Caidr© – The Healthcare App Offering Advice At Your Fingertips

Common medical ailments are a day to day occurrence. From colds to ear infections to a bout of flu, we all have an inkling when we are coming down with something but are reluctant to visit the doctors in case it isn’t as serious as we think. But how can we distinguish between something small and something that we should be visiting a medical professional for? It seems we have been waiting for something to help us for a long while.

Well, the wait is over. Clinova recently launched their app Caidr© which is designed to help you assess those common ailments we all suffer from. They help you to distinguish between those minor ailments where you don’t need a doctor to the more serious illnesses where referral to a healthcare practitioner or doctor is required.

I think that an app such as this is a great thing. Steve and I are often left wondering what we are suffering from – and we don’t want to take up the doctor’s time if we don’t need to. The only time we call the doctors regardless is when it involves Jack and Olivia – you really can’t be too careful with children, especially at Olivia’s age.

There are so many people out there visiting the GP unnecessarily so if an app like this can help reduce the amount of people visiting for silly things, it can only be a good thing. This past winter, the Royal College of GP’s urged the public to follow the ‘three before GP’ mantra – check if the problem can be sorted through self care, seek help from a reputable online resource and get assistance from a pharmacist. There are estimates of 57 million GP appointments and 3.7 million A&E visits each year for self treatable conditions which is crazy – this is quite clearly a lack of information and this is incredibly shocking.

Caidr© aims to prevent these unnecessary visits. The app provides information about ailments in a user friendly way, asking a series of questions and then providing information and suggestions based on the answers provided. With its cutting edge algorithms, the app hopes to provide minor ailment information, self care suggestions and advice regarding referrals to medical practitioners.

I’m definitely going to be using this on a regular basis – we seem to come down with all manners of illnesses in this house so it will be handy to have a resource such as this to help us as parents to distinguish what could potentially be wrong with us or our children. The apps key benefits are easy to access information and user convenience – and the app certainly is convenient.

Available from the App Store or Google Play absolutely free of charge, this app is definitely worth downloading as a handy resource.

I’ve also mentioned self care is super important – and hydrating after an illness can be difficult. When our bodies are working hard to combat illness, we can lose fluids and electrolytes and these poor hydration levels often upset the fluid-salt balance that we need to maintain healthy cells and tissues. This will show in a drop in energy levels and a drop in concentration.

A way to hydrate the body which is very effective is to take some hydration salts such as O.R.S® Hydration Tablets, dissolved in water. Suitable for both adults and childrens alike, they contain a balanced combination of electrolytes, glucose and minerals to replace the fluids and salts lost and help maintain a healthy balance. Oral rehydration solutions are on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system and should be a hero product in every family’s first aid kit. I know that we have often used oral rehydration solutions when the kids have been ill, they really are effective.  

Coming in handy tubes in three tasty flavours (lemon, blackcurrant and strawberry), O.R.S® Hydration Tablets are available in 12 and 24 tablet tubes retailing at £3.50 and £4.99 respectively from Amazon, Morrisons Pharmacy, Holland and Barretts, Tesco, Boots,, and chemists and supermarkets nationwide. I’m definitely going to be picking up some for my medical kit, they are an essential item to have when you have a family.

Collaborative Content

Not Your Usual Weight Loss Solution

When some of the most popular Instagram accounts target weight loss and fitness journeys, it’s easy to feel inspired by people’s efforts. Admittedly, you also need to be realistic. Weight loss transformations don’t happen overnight, and they require a lot of hard work. It doesn’t matter how much the skinny lady in the picture swears that she got her fantastic body from a healthy kale smoothie breakfast and a simple abs routine. In reality, she went through months of efforts and dedication. One picture might make it look easy, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Unfortunately, most people tend to believe that motivation is the secret of a fit body… Consequently, many highly motivated people fail every year to hold their fitness resolution and lose the extra weight. Weight loss is a long and enduring journey, and sticking the online advice and guides you can find is never going to get you there. You need to think out of the box – but not too much outside!

Dieting doesn’t work

There is a surprising fact about diets: they don’t work. In fact, dieting is so ineffective than 95% of all dieters regain the weight they lose with one year. Some might even gain more than they lost in the first place. According to science, out of the 45 million of people dieting in the US and the 13 million in the UK, most of them will have to start again in 12 months’ time. What is wrong with going a diet? The main reason is that diets are counterintuitive. Indeed, the body experiences a diet as a stress factor, which increases the levels of cortisol and adrenaline, and consequently slows down the rate at which the body burns calories. In short, the more you diet, the slower you lose weight. Additionally, dieting is often perceived as a temporary solution, which consequently fails to implement a sustainable change. Ultimately, once the diet is over, you go back to your old habits.

No, you can’t just sign up to the gym

If you were thinking of replacing the diet with an active gym membership, you need to reconsider your options. According to Show Me The Evidence, more than 60 studies on exercises and weight loss have revealed a terrible truth. Sweating at the gym accounts only for a tiny portion of your calorie burn in a day. Indeed, only 10 to 30% of your calories can be burned through physical activity, which may include exercise but also refers to any movement you make during the day. More often than not, people who exercise tend to consume food after their workout, which might undermine their weight loss. Additionally, it’s not uncommon to overestimate the number of calories burnt during a workout, which might lead to nasty surprises. Finally, too much exercise can put your health at risk and lead to an injury, which might cause you to put on weight. You lose less weight than you hope through exercise.

You need a lifestyle change

Ultimately, if you want to lose weight durably and without unnecessary efforts, you will need to change your habits. Even with the best will, it’s impossible to be completely honest about your calorie intake and burn. That’s precisely why you need guidance via a complete programme such as Lifestyle Cleanse, to clear up your bad habits and gradually embrace healthy and life-changing solutions. What is the advantage of a programme? It’s been designed to help your body lose weight without stress or metabolism slow-down as it provides all the minerals and vitamins you need.

Those pesky habits you need to get rid of

Bad habits are the insurmountable mountain of everyone trying to lose weight. The main problem about bad habits is that they introduce unhealthy behaviour and can gradually transform your perception of yourself and your needs. Of course, everybody is aware of the risks of consuming your calories in liquid form. But have you thought of the dangers of the television? Indeed, people who eat in front of the TV might miss the signs of satiety. As a result, they eat significantly more than people who don’t watch TV during their dinner. Additionally, there’s a growing tendency to rely on processed foods or even takeaways when you choose to watch TV, which leads to the consumption of fewer vegetables and more fried food. Finally, food is often used as a reward in everyday’s life. From early childhood, you might have been taught that good behaviour is rewarded with sugary food, for instance. Food is also the go-to comfort remedy at the end of a long day.

Listen to your body

Your body is a well-wired machine that keeps sending you signals about its health and needs. Unfortunately, listening to the signals of your body is an art that is difficult to master. It can be easy to assume that a growling stomach is an indication of hunger. In reality, there can be hundreds of reasons for your loud stomach, and if you don’t listen to your feelings, you will never know what it means. Today’s fast-paced society can impose eating times and places that are not right for your body. So, it’s time to ignore the social expectations and listen to what you need. Don’t just eat because it’s lunchtime, but instead focus on identifying your hunger. It’s the way your body has to tell you it needs nutrients. Once you’ve realised that, it’s impossible to try to satisfy your hunger with a snack bought from a vending machine. Nutrition is the answer!

Good habits start young

Ultimately, the best approach to weight loss is to transform your lifestyle. While it can be challenging as an adult, it’s a different kettle of fish for kids. Indeed, if you help your children to develop healthy habits from the start, in terms of snacking and staying active, you can ensure that losing weight will never be one of their worries. In the end, you’ve got only one body, so the best you care for it, the longer it will last. Therefore it’s essential to show children healthy alternatives to high sugar and fat food.

The bottom line is that is you’re trying to lose weight, dieting and exercise are the last things you need to do. Instead, focus on mindful eating and balanced nutrition for you and your family.


How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep When You Suffer from Hip Pain

When you suffer from hip pain, getting a good night’s sleep is challenging. This is because you need a mattress that contours to your hips and shoulders while keeping your spine and neck supported and aligned. You also need help with your pelvic rotation so it doesn’t become misaligned while you’re sleeping.

These are just a few of the things you’ll want to look for, read on for more!

What to Look for in a Mattress

There are three important things you should look for in a mattress. These include:

  • Firmness ranging from soft to medium is best since it contours to your body. This is important because your shoulders and hips protrude and become uncomfortable with too firm of a mattress. However, a soft mattress allows your hips and shoulders to sink into the mattress and relieves some of the pressure because your spine is better aligned.
  • Support is important so that your spine and muscles don’t twist and become tense while you’re sleeping because then your body won’t renew itself. This is why you want a soft, well-built mattress.
  • Pelvic rotation occurs when your hips turn causing your back muscles and lumbar spine to become misaligned. To stop this from happening you should choose a mattress that contours to your hips and shoulders to accommodate them.

If you’re still struggling to find the right mattress, take a read of this mattress for hip pain guide which should provide you with more information to help you decide.

The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Now that you know what to look for in a mattress, you should know that these aren’t things that a traditional, innerspring mattress can offer. This is because of the pressure points you have in your hips, especially since you probably stay in the same position throughout the night. Your mattress compounds this problem because its innersprings don’t support your hips so they sag causing contortion of your spine. When your mattress is old and worn, the problem becomes even worse because your hips dip into a soft spot causing your spine to curve, which then causes pain in your upper back and neck.

Firm or Soft?

When your mattress is too firm it’s also problematic because it holds your hips up too high and causes your waist to dip. This is why you wake up in the morning with painful hips, headaches, and spinal issues.

Clearly, you don’t want a firm, innerspring mattress. What you do want is a soft to medium memory foam mattress that lets your hips comfortably sink into it while you sleep. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that it’s of a good density so it supports your neck and spine at the same time. This keeps them from becoming misaligned.

As a side sleeper, you have a lot of great options for a mattress in the mid-price range. Knowing what to look for will make it easier for you to shop for one of these mattresses. Getting a good night’s sleep really does depend on you getting the right support from your mattress. Now you know how.


Why You Should Go And Get Your Smear Test

why you should go and get your smear test

Full disclosure – I’ve always been okay after a smear test. I have had two so far in my life and my results have come back normal. Other people I know haven’t been so lucky and have had abnormal results – read a blog post from Jess on her cervical screening experience here. Smear tests are something I believe every woman should get as soon as she is able to. In fact, I think they should be available from when women turn 18 rather than the age of 25 but that’s a whole other story.

I was shocked and appalled at the recent news story that smear tests are at a 20 year low – they are saying that the Jade Goody effect has now long gone. I’m sure we all remember Jade’s battle and the influx of people having smear tests afterwards to hopefully avoid the same fate. Why are we getting complacent again? Do we need someone suffering in the public eye in order to scare us into going? Why aren’t we taking steps to look after our health?

I have friends older than me that still haven’t even been for their first ever smear test. They’ve had babies and are at an age where they could be susceptible to cervical cancer yet won’t go because they are scared. I was scared the first time – I’d heard horror stories from people saying that it hurt but others said it was a minor scratch and that was it. I was nervous, I was scared but there was no chance that I wasn’t going to go for my smear test – a few moments of pain rather than suffering from cancer – I know what I would prefer. I have seen first hand what cancer can do to a person – I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It’s not painful to have a smear test – but even if it was, surely a few moments of pain is much more preferable to constant suffering?

why you should go and get your smear test

Even if you get abnormal results, this doesn’t mean you have cancer or will get cancer. Your smear test can detect abnormal cervical cells which can develop into cancer – but aren’t yet. Catching them early through a cervical screening will thus of course reduce your risk of cancer developing. A cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer, it is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix. Most women’s test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test shows some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

Most of these changes won’t lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own but in some cases these cells need to be removed so they can’t become cancerous. There are around 3000 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed each year in the UK.

The whole experience is over in a matter of mere minutes – I would actually say the part that is the most worrying is the time period whilst you are waiting for your results to come back. I recently had my smear test and because of Christmas, my results were delayed getting to me in the post – sometimes that can really get your mind whirring.

My results finally arrived last week letting me know the cells in my sample looked normal and my risk of cervical cancer is very low at this time. It also let me know roughly when I should expect my next screening to be. They also stipulated that if you have certain symptoms in the three years between screenings that you should speak to a GP as soon as possible to rule out anything untoward.

So why should you go and get your smear test?

It could save your life

Finding out about those abnormal cells and getting them removed if required is much better than not knowing about them and having them develop into something worse.

It can give you peace of mind

It is very likely that your results will come back normal. Surely a few minutes of being uncomfortable with your legs akimbo is worth it to know where you stand when it comes to your cervical health.

It may encourage someone else to do the same

I get it – the prospect can seem terrifying, especially when it is your first ever screening. But it isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be – the worst part is having to get everything down there out in front of the nurse more than anything! Whilst I still haven’t persuaded certain friends to go and have their screenings, me going for mine has reminded others to book theirs in which is great.

They really aren’t as bad as some people make out

As with all things, some people will have genuinely bad experiences but we all also know people who over dramatise absolutely everything. Some people will make a smear test sound absolutely torturous when it is anything but. If anything, it is a small scratch to your cervix and feeling a little bit uncomfortable for a minute or two. THAT’S IT. Nothing more, nothing less – and really nothing to be worried about.

I’ve just recently had mine but will be ready to book mine in again in 2020 when my next one is due. Have you ever had a cervical screening/smear test? Are you as shocked at the figures as I am?

Get Your Skates on and Get Fit in 2018

The new year is a time when many make resolutions and one of the most popular is to endeavour to get fit. Gym profits take off and sales of protein shakes go through the roof. While running, aerobics and palates may be flavour of the day, they are not everyone’s cup of tea, so something a little more unusual may be what they are looking for. Here we take a look at four ways to keep fit on skates.

Ice Hockey

At the highest level, ice hockey is a physical sport that is fast and furious. Teams of six players pit their wits and skills against each other and the goal is to put the “puck” into the opposing teams net. In the UK, ice hockey is more popular than you would imagine and clubs can be found up and down the country. To play ice hockey, you will need a good pair of skates, protective pads and helmet and of course a hockey stick.

 Terry Matthews

Ice Skating

Perhaps the most graceful of sports, ice skating is fantastic for your core strength and all round fitness. Whether taken seriously, where entering competitions and wearing fancy costumes is what it is all about, or enjoyed as a day out with family and friends, ice skating is terrific fun.

All you need to take part is skates, which can be bought, but novices can borrow a pair, free of charge, when they turn up at the local rink. Oh and don’t forget to wrap up warm.

Inline skating

Those who feel the need for speed may want to explore the world of inline skating. Here skaters wear specially designed rollerblades and use them to race around a track – those with the most strength, skill and speed and who cross the finish line first are the winners.

Inline skating is closely associated with a number of other sports, such as vert skating and freestyle skating – all of which demand the need for protective headgear and pads.

Roller Derby

The somewhat crazy sport of roller derby involves two teams, each comprising of five members and it is a contact sport on roller skates. The object of the sport is simple, the team who lap their opponents the most after completing a predetermined number of laps around a track wins.

Roller derby is not for the faint hearted as players are allowed to block and push opponents and catapult their own players forward to take an advantage.

With so many options to choose from you’d be mad not to get your skates on and get fit in 2018.