Fasting and Eating Disorders
Those who suffer from eating disorders such as Bulimia may binge on “comfort” food such as sweets, later to purge them from their system.
Although the act of depriving your body of food can have positive spiritual and physical effects, it can also cause harm if the practise is abused.
Going through cycles of starvation and consumption are familiar to many who suffer eating disorders. Bulimia Nervosa involves “binging and purging“, where the sufferer will firstly binge – a vast consumption of calorific and fatty foods desired by the sufferer. Once the binge has taken place, a period of purging will begin. Those with Bulimia will force themselves to vomit or take harmful doses of laxative to try and ensure they do not gain weight. The purging is triggered by not only a desire to loose weight, but a strong sense of guilt that comes from overconsumption.
Rob Waller, writer at mindandsoul.info, highly recommends the book “A Hunger for God” as a reference to religious fasting. He has also written a blog that explains the similarities and problems that can occur with religious fasting and eating disorders:
A few years ago, I facilitated a six week course on prayer and fasting. As many of the group were in their 20s and many were also female, the topic of eating disorders seemed important to cover. In this article I try to summarise how true Christian fasting might relate to different types of eating disorder… Read More…
Eating disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia are incredibly harmful eating disorders that abuse the intake and withdrawal of food. There are a number of self-help groups that can help those with eating disorders overcome their problems, such as b-eat and your local GP can also offer you guidance and support.
Religious fasting and intermittent fasting diets can offer fantastic results for health, weight loss and spirituality if not abused. Fasting can improve many aspects of your health, but only if you continue to eat a healthy and balanced diet on the non-fasting days.
Further Information on Religious Fasting
If you would like to read further about the subject of Religious Fasting and the benefits both spiritually and physically, we have compiled a list of recommended book titles below:
Bad breath can be an embarrassing issue to tackle. Most of us will feel as though we’ve had a bad breath day at some point in our lives. Usually this is fixed by a quick brushing of teeth or swill of mouth wash. However for some dealing with bad breath, or halitosis, can be a socially devastating experience.
Bad Breath or ‘Halitosis’ and its Causes
Problems with bad breath do not always start in the mouth. Although oral health is the most likely cause of bad breath, it can also depend on other issues.
Low Carb Diet Bad Breath
What we eat and drink has a huge effect on our breath. Eating foods with a strong flavour, such as garlic and spices can cause temporary bad breath. However many will find that simply cutting down on these ingredients will solve the problem quickly.
Dieting, especially low-carbohydrate based diets, can also cause bad breath. This is because as the body starts to break down fat at a fast rate, chemicals called ketones are produced. These ketones escape through urine and unfortunately, your breath. Ketone-based bad breath has a distinct odour. If you are on a low-carb diet and suffer from bad breath, it is more than likely that ketosis is to blame.
Bad breath is an unfortunate side-effect of dieting. However when the body is producing ketones, it is proof that you are actually burning fat. Products such as Ketostix can show if you are producing ketones. They are dip-sticks for testing levels of ketones in your urine. These will help you find out if your bad breath is ketosis, whilst also providing proof that you are loosing weight via fat loss.
Cigarette Bad Breath
A build up of dental plaque will cause gum disease, which causes halitosis.
Bad breath is obviously the least important health issue caused by smoking. However, as well as the damage to your lungs, smoking can cause gum disease. Gums can become irritated by smoke, causing further complications such as gum disease. Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, makes gums swollen, infected and painful.
It is mostly noticed when there is blood whilst brushing your teeth. The gum tissue is very sensitive to cigarette smoke, and is eroded over time. This is mostly caused by the extra bacteria in the mouth due to smoking. This bacteria cause plaque, which will deteriorate the gums and then cause bad breath.
The most sensible cure for bad breath due to smoking is obviously to stop smoking. However keeping up to date with dental appointments and maintaining good oral health will help stop cigarette bad breath.
The NHS provides a “Quit kit” to will help you to stop smoking.
Medicines That Cause Bad Breath
There are a number of medicines that cause bad breath. If these drugs are vital to your health, bad breath is an unfortunate yet unavoidable side effect. However if you are deeply concerned about your bad breath, talking to your GP may help. They maybe able to offer you an alternative medicine to avoid getting bad breath.
Post Nasal Drip Bad Breath
Post nasal drip is also known as upper airway cough syndrome. It is caused by an excess production of mucous in the nose. This mucous then gathers in the throat causing bad breath. Post nasal drip can be a side-effect of further health issues, such as sinusitis or swallowing disorders.
Bad Breath in Babies and Children
Children can occasionally fall foul of bad breath, too. As stated by Dr Lewis First in this article for NBC 5 News, the main cause of halitosis in children is tooth decay. Many children dislike having to brush their teeth and see it as a chore. This is why it is important to try and make cleaning their teeth a fun experience.
Make cleaning teeth fun! Photo Credit: Stuart Berry http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartberry/
There are a range of toothbrushes available to encourage your child to brush. Finding a fun toothbrush for your child will help them take an interest in brushing. Character brushes based on cartoons and toys are a firm winner with most children. Also you will find many of these character brushes include built-in flashing lights. These Barbie and Spiderman toothbrushes light up once activated, not only to entertain, but to also act as a timer. They will flash continuously for 1-2 minutes, ensuring your child has brushed for the right amount of time.
Studies have also found that “mouth breathing” can also contribute towards halitosis in young children. Mouth breathing often takes place when a child is ill with a cold. Their noses become blocked and stuffy, leaving no option other than to breathe mainly through the mouth. The intake of air through the mouth then dries out saliva, leaving bacteria to fester. This is usually a short term problem that is solved once the child no longer has a cold. However taking extra time for brushing during this time can help lessen bad breath.
Bad Breath and Disease Symptoms
As mentioned previously, bad breath can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Below we cover some of the more common illnesses and conditions that can include bad breath as a symptom.
Halitosis is simply the umbrella term for of all disorders that cause bad breath. This covers everything from morning breath to oral hygiene issues. Morning breath happens for the opposite reason that children suffer bad breath due to mouth breathing. At night the mouth is exposed to less oxygen than during the day time. This lack of oxygen circulating around the mouth again allows the bacteria to breed. This is why ensuring you clean your mouth, teeth and gums properly before bed is so important for oral health.
Gum disease, also known as gingivitis is the most common form of dental disease. It is caused by a build-up of plaque that then allows bacteria to grow in the mouth. This bacteria then starts to effect the gums and can lead to periodontitis. The most common symptoms of gingivitis are:
bleeding gums, especially when brushing
swelling of the gums
changes in the colour of the gums, most notably a dark red colour
It is important to spot and treat gingivitis before it leads to periodontitis. Once periodontitis sets in it can destroy the gums when bacteria travels under the tooth. Teeth can then become loose as the gums become more infected. Eventually this will lead to loss of teeth permanently.
Bad breath caused by gingivitis is easily remedied by keeping on top of oral hygiene. Making visits to your dentist for check-ups and maintaining a good brushing routine.
The kidneys are vital organs that help to cleanse the blood and keep your body chemicals balanced. Waste and toxins that are taken into the body through food, air and drink eventually end up in your blood. It is the job of the kidneys to filter the blood of these toxins and then convert them to urine. People with kidney disease will often complain of bad breath. This is because when the kidneys are not functioning properly, they fail to remove toxins from the body. One of these toxins is ammonia, which is found in urine. This build-up of toxins within the body then escapes through the digestive system to the mouth, causing a ‘fishy odour’ in the breath.
Bad breath occurs for people with type 1 diabetes due to excess ketones caused by lack of insulin.
Bad breath caused by diabetes is related to ketosis, as mentioned in our low carb diet section. However as ketosis is a temporary side-effect of low-carb dieting, diabetic ketoacidosis can be life-threating.
Generally found in people with type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis is caused by a lack of insulin to convert blood sugars to energy. Instead the body will start metabolising fat stores rather than converting sugars from food. This rapid burning of fat causes an influx of ketones; a byproduct of fat breakdown. The body will then become overwhelmed with ketones which are highly acidic, and change the PH of the blood.
The presence of these ketones within the digestive system then cause bad breath as they escape the body via urine or the mouth. This in turn causes the breath to smell unpleasant. Some people describe this as like the smell of the sweets called ‘pear drops’.
Dogs detecting diabetes in the breath
Specially trained dogs can detect the smell of ketones and are being used to help warn people with diabetes. So called ‘Hypo dogs‘, can alert people before they notice the symptoms themselves and can be especially helpful for small children or people whose glucose levels drop very quickly.
Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is an inflammation of the lining of the sinuses. This is usually caused by a bacterial infection. The sinuses are located in several areas in the head. However it is the sinuses in the nose that cause bad breath when infected. Very similar to post nasal drip, the excess mucus produced can build up and allow bacteria to grow. This influx in bacteria produces a bad odour, that is noted as bad breath.
When your body fails to pass solid waste on a regular basis this is called constipation. This then slows down the digestive process of food. Undigested food will then remain in the bowls where it becomes toxic and emits gas. This gas will eventually travel back up the digestive system and into the mouth, causing bad breath.
Keeping yourself regular and avoiding constipation is key to preventing bad breath. Statistics show that unto 25% of bad breath cases are caused by constipation. A diet of high fibre, fruit, veg and at least 4-6 glasses of water a day can prevent constipation. However it is also important to remain physically fit if this is possible. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising the middle of the body will keep bowl muscles toned. This in turn will make passing solid waste easier and more regular, avoiding bad breath.
For people who find it hard to eat enough natural fibre, a useful alternative is fybogel drinks or psyllium husks added to food.
Bad Breath Remedies
Brushing teeth for at least 2 minutes helps ensure plaque removal.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find a bad breath cure. Knowing the cause is your first step before trying to cure it. Disorders such as post nasal drip can often be cured using antibiotics or nasal steroids. However if your bad breath is due to oral hygiene rather than an underlying health condition it might be less simple to cure.
Treating and preventing bad breath should start with your daily brushing routine:
Always ensure you spend at least 2 minutes brushing with a quality toothpaste. Pastes such as Weleda’s Salt Toothpaste include natural ingredients that not only freshen but help neutralise plaque acids.
Ensure you floss between your teeth every time you brush, to further prevent plaque and tartar build-up. Plaque is the number one cause of gum disease and then bad breath.
It will help to brush your tongue as well as your teeth. Using a soft bristle brush for a longer brushing time is advised. The softer brushes cause less damage to gums and the tongue.
Use a mouth wash several times a day. It can help to carry a small bottle of mouth wash around with you for between snacks and meals. Brushing your teeth whilst at work or out and about can be difficult. However a quick swill of quality mouth wash between meals will help to dislodge particles of food until you can brush again.
Avoid brushing teeth for around 30 minutes after drinking fruit juice. Due to the acid in the juice, brushing straight away can cause further erosion of the teeth.
Once you have a solid oral hygiene routine in place, it is advised that you continue to avoid spicy foods, alcohol intake, smoking and coffee drinking. If after 2 weeks you are still suffering from bad breath, it may be time to consult your GP and dentist. They can rule out any underlying health issues that could be the cause of your bad breath.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Bad Breath
Although bad breath is a very serious concern for the sufferer, it is not rare for the bad smell to be a psychological issue. Some can become convinced that they suffer bad breath when they actually don’t. In his recent interview with BBC Radio 4, Dr Tim Hodgson says up to 80% of self-referring halitosis patients don’t really have bad breath.
This paranoia of having bad breath is called halitophobia. People can become obsessed with oral hygiene and avoid social situations due to embarrassment of their bad breath. If a dental professional or GP feels halitosis is not present, the patient will be referred for cognitive behavioural therapy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps a patient with anxieties to understand the link between how they think, feel and act.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is usually referred to by the initials CBT. CBT is a therapy that involves discussing problems with a professional to find the root of your problems. CBT helps you to examine your emotions, actions and thoughts to understand how they are all interlinked.
Often those that are referred for CBT have at some time in the past suffered from bad breath. However this is usually no longer a problem yet they still think in the same way as they did during that time. Patients create a perception of themselves based on situations that occurred during the previous period of bad breath. This builds an anxiety that makes them concentrate on potential problems related to bad breath.
This is where cognitive behavioural therapy comes in. CBT sessions help the patient to see that their negative actions or negative reactions of those around them are actually caused by their own negative thoughts. This in turn helps the patient to filter all social and emotional information relating to bad breath equally. Rather than concentrating on only the negative they can see and feel, CBT helps them to interpret their apparent bad breath issue in a clearer light.
Products That May Help with Bad Breath
We have compiled a selection of over-the-counter products that are available to treat bad breath. If you have any recommendations or any experience with these products, please comment below.
This all inclusive oral hygiene kit has garnered fantastic reviews. It includes an oral rinse, tooth gel, tongue scraper and tooth brush all specifically designed to eliminate bad breath.
One of the many five star reviews on amazon comes from bumblebee:
It really does help! I ordered it for my close relative who was feeling really bad about her bad breath and although I really doubted it would help, it worked and I really do recommend that product to anyone who has bad breath!
The Tung Brush is especially designed to remove odour caused by bacteria. The unique design of the flat head and bristles keep the tongue extra clean to avoid bad breath.
This review by amazon reviewer “Me” explains how important tongue hygiene is in combating bad breath:
This product is absolutely amazing. 80% of bad breath comes from the back of your tongue. I’m surprised no one else has thought of this idea. We see tongue scrapers and mouthwashes on the market but we hardly see a good quality tongue brush to clean out tongue.
All the companies want us to buy mouthwashes to clean and freshen out breath, but the truth is that mouthwash just masks your breath for a very short period..that’s it. It won’t remove the bacteria, it won’t scrub it off, it will just stay there.
Now about this Tung Brush. There is also a special kind of zinc tongue gel sample that comes with this brush, which I think is not very good. This is how I use the brush, firstly after brushing your teeth with your toothbrush, apply a strip of normal toothpase (anything that you normally use, I use Aquafresh), then put some water onto it, and then scrub your tongue with it, but only go from back to front motions not back, front, front back etc. But most importantly remember your focus is to clean the very back of your tongue as this is where all the odour smelling bacteria is! This may make you gag a few times, but it is worth it. Afterwards spit, rinse and gargle. And now your tongue and mouth will feel so clean, that your sense of taste will change aswell, it will feel much cleaner and fresher.
You can also buy a Tung tongue scraper from Amazon to use after the Tung brush, this just adds to removing even more bacteria and foul smelling breath.
This is my first review, I wrote it because I think this Tung Brush is an absolute essential for clean and fresh breath. It really will affect your sense of taste.
Transcript from Video
00:01 Speaker 1: From bad hair, to bad breath. Halitosis is a tricky problem for us GP’s, not because we’re particularly prone to it, you understand, but because we’re often the last port of call for desperate patients. People complaining of persistent bad breath often end up coming back to their GP after their dentist has checked their mouth and various specialists who have looked at their throats, lungs and stomach. So, what can the GP add if there is no abnormality to find? Well, the first thing he or she can do is actually check that their patient has bad breath. Offering to smell someone’s breath can be embarrassing for both parties but it’s essential, as I discovered when I met Tim Hodgson, Consultant in oral medicine at the Eastern Dental Hospital in London.
00:42 Tim Hodgson: I think the most important thing to say to these individuals is, “Is it there or is it not?” And you’ve got to be very careful how you say it cause often these people are coming to you with a problem that they feel is real. And then, if you turn immediately around to them and say, “This is not real”, you can run into problems. But I think it’s very important within the first discussion to smell the breath cause that’s the gold standard test, and if they haven’t got bad breath you can say at that moment in time they don’t have halitosis but it is possible that in times previously that they had. And it’s often the case that people have halitosis, address their gum health.
01:22 S1: And gum health being the most common cause of it?
01:24 TH: Yeah. And after that they’re left with this perception that they’ve still got halitosis even though they’ve corrected the cause. And that’s sometimes reinforced by family members, friends and relatives. And often they come along with a very considered construct that people on their bus or on the Tube are turning away from them or covering their face or won’t talk to them directly because they feel they’ve got bad breath. And they look, almost looking for people who are avoiding them because of their bad breath.
01:58 S1: And that reinforces their notion that they’ve got bad breath.
01:59 TH: Yeah, it reinforces and helps build a construct in their own head.
02:03 S1: As a rough guide, what sort of proportion of people that you see here with halitosis would, in your mind, not necessarily have a real problem but have a perceived problem? Are they a significant minority?
02:14 TH: I would say probably 80% of patients referred with halitosis to our service don’t have halitosis.
02:21 S1: Do they believe you when you smell their breath and say, “Look, I can’t smell anything”.
02:26 TH: Some do, and others don’t.
02:29 S1: Working along side Tim Hodgson at the Eastern Dental Hospital is clinical psychologist, Claire Daniel.
02:34 Claire Daniel: For some of these people, they may well have had halitosis in the past so they’ve set up this way of thinking is… We work in a cognitive behavioural way which basically looks at the way in which people think, they way in which they feel, what they do and the physical symptoms and how they all interact. So, this patient in the past may well have had halitosis. They’ve set up this belief system thinking about their breath, maybe they’re focusing on their breath. And as Tim said, they’ve had past experiences of people reinforcing that they’ve got halitosis. Now, even if the halitosis disappears some patients may well remain quite anxious about that and so they will keep on focusing on the potential symptoms. And they become very biased in the way in which they see and hear information so they become very focused on the negative stuff that will reinforce their beliefs and will sort of ignore the other bits of information that may well support a more helpful, more realistic way of thinking about their situation.
03:25 S1: So, when a doctor or a dentist tells them that they haven’t got bad breath, they’ll say, “Well, that’s not true or I haven’t got my bad breath today but, trust me, I had it yesterday because I saw someone in the pub wince”.
03:36 CD: Yes, absolutely. So, it’s either, “Well yes, it’s okay today but it wasn’t yesterday or it won’t be tomorrow”. But also, some people initially will be reassured by somebody saying they haven’t got bad breath but, as we know, reassurance is for people who believe they have medical difficulties can only be short-lived for most people. So, they’ll feel very reassured in the consulting room and then will go home and their whole belief system will trigger again, maybe reinforced by the people. So, their anxiety maintains.
04:02 S1: Looking at this from the outside, Tim’s got perhaps the easy part of the job when he says, “Look, I don’t think you have halitosis”, and he then does the referral to you.
04:09 CD: Absolutely.
04:09 S1: And you’ve got to do something about it. It’s quite a complex problem so what can you do and how successful might you be?
04:14 CD: Yeah, it’s very complex. Cognitive behavioural therapy is an anxiety about health in general, we don’t set out to tell people that they’re wrong. We set out to try and help people understand what’s going on. So, we don’t just talk about their physical reported symptoms. We’ll talk about the way in which they’re interpreting things, they way in which they’re thinking about things, and how those interpretations actually may be unhelpful. They might seem helpful to the patients, like go to the doctor, go to the dentist, focus on their breath to check, maybe clean their teeth, but in the long term they can be very unhelpful and maintain the problem. So, we help people to take a broader outlook on their situation. We don’t tell them what it’s not, we help them to understand what it could be and then we help them to develop evidence to support what it could be rather than maybe what it’s not.
05:01 S1: And practically, what is involved and how often do you see them?
05:04 CD: So, we’d see people maybe every week, every two weeks.
05:08 S1: Is this one-on-one?
05:09 CD: Yes, one-on-one, for this particular condition. One-on-one, so one patient with one psychologist for about 50 minutes about, on average about eight times.
05:17 S1: And in terms of success rate, how effective is it?
05:20 CD: I would say, we do help… With particularly halitosis, we probably help about 80-90% of people.
05:28 S1: That’s pretty good.
05:28 CD: But I wouldn’t… But then it’s a continuum, we might help some people just a little bit. And I think with things like anxiety about health, it’s a life-long issue. We’re not just going to suddenly stop people’s anxieties. It’s about helping them to live with uncertainty and live with a degree of anxiety about their condition. So, they’ll still have times when they think their breath smells.
05:46 S1: Clinical psychologist Claire Daniel. Just time to tell you about the next Inside Health when I will be investigating the side effect of cancer treatment…
Purple Day was founded in 2008, and is celebrated each year on March 26th
International Purple Day: Raising awareness of epilepsy
Purple Day is a worldwide event dedicated to raising awareness about epilepsy. Since Canadian Cassidy Megan created Purple Day in 2008, March 26th has seen people from across the globe join together for the cause.
Supporting Purple Day can be as simple as wearing an item of purple clothing. However many organise events to not only raise money for epilepsy charities, but to give people a chance to discuss epilepsy and meet others with the condition.
600,000 UK people living with epilepsy
Purple Day offers fantastic support for those who suffer from epilepsy as well as their families and friends. There are currently over 600,000 people in the UK who are living with epilepsy. Yet despite these numbers the condition is still often misunderstood by the public. 1 in 10 people will have a seizure at some time in their lives.
Epilepsy is a condition that is characterised by seizures. A seizure is caused by a disturbance of electrical activity in the brain. This can then can manifest itself physically
Cassidy Megan – founded Purple Day to raise awareness and dispel the myths surrounding epilepsy
in a number of ways. Seizures can be mild or severe. A mild seizure can cause brief loss of consciousness and loss of muscle tone. However more severe seizures can leave the sufferer totally unconsciousness and their body stiff.
Do and Don’ts for Seizures
If you are with someone and they are having a seizure that causes jerky body movements (know as a tonic-clonic seizure ) you should do the following:
move them from anything that could cause them injury, such as a hot stove or away from traffic
note the time of that the seizure began, this can be important for medical treatment later. Try and time the seizure.
rest their head on clothing or a cushion if they are on the floor
help them to breathe by loosening ties, scarfs or other tight clothing around their necks
when the convulsions begin to stop, put them in the recovery position by turning them on their side, again keeping their airway open
reassure them and talk to them gently. Having a seizure causes embarrassment and anxiety. People are often confused when they come round. Stay with them.
Don’t put your fingers or anything else in the person’s mouth, they will not ‘swallow their tongue’ although they may bite it but it will heal and not cause lasting damage. Putting anything into the persons mouth could be dangerous or cause them harm.
When should I call an ambulance?
People with epilepsy may have seizures quite frequently and do not need to go to the hospital each time. Most seizures last less than 5 minutes. The person will usually be able to let you know if they require an ambulance or not. People with epilepsy may have a mediband, sos bracelet or necklace or carry an emergency card to let people know what to do.
You should call an ambulance by dialing 999, if:
you know that the person has never had a seizure before
the seizure goes on for more than 5 minutes
seizures occur in a series, and they appear to stop, but then begin again
the person does not regain consciousness or is having difficulty breathing
Although epilepsy is relatively common in the UK, there are rarer epileptic conditions. My son has Dravet Syndrome which is a rare and life-threatening form of epilepsy that is diagnosed in children. Dravet Syndrome affects around 1 in 30,000 children in the UK. Whilst this is rare, they are around 200 families on our UK Dravet Facebook group.
Many children who are diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome develop normally until they have their first seizure around 3 to 6 months old. After the epilepsy begins children will gradually lose the developmental skills they previously had and find it hard to progress and learn. The developmental issues that occur with Dravet Syndrome can cause delays in speech and language, motor skills and the functioning of the nervous system.
Whether it is rarer forms of epilepsy such as Dravet Syndrome, or common forms – the effect of the symptoms strongly impact upon the quality of life of those that have epilepsy. That is why global awareness raising events like Purple Day are so important in raising funds and over coming the stigma that can come with the condition.
The XL Challenge
A fun way to support Dravet Syndrome charities and epilepsy research this year is to follow David of thexlchallenge.com. David has so far completed challenges including a dip in the sea for New Years Day, fun runs, eating bugs in a bush tucker challenge, half marathons and Terror nights!
David is doing 40 challenges in his 40th year and raising lots of money and awareness of Dravet Syndrome and epilepsy along the way.
David after a charity run in Cypress
He still has many unusual tasks to complete this year, follow him on twitter, check out his page and sponsor him!
Getting Involved in Purple Day 2013
A pair of fantastic Greeper Laces are on offer to anybody who mentions purple day on their blog and links back to us.
To celebrate Purple Day 2013, we are offering a 10 free pairs of purple Greeper Laces to our readers who are willing to share their thoughts on the event.
Perhaps you’re hosting a Purple Day party, or taking part in a sponsored event? Epilepsy Research UK offer a fundraising pack filled with ideas to raise awareness and bring support to those with epilepsy this Purple Day. From wearing purple to school or work, or even dying your hair purple – like Helen Webster of Salisbury.
Purple Day Laces Giveaway!
We’d love to hear your Purple Day stories or accounts of living with epilepsy. Or even a mention of Purple day on your blog to help raise epilepsy awareness. Simply write a short blog post (at least 200 words) and give Purple Day a mention, leave a comment below. We will send you a free pair of awesome ‘once applied always tied’ purple Greeper Laces. (offer limited to UK residents, 10 pairs to give away!) **Sorry Offer Now Closed**
All women lose hair whilst brushing, however for some the loss can suddenly become more noticeable.
Female hair loss affects around 8 million women in the UK alone. This statistic shows that hair loss in women is as important an issue as it is for men. There are varying degrees of hair loss that can effect women. From fine and thinning hair, to total baldness and bald spots. Women of all ages can suffer from this terrible condition. Like female incontinence that we covered in a recent post, this is an issue where good information can be hard to find. Recently BBC journalist Claire Millar wrote a piece about how her hair loss affected her. She said “I remember going through a whole range of emotions. I felt embarrassed, upset and scared.” If you suffer from female hair loss, especially at an early age you may find yourself under great pressure to live up to what is expected of you as a woman.
Personal experience from Diane, one of our readers:
I have had Alopecia since I was a child. At exactly what age I’m not sure. My mother used to tell me that at one point I lost all my hair and had a blond wig.But I have no recollection of it at all.
I spent a lot of my childhood in hospital with Rheumatic ever and stills disease.
As a child I was given various disgusting smelling potions but none had an effect other than making me smell weird!
Hairdressers have become a phobia because of insensitive comments, who would inevitably feel the need to share her findings with the rest of the salon. Believe me I tried various places,some worse than others but damage well and truly done.
My hair loss is now spreading (I’m 49) I was diagnosed with Sjorgens Syndrome a year ago which I believe is a symptom of this too.
I have very sensitive skin and have to be really careful which shampoo to use. I wash my hair as little as I can get away with. I have yet to find shampoo that doesn’t irritate me.
I wear my hair long so that I can tie it up and hide the patches.
Would love to have my hair short again as it would be so much easier to handle.
Would be really grateful of any suggestions that may make it easier to live with.
Please read on for further information about what causes female hair loss, and how to manage the condition.
Female Hair Loss Causes
Female hair loss is a condition that is very hard to disguise. As it effects your outwards appearance, many women emotionally struggle to cope with the condition. There’s an old saying that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory. This says a lot about the pressure society places on women to have a healthy and full head of hair.
Stress Hair Loss
There are many causes of female hair loss. If you are suffering from severe stress or nutritional deficiencies for example, you may witness a temporary change in your hair condition. Both women and men who find themselves facing emotionally draining life-changes can lose hair. This is a condition called “telogen effluvium” – a temporary shedding of hair from the head and sometimes other parts of the body.
It is noticed as a thinning of the hair rather that patches of baldness. This hair loss can happen quite suddenly, however usually grows back within 6 months.
Hormonal Hair Loss in Women
There are a number of health conditions that cause significant changes in a woman’s hormonal balance.
However the hormone mostly responsible for female hair loss is testosterone.
Illnesses such as PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome) often cause women to produce increased levels of testosterone.
This in turn can effect many aspects of their health. Increased testosterone in women is initially discovered because of irregular periods. However this symptom is usually teamed with one or more of the following health concerns:
Acne in adulthood
Facial hair growth
Weight gain (especially around the middle)
Type II diabetes or Insulin Resistance
A typical example of hormone-related male-pattern baldness on a woman.
As women with PCOS can produce too much testosterone, they can suffer from male-pattern baldness. Unlike temporary stress-related
hair loss this can often be permanent. However most women do not suffer bald patches from their loss. It’s more an over-all thinning of the hair, especially along the parting.
Diet and Women’s Hair Loss
A poor diet can lead to vital vitamin deficiencies. These deficiencies can in turn lead to problems such as hair loss. A healthy and balanced diet is not only important for weight watching. Each vegetable and fruit offers an important vitamin or mineral that is essential for a balanced diet. The colour of each piece of fruit or vegetable is a reflection of the vitamins and minerals contained inside. One of the easiest way to insure you eat a balanced diet is to eat a “rainbow” selection of fresh produce everyday.
However if eating a healthy diet still leaves you with thinning hair, you may have a specific deficiency caused by an underlying health problem. If you feel this is the case you must contact your GP. Deficiencies in Iron, Vitamin D and B12 are essential for healthy and strong hair growth. Women who suffer from eating disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia can often lose hair due to vitamin deficiencies caused by a lack of food intake.
Hair loss caused by drug side effects
@trabasack I lost hair when put on #methotrexate..it was awful as I had really nice long hair..it felt worse than the actual drug effects
If your hair begins to thin after beginning a new drug treatment, be aware that there are many medicines that can cause alopecia as a side effect. It is worth checking with your GP if there are alternatives, if you believe this is happening.
Female Hair Loss Treatment
There are several types of hair loss treatment for women. If the hair loss is caused by temporary conditions such as stress, it is easier to find a treatment that works.
However if hair loss is caused by hormonal imbalances, finding a cure is more difficult.
Unfortunately there currently isn’t a true cure for male-pattern baldness. However there are products that can help to strengthen the hair you do have, providing extra thickness and some regrowth.
Shampoos with caffeine have the ability to travel down the hair follicle to infiltrate the root and scalp, promoting hair growth.
New to the market are caffeine shampoos. These hair treatments contain caffeine, which has been proven to stimulate hair growth. The caffeine reaches the hair follicles whilst you wash your hair, and is safe enough to be used daily. Once the shampoo has been washed off, the caffeine stays within the follicle and in the scalp skin. This means it continues to work even after it has been washed off.
Many women have seen fantastic results after only a few weeks of switching to a caffeine based shampoo, despite scepticism from the medical profession (see video below). The ingredients are designed to not only stimulate hair growth, but improve the structure and strength of the hair you have already.
Statistics show that even if new hair growth can not be achieved, maintaining the hair you do have is just as important.
Often women with hair loss will find that what is actually happening is that their current hair has become thinner than it used to be. This can give the impression of hair loss. However, if you work towards keeping your hair healthy and ensuring hair follicles are thick you can feel more confident about yourself and your hair style.
There is a transcript of this video at the bottom of the page.
Minoxidil for Female Hair Loss
Another scalp treatment for female baldness is the drug minoxidil. Minoxidil is a proven treatment and comes in the form of a lotion. Many women see a slow-down of hair loss almost days after first usage. Most importantly, at least 25% of women see a change in hair thickness and growth with the first few months of use. Although this treatment is not available on the NHS, it is often recommended by GPs.
When we asked on twitter for any products people had found helpful we had this tweet:
@lwdisability Spironolactone can stop further hair loss in women, but uusually need to see a skin specialist to have it prescribed ❤
Spironolactone is a diuretic that also acts to block male hormones. It may be worth asking your doctor for a referral to a specialist if you think this may help you.
Food Supplements for Hair Loss
There are a number of brands now creating tablets especially for female hair loss. Whilst these can be expensive, the results are often positive. Most tablets contain essential vitamins and minerals needed for healthy hair growth. Many high street chemists stock their own generic versions of these supplements if you find the branded ones too expensive.
Head massage for female hair loss can bring positive results whilst also being a relaxing experience.
Head Massage for Hair Loss
Massage of the scalp can also offer positive results. Using specially chosen essential oils for scalp massage is very important. Firstly
there are grades of massage oil. Essential oils or absolutes are the purest form of oil and you should try to buy these if possible. After this there are “dilutes” that are a mix of essential and “carrier” oils. These are cheaper than absolutes but less effective. Finally “fragrance” oils should be avoided as these are synthetic and do not hold any of the therapeutic qualities of essential oils.
Some of the best essential oils for hair loss are:
To make your own hair loss massage oil, simply mix a few drops of each oil into a carrier oil such as Jojoba or Avocado Oil.
Below is information on how to give yourself a scalp massage to promote hair loss:
Place a few drops of essential rosemary oil in your palms and use it to gently massage your scalp. Rosemary can help get rid of excess oil on your scalp, which can clog your follicles. It also helps to stop the growth of any bacteria on your skin and might even replenish hair lost due to a condition such as alopecia areata. Use the pads of your fingers and a circular motion to rub the oil into your scalp for two minutes once a day before washing. This will also break up any buildup and allow it to be washed away more effectively.
Personal Viewpoint from Dale at BeyondPhysical.co.uk
After suffering paralysis as a result of an SCI my hair began to fall out in fistfuls. The shower was like a horror scene, especially as my hair had always been a very important and cherished part of my appearance. My beautiful long red hair began to thin and disappear. I made the decision to cut it all very short to get the best from it.
Cutting my hair shorter than it had been since I was 3 was an incredibly painful process at first. I didn’t want to let go of who I was, and my hair partly defined that. It seemed to emphasize to me how long it would take to ‘get back’ to who I was.
It turned out to be an incredibly liberating experience. It helped reveal the truth to me that you can never go back to who you were and how life was. We are only ever moving forward towards better things and holding on to the past and trying to get back what once was is not only impossible, but also harmful to us in the long run.
Accepting what was happening and what I needed in that moment was one of the reasons I think that cutting my hair short helped. At first my hair still fell out, but not as drastically. The radical cut did seem to give my body a chance to heal as my hair soon stopped thinning, and of course, I learnt to love my new short hair.
I grew my hair back out to its full length eventually and would you believe for the last 3 years I have had it cut short and very short, and now I prefer it. Everything happens for a reason.
Tricologists have told me in the past that alopecia treatments are either steroids or nothing at all, but in both cases it tends to be watch and hope. There seems to be nothing tried and tested in medical terms. There were a couple of things that helped me.
Giving my hair a chance by cutting it short
Accepting the situation as something that wasn’t ‘bad’
The B.E.S.T technique
I found an American holistic treatment called B.E.S.T that helps bring your body back into state where it can heal itself effectively, like it was designed to do. This helped dramatically. The other upside to the treatment was that it helped me heal in other ways, emotionally and physically. I am the UK’s only registered B.E.S.T practitioner. It was so life changing I knew I needed to be able to help others so I trained in it!
Now having benefitted from the experience of others alongside my own experience and research I can offer up the following solutions for hair loss.
Get rid of any amalgams like mercury fillings.
Destox’s your liver, so absolutely no smoking, no sugar, lower carbs and alcohol intake.
Eat only whole foods to increase your nutrition.
Take relevant vitamins, enzymes and minerals
Alongside myself, Kinesiologists and Nutritionists should be able to advise you which supplements are necessary for you personally. Supplements are not generally advisable to everyone always; they need to be tailored to your bodies needs.
The absolute best thing we can do when faced with hair loss is not let it emotionally impact us in a terrible and scarring way. Our greatest chance for healing our situation is to love ourselves regardless.
Dale Rutherford, UK’s only qualified B.E.S.T Practitioner. Dale can be contacted at BeyondPhysical.co.uk or on twitter @BeyondPhys1cal .
Strategies for Coping with Alopecia
The NHS ‘Live Well‘ website has some supportive and informative tips on coping with women’s hair loss including:
Share stories: Talk about it and share your experiences with others. Please feel feel to leave comments on his blog for that purpose.
Join a support group: Contact a local Alopecia UK support group to find the nearest group to you.
Accept it: Although it is difficult, try to come to terms with your hairloss. Using positive thinking techniques, focus on the things that you do well and that are your best qualities. Try and use your energy to concentrate on what you do best.
Talk about it: Tell friends and family members about it so that they can support you. Take time to involve and talk it through with your partner.
Cover up: Find out ways of disguising and covering up your hair loss with things like wigs, hair extensions, scarves and make-up. Keep trying until you find something that suits you. You may decide that you do not want to hide it at all, do whatever works for you.
Visit your Doctor to discuss the options fo an NHS wig. If your hair loss is around 50%, you may be eligible for NHS help. (Click here for info about NHS wigs.) There are also many private and wigmakers and cosmetic options, try a member of the Hairdressing and Beauty Suppliers Association.
Be patient: Hair loss is usually temporary and it will grow back, although it can be a slightly different texture and colour than before.
Products that may help with hair loss
We have compiled a carousel for products that are are available to treat hairloss. Please add comments for any experience you have had with them. Also please feel free to share any of your experiences of hair loss below:
Transcript from Video
00:04 Speaker 1: Hi, My name is Sunita Parkinson, and my question is about hair. There has been a trend in recent months for shampoos infused with caffeine, they claim to strengthen hair and prevent hair loss. I was just wondering what the science is behind this theory, what effect caffeine has on the hair and scalp.
00:24 PF: Questions we put to Dr. Paul Farrant, consultant dermatologist at Brighton Sussex University Hospital Trust and a specialist in hair loss.
00:31 Speaker 3: Shampoos, very rarely stay in contact with the scalp for any length of time. So any active ingredient has to be on contact with the skin for usually minutes for it to have any effect. The question then is whether caffeine as an ingredient has anything other than normal cleaning properties. There is some research using lab based in-vitro study, so this is growing artificially hair follicles that has shown some benefit of adding caffeine, and that seemed to reverse any negative effect of testosterone, which slows down hair growth and actually showed a slight benefit. But in-vitro conditions, they are grown for days, because you have to calculate whether the hair is growing so it takes a number of days to see that change. The hair follicles are bathed in solutions and the hair follicles bathe continuously for a number of days. So, that’s not going to be the same situation as applying a shampoo that maybe, if you are very lucky on the scalp, for a couple of minutes.
01:31 Speaker 3: There is a rationale that you may be able to get chemicals to absorb through hair follicles, however, in genetic hair loss and this is certainly true of male pattern hair loss, the bit that is being influenced is right down at the bottom of the hair follicle, what’s called the hair bulb. So, anything applied to the surface has to be able to get right down to the hair bulb, and it has to stay there and exert an effect. It’s not just a case of breaking through the skin and being absorbed into blood vessels because that would just transport the caffeine away. It has to sit around that hair bulb for probably days and used to be a continuous thing, and that’s where we don’t have the science.
02:09 S3: So, I think there is science that shows that caffeine can stimulate hair growth in a dish. There is science that shows that caffeine can penetrate through the scalp and through hair follicles. What we don’t know is whether caffeine can actually get right down to a hair bulb, stay around the hair bulb, exert a beneficial effect that will cause hairs to grow longer and thicker. I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying it, thinking that you’re suddenly gonna go back 10 years and have a full head of hair. There may be some slight effect, but there are no real studies in humans evaluating the effect of these caffeine-based shampoos to promote hair growth in the long-term.
02:45 PF: Dr. Paul Farrant in whose house I suspect, you won’t find any caffeine enriched shampoos. Please do get in touch if there’s a health related issue that’s confusing you. You can e-mail me…
This post is about a rare disease that is often missed by doctors called Addison’s disease. To join the awareness raising International Rare Disease Day (28 February) and as part of a new “Living With” series this blog will be looking at individual diseases. They will then be given a special in-depth review. Below is a new video we have created, using a recent Healthcheck Radio 4 interview. It features an interview and a new book by Carol McKay and useful information about Addison’s Disease.
There is a full transcript of the interview at the bottom of the page.
Addison’s Disease is a rare autoimmune condition that effects only 4 in every 10,000 people. There are currently around 8000 people in the UK who suffer from Addison’s Disease. Thanks to modern drugs, the condition is easier to deal with.
The main issue with Addison’s Disease is diagnosing it quickly. Unfortunately many people can go for years without a diagnosis. Symptoms often have to become very severe before it is identified by a Doctor.
Addison’s Disease Symptoms
Many people who are diagnosed with Addison’s Disease often complain of feeling unwell for many years before diagnosis.
Some of the signs of the disease can be like many ordinary problems of a busy modern life or much less dangerous illnesses. People find themselves being misdiagnosed.
At first a feeling of tiredness and weakness is the most obvious sign of the illness. With the hectic lifestyles people have nowadays it is easy to ignore these symptoms as just a part of everyday life.
However for some the tiredness can become overwhelming. So much so that it can negatively effect the way they lead their lives. This can impact upon their ability to go about everyday tasks.
Addison’s Disease can cause a “tanned” look to skin.
Another commonly misdiagnosed symptom on Addison’s Disease is a lack of appetite. With the hustle-bustle of modern living it is easy to skip lunch or not find the time to eat a meal in the evening. However with Addison’s Disease people suffer a distinct lack of appetite that can cause severe weight loss. They also find they crave salty snacks and foods and often add extra salt to dishes at meal times.
Addison’s Disease can also cause changes in the pigmentation of the skin. This is seen as darker patches of skin in various areas of the body.
Below is a list of the most common symptoms of Addison’s Disease:
Fatigue – feeling unmotivated and lacking energy
Lethargy – feeling sleepy and almost drowsy
Lack of appetite – leading to weight-loss
Low mood – feeling irritable and mildly depressed
Muscle weakness – lacking strength and energy
Changes in diet – craving salty foods and an increased thirst – leading to needing to urinate more often
Low blood sugar
Low blood pressure
More information about symptoms can be found on the NHS website.
Addison’s Disease Treatments
Keeping up-to-date with medication is vital for keeping the Addison’s Disease under control.
The rarity of this disease can make it difficult for doctors to diagnose Addison’s straight away. However once a diagnosis is in place treatment is relatively simple and straightforward.
The main treatment for Addison’s Disease is to replace lost hormones. This is usually given in the form of corticosteroid. This is a steroid therapy which will have to be continued for life. The steroid is usually taken twice a day in tablet form. Once the diagnosis and treatment is in place many find their symptoms disappear completely. This allows those with Addison’s Disease to carry on a healthy and normal life.
Medical bracelets are an everyday essential for piece of mind.
Even though the treatment of Addison’s Disease is simple, it is important that you continue to take your medication as directed. Finding yourself in a situation where you can not access your medication can be very serious. That is why it is important that you carry your medication with you everywhere. It is a good idea to pack extra tablets if you are going on holiday and to keep them safe in your hand luggage.
Some home remedies can provide comfort and relief to muscle pain caused by Addison’s. Keeping to a healthy diet is always recommended for good health, and even more so with Addison’s Disease. Ensuring you stick to your five a day can boost energy levels. Also drinking plenty of water can go some way to stop the feeling of tiredness and lethargy.
It has been noted that massage can help the muscular and joint pain cause by Addison’s Disease. It is best to avoid massages that are intense or involve stretching. However more gentle massage techniques can prove helpful. Taking the time to visit a specialist in massage for muscular conditions may not only help to relieve pain, but also help you to de-stress.
Licorice that contains licorice root has the ingredient glycyrrhizinic acid in it that may help in Addison’s disease because it can lower potassium, increase blood pressure, and boost mineral corticoid levels. Not all licorice-type sweets contain licorice root extract or glycyrrhizinic acid and so do not work in the same way. There are over-the-counter preparations of licorice root extract available in the form of lozenges or in tea.
Licorice may help the steroid Cortisone to work
Anything that stops the body breaking down Cortisone, the main treatment for Addison’s disease can help. Glycyrrhizinic acid from licorice has been found by researchers to do this. It has long been a herbal remedy for the disease. Research has found it inhibits an enzyme responsible for inactivating cortisol in the kidney. Eating licorice makes the cortisol in the blood last for longer. A review in “Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology” describes a case study in which licorice had an “excellent” and prolonged effect in Addison’s disease and argued that licorice therapy should be used in the treatment of this disease. Researchers also found grapefruit can have a beneficial effect.
Living with Addison’s Disease before diagnosis can be life-threatening and life-changing. However once a diagnosis is in place many people feel they can finally continue on with their life as normal.
The most important aspect of managing Addison’s Disease is ensuring the correct medication is taken daily. Keeping on top of your condition and the dosage of medication is also very important. Although the initial dosage prescribed can solve most symptoms straight away, over time this may change.
That is why it is important that those with Addison’s Disease make regular visits to their GP for check-ups. As Addison’s is an auto-immune disease, it can lead to the development of related conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes.
More information on living with Addison’s Disease can be found here.
Carol McKay’s new e-book compiles stories of Addison’s Disease patients from around the world.
In Carol McKay’s new e-book entitled “Second Chances: True Stories of Living with Addison’s Disease“, she compiles the stories of Addison’s Disease sufferers from around the world.
Most notably is the account of Hilary Richardson – a Canadian-born Addison’s sufferer who was only 10 years old when she was diagnosed back in 1955.
At this time, it was almost impossible to obtain the necessary hormone replacement therapy in tablet form. Instead, her father would have to purchase powdered pigs’ glands for her to take to keep her condition stable.
Thankfully due to modern science, hormone replacement therapy is now cost effective and available in tablet form.
Addison’s Disease in Dogs
Lastly, Addison’s Disease can also effect dogs. The disease causes very similar symptoms as it does with humans. Weakness, vomiting and lack of appetite are usually the symptoms that dog owners notice first. However, it can be even harder to detect in canines than in humans. Addison’s in dogs can go undiagnosed for many years, only being discovered once the dog is in very poor health.
If the disease is discovered early enough, it can be treated with steroids however it is best for the dog to avoid stressful situations to stop further flare-ups.
Carol McKay True Stories of Living with Addison’s Disease.
As mentioned in the video, a new book has been compiled with many real life stories about people with the disease. It has been reviewed on Amazon:
Reviews of Carol McKay’s new e-book:
This book was recommended on the Addison self-help web site. The true stories of fellow sufferers is fascinating and eye opening in to the good and bad side of the medical profession and how we as sufferers of this disease cope day-to-day.
I read this whilst still in hospital coming to terms with my diagnosis. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough, well worth a read early on – MissLean
To find out more about Addison’s Disease and support groups we recommend visiting Carol McKay’s Facebook and Blog. If you can suggest other useful groups, blogs or resources lease leave a comment in the box below. If you lke to help us create another post about an illness that you would like to help raise awareness of, please get in touch.
Transcript of Radio 4 Interview
00:00 Claudia Hammond: Hello, I’m Claudia Hammond and this is Health Check from the BBC. On today’s program, a rare condition which often isn’t diagnosed until it’s an emergency.
00:09 Carol McKay: Because it’s quite a rare disease, doctors don’t have it at the forefront of their mind when they are checking you and they think you’re all right, and then suddenly, you have a catastrophic collapse, your blood pressure is low, blood sugar is low. And you become very, very seriously ill.
00:25 CH: We hear experiences of Addison’s disease from around the world. When you go to your family doctor to find out what’s wrong with you, they’ll listen to your symptoms, examine you and then order any test they might need. But some conditions, especially when they are rare, are harder to diagnose than others. And with Addison’s disease, which only affects four in every 10,000 people, many don’t discover they’ve got it until it’s an emergency. It’s an autoimmune disease that disrupts the production of hormones by the adrenal glands and although the condition is life long, it is treatable with steroids. When Carol McKay was faced with the condition, she used social networking to find out how other people managed. The result is a an ebook called “Second Chances”, where patients from Belgium to South Africa and Australia to Canada recount their stories of living with Addison’s disease. When I spoke to Carol, she told me how she eventually realized what was the matter with her.
01:21 CM: I knew I had been not well for about a year. I felt anaemic, I had no energy. I was carrying on with my life, but I just had no energy. I went to the doctor to get checked to see if I had anemia or something else, and they did a few blood test and didn’t pick anything up. They were looking for thyroid and other things like that, because if you have one autoimmune disease, you are more likely to have another one. And I have Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease. So, they were looking for things, but didn’t see them. And then, a few months later, I was checked for my blood pressure and it was surprisingly low, but not dangerously low at that stage. So, again it didn’t ring any bells with the doctor. And then one weekend, I got a tummy bug, and my body just couldn’t come back from that and I was losing feeling in my arms and legs and in my lower jaw. And I was taken to hospital and fortunately, the medical stuff there recognized it and I was treated very quickly. It’s a very simple disease to treat because it’s like thyroid, you need replacement hormones.
02:26 CH: And looking at some of the experiences that people recount in your book, they do seem to be often, almost quite close to death by the time they get to diagnosis or certainly very seriously ill and… I was struck by the story of Jasmine, who is from the UK, and she was diagnosed just 12 days after her second baby being born, which must have been an appalling situation.
02:48 CM: Yeah, she’s wonderful. And her story is scary, but it’s actually really uplifting because… Well, she had suffered terribly. It was her second pregnancy. She knew what to expect in her pregnancy. But this one was really bad, she just felt really awful. And then after the baby was born, she was still really, really exhausted, more tired than she thought she should have been. But what’s uplifting about Jasmine’s story is that her doctor thought about her after she had been to see her, and actually turned up at her door and said, “Look, we’re really concerned. I’ve looked at your blood results. Please go to the hospital tomorrow morning and get checked out.” And then an hour later, she actually phoned, the doctor was on her way home, and she had suddenly realized. The Addison’s light bulb came onto her head, and she thought, “Oh, that’s what it is.” And that’s what saved Jasmine’s life.
03:39 CH: So, she was lucky that she had such a good doctor…
03:40 CM: She was…
03:41 CH: She suddenly made that connection and guessed what it was.
03:43 CM: She was very lucky.
03:45 CH: What made you want to collect together all these stories and publish them as an ebook?
03:51 CM: Well, I was very shocked by having my own diagnosis, because it’s quite rare. I needed to hear how other people had coped with it. So, I joined the Addison’s Disease self-help group, which is a charity in the UK and I found a lot of support from them. I also found support from Facebook. I’m a writer and I teach creative writing, and therefore, I wanted the whole story. I liked to hear what led up to it, how had they coped with the diagnosis and how they had a normal life afterwards? So, I set about to compile, I got 16, including my own, 16 stories. And they came from the States, Canada, Belgium, the UK, South Africa, Australia, South Korea. And I was really, really pleased to hear all these different stories. Everybody’s different, but they all, as you said, most of them were very close to death. It helped me, reading them, and I hope it helps other Addison’s sufferers, but it also raises awareness, and that’s really important to me.
04:53 CH: One of the stories is from Hilary, and she lives in Canada and was diagnosed right back in 1955, and she was only 10 years old.
05:03 Speaker 3: For some time, I had been adding teaspoonfuls of salt to every meal. I also ate very meagrely. Not only was I scrawny, but winter or summer, my skin was a dark color which looked odd with my fair hair. “Your elbows and knees are still dirty, you haven’t scrubbed them well enough,” my mother would complain. Little did she realize that the dark skin, the craving for salt, and the reluctance to eat were all symptoms of Addison’s disease. I was often ill and had missed a lot of school. My doctor thought a routine tonsillectomy might help, but I didn’t come around from the anaesthetic. It was after dark on Tuesday evening, when an internal medicine specialist climbed the grey limestone steps of the hospital. I’d been in a coma for more than three days, and had not moved nor opened my eyes since my operation. The specialist hooked up an IV containing a different substance to see what would happen. This is how I obtained my diagnosis.
05:58 S3: In 1949, Cortisone in pill form was produced commercially. But in 1955, in our small town in Canada, we couldn’t get these tablets. Treatment for me was desiccated pig’s adrenals. Every week, my father and I would go to the home of a man who had obtained the adrenals from a slaughter house. We carried the precious brownish grey powder home. The quality of the material varied week to week. Sometimes it worked very well and sometimes hardly at all. Luckily, within a year, my father was able to obtain hydrocortisone pills on a trip to the US. And before long, pills became available in Canada as well and my treatment now seemed very easy.
06:37 CH: So, quite a dramatic start for Hilary there in finding out that she got the disease and what happened to her.
06:44 CM: Yes. She was lucky. And if she’d been born 10 years earlier, she would probably have died. People still do die nowadays, even in the developed nations, they still die from it because it’s not picked up in time. And I’m sure there must be people all around the world who don’t have access to modern medicine easily who still suffer from it, but the pills themselves are fairly inexpensive.
07:07 CH: So, it’s more about the awareness of the disease than the pills themselves and access to those.
07:10 CM: Exactly. Yes.
07:11 CH: It’s that people have gotta get that diagnosis somehow.
07:14 S3: Yes.
07:15 CH: And what impact has it had on you life now that it is well controlled for you?
07:20 CM: It’s well controlled, but I still don’t have a lot of energy. For example, to come to this interview today, I had to take an increased dose of my medicine to cope with the stress.
07:30 CH: Really? That’s quite interesting.
07:32 CM: Yeah.
07:32 CH: So, you’ve got to plan in advance when you think you’re gonna be stressed, which…
07:35 CM: Yes.
07:35 CH: You can do if it’s an interview ’cause that’s arranged in advance. But everyday life’s not quite like that, is it?
07:40 CM: No. Because even a simple bump in a car, not even a serious bump, but something like that can cause the body to go into shock.
07:49 CH: And then what would happen to you? So if you hadn’t touched your dose today and were then feeling anxious, what would happen?
07:54 CM: It would affect my blood pressure and my blood sugar and I would start to get weak and collapse. In a more serious case, if I fell and broke my ankle, for example…
08:03 CH: Yeah.
08:04 CM: Then, I carry an emergency injection kit, so I have to give myself an intramuscular injection, to give myself a large dose, so that I don’t just fade away and die, really.
08:15 CH: Carol McKay and the latest version of her ebook of stories, “Second Chances”, is out this week. Next week I’ll be in Norway for the BBC and so Dr. Kevin Fong will be here…
Having to bend to tie shoe laces can cause pain and difficulty
Tying shoelaces can be a daily struggle for many people. Having to bend and stretch can be uncomfortable and cause pain, whilst also taking an inconvenient amount of time to do so. However, there are gadgets and types of shoe laces to help you avoid this. Elasticated and stretchy laces are the best known solutions, they help you transform your everyday lace-up shoes into slip-ons, to provide comfort and ease of use. How do they work and what are the alternatives?
How Do Elastic Laces for Shoes Work?
The stretch lace fabric of these shoe laces are threaded and tied in exactly the same way as ordinary laces. However, the elasticated fabric provides tension once tied, and it it this that makes sure your shoes remain tight and secure whilst wearing them.
When using elastic shoelaces, you only ever have to tie your shoelaces once the first time you apply them. After this your lace-ups work as slip-ons, permanently removing the need for you to bend and stretch. Eventually they may still come undone though.
Greeper Shoe Laces for Disability
Average elasticated shoe laces can easily break
There are many simplified versions of the elastic shoe lace on the market, most of which offer a temporary solution to the problem.
Cheaper elastic laces can lose their stretch over a short amount of time. Most importantly elastic laces often come undone whilst you’re wearing your shoes. This can make shoes uncomfortable and give you a less secure feeling whilst being worn as well as being a trip hazard!
This is why Greeper have designed an innovative and inclusive alternative to elastic shoe laces. Greepers are designed using high quality traditional polyester laces but have a simple fitting system that provides toggle that prevent the laces ever coming undone “Once applied, always tied”.
Greeper laces are ultimately more durable and comfortable than elastic shoe laces, they give better support as they use traditional laces that do not stretch.
After the initial application, Greeper shoelaces are forever tied. Unlike elasticated laces Greeper shoe laces do not rely on the tension of elastic to keep the shoes fastened. Instead an ingenious toggle system allows you to tighten or loosen the laces quickly and easily, whilst giving you piece of mind that they will always stay fastened.
Greeper Easy Fasten Shoelaces Vs Elasticated Shoe Laces
Reviewers the world over have made comparisons between elasticated laces and the innovative design of the Greeper shoelace. “220 Triathlon” magazine recently voted the Greeper Lace as “editors choice” and many world-renowned athletes champion the Greeper lace over other elasticated brands. It’s fair to say that when elasticated laces are pitted-against Greeper Laces, Greeper “out-run” the competition every time!
The benefits of Greeper laces vs elasticated shoe laces:
Greeper Laces never come undone – ensuring complete shoe support and comfort, reducing the risk of injury, increasing performance.
Quick and easy to fasten – Simple toggle system allows you to loosen and tighten your shoes in seconds, without ever untying your laces.
Fully adjustable – Eliminates overly-long lace loops, provides the ultimate fit and promotes foot health, especially for sports.
Polyester laces – Elastic shoe laces can become weak and break whilst running – the use of traditional-style polyester laces removes the fear of laces ever breaking or loosing tension.
Much better support to the foot. The laces themselves do not stretch, therefore the shoe supports the foot much better than laces where the laces are stretching during movement.
Time-saving Sports Laces
Caroline Steffan – ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship title-holder, wearing Greeper Laces.
One of the other pros of Greeper Laces is the time-saving aspect. Greeper Laces benefit from allowing you to quick-tighten your laces. If you are the sporting type, enjoying competitive sport – Greeper Laces can knock much needed seconds off you run-time.
The lace lock system allows super-swift lace tightening and the secure fitting provides security throughout your run.
This eliminates the need to stop-start to fix loose laces, and stops extra foot movement that often happens using elastic laces.
Once you have set up your Greeper Laces properly, they will help to shave those precious pit-stop seconds off your run time.
We’ve found a review on amazon by a customer who purchased Greeper Laces for her sports-loving husband:
Bought these for my hubby as he is a keen triathlon competitor. Just what he required to save himself a few valuable seconds… Thank you.
Greeper Always Tied Shoelaces Used by Everyone
Although championed by professional athletes and amateur sports fans alike, Greeper laces are an affordable inclusive design that can be used by anyone.
The bright colours and design of the Flats range of Greeper Laces are ideal for children’s shoes
Greeper laces come in a number of different styles and colours. The “Sports” design being perfect for all types of athletic sport-shoe and the “Hikers” design ideal for more outdoor-style footwear and activities.
The designers at Greeper understand the need for an everyday, easy to apply lace for everyone, including people with impairments or disability. That is why they have produced a number of non-sport styles to assist those who simply need a lace solution for work or school.
The “Execs” and “Flats” ranges are the ultimate in inclusive design. These can be worn with smart dress-shoes, school shoes or trainers, yet still providing the same comfort and security of the more athletic designs.
Stay Tied Laces For Children
Many parents find the white and black sports or exec laces ideal for children at school. It removes the need for children to retie their laces or the danger of the shoes coming off or even being taken off (!) by children with disabilities or behavioural problems. Like this recent feedback from Amazon: “bought these for my son who has autism and struggles to tie laces and they are perfect as he can do them on his own making him as independant as possible.”
Trendy Mobility Aids: Sticks, Canes And Crutches For The Discerning Disabled
It can be really hard to find stylish mobility aids. It’s a real shame that so little attention is paid to making crutches and walking sticks that are a little bit more trendy. After all, these are pieces of equipment that people have to use all the time. They shouldn’t be stuck with something dull, clunky, noisy and grey.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the more trendy mobility aids that we have found:
These canes look really cool! They’re beautifully designed and look really vibrant and stylish. They come in a variety of colours and are apparently built to last a lifetime. They weigh 14 ounces and can support up to 300 pounds.
They’re made from a high-strength bicycle-grade aluminum shaft with a hooked birch wood handle. The handle widens in the right places and has a build in rubber strip to make it more comfortable and practical to hold. The shape of the handle also means that the user holds it directly above the tip which means they have increased stability.
The standard Omhu Cane costs £79 plus shipping costs. They come in three sizes depending on the height of the user.
Cool Coloured Canes
As well as their standard cane, Omhu have created the Tuxedo – an all black version of their walking cane due to popular demand for a more formal mobility aid. It comes in luxury packaging and the birch handle is stained to make it darker and richer. According to their website: “It is the criminally gorgeous and brooding hero. It is the reflection of a love affair.” This might be a slight overstatement but, whether you agree with that or not, you have to agree it does look very good.
The final form of Omhu cane is their sports cane which is ostensibly for taking out on hikes and walks. The design is largely the same but with a matte finish rather than the brighter effect of the standard model.
It’s a fair bit lighter, weighing 9.5 oz. and has a reflective logo, for walking at night. The handle is foam rather than birch wood which makes it more suitable for providing a secure hold on long walks but also makes it a little cheaper (£39.99 plus shipping). It’s not quite as stylish as the standard cane but it is perhaps a little more practical for some people.
All the Omhu canes look fantastic!
Omhu Sport Cane – £39.99
All the Omhu canes look fantastic and are really creatively designed. It shows that you can do interesting things when designing walking sticks!
Arbin Crutches are great because they are so compact. They’re retractable, so when you are using them they can put aside taking up very little space. It removes the usual problem of your crutches getting in the way and making a unattractive mess, when they aren’t being used. These crutch’s handles slide down from the cuff and up the bottom slides up from the foot of the crutch to the small size of only 67 centimetres. Once folded in it can also be stood up on the handle making it easier to reach as well as being less noticeable. It’s really practical and stylish too!
Arbin crutches also look good when they are at their full height. They’re sleek and cool and they come in bronze or grey. They’re available in the UK at Chic Aid Crutches costing £184 including postage, packaging and VAT.
These mobility aids have been described as “the Ferrari of crutches”. Ossenberg’s ‘stealth crutches’ are German designed, so you expect efficiency and they don’t let you down. The arm cuff is one of the most comfortable and well designed on the market. These mobility aids are ultralight, slim and comfortable helping to make their users feel less conscious their disability. They’re really sleek and stylish.
Ossenberg crutches are sold in the UK through The German Crutch Company. They have a variety of different designs with open and closed cuffs, different grips and a selection of different colours. The German Crutch Company has a range of closed cuff colours that are exclusively sold in the UK. This model costs £49.95 for a pair or £25 each (plus postage). Apparently the most popular colour is the blackberry one below.
Pink and Purple Ossenberg Crutches are available
Closed Cuff Colours Exclusive To The UK – £25
Closed Cuff Crutch
On top of these great crutches, Arbin have also designed a carbon fibre folding crutch. This looks really cool and can become small and portable. It hasn’t yet been released in the UK but we are led to believe it should become available reasonably soon.
Lightweight and folding the Ossenberg Carbon Fibre Crutch
Folding Carbon Fibre Crutch – Very Stylish, Easy To Store
If you like bling and want to make a bit of a statement with your mobility aids then Glam Sticks is the place to go. In 2011 they were named Mobility Product of the Year. They take no prisoners with their designs – covering the sticks in diamante and sparkles – making everything extravagant and shiny. Glam Sticks look to provide glitz and glamour to go along with your style. They’re particularly good fun for evenings out, providing a bit of glamour to go along with your outfit.
Glam Sticks Kaleidoscope Crutch
Kaleidescope Crutch – £57.99
Glam Sticks come in a variety of models and designs with varying prices. The amount you pay is essentially based on how ostentatious you want your stick to be or how much bling you want on your crutches. A fairly basic, but stylish, crutch costs just over £3o. At the top end you can get a Swarovski encrusted walking cane – the ultimate decadent walking stick – for £224.99.
Swarovski Walking Stick – £224.99
Glam Sticks have picked up something of a following amongst injured celebrities, adding to their reputation for providing glitz and glamour. For instance, when Jessie J broke her leg last year, she wore a pair of Glam Sticks to the MTV Awards, giving her the required bling to accompany her style. These aids are great for providing a bit of luxury and sparkle, especially for a night out.
Cool Crutches offer people a range of crutches with fun, patterned designs. They also have a washable, removable neoprene squidgy grip which moulds to left and right hands and makes walking a lot more comfortable. They are possibly not quite as light and sleek as some of the other crutches we’ve featured but they are fun, colourful and, well, cool!
@trabasackI have black Cool Crutches.. whoever engineered thosewas afreakin genius!
This range offers a good range of block colours which liven up the crutches without becoming too garish. This might be preferable to people who don’t want to make quite as much of a statement, with their crutches, as someone who’d go for a Glam Stick, for instance, but who want to add a splash of colour to them.
You can chose from a variety of main and secondary colours to accompany the black handle. This is good because it means you can design your own crutches to be as bright as you want.
They’re available at Chic Crutches and cost £34.99 (plus VAT and shipping)
Mobilegs have created an interesting new design of crutch, using a ‘saddle’ instead of a the normal cuff at the crutch’s top. This is supposed to improve mobility, flexibility and comfort for users. They say that since it is so radically different, from traditional crutches, it can’t even be called a crutch but has been named a ‘mobi’.
Mobilegs are intelligently designed to help the user and really are quite different. They look a lot better than many traditional crutches too – certainly a lot sleeker, slimmer and less drab than NHS crutches. It’s also possible to get a ‘mobiskin’ to cover the shaft with a more distinct design.
The problem (and it’s quite a big one) is that Mobilegs are currently not available in the UK. When we got in touch with them they told us that they are still a relatively small start up company so they can only cater to the US market. However, since there might be ways around this, especially if you buy them online, we thought they were worth including. They cost $129 plus the (possibly substantial) cost of postage and shipping. We will keep you up to date should there be any change regarding UK distribution. Hopefully there will be soon!
The Mobilegs Crutch looks unique!
So that’s the end of our list of trendy mobility aids. We’ve had a variety of styles, designs and prices in there. From Omhu to Glam Sticks – hopefully there should be something for everyone in there!
If you know of any other trendy mobility aids on the market please get in touch with BlueBadgeStyle or leave a comment below
There are many reasons you could need a toilet aid. Urinary incontinence is a problem which effects 200 million people worldwide and a large number of these are women. UI can have serious social, sexual and professional consequences which make it a particularly embarrassing problem which many people find hard to deal with. There are a range of female toilet aids on the market designed to help with the problem. This video shows one woman dealing with her problem publicly on the Embarassing Bodies television programme. It also has some interesting facts and figures about the problem.
There are a range of female toilet aids designed to make it easier to handle with an incontinence problem.
Different Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are two main types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence. The NHS describes them thus:
stress incontinence – when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to prevent urination, causing urine to leak when your bladder is under pressure, for example when you cough or laugh
urge incontinence – when urine leaks as you feel an intense urge to pass urine, or soon afterwards
There are many causes of this problem and in woman it can often be due to pregnancy and vaginal birth as well as ageing. Other causes include overweightness and obesity as well as a family history of the problem. It can be an extremely embarrassing thing to live with but there are methods and products designed to make the condition less debilitating and embarrassing.
According to the National Association for Continence one third of men ages 30-70 have experienced loss of bladder control at least once and the symptoms can be long lasting. What’s more many men and women wake in the night with the urge to urinate and a percentage admits to losing urine on the way to the bathroom. A toilet aid can be a sensible way of handling this embarrassing issue.
Female Toilet Aids for Everyone
You could have many reasons for needing a female toilet aid and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re living with incontinence. Post-pregnancy and often after bariatric operations there’s a need to use a catheter and once it is removed there can often be a short-term problem getting used to passing urine again. Female toilet aids provide a solution to this short-term problem.
Illnesses that cause Urinary Incontinence
There are many different conditions which can lead to long-term incontinence; in fact it isn’t considered a disease in its own right as it’s usually a symptom of something else.
The NHS provide a list of the main causes of stress incontinence:
nerve damage during childbirth
increased pressure on your tummy, for example because you are pregnant or very overweight
a lack of the hormone oestrogen in women (less oestrogen is produced after the menopause)
They do the same for the causes of urge incontinence:
neurological conditions, which affect the brain and spinal cord, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
conditions affecting the lower urinary tract (urethra and bladder), such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) or tumours in the bladder
drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
Living with any of these conditions could explain the development of your urinary incontinence but there are ways of managing the problem.
Women’s Toilet Aids for Travel
Toilet Aids can be used by campers
The toilet aids on the market are also a great idea if you travel. Anybody camping could really benefit from using one of the toilet aids on the market. These small portable facilities are a much more sensible alternative to some of the large bulky toilet-style products out there. The same could be said for festival-goers as using the on-site facilities isn’t always the wisest decision – if you’ve got any sense that is!
Women’s Outdoor Toilet
Personal or portable toilet aids exist to give people the option of passing urine when it may otherwise be impossible to do so discreetly and without feeling under pressure or embarrassed. The two leading devices are the Uriwell Personal Toilet and the Me Too – Outdoor Toilet Aid for Women. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of each device as a women’s toilet aid.
Uriwell Toilet Aid
A Uriwell Female Personal Toilet
The Uriwell is an affordable and portable personal toilet. It’s concertina design makes it easy to carry and keep stored discreetly but it can also hold a large volume. It’s made of hygienic plastic so can be easily cleaned and kept sterile. It’s ideal for times where there’s no chance to get to the bathroom such as in the car or in the bedroom when you’re caught unfortunately short. It can be kept discreetly in a drawer at home or in a handbag whilst you’re out and about. This video shows the Uriwell personal toilet being demonstrated:
Me Too – Finally Standing Up
Me Too – Outdoor Toilet Aid for Women
Me Too is a short term alternative to the Uriwell toilet aid. It’s disposable and gives women the freedom to urinate standing up, which can be essential when there’s the desperate urge to go and no opportunity to get somewhere appropriate. It’s designed with female anatomy in mind and is both hygienic and practical for use when out and about. The funnel and spout fit design can be separated to make carrying more simple and this device is considered great even for those who aren’t suffering with any form of incontinence and may just be attending an outdoor event. They’re great value and come in packs of five. They are designed to be thrown away after use making them completely hygienic.
Advantages of Female Toilet Aids
Using a female toilet aid can save time; dignity and help users feel like they’re able to get on with their lives normally. You can avoid the stress of always needing to know where the nearest toilet is, as long as you have access to somewhere discreet such as your car.
There is no need to be ashamed or embarrassed as many people live with the problem and there are products on the market designed to make it less of a problem. No one needs to live with this problem ashamedly and can make actions towards living a full life despite having to manage the condition.
We are pleased to announce the launch of Equ4L.com – Equipped 4 Life. Equ4L.com is a fresh and new online boutique-style store stocking the most innovative and inclusive gadgets and products on the market.
I bought the Go Girl in preparation for my first summer festival in July and a walking holiday in August. This is after many years of ‘near misses’ because of lack of toilet facilities and a reluctance to expose myself on woodland or mountain walks. Even with someone acting as ‘lookout’it can be embarrassing to have your bottom on display! My Go Girl arrived within a few days of ordering it. I couldn’t believe how small the tube is and therefore discreet to carry around. I tried it out in the shower first…..all went well, so then risked the toilet…….all went well again. My only criticism is the need to still pull down trousers/jeans for fear of ending up wet. Although, leaning forward with one hand on the wall helped to direct the flow away from the body. Maybe an extension tube could be sold? I have thought of wearing skirts for walking to make the process easier. Skirts and walking boots? Hmmmn. Not sure!
UnPluGZ are plug pullers which make removing electrical plugs much easier. They are a cost effective and affordable way of ensuring plugs are easy to remove. They are an easy plug pull aid option and are a great alternative to plastic plug handles.
They’re made of tough plastic which is long-lasting and they are a cost-effective and practical alternative to plastic plug tugs or handles. Once the UnPluGz pulling aid has been placed in position it can remain in place securely for the life time of the plug. However, if you do need to move it to another electrical plug you can do so with ease. These plug pullers can be added to any 13a plug in your home.
UK Plug Handles
Each pack of UnPluGZ contains 9 easy pull plug pulling aids. They are designed to be tough but flexible and durable, and are manufactured and designed in the UK.
UnPluGZ are a perfect solution for disabled people living with poor grip or ‘fine motor skill’ problems as they provide an end to tugging and struggling at plug sockets. They provide improved safety as appliances can be unplugged easily by older people, disabled people or anybody who has weakened grip, arthritis or poor hand function.
These UnPluGZ are for UK plugs only but they have do a version for European plugs in their range. This is great for travelers or anybody living in Europe who wants to use a plug removal aid.
High Quality Plug handles that loop over European Plugs.
The European UnPluGZ also require no specialist fitting or tools. Simply fit over the prongs of the plug leaving a strong loop to put your fingers through. They’re great for for European Citizens or UK ex-pats living in Spain or other parts of Europe who struggle with plug removal. The design is unobtrusive and smart without looking clinical. You can leave them on the plug when not it use. They are perfect for use as a plug tugging aid and can also be labelled so that the right European plug is removed.
This design will not fit UK 13A Plugs, as this model is for European Plugs only. They’re great value as you receive 6 per pack. They’re also light weight and easy to carry. They’re a much more convenient option than plastic plug handles that have to be fitted with screwdrivers and are not suitable for travel.
Also known as a:
Plug Handgrepen in Europe.
Amazon Review for a Plug Pulling Aid
This is one of those really simple ideas that make such a huge difference. I had previously struggled to remove certain plugs from sockets – some have hardly anything to grip – but slip one of these tugs over the plug and it pulls straight out of the socket with no ‘wiggle-waggling’ at all – brilliant!!