Pollen forecast is the worst levels for 50 years

Friday 31st May 2013 

After another drizzly half-term with the kids I’m praying that we get a bit more sun.

A few days of better weather seem to brighten everyone’s spirits – and many of you seem to think I need it.

My postbag has been filled with lots of requests for me to calm down after my various rants about food, hospitals and diabetes experts.

But good people, please don’t worry.

Getting a bit hot under the collar is a good thing according to researchers in Valencia(1) who have shown that the dump of endorphins, cortisol and testosterone we get when we lose it actually helps strengthen the cardiovascular system.

Plus the stimulatory effect on the left hemisphere of the brain makes us feel better about ourselves as it is involved with positive emotions and also triggers 'closeness' which can generate happiness.

So, there you have it – a good ol’ rant every now and again clears the mind and boosts the spirit...

...so it gives me great pleasure to be able to get a little hot under the collar again about two news items I saw this week.

The Big Pharmacological Sleight of Hand

Help came from an unexpected quarter last Friday when the Daily Express, usually the refuge of cheap PR driven myths about how good drugs are, ran a negative story about statins.

True to form they didn’t put in on the front page though, but squirreled it away on page 9.

Never-the-less let us be thankful for small mercies as they headlined the article ‘Statins taken by millions can increase diabetes risk by 22%’ and even I can’t call that ambiguous.

The study(2) behind the story is a very powerful one which analysed nearly a half million results of statin use and discovered a significant increase in risk of developing diabetes.

The conclusion was incredibly strong in its condemnation of two of the most commonly prescribed compounds;

“Treatment with higher potency statins, especially atorvastatin and simvastatin, might be associated with an increased risk of new onset diabetes.”

Such a body of evidence has generated some interesting comments from both sides of the debate – but I imagine it has also thoroughly confused readers of the Daily Express, who until now have only been told how great statins were.

Saving our obese nation, protecting our cardiovascular systems and even curing cancer (all stories I’ve covered before – have a look at the archive for the letters) were all front page stories.

Now there is a seed of doubt in their minds – and about time too!

On another, but related tack, yesterday the world awoke to the news that some of the most widely used painkillers can increase the risk of heart attacks.

The drugs at the centre of the research(3) were non steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Naproxen that are commonly prescribed for long term use in conditions like rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis.

Interestingly this research was published by the British medical Journal in 2011 so it makes me wonder why it has taken so long to hit the headlines, especially as an estimated 2 million people use these drugs daily in the UK.

Once again we are seeing commonly used drugs causing problems.

What we never see are many positive stories about natural remedies having positive effects... strange that isn’t it!

For instance how about a natural way to deal with threat that is at a fifty year high.

The Summer Sniffles

It may not be blazing sunshine out there, but those dratted trees, flowers and grass are pumping out the pollen once again.

Scientists are predicting that the cold winter coupled with rapid spring growth could spell disaster for UK hay fever sufferers.

Professor Roy Kennedy, one of Britain's leading hay fever experts, said levels would soar in what could be the most sudden pollen surge since 1962.

Most folk will be rushing to their doctors or pharmacist to stock up on anti-histamines and expensive nasal sprays and eye drops.

But, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce the amount of pollen you come into contact with;

- Wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you are outdoors.

- Changing your clothes and taking a shower after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body.

- Rubbing a small amount of Vaseline inside your lower nostrils. This can help prevent pollen from entering your nasal passages.

- Damp dusting and vacuuming regularly.

- Keeping pets out of the house during the hay fever season. If your pet does come indoors, wash them regularly to remove any pollen from their fur.

But there is also one sure fire way to keep your respiratory system at its best and that’s the Salt Pipe way.

I have been using mine everyday now since before Christmas, first to ward off the coughs and colds which were afflicting my friends and now to keep the pollen out of my nose and mouth.

They really are effective and can be used by sufferers of all ages – if you haven’t already got one don’t delay...

...and if you do have one get a new salt bag in it and start using it.

Find out all of the details here

Keeping the sun shining and pollen levels low isn’t too much to ask for is it? But I promise not to get too angry with the world if the reverse is true...

...well not too angry, just enough to keep me healthy!

Many thanks to you all.

Yours, as always


P.S. If you want to know more about Sue here’s her registered practice details www.embodyforyou.com/EP/?k=176686


(1) Herrero, N., Gadea, M., Rodríguez-Alarcón, G., Espert, R., & Salvador, A. (2010). What happens when we get angry? Hormonal, cardiovascular and asymmetrical brain responses. Hormones and behavior, 57(3), 276-283.

(2) Carter, A. A., Gomes, T., Camacho, X., Juurlink, D. N., Shah, B. R., & Mamdani, M. M. (2013). Risk of incident diabetes among patients treated with statins: population based study. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 346.

(3) Trelle, S., Reichenbach, S., Wandel, S., Hildebrand, P., Tschannen, B., Villiger, P. M., ... & Jüni, P. (2011). Cardiovascular safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: network meta-analysis. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 342.









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