February is National Heart Awareness Month in the UK, putting a spotlight on different heart conditions. Referred to as cardiovascular disease, CVD is the UK’s number one killer, and covers a range of different diseases:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Angina
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary heart disease

However, while it may be a leading cause of death, it doesn’t have to be inevitable. There are some risk factors of CVD that you can’t eliminate, such as your family history or age, but there are also many that you can avoid or reduce by adopting certain lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle medicine is all about making changes to how we eat, exercise and live our lives, which can help prevent or limit certain health conditions such as cardiovascular disease. Here are our five steps to a heart-healthy life:

#1 Quit smoking

This is the best thing you can do to benefit your heart. According to the World Health Organisation, within one year your risk of CVD is about half of that of a smoker’s and after 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker.

#2 Exercise more

Aim for regular, daily exercise to lower the risk of heart disease, as well as experience many other health benefits.

#3 Eat a heart-healthy diet

A healthy diet can boost your heart health; incorporate lean meats and fish, low-fat dairy foods, whole grains and healthy fats. Limit your intake of alcohol, salt, sugar and saturated fats. This will also help you maintain a healthy weight as carrying excess pounds around your middle increases your risk of CVD.

#4 More sleep

Lack of good quality sleep has a profound impact on your health and has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and heart attack.

#5 Regular health screenings

Regular health screenings for high blood pressure or high cholesterol can tell you whether you need to take action to protect your heart.

For more advice on lifestyle medicine, call us on 07833 447 665.

One of the main advantages of deciding to go down the private healthcare route is choice. You have absolute freedom in choosing which specialist, consultant, surgeon or health professional to oversee your medical treatment.

But how do you choose the right private consultant?

Ask around

Talk to friends and family who may have had treatment. Ask for personal recommendations.

Research them online

You can Google a prospective consultant online – either their own website or second-party websites such as private hospital profiles or on associations related to their specific medical specialty.

Check them out

Check their experience, qualified and published success rates if possible.

Private GP referral

Within the NHS, you usually need a GP referral before you can see a consultant and although this is not usually necessary in the private healthcare sphere, a Private GP Referral can still be the best place to start.

Our GPs have worked with leading specialists across all medical specialties and can recommend the most appropriate consultant for your condition. We will find the best options available locally or nationally and we will help you navigate your healthcare journey.

With the recent news from the Government that ‘menopausal women are the fastest-growing workplace demographic‘, this is becoming a significant issue for both employers and employees.

Some women transition through the menopause with barely a hot flush, but three out of four women do experience symptoms and for one in four, they can be serious indeed. Symptoms can be physical, such as night sweats, headaches and poor sleep, or psychological, including anxiety, depression, lack of confidence and problems concentrating. All of which can make employment more challenging and menopause symptoms are often cited as a reason for women to leave the workforce.

Menopause advice for employers

In 2016, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine introduced practical guidelines, including how to adapt the workplace environment where possible, such as changing room temperatures, having fans available, introducing flexible working hours or encouraging discussion about how symptoms are impacting their ability to work.

Menopause advice for employees

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is very important when managing the menopause. It’s important to seek advice from your private doctor regarding hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which can dramatically improve symptoms, allowing you to function better at work.