Mountfield Surgery

020 8346 4271

Health information

Advice for travellers

Before you go

Well before travelling abroad, check with your travel aghent/embassy of the country you intend to visit on any special precautions you need to take.

At least two months before departure, discuss any vaccination requirements with your doctor of the practice nurse.

Pack a small first aid kit containing: adhesive dressings, insect repellent, antiseptic cream and water purification tablets.

When abroad

Check on the quality of drinking water. If in doubt either drink only bottled water or use water purification tablets. Avoid ice in drinks as this may have been made from suspect water.

Raw vegetables, salads and fresh fruit should be carefully washed in clean water. If in doubt, stick to freshly cooked food.

Beware of the sun. Use a high factor sun screen particularly in the first few days of exposure. Children in particular should be monitored closely in this respect.

In hot climates drink plenty of non-alcoholic drinks. If you are not passing water regularly, you are not drinking enough.

On Your Return

If you fall ill, don’t forget to tell your doctor that you have travelled abroad.

If you have received treatment abroad, tell your doctor on your return.

When donating blood, tell the transfusion staff which countries you have visited.

Smoking

Why give up?

Over 100,000 people die, each year in the UK, from smoking related disease.

Every cigarette you smoke can shorten your life by an average of five and a half minutes.

Babies of smokers are, on average, 200grammes smaller than those of non-smokers.

Smokers smell.

How to give up

Stopping smoking is all about motivation.Without the real desire to give up you are unable to succeed. You must want to give up rather than feel you should give up.

Set adate a week or so in the future when you intend to stop.

Tell all your friends, relations and work colleagues that you’re giving up on that day and ask for their support and encouragement. If at all possible, find someone to give up with you.

When the big day comes, plan it carefully with plenty to keep you occupied. Avoid situations where the desire to smoke will be strongest such as whilst drinking.

Finally, carefully put the money you would have spent on cigarettes on one side, each day, to save up for some real special treat as a reward.

If you’ve tried everything and failed but are still keen to give up, seek help from your doctor.

Preventing a relapse

Whenever you feel the need for a cigarette, go back to the procedure which helped you give up in the first place.

Avoid complacency and remember that you’re a non-smoker.

Think how unpleasant smokers smells now that you’ve given up. Do you want to smell like them?

Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant which has the effect of dulling the brain and nervous system.

In small quantities, alcohol can actually be beneficial to health. In large quantities, on a regular basis, it can have a very serious negative effect on health. At one extreme it can kill. CIRRHOSIS of the liver for instance, is killing an increasing number of people as are drivers who are over the limit. At the other end of the scale, excess consumption of alcohol can lead to poor co-ordination, impaired vision, a weakening of the immune system, impotence and obesity.

What is a safe limit?

An accepted safe limit is 28 units a week for men and 21 units for women. A unit being approximately a glass of wine, half a pint of beer or a single measure of spirit. This recommended maxmimum presumes that the consumption is spread throughout the week and not consumed all at once in a ‘binge’.

A man’s liver can process only 8 units of alcohol within a 24 hour period and can take 72 hours to recover fully. It is easy to see how easy it is to damage this vital organ.

How to cut down

How about a bottle of mineral water instead of wine with your lunch? Always drink water alongside wine with a meal and try a spritzer (wine mixed with mineral water)instead of a straight glass of wine.

How to avoid a hangover

The most effective way to avoid a hangover is not to drink too much. Failing that, if you have over indulged, drinking large quantities of water before going to bed is very effective in warding off the worst effects.