May 8, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

5 Healthy Eating Habits to Form Today

The latest numbers say that the average person in the UK spends around £45 per week on food – including groceries and eating out. So, how do we make sure we’re getting our money’s worth? Here are 5 simple, easy, HEALTHY eating habits to form – 

Stay away from fad diets

This should be a no-brainer. Yes, that juice cleanse all your friends are doing on Instagram seems fun, but pause for a second and think – will it help you achieve your fitness and weight goals? Is it sustainable for you in the long run? Or will it be a one-week wonder and you’re left to your devices again? Understand your body, set realistic goals, and create a sustainable diet. A good diet is one that you can continue adhering to, is balanced, and right for your body.

Keep a food diary

The first step to finding or fixing an issue is to collect enough data about it. Keep a food diary to understand what goes into your system each day. Write it down or use an app that will calculate everything for you. With this information, you can track macros and calories, and also make a note of how the foods are affecting your moods and well-being. Monitor, then adjust.

Eat a balanced meal

No-carb is a thing of the past. Try and opt for a balanced meal instead – one that has enough protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. This also means more fruits and veg, less sugar, and less salt. Also keep in mind that a ‘meal’ includes what you drink – swap out that sugary, fizzy unhealthy drink for a healthier option. Or better yet, opt for some hot water or tea, which will help you digest your food better.

Find healthy alternatives

Studies show that deprivation can result in more intense binging. So how else do you stop eating unhealthy food? By finding healthier alternatives. For example, if you like your grain, choose one with higher fiber content – brown rice instead of rice, wheat bread instead of white bread. Sugar craving? Eat your favourite fruits instead to satiate that. Find healthier options and integrate the swap slowly into your diet.

Watch your meat intake

The NHS recommends a serving or two of fish everyday – mainly for the omega-3 fatty oils that are available in abundance in fish. On the other hand, the general consensus is that red meat may not be as good for us in large portions. Where possible, eat more white meat than red. And more fish than white meat.

Whatever habits you choose to keep or make, ensure that they do not introduce additional stress on your health – physical or mental. What we consume is closely tied to our well-being, so it is important to consume right. If you have questions about allergies, portion control, or how certain foods are affecting your health, talk to your GP. You can also speak to an expert GP at Gogodoc by scheduling an online video consultation  – visit our website or download our app to book an appointment as early as the hour. Eat well, stay safe, and be healthy!

Book an appointment today
and consult on your diet

May 4, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Talk to your GP – Why this is important now more than ever

While the world talks incessantly about the COVID-19 crisis, there is a lesser-known issue we might be overlooking – our general health and well-being.

The National Health Service is worried about the steady decline in the number of patients coming in for other illnesses – strokes, cardiac issues, pregnancy-related visits, sick children and the like. There is around a 29% decrease in A&E visits and doctors fear that people needing care are not visiting hospitals. It is understandable, given that many of us are worried and anxious about stepping outside and would rather not visit places with more people. Especially when hospitals are also currently treating COVID-19 patients.

While the advice and general consensus is to delay elective procedures until it is safe to venture out, more critical, time-sensitive health issues need to be tackled sooner rather than later. A delay in seeking the right kind of care can not only be detrimental for your health (or the health of a loved one), but will also ultimately add more strain on the already overworked and limited health resources and healthcare system. Moreover, if there is a COVID-19 risk,it is better to ensure we are not immunocompromised in any way so a recovery might be possible. 

One way to protect yourself is to ascertain if a hospital visit is needed first. Talk to your GP, explain your health situation and seek counsel. You can now consult with a general practice doctor without having to leave the house – through an online or video consultation. 

Gogodoc’s team has NHS-certified General Practice doctors who can offer expert medical advice over an online/video call so you can get the help you need while still practicing lockdown rules. A private online GP consultation can be scheduled through our website or through the Gogodoc app and a GP – appointments could be as early as within the hour. Online doctor consultations include prescriptions that can be filled at your pharmacy, should you require it, as well as advice on whether you need advanced medical care at a hospital.

If you do have to seek medical attention at a hospital, do it without delay, but take protective measures before venturing out – including masks and practicing social distancing. Again, talk to your GP, get your health checked, and get guidance on next steps. Take care, and stay safe.

Book an appointment today!

May 2, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

COVID-19, NHS and the UK – How our healthcare system is battling the pandemic

Month 4 into the COVID-19 pandemic and here’s a quick look at how the NHS, and several other bodies, are tackling the novel virus.

Harnessing the Power of Data

The NSHX – the health service’s digital innovation unit, has teamed up with several Tech Giants (including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Palantir, and Faculty AI) to analyze data around COVID-19 patients and tests. The analysis will help follow the progression of the virus, track hotspots, and efficiently manage the use of resources like ventilators and test kits.

Contact-Tracing App

The NHSX is also developing a smartphone app that works over Bluetooth. The app will work to keep track of who has COVID-like symptoms, and who they might have come into contact with, and dispense isolation advice based on that. The app is being tested at the RAF facility in North Yorkshire and is expected to be available to the general public sometime in May.

Drive-Through Testing

Drive-through testing is being administered in several areas in southern England (and expanding), mostly targeting healthcare service members. Though the UK is still not where it should be with tests and testing kits, this aims to bridge the gap somewhat.

Vaccine Trials

Oxford University has just begun human trials for a possible vaccine for COVID-19 / Coronavirus. Over a thousand people are expected to take part in this trial where they test if a healthy individual could be made immune to the deadly and contagious Coronavirus.

Even as the NHS (and other auxiliary services) battle the pandemic to help keep us safe, they advise that our general health should not be neglected. Going to a hospital to receive necessary medical care (even if non-COVID related) is a valid reason to step out of the house. Talk to a GP to understand if it’s necessary for you. Our general practice doctors at Gogodoc are available for online video consultations through the week and can see a patient from the comfort of your home in as little as one hour (visit the website or download the Gogodoc app to book an appointment).

We will get through this together. But until then, Stay Home, and Stay Safe.

Book an appointment today!

April 29, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

COVID-19 Updates from WHO and NHS

With the deluge of news around the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to discern the real from the fake, the recent from the outdated. Here is a quick summary of updates from the two trusted sources leading the fight – the World Health Organisation and the NHS. 

WHO’s situation report shows that the COVID-19 illness has taken over quite a few lives – as of April 28, 2020 the coronavirus has affected over 2.8 million people and claimed over 198,000 lives. In the UK, the highly contagious illness has taken over 21,000 lives with daily reports continuing to document new cases and deaths.

Amid the debate and controversy on the UK’s testing targets and the availability of test kits, we also learned that there are now drive-through test centers for healthcare and allied workers. And that the NHS is partnering with several companies in the IT and digital sectors to collect, collate, and analyze information on COVID-19 and be able to diligently and efficiently use resources. A soon-to-be-released contact-tracing app may be able to tell us if we have come into contact with someone that has developed COVID-19 symptoms. A vaccine trial is also underway at Oxford University though it will be a while before we are able to ascertain its effectiveness.

The NHS has also updated its advice for those that think they may have the coronavirus – in order to not inundate the 111 phone line, NHS has created a 111 online service where people can answer a questionnaire about their symptoms – this will serve as a first-line triage and additional advice is offered based on the answers. For those with symptoms, NHS recommends self-isolating for at least 7 days, and for those that have come in contact with someone that has symptoms, they recommend a 14-day isolation period to see if any symptoms develop.

Regardless of the updates around us, it is important to continue to practice social distancing rules, stay indoors, sanitize our hands and common surfaces frequently, and remember to take care of our general health. For any questions related to your health, talk to your GP. Or reach out to us at Gogodoc – an online-video consultation appointment can be booked in as early as an hour and our NHS-certified GPs can offer you expert medical advice on what to do, all over a video consult so you don’t have to leave your house. Now more than ever, be aware, and stay safe.

Book an appointment today!

April 29, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

The CO in COVID – heart-warming stories from around the world

In times of crises, like the one we are in right now, it is easy to get bogged down by all the negative numbers and news. But this is also a time when we can see humanity and solidarity in action – and we’re not just talking about medical staff – general practice doctors, surgeons, emergency responders,nurses, support staff and the like. We’re talking about ordinary people making extraordinary contributions to society during this time – here are 5 stories from around the world to warm your heart and bring back your faith in humanity.

 

USA – A high school student in Santa Barbara, California – Daniel Goldberg – set up a website called Zoomers to Boomers to collect orders and deliver groceries to older, at-risk people in his area that could not leave their houses to shop. His effort has since sparked numerous other initiatives and examples of the young helping the old. 

 

Italy – Italian Tenor Andrew Bocelli performed asolo concert from an empty Duomo Cathedral for Easter. The concert was live-streamed to millions of people, bringing some hope and positivity to those in lockdown.

 

UK – Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year old veteran, aimed to complete 100 laps in his garden before turning 100. His goal? Raise £1000 for NHS Charities together. Over a million people have contributed to his efforts and his current fundraising stands at £23 million. Yes, million!

 

Sweden – Princess Sofia of Sweden traded her tiara for scrubs and volunteered at a Stockholm hospital, assisting in non-medical duties like disinfecting and cleaning.

 

Brazil – Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro got a makeover and was lit up in a medical uniform last weekend to show appreciation and respect for our frontline heroes – the healthcare professionals.

 

At Gogodoc, we have our own healthcare heroes helping with the pandemic – every General Practice doctor in our roster is available for online doctor consultation services. Appointments for video consultations with our GPs are easy to book (check out our website for the appointment form), private, and safe in these social-distancing times. Find a general practice doctor near you and get an appointment in as little as one hour!

Book an appointment today!

April 26, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Using this time wisely – 5 self-improvement things to do indoors

We’ve been given a gift, amidst all the chaos around us – that gift is time – and tons of it. So how can we best use this time to add a few good habits to our schedule? Read below.

Home Workouts

No access to the gym doesn’t mean no fitness. Use what you have and invest time in home workouts. Get an app that offers online classes, or watch youtube videos that make it interesting and fun for you. The endorphins after exercising are sure to help you get through these times!

Reading

Audio, digital, hard copy. There are more choices today than ever before. Reading can be incredibly helpful in accumulating knowledge, broadening perspectives and just letting that brain consume relevant and mindful content. Explore a favourite genre, or dip your toes into a new one. Listen to a good story, or go the non-fiction route and pick up a good habit!

Meditation

Sitting still sounds hard, eh? But meditation is one of the easiest ways to bring some mindfulness into your life and reduce stress. Think of it like a reset button. Start with guided meditation if you’re new to the practice – there are plenty of apps on the market – and just 5 minutes! You can build it up as you go.

Organizing

Marie Kondo your flat. Okay, maybe not that intense, but some kind of organization is good. Organizing, even just moving things around, is supposed to help calm the mind. It will also show you how many things you’ve bought thinking you would use them but have barely touched!

Cooking Your Own Meals

Survival 101 right there – knowing how to make sustenance. Now may be the time to check out those youtube videos, or that old cookbook you forgot you paid for. Knowing what you are putting into your body, will help you differentiate between flavour and junk and nudge you in the right direction. Not an expert cook? Start with some help – get meal kits, or start with making portions of a larger meal (eg., buy the sauce, make the pasta).

So tell us – what forms of self-improvement have worked best for you?

April 24, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Feel Something, Say Something – COVID-19 symptoms refresher and what to do

A simple cough is enough to give us a fright these days – so we thought it might be time for a quick refresher on COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if you think you fit the brief.

NHS has designated two major symptoms for COVID-19 – 

  1. A high temperature – where your body (especially chest and back) feel hot to the touch.
  2. A new, continuous cough – the key phrase being ‘new and continuous’ – if you have been coughing continuously for an hour, or have 3 or more bad coughing fits in a span of 24 hours – if you tend to have allergies around this time, know that a COVID cough is much worse than the coughing fits you normally have.

If you think you have one or both of these symptoms – the recommendation is to use the 111 Online Coronavirus Service from NHS to figure out what to do next – whether it was a false alarm, or if a test needs to be taken, or if self-isolation is required. Whatever the conclusion, the advice is to ‘stay home’ and sort this out with the NHS online service so you don’t end up infecting anyone else. If the symptoms are unmanageable or if a baby or at-risk elder has these symptoms, the NHS recommends calling the helpline.

For someone that has COVID-19 symptoms, NHS recommends a 7-day self-isolation period with no contact with other humans for the fever to subside (longer if fever takes longer to subside) – this is so the risk of spreading of the virus is avoided. Note that a cough may last long after the infection period is complete. For someone who lives with, or has had contact with a COVID-19 positive person, the recommended self-isolation period is 14 days – since it can take 14 days for symptoms to show. If symptoms show, an additional 7-day self-isolation maybe required.

Regardless of work commitments or your general gauge of your own health, now is the time to be safe than sorry. So stay home, monitor your health and seek help if you think you have symptoms. If you are unsure and want to monitor your health without leaving home, schedule an online phone or video consultation with a General Practice doctor at Gogodoc – a doctor can call you within the hour!

Book for a video consultation today!

March 22, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

What to do if you think you may have the Coronavirus

It’s a pandemic, we are hearing and reading about it everyday on the news. A friend of a friend of a friend has it. And now you think you have it too – because you coughed that one time.

Don’t Panic. Take a deep breath, and let’s look at what to do if you think you have the dreaded Coronavirus.

 

COVID-19 Symptoms

The coronavirus causes COVID-19, which is a respiratory illness very similar to the cold and the flu. The initial symptoms are a high temperature and cough. Other, more intense symptoms might be a shortness of breath.

Just a cough by itself may not be cause for alarm here – have you travelled to a country with COVID-19 cases or come into close contact with them? Is the cough new or have you always had one from allergies etc. Did you go to a crowded place or did you come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus?

 

When to Take the Test

Okay, you think your symptoms mimic the virus – the first instinct is to go see your GP and get a test done. However, the latest directive from NHS says that you do not need to visit a GP, pharmacy, or hospital. All they want you to do is to stay put, at home (also called self-isolation) for at least 7 days. In most healthy individuals, the COVID-19 will exhibit symptoms and be gone within that time-frame, very much like the common cold. You are only advised to call the NHS 111 helpline if you are unable to manage the symptoms on your own, or if the condition worsens. The NHS will then appropriately guide you on next steps.

 

Self and Social Isolation

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate for 7 days. Do not meet with anyone, try not to travel outside unless absolutely essential, wear a face mask or cover your mouth with your sleeve (or a tissue) if you do have to be outside, and wait for the illness to subside.

Anyone who has come in contact with you should also practise self-isolation for 14 days (from the day they met you and you had symptoms) to avoid being carriers of the disease.

Even if you don’t have the virus, it is best to consider social distancing and avoid crowded places where you might pick up the virus. Remember to wash your hands frequently, and with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap is not available) and avoid touching your face, to minimize the risk of being infected.

If you are still unsure and would like some expert opinion and guidance on your case, schedule an online consultation with a qualified GP. Book a phone/video doctor consultation with Gogodoc and get all your questions answered right away. Whatever the case, stay indoors, wash your hands, and let’s ride this out.

 

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March 13, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Monitor Your Health : Preventive Tests And When To Take Them

When was the last time you had a complete health checkup? Or are you one of those people who only goes to the doctor when something hurts enough to interfere with your lifestyle? We are totally not judging, but just wanted to get on here and remind you that the first step to maintenance, especially in health matters, is monitoring. This is where preventive tests (or screenings) come in.

 

Screenings look for specific indicators of a particular illness or disease in seemingly healthy people. The tests are based off of existing research and the frequency requirements and recommendations for testing are updated as the research updates. The NHS has a list of screenings it provides as part of its service and can be found on their website (or talk to a doctor about it). Screenings help you understand the condition of your health and how best to move forward, should something come back positive (positive meaning the indicators for the illness are present). Screenings are typically ‘recommended’ and not ‘mandatory’ because they are very personal – test results can sometimes be associated with difficult decisions – like terminating a pregnancy because a test shows the fetus is at risk for something, or having to make treatment decisions for life-altering illnesses. Regardless, being aware of preventive screenings and when to take them will help you take charge of your health.

 

Here is a list of common preventive screenings – some of these are administered by the NHS. This list is by no means comprehensive, and your GP will be able to best help you get the type of screening you require, based on your health needs.

 

For Pregnant Women

Screening for possible birth defects, syndromes, infectious diseases and abnormalities – a gynecologist or physician should be able to refer and decipher results.

 

For Children

Hearing Test and physical examination (including bloodwork) is common.

For Women 

Breast Cancer screening – X-ray mammography screenings for women over 50 (every 1-2 years)

Cervical Cancer screening – checks for the health of cervical cells and helps in the early detection of cervical cancer. every 3 years for those in the 25-49 age range and every 5 years for 50-64.

 

For Men

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening (AAA) – For men, and typically around the age of 65

General Screenings

Eye Tests for Diabetics – Anyone aged 12 and above with a  diabetic condition can get an eye test to check for retinopathy

STD screening – for sexually active adults 

Bowel Cancer Screening – Adults over the age of 55, most times a one-off test

 

 

Apart from these, cancer screenings, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, and medication use review should be considered if you are at risk due to genetic, lifestyle, or other factors. There are very many tests out there, but fret not! Talk to your doctor.

Your GP can refer you for most screening procedures (screenings for pregnant women and children might need specialist referrals) and will receive a copy of the results to best direct you on next steps. If you are looking for a GP appointment with no wait time, book your home visit with a Gogodoc GP today  – we have same-day appointments in most cases. Or simply get an online video consultation with our doctors and monitor your health from the comfort of your home. Leave us a comment if you have any questions 🙂

 

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March 12, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Vitamin Gummies – Yay or Nay?

Who wants to say no to some childlike fun while also boosting their health? Vitamin Gummies may have been created for people that were unable to swallow tablets, but it has grown in popularity primarily because it’s fun while promising to be healthy.

Gummies pack just about the same nutrients as the tablet versions, sometimes even more, if some supplement testers are to be believed. They have steadily grown in popularity and found their way into trends and celeb culture, but the nutrition world is still divided on whether they work. 

The argument for Gummies is that they deliver nutrition in an easy-to-consume form, and that they are not much different from other supplements out there. The argument against is that they aren’t great for oral health (you need to brush after gummies as they tend to leave behind residue).

Take it a step further and there’s the larger question – do we need vitamin supplements at all? The answer isn’t as simple as we would like it to be. The NHS published an article a year and a half ago detailing studies that showed no correlation between vitamin supplements and any reduction in cardiovascular disease (or death in general). The conclusion they arrived at was that it was best to get the necessary vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet, rather than rely on supplements.

It is entirely possible that we are not taking supplements as they are intended to be taken. There is a push with this generation to take charge of our own health and rather than ‘supplementing’ our nutrition needs with gummies, we might just be consuming more of it because we consider it a ‘good thing’. This is a dangerous slope – vitamins in higher doses can actually cause harm – like vitamin B12, which causes dizziness, headache and nausea in large, unnecessary doses. Or that scary story of a man needing a liver transplant because he took too many green tea pills. 

Understanding our nutritional needs (a quick online consultation with your doctor can help!) is paramount. Eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are also important. So when might you need a supplement?

  • If you have a specific deficiency due to your lifestyle or diet habits 
  • If you have a dietary restriction that prevents you from getting vitamins the natural way (eg., vegan diets do not have B12 so there might be a need for supplements)
  • Pregnant women may need folic acid supplements
  • Women with heavy periods may have an iron deficiency and a need for supplements
  • Special circumstances – residents in the UK are advised to take vitamin D supplements in the autumn and winter months since we do not get enough sun for the body to synthesize this naturally
  • When your doctor recommends a supplement based on your current health needs
  • Children are usually recommended Vitamin A, C and D as supplements

 

Bottomline, not all bodies are created equal, so neither can nutritional needs. The best way to go about maintaining your health is to figure out what your body needs, and then make it as fun as possible to do that.

 

If you are unsure whether you need a supplement, in gummy or tablet form, ask your doctor – schedule an online video consultation with a Gogodoc doctor to understand your health needs and how best to go about living your best life. Our £20 online doctor consultation services are the best way to get expert health advice without having to leave your couch!

 

But the question still remains – if you passed by vitamin gummies in the Supermarket, would you still pick it up? Tell us in the comments!