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10 HEALTH AWARENESS DAYS FOR JANUARY 2023…

1.DRY JANUARY – 1st-31st January 2023 – About Dry January It started in 2013 with 4,000 people. It’s come a long way since then, with over 100,000 signing up and 4 million taking part in 2020.

In 2011 Emily Robinson signs up for her first half marathon. It’s due to take place in February. She doesn’t like running much so to make the training easier, she decides to give up booze in January. She loses weight, sleeps better and feels like she has more energy to do the run. But something else happens…

Everyone wants to talk to her about what it’s like to give up drinking for a bit.

In January 2012, Emily joins Alcohol Change UK. She’s decided to give up drinking again this January. Now that she works for Alcohol Change UK, even more, people want to talk to her about giving up drinking for a month. This sparks off lots of different conversations about the benefits of having a break from drinking – especially after Christmas.

That got us thinking. If we got more people having a break from booze in January, could we have more people thinking about their drinking? And would they drink less after their month off because actually, they enjoyed the break so much?

The idea for the Dry January campaign was born. And so it goes on… 2023 is celebrating its 10th Anniversary…

2. LOVE YOUR LIVER MONTH – 1ST – 31ST January 2023 – at the same time as Dry January we have another campaign Love Your Liver Month which is a national awareness campaign devoted to liver health awareness and giving people the key steps needed to keep their liver healthy.

They write that 9 in 10 liver disease cases can be prevented. As part of their national campaign they offer a free online screener, arrange national roadshows and work with healthcare professionals.

You only have one liver, it’s important to know how to look after it.

Your liver is the largest organ inside your body and does hundreds of essential jobs.

  • Fighting infection and disease
  • Destroying poisons and drugs (including alcohol)
  • Cleaning the blood
  • Controlling the amount of cholesterol
  • Processing food once it has been digested

It works hard and can take a lot of abuse, but it is like an elastic band – it can only stretch so far before it breaks.

3. INTERNATIONAL PAGET’S AWARENESS DAY – 11th January – The 11th January is International Paget’s Awareness Day and for 2023, we will be focusing on Paget’s disease around the globe. International Paget’s Awareness Day 2021 focused on the important topic of treatment, its history and the research changing how Paget’s disease may be managed in the future.  

Paget’s disease affects the normal repair and renewal process of bone. Throughout life, bone is renewed and repaired through a process called bone remodelling. Paget’s disease is characterised by abnormalities in this process. The affected bone is renewed and repaired at an increased rate, adversely affecting the bone’s structure. Bone affected by Paget’s disease may be enlarged and misshapen. 

Paget’s disease can occur in any bone, often causes no symptoms and may be found by chance. For those with symptoms, these may include pain, deformity and fracture. Either single or multiple bones may be affected with common sites being the spine, skull, pelvis and thigh (femur).

The risk of developing Paget’s disease increases with age and it is most commonly diagnosed in those over 50 years. Paget’s disease is the second most common metabolic bone disease after osteoporosis. Approximately 1% of people in the UK, over the age of 55 years, are thought to be affected. The condition is also common in other European countries such as France, Spain and Italy and in people of European descent who have emigrated to other regions of the world, such as Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America and Canada. 

4. CERVICAL CANCER PREVENTION WEEK – 23rd – 29TH January 2023

Their campaign in January will involve lots of stories talking about what it’s like to have cervical cancer, raising awareness of the need for action and also stressing how important it is that those diagnosed get the support and care they need at every stage.

In January, they are hosting events at Westminister and Holyrood to showcase our new report about the impact of cervical cancer and raise awareness of how it can be eliminated. Get your MP involved by writing to them and asking them to attend. 

220,000 women and people with a cervix every year are told they have cervical cell changes after their screening, and many more are given an HPV diagnosis. This can mean more tests and treatments, and for some, it can be incredibly hard.

Everyone’s experience is different, but we want everyone to have the information and support they need. So we want you to join us and share tips, and facts, and most importantly help others know they aren’t alone. They ask you to get involved by…

  • Use social media to talk about cervical screening: shout about why it’s so important and share your tips to make it easier
  • Share your experience of colposcopy or getting unexpected cervical screening results: what do you wish you had known and what would you say to someone feeling anxious about theirs? 
  • Share our tips, information and signpost to our support services 
  • Get your workplace involved and display posters or even take on a fundraising challenge

Join in and use #CervicalCancerPreventionWeek so others can find you! 

5. NATIONAL BLOOD DONOR MONTH – 1ST-31st January 2023 – A bit about National Blood Donor Month – The month of January is usually a period of critical blood shortages. People stop donating blood during the holidays and when they get sick during cold and flu season. Blood drives also get snowed out during the winter months.

More than 50 years ago — on December 31, 1969 — the president of the United States signed a proclamation designating January as National Blood Donor Month (NBDM). The new monthly observance was meant to honour voluntary blood donors and to encourage more people to give blood at a time when more blood is needed.

Throughout the decades, AABB marked NBDM with a series of activities that highlight the importance of blood donation. Follow AABB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate in our NBDM activities.

6. GOOD CARE MONTH 1st– 31st January 2023 – Good Care Month is all about inspiring the public to choose a career in care and promoting your organisation and vacancies.

Whether you are a Domiciliary, Residential, Day Service, Supported Living service or any other type of care provider, everyone can get involved in Good Care Month…

We want to see videos from those who work in care, people who receive care and support, and managers or recruiters.

Simply share your video snippets with HCPA and we will link them to your organisation and vacancies to help promote careers in care.

Need some help? Click here for our handy video guide on what you can include in your video snippets, how to film and send them to HCPA. It’s really easy and can all be done on a smartphone!

7. BLUE MONDAY 16th January 2023 – January’s third Monday, “Blue Monday”, is thought to be the most depressing day of the year, due to a combination of bad weather, long nights and the lingering aftermath of the festive glut.

The idea of Blue Monday was first conceived by Dr. Cliff Arnall in 2005 and it was published as part of a press release by Sky Travel.

The life coach and psychologist created a formula to determine the ‘saddest’ day of the year, and landed on today, because of the bad weather, dark nights, post-Christmas debt and failed New Year’s resolutions.

Despite originally being coined as a marketing tool to get people to book holidays, the term has moved into common parlance.

Many argue Blue Monday does not exist and instead of booking a holiday because you’re supposed to be feeling sad, donate to charity instead, said The Metro.

Blue Monday is the name given to the third Monday of January every year. It is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. The reason for this includes factors like the cold, wet weather, short daylight days, Christmas debt, the time elapsed since your last payday, Christmas seems like a distant memory, you’ve already failed with your New Year’s resolutions, and it feels like a long time until the summer. For most of us, this means our motivational levels are low.  In more recent years, the day has been re-named Brew Monday, to encourage people to spend some time talking to each other whilst having a cuppa.

8. NATIONAL HUG DAY – 21st January – According to National TodayNational Hugging Day was created in 1986 by Kevin Zaborney. His friend was the granddaughter of the proprietors of Chase’s Calendar of Events. Zaborney chose January 21 because it was the time between the winter holiday season and the new year’s birthdays, which he noticed was a time people tend to feel low in spirits. He also felt that Americans were often too embarrassed to show affection in public and hoped National Hugging Day would change that, though he never actually thought it would catch on.

The word “hug” is believed to come from the word “hugga” meaning “to comfort” in the Old Norse language, first appearing approximately 450 years ago. However, the history of hugging itself is a bit more uncertain. What is known is that it is only very recently (within the past 50 years) that we have seen a full acceptance of hugging in public, separating it from other distinguished displays of affection such as kissing. The widespread adoption of hugging over the recent years has been debated to be due to two primary reasons: the reduced formality of dress code and manners between relationships, along with the changing behaviors of political figures in pursuit of a more relatable, warm-hearted perception to the public. 

Nowadays, we don’t even think about the fact that hugging in public was considered indecent PDA. We hug to greet friends and family, to say goodbye, or to congratulate someone. To console someone or to show support. We hug before sports and performance teams begin their match, and to show a general sign of affection between intimate relationships. There are also Free Hugs charity fundraisers! 

9. Festival of Sleep Day – January 3rd 2023 –

The Festival of Sleep Day was created for people that would like to get some “shut eye” and relaxation after the holidays.

After the Christmas shopping and present opening deadlines and the New Year celebrations, it’s time to celebrate — in “Sleep Land”. Observe this wacky and unofficial holiday on January 3rd.

10. Race Against Dementia Day – January 21st- 2023

Race Against Dementia is a global charity founded by Sir Jackie Stewart OBE in 2016 to raise
awareness and funds with the mission to advance worldwide research and development in the
pursuit of a dementia cure or treatment.

Since his wife Helen, Lady Stewart was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, Sir Jackie Stewart
and his team have been racing to beat dementia with a Formula One attitude, by finding new ways
to accelerate research and achieve RAD’s objectives.
Grand Prix racing thrives on innovation, skill and passion. It has seen the fastest technological
change of any business, industry or sport in the world and Race Against Dementia is working with F1
industry leaders to deliver results in the dementia research laboratory.

Race Against Dementia Day is a day dedicated to raising funds to help beat dementia. Everyone can
get involved and make a change by joining the race.
The aim is to raise £127,000 for Race Against Dementia charity. 1 in 3 people born today will die of
dementia. That is the equivalent of 127,000 babies born in the UK every day and the goal is to raise
£1 for each of these babies.
The funds raised for RAD Day will provide support for the Race Against Dementia Fellows’ Leadership
A programme that aims to develop the Fellows’ skills and take them to an F1 level of collaboration,
teamwork and innovation.

Race Against Dementia Day will take place on 21 January each year, which is also Lady Stewart’s
birthday. Lady Stewart’s diagnosis inspired Sir Jackie to establish the charity.

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HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR LIVER OVER CHRISTMAS AND 5 TIPS ON HOW TO GIVE IT SOME TLC…

We all tend to overindulge over Christmas and with the year we have had this year we may be tempted to overdo our drink and eating.

The British Liver Trust wrote, “did you know that 9 in 10 cases of liver disease could be prevented?”

You only have one liver, so it’s important to know how to look after it. Your liver is the largest organ inside your body and does hundreds of essential jobs. It works hard and can take a lot of abuse, but it is like an elastic band – it can only stretch so far before it breaks.

According to a report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, it’s thought that nearly double the amount of people in the UK drank “high-risk” amounts of alcohol in the first lockdown—that’s a whopping 8.4 million people—let alone what the stats will show from the second lockdown. Add this to the fact that liver disease is now the third biggest cause of death in those aged between 18 and 65 (despite 90% of the cases being preventable), and how alcohol already costs the NHS billions every year, it’s no doubt that the UK is set to see big fallout health issues from COVID-19 long term.

The British Liver Trust say regularly drinking more than the recommended amount over a long period can damage your liver. This can lead to alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) and liver cancer.

What you can do to reduce liver damage from alcohol

  • Men and women should drink no more than 14 units per week.
  • Give your liver a regular break and have 2 to 3 alcohol free days each week – try to have them all in a row.

Read more about alcohol and the liver here: https://britishlivertrust.org.uk/information-and-support/living-with-a-liver-condition/liver-conditions/alcohol/

The best gift you could give your liver this Christmas is some TLC.

  1. Try to reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet – the liver considers caffeine as one of the toxins it needs to deal with and remove from the body. If you really can’t live without your daily fix, try having it with food to give your body a better chance of breaking it down in the digestive process.
  1. Consider taking supplements – they are a good way of ensuring that your body and liver get good quality nutrients, that are essential for the repair process and may be lacking in the food we eat. Remember that nutritional products are a supplement to the diet and not a replacement. But always make sure products contain lots of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, flavonoids, B vitamins, and amino acids.
  1. Keep hydrated – it is the liver’s job to cleanse the body. An obvious but important tip is to drink water on a regular basis to help flush away waste and toxins. Adding a slice of lemon further helps enhance the liver detoxification process.
  1. Add variety into your diet – there are several foods that are great to eat to help your liver such as:
  • Beetroot: rich in plant flavonoids and beta carotene, which stimulate healthy liver function.
  • Turmeric: a source of curcumin, which helps cleanse carcinogens.
  • Garlic: rich in allicin to encourage liver enzyme activity.
  • Green Tea: rich in antioxidants contributing to a liver flushing function.
  • Grapefruit: high in the antioxidant vitamin c, take either as juice or fruit
  • Leafy Greens: spinach, kale and lettuce all help with bile production and are also rich in plant chlorophylls which naturally help liver detoxification.
  • Avocado: high in amino acids, especially glutathione for detoxification.
  • Artichoke: a fibrous plant, rich in Caffeoylquinic and Cynarin, both phenolic acid compounds which help maintain proper bile production and distribution, encouraging the removal of toxins and the repair of the liver.
  1. Take a break – the liver’s job is to detoxify alcohol and eliminate harmful waste products. The more alcohol that is in your system, the harder the liver has to work to keep you healthy. Excessive drinking can cause a build-up of triglycerides which can lead to fatty liver disease. If you give your body a break from the booze, the liver will repair itself, providing there is no permanent damage.

Simon said: “There is no question that 2020 has seen us all face exceptional circumstances and, as such, some of us have certainly upped our alcohol intake. Our concern is, with the public already drinking more than normal, and then Christmas naturally being a time for over-indulgence, what effect it will have on our bodies, and already strained NHS, long term. With just a few simple steps people can really help their bodies – the liver is an incredible organ that, in most circumstances, can repair itself, so a bit of TLC is the best gift we can give ourselves this year.”

Veganicity offers Liver Kind – a comprehensive unique vegan combination of key lipotropic nutrients, helping people safeguard their nutrient intake and protect the health of the liver. It’s high in vitamins, minerals, artichoke and key amino acids, which help detoxify the body and eliminate harmful chemicals. Products are available from www.veganicity.comwww.amazon.co.uk and all good independent health shops nationwide.

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PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR SOMEONE IN PAIN THIS CHRISTMAS…

The difference between chronic and acute is just a matter of ‘time’ really. An acute attack of pain is something new that arrived and (hopefully) went. A chronic attack of pain is something that has been there for a long time, constant, like a toothache gnawing away at you come rain or shine.

 

If someone falls over and breaks a leg they are in immediate acute pain, and by the time they have been looked after in the hospital, they usually leave with their pain under control. If someone is in chronic pain due to a toothache or back pain, there is usually nothing that you can actually ‘see’ that is causing it. Treatment for this type of pain can be a combination of things with the help of your GP and Pain clinic.

The average person will cope with some type of acute pain in their lifetime but most won’t have to suffer from chronic pain, so unless they have been in this sort of pain they have no idea what it is like.

Time and time again I get told how ‘well’ I look as if I must be making up how I am actually feeling. I’ve often felt despair, rage and profound disappointment that I could not do specific jobs. My life has changed so much over the years that I can hardly believe it.

But staying positive, which I think I do, helps you through the dark days when the only people who know how much you are suffering are your loved ones. At this time of year everyone, in particular, women (sorry fellas) just doesn’t seem to stop so there will be many of us suffering in silence.

Soooooo, if you know someone in pain just remember to give them a helping hand at this busy time of year.