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Drop A Drink Size This Summer

Simon Bowers has been a GP in South Liverpool for 13 years. He comes to us each month to talk health. Follow him on Twitter @SIbowers
Simon Bowers has been a GP in South Liverpool for 13 years. He comes to us each month to talk health. Follow him on Twitter @SIbowers

THE summer is almost upon us so here’s my tips to be beach ready.

We all know I’m not going to endorse fad diets and skin peels, but here are some important points to getting yourself ready for summer;

RESPECT YOUR SKIN: It’s fact that if your skin is exposed to the sun for a period of time it will darken in colour, and that’s fine – but make sure you wear sunscreen. There’s loads available and you should wear the highest factor possible (I always recommend factor 15 and above for adults and 50+ for children) or make sure you’re covered up.

Burning and going red in the sun is damaging your skin in a serious way. And please don’t be soft by going on sunbeds to ‘get ready for summer’ all you’re doing is disrespecting your own skin and it’s just not worth it. It could actually cost you your life.

DON’T DETOX: Companies make millions by tricking people into believing they can look better and feel better by ‘detoxing’. These companies happen to sell miracle potions, powders and pills which will help you do this. It’s a complete fad and utter nonsense. Your kidneys and liver detox your body every single day naturally, so what’s the point of using chemicals? If you want nice skin, to feel better about your looks and complexion just think about eating a balanced diet and staying active. It makes the job easier on your body’s natural process.

DROP A DRINK SIZE: With sunshine comes the barbeques, holidays and beer gardens. Not to mention the Euros and the Olympics, and usually all of these come hand-in-hand with alcohol consumption. I’m not going to say don’t have a drink ever – most people are relatively sensible about it and don’t over-do it too much but just keep that in mind when the summer-season hits.

Make sure you have a few alcohol-free days and have a few glasses of water or something non-alcoholic between rounds every now and then. You’ll be glad of t the next morning when the hangover isn’t too bad and drinking less aids health weight loss – so it’s a winner.

HAVE SOME FUN IN THE SUN: Get outside. Liverpool is packed full of some of the most beautiful parks in the country. Use the good weather as another good reason to do a bit of exercise. Go for a walk, get yourself on a city bike, have an extra game of football or walk to work rather than drive. I do say this a lot, but only because it’s true – an extra 10 minutes of exercise per day will make you look better and feel better. The ripple effect of the benefits of this are huge from good mental health, improving concentration and event making you live longer and healthier.

We Have The Technology! Why Digital Healthcare Will Make Things Better

HEALTHCARE in Liverpool is on the brink of change and we are embracing technology more than ever before.

These days, you can run most of your life from the palm of your hand on a mobile device:. Diaries, banking, social media and even booking holidays – so why shouldn’t you be able manage your health in a more dynamic way?

The NHS in Liverpool has been rolling out a new way of monitoring health care called Telehealth. This has shown great success with more than 2,500 people in Liverpool so far and over the next few years it’s expected that 30,000 people with long-term health conditions will be using the programme. Nobody likes being in hospital. So far, Telehealth has been able to reduce unnecessary admissions to hospital for patients using it by a third.

Your care team may discuss this with you if you have a long term condition and it could be as simple as giving a patient a set of bathroom scales, a blood pressure monitor or something as advanced as putting an oxygen level monitor attached to your TV!

We’re also stating to use mobile phone apps to help patients to care for themselves better. Patients suffering asthma (for example) can monitor their own breathing using a mobile phone app and feed the results to their practice nurse via the app rather than have to visit their doctors practice on a regular basis.

Together with your GP, you will be able to discuss a health programme that works for you – not the other way around. It will give patients more ownership of their health condition and in the long-term this has proven so much more effective. It lowers stress levels and gives you a much better understanding of your own health. It ties in with our overall aim of keeping people out of hospital too.

This isn’t about patients needing to own the latest up-to-date mobile phone or needing to learn to use horribly complicated ‘gizmos’ either. The majority of the Telehealth technology can be accessed and used on simple devices.

In our city of Liverpool there is some amazing technology being created and trialled right now. This includes the latest sensor and predictive technology that could potentially message your doctor that you’re ill before you even feel it.

Our city also has companies that lead the world in the newest technologies like Virtual Reality. The health care potential for this is very exciting.

For years the NHS has pretended that Amazon doesn’t exist. We go home and do banking and shopping online, but insist that patients come to the practice or hospital face to face for a consultation. We can already book appointments and repeat prescriptions online and we are developing a “digital front door” for our services-  imagine Facebook for your health needs where you can create and shape your own health care page to access your records, self help information and even e-mail or video-consultations with a doctor or nurse.

The world of technology is moving forward so fast – so let’s embrace it with our healthcare and make our city healthier, happier and start leading the way!

More old wives’ tales…

Starve a fever, feed cold

There’s no evidence to support this. Listen to your body – drink plenty of fluids and if you’re hungry EAT!

Eating sugar makes kids act hyper

Not true, surprisingly. It can make you fat, and rot your teeth but there is no evidence that it can influence a child’s behaviour. If they go nuts after you give them chocolate, it’s probably because they’re excited for chocolate!




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